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 woman wearing glasses looks out from behind wooden slats.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Hanging on the gallery walls at Central Vermont Medical Center are oil paintings of all sizes — from the very small to the very large — by Montpelier artist Emilia Olson. The exhibit is a result of Olson revisiting artwork she created, but then stored away, more than a decade ago.

Yes, that's right. This Bennington Battlefield marker is in New York State where the battle was actually fought.
Matt H. Wade / Wikimedia Commons

It seems like one of those little Vermont oddities to outsiders: Vermont's state government closes down every Aug. 16 to commemorate an armed conflict that took place across the river in New York State. We'll get all the details of the Battle of Bennington.

A water fountain mounted on a wall.
gerenme / iStock

The Scott administration has created a website to monitor the testing of lead levels in schools and child care centers. To date, five schools and 300 child care centers have been tested — and roughly 10% of the tested child care centers had at least one water source that exceeded legal limits, while every tested school had at least one water source above what's permitted.

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

After reviewing President Donald Trump's conduct in office over the past few months, Congressman Peter Welch says he's concluded Trump is unfit for office, and Welch says he now advocates for his impeachment. We talked to Welch about the case for impeachment, this week's testimony from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other issues facing the U.S. House.

Envisioning what Vermont's transportation needs will be like in 2030 is what the Agency of Transportation is working on now.
Lisa-Blue / iStock

To meet Vermont's transportation needs for 2030, we have to start planning today. The Agency of Transportation is conducting a public survey to help determine how public transportation should be expanded in the next decade. We'll hear about that on Vermont Edition.  

Congressman Peter Welch poses for a portrait outside his office at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Eman Mohammed for VPR

Vermont Rep. Peter Welch is calling for President Donald Trump's impeachment.

One of the highlights of baseball's first half was the Red Sox-Yankees two-game series played in London, England.
Tim Ireland / Associated Press

We're seeing a ton of home runs and strike outs in Major League Baseball this year. And seeing a number of teams building big leads in their divisions. As baseball returns from the All-Star break, Vermont Edition returns for its annual mid-season discussion of baseball.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Sen. Kamala Harris stand on a debate stage
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and California Sen. Kamala Harris have seen their poll numbers increase as they take away support from former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

But though the dynamics of the Democratic presidential race have shifted, the Sanders campaign is sending out a very clear message to the other Democratic candidates: they're in it for the long haul, and they've got plenty of money.

Gov. Phil Scott stands near his 14 car at Thunder Road.
Wilson Ring / Associated Press File

After taking most of last year off, Gov. Phil Scott is back racing at the Thunder Road track in Barre.

Twenty Democratic presidential candidates debated over two nights in Miami this week.
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

The Democratic presidential field is a crowded one. And the candidates got to appear together over two nights in Miami for debates of 10 candidates each night. It's not easy to stand out in such a robust field. Vermont Edition takes a look at how the candidates did when they had the spotlight.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, pictured on May 2 on Capitol Hill, talked to VPR's 'Vermont Edition' about the debate over impeachment, as well as proposals related to Cuban travel.
Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

There's debate in Washington — and across the country — about whether House Democrats should begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, brings a unique perspective to the issue, as he was first elected during the Watergate era and served in the Senate during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.

Bernie Sanders speaking at a podium, pointing toward the crowd with an American flag behind him
Andrew Harnik / Associatd Press

On Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders gave a speech defending the political philosophy he calls "democratic socialism." The speech comes as Republicans, including President Donald Trump, and some moderate Democrats attempt to use "socialism" as an attack on more liberal Democrats like Sanders.

The Secretary of State's office is taking steps to protect Vermont's voting system against cyberattacks for the 2020 election.
Element15 Digital / Unsplash

Getting people into the voting booth can be a struggle. So it's vitally important to make sure their vote is safely protected once they do exercise that right. Secretary of State Jim Condos joins Vermont Edition to explain how prepared the state is and what steps are being taken for the 2020 election.

Sen. Bernie Sanders with arms outstretched at a podium and American flags behind him.
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

How American voters view the concept of "socialism" could have an enormous impact on the 2020 presidential race, and Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders made his case for "democratic socialism" in a major campaign address Wednesday at George Washington University.

State Treasurer Beth Pearce
Angela Evancie / VPR file

In her eight years in office, State Treasurer Beth Pearce has pushed Vermont to tackle its critical financial issues head-on, like confronting the real costs of clean water programs and the state's multi-billion dollar retirement and pension obligations. We're talking with Treasurer Pearce about the state's fiscal outlook and why her office has gotten involved in some major environmental issues.

The Vermont Statehouse with lawmakers seated
Oliver Parini / For VPR, File

The failure of Democratic leaders at the Statehouse to pass legislation raising the state minimum wage and paid family leave is causing a serious split between Progressives and Democrats. This rift could mean that more Progressives and Democrats will run against each other in House races in 2020.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking at a campaign rally in Montpelier. People hold Bernie signs behind where he stands at a podium.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Former Vice President Joe Biden's entry in the Democratic presidential race has upended that contest, and it appears that the candidate most affected by Biden's decision could be Sen. Bernie Sanders.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe join "Vermont Edition" to discuss what was and wasn't accomplished in the recent legislative session.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR FILE

With large Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, it seemed in January that the Vermont Legislature would easily pass longstanding progressive priorities like raising the minimum wage and establishing a paid family leave plan. But the House and Senate just quietly adjourned the 2019 session without legislation on either issue. What kept lawmakers from finding agreement on these key issues?

As the first year of the biennium comes to a close, "Vermont Edition" looks at what was accomplished at the Statehouse.
Ric Cengeri / VPR FILE

As Vermont's legislative session comes to a close, the House and Senate have negotiated and modified bills in the hopes of getting them to the governor's desk. We’ll hear from some of the state's top political reporters on the last-minute maneuvering that took place in Montpelier.

Congressman Peter Welch makes phone calls in his office in Washington, D.C.
Eman Mohammed for VPR

Costs for generic medications have skyrocketed in recent years, with some increasing by as much as 8,000%. The explosion in drug costs is the leading factor behind the nearly 16% rate hike Blue Cross Blue Shield Vermont requested this month for participants in Vermont Health Connect.

Now Congressman Peter Welch is co-sponsoring several bills to reign in prescription drug costs at the federal level.