Bennington

A railroad dining-car eatery with stools, counter and booths.
John Getchell, courtesy

The sign propped up in the parking space in front of Bennington's Blue Benn Diner reads, "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It!" And since new owner John Getchell left his home in Southern Maine to purchase and run the Bennington landmark, he has changed very little about it.

The Bennington Banner, Courtesy

Kevin Hoyt is a conservative gun rights activist running for governor as an independent candidate in the 2020 general election. He has been a vocal critic of Gov. Phil Scott's efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 by shutting down sectors of Vermont's economy.

A google earth map with a pin at 1133 willow road.
Screenshot / Google Maps

State utility regulators took the unusual step last week of ordering a solar developer to stop work on a large project that doesn't have a permit. 

Calls for police reform in Bennington and Burlington. Plus: the Vermont state budget, coronavirus case numbers, and the Canadian border.

A sign in a window reading defund the police.
Abagael Giles / VPR

George Floyd's death in Minneapolis has led to national calls to reform and even defund police departments.

In Vermont, law enforcement reform has quickly gained momentum in Burlington, the state's largest city, and Bennington, where police have long been accused of racial bias.

A person stands next to the granite sign for Mount Anthony Union High School.
Elodie Reed / VPR

The Agency of Education has released its final guidelines for how to hold a graduation ceremony during a pandemic.

High school seniors are now getting a clearer picture of how their schools will mark this once-in-a-lifetime achievement during a once-in-a-lifetime public health crisis.

Lawyer in supreme court court
John Dillon / VPR File

The Public Utility Commission has denied a New York developer's bid to build a large solar project in Bennington, saying the project did not comply with the town plan.

A highway sign reading "self-isolate 14 days."
Peter Crabtree / For VPR

Diane Arbus once said, “The camera is a kind of license,” and I believed her, allowing me to go places and behave in ways I might not otherwise had the nerve for.

People gathered to work in a construction project.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont's workforce shortage affects many industries. In construction, companies here are having a hard time finding skilled carpenters.

But in Bennington, a company is offering free classes in advanced carpentry to train the workers they've hired for the $31 million Putnam Block project.

Person holds a dry-erase board that says Where Are you From? No I mean before that. No I men where were you born? No I mean where are your parents from? #IamVermontToo
Courtesy

An exhibition of photographs currently on display at the Bennington Museum explores the experiences people of color have in their day-to-day lives in Vermont.

A woman stands in a doorway framed by colorful wood panels. A white dog stands nearby.
Elodie Reed / VPR

At Lisa Carton's tiny house nestled in the hills of Bennington, there are a whole lot of rainbows. Wood panels painted purple, green, orange, yellow and blue frame Carton's front door. Inside, the main room is cushioned by a multi-hued, kaleidoscopic rug. Out the back door is a shed where, until a recent storm blew it down, a Pride flag flew.

A 1900s print of the Battle of Bennington.
New York Public Library Digital Collection / Wikimedia Commons

Vermont honors Bennington Battle Day every Aug. 16, marking a day that signaled a turning point in the American Revolution and a critical defeat of British forces. But few are as familiar with a piece of music composed by Bennington virtuoso pianist Ernest Murray commemorating the battle.

More than 58,000 children were sexually abused in the U.S. in 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Many states are trying to curb those numbers — 20 now require sexual abuse prevention education by law. In 2009, Vermont became one of the first.

Two men sit in theater seats, looking at the camera.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A Bennington theater company that has been putting on productions in rented theaters around southwestern Vermont for 48 years now owns its own building.

Gov. Phil Scott, at the podium, joined elected officials from Bennington Wednesday to announce a financial settlement with the company linked to PFOA contamination in the Bennington area.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The state has reached a settlement with the owners of a manufacturing facility that may be linked to the contamination of hundreds of private drinking wells in the Bennington area.

Chris Williams, of Shaftsbury, leads a group of friends on the cross-country ski trails at Prospect Mountain.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A deal to conserve the Prospect Mountain cross-country ski center, outside of Bennington, was finalized at the end of last month. The three-year project created a nonprofit to take over the ski center, and the 122-acre property is now protected from any future development.

The town manager of Bennington, Vermont, says the closure of Southern Vermont College in his town will be "terrible" for his community. 

Attorney General TJ Donovan announced the results of the investigation into the alleged racial harassment of former state Rep.  Kiah Morris on Januart 14, 2019.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Local branches of the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union are calling on state officials to investigate the Bennington Police Department.

The state is close to reaching an agreement with the company linked to widespread water contamination around Bennington.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Attorney General TJ Donovan said Monday he will not file charges in the reported racial harassment of former State Rep. Kiah Morris, though he believes Morris and her family were victims.

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