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‘White Robin’ Peaches

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first_img It may be three or four years before you see White Robin peaches at your favorite market, though. Krewer said it takes that long for the new trees to begin bearing fruit in large quantities. Anyone who wants the new trees for commercial or home orchards should order soon. “The Tennessee nurseries that bud and raise the trees don’t have spare trees,” Krewer said. “They bud for the orders they have. So it’s important to order ahead.” Its name sounds like an exotic bird. And “White Robin,” a newly released peach variety, could become a sign of spring in south Georgia, said a University of Georgia scientist. “This new variety is perfect for south Georgia peach orchards,” said Gerard Krewer, an Extension Service horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.UGA, the University of Florida and the U.S. Department of Agriculture jointly named and released the new variety. It was developed at the Attapulgus Research Farm, near the Florida state line in Georgia. Download the .TIF file Krewer said White Robin is a white-fleshed, semifreestone peach with good size (about 2 3/8 inches diameter) and a nice red skin.”This peach has a sweet flavor that’s a little different from yellow peaches,” he said. “It’s hard to describe its exact flavor, but it’s very tasty.” Two of White Robin’s best features are its relatively low chilling requirement and its firmness. Krewer said those features make it an ideal variety for south Georgia and north Florida home or commercial orchards.center_img Download the .TIF file. “White Robin needs only 500 chilling hours (below 45 degrees) to produce a good crop,” he said. “Some of our midstate-grown varieties need 800 or more hours. We often don’t get that many chill hours in south Georgia.” Its firmness is a plus for commercial growers, making White Robin a good shipping peach. Krewer said growers can ship White Robin with little bruising before it gets to mid-Atlantic Coast destinations. Another plus is its early-season ripeness — usually sometime in May. Krewer said this gets Georgia peaches to markets before other white peaches grown farther north. That helps Georgia farmers capture the best prices for their fruit. Tom Beckman, a USDA fruit researcher in Byron, Ga., said White Robin fills a niche in the peach season. “This peach comes in at a time when no other white-fleshed peaches are available,” he said. “It’s really a specialty peach.” Beckman hopes to see growers keep the fruit close to home. Like many other fruits, White Robin is best when tree-ripened. But long shipping distances force growers to pick before the fruit is really ripe. “If growers keep the fruit close, say their local farmers’ market or specialty grocery store, they can leave it on the tree longer,” he said. “That results in riper, and sweeter, peaches.” White Robin peaches were developed mainly for fresh markets. “They’ve got a different flavor than yellow-flesh peaches,” Beckman said. “Krewer and I have tried to describe them, but you just have to taste them to understand.”last_img read more

