Johnson considers form-based codes for its village center. Trails are closed to snowmobiles and high-elevation hikers. Drivers are warned to beware of moose and amphibians. Wallingford announces its 17th annual bike safety day.

If you drive along a Vermont highway and look out over miles of trees, it might come as a surprise that, for the first time in a century, the state is actually losing forest land.

That’s according to a new study from the state Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

To learn why, VPR's Alex Keefe stopped by the offices of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, an environmental advocacy group, and talked with Forest and Wildlife Program Director Jamey Fidel.

He says the culprit is something called forest fragmentation.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Senate President John Campbell says it's very unlikely that the Senate will pass one of Gov. Peter Shumlin's top legislative priorities this session: making a significant reduction in the Medicaid Cost Shift.

Campbell says the governor's plan would have a detrimental impact on Vermont's business community.

Audio for this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Monday, April 20

Steve Zind / VPR/file

FairPoint Communications is in the midst of a Public Service Board investigation into repair delays experienced by the company’s telephone customers. 

But Fairpoint officials say the fact they’re required to meet certain quality standards is inherently unfair, and they want state regulators to do away with the standards.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Vermonters may soon have the option to get cell phone service through a new company, though it’s likely one they already use regularly.

Reporter Neal Goswami of the Vermont Press Bureau updates the status of a payroll tax bill the Shumlin administration proposes; a sugar-sweetened beverage tax; and a paid sick days bill. He also reads the tea leaves on a decision that Senator Bernie Sanders is making on whether to run for president.

Alexandra Thompson / iStock

A bill mandating that businesses offer their workers paid days off for illnesses or emergencies is alive again at the Statehouse, but in a watered-down state.

But does providing paid sick days make smart business sense and is it a benefit to the community at large? Or is it an onerous demand on small businesses that can easily be abused?

Toby Talbot / AP/file

The school district consolidation bill that passed the House is now being debated in state Senate, where lawmakers are taking a dimmer view of mandatory consolidation than their colleagues in the House did.

This week, a major contract was awarded for a big construction project. A construction consortium has won the bid to replace the Champlain Bridge in Montreal. That span is familiar to any Vermonter as the bridge that carries them  from the highway across the St. Lawrence River into the city.

A&D Klumb Environmental / VTel

Vermont is the largest per-capita recipient of federal funds for broadband expansion, with much of the money going to the Springfield-based Vermont Telephone Company (VTel) to build a statewide wireless broadband network.

The build-out is aided by a state law that makes it possible to circumvent local zoning laws to erect telecommunications towers — and Calais is the latest community to confront the tension between local control and state’s desire to expand broadband service.

Pages