VPR News
5:00 am
Wed March 19, 2014

House Unlikely To Pass Paid Sick Leave Bill

Supporters of paid sick leave held a rally at the Statehouse Tuesday.
VPR/Bob Kinzel

Dozens of supporters of the paid sick leave bill held a rally at the Statehouse Tuesday to kick off their final push to convince lawmakers to back their plan. They face an uphill battle because House leaders don’t think the bill has enough support to pass.

Under the bill, all full time workers would be allowed to take seven paid sick days a year. It’s estimated that the legislation would affect about 20 percent of the state’s workforce or roughly 60,000 people.

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VPR News
6:34 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Debate Over Minimum Wage Heats Up In Legislature

Lawmakers are on track this year to raise Vermont’s minimum wage. But just how big a jump Democrats will push through the Legislature is still up for debate. And the fight for higher wages is about to heat up.

President Barack Obama has made raising the minimum wage one of the centerpieces of his second-term economic agenda. Obama wants to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017. And Gov. Peter Shumlin has decided he wants Vermont to show the way.

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The Frequency
5:42 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

CCTA Strike Continues, Management Awaits Offer

CCTA driver Rob Slingerland joked with fellow drivers before a media interview at the picket line Tuesday.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

Two days into their strike, Chittenden County Transportation Authority bus drivers said Tuesday they have prepared a counter-offer for management. But CCTA General Manager Bill Watterson said the company hasn’t seen a written proposal from the drivers.
 

The strike started Monday and has left thousands of passengers without reliable transportation. And even the union’s supporters hope the labor action ends soon.

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Arts & Culture
5:18 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Stowe Gallery Opens A New Wing For Landscape Art

"Winter River" by Kathleen Kolb is part of the new "Landscapte Traditions" wing at Stowe's West Branch Gallery.
West Branch Gallery

The West Branch Gallery and Sculpture Park in Stowe is celebrating spring’s arrival with the opening of a new wing dedicated to landscape painting. 

The gallery has been presenting contemporary work by Vermont artists for the past 12 years, and is also home to a 3-acre sculpture park.

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Vermont Edition
3:50 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Deadline Approaches For Health Insurance

Mark Larson, Commissioner of the Department of Health Access
VPR/Kirk Carapezza

March 31st is the last day to sign up for health insurance on Vermont Health Connect for the next year. Vermonters who do not sign up on the exchange may find themselves uninsured for the rest of 2014 and facing a federal tax penalty.

Nearly 30,000 Vermonters have fully enrolled through Vermont Health Connect, though many more may have tried...the site has been plagued with problems since it opened last fall.

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Public Post
3:30 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Pothole Problems? Don't Go Crying To Warren

"Please don’t begin to lecture our road crew on the need for better road maintenance," the Town of Warren posted on its website. Potholes are a fact of the season.
StockSolutions Thinkstock

The Town of Warren is being proactive about its potholes, or at least about warding off blame for those potholes. The town has posted a pothole alert on its website that notes the weather, not the road construction, is to blame for this seasonal blight:

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Vermont Edition
3:01 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Windham County Sheriff Addresses Vernon's Budget Decision

One of the most surprising votes on town meeting day came from Vernon, which, with a mere six-vote majority, elected to eliminate its police force. That leaves the policing in the town to be done by the Windham County Sheriff’s department.

Windham County Sheriff Keith Clark spoke with Vermont Edition about the vote and what it means for his department.

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Vermont Edition
2:57 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Guard Reacts To Proposed Cuts

Earlier this month Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel presented the Pentagon’s 2015 budget to Congress. It calls for drastic cuts in military spending, reducing the army to the smallest number of troops since before the Second World War. It’s not just the Army that gets cut, though. The National Guard would be reduced by 10 percent.

Major General Steven Cray is Vermont’s Adjutant General. Last week, he was one of 50 Adjutants General who signed a letter to Defense Secretary Hagel protesting the proposed Pentagon cuts. He spoke with Vermont Edition about them.

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Vermont Edition
12:00 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

66.9% Sugar: Vermont’s Maple Syrup History

Maple syrup comes in various colors and grades.

Maple sugaring methods have changed greatly in Vermont. It can be traced back to the Abenaki people boiling sap in clay pots. The settlers held sugaring parties in the sugarbush. And today, we’re using vacuum tubing systems

Betty Ann Lockhart, author of Maple Sugarin’ in Vermont, and Burr Morse, owner of the Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, discuss the incredible changes that maple sugaring has gone through over the past few centuries.

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VPR News
5:30 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Homeless Students On The Rise In Vermont

Three residents of the John Graham Homeless Shelter in Vergennes pause for a snack in the kitchen.
Charlotte Albright VPR

A new report from the federal government shows that the number of homeless children attending school in Vermont is rising sharply.

That's creating stresses in classrooms — and in families who have lost their homes. There is help available for them, both in shelters and schools, but resources are not growing as fast as the problem.

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