Howard Weiss-Tisman

Reporter For Southern Vermont & The Connecticut River Valley

Howard Weiss-Tisman is VPR's reporter for Southern Vermont & the Connecticut River Valley. He worked at the Brattleboro Reformer for 11 years, reporting on most towns in the region and specializing on statewide issues including education, agriculture, energy and mental health. Howard received a BA in Journalism from University of Massachusetts. He filed his first story with VPR in September 2015.

Ways to Connect

EMT Andy Luce, left, and Cabot Select Board Chair Michael Hogan, right, stand with the town ambulance, housed at the Cabot Fire Department. The town's emergency ambulance service will stop transporting patients in June.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

A lot of Vermont’s emergency medical services are on life support thanks to declining volunteers and increasing costs. For some, time has run out.

A chalet in Stowe Vermont in a snowy scene that is an Airbnb property.

The Scott administration wants to do a study of the state’s short-term rental properties to see if changes need to be made in how companies like Airbnb operate in Vermont.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Vermont’s clean water infrastructure. The state has a lot of old pipes buried under the ground, and experts say that without a massive investment we’re bound to see more property loss and flooding.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Department of Health has offered free radon tests for any school in Vermont since 2001, but so far less than one third of the schools have tested their air.

A group of four people stand together talking at Turning Point of Windham County in Brattleboro.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

When Justin Johnston was selling drugs around southern Vermont the cops were not his friend.

“The only interaction we got whenever I was on the streets and actively using was when we were getting in trouble,” he said recently.

Glasses of water on a windowsill.
Jtasphoto / iStock

The Agency of Natural Resources wants to test all of Vermont’s drinking water for five per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and the agency said it will begin a rulemaking process to add the five chemicals to the list of contaminants that all public drinking water suppliers must monitor on a regular basis.

Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine speaks to Senate Education Committee while seated at a table and others gathered around.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

After saying it could take three years to test the drinking water at every school in Vermont for lead, the Department of Health now says it will finish testing by the end of the year.

Two people on mountain bikes riding on a path in a grassy field. There are mountains in the background.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR FILE

The state wants to grow Vermont’s outdoor recreation economy, and if the recent interest in a new grant program is any indication, municipalities across Vermont are ready to get on board.

Much has been written about what Vermont’s small rural towns need if they hope to survive.

Officials talk about bringing in broadband internet and encouraging young families to move in.

But as they try to avoid population decline and other problems, some towns have decided to invest in what they already have.

Across Vermont, communities have recently invested in historic, centrally located buildings that would otherwise sit vacant. The restored buildings, supporters say, can become places where people come together and maintain a sense of community.

The state is close to reaching an agreement with the company linked to widespread water contamination around Bennington.

The partial federal government shutdown is slowing business projects in Vermont.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Attorney General TJ Donovan said Monday he will not file charges in the reported racial harassment of former State Rep. Kiah Morris, though he believes Morris and her family were victims.

Bob Kinzel / VPR

The Vermont Human Rights Commission saw a sharp increase in the number of cases it accepted due to discrimination based on race or national origin last year.

State Board of Education Chair Krista Huling looks over a school district map during a recent meeting reviewing Act 46 mergers.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR FILE

The Agency of Education is recommending that school districts abide by the deadlines spelled out in Act 46, Vermont’s school district consolidation law, even though a court case challenging the law has been delayed.

The exterior of the Community College of Vermont, a brick building with CCV sign above door.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Community College of Vermont is expanding its early education program, as a new report highlights the need for more teachers in the state’s pre-K program. CCV will offer an accelerated, online early child care certificate program this spring.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont’s hub-and-spoke opiate treatment system was only offered at a handful of locations when then-Governor Peter Shumlin devoted his 2014 State of the State speech to the opioid crisis.

But in the five years since the speech, the hub-and-spoke system has expanded across Vermont, and it’s now a model that other states are replicating.

A group of people around tables at a State Board of Education meeting.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Many involuntary mergers under Act 46 are on hold — for now. This comes after lawyers on both sides of the legal issue agreed there needs to be additional time to brief what they deem to be difficult and complex issues.

People sitting a a meeting in Brattleboro, facing a panel seated at a table.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Following the cancellation of a Windham County radio program, advocates for local media are joining together to try to figure out ways to support community journalism in southeastern Vermont.

Abstract artist Emily Mason stands in front of some of her new work hanging on the walls in New York City.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Many years of work by Emily Mason, an abstract painter who splits her time between southern Vermont and New York City, is the focus of a retrospective show going on now at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center.

Evan Chamberlin, 9, drinks from a water fountain at Union Elementary School in Montpelier.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Some lawmakers and environmental activists say a state plan that gives schools up to three-and-a-half-years to test their water for lead will put children at risk.