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Will Poole's Island, a new novel by Vermont writer Tim Weed, is a perfect fit for the Thanksgiving season. It's historical fiction set in the colonial era, and it tells the story of an English boy who becomes immersed in a native community.

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The Thanksgiving holiday weekend embodies a few big themes: a festive meal with family, perhaps a long car trip to get there, and time to reflect - sometimes uncomfortably - on our founding history that gave rise to Thanksgiving. Wednesday on Vermont Edition, we're taking all of it on!  From food to travel to history to culture, we'll get your Thanksgiving weekend started right.

Anthropology of a shared meal

Library of Congress

Today, the term farm-to-table signifies the epitome of local food. But nearly 200 years ago, it meant something entirely different when Thanksgiving turkeys traveled hundreds of miles from Vermont farms to Massachusetts tables — on foot.

"Turkey drives" were an autumnal tradition from the 1800s to the early 1900s, and involved the overland strolling of flocks of turkeys from all corners of Vermont to their destination — and demise — in Boston.

A Burlington collector is offering a “significant cash reward” for information that leads to the return of some very rare baseball memorabilia from the early 1900s, police say.

According to a release from the Burlington Police Department, a number of rare collectibles were reported stolen last week from a home on North Prospect Street in Burlington.

Library of Congress

Award-winning author and food historian Rebecca Rupp has written more than 20 books and published over 200 articles. Rupp lives in northern Vermont and recently published an article online for National Geographic Food called Eat, Drink and Be Merry. It examines the cultural significance of food and its power to bring people together.

Vermont Edition sat down with Rupp to talk about her new article and the historical importance of food.

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Homelessness is a problem in the United States that affects every state, and Vermont is no exception.

But a model of handling homelessness called Housing First is getting a lot of attention lately, because it not only helps get people off the streets, it also saves money.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Amy Burell-Cormier says she was pulled over six times in three months, but not because of her driving.

“The third time, the officer asked ‘Do you know why I’m pulling you over?’” she remembers. “I said yes, he said ‘Why?’ I said ‘Because I’m black driving down the road in Vermont,’ and he was horrified.”

The officer’s reason, she says, is that she was speeding – 27 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone.

Steve Zind / VPR

There’s an experiment underway in state government, and it involves the science of staffing. The state of Vermont, which employs as many as 1,500 temporary employees at any given time, is taking efforts to reduce reliance on short-term workers by allowing for more permanent hires.  

Government managers are generally bound by statutory caps on the number of full-time employees their agencies can carry. But a new pilot program allows for a new approach. And it tests the idea that adding workers might actually make it easier for agencies to adhere to their budgets.

Bob Kinzel / VPR

In the last few months, the price of many generic drugs has increased dramatically. There are a number of cases where the price jumped more than 1,000 percent overnight.

Rich Harvie is a pharmacist and co-owner of the Montpelier Pharmacy. Harvie says a lot of his customers are in a state of shock these days because the cost of many generic drugs has gone through the roof. Harvie says he's been watching this development over a period of years, but he says the increases over last few months are staggering.  

The U.S. Department of Education said Marlboro College is under investigation for issues relating to sexual violence.

Records show the department's Office of Civil Rights has been investigating the private non-profit college since early October.

The investigation is related to Title IX, the federal law protecting students from discrimination based on sex.

In the past six months, federal officials have launched more than 30 Title IX investigations across the U.S.