Vermont

New England Snapshot
6:53 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Program Helps Lawyers Set Up Shop In Underserved Areas

Erica Lewis is just a month into her new Randolph law practice.
VPR/Steve Zind

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 9:46 pm

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.

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Environment
8:04 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Vermont Conducts Loon Count To Gauge Health Of Bird

Credit Flkr Creative Commons / KeithCarver

Experts estimate there are nearly 300 adult loons living on Vermont's lakes and ponds, up from just a couple dozen 30 years ago.

On Saturday, more than 200 volunteers spread out across Vermont for the annual loon survey.

The results of the survey are trickling in, but Eric Hanson of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and the coordinator of the Vermont Loon Conservation Project, says there are many more birds now than just a few years ago.

He says 15 years ago there were around 100 loons and in 1983 biologists counted only 29.

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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 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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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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The Currency
3:11 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

The Currency: Long Time CEO Of King Arthur Flour Steps Down

After 15 years, Steve Voigt is stepping down as CEO of America's oldest flour company.
Amanda Loder NHPR

The Currency is our ongoing look at economic and business news in New Hampshire. 

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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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Newscast
4:31 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Vermont Yankee Could Be Replaced By Biomass Plant

A biomass plant has been proposed to occupy the site of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, which is shutting down at the end of year.

The idea is in its infancy. The Brattleboro Reformer reports officials plan to organize a public forum to discuss the details.

The state has negotiated a detailed agreement with Entergy, owner of the nuclear plant, providing for millions of dollars for economic development and clean energy projects as well as a "timely decommissioning."

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New England News
4:15 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Vermont Governor Signs Universal Early Education Bill

Credit Woodley Wonderworks via Flickr CC

Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed into law a bill calling for every 3- and 4-year-old in Vermont to have access to at least 10 hours a week of publicly funded, pre-kindergarten education.

Backers of the bill say it will add about $10 million a year in costs to the state's Education Fund by 2021. But they say the measure will save much more in the long run because many of the children will be given a good enough educational start that special education and corrections costs will be reduced.

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Newscast
11:08 am
Mon May 26, 2014

V.T. Senator Sanders To Introduce Legislation In Response To VA Scandal

Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders says he'll introduce legislation after the Memorial Day break that will improve accountability at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  The comments from the Vermont independent and chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee follow allegations that some Veterans Administration hospitals have been providing substandard care to their patients and falsifying records.  Sanders says his legislation would make it easier for a secretary of veterans affairs to remove a senior executive due to poor job performance.

New England Snapshot
11:38 am
Tue May 20, 2014

EZ Pass Rider: Tolls Considered For Vermont's Interstates

Vermont's Transportation Agency is studying the possibility of funding the state's interstate system with money collected from toll booths, like this one on Interstate 95 in Hampton, N.H.
Tim Boyd AP

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 12:12 pm

Have you ever wondered why there are toll booths on the interstates in New Hampshire and Maine and not in Vermont?

Under federal law, those states are allowed to impose tolls because they used a considerable amount of their own money to build their interstates. But states like Vermont, that used a lot of federal money to build the roads, aren’t allowed to charge tolls.

This could change soon because the White House is backing a plan to allow all states to charge an interstate toll if they want to. Congressman Peter Welch supports the change.

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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 News
2:33 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Vermont Lawmakers Expand State's Medical Marijuana Law

The number of people who can obtain medical marijuana would increase under a bill that has now passed the Legislature and is on its way to the governor for his signature.

The bill also calls for a study to determine how much money the state could reap in new tax revenue if marijuana is legalized in the future.

Under Vermont’s current medical marijuana law, no more than 1,000 people can be registered to receive marijuana in total from the four dispensaries in the state. Those dispensaries are located in Burlington, Montpelier, Brattleboro and Brandon.

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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
4:56 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Lack Of Funding Could Halt Vermont Highway Projects

In the past few years, many states, including Vermont, have embarked on hundreds of road and bridge construction projects and most of the projects were paid for with a large amount of federal funds.

But there’s a problem: the Federal Highway Trust Fund is running out of money.

Read or listen to Bob Kinzel's report on VPR's website.

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