Brave Little State

What if you could decide what stories Vermont Public Radio should be covering, before they're even assigned?

That's the idea behind Brave Little State, a podcast where you ask the questions, you decide what VPR investigates, and then you work with us to find the answers.

So tell us: What question do you have about Vermont, our region or its people that you want us to explore? Submit it below, or leave us a short voicemail at 802-552-4880.

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Brave Little State is made possible by the VPR Innovation Fund, and powered by Hearken. Our theme music is by Ty Gibbons. All questions asked make it to the question archive unless they don’t meet our guidelines for decorum, fairness or obvious conflicts of interest.

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Explore an interactive map of our on-the-ground reporting:

Map credit: Elodie Reed & Noah Cutter

Two girls on a couch.
Hollie Friot/courtesy

With Vermont schools now closed, many parents are facing a daunting reality. In this installment of Brave Little State, a veteran home-schooling parent and remote worker shares her wisdom.

A sign outside a home says "Keep Calm and Drink Milk: It does a body good."
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Because everything is different right now, Brave Little State's work is going to be different, too. As Vermont responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to hear from you.

The words "Wash your hands" are painted on a Burlington sidewalk.
Elodie Reed / VPR

These are strange times. As we plan our next episode — and our general approach in the age of COVID-19 — we want to make sure our choices stay people-powered.

A woman watches a child play on a snowbank outside a house.
Elodie Reed / VPR

As Vermont schools prepare to shut down to slow the spread of coronavirus, Brave Little State is working on an episode about best practices for at-home learning. We want to hear your questions  — and your wisdom.

Stacy Keglovitz / Flickr

A question about a certain camel won in one of Brave Little State's recent public voting rounds. Sadly, our reporting did not go as planned.

A camel looking into a camera.
Teena Perkins Betourney / Courtesy

A camel named Oliver, who has delighted travelers along Route 7 in Ferrisburgh for nearly two decades, has died. Do you have a favorite memory? Share it with Brave Little State.

A person puts a piece of paper in a ballot box with "Cornwall" written on it.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

VPR's senior political reporter Bob Kinzel takes on your questions about location of Vermont's capital, the limited functions of our county governments and more.

Six people standing arm in arm.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

In 2018, South Burlington resident Kate Bailey was out getting drinks with her coworkers.

“We were talking about this question, about how we've never sent a woman to Congress in Vermont,” she says.

A view on a college campus with trees and brick buildings.
John Billingsley / VPR

Low enrollment and financial troubles have caused a slew of Vermont’s small, independent colleges to shut their doors. What’s causing the problem — and is there a solution?

A set of red barn buildings.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Tanya Ocker hears this refrain a lot: Vermont is not a business-friendly state. But she wonders about the businesses that emphasize our "brand." Do they help our economy? 

A Dollar General store exterior with a person entering through the doors in an orange hat.
Angela Evancie / VPR

Perhaps you've seen one — or many — on your travels. You've probably noticed the sign first: Big, and yellow, with black letters. 

A person stands next to a police car.
Nina Keck / VPR

What's the history and function of town constables in Vermont? That's what Richard Dumughn wants to know.

A bus in a station with a person crossing a crosswalk in front of it.
Elodie Reed / VPR

For a state that calls itself green, Vermont sure has a lot of drivers. So what can be done?

A woman stands with her hand on a tower of filing cabinets.
Emily Corwin / VPR

When Norwich resident Max Porter drives to Burlington to visit his mom, he gets off Interstate 89 and onto Interstate 189, a tiny spur of highway that ends at a crossroad, and cement barriers.

A woman stands in the center of children on a blue rug.
Elodie Reed / VPR

The smell of fish sticks, crayons, and the sweet-yet-slightly-grubby smell of small children. If you’re a parent, you know what we’re talking about. If you’re not? Welcome to child care.

Buses at a station.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Are you a train lover? A bus devotee? A carpool zealot? A regular person who also dreams of improved public transit? Brave Little State wants to hear from you.

A painting of a farmhouse with a dog outside.
Susan Abbott, artist / Courtesy Laura Johnson

In this bonus episode, Brave Little State speaks with the woman whose family named Star Pudding Farm Road, and made the property so special.

Bales of plastic containers.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Are people following Vermont’s new recycling laws, and where does our recycling end up? That’s the question Julie Ste. Marie of Troy put to Brave Little State.

The exerior of a building at Green Mountain College
Nina Keck / VPR File

Tell us: What do you want to know about Vermont's colleges and universities?

A street sign.
Angela Evancie / VPR

Near Manchester, in East Dorset, there are a road, brook and notch all bearing the same name: "Mad Tom." Where did this name come from?

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