Saturday February 23, 2013

Vermont gets federal health grant

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont has won a $45 million grant under a federal program designed to bring new efficiencies to state health care programs.

Gov. Peter Shumlin says the announcement of the grant from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid is a big boost to the state’s efforts to retool its health care system.

Money is expected to support ongoing efforts in the state to create unified health care networks designed to get a better handle on costs.

It’s also expected to support a bundled-payment system in which services connected with a patient’s hospitalization are paid for in one lump sum, and pay-for-performance, in which health care providers are paid for achieving set quality indicators. Bennington developer closer
to Vt. Wal-Mart expansion

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- A nearly 7-year-old plan to nearly double the size of a Wal-Mart in Bennington, Vt., has cleared a hurdle.

The Bennington Banner reports a tentative deal has been reached in which opposition groups will drop their appeal of permits.

The Vermont Natural Resources Council and a citizens’ group have been appealing local and state permits to expand the store.

Developer Jonathan Levy of BLS Bennington secured permits from the town in 2006 to double the size of the Wal-Mart to about 112,000 square feet.

The Vermont Environmental Court ruled in favor of the council and citizens’ group last April, finding that they should have been represented as a party during hearings.


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Other appeals filed by a local country club are pending.

Small UVM building fire
prompts move of classes

BURLINGTON (AP) -- University of Vermont officials say they don’t know what caused a small fire in a custodial closet in the second floor of Williams Hall, adjacent to the green on the Burlington campus.

The fire was reported at about 9:30 a.m. Friday. No injuries were reported. The fire was extinguished by the building’s sprinkler system.

There is water damage on the first floor and smoke damage on the second. No damage estimate is available, but classes are expected to resume normally in the building on Monday.

Police: Bridge jump at college leads to student’s arrest

COLCHESTER (AP) -- Police say a Vermont college student has been arrested on a drug charge in an investigation that started after another student jumped off a bridge last week.

Colin Basler of Old Lyme, Conn., was arrested Thursday on a charge of LSD possession and distribution. Basler, a 19-year-old sophomore at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, has withdrawn from school and left campus.

The arrest resulted from an investigation that began after another St. Michael’s student, 19-year-old Ethan Levine of Marblehead, Mass., jumped off the Lime Kiln bridge and fell 40 feet onto railroad tracks last Friday. He’s hospitalized in fair condition. Police said he jumped after destroying merchandise at a convenience store and was being chased by college security. Levine hasn’t been arrested.