VPR News

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

The Trump administration will provide $16 billion in aid to help keep farmers afloat as they reel from the yearlong trade war between the U.S. and China, the latest sign that the world's two largest economies are still far from striking a long-term trade agreement.

The bulk of the support, or about $14.5 billion, is direct aid to farmers, which producers will start to see some time this summer, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters in a briefing on Thursday.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

It’s been nothing but bad news for the school districts that were fighting forced mergers under the state’s controversial law, Act 46.

Steven Bourgoin sitting in court
Glenn Russell / VTDigger.org via Associated Press, Pool, File

A jury has found Steven Bourgoin guilty of five counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of five teenagers — Mary Harris, Cyrus Zschau, Liam Hale, Janie Cozzi and Eli Brookens — in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 89 in October 2016.

Gov. Phil Scott faces decisions about which bills to sign, veto or allow to become legislation without a signature.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

As the legislative session comes to a close, some of the most widely-watched bills are nearing the finish line in Montpelier – including minimum wage, paid family leave, and a bill preserving abortion rights. We're talking to Gov. Phil Scott, who faces a number of decisions on whether to sign, veto, or allow legislation to pass without his signature.

A sign for PeakCM construction with an illustration of a proposed AnC bio building.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

A federal grand jury has filed criminal charges against former Jay Peak developers Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger and two other men, more three years after regulators unmasked their "Ponzi-like" investment scheme.

A deer head mounted on a wall next to a door that says Fish, Wildlife And Water Resources
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

This year the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department proposed significant changes to hunting laws. The new proposal includes reducing the annual buck limit to one, and increasing the number of antlerless deer that can be harvested.

In March and April, the department presented the proposal at meetings across Vermont. Erica Heilman drove to Orleans to sit in on one of these meetings.

Mark Tenally / AP

In 11 years of reporting for CNN, I did my share of stories on abortion. And when the day-after abortion pill became available, I remember thinking that because early stage pregnancies could be ended with just a pill, the dynamics of the abortion debate would change. And they did – just not in the way I expected.

Attorney General TJ Donovan announcing the lawsuit at a press conference on Tuesday. The state is suing eight members of the Sackler family.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

A lawsuit filed Tuesday in Chittenden County Superior Court alleges the family that owns Purdue Pharma played a direct role in Vermont's opioid crisis.

An aerial view of Lake Champlain
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

After considering a variety of new taxes to fund water quality efforts in Vermont, lawmakers now say they can clean up the state’s waterways without raising a dime.

Even a generic, blank form is considered confidential by Vermont’s Agency of Human Services.

When VPR requested a blank “Critical Incident Review Form” from the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, or DAIL earlier this month, we received the blank form — redacted.   

A Milton man who has been a foster parent in Vermont for 25 years was arraigned Tuesday on charges including sexual assault of a child, police said.

Two eminent avant-garde elders, a chameleonic vocal improviser, and a pioneering community organizer and presenter will make up the 2020 class of NEA Jazz Masters, according to an announcement this morning by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The four incoming inductees — saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, bassist Reggie Workman, vocalist Bobby McFerrin, and jazz advocate Dorthaan Kirk — will officially be recognized next April 2, during a tribute concert and ceremony at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco.

"Vermont Edition" broadcasts from Rutland to hear the voices of the leaders and students of the three Vermont colleges that recently closed.
Nina Keck / VPR and Courtesy / Southern Vermont College

This month three Vermont colleges held their final graduation ceremonies and now those schools are closed. While there are still 19 colleges in the state, the loss of Green Mountain College, College of St. Joseph and Southern Vermont College will be felt by students, staff and their surrounding communities. Vermont Edition discusses these closings during a live broadcast from the Rutland Free Library.

A homeless encampment on Sears Lane in Burlington, shortly before it was taken down by the city in October 2017 after reports of domestic violence and drug use.
Liam Connors / VPR

An estimated 1,089 people experienced homelessness in Vermont, nearly a third of them in Chittenden County, during a one-day count in January. 

That's a nearly 16% decrease in the estimate of people experiencing homelessness over last year. But the estimate also found a troubling reversal in what had been a yearslong decline in chronic homelessness.

Evangelist Franklin Graham
Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press

Preacher Franklin Graham will bring his evangelical Christian message to the Burlington area Tuesday night. The event at the Champlain Valley Exposition, in Essex, is part of Graham's "Decision America" tour.

Eben Bayer's company makes packaging materials out of mycelium, the threadlike roots of fungus.
courtesy Ecovative

Growing up on a Vermont farm gave Eben Bayer a healthy appreciation for the incredible technological achievements of the natural world. Now, he and a co-founder have created a company called Ecovative. They're using mycelium — the long, thread-like roots of mushrooms that lie hidden under the ground — to create simple, biodegradable, affordable packaging and more.

Glenn Russell

This spring I watched the Vermont Legislature through the eyes of twenty-five college students. Each week students traveled to the state’s capitol to watch and write about how bills become law – or not.

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

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.