John Dillon

Senior Reporter

A veteran Vermont reporter, John joined VPR in 2001. Previously, John was a staff writer for the Sunday Times Argus and the Sunday Rutland Herald, responsible for breaking stories and in-depth features on local issues. He has also served as Communications Director for the Vermont Health Care Authority and Bureau Chief for UPI in Montpelier. John was honored with two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2007 for his reporting on VPR. He was the lead reporter for a VPR series on climate change that in 2008 won a national Edward R. Murrow award for continuing coverage. In 2009, John's coverage of an asbestos mine in northern Vermont was recognized with a regional investigative reporting award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.


Ways to Connect

State of Vermont, Courtesy

Regulators say Vermont's largest solid waste district needed approval for disposing of crushed glass that was supposed to be recycled.

A woman stands next to a Tesla battery in her basement.
Dave Gram / Associated Press File

The state advocate for utility ratepayers has called for an investigation into Green Mountain Power’s plans to expand its home energy storage program. Vermont's Department of Public Service wants to know if all customers benefit.

The exterior of the Green Mountain Power building in Colchester
Henry Epp / VPR File

State utility regulators have approved a nearly 3% rate increase for Green Mountain Power. GMP spokeswoman Kristin Kelly said rates will rise Oct. 1 by around 2.7%, once the company factors in the reductions made by regulators.

A group of brown Jersey cows standing together outside
John Dillon / VPR

Organic dairy farmers in Vermont say inconsistent enforcement of industry standards have allowed large-scale producers to market milk that is not truly organic. The farmers are asking Congress for help to close regulatory loopholes they say have given some large farms an unfair advantage in the market.

A man stands above some infrastructure.
John Dillon / VPR

Environmentalists opposed to the expansion of a Northeast Kingdom landfill say Vermont is being inconsistent in how it regulates the landfill’s wastewater.

An eel on a beach.

American eels are washing up dead on the shores of northern Lake Champlain, and biologists are investigating what may be killing them.

State scientists climb carefully up on the edge of the Cotton Brook landslide in Waterbury.
John Dillon / VPR

One of the biggest landslides ever recorded in Vermont is now giving scientists a living laboratory to learn what happened and to assess other slide-prone areas statewide. 

Vermont State Police cars parked on a Montpelier street. Police tape is up, some officers stand nearby.
John Dillon / VPR

Montpelier police shot and killed a man on Friday morning, and Vermont State Police are now investigating the fatal shooting.

Dairy cows eat at the Sweet Farm in Fletcher earlier this month.
Melody Bodette / VPR File

A new economic forecast has some good news for struggling dairy farmers: wholesale milk prices are expected to increase next year.

A woman stands in a lake with a boat.
John Dillon / VPR

Vermont’s cleanest lakes are showing alarming signs of increasing phosphorus pollution — the nutrient that feeds algae blooms — according to a research study published by state scientists.

A milk truck pulls up outside a tall cement building.
Tony Talbot / Associated Press File

Farmer owners of the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery voted Monday to merge their co-op into the much larger Dairy Farmers of America, based in Kansas City.

A woman stands between two barn doors painted with a chicken.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Mary Lacy is a Jericho native who thinks big. She paints outdoor murals: giant images, usually of nature, that adorn urban landscapes. Her paintings of fish, hummingbirds and bees splash across buildings and along byways in vibrant color.

Two men sit behind a desk.
John Dillon / VPR

It's decision time for the 340 farmer-owners of the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery. The farmers vote Monday on whether to merge their co-op into the much larger Dairy Farmers of America.

A woman carries a banner.
John Dillon / VPR

State utility regulators heard more details Tuesday about a Canadian energy company’s plans to increase its indirect ownership stake in two of Vermont’s largest utilities.

David Emmons stands on a boat in the lake, pointing
John Dillon / VPR

How far should humans go to change the course of nature? That's one of the big questions behind a controversy about a lake in Rutland County.

A sign saying the beach is closed due to blue green algae.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Temperatures boiled above 90 degrees Fahrenheit Friday afternoon, so sisters Margaret and Rosemary Mannix fancied a swim.

The pair — visiting their mother from Alaska and Oregon, respectively — took a drive over to Oakledge Park's Cove Beach in Burlington. That's where they saw the red signs staked into the ground: "Beach Closed Due To Blue Green Algae."

Blue-green algae blooms in the summer of 2014 in Lake Champlain.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR FILE

A recently released state auditor's report says the majority of money spent to reduce phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain goes to the least cost-effective solutions. 

A cow standing in a green patch of grass, with a barn and more cows way in the background
Elodie Reed / VPR

Vermont's oldest, independent dairy cooperative may not last much longer. At the end of this month, members of the 100-year-old St. Albans Cooperative Creamery will vote on whether to become part of the nation's largest dairy co-op, Kansas-based Dairy Farmers of America.

A man, woman and child lay on grass all together.
Rebecca Ronga, Courtesy

The first day of kindergarten is a big deal for a young family. The milestone – marked by hugs, photos and waves through the window of a school bus – usually becomes a favorite life moment. Carl Ronga, a longtime Vermont resident who was deported a year ago back to his native Kenya, shared none of that with his six-year-old daughter Rehema.

A man cups his hands around his mouth at a protest.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Migrant Justice, a Vermont nonprofit representing immigrant farmworkers, will hold a rally in Newport Saturday following the arrest and detention of three dairy workers.