Vermont

Franconia Lives

Sep 28, 2018
(C) CHESTER LUDLOW, 1972

Once, a utopian experiment burned bright and brief in the Great North Woods.

On Oct. 1, it will be illegal in Vermont to possess bump stocks — a device that attaches to a semi-automatic weapon to speed up the rate it fires.

And starting Monday, Sept. 17, the Vermont State Police will accept bump stocks from residents who voluntarily turn them over.

Alliance for Vermont Communities, Upper Valley Land Trust

A wealthy developer from Utah has abandoned his plan to establish a community in the White River Valley of Vermont near the birthplace of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith.

David Hall announced this week that he’s selling 1,500 acres of land he’s fought local activists to accumulate since 2015.

The Valley News has followed this story closely for the past few years. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with John Gregg, news editor for the paper, about Hall's change of mind.


Thomas Gehrke / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials in Massachusetts are still debating the future of a big renewable energy contract for their state.

That’s after their initial pick, Northern Pass, hit a major roadblock in New Hampshire – though the transmission proposal still has support from Gov. Chris Sununu.

The Commonwealth picked Eversource's Northern Pass plan last month for a long-term contract that must start in 2020. That choice was thrown into limbo a week later, when New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee denied the project its final permit.

Wikimedia Commons

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation and its counterpart in Vermont are considering repairs to a bridge between the two states that’s been closed since 2009. The Vilas Bridge was built in 1930 and stretches over the Connecticut River between North Walpole, N.H. and Bellows Falls, Vt.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Four panelists -- three of them veterans -- answered questions about their personal experiences navigating gender and sexuality issues at a public discussion at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont on Wednesday.

The event was part of a broader effort by the VA to let veterans know they can be honest about their gender and sexuality and still access medical care within the VA system.

In the northeast U.S., there is less than 1 percent of old growth forest left. A new University of Vermont study finds that harvesting trees in a way that mimics old growth forests not only restores critical habitat, but also stores a surprising amount of carbon.

The Demon Barber...of Bellows Falls

Mar 16, 2017
Virginia Prescott

Sweeney Todd, the 1979 Sondheim revenge tragedy musical set in Victorian London, is a challenging and musically complex play to stage even for professional companies with big budgets - even more so for the Vermont based non-profit, Main Street Arts.  Sweeney Todd is part of a larger strategy to build community and coordination between a number of small arts organizations on either side of the Connecticut River - a collaboration that defies the sinister nature of the plot. 

Wikimedia commons

Every Sunday an ad hoc group of friends and acquaintances meets to play a game of pick-up soccer… the teams are fluid, and there's no referee, but they play a spirited game, with players shouting in both Spanish and English…

Alfredo is decked out in neon yellow socks and cleats, and his hair pulled back in a small bun…he plays a mean game, fast footwork. To protect his privacy … we’re only using his first name.

Conservation biologists say that the good news for wildlife is there are still extensive tracts of forest habitat in the northeast. Yet as humans have built up roads and housing developments, crossing between key habitat areas — such as from the Adirondacks to the Green Mountains — can be a dangerous trip for a moose or a bear.   

This year the Northern Forest Canoe Trail marked the 10th anniversary of its official opening.

James Walsh via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/eTgwy3

Whether it's savvy marketing, the mixology craze, or sudden affection for old- fashioneds, demand for  whiskey has reached an all-time high. But with barrel-aging process that takes years, keeping up with demand isn't easy. On today’s show we’ll look into the high-tech race to speed up whiskey production.

And musician and author Robin MacArthur talks about her debut collection of short stories called Half-Wild, weaving tales from an untold side of Vermont, where double-wide trailers sit alongside swanky second homes, and old hippies and homesteaders carve a life out of the wilderness.

Plus we'll find out what makes The Great British Baking Show such a welcome respite in the age of reality snark.

Some Vermont officials unhappy over a standstill with New Hampshire over a long-closed, deteriorating bridge connecting both states are suggesting that a federal judge step in to fix things.

Closed since 2009, the 86-year-old Vilas Bridge over the Connecticut River was built between Walpole, New Hampshire, and Bellows Falls, Vermont.

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance said it's the last remaining concrete arch bridge of its type in the state, and put it on its annual list of structures to save in 2012.

