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A new report from the Department for Children and Families shows that even as the department added staff to manage heavy caseloads, the number of reports of abuse – and the number of substantiated cases – continued to rise.

The increase was so significant, DCF Commissioner Ken Schatz said Wednesday, that social worker caseloads are now higher than they were before the department added 18 new social worker positions last year.

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The Vermont State Board of Education adopted new standards for physical education and health classes this past May. Physical educators will now have access to national resources from SHAPE America and the National Health Education Standards, mirroring the introduction of Common Core in other subjects. The goal? Promoting lifelong healthy habits in students.

Charlotte Albright / VPR/file

As the state prepares to re-open a controversial shooting range it owns in Hartland, a rift has developed within the Fish and Wildlife Board. One board member says the site is unsafe, but the commissioner strongly disagrees.

In April of this year, a 34-year old Vermont man took his life inside the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. Patrick Fennessey had been in and out of prison since 2007, when he was convicted of a burglary charge. His mental health issues contributed to his inability to stay out of prison.

AP

In 1852, former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass was invited to speak at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He delivered a speech that has become known as “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” In it he rebuked the country for slavery, which he called "the great sin and shame of America."

COURTESY THE BARRE-MONTPELIER TIMES ARGUS

One of the early advocates of renewable energy in Vermont has died.

John Warshow turned his 1970s anti-nuclear activism into a business that was at the forefront of alternative energy development in the state.

Michael Dwyer / AP

There are signs that the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is heating up. As Bernie Sanders rises in many early polls, his economic agenda is drawing the fire of some of Hillary Clinton's supporters.

Jane Lindholm / VPR

The new state Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin violated federal standards of patient care after a supervising nurse repeatedly and intentionally took actions that upset a patient with “severe” obsessive compulsive disorder, documents show.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

The state of Vermont wants access to the claims data of companies that fund their own health insurance plans. But not all of them are willing to hand it over. And the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to resolve a legal dispute that could have national impacts on health care reform.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

A new report from the Lake Champlain Basin Program provides a comprehensive update on an array of indicators of the health of the lake. It shows serious problems remain with phosphorus pollution in the lake and also notes some ongoing successes with regard to invasive species.

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