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Scott Paulson keeps the beat on a cowbell as Sharon Elementary fifth graders work through "Louie Louie" on the steel drums at the Vermont Independent School of the Arts in Sharon, Vt., Tuesday, October 14, 2014. Paulson founded the school in the Seven Stars Center building in 2002 with his wife and it now offers a wide range of private music lessons and classes in tai chi, yoga, Japanese calligraphy and hula dancing, among other subjects. 
(Valley News - James M. Patterson)

Arts Program Aims to Grow

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The founders of Vermont Independent School of the Arts at the Seven Stars Center in Sharon may be on the brink of realizing their dream. If all goes as planned, the 14-year-old nonprofit center and school, which has helped hundreds of students become better musicians, singers and visual artists, will qualify for a matching grant and move closer to the …

Study: Malpractice Reform Won’t Result in Health Care Savings

Monday, October 20, 2014

There’s been a long-running theory that one reason medical costs are bloated is that doctors are scared of medical malpractice suits, so they order expensive and unnecessary tests to protect themselves from liability. But in three states over the past decade that enacted laws to put stricter limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, there hasn’t been much of an impact in the volume or …

That’s More Like It: Region’s Fall Foliage Tourism Seen Returning to Pre-Irene Levels

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Quechee — At the Route 4 Country Store in Quechee, owner Margie Battaglia says the roadside deli, known for its maple-smoked pork and beef barbecue and hand-made chocolates, is seeing “thousands” of customers each weekend. Across the road, at the KOA campground, owner Mike Scruggs says the upgraded 30-acre facility for bus-size campers …

RV Sales Gain Traction As Recovery Accelerates

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Milwaukee — Sales of travel trailers and motor homes continue to improve, with demand for some models nearing the peak volume before the recession, a Robert W. Baird & Co. report shows. Dealers reported solid retail trends in motor-home sales, up about 25 percent, and towable trailers, up …

Maine Harvest Schools Teens in Hard Work

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blaine, Maine — In the gentle hills of northern Maine, far from the rocky coastline and lighthouses, teenagers trade warm classrooms for cold potato fields every fall, just as they have for generations. Schools shut down — sometimes …

Bankers Slam Inversion Action

Sunday, October 12, 2014

New York — Congress and the president regularly decry companies moving headquarters abroad for tax benefits but two top Wall Street bankers said Friday that lower taxes do not drive the deals. The shifting of corporate headquarters generally involves a merger of two companies, with the foreign company …

Money Talk: Timing Counts in Gift to Grandchild

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Question: Our grandson’s stellar high school performance and his family financial situation were such that he was admitted to his state university with grants sufficient to pay all school fees, including room and board, with no loans or work-study. His grandmother and I have a 529 account in …

Keystone Be Darned: Canada Finds Oil Route Around Obama

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Toronto — So you’re the Canadian oil industry and you do what you think is a great thing by developing a mother lode of heavy crude beneath the forests and muskeg of northern Alberta. The plan is to send it clear to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast …

Expanding the Harvest: Vermont Law School Studies How to Get Local Food to Needy

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

This time of year, Heather Bagley cobbles together a handful of volunteers and heads out to the fields and orchards for the leftovers. Generally, the groups are small, and frequently the faces are the same, but the results …

Twitter Sues U.S. For Right to Disclose

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

San Francisco — Twitter has joined the tech industry assault on the federal government’s national security surveillance programs, suing Tuesday to strike down rules that bar the blogging giant from publicly disclosing the scope of demands for user information. Twitter’s lawsuit, filed in San Francisco federal court, alleges …

Lowering Interest Rate On Credit Cards Is Easier Than You Think

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A new report suggests that credit card holders could get lower interest rates and late fees waived if they ask. The report, released this month by CreditCards.com, found that nearly 90 percent of cardholders who asked their credit card issuers to wave a late payment fee were successful. …

Social Security Q&A: How to Begin Steps to Retirement

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Question: I’ve decided I want to retire. How do I begin? Answer: The fastest and easiest way to apply for retirement benefits is to go to www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline. To use the online application to apply for Social Security retirement or spouse’s benefits, you must: ∎ Be at least 61 …

Money Talk: Cans Full of Coins Not an Effective Saving Method

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Question: My husband recently told me that he has saved many coffee cans full of loose change over the years. When I suggested we might at least roll the change to make it easier to count should we ever need it, he was not interested! I understand he …