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

A man dumping a white bucket into a truck
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The state's new law that bans household food scraps in landfills went into effect on July 1. Vermonters are getting on board with the new system, which means transfer stations are struggling to keep up and new businesses are popping up to haul the food scraps to composting facilities.

A pile of wrapped condoms in many colors
CatLane / iStock

Vermont will become the first state in the nation to make free condoms available in public middle and high schools next year after Gov. Scott signed a bill last week that expands access to contraceptives across the state.

A man wearing a mask putting together a bouquet of flowers.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont’s farmers markets had to make a lot of adjustments to operate safely during the pandemic. And as the 2020 harvest wraps up, markets are looking back at what worked, and what didn’t during a very challenging season.

A handpainted Trump sign on a piece of plywood
Elodie Reed / VPR

With mail-in voting already underway and a president who has COVID-19 — and who has not pledged to accept the results if he loses — we check in with some of his supporters. 

Evie Lovett

America is struggling to come to terms with its long history of systemic racism. And in Vermont, conversations about racial inequity and free speech are taking place at selectboard meetings across the state.

Students sit at long wooden tables in a spacious room.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

As the new hybrid school year gets underway, the Agency of Human Services is continuing to open up new childcare hubs to give families an option when students are not in school.

A table with glass jars filled with pot
FangXiaNuo / iStock

Vermont could be getting a tax and regulate market for the sale of marijuana. The Legislature gave final approval to the cannabis bill this week, and it’s now in the hands of Gov. Phil Scott.

A school building
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR File

For the first time, two towns that merged their school districts under Act 46 have broken up. The State Board of Education this week allowed the southern Vermont towns of Halifax and Readsboro to go their separate ways just a few years after they merged their schools.

A woman standing in front of two doors.
Elodie Reed / VPR

The Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are traditionally very busy times inside of Vermont’s temples. But the pandemic has changed everything this year, and congregations around the state are adapting.

A person stands in front of others seated outside in a park.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Springfield School District has been trying to address systemic racism in its schools for a long time. And sometimes, it can feel like taking one step forward, two steps back.

A woman sits in a park.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The little town of Chester has heard the stories about out-of-staters buying Vermont real estate these past few months. In response, administrators there started a marketing campaign to let would-be Vermonters know that the Windsor County community a nice place to settle down.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

In the early days of the pandemic, the Vermont National Guard gave out food to people who lined up for hours to get the assistance.

Empty desks in classrooms

The Springfield School Board says it wants the district to develop a new policy that would direct teachers on how to introduce controversial issues in the classroom.

a sign informing residents of a townwide appraisal on a road
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont’s property tax system is dependent on strangers walking into your house. The only way for your town to know the true value of your home, and to see if you put in a skylight, or added a bathroom, is by doing an appraisal.

But in a pandemic, home inspections have become much more complicated.

A woman sitting in a chair with papers on a table in front of her
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a real impact on the financial health of Vermonters.

A brook next to a tent
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

There’s a little brook that runs down Bald Mountain in Townshend State Park, in Windham County. And on most maps, it’s called Negro Brook, which is uncomfortable for all of us, and just about everyone agrees should probably be changed.

A sign reading manchester medical center
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A pop-up testing site for the new coronavirus was set up in Manchester Wednesday. This comes after more than 40 people tested positive for COVID-19 at the local urgent care clinic earlier this week.

Gov. Phil Scott at podium during press conference
Screenshot / Orca Media

State officials say the increase in COVID-19 outbreaks around the country has not caused them to slow down Vermont’s strategy to reopen the economy.

Two people in green shirts and khakis on a dock against water and a green hill.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont opened up its state parks Friday, about a month later than originally scheduled. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the delay, and while the state did decide to open up the parks, things will look very different this year.

Artists install decoration on parklet in downtown Brattleboro
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott is slowly re-opening the economy, and downtowns and business owners across the state are now working to encourage people to come back out after sheltering at home for three months.

In Brattleboro, the town is taking away some downtown parking spaces so restaurants can extend their outdoor seating.