Nina Keck

Senior Reporter

Nina has been reporting for VPR since 1996, primarily focusing on the Rutland area. An experienced journalist, Nina covered international and national news for seven years with the Voice of America, working in Washington, D.C., and Germany. While in Germany, she also worked as a stringer for Marketplace. Nina has been honored with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards: In 2006, she won for her investigative reporting on VPR and in 2009 she won for her use of sound. She began her career at Wisconsin Public Radio. 

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Looking down the aisle in the town hall in Strafford on Town Meeting Day, with a high ceiling, ornate blue trim against cream walls and packed rows of voters on either side, sitting in wooden benches.
Tony Talbot / Associated Press File

COVID-19 has altered many traditions, and town meeting is no different. This year, the bake sales, community potlucks and in-person floor votes characteristic of the day aren’t safe. So towns and their residents have had to adapt.

A high school building with a cement patio
Nina Keck / VPR File

How do you pick a new name for a high school mascot? And what exactly does a mascot need to signify?

A person in a face mask, ski helmet and red jacket with white crosses
Nina Keck / VPR

With thousands flocking to the slopes from states with high rates of infection, Vermont’s 1,300 registered ski patrollers – like everyone else – are having to figure out how to do their job safely.

A gate across a narrow dirt road
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Imagine you’re a resident of a quiet, rural community in southern Vermont, and a guy from New York moves to town and starts operating a tactical shooting range without a permit.

A comic with the text welcome to vermont up top, with two cows looking at each other with speech bubbles above them, one reading flatlander, one reading woodchuck, with camel's hump in the background
Comic: Elodie Reed / Images: GlobalP, iStock / Niranjan Arminius, Wikimedia Commons

Where did these unusual labels come from, and what do they evoke today? A question about blatant stereotypes, and the Green Mountain lingo we use for them.

A man sits on a railing outside his apartment.
Nina Keck / VPR

Bruce Bouchard, the long-time director of Rutland’s Paramount Theatre, is retiring.

two women put vegetables and rice into containers for delivery.
Nina Keck / VPR

When the pandemic hit, the number of seniors relying on Meals on Wheels surged nationwide.

A man poses in the woods with the buck he shot.
Roger Hill, Courtesy

According to Vermont's Fish and Wildlife Department, the state had more than 86,000 hunting license holders in 2004.  But by 2019, that number had dropped to 78,510.

While the popularity of hunting has been declining for years, state wildlife officials say the pandemic has renewed interest in the sport, and demand for hunting licenses of all sorts are up significantly.

City Clerk addesses poll workers on bleachers
Nina Keck / VPR

Many of the people who check you in and take your ballots on election day are retirees. This year, with the pandemic putting older Vermonters at higher risk, many veteran poll workers have opted to stay home this election.

A man and woman stand on top of stairs in front of house.
Nina Keck / VPR

Millions of dollars from the federal CARES Act has helped Vermonters hurt by the pandemic with mortgage relief, renter subsidies and other assistance.  But in Rutland alone, the number of households seeking services for homelessness has tripled this year to more than 150.

A man loads pumpkins into the trunk of his car.
Nina Keck / VPR

Despite hot, dry growing conditions and a pandemic, Winslow Farms, a popular pick-your-own pumpkin patch in Pittsford, has been enjoying brisk business.

Sign outside of Rutland Mental Health, with orange leaves on the ground
Nina Keck / VPR

Doctors are still discovering new health ramifications for those who contract COVID-19. But the isolation and fear associated with avoiding the virus, along with the economic hardship brought on by the shutdown of the economy are creating another set of challenges: anxiety, depression and a rise in substance abuse. The trends are further stretching mental health providers and worrying those who work in recovery.

A white and brick building
Nina Keck / VPR

When the College of St Joseph closed in Rutland in 2019, there was talk of turning the campus into a business incubator and professional training center. That deal fell through, and now there are several new plans for the 118-acre campus that could serve vital niches in the community.

gloved hands holding a syringe
Meyer & Meyer / iStock

When the nation's top expert on infectious disease joined Gov. Scott in last week’s COVID-19 press conference, a key part of his message was to reassure the public on vaccine safety.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Vermonters that if a vaccine is approved, he’d take it. But a new VPR-Vermont PBS poll indicates less than half of Vermonters feel likewise.

A gondola against a green mountain
Nina Keck / VPR

Vermont's ski resorts employ about 13,000 people, a quarter of them year-round, and the $1.6 billion industry typically brings in $925 million in direct spending, plus the $675 million resorts spend on vendors according to Ski Vermont. The current pandemic, however, has been anything but typical, and across Vermont, ski resorts are taking different approaches for how to open for the upcoming season.

A dirt road with lots of trees along the edges
Lydia Brown / VPR

This hour: it's Brave Little State's third annual brief history of Vermont road names. We listen as host Angela Evancie and a team of VPR reporters drive around Green Mountain creation in an effort to uncover the roots of some of the state's most unusual road names. Plus: a visit to the archive. We hear highlights from Brave Little State's 2018 and 2019 road name episodes, including a lesson on the elusive origin of Putney's Hi-Lo Biddy Road.

Nina Keck / VPR

The pandemic and resulting social distancing requirements have turned the restaurant industry in Vermont and elsewhere upside-down. Across the state, businesses have been exploring new ways of enticing people to dine out.

A dirt road with lots of trees along the edges
Lydia Brown / VPR

Every summer, we drive all over Green Mountain creation to find the origins of the strange road names you’re wondering about.

Killington mountain in autumn
Dave Long / iStock

State officials are continuing to investigate an outbreak of COVID-19 tied to a private party in Killington. Fourteen cases of the virus have been traced to the Aug. 19 event.

A man stands on the porch of a red brick college building.
Nina Keck / VPR

Raj Bhakta, the founder of Shoreham-based WhistlePig Whiskey, bought Green Mountain College’s sprawling campus last week with little in the way of explanation.