January 21, 2021

Legislature works to reform Vermont unemployment

first_imgNow that Vermont has had to start borrowing federal money in order to pay unemployment checks, the Vermont Senate Economic Development committee is working to reform the state’s bankrupt unemployment fund. The committee is trying to strike a balance between the financial burden of the reform on employers and labor. The proposed plan would raise unemployment taxes for businesses over a three-year period, bringing it from the current base of $10,000 up to $18,000. Maximum weekly benefit checks for the unemployed would go down from $425 to $400, and there would also be more strict guidelines around who may qualify for benefits.(Source: WCAX)last_img read more

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Changing of the Seasons

first_img red fall leaves photo courtesy of Eric Albitz, ericalbitzphotography.com Photo courtesy of Eric Albitz, ericalbitzphotography.comArguably one of the most beautiful times of year, fall is finally upon us. The leaves have begun to adorn their autumn colors, the sun sinks away earlier and earlier each night, and suddenly, the morning air is accompanied with a sweater appropriate chill.What a great time of year to go out and explore, to go to bed early, and to find different ways to stay warm. There is no better feeling to me then staying warm amongst crisp autumn temperatures. It seems impossible during those hot summer memories to cool down, to let your temperature drop, you couldn’t escape the heat. But the fall is different. Add more layers, eat a hearty meal, or get that blood pumping; there is a multitude of ways to stay warm during the fall.Something just feels right about the way long-sleeves fit in October. Walking out to the vibrant orange and yellow atmosphere, feeling the cold not at your skin, but stopped short by added layers. It’s almost like your outsmarting the system, like your fighting a small battle against Mother Nature and coming out victorious. Throw on the forgotten cold-weather cap and you are conqueror of this universe. The reason your room seems so cold in the morning is because you have stayed warm under the covers all night. Fall is here and you are ready.Besides adorning feathered clothing, a different inclination of humans can also be attributed to the dropping temperatures, a natural instinct engraved into our genes; the penchant for body heat. Never in the summer is hanging out in cramped conditions a necessarily joyous event. But come the long nights and cold temperatures of the fall, gatherings of people can be found packed into the kitchen, the family room, and all together in an effort to keep the cold away with a collective warmth.It can be strange at first, stepping outside and not immediately drowning in sweat, the new colors are nearly blinding with their brilliance, and the world you once knew has shed its skin to reveal a new kind of beauty. Unarguably one of the best times of year to go out and explore; fall is the season to stay nice and warm.-BDL fall colorscenter_img fall on the mountain photo courtesy of Eric Albitz, ericalbitzphotography.comlast_img read more

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Munster secure home quarter-final

first_img Two Greig Laidlaw penalties kept Edinburgh in the hunt for an Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final place, but those hopes faded as the Irish province registered their bonus point by the 57th minute. Captain Peter O’Mahony followed Conor Murray over the try-line and further efforts from Simon Zebo and Felix Jones made for a stylish six-try romp. Munster seem to save some of their best rugby for round six, as this was their fourth successive bonus-point success at this stage – adding to wins in previous years over London Irish, Northampton Saints and Racing Metro 92. Edinburgh silenced the capacity Limerick crowd in the opening minutes, Tom Brown almost reaching Greig Tonks’ cross-field kick although Laidlaw drew his first penalty attempt wide. Laidlaw made no mistake with his second place-kick, punishing a scrum offence by Dave Kilcoyne – but Munster were lightning quick to respond. Paul O’Connell rose to take the restart and after a neat spread of passes out to the left, number eight Coughlan – a notable absentee from Ireland’s Six Nations squad – cut in on a terrific angle to arrow his way over for the opening try. Ian Keatley’s conversion attempt came back off the left-hand post, but the pattern has been set and Munster gained the upper hand in the scrum as their push for tries gathered pace. The Edinburgh defence splintered far too easily in the 22nd minute – back rowers David Denton and Roddy Grant both missing tackles – as winger Murphy, fed from a scrum, stepped clean through and in behind the posts. Press Association Munster motored their way to a home Heineken Cup quarter-final as they brushed Edinburgh aside 38-6 at Thomond Park. Rob Penney’s men gained revenge for their first-round defeat at Murrayfield, comfortably securing the bonus point which gives them home advantage in the last-eight in April. Man-of-the-match James Coughlan and Johne Murphy touched down in a first half which ended 12-6 in Munster’s favour, with Edinburgh flanker Cornell du Preez seeing yellow in injury-time. Keatley added the extras for a 12-3 lead before Laidlaw hit back with a second left-sided penalty, and the second quarter was quite an even affair. Replacement Zebo, on for the injured Keith Earls, combined with O’Connell to bring down Laidlaw just short of the try-line, following a promising set of phases from the Scots. However, Edinburgh lost the services of Du Preez after referee Wayne Barnes sin-binned him for ‘recklessly leading with the head’ when attempting to clear out O’Connell at a ruck. The second half was just four minutes old when scrum-half Murray plunged over from a close-range ruck for his try, with Tommy O’Donnell and Coughlan tearing through the Edinburgh defence in the build-up. Keatley’s pinpoint conversion from the left put Munster 13 points clear and some neat touches from Zebo kept the province on the front foot. The bonus point was in their grasp by the hour mark, skipper O’Mahony showing great strength to barge past three defenders and stretch over by the posts, with Keatley converting. Murray then fed Zebo for a simple finish in the left corner and Edinburgh crumbled further under the weight of forward pressure, ending the game with replacement prop Geoff Cross in the sin-bin. Zebo’s lovely delayed pass sent full-back Jones over in the right corner and Keatley’s cracking conversion was a fitting way to end a Munster-dominated second half. last_img read more

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