Vermont Edition

Sen. Bernie Sanders is back on the stump as he makes a second run at the Democratic nomination for president.
Paul Sancya / Associated Press/File

Live call-in discussion: Sen. Bernie Sanders is off and running for the presidency, making stops in the country's heartland, the Rust Belt and the West Coast. A group of political scientists look at how campaign 2020 will differ from 2016.

The kind of blood a deer tick feasts on can significantly alter the makeup of its microbiome.
Courtesy Vermont Department of Health

New research show that a deer tick's diet - what kind of animal it drinks blood from - can significantly alter the tick's microbiome. That, in turn can impact whether the tick is likely to pass on pathogens like the ones that cause Lyme disease.

A method of substance abuse prevention adopted in Iceland has resulted in a substantial drop in drug and alcohol use in that country's youth.
Evelyn Paris / Unsplash

Vermont, like the rest of the country, is dealing with an opioid abuse crisis. And all ideas are on the table for ways to help people who are struggling with addiction and prevent people from becoming addicted in the first place. An approach known as the Icelandic method targets the environment that young people are growing up in.

A school of alewives circle in Nobleboro, Maine. This spring Lake Champlain saw a mass die-off of alewives because they are not suited for significant water temperature changes.
Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Dozens of aquatic invasive species are already established in Vermont’s waters — from zebra mussels to milfoil to alewife. For swimmers and anglers, they’re a nuisance, but for our native aquatic life, their presence can cause dire consequences. We’ll discuss the threat of invasive species and why it's so challenging to prevent their spread.

The Columbine memorial honors and remembers the 13 victims of the shootings at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999.
BanksPhotos / iStock

Twenty years ago, two high school seniors at Columbine High School in Colorado shot and killed 12 students and a teacher. They wounded more than 20 others.

It was a moment that shook that community and the entire nation. We look at how things have changed for schools, teachers, students and communities in the years since.

An affiliate reinsurance company, or ARC, is an insurance product the Dept. of Financial Regulation thinks could bring new business to Vermont, similar to captive insurance.
erhui1979 / istock

Vermont's Department of Financial Regulation is home to a captive insurance division that stealthily regulates over 600 companies registered in the state and brings in around $25 million a year. Now the division is offering another insurance product it hopes could bring additional business to the state: it's called ARC, short for an affiliate reinsurance company.

An increasing amount of the state's revenue - now roughly 40 percent - goes toward pension obligations. We're talking about Vermont's retirement liabilities and how they affect state spending on other projects.
sorbetto / iStock

Vermont owes $1.5 billion in unfunded teacher pensions. After years of underfunding and low returns, paying for these pensions and other retirement obligations takes up a growing portion of the state budget. We're talking about ways Vermont is addressing these retirement liabilities and how it all affects the state's ability to pay for new projects.

Coyotes infected with rabies are rare in Vermont. But two cases of rabid coyotes were recently reported in Addison County.
Bill_Dally / iStock

Since 2005, just over 800 animals in Vermont have tested positive for rabies. But no coyotes. Until recently, when two coyotes in Addison County were found to be rabid. We'll take a full look at rabies in Vermont and the threat it poses to humans.

Mourners lay flowers on a wall at the Botanical Gardens in Christchurch, New Zealand, Monday, March 18, 2019.
Vincent Thian / AP

Last month, the Addison Independent published a poem by Narges Anzali, a 13-year-old eighth grader who attends Middlebury Union Middle School. The poem is titled simply: "To All The People Who Hate Muslims."

Special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was released Thursday, April 18, 2019.
Jon Elswick / AP

A redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Trump-Russia investigation was released Thursday, April 18. We're talking with Vermont journalist and author Garrett Graff, who's reported on Mueller for more than a decade and followed the Special Counsel from the beginning, on what we've learned from reading Mueller's own words and seeing the redacted report.

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman in the House Chamber in 2016. Lt. Gov. Zuckerman joins "Vermont Edition" to discuss the current legislative session and the status of certain priorities so far in Montpelier.
Angela Evancie / VPR

The Vermont legislative sessions has passed its midpoint, and we’re talking with Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman about where some of his key priorities for the session — like paid family leave and a tax-and-regulate plan for marijuana — stand in the legislature.

The long and winding road for Act 46 is nearing its final deadline. But questions and court decisions are still in play that could change the final outcomes.
ErikaMitchell / iStock

Four years after it was signed, the Act 46 school district consolidation law is nearing its final deadline on July 1. But there are court cases, refusals by school districts to merge and many questions swirling around the remaining mergers. We get updates and answers on these issues.

A child looks on as a duo play the 1988 "Operation Thunderbolt" arcade game during the April 7, 2019 opening of the "Dream Machine II Arcade Exhibit" in Rutland.
Nick Grandchamp, courtesy

You're just as likely to run into a game of Pac-Man or Street Fighter II today in the basement of a diehard collector of retro 1980s arcade games as you are to play one in the corner of a pizza parlor or bowling alley. But one Rutland collector is putting more than a dozen of the machines together in a pop-up exhibit showcasing the games, their history and the value of playing together.

We're talking about the science of fentanyl and its effects on the body.
Rick Bowmer / AP

The synthetic opioid fentanyl is causing deadly overdoses to spike across the country. But while concerns have been raised about accidental exposure, it is incredibly unlikely that chance contact with the substance through skin or inhalation can be toxic. We're talking about the science behind fentanyl and how it acts on the body, plus which dangers are real and which are overblown.

Bernie Sanders standing against a blue sky
Paul Sancya / Associated Press

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders released nearly a decade of his tax returns Monday, from 2009 through 2018. Sanders is running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, and he'd been promising to release his returns for several weeks.

At the New York State Capitol in Albany, legislators have been debating the budget, a plastic bag ban and funding for clean water projects.
Izumi Jones / Unsplash

The New York state legislature is dealing with many of the same issues as lawmakers in Vermont; in Albany there's been debate as lawmakers work on putting together a plastic bag ban and coming up with the right source for clean water funding. And then there's the budget that just passed and awaits a signature from the governor.

Blue-green algae blooms in the summer of 2014 in Lake Champlain.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR FILE

Vermont lawmakers agree the state needs millions of dollars' worth of clean water projects. But there's less agreement on where Vermont will get the roughly $60 million it needs to fund them. We're talking about clean water plans advancing in Montpelier and what the options are to pay for them.

Personal stylist Stasia Savasuk believes there must be congruency between who you are inside and what you project through what you wear.
Gorodenkoff / iStock

Do the clothes you wear really reflect the person you are? Are your sartorial choices dictated by your job or other outside factors? Stasia Savasuk is a personal stylist and founder of Stasia’s Style School and she joins Vermont Edition to discuss the role your clothes play in who you are.

Ballots using the ranked-choice voting system are prepared for recounting in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Augusta, Maine
Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Maine recently became the first state in the country to adopt a voting tabulation system known as ranked-choice voting. The goal is to ensure the winning candidate always receives at least 50% of the vote. We're having a discussion about the pros and cons of the system and whether it could work in Vermont

A prototype of the SheFly hiking pants shows the zipper that extends nearly to the back of the pants.
SheFly, courtesy

You’re out in the country when nature calls. For some people, dealing with that bodily function can be as simple as unzipping a fly. But for others, it’s a lot more complicated. Enter SheFly Apparel — a new company started by a trio of Middlebury College students that is bringing some much-needed enhancements to women’s hiking attire. 

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