72 Vermont communities add fluoride to their water system to help keep prevent tooth decay. But on town meeting day in Bennington, voters there said they don't want fluoride added to their water.

VPR's Mitch Wertlieb spoke with Derek Carson, reporter for the Bennington Banner, for our Friday Regional Report.

The state workers union is calling on Gov. Peter Shumlin to raise an additional $30 million in revenues next year. And other groups are joining the union's push for tax increases on the wealthy.

Vermont has a serious budget problem. There’s a $112 million gap between the cost of running government next year, and the amount of revenues coming in to pay for it.

That leaves the Shumlin administration with a choice: Cut costs? Or raise revenues? And the Democratic governor has opted for some of both.

AP/file

Jay Peak resort has signed a settlement agreement that environmentalists say will improve water quality in streams damaged by development.

For the last decade or more, construction projects at the four-season resort have caused sediment to flow into streams. That's led to violations of state water quality standards.

Audio from this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Friday, March 6.

Alex Diotto/Jeremy Holt

Vermont writer Jeremy Holt of Middlebury has written a graphic novel in four issues called Southern Dog, which tackles teen angst, the after-effects of a wolf bite and racism in the Deep South.

Holt recently spoke to VPR about where the story elements for Southern Dog emerged, and what fueled the writing process.

Shelburne Museum

The Shelburne Museum has been around for almost 70 years now. Often considered a Vermont treasure, its sprawling campus is home to one of the most important collections of American folk art and artifacts in the country. It has more than 150,000 objects in its permanent collection.

VPR

As we reach the mid-point of the 2015 Legislative session, there have been a number of issues discussed at the Statehouse. Among them are the $112 million dollar budget gap, education reform, Lake Champlain clean up, the
Medicaid Cost Shift, the Sugar Sweetened Beverage tax and the reopening of the state employees union contract.

Jane Lindholm / VPR

Herbal remedies are rooted in ancient traditions, but as they gain popularity we’re learning more about them. They're also becoming a big business and there's greater scrutiny of the ingredients in herbal products and the science behind their uses.

We’ll talk  with Guido Mase, co-director of the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism and author of "The Wild Medicine Solution," about how herbal remedies are made and where to find accurate information about their uses.

Tuesday night was a pretty good one for Rutland Mayor Chris Louras. The incumbent fended off two challengers in yesterday’s election to win himself a fifth term in office. On Wednesday, Mayor Louras discussed his plans for his next two years in office.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Lawmakers are still trying to figure out if increasing Medicaid rates will help curb the cost of private health insurance. But doctors say there’s another important reason to boost payments for providing government-funded care. They’re worried that failure to address the Medicaid issue could create a physician shortage, and put independent practices out of business.

Oliver Parini / VPR

Town Meeting day this year did not bring a taxpayer revolt over school budgets, yet officials say the relative quiet on the budget front does not reduce the need to make fundamental changes to school governance and to the property tax system.  

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