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 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.

A downtown.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Over the summer, the town of Brattleboro has made efforts to address homelessness by adding porta-potties to its downtown and supporting a jobs program. But some residents and business owners are pushing community leaders to do more.  

A woman chops onions on a cutting board in a kitchen
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

There aren't any statewide political races in Vermont this year, but a group of soup makers in Windham County is actively engaged in this November's election.

A sign that says Marlboro College Founded 1946
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

From the start, news of a possible merger between Marlboro College and the University of Bridgeport stirred mixed feelings on campus and in town. Some worried the tiny liberal arts college would lose its identity; others said it was a reasonable solution to a challenging financial situation.

But now that the merger is off everyone is wondering what's next.

The Brooks House building in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

After a fire damaged a historic building in Brattleboro, investors had a tough time raising enough money to redevelop the property. Ultimately, the project relied on both federal and state grants to finance the reconstruction. Eight years after the fire, we look at the current status of the Brooks House.

People sit in a meeting room in front of a screen.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Town officials from across southern Vermont are considering a communications union district to bring broadband into underserved parts of the region.

A dump truck dumping trash
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Back in the day communities all over Vermont had their own town dump, basically holes in the ground where people could just get rid of whatever garbage they were able to haul over.

But the politics and the economics of solid waste have changed — and Vermont's last unlined landfill, in Salisbury, closed on Sept. 1.