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Pressure Fresher

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first_img S. Omahen, UGA CAES Milk and fresh juices could soon taste better and stay fresh longer, thanks to a breakthrough pasteurization method developed at the University of Georgia. The new method uses high pressure instead of heat. HIGH-PRESSURE PASTEURIZATION keeps juice fresh without heat. Above, UGA research coordinators pour orange juice into the new device. Below, the juice is bottled for storage. “Right now, the process of heating changes the flavor of juices and milk,” said Romeo Toledo, a food scientist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “The result is a cooked flavor that many people can detect.” In some cases, the current pasteurization process can even change a product’s color. “In intense cases, the product can turn brown,” Toledo said. “In mild cases, the color doesn’t change. But the flavor still does. The difference isn’t quite as detectable in milk as it is in juices.” The flavor change was just one reason UGA scientists sought a new pasteurization method. “Three or four years ago, an outbreak of E. coli was linked to unpasteurized apple juice,” Toledo said. “The processors don’t want to pasteurize their juices because it changes the flavor and people won’t buy it. But they also know people won’t buy it if it could make their families sick.” Toledo said apple and orange juices can contain E. coli and Salmonella if not properly pasteurized. “This is because the fruit sometimes comes from farms where cattle graze in the orchards,” he said. Since the E. coli outbreak, the Food and Drug Administration requires processors of unpasteurized juices to place warning labels on their products. “This isn’t a large market. It’s a specialty niche market,” Toledo said. “People who buy this juice expect the flavor to be there.” Traditional pasteurization heats the product to at least 180 degrees to kill any microorganisms. Then it’s cooled and stored. S. Omahen, UGA CAEScenter_img KEEPING OJ FRESH can be a high-pressure job for Romeo Toledo, above. He’s developed a way to pastuerize fruit juices and milk without heat that can change the drink’s flavor or color. During the process, a sudden change in pressure breaks apart and destroys the potentially dangerous microorganisms’ cells. Tests show it kills a greater percentage of microorganisms than heat pasteurization. S. Omahen, UGA CAES Toledo’s new method uses high pressure. “We subject the juice or milk to high pressure and then suddenly drop the pressure,” Toledo said. “When we drop the pressure, we pass the liquid through a small opening at a very high velocity — almost at the speed of sound.” Toledo said the pressure breaks apart and destroys the microorganisms’ cells. Tests show it kills a greater percentage of microorganisms than heat pasteurization. As if that weren’t enough, it also extends the shelf life. “Fresh-squeezed fruit juices are limited to about a 10-day shelf life now,” Toledo said. “With the new method, you could have a shelf life of up to two months.” In his Athens lab, Toledo has bottles of milk that were pasteurized four months ago and are still fresh — “as long as you don’t open the bottle,” he said. “Once you open the bottle, it will start toÿ go bad just like traditionally pasteurized milk.” Saving the product’s original flavor could also open the market for new products. “Many specialty cheeses lose their flavor as a result of heat pasteurization,” Toledo said. “They could now be processed using the high-pressure method.” Toledo has processed peaches, a fruit that historically loses flavor during processing, with great results. “Using this system, the peach juice tastes like you squeezed it right out of the fruit,” he said. “You can’t tell the difference.” Taste panelists loved the samples processed by the new method. “Most couldn’t tell the difference between our product and fresh-squeezed,” Toledo said. The new method even helps milk curdle better. “The milk produced yogurt with a firmer curd,” Toledo said. “Traditionally processed milk doesn’t produce a very firm curd. Yogurt producers have to add gums to increase the consistency.” UGA has filed for a patent on the high-pressure pasteurization method and is working closely with industries that may adopt it. “The next step will be to scale up our prototype for industrial use,” Toledo said. “We’re demonstrating the method to potential industries. We hope to see someone begin using it over the next couple of years.”last_img read more

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Co-op Meetings.

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first_imgThe meetings start in Americus Jan. 22 and continue across the state in Vienna, Tifton, Hartwell, Dublin, Midville, Calhoun, Statesboro, Baxley, Quitman, Bainbridge and Perry and end in Leary on Feb. 2.Contact your county extension agent to learn more about any of these meetings or growing oilseeds. A series of meetings in January and early February will help gauge farmers’ interest in becoming part of a cooperative that processes and markets oilseed products.The cooperative focuses especially on products from canola and soybeans. It offers farmers the power to not just grow, but also process and sell those crops for 15 percent to 30 percent more income.”Farmers in Georgia have to stop thinking about producing oilseeds by the bushel, and think about producing sellable oil by the ounce,” said Randy Hudson, coordinator of the Emerging Crops and Technologies Center for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “This could empower them beyond the farm gate and into the market.”Other topics at the meetings will include: How the new cooperative can provide value-added income.An in-depth look at a recent feasibility study on an oilseed cooperative structure.Comments and advice from farmers in similar cooperatives.The structure and procedures of the closed co-op.Legal issues surrounding a cooperative.Potential support from the state.last_img read more

