The editorial staffs at a number of small-town newspapers in Vermont and Massachusetts are getting smaller still.

New England Newspapers Inc., has laid off 10 editorial employees at papers it owns including the Brattleboro Reformer, the Bennington Banner and the Manchester Journal.  The layoffs leave skeleton crews at the three Vermont newspapers.

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At any given time, more than 30,000 Vermonters are contending with a suspended driver’s license. But the suspension often relates to offenses that have nothing to do with a person’s road-worthiness. So Transportation Secretary Sue Minter says it’s time to get many of those drivers back on the highway.

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The Vermont State Board of Education adopted new standards for physical education and health classes this past May. Physical educators will now have access to national resources from SHAPE America and the National Health Education Standards, mirroring the introduction of Common Core in other subjects. The goal? Promoting lifelong healthy habits in students.

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The long-time IBM microelectronics plant in Essex Junction officially belongs to GlobalFoundries.

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A new report from the Department for Children and Families shows that even as the department added staff to manage heavy caseloads, the number of reports of abuse – and the number of substantiated cases – continued to rise.

The increase was so significant, DCF Commissioner Ken Schatz said Wednesday, that social worker caseloads are now higher than they were before the department added 18 new social worker positions last year.

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As the state prepares to re-open a controversial shooting range it owns in Hartland, a rift has developed within the Fish and Wildlife Board. One board member says the site is unsafe, but the commissioner strongly disagrees.

In April of this year, a 34-year old Vermont man took his life inside the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. Patrick Fennessey had been in and out of prison since 2007, when he was convicted of a burglary charge. His mental health issues contributed to his inability to stay out of prison.

AP

In 1852, former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass was invited to speak at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He delivered a speech that has become known as “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” In it he rebuked the country for slavery, which he called "the great sin and shame of America."

COURTESY THE BARRE-MONTPELIER TIMES ARGUS

One of the early advocates of renewable energy in Vermont has died.

John Warshow turned his 1970s anti-nuclear activism into a business that was at the forefront of alternative energy development in the state.

Michael Dwyer / AP

There are signs that the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is heating up. As Bernie Sanders rises in many early polls, his economic agenda is drawing the fire of some of Hillary Clinton's supporters.

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