New website links tourism to Vt. produced food
MONTPELIER (AP) -- With the growing interest in local food, Vermont has come out with a new interactive website to help link people to nearly 400 food experiences around the state.
DigInVT.com is designed to promote agriculture and tourism.
Visitors to the website can learn about locally grown Vermont products and the farmers, producers and chefs who make them.
The website was developed by the state of Vermont, the Vermont Fresh Network and the Vermont Agriculture and Culinary Tourism Council, which is made up of 13 food producer groups, nonprofit associations, tourism organizations and state agencies, who want to promote tourism that focuses on experiencing culture through its food.
The site was developed with funds the Vermont Agriculture Innovation Center and John Merck Fund.
Mass. officials announce anti-foreclosure grants
BOSTON (AP) -- More than $19 million in grants have been awarded to cities, towns and organizations across Massachusetts to assist communities and homeowners alleviate the impacts of the foreclosure crisis.
State Attorney General Martha Coakley on Monday announced the awarding of "HomeCorps" program grant funding Monday morning.
Two of the program’s grants will help fund statewide initiatives that provide direct assistance to borrowers. Eighteen recipients will receive grants
The HomeCorps program aims to ensure that all Massachusetts borrowers facing foreclosure receive an evaluation and assistance from a loan modification specialist. It’s funded by the state’s share of a nationwide settlement involving the five largest mortgage servicers and their connection with unlawful foreclosures and loan servicing.
N.H. forest hearing to discuss redesign of camp
CAMPTON, N.H. (AP) -- The future of a popular White Mountain National Forest campground that’s been subject to flooding as far back as the 1930s will be discussed at an upcoming public hearing.
The campground south of Route 49 comprises national forest land in the towns of Thornton and Campton. The area received extensive damage from Tropical Storm Irene last August.
Forest officials have decided to convert the area from an overnight campground to a day-use only site. They have several plans in mind for the design to include picnicking, recreational use, and walking and nature trails.
Officials are seeking the public’s input at a hearing 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6 at the organization’s headquarters in Campton.
The campground near the Mad River has been prone to flooding for years. Rain associated with a hurricane flooded the site in 1938. The area was struck again in 1959.
Last year, right before Irene hit, people were evacuated from the 15-site campground before 2 to 3 feet of water covered a portion of it. Damage was done to paved roads, tables, restrooms, and water system.
Officials estimated the cost of bringing the area to a full-service campground would be in excess of $350,000 and would run the risk of being damaged again.
Vt. holds public meetings on land use rule
WATERBURY (AP) -- Vermont residents will get a chance to weigh in a new proposed rule to regulate public activities on land owned by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
The proposal would allow hunting and fishing on more than 133,000 acres but prohibits snowmobiling, mountain biking and horseback riding except in designated corridors.
Officials say the proposal will give game wardens the authority to enforce the rule.
The Fish and Wildlife Board has given preliminary approval to the proposal in the first of three votes.
A public hearing will be held on Tuesday in Montpelier at the Pavilion Building. The second hearing will take place Wednesday at Kehoe Conservation Camp in Castleton. Both hearings start at 6 p.m.
UMaine cracks top 20 -- for party schools
ORONO, Maine (AP) -- The University of Maine, which uses the Maine Stein Song as its school song, has cracked the top 20 for party schools for the first time.
The annual ranking by The Princeton Review put West Virginia University on top as the nation’s No. 1 party school.
Down on the list, at No. 19, was the University of Maine, just ahead of the University of Tennessee.
The Princeton Review ranks 62 categories from food to dorms to general happiness.
When it comes to food, Maine’s Bowdoin College has no peers. The college, which starts the year with a lobster bake for students, came in first place for best campus food as well as "quality of life."
New Britain schools chief wants truants fined
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) -- New Britain’s schools superintendent says students who play hooky should be fined as much as $75.
According to reports, Superintendent Kelt Cooper is proposing that city councilors enact an ordinance fining truants. A recent study found that 48 percent of New Britain High School students are chronically absent.
Cooper, who took the school district’s top job last month, is proposing fines on students between the ages of 6 and 17 who are found unattended by a parent or legal guardian between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on school days.
The Common Council would decide on the amount of a fine, but Cooper suggests $75. He says it has enough of a sting to have an effect.
Maine election practices hearing set
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- A hearing on the conduct of elections in Maine, stemming from allegations improprieties last year, is scheduled for this week.
The Commission to Study the Conduct of Elections in Maine will hold its hearing Thursday at the University of Maine in Augusta.
The commission was formed as a result of legislation that passed earlier this year. It came about after allegations were made last year that ineligible voters had cast ballots in past elections.
That led to an investigation by Secretary of State Charlie Summers, and the creation of the study panel. Summers appointed the commission in May.
Summers, Maine’s top election official, says the commission will look at voter participation, the system governing voter registration and the conduct of elections. It may also recommend legislation.
New program seeks to fund Vt. bike paths
MONTPELIER (AP) -- The Vermont Transportation Agency is distributing up to $2 million in federal funds toward projects to expand bicycle and pedestrian paths throughout the state.
Program Manager Jon Kaplan said that the program is accepting applications for projects.
Towns are required to match the money they get if their proposal is accepted. Federal, state and local sources help pay for the projects.
Mass. town teams with feds to screen hires
BOSTON (AP) -- Milford has become the first town in New England to partner with federal immigration officials to prevent the hiring of illegal immigrants.
The Massachusetts city and Immigration and Customs Enforcement signed the agreement at Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting.
Under the program known as IMAGE -- which stands for ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers -- companies and municipalities are provided education and training in proper hiring procedures, including the use of employment screening tools, such as E-Verify.
Certified employers also undergo an audit to ensure current employees are eligible to work in the U.S.
The program is voluntary.
Illegal immigration became an issue in Milford when an allegedly drunk man who was in the country illegally struck and killed a motorcycle rider in August, 2011.