Monday January 21, 2013

State may need $30M to match federal funds

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont officials say they may need to raise $30 million in new revenues to support the state’s Transportation Fund if they want to take full advantage of available federal funding.

The state’s transportation fund has been hurting in recent years as gasoline tax revenues have been in decline. Meanwhile, the federal government has been a big help, with extra money coming into the state to help with the economic recovery and then the cleanup from Tropical Storm Irene.

But in order to take full advantage of the federal money, the state needs to provide matching funds -- usually about 20 percent.

Officials say Gov. Peter Shumlin is expected to address the issue in his budget address on Thursday.

UVM prof. wins grant to study smart grids

BURLINGTON (AP) -- A University of Vermont professor has won a $400,000 National Science Foundation Career Award for his research proposal on "smart" electrical grids.

Dr. Paul Hines, a professor in the College of Engineering and Mathematics Sciences, has proposed research on "harnessing smart grid data to enable resilient and efficient electricity."

He says the research would study ways to use smart grid data to find patterns of vulnerability in power systems, and would use the results to reduce the risk of cascading power blackouts.


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Hines says the award provides the unique opportunity to conduct research that will hopefully lead to technology that can make power grids more resilient, including the ability to better incorporate variable power sources, such as wind power.

Vermont treasurer
and bankers sponsor poster contest

MONTPELIER (AP) -- The Vermont Treasurer’s office and the state Bankers Association are challenging children and young people to learn more about the importance of saving and investing money.

A statewide poster contest for students in grades 3 through 12 is challenging students to illustrate ways to effectively save and invest their money.

The theme for the 2013 "Be Money Wi$e Financial Literacy Poster Competition is: "I can grow my money by . . ."

Winners in each grade get $100. There are other prizes as well.

Top-placing students and their teachers will be recognized at a State House ceremony in April.

The deadline for poster submissions to the Treasurer’s office in Montpelier is March 12.

Work suspended for winter on Newport bridge project

NEWPORT (AP) -- Work on a bridge in the northern Vermont city of Newport is being suspended for the winter.

Traffic on the Railroad Square bridge, also known as Veterans Memorial Long Bridge, has been closed to traffic since last March.

The work is set to end Jan. 30. After that no further work will be done on the bridge until spring.

The Long Bridge crosses the South Bay of Lake Memphremagog. It begins its span between a deli and Poulin Grain just off U.S. Route 5 and state Route 105.

The new bridge will have 11-foot travel lanes, three-foot shoulders and a five-foot sidewalk.