President Obama wants to implement an immigration package through his powers of executive order and this decision has set off a controversial debate in Congress. Friday on Vermont Edition, Sen. Patrick Leahy is our guest to discuss immigration and other issues facing the U.S. Senate, such as this week's vote on the Keystone XL pipeline. We'll also discuss the failure this week of a bill Leahy sponsored to restrict government surveillance.

The Vermont Telephone Co. CEO who moved an ancient cemetery in Hartland to clear the way for a new home has received a wastewater permit for the site, but not necessarily the blessings of the many in town who have opposed his plans. The resentments stirred by the three-year battle — one that has variously involved costumed protesters, accusations of graveyard desecration (from both sides) and the exhumation of a cat — remain fresh.
 

The Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund has allocated $1.6 million to develop a wood-pellet heating industry in Windham County. The funding group has put out a call for proposals to design and run the program.

The funds are part of a final $5.3 million clean energy payment from Entergy Vermont Yankee, which is closing at the end of the year. At least $2.6 million of that is earmarked for Windham County, the region expected to be hardest hit economically by the closure.

Detectives with the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations charged Rosemary Gile Wednesday in the July death of her four-week-old son, Saunder Gilruth.

Emergency responders responded to Isham Street in Burlington on July 22 and rushed the infant to Fletcher Allen Health Care (now the University of Vermont Medical Center), where he died on July 30.

Gile is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death. She is due to appear in court on Dec. 4.

President Barack Obama says he will be laying out a plan Thursday to improve the immigration system. He says he plans to extend temporary legal status to more than five million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Advocates wonder how the move will help the Vermont's undocumented farmworkers.

The state is home to about 1,500 migrant dairy farmworkers, some undocumented. It's anticipated that they won't be covered under President Obama's plan.

There isn’t a single documented case of Ebola in the United States right now, let alone in Vermont. But health officials here remain on high alert nonetheless. And the state is now monitoring two people who returned earlier this month after traveling in West African countries where the disease is more widespread.

The individuals are checking their own temperature twice a day, then reporting results via phone during daily check-in with a public health nurse. They are not health care workers, according to officials, and their period of monitoring ends Friday.

Susanne Schmidt started telling stories over a year ago, during a comedy fundraiser for the lunch ladies of Vermont. “The day before the event, I was having a really hard time deciding what to do for my set, when I realized I had a story about my lunch lady when I was growing up," Schmidt says. “So I threw out my comedy set, got up in front of 200 people and told my story.” 

From that point forward, Schmidt hasn’t stopped connecting with people through her storytelling.


Burlington College's Board of Trustees has approved a deal to sell 25 acres of its lakefront land to Burlington developer Eric Farrell in order to reduce the college's debt burden, school officials announced Thursday.

Under the deal, Farrell is set to pay about $4 million to the Catholic Diocese - money the college currently owes the diocese, which sold the land to the college in 2010. Farrell will also pay $3.5 million to the college so it can pay down other debt; namely People's United Bank, which holds about $6.1 million of the college's debt.

Walk into a gallery space in Bennington right now and you'll be surrounded by a thirty-five foot long curved painting of a valley in Afghanistan outside Bagram air base. The gallery is filled with sounds from the bazaar's and villages in the valley. Interviews with local Afghans hang on the walls. It's an immersive, complicated portrait of a complicated place created by an anthropologist and an artist working together as a team.

While most Vermonters can look forward to two more years free of yard signs and political ads, Burlingtonians are headed right back into election season as Mayor Miro Weinberger's first term comes to a close.

Less than two weeks after polls closed and most (but not all) of Vermont's political races were decided, Burlington's former public works chief told Seven Days he plans to take on Weinberger.

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