Weekly Conversation On The Arts
4:47 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival Turns 31

Frequent Vermont visitor Maceo Parker is one of the hundreds are artists performing at this year's Burlington Discover Jazz Festival.
Courtesy Burlington Discover Jazz

 Burlington Discover Jazz has announced its lineup for the 31st Annual Festival, which runs May 30 through June 8.

The Queen City will play host to hundreds of events, ranging from legends like Tony Bennett, contemporary artists such as Maceo Parker and Regina Carter, jazz greats Ron Carter and Benny Golson and emerging artists like Valerie June and Warren Wolf.

And of course, Vermont artists and student musicians will be featured throughout.

So why has this tiny corner of New England become such a magnet for jazz artists?

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Vermont Edition
4:40 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Bennington Takes Prescription Drug Take Back Day To New Level

This Saturday is the eighth annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The program was started by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency in response to the problem of unused prescriptions getting into the wrong the hands.

Rather than throwing them in the trash or flushing them into the wastewater stream, people can take unwanted prescription drugs to designated drop-off centers where authorities will dispose of them. This program is particularly aimed at getting addictive narcotics out of medicine cabinets and bathroom drawers where they can be easily stolen.

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The Frequency
3:54 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Sanders Still Noncommittal On Presidential Run

At a Thursday event in Burlington highlighting the importance of primary care doctors, Sen. Bernie Sanders dodged a question about the possibility of a presidential run.
Angela Evancie VPR

At an event in Burlington Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders steered clear of a question about the possibility of a presidential run by the liberal senator. Speculation about a Sanders run began after Sanders told The Nation magazine that he is "prepared to run for president of the United State."

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Public Post
2:59 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

To Plan New Welcome Center, Montpelier Wants 'Participation By All'

Montpelier's plan to develop the recently purchased Carr Lot, shown here in an overhead rendering, will informed by community input.
City of Montpelier

What will the new transit and welcome center at One Taylor Street in Montpelier be like? That's yet to be determined, and largely up to the community.

Over the next three months, Montpelier will be hosting three meetings to garner community input on specifics about the site and building, as well as the scale of the project. At a fourth meeting, in July, architects will present the resulting plans.

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Vermont Edition
2:49 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Vermonters At The Battle Of The Wilderness

Gene LaPerle of the Rock of Ages Corporation stands near a monument to the Vermont Brigade's actions in the Civil War Battle of the Wilderness, on temporary display in Barre Town in Oct. 2005. The monument was later placed in Spotsylvania, Va.
Toby Talbot AP

The first week of May in 1864 saw a brigade of Vermont soldiers engaged in the Battle of the Wilderness in northern Virginia.  Twelve-hundred Vermonters were killed or wounded in two days of fighting for the Union.

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Vermont Edition
12:00 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Turning A Blind Eye To Bias-Free Policing

This routine traffic stop in September 2011 led to a change in the state's bias-free policing policy.
Vermont State Police AP

In September of 2011, two migrant farmworkers were arrested during a routine traffic stop. The workers were not involved in the infraction, yet they were asked for immigration documentation.

That incident led to an outcry from the migrant farm community and, eventually, to a law requiring the state’s law enforcement agencies to adopt a bias-free policing policy.

Two years after that law was passed, many agencies have not complied with it nor is anyone tasked with monitoring compliance.

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VPR News
8:35 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Plainfield Poet Wins Prize For Collection

Poet Kerrin McCadden

Plainfield resident and teacher Kerrin McCadden is the winner of the 2013 New Issues Poetry Prize for her book, Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes. The collection features poems that tackle the feelings of emptiness that follow divorce, the trials of parenting, and the connection to a place that can be called "home."

Broadcast on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 7:49 a.m.

Learn more about Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes.

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VPR News
5:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

State Cracks Down On Payday Loan Companies

Rhonda Wood and her husband Greg discovered the interest payments on their 'payday loan' far exceeded the amount they had borrowed.
VPR/Steve Zind

Several national companies that offer small loans at high interest rates have agreed to refund money to more than one thousand Vermont borrowers.

The agreement is the result of a lawsuit brought by the Vermont Attorney General against companies illegally offering what are called payday loans.

The loans are often used by individuals who are unable to secure a bank loan.  That was the case with Greg and Rhonda Wood of Thetford.  Four years ago a health problem forced Greg to stop working and his income dropped dramatically.

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VPR News
6:27 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Over Half Of Vermont's Kids Deemed Not Ready For Kindergarten

Fifty-one percent of Vermont kids do not have the social, physical, emotional, language, and cognitive skills they need to start school, according to statistics from the Agency of Education.
archideaphoto Thinkstock

Too many of Vermont's children are not ready to start kindergarten. That’s one conclusion in a new report from Building Bright Futures, the child advocacy group responsible for governing the state’s childcare system. The findings come as legislation to mandate pre-kindergarten statewide has apparently stalled in the Vermont Senate. 

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The Frequency
3:37 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

GMO Labeling Bill To Become Law

The House of Representatives voted 114 - 30 in favor of a bill that requires the labeling of genetically modified foods.
Angela Evancie VPR File Photo

The Vermont House of Representatives  voted 114 - 30 Wednesday to require the labeling of foods produced with genetically modified organisms.

Proponents of the bill, including Sen. David Zuckerman, P/D-Chittenden, argued that Vermonters have a right to know what is in the food they eat.

During the floor debate, opponents often agreed with that premise, but said they would vote against the bill because of concerns that national food producers would sue the state over the law.

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