The former Dean of the now defunct Lebanon College in New Hampshire is trying to launch a new kind of educational institution that would offer liberal arts instruction in non-classroom settings.

Property tax reform has become a key issue in the race for lieutenant governor. Although the two leading candidates have very different plans to reduce tax burdens on the middle class, they both see an expanded role for state government in education funding.

Republican incumbent Phil Scott and his Progressive and Democratic challenger Dean Corren do agree on one thing - many middle class families are getting hammered by higher property tax burdens.

Rutland Police Chief James Baker has announced he’ll step down at the end of the year to take a job as Director of Law Enforcement and Support for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, in Alexandria, Virginia.

The 58-year-old police chief says he's looking forward to new opportunities and challenges in the Washington DC area and a job that he says won’t keep him in the public spotlight handling crisis on a 24-hour basis.

The groundwater sitting below IBM’s massive campus in Essex Junction still bears the chemical stains of the plant’s past. The company announced this week its selling the plant , but it still bears responsibility for the clean-up.

The offending compound is called TCE – short for tetrachloroethylene – and back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, IBM used it by the truckload. David Mears, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, says TCE turned out to be toxic stuff.

Scott Milne, by his own account, likes to keep things "boring." But political insiders have been wondering just how boring the Republican candidate can afford to be; Gov. Peter Shumlin has already put out four television ads and as of Oct. 15, Milne's only ad buys were on Facebook.

Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott is running for his third term as Vermont’s second in command and as the highest-ranking Republican in the state.

He shares his thoughts on single-payer health care, school funding, renewable energy, job creation and stimulating the Vermont economy. And we’ll get his reaction to the IBM sale of the Essex plant.

Post your questions or comments for Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott here or email them to vermontedition@vpr.net.

"It's been a long summer," says Frank Cioffi of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, referring the long-awaited announcement that IBM is offloading its microchip manufacturing division, which includes the IBM plant in Essex Junction, to GlobalFoundries. We look at why IBM is paying Global Foundries $1.5 billion over three years to take over that business, what it means for employees,  and the impact on the state's economy.

After over 40 years of planning, funding delays, re-planning and construction, on Oct. 31 the Morrisville Bypass will open to motor vehicles. The ribbon cutting is planned for noon on Oct. 31, followed by walking tours and, at 2 p.m., a motor vehicle parade. And although they're not allowed, there might be some rogue bike riders along the two-mile route as well.

Vermont’s unemployment rate went up last month, from 4.1 percent in August to 4.4 percent in September, according to the latest report from the Department of Labor. Over the same period, the national unemployment rate fell from 6.1 percent to 5.9 percent.

Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan attributes the increase to seasonal trends, noting that last year’s unemployment rate followed a similar pattern in late summer and early fall.

Last spring, the legislature passed a law requiring foods that contain genetically modified organisms, or GMO's, to be labeled. That labeling will go into effect in 2016 and the Attorney General's office has been working to come up with rules for what the labels will look like.

The state has just released a draft proposal of those rules and is holding informal meetings around the state this week to get public feedback.

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