Alison Redlich / AP

Campaign 2016 is officially underway. Recently, House Speaker Shap Smith announced that he's seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. Smith is one of several Democrats with his eye on the office, but he's the first to make it official.

Sometimes Vermont's sewage plants dump sewage into rivers and lakes. And they're allowed to. What's up with that?

Vermont Department of Health

The hot and humid dog days of summer are usually perfect swimming weather—but that’s not true in St Albans Bay.

There, high temperatures and stagnant air have exacerbated burgeoning blue green algae blooms.

Currently the Vermont Department of Health’s Blue-Green Algae Tracker shows multiple locations in St Albans Bay on high alert for the potentially toxic cyanobacteria.

Richard Drew / AP

In the past two days the stock market has rebounded from its dramatic decline earlier in the week, but the roller coaster ride may not be over.

The ups and downs have many people looking anxiously at their retirement accounts, and the state is also watching market’s machinations. Vermont has $3.9 billion invested in the pension funds for teachers, state workers and municipal employees.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

In a packed ballroom in South Burlington's DoubleTree Hotel, a well-known scientist studying Lake Champlain stood up and told state officials that some of the targets they've set to reduce pollution into the lake simply cannot be reached.

"It's just silly," said Mike Winslow, the staff scientist for the Lake Champlain Committee in an interview. He was talking about the state's target of a 60 percent phosphorus reduction from forests in a section of the southern Champlain watershed.

iStock

The ink on this year’s state budget is barely dry. But the Shumlin administration is already putting together next year’s spending plan, and agency heads have been instructed to develop zero-growth budgets.

“Caution” and “restraint" are the two words Administration Secretary Justin Johnson is using to characterize the state’s approach to building next year’s budget. And caution and restraint, at this point at least, mean a level-funded spending plan for next year.

Sara Vitale / Angel Boy Art

In adaptive sports, traditional equipment like skis and bicycles are altered to fit someone who needs it so that they too can access and enjoy the sport. Instead of equipment, Angel Boy Art in Brattleboro alters paintbrushes and other mediums to create art therapy for kids in need.

Ted S. Warren / AP

The forest fires in California and the Pacific Northwest may feel very far away, but crews of local firefighters and Forest Service employees have been rotating out to those locations all summer to provide relief and assistance in fire suppression.

AP/Toby Talbot

Stories about New Orleans ten years after Hurricane Katrina have prompted Vermonters to also reflect on the four years since Tropical Storm Irene; both anniversaries are this weekend. A UVM disaster sociologist says that social and economic advantages are the strongest indicators of how a child will do in recovering from a disaster, rather personality or character traits. 

Christian K. Lee / Molly Riley / Charlie Neibergall / AP

The dynamics of the Democratic presidential primary campaign could change dramatically if Vice President Joe Biden enters the race. But Bernie Sanders' campaign says it has no plans to change its basic strategy if Biden decides to run.

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