Bob Kinzel

Senior Reporter and Host, 'Vermont Edition'

Bob is a veteran Vermont journalist, specializing in political reporting. He is based in VPR’s Capital Bureau located across the street from Vermont’s Statehouse. Prior to joining VPR full time in 2002, Bob ran the Vermont News Service for 21 years. The service provided daily local news for eleven stations, including VPR. Bob started the News Service following a stint as news director for WNCS.

Ways to Connect

A group of people point guns at two people with their right hands raised.
St. Albans Historical Museum, Courtesy

This weekend marks the 155th anniversary of a key Civil War victory for Union troops known as the Battle of Cedar Creek. On that same day, a Confederate raid took place in St. Albans, Vermont — robbing a local bank and killing one citizen before escaping to Canada.

And while much is known about Vermont's generals and sharpshooters, what about the Vermont women who sustained the home front?

An empty debate stage ahead of the Oct. 15, 2019 Democratic presidential primary debate.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

Tuesday night, 12 Democratic candidates for president took the stage in Ohio for a fourth primary debate. Many eyes were on Bernie Sanders, who suffered a heart attack just two weeks ago. We're analyzing Tuesday's debate with a roundtable of Vermont political scientists and discussing what Sanders' performance means for his campaign.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in New Hampshire on Sunday, Sept. 29, at Dartmouth College.
Cheryl Senter / AP

Ten days ago, Sen. Bernie Sanders had a heart attack at a campaign event in Las Vegas. Doctors discovered Sanders had a blocked artery and inserted two stents to repair that blockage. But what does Sanders' health mean for the campaign, and the Democratic presidential primary? Vermont Edition talks with senior campaign advisor Jeff Weaver to get an update on the candidate and his campaign.

The stage for a July 2019 Democratic presidential primary debate.
Paul Sancya / AP

How will Sen. Bernie Sander's recent heart attack affect the 2020 Democratic presidential race? His campaign says there will be little impact, and he'll be back in action for the fourth Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, Oct. 15. We're talking with reporters in Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa about how the dynamics of the race are shifting.

Rep. Peter Welch seated at a Capitol Hill committee meeting
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

A number of House committees this week are ramping up their investigation into possible impeachable activities by President Donald Trump. As one of the three members of the House to serve on both the Intelligence and Oversight committees, Vermont Rep. Peter Welch is involved in the impeachment inquiry.

The White House is seen in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, as House Democrats move aggressively in their impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Impeachment has been splashed across headlines and fodder for news stories across the country after House Democrats officially launched an impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump late last month. But what actually happens when Congress impeaches a president?

Congressman Peter Welch prepares for a floor speech.
Eman Mohammed / VPR

Congressman Peter Welch sits on the House Intelligence Committee, which is moving quickly with investigations into national security concerns raised by a whistleblower's complaint of President Trump's activities related to Ukraine and alleged solicitation of interference with the 2020 presidential election.

UVM's 27th President, Suresh Garimella, photographed in front of a wall with ivy vines climbing behind it.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Suresh Garimella took over as the president of the University of Vermont in July. We're talking to him about what he sees as the biggest challenges facing Vermont's largest university, and for his perspective on the national trends in higher education — like shrinking enrollment, rising costs and struggles with affordability — that are plaguing schools of all sizes.

A man at a podium
Henry Epp / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott does not expect to take emergency measures to restrict vaping products in Vermont, though the state's Senate Committee on Health and Welfare chairperson, Ginny Lyons, plans to introduce related legislation in January.

The three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

Vermont Rep. Peter Welch is urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep the scope of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump focused on recent revelations about a phone call with the Ukrainian president.

A man and a woman stand and wave together to the camera.
Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press File

Vermont Rep. Peter Welch supported House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to launch an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

Paul Bruhn outdoors
Sen. Patrick Leahy, courtesy

Vermont has lost its leading voice for historic preservation. Paul Bruhn, the executive director of the Vermont Preservation Trust since its inception nearly 40 years ago, has died.

Vermonters will be casting their votes in the presidential primaries in about six months. But Secretary of State Jim Condos is worried about potential cyberattacks to the state's election system.
Dean Terry / Flickr

Vermonters will vote in the presidential primary in about six months, but is the state prepared to deal with cyberattacks during the 2020 election? Secretary of State Jim Condos is calling on Congress to allocate more to states to protect their voting systems. We'll discuss where Vermont stands as we prepare for the March primary.

We're looking into whether parties in Vermont could cancel the state's presidential primary.
Tony Talbot / Associated Press File

In the last few days, a number of states — including South Carolina, Nevada and Kansas — have cancelled their Republican presidential primaries for 2020. These are states where the political parties control the operations of their own primaries, but could a political party in Vermont cancel the state's presidential primary?

The ten candidates in Thursday's Democratic debate (clockwise from top left): Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Harris, Klobuchar, O'Rourke, Sanders, Warren and Yang.

Ten presidential candidates gathered in Houston on Thursday for the third Democratic debate. We're talking with political scientists and campaign watchers to break down the debate,  the policy issues they put forth and what it means for the field of Democratic candidates still seeking the party's nomination for the presidency.

"Vermont Edition" discusses what steps might be taken to cotrol rising health care costs in the state.
Sudok1 / iStock

With the recent approval of double-digit rate hikes for the state's two major health care insurers — Blue Cross/Blue Shield and MVP Health Care — by the Green Mountain Care Board, many in Vermont are concerned. We'll hear about what's driving these cost increases and some possible solutions for reigning in the rising cost of health care.

An 11-foot-tall monument dedicated to Vermont's Companies E and H of the Second United States Sharpshooters stands south of Gettysburg. It was dedicated by the State of Vermont in October of 1889.
Gettysburg Stone Sentinels

It was the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War. But the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg proved to be both the turning point of the war, and a battle in which Vermont soldiers played a pivotal role. We're listening back to a conversation which first aired in 2017 with historian Howard Coffin about the role of Vermonters at Gettysburg and other battles in the Civil War.

Heading into the Labor Day weekend, the Vermont State Police hope that everyone exhibits safe driving habits.
Robin Pierre / Unsplash

There have been 20 traffic crash fatalities in Vermont so far this year. That's down from 41 at this point last year. While highway safety officials are hopeful that the number remains low this year, they have other important concerns about our driving habits. We'll talk about those on Vermont Edition.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, seen here at last week's Democratic National Committee meeing in San Francisco, has remained steadfast in his push for 'Medicare for All' while other candidates are having second thoughts.
Ben Margot / Associated Press

Sen. Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for All" health care plan has become a key issue in the Democratic presidential race. VPR's Bob Kinzel joined Vermont Edition to discuss why some candidates have started to distance themselves from the plan.

Bernie Sanderse stands in front of a podium that says Medicare For All. Kirsten Gillibrand and Jeff Merkley stand on either side.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press

If there's one issue that defines Sen. Bernie Sanders, it's probably his unflinching support for a government-run health care system that's financed through federal taxes. That idea of "Medicare for All" has become a defining issue in the larger Democratic presidential race — and some other candidates are proposing modifications to Sanders' plan.