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With temperatures expected to dip below zero tomorrow, some might be tempted to crank up the thermostat a notch or two. But for many Vermonters, that small adjustment is a big financial burden.

Susan Teare / Quarry Books

Instead of heading to the art supplies store for materials, Montpelier artist Nick Neddo takes to the woods and forages for feathers, sticks and rocks to make his own.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Next year, a state mandate kicks in that will require businesses with between 51 and 100 workers to purchase their employee health benefits from the online insurance exchange. But House Speaker Shap Smith says lawmakers should get rid of that mandate, unless the Shumlin administration can demonstrate serious improvements at Vermont Health Connect.

Audio from this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 30.

Northshire Bookstore

In the Rutland area, the name Lenny Burke is well known to many. But thanks to a new book by Yvonne Daley, called A Bend in the Road, Lenny Burke's remarkable story of overcoming a traumatic brain injury is being rediscovered by a whole new generation. And many are only just now realizing the tremendous impact Burke and his mother Emmie have had on T.B.I. treatment in Vermont and beyond.

Toby Talbot / AP

In December, Governor Peter Shumlin decided that the numbers just didn't add up to continue pursuit of the single-payer health care system. But that didn't end the work of the Green Mountain Care Board, which was created by the Legislature in 2011.

Green Mountain Care Board Chairman Al Gobeille discusses what the board has achieved thus far and what their goals are regarding health care reform.

Post your question or comments for Al Gobeille here or email them to vermontedition@vpr.net.

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Personal finance experts have cautioned us for years that credit card debt is a financial trap. But Vermonters have an average of $9,667 in credit card debt, according to the Vermont Financial Literacy Task Force, and that's better than the national statistics. We look at managing credit and debt, complicated financial tools and language and we learn how younger people deal with debt differently than their parents.

Angela Evancie / VPR

In 2014, the state of Vermont, the number one producer of maple syrup in the United States, began using a new maple syrup grading system developed by the International Maple Syrup Institute.

It did away with Grade B and Fancy, instead making all syrups grade A, adding flavor and color descriptors like delicate, rich and robust.

Herb Swanson / swanpix.com

A University of Vermont graduate who served in Iraq came to the Upper Valley this week on a peacetime mission: to show veterans and others how to make paper from their uniforms.  

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Peter Shumlin wants the Legislature to approve a $90 million payroll tax on Vermont businesses. But lawmakers are reluctant, to say the least. And the governor’s proposal rests largely in the hands of an unconventional bureaucrat who will have to convince legislators that the money will be put to good use.

Here’s something new: For the first time rumors of big layoffs at IBM are not a big worry for state officials and business and community leaders in Vermont.

For years rumors have often preceded layoffs at IBM and the company’s Essex facility has seen its share of job cuts.  

Now new reports may signal another round of IBM layoffs, but there’s none of the usual local anxiety.

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