New England Snapshot

New England News
12:12 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Vermont Asked To Consider Housing Undocumented Border Kids

In this June 25, 2014 photo, a group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are stopped in Granjeno, Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 8:54 am

Gov. Peter Shumlin has agreed to a request from the White House to investigate whether the state could house some of the undocumented children now being detained in the southwestern part of the country.

The request from the White House is the first step in a very long process. 

The initial goal is to determine how much capacity each state has to house some of the nearly 60,000 children who have streamed across the border in the last few weeks.

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New England News
4:10 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Maine Fire Investigators Partnering With Four-Footed Helpers - Arson Dogs

Justin Davis of the San Antonia Fire Department, with his arson dog Kai.

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:42 pm

Arsons accounted for more than 150 fires last year in Maine. They killed three people, injured more than a dozen and caused more than $4 million worth of property damage. The state Fire Marshal's Office investigates thousands of fires a year to determine which are crimes, and increasingly relies on arson dogs to help with the investigations.

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New England Snapshot
1:59 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Williamstown's Clark Art Institute Re-Opens With New Look, Expanded Focus

Landscape architect Gary Hillderbrand describes the new setup at the Clark, as executive architect Maddy Burke-Vigeland looks on.
Credit Jeremy Goodwin for NEPR

This story originally published by NEPR.

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New England Snapshot
1:53 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Vermont Towns Are Models For National Flood Planning

Doug Turner stands along the rebuilt river bank of the Mad River at his farm in Waitsfield one year after Irene.
Credit 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.

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All Things Considered
4:40 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

200-Year-Old Ellsworth Estate Frozen in Time

Joshua Torrance is director of the Woodlawn Museum and Gardens, an estate in Ellsworth that's frozen in time.

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 5:41 pm

This summer, we're taking a road tour, looking at some of the museums, attractions, and hidden gems around the state.  Today we travel to Ellsworth, where an historic house stands virtually untouched since its last occupant passed away in the 1920s. 

George Nixon Black left no descendants, but he worked all his life to preserve his family's Woodlawn Estate - the gardens, the home and its top-notch furnishings. Here, you can see a nearly 200-year-old home frozen in time through three generations of an Ellsworth lumber family. 

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New England Snapshot
4:37 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

The Weather Is Fine For Farming

Hay and vegetable crops are benefitting from the weather.
Toby Talbot AP/file

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 10:32 am

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.  

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New England Snapshot
5:09 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Maine Marine Animal Rehab Center Releases Last Seals Before Closing

A harbor seal, the same kind as the five seals that were released today in Biddeford.

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 6:21 pm

At 7:00 tonight, five seals will emerge from kennels and flop across a Biddeford beach into the ocean. It will be the final release of rehabilitated seals from the University of New England's Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation Center. UNE announced last month the center would close due to financial constraints and a shift in programming. Those who rescue stranded marine animals say they're scrambling to figure out how to continue helping animals in distress.

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New England Snapshot
5:07 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

New England Governors Promise Regional Strategy To Combat Opioid ‘Scourge’

New England governors are promising to develop a regional strategy by this fall to better address opioid addiction and overdoses.

Five governors met at Brandeis University Tuesday. They all say that opioid addiction and overdose rates in their states are rising and affecting the quality of life of all residents.

But by working together, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said the states may be able to develop an effective way to deal with what he says is a public health emergency.

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New England Snapshot
4:31 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

When Looking For Local Food At Vermont’s Trader Joes, It Can Be Hard To Find

Because Trader Joe's sells the majority of its products under a private label, it's difficult to know which food comes from where. One product that definitely isn't local? This maple syrup, which is a product of Canada.
Credit Angela Evancie VPR

The grocery market is changing in northern New England. Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are each expanding their presence in the region.

What do those moves mean for the local food networks here? Well, recently Whole Foods put out a call for local growers in New Hampshire for the store it's opening in Nashua. But, can you find local food at the new Trader Joe's in South Burlington, Vermont? As Angela Evancie of Vermont Public Radio explains, the answer is maybe - maybe not.

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New England Snapshot
4:46 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Vermont Farmers Markets Level Off In Number Despite Grower Waiting Lists

The Winooski Farmer's Market is one of 76 Vermont markets operating this year.
Credit 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.

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New England Snapshot
4:38 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Training Aims To Help Massachusetts Police Understand Mental Illness

In a training exercise, Somerville Police Officer Eli Kim, left, tries to book Somerville Officer Samir Messaoudi — playing the role of a man with schizophrenia — while Cambridge Police Officer Fred Cabral does the sound effects of voices in Messaoudi’s head.
Credit Via WBUR, courtesy Cambridge Police Department

This story produced by WBUR. 

Earlier this month, Somerville Police Officers Alan Monaco and Timothy Sullivan responded to a call about a fight between two young men. They found one of them, Mike, in an agitated state.

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New England Snapshot
1:43 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Vermont Legislature Gives Green Light To Pre-Kindergarten

Chase Robinson and Cayden Blodgett, preschoolers, at Lyndonville, VT's Head Start Program.
Credit Charlotte Albright for VPR

Every three, four, and five-year-old  in Vermont will be eligible for state-subsidized preschool, under new legislation  that Governor Shumlin has promised to sign into law. Many school districts already offer early education programs, but they vary widely in structure and quality. So a lot of details have to be worked out as the state sews together what is now a patchwork of programs.  

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New England Snapshot
4:57 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Fearing Neglect, Neighbors Feed Animals At Santa's Land

The owner of Santa’s land in Putney and the park’s caretaker appeared in Brattleboro District Court Tuesday. Lillian Billewicz  and Brian Deistler pled not guilty to charges of animal cruelty. Earlier this winter 16 fallow deer, a pot-bellied pig and a pheasant were found dead at the once-popular theme park.  Court documents say other animals were found in stalls with frozen water and insufficient hay. Now the park’s remaining animals are getting attention from some local residents who’ve been trying to feed them.

New England Snapshot
4:53 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

What Connecticut Stands to Gain (and Lose) From Fracking

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a ban of waste from “fracking,” the controversial method of obtaining natural gas cheaply. This comes less than a year after the state approved a major expansion of its natural gas infrastructure to capitalize on production in nearby states. Now, some are wondering whether Connecticut can avoid the environmental risks of the fracking boom.

You can read or listen to Patrick Skahill's report on WNPR's website.

New England Snapshot
4:52 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Beer, Wine Bills Backed By R.I. Farm Breweries And Wineries, But Not Liquor Industry

Right now, in Rhode Island you pretty much have to go to a liquor store to stock up on beer for a dinner party. A few bills under consideration in the General Assembly aim to change that. If passed, the bills would give farmers, who grow crops for beer production, special licenses to sell their craft beers at their farms and at farmer’s markets. These bills are pitting local farmers against the local liquor industry.

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