Lauren Victoria Burke / AP

The U.S. Senate will meet in a rare Sunday session to discuss the future of the Patriot Act. There's a lot of attention surrounding this issue because the act will expire Sunday night unless Congress votes to reauthorize it.

Annie Russell / VPR

Burlington's women's rugby club is heading to a national competition this weekend and I caught up with the team at their last practice before the tournament.

On a cloudy Thursday evening, raindrops started to fall on Burlington's women's rugby team. The sky looks like it could open up at any moment. What does that mean for practice?

Audio for this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Monday, June 1

“We'll practice through the rain. As long as there's no lightning we're good to go," says Ashley Eaton, co-captain of the team.

An unusual problem with Vermont’s Emergency 911 network briefly prevented a number of calls from getting through this week

For nearly an hour Thursday morning, some calls to Vermont’s E -911 system triggered a series of additional "phantom" calls that appeared to come from the same address and phone number as the original.

They were routed to call-takers who, finding no one at the other end of the line, initiated a procedure in which they try to reach someone at that number.

Vermont Historical Society

Traditionally, when we think of manufacturing, images of the dirt and danger of heavy industry are conjured. It's also thought of as a declining industry.

But in the 21st century, Advanced Manufacturing appears to be the way forward. This is the area of manufacturing that uses automation, software or cutting-edge technology.

Oliver Parini for VPR

On a hot, sunny Tuesday evening,  Senator Bernie Sanders said the words that 5,000 supporters had gathered to hear: he is running for president of the United States.  Sanders addressed 14 policy areas in his announcement speech at Waterfront Park in Burlington, and now he's taking his message to New Hampshire and Iowa.

Jon Kalish / VPR File

A Burlington company that develops software and hardware for unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, is the first company in Vermont to get a federal permit allowing the use of drones for commercial purposes.

Screen shot/ / Vermont Health Connect

Vermont Health Connect user accounts will be offline through the weekend to get systems up and running that the health care exchange has lacked since it launched in October 2013.

The weekend changes are expected to upgrade a “change of circumstance” function so that health plans are updated to reflect life changes – such as a new family member, new job or change in marital status – more quickly.

Comstock / Thinkstock

Does getting a good public education in Vermont depend on whether or not your teacher and principal are experienced and well paid? If so, are urban kids better off, or worse off, than rural ones? And are minorities always the most disadvantaged, when it comes to high quality instruction?

That’s what the U.S. Department of Education wants every state to find out. But in Vermont, the answers do not match up with other states.  

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Truancy — skipping school — is a perennial problem, especially toward the end of the school year. Poor attendance sets kids back academically and can mask dysfunction at home, like abuse and addiction.

Few Vermont communities have addressed the issue as thoroughly as Lamoille County.

Photo: Jack Rowell

This week, we're considering the role of storytelling for Vermont Reads, the Vermont Humanities Council's state-wide reading program. This year's book is Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie.

Haroun admires his father, the great story-teller Rashid, and his ability to keep crowds of people awestruck with the power of his tales. When he travels to a magical world to bring back the source of the stories, Haroun meets a mysterious page called Blabbermouth, a girl who masquerades for a time as a boy, and in her presence, Haroun finds himself without words.