Vermont Edition
1:26 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

English Language Learners In Vermont Schools

With as many as 60 different languages spoken in some Vermont schools, educators are having to adapt to teach English language learners.
Fengyuan Change Thinkstock

If you had to take a standardized test right now, how do you think you would score? Now imagine that test is in a language you can barely read. Since the English language dominates our educational system, a gap in English language ability is often equated with a gap in intelligence.

We’ll talk to Shawna Shapiro, assistant Professor of Writing & Linguistics at Middlebury College, and Susan Blethen, an ELL teacher at Burlington High School, about the challenges facing English language learners and what some educators are doing to bridge the gap.

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Public Post
1:17 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Milfoil Pullers Wanted

Eurasian watermilfoil can get quickly out of control, as shown in this picture taken at Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, New York.
Robert L. Johnson Cornell University, Bugwood.org

The invasive water plant Eurasian watermilfoil has made its way into waterways around Vermont, and is nearly impossible to eradicate. At Dewey's Mills Pond, in Quechee, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the state of Vermont and the town of Hartford have been working together since 2003 to keep the invasive species at bay. This Saturday, the Hartford Parks & Recreation Department is hosting a volunteer day, to help in the effort.

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Vermont Edition
12:00 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Hit The Road! (Or Trail!)

Leaders in the the fifteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race on Sunday, July 20, 2014.
Peter Dejong AP

Summer is a great time to get on the bike. From new technology and gear, to ever-present concerns about safety, on the next Vermont Edition, we get an earful from cyclists who take to paved roads, back roads and mountain trails throughout the state. We talk with Emily Boedecker, executive director of Local Motion, which advocates for bike access and helps people get into the sport of cycling.

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VPR News
10:44 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Some Food Producers Are Quietly Dumping GMO Ingredients

While mainstream companies such as Ben & Jerry's are taking a vocal stand on GMO labeling, others are calibrating their recipes more quietly. General Mills' original plain Cheerios are now GMO-free, though there's no label on the box saying so.
RonOrmanJr Thinkstock

On busy summer weekends at the Ben and Jerry's Factory in Waterbury, crowded tours leave every 10 minutes. Tourists from all over the world laugh at the peppy video explaining the origins of the quirky ice cream company and groan at the tour guides' bad cow puns. After the tour of the factory floor, they wander up to the "Flavor Graveyard," where combinations that didn't make the cut are put to rest under the shade of big trees. Each "gravestone" eulogizes the flavor-gone-by.

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The Vermont Economy
6:27 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Newport Residents Question Developers Of Bio-Med Facility

Bill Kelly, representing AnC Bio, Joe Greene, architect, and Debra Bell, civil engineer, display drawings of a new facility proposed for Newport prior to a public hearing.
Charlotte Albright VPR

On Monday, the public got a chance to weigh in on a plan to build a four-story glass and metal tower in Newport that would house bio-medical research and development.

The developers, Bill Stenger and his business partner Ariel Quiros, say the project will create as many as 500 jobs and will not harm the environment. But some Newport residents have some concerns about its impact on public health.

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VPR News
5:48 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Off To Iowa, Sanders Sounding Like A Presidential Candidate

Sen. Bernie Sanders, pictured here in Washington, D.C. in February, is holding several town meetings in Iowa this September.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

As a resident of Iowa, Jeff Cox has never voted for Bernie Sanders. But he’s hoping to have the chance to soon.

Cox is a longtime Democratic activist, and the point man for a Johnson County steering committee aimed at drafting Sanders for the 2016 presidential contest. And for Cox and other like-minded Iowans, whose early caucuses give them outsized importance when it comes to selecting major party presidential nominees, Vermont’s junior senator offers a progressive foil to the more centrist platform held by the early Democratic favorite.

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VPR News
5:46 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Human Services Changes Delayed To Solicit Public Input

The deadline for completing a reorganization plan for parts of the Agency of Human Services has been pushed back.

The decision came after an anti-poverty group established by the governor asked for the delay.

The reorganization follows the deaths of two children whose families were being monitored by the Department for Children and Families. 

The deaths prompted a legislative committee to hold public hearings on DCF.

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The Frequency
4:59 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

New PAC To Boost Pro-Business Candidates

Two state representatives have launched a new political action committee that will try to play a decisive role in local House and Senate races this fall.

Stowe Republican Heidi Scheuermann and Middlebury Democrat Paul Ralston say their group, called Vision to Action Vermont, will lend financial support to the campaigns of candidates who vow to push for economic development initiatives in Montpelier.

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Vermont Edition
1:56 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Early Returns Encouraging On Yearly Loon Count

A lone loon relaxes on Curtis Pond in Calais.
Toby Talbot AP

For a while, the iconic laughing call of the loon was rare in Vermont waters, but the bird population has been rebounding in recent years.

Saturday was the annual loon watch: More than 200 volunteers spread out across the state to survey loons. Eric Hanson, a conservation biologist with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and the coordinator of the Vermont Loon Conservation project, joined Vermont Edition to talk about how this reclusive bird is faring in Vermont waters.

On the results of Saturday's loon watch

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Vermont Edition
1:50 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Summer School: Pizza Tossing

Dough awaits the transformation to pizza at Pizza On Earth in Charlotte.
Sage Van Wing VPR

Pizza is an American tradition like ice cream and apple pie, or hot dogs at baseball games. Most of us order a pie when we don’t feel like cooking, but it turns out pizza can be pretty fun and easy to make at home. As long as you get the dough right.

For a Summer School lesson in how to make pizza dough, we met up with Jay Vogler, owner of Pizza On Earth. He serves wood-fired pizza on Thursdays and Fridays throughout the summer at his Charlotte farm.

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