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

Closeup on medical mask and hand disinfectant and stressed woman in background in temporary home office during the coronavirus epidemic in the house in sunny day.
CentralITAlliance / iStock

A new state report finds women in Vermont have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. The COVID-19 disease itself has affected their personal health, but the economic downturn associated with the pandemic has also seen a uniquely large impact on women's financial stability and economic security. This hour, we'll take a close look at the report's findings.

Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine and Gov. Phil Scott.
Elodie Reed / VPR

As Vermont continues to reopen its economy, states like Arizona and Texas are pumping the brakes due to surges in COVID-19. This hour: it's our weekly check-in with the Vermont health department. We get the latest COVID-19 case numbers for Vermont, as well as an update on out-of-state travel restrictions, mask guidance, and much more.

Vermont U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy.
Jose Luis Magana / AP

The U.S. Senate is considering a major police reform package to hold officers more accountable for their actions. But the future of the bill is in question because many Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on some key provisions. We talk with Senator Patrick Leahy about this issue and more, and we take your questions.

A view inside the Vermont statehouse.
Toby Talbot / AP

State lawmakers have been working for weeks on plans to distribute several hundred million dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds across Vermont. The governor announced his plans last month, and says lawmakers are dragging their feet. This hour, we talk with House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and House Appropriations Chair Kitty Toll about what their COVID-19 relief efforts are for small businesses and individuals.

A person in a mask sits behind a table with boxes of food on it.
Matthew Smith / VPR

Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles, along with other groups fighting food insecurity in the state, made a plea to state lawmakers in early June: Give us additional funds immediately in order to address a growing food crisis in Vermont this summer. 

We talk with Sayles about rising food insecurity in Vermont as the coronavirus pandemic continues amid an economic recession.

Gov. Phil Scott stands at a podium and offers a COVID-19 update.
ORCA Media, courtesy

Gov. Phil Scott is leading the state during a time of profound change. As the coronavirus pandemic challenges state leaders, revenues and government operations, the Governor is also pushing for progress on diversity in the state, forming a new racial equity task force to make recommendations for how Vermont can measure progress in this area. We talk with Gov. Scott about how COVID-19 and efforts to combat racism and improve diversity are changing Vermont.

Chief Justice Paul Reiber of the Vermont Supreme Court discusses the court system's response to COVID-19.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on all aspects of life, including the operation of Vermont's court system. This hour, we talk to Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Reiber about how the state's courts have responded to the pandemic, and we take your comments and questions.

Rep. Peter Welch.
Alex Brandon / Associated Press File

Over the weekend, there were major protests in many American cities, including at a number of locations in Vermont. Many more demonstrators joined in across the world to protest the death of George Floyd, an African American man who was killed on May 25 in Minneapolis.

A roll of "I Voted" stickers.
Element15 Digital / Unsplash

Vermont is one of several states considering implementing a vote-by-mail system in response to COVID-19. And it has fueled a rather spirited debate here. This hour, we take a look at both sides, and hear your comments and questions.

The exterior of the Vermont Department of Health office in Burlington at 108 Cherry Street.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Who is most affected by COVID-19? We take an in-depth look at Vermont's case demographic data, and get the latest on health and safety guidance for residents and businesses.

The White House is seen in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019.
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

This year is an election year. And one for the history books, no doubt. We look at what the COVID-19 crisis means for candidates and campaign strategy, and ask what lessons can be learned from campaigns of years past.

Empty stands at the Vermont Mountaineers stadium in Montpelier after the coronavirus canceled their season.
Vermont Lake Monsters, courtesy

Each spring, Vermont Edition touches base on baseball, discussing players, stoking rivalries and debating the latest proposed changes to the great American pastime. This spring, there's only one problem: there's no baseball.

We'll talk about enduring a baseball-less spring, a proposed start to the season in July amid empty stands and how coronavirus has also affected collegiate teams and softball leagues in Vermont.

Everyone's Books in Brattleboro opened its doors for limited in-store operations on Monday, May 18, 2020. We're talking about how retailers and other businesses are following state guidelines to slowly reopen.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Retailers are able to open up in Vermont with limited capacity this week, provided they follow state health guidelines around social distancing, mask wearing, and more. We talk with three Vermont business owners about how they’ve adapting to the coronavirus and state guidelines, and what the future holds.

Pedestrian wearing a face mask crosses the street.
Elodie Reed / VPR

As various sectors of the economy and state are allowed to reopen, questions remain about whether wearing masks should be mandated, what it's going to look like for children returning to child care, and when it's safe to visit family and friends. This hour, join us  for our regular Monday roundup of health questions and answers with Vermont's Department of Health.

Close-up image of a calendar
Dafne Cholet / flickr

The pandemic continues, and while some social distancing guidelines are being relaxed, others continue. Many weeks into a new not-so-normal, how are you coping?  How has your situation changed? How has your work-life changed? How are you staying connected with others?

Election observers from the OSCE are watching midterm elections across the country.
bizoo_n / iStock

The COVID-19 crisis has raised questions about the November general election. Like, will it possible to vote safely in person? And what would it look like for states to shift to a vote-by-mail system? This hour, we take an in-depth look at how Vermont is responding. We talk to elections analysts and officials, and we also hear from you.

A new UVM survey shows many Vermonters enjoy telecommuting.
Bellahu123 / Creative Commons

Since mid-March, many Vermonters have been working from home. And a new UVM survey indicates that many of these telecommuters want to continue remote working after the pandemic has ended. This hour, we discuss the future of how and where we work with a team of experts and researchers , and we also hear from you.

How are you coping with Vermont's reopening?
John Cope / Creative Commons

Helping others, connecting with friends and family. How are Vermonters coping as the state gradually reopens?

This hour, Bob Kinzel and VPR Morning Edition host Mitch Wertlieb open the lines and take your calls.

Rep. Peter Welch.
Alex Brandon / Associated Press File

COVID-19 has highlighted the need for broadband access, as students learn remotely, employees work from home, and health services are accessed virtually.

This hour, we talk with U.S. Rep. Peter Welch about a proposal to direct more than $80 million in federal funds to the nation's broadband infrastructure. Plus: a big picture look at what the next stimulus package might include.

Two portraits of Joe Biden and Donald Trump
Matt Rourke and Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

With so much pandemic all the time, it can be easy to forget that we’ve got a presidential election coming up. But it is worth remembering that our current president, and his presumptive opponent, are vulnerable to the coronavirus.