VPR News
9:30 am
Sun September 14, 2014

Craftsbury Gets New Solar Tracker, Thanks To Wind Power

A new solar tracker at the Craftsbury town garage will meet about one third of municipal energy needs.
Charlotte Albright VPR

The town of Craftsbury expects to cover about a third of its municipal energy needs with a new solar tracker. The 20-kilowatt panel recently installed at the town garage was funded by a payment made to the town by Green Mountain Power, which placed 21 turbines atop nearby Lowell Mountain. The select board opposed that wind project.

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VPR News
10:24 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Sterling College Cuts Ribbon On Expanding Ag and Food Center

Sterling College is naming its Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Center after former trustee Rian Fried, who died in 2013.
Charlotte Albright VPR

Sterling College is starting the school year with several small new buildings, as well as renovations to the newly named Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems.

As a Sterling College Trustee, Rian Fried spearheaded the school’s divestment of fossil fuel company stocks. He died suddenly last year at the age of 65.

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Public Post
8:15 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Public Post: Craftsbury Solar Tracker, Fall Cleanup Events, Waitsfield Library Plans

Craftsbury installs a solar tracker using money from the Kingdom Community Wind project. Essex and Rutland hold cleanup events to reduce stormwater runoff pollution. Library Trustees in Waitsfield consider renovations after the town office relocates to a new building.

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VPR News
5:53 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Shumlin Won't Pursue Single Payer If It Doesn't Help Economy

Gov. Peter Shumlin, here at a press conference in Essex Sept. 2, says he hopes the financing plan for single payer healthcare will create jobs.
Angela Evancie VPR

Governor Peter Shumlin says he’ll abandon his quest to implement a single-payer health care system, if  he can’t develop a financing plan that will improve Vermont’s economic climate. But he also says a good financing proposal could be an important catalyst for his effort to create more jobs.

Act 48, the law that put Vermont on the path to a single-payer health care system, was passed in 2011. It called on the governor to unveil a single-payer financing plan in January of 2013.

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VPR News
5:53 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Concerned About Strike Risks, FairPoint Union Pursues Other Options

Union leadership is concerned FairPoint would react differently than its predecessors in the event of a strike
VPR/Steve Zind

Contract talks between union employees and FairPoint Communications have been on hold since the company declared an impasse two weeks ago.

Union officials say a strike is possible, but they’re concerned about the risks and the effectiveness of striking. For the moment, they’re exploring other options.  

It could take weeks for the National Labor Relations Board to consider unfair labor practice claims by the union and decide whether FairPoint was justified in declaring an impasse in negotiations. 

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Vermont Edition
4:20 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

What Can Hospitals Do To Control Costs?

Rutland Regional CEO Tom Huebner
Toby Talbot AP

A visit to the hospital can be terrifying…and then you get the bill. Right now, hospitals receive money by billing for each patient visit, but sometimes those charges can seem out of synch with the services received.

We’ll talk to Tom Huebner, President and CEO of Rutland Regional Medical Center, about whether it would be possible to bring costs down by changing the way they budget.

We’ll also hear from Richard Slusky, Director of Payment Reform for the Green Mountain Care Board, and Joe Woodin, CEO and President of Gifford Medical Center.

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VPR News
2:07 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

VPR Governor's Debate

Republican Scott Milne, left, incumbent Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin and Libertarian Dan Feliciano will debate on Vermont Edition on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.
Angela Evancie/Bob Kinzel VPR

This month VPR's Bob Kinzel and Jane Lindholm will host a gubernatorial debate among Libertarian Dan Feliciano, Republican Scott Milne and Democratic incumbent Peter Shumlin. (Liberty Union candidate Peter Diamondstone has not responded to our invitation.) Our debate format includes questions from voters, and we want to hear from you.

Live broadcast on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.

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VPR News
5:00 am
Fri September 12, 2014

New DCF Commissioner Says Reforms Already Underway

Secretary of Human Services Harry Chen (right) and Commissioner for Children and Families Ken Schatz brief lawmakers Thursday on child welfare reforms.
Peter Hirschfeld VPR

The newly minted Commissioner for Children and Families spoke Thursday to the lawmakers scrutinizing his department. And Ken Schatz says reforms to child protective services are already underway.

It’s been a dark year for the Department for Children and Families. The deaths of two toddlers formerly under its watch have prompted a flood of public criticism. And operations at the department are the subject of a meticulous legislative review.

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Developing
6:00 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Opioid Use Is Rising Among Some Medicare Recipients, Report Shows

Forty percent of people getting Social Security Disability Insurance take opiod pain releivers, according to a new Dartmouth study.
Rich Pedroncelli AP/file

Researchers at Dartmouth College have learned that more than 40 percent of people getting Social Security Disability Insurance take opioid pain relievers.

Many of those patients fill six or more different painkiller prescriptions per year, typically from different doctors.

The new study is raising concerns about potentially harmful health effects.

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VPR News
5:59 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

E-Bikes Are Catching On In Hilly Vermont

Dave Cohen (foreground) and a friend carry three kids each on their long-tail cargo bikes.
Dave Cohen

Studies show that people are increasingly choosing bicycles as a healthier, greener alternative to their cars. But Vermont’s hills pose challenges that some people can’t handle. That might explain the burgeoning interest in electric-assist bicycles.

On a Brattleboro side street recently about a dozen e-bike riders met to exchange information and compares notes on their equipment. The gathering resembled one of those car meet-ups, where people open their hoods and inspect each other’s engines. But the closest thing to engines here were electric motors and rechargeable batteries.

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