Taylor Dobbs / VPR

A new report on the Department for Children and Families sheds light on the major difficulties the department has faced in handling the opiate crisis Gov. Peter Shumlin brought to the fore in January.

Audio for this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 19.

The report suggests, and officials confirm, that DCF was caught off-guard by just how much opiate abuse and addiction would affect the department's work.

Travis Quetel / Vermont State Parks

Last week, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation issued a water quality certification governing the future operations of Green Mountain Power’s Waterbury hydroelectric project.

New York Moves To Ban Fracking

2 hours ago
Office of Gov. Cuomo / Flickr

The Cuomo administration will move to ban hydrofracking citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique.

The news came at a meeting of the governor’s cabinet where Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens summarized the findings of their environmental and health reviews.

The Governor distanced himself from the decision and referred questions to Zucker and Martens.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Gov. Peter Shumlin will be speaking with VPR's All Things Considered host Alex Keefe at 4:44 p.m. about his recent decision not to propose a single-payer health system in Vermont. 

Ahead of the interview, Shumlin distributed an op-ed piece about his "difficult" decision, reprinted below. 

Now is not the time to move to a publicly-financed health care system in Vermont

by Gov. Peter Shumlin

Wind Ridge Books

The publishing world has changed dramatically since the introduction of the Gutenberg press. Companies like Amazon have shaken up the relationship between the reader and publisher, causing some in the publishing world to think it’s becoming a commodities market.


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 talk to VPR's Peter Hirschfeld and Vermont Press Bureau's Neal Goswami about the decision. And we hear from Lawrence Miller, head of the Governor's health care reform efforts.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Vermonters are reacting to the news that Governor Peter Shumlin won't move forward with the implementation of a single payer health care system.

Doctor Deb Richter, the chair of Vermont Health Care for All, said she's disappointed by the governor's decision, but said it could lead to an opportunity to do things in a different way, noting she has advocated for incremental reform.
 

Steve Zind / VPR

On a per-capita basis, Vermont has been the biggest recipient of federal broadband largesse: A total of $174 million.

Four years ago, Bellows Falls-based Sovernet Communications and the Vermont Telecommunications Authority received more than $30 million in federal money to build a fiber optic network in Vermont. The project is now complete.

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.

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.

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