Annie Russell

Weekend Producer/Reporter

Annie Russell is VPR's weekend producer. She has interned for NPR at Weekends on All Things Considered and for WNYC at On The Media.  She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School. She loves the Boston Celtics unconditionally.

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Alexa Luthor

Higher Ground, a music venue in South Burlington, sold out a string of shows this past weekend. But it wasn't a band that folks were lining up to see.

The performance space hosted a popular festival celebrating the art of burlesque.

Seth Wenig / AP

The long-time speaker of the New York State Assembly returned to Albany today for the first time since he was arrested on federal corruption charges last week.

Government prosecutors say Speaker Sheldon Silver took nearly $4 million in bribes and kickbacks, in exchange for using his political clout to direct money and policy out of Albany.

Smoking is banned on Church Street in Burlington. It's a win for public health and many in Burlington who advocated for the ban, but (a minority of) city councilors and some Burlingtonians say it has some negative side effects.

Library of Congress

A new historical society is forming in Vermont, with a focus on the bloody fight for Irish independence.

The Fenian Historical Society had its first meeting Sunday in Burlington.

Annie Russell / VPR

Try to picture a “help wanted” ad that reads something like this:

“Large, financially ailing employer seeks part-time workers to solve tough problems in a partisan environment - with very little job security.”

So ... are you going to apply?

John Minchillo / AP

As Gov. Andrew Cuomo mourns the loss of his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, lawmakers are getting to work in Albany for the start of the 2015 legislative session. The Legislature convened last week for its six-month session and already there’s been tragedy and scandal on top of the usual load of hard work.

Dave Lucas, capital region bureau chief for Northeast Public Radio, joined Alex Keefe to talk about the major issues in Albany this season.

The media community has been reeling since gunmen attacked the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo this week. Twelve people were killed at the magazine's office in Paris. Four of them were cartoonists.

The publication had reportedly received threats of violence in the past - particularly for cartoons about Islam and the prophet Muhammed. The killings have sparked an international debate about satire and free speech.

Vermont's Cartoonist Laureate Ed Koren, whose work has appeared for decades in The New Yorker, joined VPR to reflect on the tragedy.

 

Angela Evancie / VPR

It's safe to say that Vermont lawmakers have a list of unenviable tasks waiting for them when they return to Montpelier on Wednesday. There's that $100 million projected budget gap they'll have to close, the rising education property taxes they want to reign in, and let's not forget that little business about electing a governor.

Neal Goswami, the Montpelier bureau chief for the Vermont Press Bureau, helps sort through the to-do list for the 2015 legislative session.

Courtesy Erin Harris

A lot of folks attach sentimental value to their jewelry, but some artists are going a step further to create pieces their customers will treasure.

Erin Harris didn't always make jewelry. A former social worker, Harris was burnt out and looking to make a career change.

After her 3-year-old dog died unexpectedly, Harris made necklace for herself.

AP Photo/Entergy

On Dec. 29, 2014,  workers at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station cut off the flow of electricity to the grid. That marks the end of power generation for the plant after more than 42 years.

Vermont Yankee has been a big story during that time - politically, economically and environmentally.

VPR's Alex Keefe discussed the plant's history with Steve Terry, a reporter for the Rutland Herald in the 1960s, and later an executive at Green Mountain Power.

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