John Dillon

Senior Reporter, New England News Collaborative

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

Shrewsbury resident Jonathan Gibson testifies at the Vermont Statehouse while others are seated behind him.
John Dillon / VPR

When the power goes out, can you still call 911 in case of an emergency? As people in Shrewsbury discovered recently, the answer is: maybe not. Now a legislative committee and state utility regulators are looking into this and other issues with 911 services.

Eben Markowski stands near a field in Panton.
John Dillon / VPR

The state is investigating an Addison County farm for violating water quality regulations after it spread manure last month that flowed directly into tributaries of Lake Champlain. The case is among several farm pollution cases now under investigation by the state.

The exterior of the Green Monutain Power building
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR File

Green Mountain Power wants a little more freedom from regulation in exchange for assuming a little more risk to its own bottom line over the next three years.

VTel CEO Michel Guite
Steve Zind / VPR File

Vermont Telephone Company CEO Michel Guite is defending his federally funded wireless broadband project, and says it serves hundreds of  thousands of addresses in Vermont. But the state says areas that were supposed to be reached by the VTel signal remain unserved.

Stock image of fiber-optic cables.
kynny / iStock

The Vermont House on Tuesday overwhelmingly backed a bill designed to spread broadband internet throughout rural parts of the state.

Eric Boen, ECFiber broadband engineer, looks at the camera while working on a house in East Thetford, Vermont.
John Dillon / VPR

As lawmakers look for ways to get more Vermonters connected with high-speed broadband, they’re increasingly turning to community-based solutions. ECFiber, a nonprofit in the Upper Valley, has paved the way.

VTel CEO Michel Guite
Steve Zind / VPR File

Tens of millions of taxpayer dollars have gone toward bringing high-speed internet to the small towns and backroads of Vermont. But one project, a wireless system built by Springfield-based Vermont Telephone Company, has not yet delivered what was promised.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, far left, tapped a maple tree during a brief visit to Vermont, along with Gov. Phil Scott, Vermont Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts, and former Gov. Jim Douglas.
John Dillon / VPR

In a brief visit to Vermont Friday, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he did not favor a supply management system that many dairy farmers hope will help support their struggling industry.

John Dillon / VPR

A new report says Vermont’s greenhouse gas pollution is increasing and that aggressive action is needed to curb emissions from heating and transportation.

In a unanimous decision, the Public Utility Commission found that Vermont can regulate Voice over Internet Protocol service under federal law.
Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

Consolidated Communications suffered a major internet outage around the region on Wednesday. A state official says the outage affected 83,000 residential and small business customers in Vermont and New Hampshire.

A man wears a sign that says Ban The Bag made out of plastic bags.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

A movement to ban single-use plastic bags gained momentum Tuesday, as Middlebury, Manchester and Burlington voters all went on record in support of a ban.

John Dillon / VPR

School meetings in several central Vermont communities were overshadowed by legal and financial questions raised by challenges to forced mergers under the Act 46 law.

The sign on I-89 on a November snowy day that says Welcome To Montpelier Capital of Vermont and a second sign that says Bienvenue.
Meg Malone / VPR

Montpelier voters will consider a charter change on Town Meeting Day that would allow the city to set minimum efficiency standards for commercial and residential properties.

John Dillon / VPR

Town meeting debate in several towns next week may turn to trash talk. Trash, that is, in the form of single-use plastic bags. Communities from Manchester to Burlington are considering measures that could lead to local bag bans.

John Wilson stands at a podium at the Doubletree Hotel with a sign behind him that says Vermont Dairy Producers Conference.
John Dillon / VPR

Dairy producers gathered in South Burlington Tuesday heard some hopeful news: After four years of tough times, milk prices are expected to improve later this year.

In a unanimous decision, the Public Utility Commission found that Vermont can regulate Voice over Internet Protocol service under federal law.
Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

The state of Vermont is following the lead of the U.S. government and has banned information technology products from a Russian company and several Chinese manufacturers.

Jenny Green sits in front of a laptop computer that's loading a New York Times web story.
John Dillon / VPR

The promise of modern communications has bypassed many people and many rural communities in Vermont. And once again, the Legislature and the governor are promising to do more to deliver broadband to underserved areas.

Cables plugged into a machine.
Kynny / iStock

Consolidated Communications has agreed to upgrade its network to prevent a repeat of equipment failures that disrupted emergency 911 services three times over the last three years.

The spent nuclear fuel at Vermont Yankee is being moved from the cooling pools, shown in this photo, into dry cask storage.
Toby Talbot / AP/file

When you think about renewable energy, does a nuclear power plant come to mind? Probably not. But in a roundabout way,  Vermont utilities are using nuclear energy to meet the state’s renewable energy standards.

AP/Toby Talbot

Vermont’s on and off again winter has overloaded some of the state’s aging waste water treatment systems, resulting in hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage spilling into rivers and streams.