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

A beach on a cloudy day.
John Dillon / VPR

Call it the cyanobacteria summer for Lake Champlain and Burlington’s beaches.  The hot, dry weather came early and hung around for months. The heat made for perfect swimming days, but people seeking relief with a dip in Lake Champlain in Burlington were out of luck.

Gov. Phil Scott smiling with Mitzi Johnson in the background
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Times Argus File

Gov. Phil Scott has allowed a commercial tax-and-regulate system for marijuana sales to become law without his signature.

Gov. Phil Scott at a podium.
Screenshot / ORCA Media

A three-year effort to update the state's 50-year-old land use law ended Monday night with a veto by Gov. Phil Scott. The governor said he rejected the Act 250 bill because it created more regulatory uncertainty.

Screenshot / Vermont PBS

­The two major party candidates for U.S. House outlined clear differences on health care, abortion, and immigration policy in a wide-ranging VPR-Vermont PBS debate Thursday.

A person standing in the middle of a room in front of a microphone.
John Dillon / VPR File

Gov. Phil Scott has vetoed a bill designed to add teeth to Vermont’s efforts to cut greenhouse gases by allowing the public to sue the state if the mandated targets are missed.

Gov. Phil Scott stands at a podium next to a screen with Anthony Fauci on it
Screenshot / ORCA Media

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's leading expert on infectious disease, lauded the way Vermont has handled the COVID-19 crisis during a press briefing Tuesday.

Holstein cows
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another casualty in Vermont's dairy industry. Rutland-based Thomas Dairy will close next month because its sales plummeted when schools and restaurants shut down this spring.

A graphic reading this land rural stories on stage
screenshot / Vermont PBS

Vermont's biggest and wealthiest nonprofit media organizations are merging. Officials at Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS say the goal is to provide stronger public service programming through a combined radio, TV, digital news and entertainment network.

The Vermont Statehouse with a thin green lawn and bare, leafless trees.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

As Vermont lawmakers look ahead to next year, they're going through some of the same options as schools. They're asking if they should they meet remotely, in-person or a combination of the two.

A tall man at a podium
Screenshot / ORCA Media

With schools set to reopen next week, the Scott administration says the state has approved 12 new education “hubs” to provide child care services, with another 20 in progress.

Steve Howard and Peter Shumlin
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The Scott Administration wants to renegotiate the second year of a two-year contract with state employees. But the employee union says state officials made a deal, and can't renege on it now.

Cows out standing in a field.
Chantale Nadeau, courtesy

Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. has long marketed its social mission along with its sweet desserts. This year, it strengthened a program aimed at getting farmers to take better care of their workers, the environment and their cows. Farmers say the premiums make a difference. Critics say the company could do a lot more.

Gov. Scott at COVID news briefing
Screenshot / ORCA Media

Gov. Phil Scott has rolled out a new $133 million plan to boost the state economy and help businesses suffering from financial fallout during the COVID-19 pandemic.

a hand holding up a cannabis leaf
Seastock / iStock

The Vermont House and Senate remain divided over legislation to establish a tax and regulate system for recreational marijuana sales. The largest disagreement is over a provision that stiffens enforcement of seatbelt laws.

two people at a table
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

Gov. Phil Scott's proposed $1.6 billion general fund budget does not include cuts to essential services and is balanced with surplus funds from last year. But officials warned Tuesday the budget is subject to two huge variables: the spread of the coronavirus, and spending decisions in Washington.

Gov. Scott at COVID news briefing
Screenshot / ORCA Media

Gov. Phil Scott said Friday he's concerned about a spike in COVID-19 cases when college students return, so he's given cities and towns strengthened authority to close bars and restrict public gatherings.

A man in a bucket truck
Wilson Ring / Associated Press

When Vermont students start the next school year in four weeks, many won’t have full access to the internet they need for remote learning.

A lake behind farm fields
State of Vermont, Courtesy

As warm weather and nutrient pollution trigger algae blooms in Lake Champlain and other water bodies this summer, a new report says there’s a measure of progress in cleaning up Franklin County’s troubled Lake Carmi.

Mike Smith
Screenshot / ORCA Media

Gov. Phil Scott has acknowledged that his administration failed to ensure that Vermont prisoners held in a Mississippi prison were all tested for the coronavirus.

Protester holds photo of his son on Statehouse steps
John Dillon / VPR

A low-key rally in Montpelier Saturday drew protesters concerned about the federal government's militarized response to civil unrest around the country.