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Heart Health

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first_imgBy Connie CrawleyUniversity of Georgia Every year we try to convince ourselves to adopt healthy habits that will reduce our risk of heart disease. Even though we understand the importance of making these changes, our American lifestyle makes it hard to do. Weight control is one of the main ways to reduce the risk of heart disease. Over 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. Much of the problem is due to physical inactivity, large portion sizes and eating out too often. Sadly, we are passing these habits on to our children, who are likely to develop heart disease even sooner than their older relatives. Portion control can be difficult. Most of us clean our plates no matter how much we are served. Research shows that if people are given larger portions, they eat one-third more no matter how hungry they are. A good strategy at home is to use the smallest plate, bowl or cup available.Serving sizes at restaurants have exploded in the last 15 years. To cut back, share a meal with someone else. You will save calories and money. If half an entrée is not enough, order an additional vegetable soup made with broth or a salad with light dressing on the side. If you are alone and cannot share, take the extra food home to eat the next day. If you ask, some restaurants will serve smaller lunch portions at supper. At fast-food restaurants, order the junior sizes and ask for those special sauces, which usually add 100 to 200 calories and lots of fat, to be left off. To quickly estimate your portion, think of a deck of cards. This is equal to about four ounces or half of a cup. A serving of meat, chicken or poultry or a portion of rice, potatoes or pasta should be about this size. No matter where you eat, fill your plate with streamed vegetables and fresh fruits. Replace red meat with salmon, tuna, trout or other fish (not fried) at least twice a week. Also have nonfat and reduced-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. These are the best foods for your heart. Eat more non-starchy vegetables like green beans, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, carrots and salad greens. To add flavor to vegetables, season them with herbs and spices or lemon juice instead of salt and sprinkle on a little olive or canola oil. If you have high triglycerides, eat less bread, potatoes, white rice and pasta. When you do eat bread, choose whole-wheat. Make sure whole-wheat flour is first on the ingredient list. Wheat flour or enriched wheat flour are not the same as whole-wheat flour. Use fruit for dessert and snacks. It is the original fast food and can be taken anywhere and easily carried in a purse, pocket or insulated lunch bag. You will be less tempted to have dessert if you know you have fruit readily available. Keep fruit portions to the size of a baseball. Again, larger servings may increase carbohydrate levels too much in those with triglyceride problems. Eating right is important, but so is being active.Walking briskly for 30 minutes a day reduces heart disease risk by about 32 percent. Increasing daily exercise to 60 minutes is even better for weight control. Consider both planned exercise, like riding an exercise bike or doing water aerobics, and activities of daily living like taking the stairs, doing yard work, walking to errands or washing the car. (Connie Crawley is a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension nutritionist with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.)last_img read more

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Food Gifts

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first_imgMaking sure food gifts are handled properly can mean that illness is avoided this holiday season. For more information on holiday food safety, contact your University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agent at 1-800-ASK-UGA1 or visit extension.uga.edu. Gifts of food to friends and family are common during the holidays.To help both the gift-giver and the gift-getter keep these foods safe: The gift-giver should check with the company he/she plans to order from to see if a perishable food that needs refrigeration to stay safe will be shipped with a cold source and will be packed in a way to ensure it stays cold or frozen. The gift-giver should also check on delivery. Ideally, perishable food should be delivered as quickly as possible, preferably overnight. Check to see if perishable items will be clearly labeled “Keep Refrigerated” on the package, so that the recipient knows to open and refrigerate it immediately. The gift-giver should check with the gift recipient to be sure they will be at home for delivery before the order is placed. Let the recipient know a gift is on its way. Check items received as gifts that are marked “Keep Refrigerated” to be sure they are frozen, partially frozen with ice crystals remaining or are at least refrigerator cold. Items should be 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder when they arrive. If perishable food arrives warm or above 40 F as measured with a food thermometer, notify the company. Do not taste or eat the food. last_img read more

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VBR Releases Third Quarter Survey Results

