The number of children taken into state custody has increased over the past six years, and lawmakers are struggling to find ways to ensure their wellbeing.
Moussa81 / iStock

'We've Got A Crisis': Lawmakers Seek To Change A Child Welfare System Strained By Opioid Epidemic

Lawmakers are looking for novel ways to relieve stress on a child welfare system that’s straining under the weight of Vermont’s opioid problem.

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Looking Back On 2018

Clockwise from top left, scenes from Vermont in 2018: Amanda Pelkey with her Olympic gold medal; an embrace at a Morristown barn raising; looking at the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge; a child sleds in July; a sturgeon caught in the Winooski River.
Clockwise from top left: Peter Hirschfeld, Amy Noyes, Lynne McCrea, Amy Noyes, John Dillon / VPR

Year In Review: 18 Things That Made Vermont Smile In 2018

The year is wrapping up, and throughout 2018 we heard a number of stories from our state that put a smile on the faces of Vermonters. Need a pick me up? Take a look through this list of 2018 highlights (in no particular order).

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As Springfield Hospital faces serious financial struggles, the CEO and CFO of its health care system have both recently resigned. There is other internal turmoil as well, including attrition and missed payments to contractors and others. What's going wrong and what steps are being taken to turn things around?

VPR Classical's Timeline program is starting a new series on music and the mind.

VPR Classical has been airing the Timeline series since 2015. The thought-provoking, bite-sized explorations of the development and history of Western music are the brainchild of James Stewart, the afternoon host for VPR Classical. Now, he's producing a series of new Timeline episodes with a specific focus on music.

Sarah Witter couldn't catch a break even though her leg had gotten several.

As she lay on a ski trail in Vermont last February, Witter, now 63, knew she hadn't suffered a regular fall because she couldn't get up. An X-ray showed she had fractured two bones in her lower left leg.

A surgeon at Rutland Regional Medical Center screwed two gleaming metal plates onto the bones to stabilize them. "I was very pleased with how things came together," the doctor wrote in his operation notes.

Toys can elicit fond memories of childhood. We take a look at some of what's available for kids of all ages today.
creisinger / iStock

Live call-in discussion: Whether you grew up with a yo-yo, a doll, robots, race cars or video games, toys probably played some part in your childhood. And maybe into your adulthood. What better time to talk toys than at the holidays?

We're talking about how to direct your charity giving at the end of the year.
Infadel / iStock

About 30% of all the charitable giving in this country happens during December, according to the website Charity Navigator, which tracks giving and helps rate thousands of different charitable organizations according to their transparency, financial health and accountability. If you're thinking about ways to use your money for good this month, how do you make sure you're doing it right?

Maple syrup in glass leaf-shaped bottles.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

Today is National Maple Syrup Day. When most of us think about maple syrup, we might think of pancakes or perhaps put it in our coffee. But some maple syrup producers are trying to push it beyond the breakfast food category. 

Single-use plastic bags hang on a wall.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR File

The city of Boston’s ban on plastic grocery bags went into effect Friday, and a regional environmental group says it will push for legislation to impose a similar ban in all six New England states.

A blue hospital monitoring line that turns into a dollar symbol.
hh5800 / iStock

There are a matter of hours left to sign up for 2019 health insurance coverage on the state-run exchange during open enrollment, but a state official says residents could still complete their application next week if needed.

A statue of George Frideric Handel is pictured here at night in Halle, Germany.
IgorGeiger /

The season for George Frideric Handel's Messiah is upon us! Although it was actually first performed around Easter, in our time it has become a December holiday tradition.

This year, VPR is again rounding up performances and sing-alongs of Handel's beloved oratio in our area. 

VSAC has been studying the educational attainment of Vermont students who graduated high school in 2012.
franny-anne / iStock

Some new information has just been released from an ongoing study following nearly 6,000 Vermonters who graduated from high school in 2012. There's some good news for Vermont in terms of college attainment, and some bad news – or ways the state could focus its energy.


More than 50 commentators provide perspective and opinion about current events, topics of interest, and often showcase the work of writers and storytellers.

New From Brave Little State

Antoinette and Clint Hunt, co-founders of Abracadabra Coffee Co. in Woodstock, stand in front of their coffee roaster.
Angela Evancie / VPR

What Does It Take To Start And Run A Successful Small Business In Vermont?

What do you do when you want to start something new, but you don’t know exactly how?

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Holiday Programming

This holiday season, make VPR and VPR Classical part of your celebrations! Enjoy a variety of traditional and new programs and music, a special holiday playlist from VPR Music and more.

The Latest From But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids


Why Do We Poop And Fart?

How does your body make poop? How many germs are in an ounce of poop? Why do people fart and why are farts stinky? Look, everybody does it, so today we're going to tackle one of the areas kids seem to find fascinating: why and how we poop! Plus, we get some help from Chicago public radio station WBEZ's Curious City to learn about what happens after you flush the toilet. Loading... Let's zero in on the very impressive and efficient system our body uses to take in food, use what it needs, and...

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A 5-part podcast about a school shooting that didn't happen, and the surprising things that did.

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