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State / Region

FairPoint Blames Huge Losses on Strike, Bad Weather

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Portland, Maine — FairPoint Communications said a four-month strike and a succession of winter storms pushed it deeper into the red in the fourth quarter of 2014. The company reports a net loss of $43.6 million for the quarter. It made $6.1 million in the same quarter in 2013. The North Carolina-based company operates the largest landline telephone network in northern New England. For the year, FairPoint lost more than …

Poll: Most Agree With Setting Aside Single-Payer

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Montpelier — A new poll shows support for Gov. Peter Shumlin’s decision not to pursue a single-payer health care system in Vermont this legislative session. Two months after the governor announced that the state’s economy was not strong enough to support the idea, a VTDigger/Castleton Polling Institute survey shows that nearly two-thirds of respondents agree. Sixty-four percent of poll respondents said they supported …

Fewer Vermont School Budgets Rejected

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Montpelier — Voters across Vermont weren’t as hard on local school budgets this year as they were in 2014, an indication that local school officials were listening to voters who were unhappy with increasing costs last year, two officials said Wednesday. During 2015 town meetings across the state, 20 school budgets were rejected and 226 were approved. On Wednesday, 20 had yet to …

FairPoint Workers to Return Today

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Concord — The four-month strike at FairPoint Communications coincided with a massive spike in customer complaints to the state Public Utilities Commission. Workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, who walked off the job in October, ratified collective …

Vt. GOP Formalizes Request For Federal Review of Gruber

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Montpelier — Republican lawmakers are calling for a federal investigator to review Vermont’s spending to implement the Affordable Care Act. The minority leaders of both chambers told the media in December that they would send a letter requesting that the Inspector General of the Department of Health and …

Auditor: Gruber May Have Overbilled Vermont

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Montpelier — State Auditor Doug Hoffer says the Shumlin administration failed to provide sufficient oversight of Jonathan Gruber’s contract and it appears the economist may have overbilled for the work of a research assistant. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor was hired to use his proprietary economic model …

Housecleaners Testify in Hernandez Trial

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fall River, Mass. — Two women who cleaned the home of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez testified Monday at his murder trial that they saw guns stashed in three places in his house before the killing. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the June 17, 2013, …

EPA Could Push Tougher Rules for Cleanup of Lake Champlain Cleanup

Monday, February 23, 2015

Montpelier — Reducing the amount of phosphorus in Lake Champlain could be the responsibility of the federal government if a plan being reviewed by the state falls through, a development that could mean big bills to upgrade sewage treatment plants. Vermont cities and towns could face more than …

N.H. Struggles With Workers’ Comp Costs

Monday, February 23, 2015

Concord — If a worker in New Hampshire gets hurt on the job, an anesthetic injection can cost $763 under a workers’ compensation claim, compared to $298 for non-work related injuries. Surgical treatment for tendinitis in the shoulder costs about $2,200 if the injury happened at work, compared …

Poll Finds Most Support Increasing Investment Taxes on Wealthy

Monday, February 23, 2015

Washington — The rich aren’t taxed enough and the middle class is taxed too much. As for your taxes, you probably think they’re too high as well. Those are the results of an Associated Press-GfK poll that found that most people in the United States support President Obama’s …

New Contract Ends Strike At FairPoint

Monday, February 23, 2015

Concord — The largest major work stoppage in the United States last year officially came to an end Sunday. Union members in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont ratified a collective bargaining agreement Sunday with their employer, FairPoint Communications, ending a strike that began in October. With 1,700 telecommunications …

Local & Regional Briefs for Monday, Feb. 23, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Concord Breaks Cold Weather Record for Feb. 21 Concord — New Hampshire’s capitol city set a new cold weather record at minus-17 degrees. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine say that temperature — recorded Saturday — is the coldest Feb. 21st on record in 146 …

Marijuana Forum Set In Hartland

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hartland — A free forum on the issue of legalizing marijuana in Vermont is set for Thursday, at 7 p.m., at Damon Hall. The forum, hosted by the Windsor County Democratic Committee, will present both sides of the question, which state legislators will consider this session. Speakers Matt …