GMO Labeling Law Causes Controversy

cropVermont-Companies that use genetic engineering to produce food, and then sell that food to consumers in the Green Mountain State have less than two months to start labeling those products. Carolyn Partridge, who is the chair for the state's Agriculture Committee, says this will allow consumers to make knowledge-based decisions.

¨I think people will just have the option to know what's in their food and make a decision as towards if they want to consume those products or not, Partridge said.

Read more: GMO Labeling Law Causes Controversy

Behind The Vermont State Lottery

ticketsVermont- Vermonters purchase close to $112 million dollars worth of lottery tickets annually, and many may be wondering where does the money go? Our news seven reporter Ryan Jenot spoke with the director of the Vermont lottery to answer those questions.

Read more: Behind The Vermont State Lottery

Cabot Farms Feature

CabotVERMONT-- Visitors who come to this state usually have a bucket list that consists of visiting Stowe, The Von Trapp Lodge, Burlington, Jay Peak and Burke, Ben and Jerry's and of course Cabot Creamery. Even though Cabot is a well-known business many people may still not know certain things about Cabot and how their relationship with the farms really works. 

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Vermont Restaurant Week

restaruant weekVERMONT- Vermont Restaurant Week began April 22 and goes through May 1. The 10 day event brings much more to the table than food as a portion of the profits from select restaurants are donated to The Vermont Food Bank.

Read more: Vermont Restaurant Week

20-million Grant To Improve Lake Champlain

champlainVermont- Scientist from many of the Vermont state colleges, including Lyndon State, will partake in a research study on lake champlain to learn how the climate is changing. The team of researchers will be operating under a 20 million dollar grant from the Nation Science Foundation, to conduct studies to find out what makes major water basins, such as lake champlain resilient to extreme weather. 

Read more: 20-million Grant To Improve Lake Champlain

Potenial Privacy Act Discussed at Legistlative Breakfast

joebenningVERMONT- Matters were brought up such as Marijuana Legislation and the current hot spot EB-5 Funding at the Legislative Breakfast, but another controversial topic came into play: the discussion about the Privacy Act, Bill S. 18.
This bill was introduced by Senator Tim Ashe and Senator Joe Benning, and was read for the first time on January 14th, 2015.

"We have one thing we're really working on and that is the Privacy Protection Act, we've got to get that out there." said Marcia Martel a Representative from Caledonia County.
Currently, there are no specific laws requiring the protection of citizens' privacy, excluding the fact that a warrant must be obtained in order for officials to access your phone records. Other than that, residents' personal lives-- medical records, e-mails, text messages, social media networks, and driving records obtained by license plate readers on cop cars-- are pretty transparent in the eyes of the government. But Benning and Ashe are trying to change that with the introduction of Bill S.18

Read more: Potenial Privacy Act Discussed at Legistlative Breakfast

A Day as a Lobbyist

VT StatehouseMontpelier- Lawmakers in Vermont are missing something other states have. That is having a staff all of their own. Due to that, lawmakers must work closely with a group of people that are paid by companies to represent their interests in Montpelier.

Read more: A Day as a Lobbyist

Separation of Power: Recycling

recycling 2NORTHEAST KINGDOM- The Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District is a power house in recycling across the Northeast region of Vermont. So what factors allow one local town to successfully recycle without being part of the district?

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Better Safe Than Sorry

fire pic

VERMONT- Only four months into 2016, five Vermonters have been killed in fires, and two have died from carbon monoxide poisoning. These statistics are urging state officials to make sure residents are taking measures to protect themselves.

Read more: Better Safe Than Sorry

Stenger, Quiros Face Fraud Charges

burke moutainVERMONT – Fraud charges and an asset freeze against Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger were announced Thursday by the Securities and Exchange Commission after the case was unsealed in a federal court in Miami.  Governor Shumlin, Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) Commissioner Susan Donegan, Attorney General William Sorrell, and Secretary Patricia Moulton announced in a press conference Thursday afternoon that state charges have also been filed.  This stems from investigations dating back to as early as 2008. 

Read more: Stenger, Quiros Face Fraud Charges

Vermont Moose Permits

MOOSE THUMBVERMONT- Avid moose hunters may not be as lucky this coming season compared past years. The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife announced they will only be giving out collectively 160 moose hunting permits this year.

According to Cedric Alexander, the moose project leader, last year the department gave out 285. That's equal to 40% less than this year.

Alexander says that’s because the department is below their goals for the population size.

The goal is they want to grow the population back to a comfortable rate. Over the last 10 years, the moose population in the Green Mountain State has declined. In 2006, the population of moose in the state was at 5,000, but this year it's just over 2,000.