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Wednesday that the state is going to extend the range of water testing as results continue to come in showing widespread contamination around the former Chemfab plant in North Bennington.

Gov. Peter Shumlin says he'd like to see lawmakers legalize marijuana during the current legislative session. But it now appears unlikely that the proposal will allow individual Vermonters to grow their own marijuana.

John W. Iwanski via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/adzSde

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. In times of mourning, we emphasize the cyclical nature of life and death - and yet, American burial practices are mostly designed to halt the natural process of decomposition. Today on Word of Mouth, a look at the historical forces that pushed America towards embalming and containment, and the growing "green burial" movement. Plus, how American judges are grappling with a difficult to interpret form of evidence that's starting to be introduced in the courtroom - the emoji.

Farmers in Vermont have about 600,000 state residents – plus visitors – to sell their products to. That's not a big market.

One company trying to help expand the reach of Vermont farms outside the state's borders is Farmers to You, based in Berlin, Vt.

Flickr user "btckeychain."

When you buy or sell a home, at some point in the process, you’ve got to check the property against a central database, usually at the town clerk’s office. And when you buy or sell something with the digital currency bitcoin, that bitcoin has to be registered somewhere so it can’t be spent twice. That registry, which functions kind of like a digital town clerk’s office, is called the block chain. Right now the state of Vermont is paving the way for entrepreneurs and governments to use the block chain for other purposes.

Delaywaves via Creative Commons

While Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders campaigned in the North Country Monday, down in Claremont, his home-state governor was stumping for his one of his opponents. 

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is one of a handful of Democratic Governors to supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.

“She’s practical, she’s innovative, she’s progressive, and she gets things done. And that’s why I’m so excited about this campaign," Shumlin said.

This time of year, the Appalachian Trail fills up with hikers passing through Vermont and New Hampshire on their way to the endpoint in Maine. Some are walking to bring attention to a worthy cause. But not everyone scales the obstacles that Phil Valentine has faced. 

This week, Bedlam – recently named one of the best young theater companies in New York City by Backstage.com  will perform two nights at the Paramount Theatre, offering early glimpses of Pygmalion and a brand new play called New York Animals.

Several hundred people attended a vigil in Barre Sunday to honor a Department for Children and Families social worker killed on Friday, apparently as the result of a child custody dispute.

Authorities believe three other apparent murders in Central Vermont are all connected to Jody Herring, the suspect in the Barre killing.

More and more members of the military are coming back from deployments needing medical attention, and Vietnam-era veterans are aging. 

The decision by Gov. Peter Shumlin to abandon a single payer health care system is having an unexpected impact on Vermont's larger businesses. And lawmakers will now have to make decisions that Vermont's health care law never anticipated.

The village of Island Pond, in the Northeast Kingdom, is becoming the maple sugar capital of North America. An out-of-state company called Sweet Tree has bought about 7,000 acres and tapped 100,000 trees this year. But they say they don’t want to make the stuff you put on pancakes.

Vermont’s online health insurance exchange has been beset with problems since its launch a year and a half ago. In a surprise announcement on Friday, Gov. Peter Shumlin said Vermont will abandon Vermont Health Connect if it doesn’t start working properly soon.

ANGELA EVANCIE VPR/FILE

Longtime Washington County Sen. Bill Doyle says he'll propose a constitutional amendment to make it less likely that lawmakers will be asked to elect a governor in the future. Doyle says the results of this year's election show why his amendment is needed.  

Cost, Tax Concerns Prompt Vermont To Hold Off On Single-Payer Health Plan

Dec 18, 2014
Delaywaves via Creative Commons

Vermont's big experiment in creating a single-payer health care system is over, at least for now.

On Wednesday Governor Peter Shumlin announced he would effectively kill the plan to create a publicly-financed insurance system that was to be known as Green Mountain Health Care. "In my judgment," Shumlin said, "now is not the right time to ask our legislature to take the step of passing the financial plan for Green Mountain Health Care."

New federal science education standards adopted in Vermont require that students learn about climate change. So teachers are starting to create lesson plans with hands-on activities about weather patterns.

Some are getting that training deep in the woods of the Northeast Kingdom.

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