Vermont Edition

Loung Ung reads from her first memoir, "First They Killed My Father," to the students at Essex High School.
Anna Ste. Marie / VPR

This program originally aired on May 22, 2018.

She was just five years old when the revolutionaries known as the Khmer Rouge took control of her home country of Cambodia. Nearly a quarter of the population died in the ensuing genocide. But author Loung Ung survived, eventually making her way to Vermont, and going on to write memoirs and make movies of her time in Cambodia.

My Heart Still Beats logo. Text says VPR My Heart Still Beats, a project of Writers for Recovery and has illustrations of six people.
Janelle Sing

What role does storytelling play in addiction and recovery? 

Envisioning what Vermont's transportation needs will be like in 2030 is what the Agency of Transportation is working on now.
Lisa-Blue / iStock

To meet Vermont's transportation needs for 2030, we have to start planning today. The Agency of Transportation is conducting a public survey to help determine how public transportation should be expanded in the next decade. We'll hear about that on Vermont Edition.  

Quesadillas served in the Summer Meals Program at Mt. Abraham Union High School
Vermont Agency of Education, courtesy

During the school year, nearly 37,000 children in Vermont qualify for free or reduced-price meals. But when the school year ends, students from low-income households lose access to nutritional meals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service program helps remedy this issue by serving food to students at no charge.

Vermont students are now helping to design their curriculum through flexible pathways and personalized learning plans.
pixelliebe / iStock

Passed in 2013, Act 77 dictated that Vermont's schools incorporate flexible pathways as a tool for students to learn. Vermont Edition looks at how this self-directed learning plan is being implemented.

The transgender flag behind the caduceus staff of Hermes.
Wikimedia Commons

Vermont's health care rules could soon make it easier for trans and nonbinary youth under the age of 21 to get gender-affirming surgery. But for many, surgery may only come after months or even years of other treatments and therapies. Vermont Edition talks about health care options for trans and nonbinary Vermonters and what changes to state rules could mean for those seeking surgery. 

The idea of Champ being real is exciting, but "Vermont Edition" explores whether a sea monster could even exist in Lake Champlain.
Jennifer Morton / Flickr

Scores of people have seen Champ in Lake Champlain. And Memphre in Lake Memphremagog. So they've got to be real, right? Vermont Edition explores the lore and the biology of our beloved lake monsters.

Looking up at Green Mountain College entrance.
Nina Keck / VPR

The process of what comes next for three closed Vermont colleges has been a little different for each campus as they try to sell or reimagine how the physical infrastructure can be used. In at least one of these cases, that project has become mired in lawsuits.

Images of Castleton University, the Community College of Vermont, and a diploma in the hands of a NVU-Lyndon student.
Wikimedia Commons / CCV, courtesy / NVU-Lyndon, courtesy

Live call-in discussion: Three private Vermont colleges closed this year, the result of profound changes affecting higher education across the country. The Vermont State College system and its roughly 11,000 students are not immune. We're talking about the challenges facing Vermont's state, community and technical colleges, and efforts to keep the schools financially and academically sustainable.

A sign highlighting concerns about Vermont's new e-cigarette tax spurring a vaping black market hangs outside Tom Massey's Good Stuff shop in Essex Junction.
Matthew Smith / VPR

E-cigarettes are the target of a hefty new state tax — one experts say should reduce teen vaping. But could the new tax lead to a vaping black market in Vermont?

One of the highlights of baseball's first half was the Red Sox-Yankees two-game series played in London, England.
Tim Ireland / Associated Press

We're seeing a ton of home runs and strike outs in Major League Baseball this year. And seeing a number of teams building big leads in their divisions. As baseball returns from the All-Star break, Vermont Edition returns for its annual mid-season discussion of baseball.

A photo of the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, the Falk House or House II in Hardwick and the Rockingham Meeting House.
Don Shall via Flickr Creative Commons / Peter Eisenman, courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

Vermont is home to some truly incredible buildings, from one-room schoolhouses and churches to ornate libraries and universities. We're talking about the architectural styles and influences found in the state and some of the most noteworthy structures in Vermont's architectural heritage.

It is estimated that around 13,000 Vermonters currently are living with Alzheimer's disease.
fzant / iStock

For individuals with dementia, in most cases there is at least one caregiver who is helping them navigate life with memory loss. We look at the challenges these caregivers face while watching their loved one struggle with this condition.

New England Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski attempts a field goal against Los Angeles Rams.
Morry Gash / Associated Press

If you're a big fan of football, there's a good chance you've seen the work of Lee Keller, who's left his mark on the last twenty Super Bowls. Not as a player or a coach, but as a groundskeeper.

A Burlington Police Department officer equipped with a body camera.
Burlington Police Department, courtesy

In March, 54-year-old Douglas Kilburn died three days after getting into an altercation with Burlington Police Officer Cory Campbell. The fight occurred after Campbell responded a second time to Kilburn's behavior at the UVM Medical Center, including blocking the ambulance bay with his car. Vermont's chief medical examiner ruled Kilburn's death a homicide, but did not find a specific cause of death. Now a court decision has led to the public release of Officer Campbell's body camera footage of the incident.

The  remains of Newport's Renaissance Block, a demolished area of downtown.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR File

New episodes of Brave Little State, VPR's people-powered journalism podcast, are airing each month on Vermont Edition. And for July, podcast host Angela Evancie and reporter Liam Elder Connors head to the Northeast Kingdom to answer the question: "What's the plan for the 'pit' in the middle of Newport?"

Vermont has seen and increase in bear sightings this year. Wildlife biologist Forrest Hammond gives an update on the bear population, and suggests ways to keep them out of your yard.
Tony's Takes / Flickr

The bears are back in town. They've been spotted lumbering around Vermont cities, college campuses and in suburban and rural backyards. Whenever bears start becoming a bit emboldened and getting close to humans, it's important to be reminded of why we're seeing this activity and how we should react. 

From insects to mushroom to porcupines, much of the forest ecosystem relies directly on trees for sustenance and shelter.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

There they stand - stoically, quietly, majestically. But there is so much going on in, on and under the trees that surround us. They provide so much more than just shade and oxygen for humans. Vermont Edition explores the hidden world of our trees.

The St. Albans Cooperative Creamery delivery truck parked outside the co-op store in April 2018. The co-op's members will vote on a proposed merger with Dairy Farmers of America this month.
St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, courtesy

More than 330 farmer-owners of the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery face a major decision this month: they'll vote on a proposed merger between their century-old cooperative and the 14,000-member Kansas-based Dairy Farmers of America. We're talking about the proposed merger and what it could mean for dairy farmers and Vermont's dairy industry.

Managed bees entering and leaving a hive.
Pat Wellenbach / AP

A recent study by the University of Vermont and the Vermont Center for Ecostudies researcher suggests viruses from managed bees have spread from apiaries to wild bumblebees. UVM researcher and pollinator specialist Samantha Alger shared her findings with Vermont Edition.