Over the past century, Bag Balm has become a staple in barns, bathrooms and kitchens all over America. The yellow, gooey salve in a bright green and pink tin is used for everything from softening cows' teats to quieting squeaky bedsprings. Bag Balm even soothed the legs of dogs that searched the Twin Tower rubble after 9/11. 

Mike Perkins, who’s been mixing and packaging the stuff for over 17 years, gives a quick tour at the Lyndonville assembly line and tells the ointment's creation story.

Political analyst Eric Davis of Middlebury College looks at the role of voter turnout in statewide and legislative races and which parties are better organized for voter turnout; gives an update on the governor's race between incumbent Democrat Peter Shumlin and Republican challenger Scott Milne; and he describes a quietly-held meeting between the Milne campaign and Libertarian Dan Feliciano in which Republicans tried to convince Feliciano to leave the race.

Forests cover about three-fourths of Vermont’s land making it one of the most heavily forested states in the country. And well over half of those forests are family owned.

Vermont Family Forests Director David Brynn and Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder discuss the challenges these family forests face, the role they play in our ecosystem and the best practices that can be employed to keep them sustainable.

The interim administrative team that was in place to right the troubled Burlington Public School system earlier this year resigned suddenly Friday morning, citing conflicts with the city’s school board.

A letter signed by the three-member administrative team says that some members of the school board “have little understanding, concern or respect for the work the interim administrative team has faced in a very short time under very difficult circumstances.”

This week started off with a big business story: IBM’s deal to offload its Essex Junction plant to Global Foundaries. Also this week, we learned how the rules the state is writing for the new GMO labeling law, the well-known Rutland police chief announced his retirement, and Vermont earned an average grade for the quality of its public infrastructure. And finally, Allen Prue was found guilty of the murder of a popular school teacher, Melissa Jenkins.

These were some of the voices in the news this week:

Candidates have a week and a half of campaigning left before Election Day, and Dean Corren is among those working hard for votes. He's the Progressive and Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, and he's our guest Friday on Vermont Edition. We'll look at why he's made single-payer health care his top priority and the challenges in implementing that system.

Also in the program, political analyst Eric Davis looks at the impact of what will likely be a low voter turnout election.

And we listen back to some of the voices in the week's news.

Growth in Vermont's local food systems is outpacing that of the state's overall economy by a rate of three to one and creating thousands of new jobs, according to new numbers identified by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund.

Over the past five years, local food systems have grown at a rate of 3 percent, while Vermont's economy as a whole has only grown at a rate of 1 percent. 

Keene, New Hampshire has been in the news lately, after parties the weekend of the annual Pumpkin Festival got out of hand.

Riots in neighborhoods near the college drew 200 police officers to the area, and 84 people were arrested. Many people were injured.

Paul Miller is the executive editor of the Keene Sentinel. He joined VPR's Mitch Wertlieb for our Friday Regional Report.

Vermont lawmakers have been working for years to move the state’s schools toward more efficient operations. They’ve passed laws and enacted tax incentives in an effort to make school district mergers easier and more appealing for local communities.

But when the question makes it down to the community level, the issues at play are many and complicated.

Sen. Patrick Leahy is asking the nation’s largest Internet providers to make a concrete commitment that they will not pursue any plans to create so called “fast lanes” on the Internet.

Currently, the Federal Communications Commission is considering a proposal that would allow Internet Service providers to create a new premium access service online.

Under this plan, the providers would charge an additional fee for businesses that want this new service. Businesses could use the faster lane to give their customers quicker access to the company website.

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