Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

Every winter, the Vermont Farm Show is a chance for farmers to check out new equipment and trade information about issues affecting them. One of the big topics this year: the impact of farms on the water quality of Lake Champlain.

The EPA and the Shumlin administration agree that water runoff from farms causes 40 percent of the phosphorous pollution that's degrading the water quality in Lake Champlain. The disagreement comes over what to do about it.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

When Gov. Peter Shumlin made water pollution and cleaning Lake Champlain a major focus of his inaugural address earlier this month, officials in charge of preventing that pollution got a boost.

Audio from this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 27.

That's because one of the biggest obstacles to cleaner water in the past has been poor funding and what critics have called a lack of political will in Montpelier.

Seth Wenig / AP

The long-time speaker of the New York State Assembly returned to Albany today for the first time since he was arrested on federal corruption charges last week.

Government prosecutors say Speaker Sheldon Silver took nearly $4 million in bribes and kickbacks, in exchange for using his political clout to direct money and policy out of Albany.

The familiar Lang McLaughry Real Estate signs are a thing of the past. 

The South Burlington residential and commercial real estate company, which was Vermont's largest, has merged with the smaller Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty based in New Hampshire.

The company has also acquired a real estate firm based in Manchester, Vermont Country Properties Sotheby’s International Realty.

The new company,  called Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty, has 23 offices and more than 220 sales agents in two states.

The Department of Public Service says FairPoint Communications continues to make significant progress in resolving the backlog of telephone repairs. 

The repair delays, which have been a problem since last summer, have landed the company in hot water with regulators.

The department says the number of outstanding repairs has dropped by 50 percent from a week ago.

Based on numbers provided to legislators, that means there are now about 400 Vermont customers waiting for phone service and repairs.

Angela Evancie / VPR

There has been talk for months that the state budget has a projected shortfall of around $100 million. To close the budget gap, lawmakers and officials will look at ways to increase revenue through taxes and fees, as well as cut back spending and state services.

But what is our total state budget and how does a $100 million gap happen? VPR’s Statehouse Reporter Peter Hirschfeld, who looks at these numbers on a daily basis, explains the basics of the state budget.

Doug Friant / LVRS

Volunteer emergency service organizations can sometimes seem like private clubs, where you need to possess special skills and know the coded language in order to belong. That perception of exclusivity, no matter how false, can make it hard for fire departments and rescue squads to recruit volunteers, solicit donations and generally communicate with the community at large.

westphalia / iStock

The natural gas pipeline through Addison County received approval from the Public Service Board. But since then, the projected costs have risen twice and nearly doubled.

We talk with the new CEO of Vermont Gas, Don Rendall, and Maren Vasatka, an Addison County landowner who opposes the pipeline.

Eye on the Sky

A powerful coastal storm is forecasted to bring heavy snow and high wind to Vermont, beginning in the southern part of the state on Monday afternoon and moving northward through Tuesday.

Building Bright Futures

There was some potential good news for parents of young children in President Barack Obama's State of the Union address last week. The president focused on the importance of early education, and backed it up with a proposal to increase a child care tax credit up to $3,000.

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