A sign that says RESTROOM in capital letters and then in braille. White text on a black sign.
Screenshot from Vermont Division of Fire Safety, Courtesy

Gender-Free Bathroom Bill Now Law, But So Far Not All Businesses Comply

A new state law requires all single-stall bathrooms in Vermont to be labeled as gender neutral, but one state official said many business owners don’t seem to have gotten the news.

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Lynx Sightings On The Rise

Apr 3, 2013

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says sightings of Canada lynx are on the rise in the Northeast Kingdom.

Officials say there were only four confirmed sightings of the animals in Vermont between the late 1700s and early 2000s but say sightings have been increasing every year since 2003.

The department is doing surveys to determine the extent and distribution of the animal in Vermont.

Lynx are listed as threatened under the federal endangered species act and as endangered in Vermont. They are rarely seen because they are nocturnal and secretive.

Rutland Hospital Plans Methadone Clinic

Apr 3, 2013

The Rutland Regional Medical center is hoping to open a methadone clinic by fall.

Last week the hospital's board of directors voted to move forward with a state Department of Health plan to open a drug treatment center that police and health officials say is needed to treat people addicted to heroin and prescription painkillers.

Hospital spokeswoman Priscilla Latkin says the target date is Oct. 1

The facility will open with enough staff to handle 400 people a year but will probably not come close to that number of patients during its first 12 months in operation.

AP/Jeannie Nuss / Oil covers the ground around a slide in Mayflower, Ark., on April 1, 2013, days after a pipeline ruptured and spewed oil over

An oil spill in Arkansas may add urgency to Vermont legislation that would regulate oil pipelines.

Environmentalists point to similarities between the pipeline in Arkansas that ruptured and one in northern Vermont that could be used to ship tar sands oil.

The accident last week in Mayflower, AR spilled about 80,000 gallons of oil and forced the evacuation of 22 homes.

The 20-inch, underground line was used to carry tar sands oil from western Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.

The Senate Transportation committee is set to make a key change in the gas tax bill that was adopted by the House several weeks ago.

Lawmakers are eyeing the gas tax as a way to raise new revenue to allow the state to take full advantage of all federal matching money that's available.

The Transportation Fund has a major shortfall this year because the gas tax is levied on a per gallon basis nd sales have dropped more than 40 million gallons over the past 7 years.

AP/Toby Talbot

The House Transportation Committee is considering a bill that would explore why gasoline prices are higher in certain areas of Vermont.

Gas prices in the northwestern part of the state have been considerably higher than many other regions. The average disparity in prices in Chittenden County is about 22 cents.

Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, is sponsoring a measure that would require distributors to provide data to the attorney general’s office.

Vt. Bills Target Distracted Driving

Apr 2, 2013
AP/Toby Talbot / A driver talks on the phone on Tuesday in Montpelier.

Vermont lawmakers are continuing their efforts to crack down on distracted driving, with bills that would boost the penalties for texting while driving and ban all hand-held electronic devices when driving through road construction zones.

Two House committees are studying those measures, while prospects for a proposed outright ban on using portable electronic devices while driving appear slim.

Vermonters already are banned from texting while driving and drivers under 18 are barred from using any portable electronic device.

Key members of the House are skeptical of a Senate bill that calls for a statewide study of the impact of renewable projects on Vermont’s environment.

Last week, after hours of often heated debate, the Senate passed a stripped-down measure of a bill that originally would have given towns more control in the state review of energy projects that are proposed for their communities.

A bacterial disease spread by tick bites is getting attention this week in the Statehouse.

Lyme disease patients and their advocates are pushing for a bill that requires insurance companies to cover long-term antibiotic care for the debilitating illness.

The bill highlights a debate in the medical community about the most effective treatment, because it sanctions a medical practice that critics say is not recommended by state and federal agencies.

Doctor Elliott Fisher has had a note on his office wall for several years now that states his professional mission - try to help fix health care.

This week the physician and researcher is even better positioned to do just that.The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice just named Fisher as its new director.

Fisher has been integral to the Dartmouth Institute's purpose of studying how to make health care systems work better. He spoke with Vermont edition about some of the inherent problems in how health care is delivered.

House

Scheduled to go into session at 10 a.m.

Favorable with Amendment H. 169 Relieving employers' experience-rating records

Favorable H. 474 Amending the membership and charge of the Government Accountability Committee

Senate

Scheduled to go into session at 9:30 a.m.

Third Reading S. 129 Workers' compensation liens

Pages

Primary Election: Statewide Results

Vermont's three major parties hold their primaries on August 14th.
Jane Lindholm / VPR

Parsing The Primary Election Results

The results of Tuesday's primary are in - most of them, anyway. Democratic candidate Christine Hallquist will face incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott in November. Peter Welch and Bernie Sanders both won the Democratic nomination for the seats they already hold, though Sen. Sanders will turn down that nomination and run as an independent.

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A Brief History Of Vermont Road Names

You know the feeling. You’re driving along, somewhere in Vermont, and you turn onto a road with an intriguing name. And you wonder where it came from.

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Lucas Campbell operates one of the few landing crafts on Lake Champlain. Here, he readies the boat to take off from Burton Island State Park.
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Lake Champlain: Carrying On The Tradition Of Working Boats

Lake Champlain has a long history as a commercial waterway. In the 1800s, it was a crowded passage for boats hauling lumber and other goods between New York City and Montreal and points in between. Much of that industry is long gone, but there's still some work on the lake for those who want it.

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