Geeking Out

2 minutes ago
Casey Rodgers / AP

They were the kids who sat together in the high school cafeteria, dressed a little funny and laughed at jokes that none of the rest of the class quite understood. They were into Star Wars, Star Trek, roll-playing games and comic books. Really into it.

But now, being a geek has become more socially acceptable. Dare we say geek is now chic.

VAST

Money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture has helped a Windsor County snowmobile club  buy equipment that can be operated by people with disabilities.

The $77,000 USDA Rural Development grant supplements nearly $147,000 invested by the Hawks Mountain Ridge Runners in an unusual trail groomer. Cindy Locke, Executive Director of the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, says two of the club’s groomers have disabilities that make using foot controls difficult.

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation issues a water quality certification regarding the future operations of Green Mountain Power’s hydroelectric project in Waterbury. Many wooded trails are closed due to downed trees and debris. Vermont State Parks offer First Day Hikes. Colchester is asking local artists to submit design ideas for creative bicycle racks.

It’s now been two months since some 1,700 union workers at FairPoint Communications walked off the job.

The unions and the company are at an impasse over changes FairPoint management wants to make to workers' pensions, health benefits and work rules. Right now, there's no end to the strike in sight.

Steve Zind / VPR

The state says despite efforts to address service delays by FairPoint Communications, the pace of customer complaints shows no sign of slowing.

The Department of Public Service says it has received more than 730 complaints about FairPoint service since workers went on strike on Oct. 17.

The department was pressing the company to resolve repair delays for telephone customers even before the strike, but says the number of complaints increased dramatically when the work stoppage began.

Peter Biello / VPR

This holiday season, many make long journeys to spend time with their families. For parents with children in the armed forces, such holiday reunions aren’t always possible. A group of military mothers are mending their empty nests by reaching out to veterans in need of a family of sorts — those who are homeless and living in transitional housing.

Angela Evancie / VPR File Photo

Tristram Coffin, the U.S. Attorney for the district of Vermont, said he is resigning next month to take a job in private practice.

"I'm going to be reluctantly stepping down and taking on another job beginning Jan. 12," he said. "It's an excellent opportunity, but I will be leaving this job feeling it's been an amazing time here. We've got such an incredible office here and terrific people."

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Vermont Gas Systems announced Friday that it faces additional cost overruns for its pipeline to Addison County. 

The company is not ruling out a rate increase to pay for the new costs. And officials say they will ask regulators to delay proceedings on the the next phase of the project, pending revised cost estimates for that phase.  

Costs have gone up substantially since the project was first submitted to regulators a year ago.

iStock Agency / Thinkstock

Tell us a story! Vermont Edition's annual music show is Friday, and this year we want to know what song encapsulates 2014 for you.  What music do you associate with your strongest memories of the last year?

It can be an old or new song, funny or serious, about your personal life or our collective memory.  Tell us about the soundtrack to your year by posting below or visiting our Facebook page.

Some organizations who support Gov. Peter Shumlin's decision to back away from single-payer health care say there are other health care reform efforts that could have a positive impact on medical costs. 

Tom Torti, president and CEO of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, is one of those watching the health care reform efforts closely. As part of the governor's business advisory council, Torti said he has seen various scenarios for how to fund single payer and was worried about the price tag.

Pages