This summer, several local communities are answering Governor Peter Shumlin’s call of alarm about the growing opioid epidemic. About a dozen regional committees are now meeting throughout Vermont to craft specific action plans.
In the Northeast Kingdom, a group of concerned citizens call themselves “The Drug Abuse Resistance Team,” or DART 2.0. They meet once a month in a church basement. Members include social service providers, recovering addicts, drug and alcohol abuse counselors, a restorative justice director, even a hospital president.
On a table in the front room of the milking barn here at Nordic Farms in Charlotte, you can hear the murky liquids bubbling inside a series of foot-tall Erlenmeyer flasks.
The scene seems more like a 1970s-era chemistry set than a cutting edge research facility. And in fact the set-up here is mostly for show – a larger version of the experiment is being run out of a high-tech laboratory in Burlington.
The state Health Department is reporting an increase in whooping cough cases in Windham County.
The department has alerted health care providers in the area that the number of confirmed cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, rose to 11 in June. Ten were among children age 3 to 17, while one was an adult. The cases occurred as schools were closing or after they had closed for the summer.
So far in July, the department says there are five more suspected cases. All but one of the confirmed and suspected cases are from Brattleboro.
What might start out as simple collecting or the inability to throw something out, can eventually lead to overloading a home or apartment with stacks of unwanted junk. And that can eventually result in isolation, unsafe conditions and even squalor.
Mike Ohler and Brooke Hadwen, members of the Chittenden County Hoarding Task Force, discuss the consequences of hoarding and how someone can break the cycle. And we hear from Vermont State Director of the Humane Society of the United States Joanne Bourbeau about animal hoarding.
Vermont's law against human trafficking went into effect in 2011, and the Task Force that's implementing it is still working to understand the scope of the problem here, and raise public awareness about how vulnerable young women can become victims of sex traffickers in Vermont.
A report released Tuesday says Massachusetts and Vermont are in the top-10 among states for how much they spend on health care for prison inmates. Researchers say there is one particular reason for this trend.
The study examined how much money states spent on prisoner health care during a four-year period. In the case of Massachusetts and Vermont, each has some of the oldest prisoner populations nationwide.
While many soccer fans have been shouting at their televisions from the comfort of their living rooms, hundreds of World Cup enthusiasts have been watching recent matches in high definition on a 30-by-24 foot screen at Rutland’s Paramount Theatre.
Bruce Bouchard, director of the Paramount, said they installed their high definition projection equipment last year initially to show the Metropolitan Opera.
Changes in the paperwork college applicants fill out to apply for financial aid have created some problems. The new format could put assistance out of reach for students who deserve it. There is also a stricter standard that could allow the federal government to suspend assistance to more colleges where students are not paying their debts.