Alexander says the decline in population can be blamed on a number of factors that aren’t related to hunting.

“The heavy winter tick infestation which has been affecting the reproductive rate,” says Alexander. “They’re going to get hit by a car.”

Permits for this years season have not been issued, but applications are on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Departments website.

“Since there’s 10,000 people applying for a limited number of permits, its done through a lottery,” says Alexander.

The drawing for the permits will happen sometime in August.

What to Know on Marijuana Legalization

marijuanaVERMONT- An act on the regulation of marijuana has been heard by the Vermont House Committee on Judiciary. Between Wednesday and Thursday, the Committee listened testimony on Bill S.241, which would legalize limited amounts of cannabis for those 21 or older.

Read more: What to Know on Marijuana Legalization

Best Places to Work In Vermont

VermontWORK VT- Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce have announced the thirty eight businesses that are considered the best places to work in the Green Mountain State.

Read more: Best Places to Work In Vermont

Ready for Anything

floodthumbnailSAINT JOHNSBURY- With over 370 mass shootings and 480 weather-related deaths in the United States in 2015, officials in the Northeast Kingdom and across Vermont are training to be prepared for any type of disaster.

Read more: Ready for Anything

Smoking Bill Can't Pass House

cigfinalVERMONT - If you turn back the clock 70 years, smoking was a fashion statement. Today, the word carries a whole host of negative connotations; from perception to personal health. 

Read more: Smoking Bill Can't Pass House

Mild Winter Raises Fire Concerns

fireVERMONT- Wild fire season has come early after a mild winter, which could leave the area at risk.  St. Johnsbury Fire Chief Troy Ruggles explained that the lack of snow could make wild fires more dangerous than normal.

Read more: Mild Winter Raises Fire Concerns

Time To Renew Dog Licenses

DOGNORTHEAST KINGDOM- If you have a furry friend, then you need to renew their license. Dog licenses are due for every town in Vermont on April 1st, and if you wait untill after that date you will have pay more to license your dog.

Read more: Time To Renew Dog Licenses

Sutton School Budget

sutton THUMBSUTTON- The budget for the Sutton School has been set. Next year's school budget will be less than what it was last year by about $100,000. Principal Ken Hayes showed some concerns for Act 46 and how the bill would affect future budgets and Sutton taxpayers.

Read more: Sutton School Budget

Peacham Library Renovations

PeachamLibraryPeacham- When the Peacham Town Library started to raise money for their renovations, the goal was the reach $145,000. The community efforts helped them reach even more, a staggering $160,000. According the Library's Director, Becky Jenson this is a thrilling time for the library.

Read more: Peacham Library Renovations

Prue Seeks Appeal

allenprueVERMONT- Allen Prue, the man convicted of murdering St. Johnsbury Academy teacher Melissa Jenkins four years ago, is fighting for his appeal. Two years ago, Prue was sentenced to life in prison for his part in the murder of Jenkins. He recently has filed for an appeal with the Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn his conviction.

Read more: Prue Seeks Appeal

School Bus Safety Concerns

SchoolBusSafetyVermont - School buses are the one place where kids cannot wear a seat belt. This has been connected to the thought that buckling up would put a passenger at risk then if they are not buckled in. This idea is starting to make parents and lawmakers more nervous.

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Jeb Spaulding Interview

spauldingLyndon- Budget concerns are forcing the Vermont State College System to make difficult decisions these days.

Read more: Jeb Spaulding Interview

Sick Leave Bill Passes Senate

sneezingthumbVERMONT- Bill H. 187, a bill which could require employers to give all employees a mandatory amount of paid sick hours, has been passed by the Vermont Senate. The bill was previously passed by the House late April of last year, and began review by the Senate early this month.

Read more: Sick Leave Bill Passes Senate

Upcoming Sick Leave Bill

bbtowingVERMONT- H. 187 is a bill currently being reviewed by the Senate that would give any employee a minimum mandatory number of hours of paid sick time. Furthermore, it would prohibit employers from penalizing those who use this time. The purpose of the act is the promotion of healthy work environments, according to legislators.

Read more: Upcoming Sick Leave Bill

Vermont Bill to Legalize Marijuana

Marijuana LegalizationMONTPELIER-Marijuana could soon be legal to smoke in Vermont. On Friday, The Senate Judiciary committe voted 4-1 in favor of a bill that would make it legal for a person to have as much of an ounce of the drug in their possesion at any one time. 

Read more: Vermont Bill to Legalize Marijuana