VPR News

"Vermont Edition" looks at the challenges and dangers solo hikers face, in Vermont and beyond.
Tim Foster / Unsplash

Live call-in discussion: An attack on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia in early May left one hiker dead and another injured. The violence ignited conversations among hikers across the country, sharing stories of times they felt unsafe and reconciling the relative safety of the wilderness with fears such incidents could happen again. We're talking with experienced hikers about staying safe on the trail.

In this photo taken on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, plastic bottles and other garbage float in the river Drina near Visegrad, eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Eldar Emric / AP

With an estimated one million species facing the threat of extinction driven by human activity, is now the time to think seriously about getting a handle on skyrocketing global population? We're talking about human population, its impact on the planet and what can be done.

Spencer Rendahl

I'd been dreaming of taking a break from early spring in northern New England and spending two weeks in Spain as a family sounded like just the ticket.

Maurice L. Harris / The Episcopal Church in Vermont

The Episcopal Church in Vermont has elected its next bishop. 

Shannon MacVean-Brown is the first African American to be elected bishop of the Episcopal Church in Vermont. She will be one of three African American women to hold that title in New England's seven Episcopal diocese.

Denise Stubbs of the Vermont Hemp Nursery stands among some plants at the Cannabis and Hemp Convention.
Emily Corwin / VPR

The Vermont Cannabis and Hemp Convention opened at the Champlain Valley Expo this weekend. The recreational use of marijuana has been legal in the state for almost a year. And this year's convention doubled in size from 63 vendors last year, to 130 this weekend.  Many at the convention said that growth mimics the growth of the industry at large. 

A planner with a spot for each day of the week, set on a purple background
csy302 / iStock

Vermont lawmakers have been putting in long hours at the Statehouse this week, trying to wrap up work on a number of complex policy bills. While the Legislature had been hoping to adjourn this weekend, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson said they're going to have to come back for at least a couple days next week.

Exterior of the Vermont Gas building.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Will it matter if a major pipeline company has a larger stake in the parent companies of Green Mountain Power and Vermont Gas? Climate activists and opponents of gas pipelines think so.

Congressman Peter Welch makes phone calls in his office in Washington, D.C.
Eman Mohammed for VPR

Costs for generic medications have skyrocketed in recent years, with some increasing by as much as 8,000%. The explosion in drug costs is the leading factor behind the nearly 16% rate hike Blue Cross Blue Shield Vermont requested this month for participants in Vermont Health Connect.

Now Congressman Peter Welch is co-sponsoring several bills to reign in prescription drug costs at the federal level.

A room in the Miller building at UVM Medical Center, with a bed and a dummy patient laying in it.
Emily Corwin / VPR

The University of Vermont Medical Center unveiled its new Robert E. and Holly D. Miller Building to reporters on Friday. The building has 128 rooms, serving specialty surgery, cardiology, oncology and orthopedic patients.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has reached a deal to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico, in a move that could put the three nations a step closer to ratifying the USMCA trade deal that would replace NAFTA.

The tariffs will be lifted within two days, according to a joint U.S.-Canada statement posted by Canada's foreign ministry.

Wood stoves for sale at Chimney Sweep II, in Berlin.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Two years ago, the state offered Vermonters money to buy a new wood or pellet stove if they got rid of an old, polluting stove. The program was so popular, they decided to do it again this year (with a few changes). So how many people have taken advantage of these different iterations of the wood stove change-out program? 

After months of watching entry videos — over 6,000 of them — the judges of the fifth annual Tiny Desk Contest have chosen a winner!

The Did It Work? logo in white text on a blue background with the VPR logo in the corner
Meg Malone / VPR

This week on All Things Considered, VPR host and reporter Henry Epp has been exploring a singular question about publicly-funded programs in Vermont, both big and small: "Did it work?"

The weeklong series follows up on a handful of initiatives over the past few years and looks how much bang — if any — Vermonters got for their buck.

A Vermont Department for Children and Families call center.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

In 2015, then-Gov. Peter Shumlin announced a plan to invest millions of dollars in Vermont's child-protection system. One of the main goals was to reduce caseloads for social workers in the Department for Children and Families. Now, nearly three years later, are caseloads any lower?

The House floor during opening day of the Vermont Legislature on Jan. 9, 2019. We're talking with Republican leaders in the statehouse to get their thoughts as the legislative session nears its end.
Oliver Parini / VPR

Lawmakers are wrapping up the legislative session and we're talking with Republican leaders in the House and Senate about what they want to accomplish in their final days in Montpelier. 

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

President Trump has announced an immigration proposal that would dramatically reshape the legal immigration system in the United States.

The plan "puts jobs, wages and safety of American workers first," Trump said in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday.

"We must implement an immigration system that will allow our citizens to prosper for generations to come," he said.

Looking up at the front of the Vermont Statehouse.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

House lawmakers gave preliminary approval Wednesday to legislation that would boost the minimum wage in Vermont, but Senate Democrats say the increase isn’t sufficient to improve the economic standing of low-wage workers in the state.

Justices of the Vermont Supreme Court are interested in finding a solution to the backlog of abuse and negelct cases stemming from the state's opioid epidemic.
Adam Fagen / Flickr

Vermont's opioid epidemic has created a backlog of child abuse and neglect cases in Vermont's courts. The Vermont Judiciary formed a commission to look at how the state handles the most severe cases in the family court. Now the commission recommends diverting these cases to a separate program that concentrates on individuals who are considered high-risk and high-need.

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