Sen. Patrick Leahy is asking the nation’s largest Internet providers to make a concrete commitment that they will not pursue any plans to create so called “fast lanes” on the Internet.

Currently, the Federal Communications Commission is considering a proposal that would allow Internet Service providers to create a new premium access service online.

Under this plan, the providers would charge an additional fee for businesses that want this new service. Businesses could use the faster lane to give their customers quicker access to the company website.

Local graphic artist, photographer and mountain biking enthusiast Ryan Thibault is the co-creator of Mountain Bike Vermont. The project aims to be the hub of all things biking in the Green Mountains.

Thibault also organized The Green Mountain Showdown, a bike culture variety show, which comes to Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington on Thursday, October 30.

Thibault came to VPR's Colchester studios to talk about how mountain biking meets art in this unique variety show.

Vermont is putting a hold on the use of a potentially faulty guardrail component that some other states have deemed a safety hazard.

As VPR reported Monday:

The concern is that a change in the design of the terminus of the guard rail has caused these products to malfunction. Instead of cushioning the blow of a car, these products break apart and become "bayonets" that penetrate the body of the car.

Candidates have a week and a half of campaigning left before Election Day, and Dean Corren is among those working hard for votes. He's the Progressive and Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, and he's our guest Friday on Vermont Edition. We'll look at why he's made single-payer health care his top priority and the challenges in implementing that system.

Also in the program, political analyst Eric Davis looks at the impact of what will likely be a low voter turnout election.

And we listen back to some of the voices in the week's news.

Nurse shortage

2 hours ago

On July 2, the new Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital opened in Berlin. The $28.5 million facility is the centerpiece in the state’s mental health care network that has suffered to find enough beds for psychiatric patients since Tropical Storm Irene damaged the state hospital in Waterbury almost three years previous to this opening.

But as of just a few weeks ago, only 21 of the new care facilities’ 25 beds were available, in part because of a shortage of nurses. The new hospital was using traveling nurses to fill some of the open slots.

Efficiency Vermont might seem like a non-profit that helps you get cheaper, more environmentally friendly light bulbs, but actually, it is a utility. Efficiency Vermont was created by the Public Service Board in 2000 to help Vermonters use less electricity. That savings is the energy Efficiency Vermont, as a utility, produces. It’s about 13% of our total electric consumption.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Milne says Vermont is in need of a short-term economic stimulus. And his controversial plan would extend substantial tax cuts to Vermont businesses and their investors.

It took a while for Milne to unveil any specific policy proposals. But the challenger to Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin is looking to generate some late-race momentum with what he admits is a quote “provocative” concept.

A panel of experts will be on hand to answer questions tonight before voters in Brookline and Newfane  reconsider a NewBrook Elementary School energy project. Half of the two-part project was approved at a special meeting in June.

A jury in Burlington yesterday found Allen Prue guilty in the murder of Melissa Jenkins.

Jenkins was 33 years old when she was murdered on March 25, 2012. Her body was found in the Connecticut River the next day.

Jenkins was a teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy. Allen Prue, 32, was charged along with his wife Patricia Prue in the murder, but Patricia Prue will be tried separately. That trial is expected to begin in February.

A sentencing date for Prue has not yet been set, but he is facing up to 35 years to life in prison.

The Ebola virus has infected very few people in the United States, and none here in Vermont. But political debate about the disease has spread to the state’s congressional race. 

Incumbent Democrat Peter Welch and his Republican opponent Mark Donka have very different opinions about whether a travel ban is the best way to fight Ebola. 

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