Vermont to delay health reform if web woes continue
MONTPELIER (AP) -- The state of Vermont is going to delay the implementation of its health care reform plan in case problems with the state's website can't be resolved in time to meet the Jan. 1 deadline.
Gov. Peter Shumlin announced the changes Thursday, a day after a portion of the Vermont Health Connect website failed to pass tests conducted by engineers working to straighten out problems that have plagued the system since it first went live Oct. 1.
In addition to allowing people and businesses to continue with their current coverage through March 31, the state is going to allow insurance companies to work directly with small businesses to help them sign up to the new system. Individuals seeking insurance will get direct help rather than having to use the website.
Firm seeks power line under Lake Champlain
MONTPELIER (AP) -- An electric transmission company wants to build a 150-mile power line from the Canadian border to the southern Vermont town of Ludlow, much of which would be buried beneath the bottom of Lake Champlain.
The New England Clean Power Link project was announced Thursday by the company TDI New England.
The company hopes to complete the project by 2019.
The link would be privately financed. The company estimates it would save energy consumers $2 billion in its first 10 years in operation.
The proposal would run two, six-inch cables down Lake Champlain and east to Ludlow.
A similar project has been proposed that would run under Lake Champlain then to New York City.
Vermont town, college, seek $3.3 million water upgrade
BENNINGTON (AP) -- The select board in Bennington has signed an agreement with Southern Vermont College for a water project upgrade.
The project calls for a pump station near the college's athletic fields and a water tower with a one million-gallon capacity.
The project is expected to cost $3.3 million. The college has agreed to pay part of the amount.
The bond, if approved by voters in March, will come from the Agency of Natural Resource's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
New data offered to help New Hampshire economic plan
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire might not have needed a strategic economic plan while it enjoyed decades of population growth and a more resilient economy than its neighbors. But now that those trends have run their course, more people are focused on such planning, and there's new data to help them.
The New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies on Thursday released an "economic dashboard" to help policymakers decide where to invest. It found that New Hampshire outperforms most states on economic indicators that reflect past growth -- such as homeownership rates. But it doesn't do well on "future-oriented" areas, such as housing costs, that are linked to the state's ability to attract young people.
The dashboard was developed for the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire.
Eagle, veterans plaque now on new New Hampshire-Maine bridge
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) -- A refurbished veterans memorial plaque and eagle have been brought back to the renovated Memorial Bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine.
The plaque, honoring those who served in World War I, the eagle and the two rondelles -- the seals of the state of New Hampshire and the United States -- were all refurbished.
A crane was used on a barge to hoist the frame to which the pieces were attached. Holes were drilled in the bridge and the frame was bolted into place.
The 90-year-old eagle and plaque had been on the Portsmouth side of the first Memorial Bridge. The pieces weigh about 7,500 pounds total.
The new bridge connecting Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine, opened in August, replacing one that was built in 1923.