With the shooting deaths of 20 first-graders in Newtown, Conn., still fresh on lawmakers’ minds, Linda Waite-Simpson figured the time was right last year for a debate about gun control here in Vermont.
The Essex lawmaker focused on what she thought were reasonable concessions – things like background checks on gun sales, and bringing state law in line with federal statutes. But as Waite-Simpson would quickly learn, the Vermont Statehouse is bleak territory for advocates of gun control.
The world’s best known sled dog race, the Iditarod, got underway in Alaska last Sunday. And among the people who will be following that race closely are the members of the Vermont Mushers Association — people who run sled dogs in the Green Mountain state.
On Tuesday, Burlington voters approved three resolutions that changed the city charter regarding gun laws.
They give police the power to seize guns when there is reasonable suspicion of domestic violence, ban firearms on the property of institutions where liquor is served and would require all guns to be under lock and key when not in possession of their owner.
The Charlotte whale is the state fossil. The discovery of the skeleton in a farm field helped explain the state's geological history.
Credit Angela Evanice / VPR
The skeleton was slathered in horse glue to preserve it, which means it can't be carbon dated. It was also pieced together wire burlap, wire and boot polish.
Credit Angela Evancie / VPR
The whale spine curves over a picture of Zadock Thompson, a prominent naturalist, former State Geologist and "sciencemaster to the common man." Thompson did the original identification and reconstruction work on the whale skeleton in the 1850s.
Credit Angela Evancie / VPR
The skeleton is not put together in an anatomically correct way, but it's importance is as an historical artifact.
Vernon residents met Wednesday for a third and final installment of a town meeting that began on Monday evening. The town is grappling with the unknown impact of losing Vermont Yankee, its biggest tax payer and employer.
After lengthy debate Tuesday, voters made deep cuts in the municipal budget and eliminated the town’s police department. The school budget was defeated by Australian ballot. On Wednesday, several people said they had heard that a petition was being drawn up, calling for a vote to restore the police department.
The city of Newport is poised for major economic development. But a lingering social problem seems to have gotten worse this winter. Community activists say they are seeing a rise in homelessness in a city with no emergency shelter.
On Newport’s Main Street, Brenda’s Restaurant is an early morning oasis for people who may have spent a bitterly cold night outdoors.
Chatting with her friend Neil Morrissette, owner Brenda LePage says she’s happy to feed them for free.
Voters turned down 34 school budgets this week. School officials say the vote is a signal that changes need to be made to the state's education financing system.
In the past 22 years, there has been only one year when more than 30 school budgets were defeated on Town Meeting Day. That was in 2003 when 42 budgets were rejected and those defeats led to the passage of Act 68, the state's education finance law.