Vermont in brief

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Lawsuit targets Vermont health tech contractor

Vermont like other states is hiring private contractors to perform more functions that formerly were handled by government. Now there's a new round of questions about when those contractors should be subject to the state's law providing access to public records.

A citizen-critic of the state's computer networks and telecommunications efforts has been trying to get information about a nonprofit state contractor working to manage medical records.

Stephen Whitaker filed suit this past week after being told that Vermont Information Technology Leaders is a private entity and not subject to the public records law.

Secretary of State Jim Condos says the public still has a right to know what government is up to, even when government services are outsourced.

Vermont snowmobile season set to open, but snow needed

The calendar says Vermont's snowmobile season is set to open, but the absence of snow means it will be some time before snowmobilers are able to enjoy the trails that crisscross the state.

Vermont's snowmobile season lasts from Tuesday until April 15.

Even in the best of years, the season doesn't usually get going until the end of the month.

But when the trails do open, officials with the Green Mountain National Forest are encouraging riders to put safety first.

Vermont has about 6,200 miles of corridor and secondary snowmobile trails across the state.

Agriculture Agency taking public comment on draft farm rules

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture is continuing to take public comment on draft farm rules that are part of the state's clean water law.

The deadline to submit comments is Friday, Dec. 18.

The required agricultural practices include requirements for small farm certification, nutrient storage, soil health, buffer zones, livestock exclusion, and nutrient management. The agency says the draft rules are farm and land management techniques that will control and reduce agricultural source pollution and nutrient losses from farm fields and production areas to surface and ground waters.

The agency held 10 public meetings around Vermont, attended by over 530 farmers and citizens, about the draft rules.

Public comments can be emailed to AGR.RAP(at)vermont.gov or mailed to the agency.

– The Associated Press


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