VPR News

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.

Nina Keck / VPR

Local and state officials were at Rutland Regional Medical Center Monday to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new $23.9 million medical office building.  The new construction is coming at a time when many hospitals in the state are struggling financially. Rutland hospital officials acknowledge they're taking a calculated risk.

Barre mother Nina Lemieux sits with her three kids, Billie, Brightlynn and Boston (from left). Shortly after Lemieux's daycare provider shut down unexpectedly in 2017, Lemieux lost her job, her savings and her apartment.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

House lawmakers last month approved a substantial increase in funding for childcare services, but leaders in the Senate say they aren’t ready to commit to the proposal.

The Supreme Court has accepted three cases that ask whether federal anti-discrimination laws should apply to sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace, putting the court on track to consider high-profile LGBTQ issues after its next term begins this fall.

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.

Scientists are ramping up research on the possible health effects of a large group of common but little-understood chemicals used in water-resistant clothing, stain-resistant furniture, nonstick cookware and many other consumer products.

Updated at 9:53 a.m. ET

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton is joining the large 2020 Democratic presidential field, touting a record of military service, bucking his party and arguing for younger leadership.

"The greatest generation saved our country from tyranny. It's time for our generation to step up and do the same," Moulton said in an announcement video posted early Monday.

Broucke: Notre Dame

Apr 22, 2019
Broucke

The impressive-looking flying buttresses of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris are still standing – now seen by many as symbols of strength and endurance. But at the Notre Dame they have no real structural function. Resembling earthbound wings, they’re strictly there for looks. And I should know, because I teach architectural history at Middlebury College.

U.S. Secretary of Veteran Affairs Robert Wilkie - pictured here on Feb. 26 providing testimony to a House Appropriations subcommittee
Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press

Robert Wilkie, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, visited the VA hospital in White River Junction on Friday. Wilkie spoke to VPR by phone about a number of issues affecting the state's veteran population.

Shrewsbury resident Jonathan Gibson testifies at the Vermont Statehouse while others are seated behind him.
John Dillon / VPR

When the power goes out, can you still call 911 in case of an emergency? As people in Shrewsbury discovered recently, the answer is: maybe not. Now a legislative committee and state utility regulators are looking into this and other issues with 911 services.

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.

The exterior of the current Albany General Store with a snowpile in front.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The general store is the heart of many small Vermont towns, but the rise of online shopping and big box stores has made it hard for some more traditional stores to stay open.

Some Vermont towns are turning to public-private partnerships to keep their general stores viable. In one Northeast Kingdom town they’re counting on that model to get their store back.

Dr. Bryan Smith, standing, talks with a nurse at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A recent report found that eight the state's 14 hospitals fell short of revenue forecasts in 2018. Gifford Medical Center officials say a workforce shortage is one of the biggest challenges, and it’s having a serious effect on the bottom line.

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.

Updated at 7:24 p.m. ET

When President Trump learned two years ago that a special counsel had been appointed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, he was distraught.

Trump "slumped back in his chair and said, 'Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I'm f***ed,' " according to the report by special counsel Robert Mueller that was released Thursday in redacted form.

Attorney General William Barr has released a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election to Congress and the public.

The special counsel spent nearly two years investigating attacks on the 2016 presidential election and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians behind it.

Mares: The Bee Bill

Apr 18, 2019
Kosolovskyy / iStock

A proposed new law with 60+ co-sponsors to address neonicitinoid pesticide use in Vermont has certainly struck an ecological nerve. Bill H-205 responds to the perils facing all pollinators these days, including stress, climate change, forage loss, narrowed genetic pool, pesticides, and pathogens.

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