Government & Politics
6:03 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Leahy Wants To Rein In NSA Surveillance

Senator Patrick Leahy has introduced legislation that makes major changes in surveillance programs used by the U.S. government.

As chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, Leahy has worked on this issue for several months.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Leahy said his goal is to end the massive data searches that the National Security Agency has conducted in recent years.

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VPR News
5:00 am
Wed July 30, 2014

State Seeks Applications From Windham County For Entergy Funds

The Commissioner of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Pat Moulton (seen in 2005), will administer the development program.
AP File/Toby Talbot

Applications are now being accepted for the first round of funds provided by Entergy Vermont Yankee for economic development in Windham County. In a settlement with the state, Entergy agreed to pay $10 million over five years to help the region recover from the plant’s closing later this year.

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The Frequency
6:20 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Hanna Services To Be Held Friday

Funeral services for Cheryl Hanna will be held Friday at 3 p.m.  in the Ira Allen Chapel at the University of Vermont.  

The well-known Vermont Law School professor died suddenly on Sunday

According to a news release, law school trustee emeritus and former board chair J. Scott Cameron will speak at the service.

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VPR News
5:51 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

In Fight For Soda Tax, Stakes Getting Bigger

Anthony Iarrapino, who will lead the lobbying push for a 2-cent per-ounce excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, sits behind a display showing how much sugar some common drinks contain.
VPR/Peter Hirschfeld

Two years ago, Vermont’s House Committee on Health Care became the first legislative panel in the country to approve a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The vote triggered a massive response from the beverage industry, which poured more than $600,000 into advertising and lobbying aimed at killing the measure.

“We really got outspent, big time,” says Tina Zuk, director of government relations for the American Heart Association. “I think we got outspent 80-to-1.”

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VPR News
5:33 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Delegation Sees Some Progress In End Of Recess Rush

Congress is scheduled to leave Washington at the end of the week with a number of critical issues still unresolved. Vermont’s delegation says there is hope for progress on two bills covering veterans’ health care and transportation funding.

The House and Senate are far apart on an immigration bill to deal with more than 52,000 undocumented children who have crossed the border.

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The Frequency
5:23 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Essex Junction Pays Up In Settlement Over Wastewater Spills

The Essex Junction wastewater treatment plant was undergoing upgrates when workers accidentally released more than 1 million gallons of undisinfected water.
Taylor Dobbs VPR File Photo

The village of Essex Junction will have to pay $22,625 in fines related to multiple unauthorized wastewater dumps last year, the state says.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Essex Junction wastewater plant wrongly released 1,954,853 gallons of un-disinfected wastewater into the Winooski River last summer.

The releases happened over two days, according to the DEC news release.

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Vermont Edition
4:33 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Brandon Budget Fails Four Times

Each year, Vermont towns vote on municipal budgets to outline their spending for the coming year. But in Brandon, this process is at an impasse. Last week, voters rejected Brandon’s town budget plan for the fourth time.

Lee Kahrs, Editor of the Brandon Reporter, spoke with Vermont Edition about why the budget has been so difficult to pass.

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Public Post
4:01 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Clean Energy Grants Announced On Governor's Summer Solar Tour

Waitsfield is building a 330-panel solar array near the town garage.
Town of Waitsfield/Ageis Renewable Energy Google Earth

The Waitsfield Community Solar Project got a big boost Tuesday, in the form of an $80,000 grant from the state's Clean Energy Development Fund. Neighboring Warren was also granted $80,ooo for its community solar project, going up near the town's elementary school. These are just two of nine grants Gov. Peter Shumlin announced during his "Summer Solar Tour." All the grants were issued to community solar projects in Vermont.

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Vermont Edition
2:15 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Citizen Scientists, Unite!

Alison Wagner records the bird count in Fayston, as she takes part in The National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count in 2008. The annual event is one of the longest-running citizen science data collection projects in the country.
Toby Talbot AP

When scientists need massive volumes of data or they need data collected over a huge geographic range, they often turn to well-trained citizen scientists for help. From counting the populations of species, to monitoring water quality, citizens scientists are contributing to research and learning about science in the process. Wednesday at noon on Vermont Edition, we dive into some of the research projects in Vermont that are boosted by citizen-gathered data.

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Commentary
1:34 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Hanna: Poetic Justice

After having spent years forcing my younger sister to play student with me as the teacher, it came as no surprise to my family when I decided to go to law school to become a professor. I was so excited when I finally got to meet with the faculty advisor for those of us who wanted to teach. For now, I’ll just call him Professor Kingsfield, for reasons that will become apparent.

So Professor Kingsfield met with me, asked a couple of questions, and after just a few seconds said, “I don’t think you’re law professor material.” Just like that. “Not law professor material.”

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