Steve Zind

Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve was honored in 2007 with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards for his reporting on VPR.

A 1987 recording made by then Burlington mayor Bernie Sanders is finding a new audience thanks to Sen. Sanders’ presidential aspirations.   

A significant hurdle to the resumption of Amtrak rail service through Vermont to Montreal was cleared Monday when the United States and Canada signed an agreement allowing the creation of a U.S. Customs facility in Montreal.  

Most of FairPoint Communications' unionized workers return to their jobs today after a strike that lasted more than four months.

Last weekend, they ratified a new contract with the company, but unlike past negotiations with FairPoint and its predecessors, the new pact does not represent an improvement over the expired agreement.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

For nearly two months, more than 1,700 workers in northern New England have been off the job at Fairpoint Communications. The strike, they say, will continue until Fairpoint offers them a better contract. Fairpoint says the workers are the ones who need to compromise further.

From gasoline to heating oil and propane, fuel prices in Vermont are lower than they were a year ago. The decline in prices will likely mean lower heating bills and less expensive fill-ups during the coming winter.

According to Chicago-based GasBuddy.com, a clearinghouse of real time information on gas prices across the country, on Tuesday the price for a gallon of regular unleaded varied in Vermont from a low of $3.18 in Rutland to a high of $3.69 in Derby.

The union representing roughly 1,800 FairPoint workers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine says its contract with the company has expired, with no agreement reached on a new one.

Federal mediators joined the negotiations as they came down to the wire, but no progress was reported by the time the contract expired on Saturday.

In a statement, FairPoint said the parties remain far apart.

Imagine you’re fresh out of law school. Instead of going to work in a place where there are people to learn from and turn to for support, you’re a one-person firm on your own. 

A new program is helping young lawyers establish solo practices in hopes of helping both law school graduates and those who need legal services.

Toby Talbot AP/File

The lessons of Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont have been incorporated into a new report designed to assist communities across the nation. 

The federal Environmental Protection Agency says the report offers a more comprehensive approach to mitigating the effects of flooding.

Last year at this time farm fields were soggy from rain. The bad weather hit dairy farms at a time when expenses outstripped income and it caused vegetable farmers to lose entire crops.  

It’s a different story this year: Milk prices are high and the weather is good.

In her job as Agronomy Outreach Professional with the University of Vermont Extension Service, Kirsten Workman visits farms throughout Addison and Chittenden counties. She remembers well the rains of last year.  

via VPR, credit Toby Talbot

In the past several decades, farmers markets have developed into a significant source of sales of Vermont agricultural products, driven by increasing demand for local food.

Winter markets and even virtual farmers markets are one sign of success.

In recent years, though, the number of summer and winter markets has leveled out.

In fact, there are fewer farmers markets opening this spring.

Vermont's Fish and Wildlife board has given preliminary approval for 285 regular season permits and 50 archery permits this year. The regular season number is a 20 percent reduction from 2013.

Read or listen to Steve Zind's report on Vermont Public Radio's website.

It came as a surprise to many people when Vermont's governor recently devoted his entire 2014 State of the State address to what he called a "full-blown heroin crisis."

While it may not fit Vermont's bucolic image, the state's addiction problem has long been acknowledged. And as the state has expanded treatment, it's also been coming to grips with one of the most difficult and emotional aspects of the issue: addicted mothers.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, just as fires are a fact of life in the West, hurricanes smash into the Southeast every summer. But New England is something of a stranger to summer disasters, which is why it was huge news two years ago today when Irene hit Vermont. That tropical storm displaced 1,400 families.

Vermont Public Radio's Steve Zind has the story.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

In rural Vermont, the U.S. Postal Service decision to discontinue Saturday letter delivery is yet another blow to an institution that's long been a fixture of village life.

Last year, the U.S. Postal Service abandoned plans to close thousands of small post offices, opting instead to cut hours. But there are fears the cuts will continue until the rural post office is no more.