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.

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A green and black plaque commemorating soldiers.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

When the town of Brattleboro put up a Civil War monument more than a hundred years ago, it didn’t include the black soldiers who served in that war. Now some local students want to change that.

People gathered to work in a construction project.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont's workforce shortage affects many industries. In construction, companies here are having a hard time finding skilled carpenters.

But in Bennington, a company is offering free classes in advanced carpentry to train the workers they've hired for the $31 million Putnam Block project.

A sign that says Brattleboro Retreat: We'll help you find the strength. Snow on the ground and buildings in background.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Brattleboro Retreat says it doesn't have enough money to finish a 12-bed expansion that's underway. The recent announcement that the state won't add any more funding to the project is putting more pressure on the financially-strapped hospital.

Person stands in front of a Town of Shaftsbury seal on a wall
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

After lawmakers approved a bill last year that encourages towns to work together to expand broadband coverage, more than 35 municipalities are expected to vote to form communications union districts at town meeting in March.

The exterior of the Halifax Elementary School with snow on the ground.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Less than two years after Halifax and Readsboro approved an Act 46 merger, the two towns have scheduled public votes to dissolve the district. These are the first Vermont towns that are looking to dissolve an Act 46 merger through townwide votes.

A person looks at artwork hanging on a wall
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center has an ambitious plan to try to raise $30 million for an expansion. The museum is partnering with developers who want to include 24 high-end apartments on the top floors of the new building.

All of this comes as online shopping continues to dig into local sales and challenge what a vibrant economy looks like.

A stage with musicians on it.
Pete Checchia/Allen Cohen / Courtesy of Marlboro Music Festival

Organizers of the Marlboro Music Festival say the festival will remain on the Marlboro College campus even if the school closes at the end of this academic year.

Nurses wearing blue scrubs look at a clipboard
Wavebreakmedia / iStock

The Vermont Secretary of State's Office of Professional Regulation will ask lawmakers to pass legislation next year that allows Vermont to join the Nurse Licensure Compact. Registered nurses from the compact's member states — there are currently 34 — can work in any of the other states without getting a new license.

A group of singers gathered around a man at home.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Brattleboro Area Hospice is the oldest volunteer hospice care group in Vermont. Back when it started four decades ago, the group worked to introduce the concept to people around Windham County. 

A pecan pie.
Elodie Reed / VPR

It’s Thanksgiving, and of course the most pressing question is: who’s making what? Three VPR reporters set out to find answers and followed the scent ... of pie. Literally. This story is about pie and only pie.

The front of a hospital.
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Courtesy

More than 100 rural hospitals have closed across the country in the past 10 years. In an effort to prevent that in Vermont, the state legislature has set up a task force, and its initial findings show hospitals here face a crushing shortage of doctors and nurses.

A college student standing in front of a window.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Ever since Marlboro College announced last week that it would likely be closing its campus in Windham County, both the college community and people who live in the small town have been coming to grips with the news.

A man stands in his apartment near books
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Putney School's library has a special collection of hundreds of books by black writers and about race, thanks to an endowment started by alumnus Claude Winfield. Now that the school has joined a network of Vermont libraries, that collection is available beyond the school community.

A man holds out a handful of green buds.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The number of people who grew hemp in Vermont this year more than doubled, and with a steep increase like that, there have been some growing pains among farmers and processors.

Hemp buds hang to dry
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its long-anticipated rules governing the cultivation of hemp across the country, but a Vermont Agency of Agriculture official said the federal proposal doesn't go far enough to support farmers.

A grey, industrial building.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The company that's tearing down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant hopes to use its experience to bid on similar jobs around the country.  To do that, it's got to get the decommissioning process right in Vermont. 

Dr. Athos Rassias stands in front of computer screens at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
DHMC, Courtesy

Vermonters who took part in the new VPR-Vermont PBS Rural Life Survey said that traveling distance was one reason why they had trouble getting the health care they needed. Some health experts say telehealth services could be one way to better serve people in rural areas that need health care.

The exterior of Springfield Hospital, with a person walking toward the entrance carrying bags
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont is the only state in the country that regulates hospital budgets. And as rural hospitals struggle,  the panel that oversees them is requesting more paperwork.

Bales of plastic containers.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Are people following Vermont’s new recycling laws, and where does our recycling end up? That’s the question Julie Ste. Marie of Troy put to Brave Little State.

A worker in construction gear walks past a green building.
Jessica Hill / Associated Press File

A Vernon business owner says he wants to buy the Vermont Yankee property after the shuttered nuclear reactor there is decommissioned.

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