VPR News

In her response to President Trump's State of the Union address, Stacey Abrams went through some of the top issues for the Democratic Party.

Health care. Climate change. Gun safety.

Then she brought up a topic Democrats are planning to spend a lot of time on over the next two years: voting.

The site of the Burlington mall in Nov. 2018. Brookfield Asset Management, a partner in the project, is taking over daily operations.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Burlington’s downtown mall redevelopment is months behind schedule and city officials’ patience is running thin. Recently, Brookfield Asset Management — a previously silent partner in the project — took control, a move that has left officials optimistic the project could get on track.

A reading lamp pointed during a made bed in a darkened room at a nighttime.
BenAkiba / iStock

What do you do when you can't fall asleep? Some people meditate, others count sheep — and some pop in their headphones and listen to Sleepy, a podcast made by audio producer and Vermonter Otis Gray.

House lawmakers approved an amendment Thursday that would give some school districts an extra year to comply with a district consolidation mandate.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

House lawmakers have decided that some Vermont school districts need more time to comply with a merger mandate, but they’ve left a fast-approaching deadline in place for others.

Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-10 along party lines Thursday to recommend that the full Senate confirm William Barr, President Trump's nominee to take over the Justice Department.

Senators debated Barr's candidacy for hours and focused in particular on the role he will play supervising the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Brittany Lovejoy, of Montgomery, wears a black veil at a public hearing in Montpelier Wednesday, where she urged lawmakers to reject legislation that would create a "fundamental right" to abortion in Vermont.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / The Times Argus

It’s been more than 45 years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade, but as Vermont House lawmakers learned at a public hearing Wednesday evening, the debate over abortion rights is as intense as it’s ever been.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos discusses cybersecurity and priorities in the new legislative session on "Vermont Edition."
Matthew Smith / VPR

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos just returned from the National Association of Secretaries of State meeting in Washington, D.C. We're talking with Sec. Condos about what he learned at the NASS meeting about voting security and cyber threats facing states today, and discussing constitutional amendments in the legislature.

Green Mountain College men's basketball team playing at the Eagle Dome court.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

The last home game in school history for Green Mountain College men’s basketball team was Saturday, Feb. 2, when the Eagles defeated Bryant-Stratton College-Buffalo, 81-53. The win brought Green Mountain’s record to 16-6 this year.

VPR’s Ric Cengeri attended the game and shared his observations on Mitch's Sports Report.

Four adults stand with snowshoes on.
John Dillon / VPR

The state’s largest wetlands area stretches 15 miles along the Otter Creek in Addison and Rutland counties. Local groups have started talking to the state about how to provide greater protection for the Otter Creek wetlands, as the Trump administration seeks to roll back national wetland protection rules. 

An aerial shot of the House floor on the opening day of the Vermont Legislature in 2019.
Oliver Parini / For VPR

House lawmakers appear poised to grant a yearlong reprieve to about half of the Vermont school districts that face a fast-approaching deadline for complying with a controversial school governance mandate.

Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux swears in a room full of deputies.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

A shortage of mental health treatment beds in Vermont has forced hospital emergency rooms to provide unprecedented levels of psychiatric care in recent years. Many of those ERs have used sheriff’s deputies to supervise violent or disruptive patients, but officials now say that practice runs afoul of federal regulations.

Proposed legislation that would protect abortion rights in Vermont is leading to intense debate.
Matthew Smith / VPR

In response to potential threats to abortion rights at the national level, the Vermont House and Senate have both introduced legislation to explicitly protect women's access to abortion as a fundamental right. While the bills have strong support, they are also facing energetic opposition. We're talking through the debate.

President Trump delivered a wide-ranging State of the Union address Tuesday night that went an hour and 21 minutes. That's the third-longest ever.

So what should we make of Trump's third address to Congress, and in a year when Democrats are gearing up for a crowded primary to decide who will face Trump in 2020?

1. Trump did not acknowledge the new political reality in Washington

A building on the Green Mountain College campus
Nina Keck / VPR

My private college tuition in 1968 was $2,800, 50 years later it’s $50,000. Meanwhile, state support for public colleges has diminished and educational value has changed both for better and for worse.

Emily McManamy

Pelvic health is a critical, and underappreciated, component of women’s health. But the pelvis - where our organs of sexuality, procreation, digestion, and elimination converge - is deeply private, and many women endure pain or problems without access to diagnosis or treatment – because nobody wants to admit to dysfunction in any of these systems.

Stacey Abrams standing on a stage, looking to the right.
John Amis / Associated Press

Following the president's annual State of the Union address Tuesday night, Georgia politician Stacey Abrams delivered the Democratic response.

The U.S. Capitol Building at sunset.
Alex Brandon / Associated Press

The president's annual State of the Union address — which had been delayed this year because of the partial government shutdown — took place Tuesday night.

A stack of paperwork on a table next to an open laptop computer.
fstop123 / iStock

A new reporting system could help improve Vermonters’ access to public records.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Department of Health has offered free radon tests for any school in Vermont since 2001, but so far less than one third of the schools have tested their air.

Three students sit at a table with a poster of drawn book spines hanging on the wall in the background.
Meg Malone / VPR

In Ban This Book some of 9-year-old Amy Anne Ollinger’s favorite books have started to disappear off her school library's shelves, and she discovers that adults are challenging the books and the school board is banning them from the library.

Dorothy’s List readers at Montpelier’s Kellogg-Hubbard Library had a lot to say about banned and challenged books — especially when they discovered some of their favorite titles have been questioned.

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