Jill Zuckman / AP

Sen. Patrick Leahy was present when American contractor Alan Gross was released from a prison in Cuba Wednesday after being held there for five years. The release came as President Obama announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Governor Peter Shumlin said on Wednesday that the time isn’t right for single-payer health care, and pushing for it now would likely hurt Vermont’s economy.

We'd like your reaction to the governor’s decision to put single-payer on hold.

Join the conversation: post comments and questions below or write to vermontedition@vpr.net

The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is slated to close on Monday, Dec. 29. Employment at the plant will drop in the middle of January from around 550 employees to just over 300.

The impact is expected to be substantial in Windham County and across state lines in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Audio from this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18.

The State Board of Education is urging lawmakers to avoid “regressive tax reform” when they consider ways to change the way education is funded in Vermont.

By a unanimous vote Tuesday, the board approved a legislative agenda that calls for “limiting new educational legislative action, so that our scarce resources can be focused on fully and properly implementing recently passed laws.”

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

Gov. Peter Shumlin said today that he will not pursue his signature policy of single payer health care in the coming legislative session.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Shumlin said the taxes that would be required to fund a single-payer health care system for the state are "in a word, enormous."

Read Shumlin's prepared remarks from the news conference.

A new report  shows that Vermont is making progress toward some key education goals for high school students, but lagging behind the region in other areas. The data have been collected since 2009 using similar metrics and methods by five states in the New England Secondary School Consortium.

Toby Talbot / AP

The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has been operating since 1972. Now, we're less than two weeks away from the plant closing for good. And while it will stop producing energy, life will continue at the plant with the storage of spent fuel and the decommissioning of the plant.

Susan Bulmer / Vermont State Parks

Looking for something to do New Year's Day? Vermont State Parks suggests you go take a hike.

Guided First Day Hikes are being offered at nine Vermont State Parks and Forests on Jan. 1. Professional guides and outdoor educators will lead the family-oriented hikes. Leashed dogs are also welcome on most of the hikes. Snowshoes are recommended if the snow is deep. There's no need to preregister just pack a snack, water and warm clothes and go take a hike!

iStock / Thinkstock

Attention artists: Colchester wants you to design its new bike racks.

The Town of Colchester is asking artists to submit designs for permanent outdoor bicycle racks for its Colchester Rides! contest. Three winning designers will be offered $2,500 honoraria to produce the bike racks, which will be placed at prominent locations in the community. Artists will also be responsible for the first year of maintenance on their racks.

The three members of Vermont’s congressional delegation have once again called on FairPoint Communications to settle a two month old strike with unionized employees.

In a joint letter to the company, Sens. Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch wrote, “It is becoming increasingly clear to Vermonters that management is more concerned with the interests of corporate owners of FairPoint than negotiating a reasonable agreement that is fair to your workers and customers.”

Pages