VERMONT

Coverage of Vermont from New England Public Radio, NPR, and other NPR stations.

The emergence of the 17-year cicadas has dominated bug news of late, but in the northeastern parts of the U.S. and Canada, another cyclical menace has emerged that has the potential to do more lasting damage.

A nearly two-year investigation into the Bennington Police Department has found that officers failed to adequately investigate alleged threats against former state legislator Kiah Morris because of its racism and prejudice.

A vaccine for COVID-19 being prepared.
Alison Montemagni / Baystate Medical Center / The Republican / masslive.com

A public health expert says several factors may explain why many New England states are near the top of the list for getting their residents vaccinated against COVID-19.

Bald eagles are soaring again in Vermont. The magnificent birds were pushed to the brink of extinction by hunting, habitat loss and pesticide poisoning.

The push to switch from fossil fuels to renewable forms of energy will mean a lot more demand for battery storage. It's just part of massive efforts to modernize the electric grid in New England and the nation to meet the challenge of climate change.

A health care worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine at the FEMA mobile unit in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in March.
Tony Spinelli / Connecticut Public

All six New England states are pausing use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The decisions follow a federal recommendation for a pause while investigators look into six cases of a rare and severe blood clot reported in women who received the vaccine.

New England Council Backs Bank Protections For Pot Industry

Apr 6, 2021
The cash drawer at INSA in Easthampton, Massachusetts, in a file photo.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPM

The New England Council, a business-minded organization that maintains close ties to members of Congress from the six northeast states, last week voiced its support for federal legislation to protect banks working with state-legal marijuana companies from federal regulatory penalties.

UMass Medical School student Timothy Winn prepares doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Hotel Grace homeless shelter in Worcester.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

All residents 16 and over will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine fairly soon in New England, but the date varies by state.

The Fish and Wildlife Department and a state science advisory panel disagree over how to protect endangered bats in Vermont from a large-scale pesticide spraying program.

It’s the first Tuesday in March, and that means one thing in Vermont: Town Meeting Day. But this year, like so many things in our pandemic era, things are different.

Since Act 46 was passed by the Legislature in 2015, small school districts across the state have had to make difficult decisions about whether to merge rural schools. In some parts of the state, geography creates some challenging decisions about how to do so.

It Has Been Slow To Arrive, But High-Speed Rail Could Be Coming

Feb 4, 2021

In 2016, federal officials unveiled a plan for high-speed rail along the Northeast Corridor that included a 50-mile passage from Old Saybrook to the village of Kenyon, R.I.

The route went through Old Lyme and other historic small towns while bypassing New London. The plan, called NEC Future, met with heavy — almost unanimous — opposition. Hundreds turned out at meetings to oppose the plan. Sen. Richard Blumenthal seemed ready to lash himself to the tracks, calling the idea “half-baked and hare-brained” and “unworthy of any sort of taxpayer dollars.”

A driver buckles up.
Facebook / National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

A highway safety advocacy group says Vermont and New Hampshire are "dangerously behind" adoption of recommended traffic laws, and Massachusetts and Connecticut are faring only slightly better. 

One southern Vermont town has voted to sue the state over pandemic public health restrictions.

The COVID relief package that President Trump signed this weekend includes $15 billion for live music and theater venues. The news means some of the people who run bars, theaters and music halls across Vermont have a new source of hope that they will eventually be able to reopen.

Vermont reported a record 148 cases Thursday, and state officials predict there will be a 50% increase in cases over the next six weeks.

The Massachusetts Statehouse.
Wally Gobetz / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/wallyg

The Wampanoag tribe, in its promotional material, said the planned first light casino represented “growth, progression and opportunity.” The feds alleged it represents something less savory to the tribe's chairman.

Alana Chernila, marketing and events manager at Guidos Fresh Marketplace, stands in front of a sign saying masks are required.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPM

In Massachusetts, mask-wearing is required in places where the public is allowed to gather, like retail stores — unless wearing a mask presents a medical risk to a customer.

A scene in Vermont.
famartin / Creative Commons

Updated Nov. 11 at 9:15 a.m.

As new COVID-19 cases continue to climb across the country, New England states are trying to limit the spread of the virus by travelers within the region.

The state released its COVID guidelines recently for skiing and snowboarding, and state officials have made it clear: This winter will be like none other at the resorts, and in the nearby communities that serve the mountains.

Vermont voters on Tuesday handed an overwhelming re-election victory to a Republican governor who has overseen one of the most successful COVID-19 mitigation strategies in the nation.

Vermont's biggest and wealthiest nonprofit media organizations are merging. Officials at Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS say the goal is to provide stronger public service programming through a combined radio, TV, digital news and entertainment network.

A pop-up testing site for the new coronavirus was set up in Manchester Wednesday. This comes after more than 40 people tested positive for COVID-19 at the local urgent care clinic earlier this week.

18 Attorneys General File Suit Over ICE Rule

Jul 13, 2020
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

A coalition of 18 attorneys general — including those representing Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island — is suing the Trump administration to block a new federal rule that bars international higher education students from studying in the United States if they are taking online-only courses this fall. 

Gov. Phil Scott on announced Wednesday that gatherings of 10 or fewer people will now be allowed in Vermont for the first time since March 21.

Citing the risks posed by the coronavirus, the Scott administration has joined with waste haulers around Vermont to press for flexibility with the state’s recycling laws.

Green Mountain Power and Vermont Gas Systems have withdrawn their requests for $12.5 million in federal small business loans after new guidance said large, well-capitalized companies should not qualify.

Laini Fondiller describes the scene in her Westfield barn as "organized mayhem." An excited goat chorus reverberates through her barn as the 30 or so Alpine and Saanen dairy goats – her “ladies” as she calls them – assemble for the morning milking.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine said Monday that the COVID-19 outbreak in Vermont could be "approaching a plateau," and that transmission of the virus in the general public has remained relatively low.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the running for the Democratic presidential nomination, but his decision Wednesday to remain on the ballot could force Connecticut to nevertheless hold a primary under the threat of COVID-19.

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