Wonderful News: 17 Things That Made Vermont Smile In 2017
Inspired by the always-radiant Linda Holmes' list of "50 Wonderful Things From 2017" for NPR's Monkey See blog, we bring you "17 Wonderful Vermont Things From 2017" (because 50 is a lot, you guys.)
There's a bald eagle boom in Vermont
Sending our congratulations to all the new parents out there, especially the bald eagle ones.
FOR MORE — "There Are A Record Number Of Bald Eagle Nests In Vermont This Year" (Oct. 16)
Not all misspellings are mistakes: Montpelier edition
While normally we would say double checking spelling is a must, this story presents a flip-side to that directive. It turns out that, at least in this case, a misspelled word can result in an act of international goodwill.
FOR MORE — "Spelling Mistake In France Means Free Soccer Jerseys For Montpelier" (Sept. 14)
A workout-must-have's Vermont roots
Did you know that the sports bra has a Vermont origin story? This piece of sports apparel celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017, and VPR's Jane Lindholm took a trip back in history — and to the costume shop at the University of Vermont — to learn about how decades ago the Jogbra came to be. (FYI, this year was also the 45th anniversary of Title IX)
FOR MORE — "40 Years Of Athletic Support: Happy Anniversary To The Sports Bra" (Oct. 1)
The true story of Vermont's most wicked windows
The Wizard of Oz may have introduced us to Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West, but didn’t do much to answer questions we had about witch windows. Luckily Brave Little State did a little digging this year learn more about those angled curiosities.
FOR MORE — "What's The History Of Vermont's Witch Windows?" (July 12)
Grace Potter on "Vermont Edition"
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals can be heard regularly as the theme music on Vermont Edition, but it’s not every day that Grace Potter herself is on the show. The musician hung out in the Colchester studio this past summer ahead of this year’s Grand Point North.
Look who is here!! @graciepotter is in the studio with @janelindholm. Tune in to Vermont Edition now or subscribe to the Vermont Edition podcast to catch our conversation with Grace later today! @grandpointnorth @nprmusic #pubmedia #vermontbyvermonters #vermontlife #vermontmusic #localmusic #localartist A post shared by Vermont Public Radio (@vprnet) on Sep 13, 2017 at 9:09am PDT
FOR MORE — "Grace Potter Comes Home To Grand Point North" (Sept. 13)
A banner year for local flags
The citizens of Montpelier must no longer fly the city's old flag, which was included in a roundup of "bad flags" in a TED Talk by Roman Mars. Action was taken, and a new design was selected this year to wave in the wind of the capital city.
And just a stretch of I-89 away, Burlington also unfurled a new flag design this year.
FOR MORE — "Montpelier Unveils New Flag After Old Design Was Shamed In TED Talk" (July 14)
Little kid, big fish
Seriously, the fish is huge.
FOR MORE — "Little Kid, Big Fish: 11-Year-Old Snags Record Carp" (July 24)
99-year-old woman becomes first-time author
If you need inspiration to finally go for your goals in 2018, look no further than the many accomplishments of Brattleboro resident Jane Ashworth. This past year, at age 99, she self-published a children’s book.
FOR MORE — "99-Year-Old Pioneering Brattleboro Woman Publishes Her First Children's Book" (Jan. 11)
Three people bike from South America... to Vermont
12,000 miles. TWELVE THOUSAND MILES! That’s one whopper of a bike trip, but three cyclists from our region made it their mission this year to complete a ride across a couple continents — and they did it!
FOR MORE — "Trio Of Cyclists Makes Epic Journey From South America To Vermont" (April 6)
The Kratt brothers come to town
If you were a child in the ‘90s, you likely fondly remember Zoboomafoo. If you were a parent to a child in the ‘90s you likely fondly remember the show’s creators and stars, the Kratt Brothers.
The duo stopped by Vermont Edition this fall to share stories from their decades of adventures.
FOR MORE — "The Kratt Brothers' Vermont Roots And Their Animal Adventures" (Apr. 20)
Mitch Wertlieb gets a puppy
Puppies in general are a wonderful thing, but (in my humble opinion) Fezzik is special: In May, Morning Edition host, Mitch Wertlieb, shared a memorial to his best friend Grendel who passed away. It was hard. For all of us who work with Mitch, and for all of you that sent messages of love and support.
Then, a few months later, Fezzik showed up. And, with a little encouragement, Mitch shared his story.
Mitch doesn't believe us when we tell him this photo of him with his puppy Fezzik could be our most liked Instagram post of all time. So let's prove him wrong, eh? #VPR40 @mwertlieb A post shared by Vermont Public Radio (@vprnet) on Sep 9, 2017 at 11:18am PDT
During pledge drives, and in emails from listeners, we often hear how Mitch is a part of their daily lives. — with them on their way to work, talking them through their morning routine. It was wonderful to see listeners reach out with compassion after Grendel passed away, and enthusiasm when Fezzik arrived.
FOR MORE — "After Being Rescued In Alabama, A Puppy's Journey To His New Home In Vermont" (Sept. 4)
The "best food" in Vermont
Frequent VPR Cafe contributor Melissa Masnik Pasanen wrote a list of the best places to eat in Vermont earlier this year for The Food Network. With so many wonderful places to eat across the state, a list full of Melissa-approved suggestions feels well worth re-sharing!
FOR MORE — via Food Network — "Green Mountain Grub: The Best Things To Eat In Vermont" (April 15)
Wearable Abenaki art
In case you missed this stunning exhibit, you can still enjoy the beautiful pieces featured.
FOR MORE — "'Wearing Our Heritage': Abenaki Artist Curates Exhibit Of Wearable Art" (April 14)
St. Mike's students honored for activism
Danny Divis and Justin McKenzie played on the hockey team at Saint Michael’s College, but took a moment in the baseball spotlight this summer when they were selected to throw out the first pitch at a Boston Red Sox game. Earlier in 2017, the duo had won the Hockey Humanitarian Award for their work with Hope Happens Here, a mental health awareness campaign.
Full disclosure: This story was the talk of the newsroom for days after Awesome Etiquette released the episode. We love our pets, and love to imagine they love us right back. But many of you shared similar stories of finding out your furry friends were… seeing other people when you were away.
Hopefully this will at least bring you a hearty laugh to end the year.
FOR MORE — "Awesome Etiquette: What To Do If Your Cat Is Cheating" (April 14)
Working together on a show for young people with autism
The state’s arts scene made another inclusive move with the collaborative project Red Kite - Green Mountain, a theater performance geared toward young people on the autism spectrum. The workshop took place in 2017, but there is a plan to have an official premiere later in 2018.
Mysterious "love" signs
A mystery. A bit of kismet and a lot of love. Reporter Amy Noyes always features wonderful explorations of local issues around the state each week, but the story of the mysterious “love” signs in Plainfield is in a league all its own.
Plus, Amy uncovered the anonymous artist.
FOR MORE — "Signs Of Love: How An Anonymous Artist Sparked A Town-Wide Debate In Plainfield" (Sept. 29)
Here's to a new year of news!