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first_imgVBR Releases Third Quarter, 2004 CEO Economic Outlook Survey ResultsSo. Burlington, VT- Results from the Vermont Business Roundtable’s (VBR)third quarter, 2004 CEO Economic Outlook Survey, show that, compared tothe previous quarter results, more of our member CEOs are planningincreases over the next six months in two important measures: capitalspending and employment. While projections for company sales areoptimistic, compared to the previous quarter results, a higher percentageof business leaders feel that sales are more likely to remain stable forthe next six months.Douglas J. Wacek, President & CEO of the Union Mutual of Vermont Companiesin Montpelier and Ernie Pomerleau, President & CEO of Pomerleau RealEstate in Burlington are members of the VBR. When asked to comment on hisCEO Economic Outlook Survey responses, Wacek stated that “continued growthand technological changes in internal business practices would stimulatethe need for additional staff at his company over the next severalmonths.” Pomerleau said that he expects an increase in company sales andcapital expenditures over the next six months. He said he has “seen amuch higher level of activity in development and brokerage opportunitiesfrom inquires both inside and outside the state this year.” PomerleauReal Estate is planning several remodels and expansions of existingprojects this year and they are actively reviewing several new onesprojected for 2005.The survey, modeled after the national Business Roundtable’s CEO EconomicOutlook survey, was conducted in early July and enjoyed a response rate of60% up from 40% last quarter. The key findings, which reflect themembership’s outlook for the next six months, include the followinghighlights:* 71% of responding CEOs expect an increase in consumer sales, 25% see nochange, and 4% anticipate a decrease. [Second quarter results: Increase80%, No Change 15%, Decrease 4%]* 51% expect capital spending to increase in the next six months, 42% seeno change, and 7% anticipate a decrease. [Second quarter results: Increase43%, No Change 41%, Decrease 15%]* 59% expect employment to increase in the next six months, 37% see nochange, and 4% anticipate a decrease. [Second quarter results: Increase50%, No Change 48%, Decrease 2%]* On average, CEOs expect GDP growth to be in the 4.1% range in 2004.[Second quarter results: 4.6%]”The diminished sales projections over the next six months reflect acontinuing concern by CEOs over the ongoing slump in consumer spending.Higher fuel prices are partly attributable to that measure. On the otherhand, there is an upturn in the projected capital outlays and new hiresexpected in the next six months, both of which are positive news for theVermont economy,” said VBR President Lisa Ventriss.Created in 1987 as a nonprofit, public interest organization, the VermontBusiness Roundtable is comprised of 120 CEOs of Vermont’s most active andcommitted businesses and employers dedicated to making Vermont the bestplace in America to do business, be educated, and live life. Memberbusinesses employ over 47,000 employees in virtually every county acrossVermont.last_img read more

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Dr. Victor Stone appointed to direct Champlain MBA program

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first_imgBURLINGTON, Vt.Dr. Victor Stone was recently appointed interim director of the MBA program in the Division of Business at Champlain College. The Champlain MBA is an online graduate program with a focus on integrating what professionals are doing at work with the MBA courses that they take.Stone has 25 years experience in a variety of management and senior management roles in supply chain management, business operations, plans and controls, pricing and competitive analysis, business transformation, IT implementation, and strategy development with International Business Machines, Corp. Microelectronics Division. He has been an instructor with Champlain Colleges graduate programs since their inceptions.Stone earned a bachelors degree in biology from the University of Idaho, an MBA from the University of Utah, and a Ph.D. in organization and management from Capella University. He is a member of the Academy of Management and has research interests in Web-based business strategy formulation, operations, e-business and organizational change.In the community, Stone is active in the Mt. Mansfield Lodge #26 Free and Accepted Masons in Jericho, where he resides. He also volunteers in support of the development of a Vermont Ballet Theater Dance facility at St. Michaels College.last_img read more

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Contest gives opportunity to discuss economy and personal finances with youth

