Rutland

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Rutland filmmaker David Giancola’s latest movie premieres Friday at the Paramount Theatre. Axcellerator is a sci-fi-action comedy with lots of special effects, plenty of familiar backdrops and even a local celebrity or two.

Stefanie Schaffer does a plank on a mat as part of her core exercises for physical therapy. She has two prosthetic legs.
Nina Keck / VPR

An explosion on a small tour boat turned a dream vacation in the Bahamas into a nightmare for one Rutland family. Doctors gave 22-year-old Stefanie Schaffer a 50 percent chance of survival, but now after six months — and dozens of surgeries — she's back home in Rutland reclaiming her life.

A variety of blue-and-white decorated snowflake cookies.
Ann Clark Cookie Cutters, courtesy

For many people the holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without baking and decorating cookies. But a growing number of creative bakers, known as cookiers, are taking their art to a whole new level.

The Rutland City Police Department in September 2015.
Nina Keck / VPR

Victims of human trafficking need help not from police but from social workers—which is why the Rutland City Police Department is hiring a case manager to connect victims to the services they need. 

A view of downtown Rutland on a fall Saturday.
Nina Keck / VPR

Imagine your cousin calls and tells you he wants to move to your town. If you like your cousin, you might say, "Come visit! I’ll show you the sites, pass around your resume and have you meet some of my friends."

It's not a cousin connection, but a new program in Vermont called Stay to Stay works much the same way. 

Nina Keck / VPR

In Rutland, Democrat William Notte beat Republican Jacqueline “Beth” Fleck to take control of a Rutland City House seat previously held by Republican Doug Gage. 

Similarly, Rutland resident Cheryl Mazzariello Hooker wrangled another victory for the Democrats, this time by winning a hotly contested Senate seat.

Nina Keck / VPR

Among those eligible to vote in the United States, older people show up to vote far more than younger people.

It’s a situation many schools are trying to address by getting kids  interested in local elections before they are old enough to cast a ballot.

To that end, students at Barstow Memorial School in Chittenden, welcomed more than a dozen candidates running for state and local office to talk about issues face to face.

Judge Francis B. McCaffrey Jr. in a courtroom
Provided

Visitation services will be held Saturday at the Clifford Funeral Home in Rutland for Judge Frank McCaffrey, who died Oct. 27 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center from cancer. He was 82.

Candidate signs along a road in Rutland.
Nina Keck / VPR

Republicans have held all three of Rutland County's Senate seats since 2014, but this year, Democrats are hoping that two open seats — along with anger over what’s going on in Washington — may help boost their chances in the upcoming election.

Angela Evancie / VPR

The 272-mile Long Trail follows Green Mountain ridgelines from one end of Vermont to another. So what’s it like to hike the whole thing?

Former Rutland City Police Chief James Baker poses with Korrine Rodrigue at a community barbecue Rodrigue hosted for Baker on Sunday.
Nina Keck / VPR

In Rutland dozens of people came together Sunday to support former Police Chief James "Jim" Baker, who was diagnosed with cancer last year.

Martin Schreiner and Lucas Hough stand on the front porch of their new home in Rutland.
Green Mountain Power, Courtesy

A couple from New York City are the winners of Green Mountain Power’s "Innovation Home" giveaway contest in Rutland. 

A Vermont man charged with murder is arguing the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should protect him from facing the death penalty.
Michal Chodyra / iStock

Donald Fell was convicted in federal court of kidnapping Teresca King in Rutland in 2000 and killing her in New York state. He was sentenced to death, but his conviction was overturned due to juror misconduct.

As Fell awaits a new trial, his attorneys are working to avoid the possibility of him facing the death penalty again with unique arguments against The Federal Death Penalty Act, including one invoking the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

Rutland is one of more than a dozen Vermont municipalities with a combined sewer system. When the city's water treatment system is overloaded, untreated sewage and runoff flows out of this pipe into a local creek.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Rutland's wastewater treatment plant overflowed during heavy rainstorms earlier this week, dumping more than 500,000 gallons of untreated sewage into Otter Creek.

Jack Sawyer in Vermont Superior Court.
Ryan Mercer / The Burlington Free Press via Associated Press, Pool File

Attorneys for Jack Sawyer, the Poultney man accused of plotting to attack his former high school in Fair Haven, have asked the court to grant Sawyer "youthful offender" status, something they say would better address the 18-year old’s case.  

Stephanie Schaffer, left, her sister Brooke and her mother Stacey Bender prior to taking a boat ride in the Bahamas.  The boat exploded Saturday severly injuring Stephanie and her mother.
Schaffer family, GoFundMe

Family and friends are rallying support for 22-year-old Stephanie Schaffer and her mother Stacey Bender of Rutland.  The two were vacationing in the Bahamas with other family members when a tour boat they were on exploded Saturday. One woman was killed in the blast and family members say Stephanie's condition remains life threatening.

A Rutland girl and her mother were seriously injured in a tour boat explosion in the Bahamas on Saturday.

Lenny Burke, a well-known Rutland man whose life was forever changed by a traumatic brain injury has died. Despite the injury he received as a teenager, Burke went on to be instrumental in changing the way people with T.B.I.s are treated. He was 56.
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Lenny Burke, a man beloved in Rutland for his courage and determination in the face of adversity, has died.

This week the College of St. Joseph board of trustees voted to keep the school open, outlining several strategies to bring in additional revenue.
Nina Keck / VPR

The College of St. Joseph, in Rutland, will not be closing its doors.

In April, the college announced it was considering folding due to financial troubles. But the board of trustees voted on Monday to keep the school open, outlining several strategies to increase revenue. 

The Board of Trustees at College of St. Joseph is considering closing the school as it faces low enrollment and budget pressure.
Nina Keck / VPR

Last week, news surfaced that College of St. Joseph in Rutland is considering closing its doors for good. The private, Catholic liberal arts school currently has around 200 undergraduates.

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