New England in Brief

Tuesday October 2, 2012

$1M grant to help Vermont energy efficiency projects

The mayor of Vermont’s largest city says a $1 million grant will help the Burlington Electric Department provide financing to customers for energy efficiency projects.

Mayor Miro Weinberger says the grant will help the city build on its continuing commitment to improve energy efficiency and keep energy costs affordable for Burlington businesses.

The grant will provide "on-bill financing," a utility-run program that offers upfront funds to customers to make improvements that save energy and lower bills. The savings on customers’ energy bills then are used to make installment payments on the projects.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders joined Weinberger and Public Service Commissioner Elizabeth Miller in announcing details of the grant Monday in Burlington.

Vt. Tech College gets trade assistance grant

MONTPELIER (AP) -- The Randolph-based Vermont Technical College is getting a $3.4 million federal grant for training programs for state industries that support agriculture, food production, waste disposal and energy production.

The Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant will support the Applied Agriculture and Food Systems Institute at Vermont Tech.

The grant is through the Department of Labor.

Vermont Tech President Phil Conroy says the grant will allow the school to improve upon the its degree and college-level certificates and help meet trade employment needs throughout the state.

The Institute for Applied Agriculture and Food Systems focuses on food processing and production and dairy farm management, with an emphasis on soil conservation and an innovative approach to energy production.

6 N.H.companies get job training grants

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Go. John Lynch says six New Hampshire companies have received job training grants this month that will help train 350 workers.

A total of $150,000 went out in matching grants.

Lynch, a Democrat, who is not seeking re-election, said Monday that since the job training funds were reinstated in 2007, New Hampshire has issued more than $5 million in matching grants that has been used to help train more than 14,500 New Hampshire workers. The companies contributed $7.7 million in matching funds.

The latest grants are going to Pennichuck Water of Merrimack; NH Rapid Machining, of Nashua; Chi Engineering Services in Portsmouth; New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Inc., of Peterborough; Interstate Manufacturing Associates in Newport; and APC Paper Company of Claremont.

Forest groups partner on N.H. trail restoration

WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. (AP) -- Forestry officials are addressing erosion caused by Tropical Storm Irene to a White Mountain National Forest trail.

They are gathering Wednesday at the Greeley Ponds Trailhead in Waterville Valley to examine the storm-damaged trail and discuss its restoration. Other trails will be discussed, too.

The forest is one of 14 locations selected for the National Forest Foundation’s Treasured Landscapes nationwide restoration initiative, which takes a collaborative approach to restoration.

Federal and state organizations are partnering to restore the trails.

Maine to hold wife-carrying competition

NEWRY, Maine (AP) -- It’s time for Maine’s wife-carrying championships, an event inspired by Finnish tradition.

The event features men carrying women on their backs while negotiating an obstacle course featuring hurdles, sand traps and a water hazard.

This year’s event, Saturday at Sunday River, features four-time world champions from Finland, as well as competitors from Maine and from Nova Scotia.

The event is inspired from Finnish folklore, and the carrying method is up to the couple.

Winners of the Newry competition take home the wife’s weight in beer, plus five times her weight in cash.

Maine’s 1st charter schools open

FAIRFIELD, Maine (AP) -- Maine’s first two charter schools have opened their doors.

The Maine Academy of Natural Sciences at Good Will-Hinckley in Fairfield and the Cornville Regional Charter School began classes on Monday, making them the first charter schools in the state’s history.

The Maine Academy of Natural Sciences has 46 students from 27 school districts. Twenty-seven of the students are living on campus.

In Cornville, they’ve enrolled nearly 60 students.

Charter schools are funded with state dollars but operate independently of local school boards, offering an alternative school choice for students.

Gov. Paul LePage said that the schools are giving students more choices, and helping us meet the needs of all students.


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