Emily Aiken

PRODUCER, VERMONT EDITION

Emily is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri. She graduated with a Bachelors of Journalism, and spent her time at Mizzou working at Columbia's NPR affiliate, KBIA, and interned at the Kansas City NPR affiliate KCUR. Emily was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and loves to find new music, movies and support the local arts.

Ways to Connect

A person filling out an unemployment form.
glegorly / iStock

Thousands of false unemployment claims have been filed with the Vermont Department of Labor during the pandemic. This hour, we talk with the Labor Commissioner about this fraud, and the reinstatement of the work requirement to receive unemployment benefits. 

Headshots of Sam Sanders and Jane Lindholm
Josh Huskin and Daria Bishop

Recorded noon broadcast: In the past year, many Vermonters have been overwhelmed with staying on top of COVID-19 news, political events, an economic crisis and more. Taking in this heavy information can be challenging, and many people have had to find new ways to practice self-care during the pandemic. 

Hilltop Inn sign on the side of a road.
Emily Aiken / VPR

Last week, the CDC and FDA called for a pause in the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at least until this Friday. The news came after six people reported severe blood clots after receiving the vaccine. The pause has left many Vermonters in limbo — especially those who are experiencing homelessness and are relying on this particular vaccine for its accessibility. 

A person smiling.
Nina Keck / VPR File

Former Rutland Area NAACP president Tabitha Moore has long spoken out against racial injustice. On Wednesday, Moore joined VPR’s community conversation about the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd.

A pair of hands holds up a painted sign that reads Justice, below a portrait of George Floyd. The sign sits above a crowd with other signs visible in the backdrop of a gray sky and trees.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murdering George Floyd. Vermonters: How are you feeling about the verdict?

Black and white photo showing hands holding a small house made out of cardboard
adl21 / iStock

A recent report conducted by Vermont Network examined the cost of domestic and sexual violence for the state -- specifically through public expenditures. This hour, we speak with members from Vermont Network about what the report says, what resources Vermonters are in need of and the call-to-action required to change the narrative around violence. 

Ben Gray / Associated Press

On Tuesday evening, Vermont Asian, Pacific Islander and Desi American for Black Lives group send an open letter calling out Vermont leaders and others for silence in this state since the murders in Atlanta last week that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian backgrounds. This segment, we speak with APIDA for Black Lives about the silence towards the Asian American community in Vermont. 

A graphic showing students on and around a stack of giant blue books.
Anastasia Usenko / iStock

For many, college is a time for meeting new people and sharing experiences. But COVID-19 has made socializing especially challenging for college students. This segment, we speak with a panel of student journalists from across the state about how they and their peers are navigating pandemic restrictions and the college experience. 

Charlotte Albright / VPR File

Museums all across Vermont have had their doors closed for the last year because of COVID-19, but some are preparing to reopen as Gov. Phil Scott loosens gathering restrictions. This segment, we check in with the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury about its plans to reopen its planetarium. 

A child faces away from the camera clutching a mask-clad teddy bear.
Nenad Stojkovic / Creative Commons

At the end of this month, the Greater Burlington YMCA will be closing its child care facility in St. Albans. The child care program had been operating out of a temporary location since its regular location was damaged by a burst pipe.

A sign painted in red reads Food, Not Rent on a blue clapboard house in Burlington.
Abagael Giles / VPR

State and federal eviction moratoriums have had significant implications for renters and landlords alike. This hour, we take an in-depth look at how each has been weathering the COVID-19 crisis, and we answer your questions.  

Courtesy of Joe Sepkowski

As the pandemic grew more severe last Spring, animal shelters in Vermont were restricted from transporting pets from out of state by travel restrictions set by Gov. Phil Scott. This segment, we check in with the Humane Society of Chittenden County, now that they are able to transport pets safely from states like Texas and Georgia. 

Photograph showing the affixed tags and 3D model of the Mount Holly mammoth rib fragment housed at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth. The rib was 3D surface scanned using a Creaform Go!SCAN50 at a resolution of 1.00 mm and has been digitally archived in
Courtesy of Dartmouth College

Dartmouth researchers just published a report showing that early humans and woolly mammoths may have shared the New England landscape at the same time. Before this rib fragment from a Vermont mammoth was carbon dated, it wasn't known if humans and woolly mammoths overlapped in this region. 

This segment, we talk with one of the researchers about this discovery. 

A red sign reading Closed Due to Coronavirus hangs on a glass store door.
Gwengoat / iStock

Women made up more than two-thirds of Vermont's unemployment insurance claims last year. Women left the workforce at higher rates than men all over the U.S., but Vermont's rate is the highest in the country. This hour, we talk about the economic toll of COVID-19 on women in Vermont's workforce, especially women of color. 

Barbed wire along a fence at dusk.
FooTToo / iStock

Vermont Department of Corrections reported 100 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday  among incarcerated individuals at Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport, as well as eight new cases among staff. This segment, we hear from Vermont's Defender General to get his perspective on the outbreak.

A headshot of Dean Noma Anderson
University of Vermont, Courtesy

The University of Vermont recently announced a new dean for its College of Nursing and Health Sciences. This segment, we talk with her about her research and work on racial disparities, educational inequity and access to care in the word of speech pathology, and hear about her goals as the new dean. 

A colorful, hand-painted sign showing a garden against green mountains and a sunny sky reads Ripton School Community Garden, in the snow.
Abagael Giles / VPR

The town of Ripton is one of seven to be part of the Addison Central School District, which came together under Act 46. But the people of Ripton want to leave the district in order to keep their school open.

Rep. Peter Welch
Susan Walsh / The Associated Press

The U.S. House passed a new $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package last week. The aid bill still needs to move through the Senate before expanded federal unemployment benefits end on March 14. This hour, we talk with Congressman Peter Welch to go over what's included in the House package, and what it would mean for Vermonters. 

Artists paint "Black Lives Matter" mural on Burlington building
Abagael Giles / VPR File

Many of us miss seeing a movie in theaters, feeling the rhythm of a live concert inside your body, or gathering with friends to have a laugh at a comedy club. This hour, we hear from arts organizations and performers about how they've been dealing with the pandemic. From taking a hiatus to going virtual, we talk about what's working and what's not, nearly a year in. 

An empty hallway
Abagael Giles / VPR File

About half of Vermont's schools contract with local law enforcement officers to provide security services. Some people think these resource officers are necessary to keep schools safe, but others say these resource officers have a negative effect, particularly on students of color. This hour, we talk about a bill that would prohibit schools from hiring resource officers. 

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