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first_imgParents and teachers have a creative opportunity to discuss with kids the current economic climate and its personal challenges. The theme for the 2010 Be Money Wi$e Financial Literacy Poster Competition is “$mart Money Choices = A Brighter Future.” The deadline for poster submissions to the Vermont State Treasurer’s Office is February 19.        “This contest gives Vermont children a way to visually illustrate how personal financial decisions can lead to a positive future, even in the face of today’s economic challenges,” said State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding.        The 2010 National Financial Literacy Poster Competition is sponsored in Vermont by the State Treasurer’s Office, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of New Hampshire and Vermont, and the Vermont Bankers Association. The national contest is sponsored by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.        The contest features three grade categories: elementary, 3rd-5th grades; middle school, 6th-9th grades; and high school, 10th-12th grades. Each grade category winner receives a $100 U.S. savings bond and their schools a $100 cash award in recognition of their support of financial literacy. The prizes are donated by the Vermont Bankers Association. Winners will be announced at a State House ceremony on April 8.If a Vermont poster is selected as a national contest winner, the student and a family member will be flown by the NFCC to Washington, DC later in April where they will be presented with a $500 U.S. savings bond in recognition of Financial Literacy for Youth Month.        Posters must be on white paper stock and between 8 ½ ” by 11” or 11” by 17” inches in size. Vermont entries may be sent to the Treasurer’s Office, Attention Poster Competition, 109 State Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05609. Complete contest details are available on the Treasurer’s Office web site on the financial literacy main page. Go to www.MoneyEd.Vermont.gov(link is external) to view the contest rules. Posters must be received at the Treasurer’s Office no later than 4:30 p.m. Friday, February 19.        Questions about the competition may be directed to the State Treasurer’s Office at 1-800-642-3191 or via e-mail at Treasurers.Office@state.vt.us(link sends e-mail).Source: Treasurer’s office. 1.27.2020last_img read more

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Vermont to get $136,000 in Glaxosmithkline settlement over sale of defective drugs

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first_imgSource: VAG 1.13.2011 Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today that Vermont will receive approximately $136,000 as part of a settlement with pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) of allegations that the company manufactured and sold defective drugs. According to the terms of the settlement, GSK will pay the states and federal government $600 million in civil damages and penalties, and a GSK subsidiary, SB Pharmaco of Puerto Rico, where the adulterated drugs were produced, will plead guilty to a felony violation of misbranding, and pay $150 million in criminal fines and forfeitures.The settlement resolves allegations that arose out of a whistleblower complaint that, at different times between 2001 and 2005, GSK knowingly manufactured, distributed, and sold four products whose strength, purity and/or quality fell below standards required by the FDA: Paxil CR: A controlled-release antidepressant that included split tablets, causing recipients to receive either product with no active ingredient and/or product with only the active ingredient layer and no controlled release mechanism;Avandamet: A diabetes medication with tablets containing higher or lower amounts of the active ingredient than specified;Kytril: An anti-nausea drug used with chemotherapy treatments that was labeled as sterile but included vials containing impurities;Bactroban: Antibiotic ointments and creams used to treat skin infections in children that, in some packages, were contaminated with microorganisms.Vermont’s recovery as part of the settlement represents damages equal to two times the amount the Vermont Medicaid program paid for the products. GSK has also agreed to enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the federal government to closely monitor the company’s future manufacturing practices. last_img read more

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Governor Shumlin announces additional assistance package for towns

