VPR News

A beach on a cloudy day.
John Dillon / VPR

A Boom Year For Blooms: Toxic Algae Closes Beaches, Raises Concern About Water Supplies

Call it the cyanobacteria summer for Lake Champlain and Burlington’s beaches. The hot, dry weather came early and hung around for months. The heat made for perfect swimming days, but people seeking relief with a dip in Lake Champlain in Burlington were out of luck.

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Brave Little State

Two people in masks stand outside a yellow house
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Is Vermont Really Having A COVID Boom?

Is our population growing because of the pandemic? And what impact are COVID transplants having on their new communities?

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Live Coverage: Coronavirus In Vermont

Daily updates from the VPR newsroom on the coronavirus pandemic

Election 2020

Check out our voter guide, debates and ongoing election coverage from VPR, NPR and our collaborative partners.

Updated at 2:24 p.m. ET

Catholics in the United States will get their first African-American cardinal next month. In a surprise announcement Sunday from his window overlooking St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis named Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., among 13 new cardinals.

Gregory will be elevated to the position in a ceremony at the Vatican on Nov. 28.

The U.S. Senate voted Sunday afternoon to end debate on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, setting the stage for a final confirmation vote Monday evening — just over a week before the general election.

In a floor vote mostly along party lines, 51 Republicans advanced Barrett, who's President Trump's nominee to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Following the cloture vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., proclaimed that "by tomorrow night, we'll have a new member of the United States Supreme Court."

New regulations and social-distancing rules are being introduced across multiple European countries in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus as a second wave of the pandemic accelerates across the continent. Europe reported more than 1.3 million new cases this past week, its highest single week count yet, according to the World Health Organization.

Geese fly by the World's Tallest Filing Cabinet in Burlington.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Live call-in discussion: COVID-19 has thwarted many of our seasonal travel plans, so why not live vicariously through our free-flying migrating birds? This hour, Bridget Butler shares her tips for autumn birding in Vermont. What species are headed south for the winter? What species winter here? We find out and answer your questions.

It's time to gather the family together for the talk. Not that talk — the talk about what to do for Thanksgiving this year as the pandemic rolls on.

It has been months since many of us have seen extended family — we're longing to check in on aging parents, to see old friends from back home, etc. But even though Thanksgiving often conjures up pictures of big happy reunions, how safe is it to make them a reality?

Four people stand together in a black and white photo
Library of Congress

Former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, also a trustee at the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, joined VPR to talk about how Coolidge got nominated as vice president from the 1920 National Republican Convention floor.

Rubber gloved hands hold a syringe
Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press

The Scott administration has unveiled a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan that puts certain health care workers, as well as staff and residents of long-term care facilities, at the front of the line to receive immunizations.

A completed early, absentee or mail-in ballot held in the hand of a Vermonter in front of a background of autumnal trees.
Matthew Smith / VPR

Vermonters have already set an all-time record for voting by mail in the 2020 election. Data from the Secretary of State's office reports more than 171,000 people have returned their ballots so far.

A record number of voters are expected to cast their ballots by mail this year, and in most states, election officials can begin processing that deluge of ballots in the weeks before Election Day.

But in a handful of states, election workers can't begin the work of opening envelopes, verifying signatures and removing secrecy sleeves, let alone counting, until the day of the election. In swing states where the margins of victory are likely to be close, those rules may mean it takes hours or days after the polls close before a winner is declared.

The Food and Drug Administration is preparing for the eventual rollout of one or more COVID-19 vaccines — by identifying the concerns that some people have about taking such a vaccine.

At a meeting Thursday of experts advising the FDA on COVID-19 vaccines, the concerns of front-line workers and people of color were read aloud verbatim, highlighting the crucial project of communicating the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine in an environment of deep political distrust.

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Cartoon Voting Guide

A Cartoon Guide To Voting In Vermont's General Election

Cartoonist Stephanie Zuppo illustrated six frequently asked questions about what voting will look like for the Nov. 3, 2020 election.

Subscribe To 'The Frequency,' Our Daily Morning Newsletter

Get up to speed on the news Vermont is talking about: Election 2020, the latest coronavirus information, weather and more.

Eye On The Sky

Inside VPR

Vermont Public Radio and Seven Days have won a 2020 National Edward R. Murrow award for their 2019 series 'Worse For Care,' a joint investigation into Vermont's assisted living and residential care homes for the elderly.
Seven Days

VPR And Seven Days Win 2020 National Edward R. Murrow Award For Investigative Reporting

Vermont Public Radio and Seven Days have won a 2020 National Edward R. Murrow Award for their 2019 series “ Worse For Care ,” a joint investigation into Vermont’s assisted living and residential care homes for the elderly. The award for Investigative Reporting in the Small Market Radio Division was presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association on October 10.

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Remote Learning Resources

But Why Learning Guides

But Why is here to help as we start an unusual school year. We've created learning guides to complement our recent episodes.

But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids

istock / eco2drew

Why Are Whales So Big?

How do whales spray water? Why are humpback whales so fat and blue whales so long, and why are blue whales blue? Do whales have belly buttons? How do you weigh a whale? And how do whales drink water in the salty ocean? We have a whale of a time answering questions about these ocean-dwelling mammals with paleontologist Nick Pyenson, author of Spying on Whales: The Past, Present and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures .

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smartboy10 / istock

Why Can't Kids Vote?

Jane Lindholm / VPR

Why Do Dogs Have Tails?

A Beginner's Guide To Podcasts

A Beginner's Guide To Podcasts

Not sure how the whole podcasting thing works? We're here to help.