Alex Keefe

Local Host, All Things Considered/Reporter

Alex is VPR's local All Things Considered host. He comes to Vermont from WBEZ-FM in Chicago, where he spent nearly five years, most recently as a political reporter. He's covered everything from federal corruption trials, to Illinois' worst-in-the-nation public pension crisis, to the personalities who voice campaign attack ads. He has a particular interest in municipal finance, LGBTQ rights and gun rights.

Alex's feature reporting contributed to WBEZ winning a national Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in 2014. His stories on Illinois' pension troubles have been recognized by the Illinois Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. He's also been recognized by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, and he was named Best Newswriter by the Illinois AP in 2011 and 2013.

Alex got his start in journalism at WVIK-FM in Rock Island, Ill., as a reporter and anchor, and he has also worked with Capitol News Connection covering Congress in Washington, D.C. He has a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and he studied fiction writing at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.

An Illinois native, Alex is the proud son of former longtime Chicago radio newsman Barry Keefe, who taught him everything he knows about the family business. Alex and his wife live in Burlington with their mutt, Sallie.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy of Dr. Art Woolf

Earlier this week, we talked to Dr. Jon Erickson, a professor at the University of Vermont's Gund Institute for Ecological Economics about what he thinks a carbon tax would do for the state of Vermont. 

Erickson said a tax on carbon would complement Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan and existing greenhouse gas targets.

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To tax, or not to tax? Carbon, that is.

It is a big issue for Vermont lawmakers who are trying to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The political prospects of a carbon tax making it through the Vermont Legislature are still far from certain.

Annie Russell / VPR

Last week, two Burlington residents found what appears to be a recruitment poster for the Ku Klux Klan at their homes.

On Saturday, a group called Rights and Democracy held a press conference where Burlington officials, the Burlington police and a woman who received the flyer spoke to the public about the incidents.

Screen shot from Cardinal Points' website.

 

A cartoon published in a student paper at SUNY Plattsburgh is drawing national attention and sparking debate around issues of racism in the Plattsburgh community.

The cartoon, which many have said is racist, appeared in Cardinal Points, a student newspaper. Cardinal Points is not directly under the jurisdiction of SUNY Plattsburgh, but does have a faculty advisor. 

Last week, Burlington police said a woman had been sexually assaulted on Oct. 16 in a bathroom of the Edward J. Costello Courthouse.

Beyond My Ken / Wikimedia Commons

Burlington authorities say a woman was raped in the bathroom of the Edward J. Costello Courthouse last week. The state Attorney General's office says a warrant was issued yesterday for 32-year-old Robert Rosario of Burlington, who's still at large. 

The school board in South Burlington has voted to keep a controversial nickname for its students - the Rebels.

South Burlington High School’s mascot was fashioned as a Confederate soldier back when the high school opened in 1961, in reference to the city’s decision to secede from Burlington years earlier.

Joe Paradise / StormFront Publishing

Bernie Sanders' presidential run has inspired countless profiles, send-ups and songs about the Vermont senator. This past weekend, the Democratic candidate was lampooned on Saturday Night Live. There’s Bernie Sanders tote bags and Bernie Sanders bar soap.

Now there's even a comic book biography of the senator and presidential hopeful.

Jason DeCrow / AP

You might have thought lead poisoning was largely a thing of the past but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children in at least 4 million American households are still being exposed to high levels of lead.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

For the last five months Vermont State Sen. Norm McAllister has been awaiting trial on sexual assault charges.

Annie Russell / VPR

Tuesday night, Vermonters attended viewing parties across the state to see the Democratic presidential candidates debate for the first time.

Courtesy Early Warning Project

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. is unveiling a first-of-its-kind early warning system for genocide.

The recently-named leader of Vermont's Department of Health Access has been making headlines this week in Rhode Island.

Courtesy MacArthur Foundation

Vermont poet Ellen Bryant Voight has been named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow. The 72-year-old will receive what's informally called the "genius grant" including $625,000 to pursue her work with no strings attached.

A good workout can help boost your mood if you might be feeling a bit down.

Now, a new study out of the University of Vermont found regular exercise could help reduce the risk of suicide in students who are bullied.

Andrew Harnik / Andy Duback / AP / AP

The leader of Vermont's Catholics has a key role in this week's Papal visit to the U.S.

Taylor Dobbs Illustration/U.S. Peace Corps Logo

The University of Vermont produces many graduates who go on to join the Peace Corps.

UVM recently ranked seventh among top volunteer-producing colleges and universities across the country, with 25 alumni currently serving worldwide.


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As of Tuesday afternoon, Vermont's largest city has a new top cop. Brandon del Pozo was sworn in as Burlington's police chief earlier today.

Toby Talbot / AP/file

This month marks four years since Tropical Storm Irene hit Vermont. In the aftermath, President Barack Obama vowed the Federal Emergency Management Agency would be there to help with recovery. But an investigation by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and Al Jazeera America found FEMA hasn't exactly been prepared for the new normal of climate change. 

Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP

There's a new public voice speaking for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign.

This week, 25-year-old Symone Sanders — no relation — was brought on as the campaign's new national communications director. She previously worked for a juvenile justice advocacy group.

And she's an African-American — who was hired just as Sanders was facing serious criticism from some members of the Black Lives Matter movement who say he isn't talking enough about issues of race and criminal justice.

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