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first_imgGovernor Shumlin was joined by Treasurer Beth Pearce and other state leaders today to announce an Irene recovery package for municipalities struggling with the effects of the tropical storm. ‘We recognize that the disaster is putting a strain on local governments,’ Shumlin said.  ‘This assistance package will help ensure that they have the support they need to emerge stronger than before the storm hit.’The financial package includes: ·         $24 million in advanced State payments: To assist towns struggling with immediate cash flow needs, the State will advance payments of key state and federal programs.   $6.2 million in town highway funds have been delivered this week instead of on October 15.  $12.3 million in Current Use payments will be advanced this week rather than on November 15.  $5.8 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) payments will be delivered shortly, instead of by October 31.  This is not new revenue to municipalities, but faster revenue, and will help ease short-term cash needs. ·         Local bank loans:  Vermont’s local banks will be offering loans to communities in need with favorable terms.  ·         Municipal Bond Bank loans: The Municipal Bond Bank has initiated a program to assist towns with low-interest loans to finance response and recovery efforts.  In the short term, the Bond Bank will provide stop-gap funding to local banks as needed and may provide direct loans in the future. ·         FEMA Community Disaster Loan (CDL): The State has requested that FEMA initiate its CDL program to assist towns with low-interest loans. ‘The assistance we are announcing today will help the municipalities hard hit by Tropical Storm Irene,’ said Treasurer Beth Pearce.  ‘This package provides a series of options for communities; they can opt for all, none or part of the options beginning with short-term financing all the way through long-term bonding. The banks are on the ground providing short-term financing and the State is advancing payments to municipalities to provide some relief for their short-term cash needs.’ Towns are also struggling with the massive impact that Irene had on the municipal transportation infrastructure.  During the first week of Irene Emergency Response Vermont officials at VTrans realized the extent of damage to local roads and mobilized additional resources to aid towns.  VTrans reached out to the Regional Planning Commissions and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns for assistance.  Vermont’s 11 regional planning commissions (RPCs) formed a State Resource Coordination Center with the mission of helping towns with not only local highway recovery, but also other forms of storm-related assistance. Regional Commission staff have been assessing damage to the local system and today report that Irene washed away more than 1950 local roadway segments, undermined more than 917 culverts, and damaged more than 200 bridges owned by municipalities.   Today, 184 roads and 94 bridges, within the municipal system remain closed.  The regional commissions launched their emergency efforts in coordination with VTrans with the goal of helping towns get the majority of their roads open, safe and passable by winter. ‘The goal of our efforts is to work with towns face that continued stress and mobility challenges, and to help them get back on their feet and establish access through emergency repairs,’ said VTrans Secretary Brian Searles. Road assistance for towns includes: ·         Unmet Emergency Needs Assessment: VTrans has asked towns to request assistance for any unmet emergency needs.  Unmet emergency needs include closed bridges, failed roads, and impassable roads that need to be made safe and passable before winter.  Towns should submit that information to the Regional Commissions as soon as possible and VTrans will work to coordinate additional resources to help towns. ·         VTrans has found that there is a shortage of bridge parts nationwide due to the tremendous need brought on by weather all over the country.  To ensure that towns receive the temporary bridges they need before winter, VTrans will serve as a clearinghouse and source of information on bridge acquisition and a resource for ordering these structures and parts where needed. ·         VTrans and the RPCs will create and update town maps depicting open and closed town roads so the traveling public can plan accordingly. These maps are being used by customer service representatives at VTrans’ Irene Storm Call Center, which can be reached at 1-800-VERMONT. They are also available to the general public at the agency’s website at www.aot.state.vt.us(link is external). To view them, users should activate the ‘local roads and bridges’ section of the Google map.  Smart phone applications of the Google map are also accessible on the Vtrans website. ·         Associated General Contractors (AGC) Clearinghouse: AGC is coordinating Vermont contractors available to help towns repair damaged roads and bridges. This is the principal resource for towns that need outside contracting for rebuilding. ·         Public Assistance (PA) Teams: State & FEMA PA teams are on the ground assisting communities with paperwork needed to obtain reimbursement for FEMA-eligible costs. ‘Vermonters have responded to this disaster with determination, tenacity and hard work,’ said Governor Shumlin.  ‘It is in large part due to the indomitable spirit of Vermonters that our recovery is going so well.  All recovery is local and this package will help ensure that our communities have the support they need.’ ###last_img read more

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