VPR News
5:46 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Female State Workers Allege Pay Discrimination

Emily Joselson, a lawyer for three female state workers who have accused the state if Vermont of violating the Equal Pay Act, argues the case Thursday in Montpelier.
VPR/Peter Hirschfeld

Lawyers for three female employees say the state of Vermont has violated its own Equal Pay Act. And a Washington County judge will now decide whether the state has run afoul of a law designed to prevent gender-based pay inequities in the workplace.

No one disputes that the man in this case was making more money than his women counterparts for performing nearly identical functions – $6,000 to $10,000 more per year than the three female Department of Corrections employees who filed suit against the state in 2012.

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VPR News
5:42 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Tourism Survey Finds Most Effective Marketing is Word Of Mouth

Visitors line up at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury.
AP/Toby Talbot

A first ever in-depth survey of visitors to Vermont sheds light on how they make their travel decisions. Visitors to Vermont welcome centers, state parks and local attractions filled out more than 8,500 questionnaires over a two year period.

Researchers say the results present a fairly comprehensive picture of why they decide to come and what they like to do once they arrive.

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VPR News
5:12 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Chester Still Assessing Damage After Worst Flooding Since Irene

The waters raged in Chester following flash flooding on Monday.
Chester Fire Department

Town officials in Chester are still assessing the damage from Monday afternoon’s flash flooding. They say more than three inches of rain fell on Chester and the Williams River, creating the worst flooding since Tropical Storm Irene hit the area almost three years ago.

Town Manager David Pisha says a number of roads have washed out and culverts are plugged.

"The river moved up on Potash Brook Road, to the extent that we will probably be constructing a new bridge just to accommodate the move in the river," Pisha says.

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Vermont Edition
4:19 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Photographing Vermont's Semi-Pro Wrestling Scene

Photographer Emily McManamy has created "Hitting the Mat," a multimedia exhibit at the Vermont Folklife Center featuring the men and women of St. Albans' Slam All-Star Wrestling.
Emily McManamy Free Press

When then-Burlington Free Press photographer Emily McManamy captured the scenes at a monthly pro-wrestling event in St. Albans a few years back, she thought it would just be for a newspaper story. But with the help of the Folklife Center in Middlebury, she’s turned it into a multi-media exhibit that the Center is currently hosting.

“Hitting the Mat” features photographs, audio interviews and looping video clips of the office workers and carpenters turned villains and superheroes that turn out for Slam All-Star Wrestling each month at the Moose Lodge in St. Albans. 

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Vermont Edition
12:30 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Acting Very Locally: Vermont’s Town Energy Committees

Projects like this solar barn have been completed through the efforts of town energy committees.
Vermont Natural Resources Council

Groups of volunteers in over 100 towns have been educating and facilitating home owners and municipalities transition to small-scale renewable energy or to find ways to reduce energy consumption. It’s the work of Vermont’s town energy committees.

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Vermont Edition
12:00 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Citizen Scientists, Unite!

Alison Wagner records the bird count in Fayston, as she takes part in The National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count in 2008. The annual event is one of the longest-running citizen science data collection projects in the country.
Toby Talbot AP

When scientists need massive volumes of data or they need data collected over a huge geographic range, they often turn to well-trained citizen scientists for help. From counting the populations of species, to monitoring water quality, citizen scientists are contributing to research and learning about science in the process. We dive into some of the research projects in Vermont that are boosted by citizen-gathered data. Our guest is Larry Clarfeld, an environmental educator at the North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier.

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The Frequency
11:59 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Pipeline Protestors Flee Company Official After Hour Long Sit-in

Police were on the scene as pipeline protestors stood and left the Vermont Gas Systems pipe yard.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

A group of protestors associated with Rising Tide Vermont briefly stopped work at a Vermont Gas Systems pipe yard in Williston Wednesday morning.

The group, singing protest songs and chanting, marched across a field and through the pipe yard before staging a sit-in at the entrance to the site, blocking vehicles from coming in or leaving.

Unlike at previous protests, like a “knit-in” that led to one arrest, the protestors fled as soon as a Vermont Gas official approached them. It was a coordinated effort to evade being served notifications of trespass.

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Public Post
11:30 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Vermont Property Tax Rates By Town

This is the time of year Vermont cities and towns set the municipal tax rates and start sending out property tax bills. Vermont property taxes pay for public education as well as municipal infrastructure and government services. As such, municipal tax rates vary widely based upon the level of service provided by cities and towns.

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Government & Politics
6:03 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Leahy Wants To Rein In NSA Surveillance

Senator Patrick Leahy has introduced legislation that makes major changes in surveillance programs used by the U.S. government.

As chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, Leahy has worked on this issue for several months.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Leahy said his goal is to end the massive data searches that the National Security Agency has conducted in recent years.

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VPR News
5:00 am
Wed July 30, 2014

State Seeks Applications From Windham County For Entergy Funds

The Commissioner of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Pat Moulton, seen here in 2005, will administer the development program.
Toby Talbot AP

Applications are now being accepted for the first round of funds provided by Entergy Vermont Yankee for economic development in Windham County. In a settlement with the state, Entergy agreed to pay $10 million over five years to help the region recover from the plant’s closing later this year.

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