Shorts is a new Vermont Daily Chronicle feature reporting Vermont news one paragraph at a time.
Vermont nursing schools don’t train enough nurses, forcing hospitals to pay ‘travelers’ at three times the cost of staff nurses, retiring Green Mountain Care Board Chair Kevin Mullin of Rutland told WVMT’s Morning Drive this morning. The only hospital not needing travelers during the pandemic was Rutland Regional Medical Center, which paid Castleton University nursing educators to cover unserved shifts.
In remarks to the Senate April 26, Sen. Bernie Sanders cried foul on uber-billionaires who profiteered from the pandemic, like Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, which “made a record-breaking $36 billion profit last year – a 453% increase from where it was before the pandemic.” Sanders also claimed that “last December, six Amazon workers died after they were required to continue working during unsafe weather conditions in a warehouse that did not have appropriate safety facilities or policies.”
After less than a year on the job, Burlington City Attorney Dan Richardson has been named a Vermont Superior Court judge by Gov. Phil Scott. Richardson, of Montpelier, was a partner at Tarrant, Gillies & Shems for 16 years. He has been a Ward 3 city councilor for the City of Montpelier, chair of the Montpelier Development Review Board, president of the Vermont Bar Association, president of the Vermont Bar Foundation, president of the Green Mountain Council of the BSA, a Vermont law school professor, and a member of the Access to Justice Coalition.
Employment and school enrollment both have been in steady decline, especially in Vermont’s rural areas. Eight of Vermont’s 14 counties have seen labor force declines of more than 10% since their peak labor force, and six counties – Bennington, Caledonia, Essex, Rutland, Windham and Windsor – have seen declines of more than 15% since peak. The proportion of working age Vermonters (ages 20-64) also declined, dropping by nearly 5% between 2010 and 2020, Vermont labor economist Matthew Barewicz said at a job fair yesterday. Statewide K-12 enrollment has fallen 21.3% since 2004, and 11 of 14 counties have seen double digit declines in student enrollment, with decreases between 10% and 21% since 2011.
Gov. Phil Scott announced Tuesday $2.1 million in grants to towns and non-profits to fund buyouts of flood-vulnerable homes, floodplain restoration, and other flood protection projects in Huntington, Starkesboro, Guilford, Putney, Dover, Brattleboro, Manchester, Wolcott, and Strafford.
After 35 years in regulatory limbo, the Champlain Parkway, AKA the Southern Connector highway, is ready to move forward – again. The mayor and the city council agreed Monday night to a $45 million (95% federal $$) construction contract. Construction was stopped 35 years ago, leaving a weedy ‘road to nowhere’ off Shelburne Road and Pine Street. – Editor