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. 

Ways to Connect

Two people sit with their heads leaning against each other on a stage.
Nina Keck / VPR

This is a story about friendship, a love of theater and a shared passion for costumes. And how all those things have come together in a downtown Rutland business.  

A cement walkway to a field with a hill in the distance
Nina Keck / VPR

A cost-cutting plan will merge Castleton University with two other Vermont State Colleges institutions. It may be the only way to save the system, which has been struggling for years. But the move is shaking up the identity of the Castleton community.

Vaccine clinics pop up in Vermont’s most remote county. Plus, which trails to avoid during mud season, a debate over whether Lake Memphramagog is "in crisis" and vaccinations reach half the adult population.

A tree outside a single-story building.
Elodie Reed / VPR File

The trauma of the pandemic has affected many: health care workers, first responders, even grocery store clerks. Hospice workers - who deal with death every day - were heavily affected.

White buildings are visible behind a large lawn.
Nina Keck / VPR

In Rutland, a Florida developer's plans to build a $63 million senior living complex on the campus of the former college of St Joseph could be a boon to the local community and many are excited about it. 

But rumors about Act 250, questions about transparency and a failed plan to include the Rutland Free Library in the project have raised concerns.

A portrait of an older man in a plaid shirt sitting in front of a shrub of purple flowers.
photo provided by family

In the past year, more than 200 Vermonters have been killed by the novel coronavirus. Older Vermonters have been hardest hit. In fact more than half of all COVID-related deaths in Vermont have occurred in nursing homes.

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.

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