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 reddish brown mountain with blue mountains in the background.
Elodie Reed / VPR File

Anne Sosin studies epidemiological data at the Dartmouth Center for Health Equity. Over the course of the pandemic, she has looked at how state policies and social identities influence how people are affected. This hour, Sosin helps us understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Vermont's most marginalized community members, such as BIPOC Vermonters, rural residents and people without housing.

A Please Complete Act 46 Survey ASAP sign outside of Putney Central School
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Over the last few weeks, five towns in Vermont have held special elections to determine whether or not they want to leave their recently merged school districts.

Two women are having an argument.
Ponomariova_Maria / iStock

The events in Washington DC last Wednesday shook many Americans, and some are now having tough conversations with family members and friends whose political beliefs don't line up with their own. This hour, we talk about the line between politics and personal relationships. 

Sunrise over a snowy pond.
Emily Aiken / VPR

Twenty twenty was a year unlike any other, filled with twists and turns in the presidential election, the emergence of a pandemic, social and physical isolation and, for many people, a deeper sense of gratitude for the things we have.

On Vermont Edition, we are grateful to be able to bring new conversations to your ears on a weekly basis, so we decided to highlight a few of them. Join us Monday Dec. 28 and Wednesday, Dec. 30  as we listen back to some of our favorite interviews of 2020 (and trust us, these were hard to narrow down!). 

Lawmakers elected Col. Greg Knight, of Huntington, to serve as the next adjutant general of the Vermont National Guard.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The Vermont National Guard has deployed over 80 airmen since October and plans to deploy hundreds more soldiers in the next few months. This hour: a conversation about deploying during a pandemic—for guard members and their families back home. And we discuss the ongoing culture audit the Guard is conducting in response to continued reports of sexual misconduct and gender discrimination.

The exterior of the closed St. John the Apostle Church, in Johnson, Vt.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR File

The number of opioid overdoses in Vermont continues to climb, and the isolation brought by the winter and the pandemic makes things difficult for those in recovery, and those trying to use safely. This hour, we talk about what it's like to be balancing the opioid crisis and the pandemic for those in recovery, and those who are helping people get to recovery.

A man at a microphone.
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

A government shutdown looms at the end of this week. Congress is expected to pass a one-week stopgap measure to keep the wheels in motion while members continue to debate a more than $900 billion bipartisan coronavirus aid proposal. This hour, we talk with Representative Peter Welch about federal coronavirus aid, the presidential transition and other issues.

A book sitting open on a table.
artisteer / iStock

How have you been spending time during the pandemic? By picking up a new hobby, or browsing the shelves for a new book to read? If the latter is true for you, then you're in luck. This hour, we listen back to our recent conversation with some of Vermont's most voracious readers. We introduce you to some of the region's newest and most popular authors and books, and we hear your picks.

Geese fly in an arc shaped pattern against a gray sky.
Elodie Reed / VPR

When Gov. Phil Scott announced a prohibition on meeting up with anyone outside your household for basically anything other than allowable essential activities like work or school or socially-distant, masked outdoor exercise, it added a deeper level of confusion, concern, sadness and anxiety for many Vermonters.

Sign that reads Practice Social Distancing in walkway at Milton Middle School
Abagael Giles / VPR File

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Vermont and the health department has put a new protocol in place that will include the testing of all staff at Vermont's K-12 schools, on a rotating basis. This hour, we're joined by Education Secretary Dan French to talk about how the effort fits in with the state's surveillance testing, and how the state is working to preserve in-person learning. 

Pumpkins and gourds on a table surrounding facial coverings.
Rawf8 / iStock

Getting through winter and the holiday season can be hard for many, and now with the governor's order to refrain from seeing family and friends for the time being, it's likely to be even harder. This hour, we'll get advice on how to cope with stress and sadness. Plus we'll talk about ways to cultivate gratitude and joy, and give joy to others who may be struggling. 

The view from a gently graded ski slope at Stowe Mountain Resort on a bluebird day.
Abagael Giles / VPR

This winter season will look different than those past for ski areas and ski towns across Vermont. This hour, we check in with members of Vermont's ski industry about the sector-specific COVID-19 restrictions the state announced last week. We learn about how they plan to change their operations, and hear about the challenges that come with meeting these new regulations.

Vice president elect Kamala Harris stands behind a podium
Tony Avelar / Associated Press File

This weekend, Kamala Harris made history by becoming the first ever woman of color to be Vice President-elect. Today, we check in with a Montreal-based reporter about the city's reaction to her win, and what some of her former classmates from her Canadian high school thought about the election. 

A white-tailed deer photographed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Scott Bauer / USDA

For this big game cooking show, we'll speak with a few experts on how to properly process, cook, pair and eat your moose, bear and deer meat and whatever else you're catching this season. And we want to hear from you about your favorite recipes you'll make this season.

Taylor Small holds a blue, pink and white campaign sign, wearing a winter coat and mask in the snow
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

On Tuesday, first-time candidate Taylor Small of Winooski won one of two seats in the Vermont House for the Chittenden 6-7 district. Small is a Progressive-Democrat, and though results are still unofficial, she is slated to be the first openly transgender person to serve in the Vermont Legislature.

A hand puts paper into a box that says deposit voter ballot here
Elodie Reed / VPR

This hour, we spend the hour looking at the results of yesterday's historic day of voting with a focus on key local and federal races. We talk about the makeup of the next U.S. Senate and check in on some of Vermont's statewide and local races. 

A highway sign warns about the coronavirus
Willowpix / iStock

As COVID-19 cases rise and the holidays get closer, the health department is asking Vermonters to limit travel and narrow down their close circles. This hour, we check in with the Deputy Health Commissioner for our weekly health update. Plus, we get an update on the cyberattack at the University of Vermont Medical Center and how it could affect COVID-19 testing. 

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

The City of Burlington announced this month that it's going to expand a pilot project tracking COVID-19 in the city's wastewater treatment plants and continue the program for at least another three months. The project surveys wastewater for RNA strands that carry the novel coronavirus. But what good does finding it in the city's sewage actually do for how the city and state can respond to coronavirus in the population? We'll check in with the project leader to get the details. 

A white sign that says "vote here" on a brick street in Burlington.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR File

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has been one of the most unusual campaign seasons in Vermont history. It's been difficult for candidates to hold political rallies and meet with members of the public. This hour, we talk with a roundtable of Vermont reporters about the people and issues that are shaping political campaigns in 2020. 

National Guard Truck with pallets
Abagael Giles / VPR file

The Vermont National Guard's former equal employment and diversity manager says the guard has a hypermasculine culture that leads to pervasive sexual harassment and assault. We'll speak with Doris Sumner about what she thinks the Guard needs to do better. And we'll get a statement from Adj. Gen. Greg Knight about how he plans to use an audit to address these issues.  

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