Citing a shortage of donations and a critical need, Central Vermont Public Service today donated $20,000 in heating aid to community action agencies across Vermont, and appealed to customers who can to donate to the CVPS Shareheat campaign.The $20,000 grant announced today is in addition to $100,000 from CVPS shareholders the company previously put into a pool to match donations from the public.‘With the economy still on the rebound, donations to Shareheat are lagging this winter, but the need remains very high,’ CVPS President Bob Young said. ‘We decided to immediately jumpstart the effort by making $4,000 contributions to each of the five community action agencies that participate in Shareheat, and to appeal again to the public. Vermonters are facing heating crises every day, and we want to ensure no one goes cold for lack of funds.’Thanks to the matching pool, contributions from the public are matched dollar for dollar and sent to the community action agency that serves the donor’s region of the state. The pool began the season with $100,000 from CVPS shareholders, and $45,000 has been added to it by Shareheat Business Partners, which include People’s United Bank, Carris Reels, Passumpsic Savings Bank, Weidman Electrical Technology, and The Vermont Country Store.‘Thanks to these businesses and our shareholders, every donation from the public, up to $145,000 in total, will be doubled,’ CVPS spokesman Steve Costello said. ‘A $10 donation will provide $20 in assistance to a neighbor in need. Donations of any size will help.’Businesses that would like to join the Shareheat Business Partnership Program may call Costello at 747-5427 for more information. Anyone needing crisis fuel assistance should contact their local community action agency.CVPS Shareheat is a program of last resort for over 1,000 Vermont families each year. Funds are available to assist people who face heating emergencies, often because they never expected to need assistance, lost a job, or have exhausted all other available assistance.‘Some people who have donated to Shareheat in the past are now turning to it for assistance themselves,’ Costello said. ‘That is reducing donations and increasing the demand on the program. We’re asking anyone in a position to do so to make a donation.’Contributions should be made payable to the CVPS Shareheat Fund. Donations may be mailed with a CVPS payment, or sent separately to CVPS Shareheat, 77 Grove St., Rutland, VT 05701.
Government has not neglected their maintenance plans for the various state-owned stadia, according to Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah.The maintenance culture at the country’s main stadia, ie, Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast, have come under immense scrutiny in recent weeks.Revelations made in the Auditor General’s report on the activities of the National Sports Authority and the Sports Ministry, pointed out the absence of a maintenance policy for the country’s major stadia.But Asiamah has defended his outfit, and is adamant government has done a good job with the maintenance of state owned stadia since taking office.“Before we came in, Accra Sports Stadium was dead; now it’s back to life,” he said.“When you go to Kumasi Sports Stadium, it’s closed down for renovation. When maintenance is not routine, we incur more cost to bring the place back to life. “When we are done with renovation works, every venue will have a maintenance manual that will be followed religiously,” he added
DES MOINES — Republicans in the Iowa Senate want the state to hire a business to determine whether Iowans who get government food assistance or Medicaid coverage are eligible for welfare benefits.Supporters of the plan say a private firm doing this work in other states can quickly flag problems, so the State of Iowa doesn’t extend welfare benefits to people who are not U.S. citizens or people who’re hiding assets or double-dipping by getting benefits in another state.Senator Jason Schultz, a Republican from Schleswig, said he’s been working on this concept for three years, to deal with a 10 percent error rate.“It’s time to do something about it,” Schultz said.Schultz pointed to estimates suggesting the state could save $10 million a year with the private company doing welfare eligibility checks rather than the 500 state employees who do it today using an ancient computer system.Democrats in the Senate criticized the plan, arguing the state would recoup far more by going after tax fraud.“Go just as aggressively against the tax cheats who owe us money,” said Senator Pam Jochum, a Democrat from Dubuque.Jochum also said businesses that fail to pay all they owe to workers should be investigated.“We lose $600 million each year in this state on wage theft alone,” Jochum said, “and yet that bill’s been buried for years.”Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, accused Schultz of “grinding away” at the poor.“When it comes to poor people, by God, we’ve got to squeeze ’em,” Bolkcom said. “…This is a mean bill. It’s going to save a few bucks by taking food out of people’s mouths.”Senator Schultz, who said at the start that he’d been called “Dr. Evil” for proposing the bill, replied to Democrats in his closing remarks on the legislation.“You don’t want limits on health care. I mean, your number one presidential candidate right now is an avowed socialist…I mean, you say you’re against fraud, but really you’re not against fraud,” Schultz said. “You want to give it to them anyway (with) Medicare for All.’”Senate Democrats shouted their objections to that characterization and there was a brief time-out in the debate. A few minutes later, Schultz tiptoed up to another barb.“Oh, I’m guessing the whole Andrew Yang Universal Income line ain’t gonna go either,” Schultz said.The Senate’s bill now goes to the Republican-led House for consideration.