Vermont Edition

Vermont's only native lizard, a five-lined skink, on the move in June 2018. The species is considered endangered in Vermont.
Will Brown / Wikimedia Commons

Vermont's small-bodied snakes are moving, some turtles are basking and vernal pools are beginning to teem with new life. But amid a cool, wet spring, some reptiles and amphibians are still sluggish and vernal pools in higher elevations are still waiting to warm up. We're talking about where Vermont's "herps" are this year and the challenges they face in the near- and long-term.

"Unfolding Humanity," a structure created by University of San Diego students, faculty, alumni and community members, stands at Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.
Gilles Bonugli Kali

Math is much more than memorizing multiplication and division tables and converting fractions into decimals. There are incredible applications for math in the real world. We'll hear from mathematicians about someone of the ways they're using it practically.

An aerial shot of the House floor on the opening day of the Vermont Legislature in 2019.
Oliver Parini / For VPR

The 2019 legislative session is entering its final days, but the outcome of many key bills remain up in the air. We’re hosting a reporters roundtable looking at these issues, including raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, paid family leave, water quality funding and a tax-and-regulate marijuana plan.

Two reporters published a lengthy story in "The Globe And Mail" newspaper revealing an online network of 180 far right white supremacists across Canada.
Jorge Villalba / iStock

They were white, mostly young, and all men. They met online, ostensibly to chat about video games. They called themselves the Canadian Super Players. But what they really discussed was far more sinister: an ideology of hate and white supremacy, and ways to spread those beliefs and bring them into Canadian politics and society.

Chelsea is one of the towns 251 Club members visit on their trek to every city and town in Vermont.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

People join the 251 Club of Vermont as they take on a quest to visit all of the state's 251 cities and towns. One person who has been to all of them is Mike Leonard. He joined Vermont Edition to talk about the documentary he made of his journey.

David Reinert holds a Q sign while waiting in line at a campaign rally for President Donald Trump in Wilkes-Barre, PA in August 2018. The "QAnon" conspiracy is an example of what a new book calls the "new conspiracism."
Matt Rourke / AP

Conspiracy theories are about as old as governments themselves. But "the new conspiracism" is something new and different; it's conspiracy without the theory, say the authors of a new book on conspiracy thinking. We're talking about the new conspiracism and how it disorients our conversations and affects democracy, institutions and daily life.

Ford's Crown Victoria Interceptor was the car of choice for Vermont State Police and many local and state law enforcement agencies. VSP took their last Crown Vic out of service in November and will auction off the last one to come off the road this month.
Vermont State Police

It was pretty easy to spot a police car in Vermont in the years around the turn of the century. Local or state officers were likely behind the wheel of a singularly iconic car: the Ford Crown Victoria Interceptor. But no longer.

With some House Democrats leery of a plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, lawmakers may entertain a less aggressive minimum wage proposal.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Boosting Vermont's minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour by the year 2024 is the plan Senate lawmakers passed back in February, and it's been a long-standing goal of Democrats and Progressives in Montpelier. But in the House the proposal is running up against new concerns about cost. Specifically, about what an increase might mean for thousands of health care workers earning the state's current minimum hourly wage of $10.78 or just above.

Vermont is aiming to have 50,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on its roads by 2025.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press/File

Right now, there are about 3,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on Vermont's roads. But that's a far cry from the 50,000 the state hopes will be traversing our highways and byways by 2025. We'll hear about why some Vermonters have already made the switch to electric and what's keeping others from plugging in.

In this Monday, Oct. 22, 2018 photo, people gather around the Ben & Jerry's "Yes on 4" truck as they learn about Amendment 4 and eat free ice cream in Miami. Amendment 4 asked voters to restore the voting rights of people with past felonies in Florida.
Wilfredo Lee / AP

At a town hall on CNN last month, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was asked about whether he thinks felons should be allowed to vote, even while incarcerated. He said yes, kicking off a round of national discussion on the topic. We're talking about how it works in Vermont, one of only two states where people convicted of felonies never lose the right to vote.

Jeremy Mikaelson performed at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles last month and is planning to work as a professional magician after his graduation from St. Michael's College.
Taylor Wong

Jeremy Mikaelson is a senior at St. Michael's College who's made a big splash in the world of magic. Last year, he won the Society of American Magicians contest in Orlando, Florida with a stage magic routine that included producing a number of brightly colored umbrellas from thin air. 

Three bills have been moving through the Vermont Legislature that aim to reduce youth smoking rates in Vermont.
Stephen Hocking / Unsplash

The Vermont Legislature has taken aim at reducing youth smoking rates with a trio of bills. Rep. George Till of Jericho joined Vermont Edition to update us on the content, goals and current status of the legislation.

A woman gets a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in Pomona, N.Y. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports nearly two-thirds of more than 700 measles cases in the U.S. this year are in New York state.
Seth Wenig / AP

There are now more than 760 cases of measles across the U.S., in the worst outbreak in decades. Vermont public health officials have been working for years to raise vaccination rates for measles and other communicable diseases. We're talking with doctors and state health officials about Vermont's vaccination statistics and how they're preparing for a potential measles outbreak.

An angled view looking up at the Vermont Statehouse.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Earlier this week on Vermont Edition, we heard what's happening in the Vermont House as this legislative session nears an end. Now, Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe joins us to provide an update on what movement we'll see in the Senate in the session's waning days.

Potency and frequency of use of marijuana can have long-lasting negative effects on developing brains, pediatric psychiatrists say.
Feodora Chiosea / iStock

Doctors, psychiatrists and other health professionals say marijuana can be very damaging to young and developing brains and that they're seeing young people with increasingly negative effects from consuming the drug. 

Charlie Nardozzi joins "Vermont Edition" for our spring gardening show.
Bre LaRow / flickr

What do you do if your bulbs aren't blooming? How do you deal with wet soil? When is it time to prune your shrubs? How do you combat the scourge of mice, moles and voles? We're answering these questions and more on the spring gardening show.

Restaurant Week provides opportunities to try new places, new dishes and to help raise money for the Vermont Foodbank.
Alex Munsell / Unsplash

For the last 10 years, the publication Seven Days has been putting on Restaurant Week, where food establishments around the state offer specials to entice people to try new meals and new places. We are not quite at the halfway mark of this year's event, so there's still time to find a feast that fits your appetite and your wallet. And to help raise money for the Vermont Foodbank.

Mitzi Johnson in the House chamber in 2016. She joins "Vermont Edition" to discuss priorities at the end of the 2019 legislative session.
Angela Evancie / VPR

In the final weeks of the legislative session, lawmakers face tough choices as they focus on which bills can pass, and decide which priorities will have to wait. House Speaker Mitzi Johnson joins Vermont Edition to talk about plans in the House to tackle — and fund — big-ticket items like clean water projects, minimum wage, marijuana regulation and more.

The Office of the State Auditor has a number of ongoing audits including those involving EB-5 alleged fraud, the child protection registry and the department of motor vehicle's revenue processing system.
EtiAmmos / iStock

State Auditor Doug Hoffer joins Vermont Edition to discuss recent reports his office has issued and ongoing investigations it is conducting, including the state's failure to monitor or collect premiums for Dr. Dynasaur, Vermont's health coverage program for children.

We're talking about roadside saliva tests - what's measurable and what isn't, and whether the test the Governor wants actually exists.
Kameleon007 / iStock

The fate of the tax-and-regulate marijuana bill is up in the air as Gov. Phil Scott continues to insist on a roadside test for impairment. Many lawmakers and experts say no reliable test exists. We're talking about the political impasse and hearing about the science of what saliva tests can and can't determine.