Vermont’s Department for Children and Families has hired Jennifer Burkey to head up its Rutland District office. Burkey will be the forth person to hold that position in less than a year.

Burkey is spending her first 3 to 6 months working alongside Interim District Director Beth Sausville.  Sausville has been splitting her time since January heading up both Rutland’s and Bennington’s District DCF offices.

Vermont Department for Children and Families officials repeatedly refused to comment on Burkey’s hire, nor was she available for comment.

The House has given its preliminary approval to legislation that's designed to restrain education spending throughout the state.

Backers of the bill say it will also expand educational opportunities for students in smaller districts. The legislation was approved by a vote of 88 to 55.

Audio from this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 2.

Education committee chairman Dave Sharpe says the bill is a response to concerns voiced by many voters last fall about the rising burden of property taxes.

The Vermont Senate passed an election day registration bill Wednesday after defeating an amendment that would have required voters using the provision to provide photo identification.

The legislation, which passed on a voice vote, would allow residents to register to vote on the day of an election. Under current law, a person who wants to cast a vote on Election Day must be registered to vote by the previous Wednesday.

Proponents said the bill will provide greater access to voting booths for Vermonters.

Jane Lindholm / VPR

"So, what did we decide. Did we want to bring the rifle ... or not?" says Forrest Hammond.

That would be a dart rifle, capable of shooting a sedative-filled barb into the flank of a fleeting bear, and the answer is yes.

VPR

The issue of taxes looms large in any Legislative session. But this session, lawmakers have been bombarded with a particularly high number of revenue proposals. From a 0.7 percent payroll tax on employee wages, to a 2-cent-per-once surcharge on sugary beverages, lawmakers have considered and rejected dozens of proposed tax hikes over the past three months. 

FILE / AP

This month, Armenian people around the world are marking 100 years since the genocide that nearly wiped out their culture during World War 1.  As the Ottoman Empire was disintegrating, an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

While the temperatures are slowly warming up outside, the city of Montpelier is warning we're not out of the woods yet when it comes to frozen pipes.

Lanier / iStock

When the founding fathers were debating how to forge an ideal form of government, they were "obsessed" with preventing corruption. That's the argument made by legal scholar Zephyr Teachout, who says modern politicians and courts have left that idealism behind and it's time to reclaim it.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

The village of Island Pond, in the Northeast Kingdom, is becoming the maple sugar capital of North America. An out-of-state company called Sweet Tree has bought about 7,000 acres and tapped 100,000 trees this year. But they say they don’t want to make the stuff you put on pancakes.

Bryan Pfeiffer

A tiny songbird living in Vermont has been on the move and showing some amazing stamina on its journey. The Blackpoll Warbler has been tracked with a migration lasting up to three days over the ocean. A recent study tracked the little bird's astonishing flight from the Northeastern United States and Nova Scotia, over the Atlantic Ocean and then all the way to the Caribbean.

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