Annie Russell

All Things Considered Producer/Reporter

Annie Russell is VPR's All Things Considered producer/reporter. She came to VPR from NPR's Weekends on All Things Considered and  WNYC's  On The Media.  She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School.

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You may be tempted to call Hari Kondabolu a political comic, but he'd prefer you to call him a "Mainstream American Comic." That's the title of his latest comedy album. Kondabolu, who will be performing this weekend at Vermont Comedy Club, spoke with VPR about the album, discussing race and finding humor in politics.

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When you think of sketch comedy, the Mormon Church may not be the first thing that springs to mind. With the huge popularity of the play The Book of Mormon, you might think of the church as more of a punch line. A new documentary is changing that by following a sketch group called “Studio C” based in Provo, Utah. It's made up of practicing Mormons, with oversight from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The federal Department of Justice's decision to stop using privately-run prisons is reverberating throughout Vermont.

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Vermont officials have been warning drug users about a potentially dangerous batch of heroin that's been making the rounds over the past week. They say it may be responsible for at least 10 overdoses so far, but no deaths.

New Hampshire has been toughening drug charges against dealers who sell deadly doses and one dealer in Bennington County was charged with second-degree murder last winter.

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A new study shows Vermont's opioid crisis is taking an incredible toll on one population: newborn babies. The study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, that can occur in newborns whose mothers are addicted.

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The first time Michelle Cunningham sold her homemade doughnuts at the Burlington Farmers' Market, she made too few. After selling out before noon, she realized there was a market in Vermont for high-quality doughnuts made from local ingredients.

If you live in Vermont, there's a good chance your electric bill will go up a bit this fall. State regulators at the Department of Public Service have approved a rate increase for Green Mountain Power, the state's largest utility.

Nina Keck / VPR

Earlier this summer, thousands of members of the Rainbow Family of Living Light, a loose affiliation of peace activists, made their way to the Green Mountain National Forest for their annual celebration of nature and hippie culture. This year’s festivities peaked around the Fourth of July, but the gathering is still winding down.

From Bagdhad to Istanbul to Bangladesh, attacks being associated with ISIS have terrorized the world over the past week. 

Terrorists in Dhaka, Bangladesh slaughtered 28 people at a restaurant over the weekend.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

On Wednesday, Seven Days reported that the Franklin County state's attorneys office dropped sexual assault charges against Sen. Norm McAllister after learning new information that posed an "ethical dilemma" for prosecutors, requiring them to abandon the case.

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Starting Wednesday morning, U.S. House Democrats staged a rare sit-in on the House floor to demand action on gun violence. Vermont Rep. Peter Welch was among those that participated, and spoke to VPR Wednesday afternoon from the cloakroom off the House floor.

Soon one of Vermont's oldest papers will no longer put out print editions daily. Leaders of the Rutland Herald and its sister paper, the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, announced Monday that starting next month, both publications will only be printing the paper four days a week.

Oliver Parini for VPR

It's all but certain that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic presidential nominee. But Sen. Bernie Sanders has been saying for months that he's staying in the race until the convention — in part — to influence the party's platform.

The Pride Center of Vermont is holding a vigil Wednesday for Amos Beede, the transgender man who died of injuries sustained in an attack on May 23 in Burlington.

Finding the capacity to care for acute mental health cases in Vermont has been a challenge in recent years, especially since Tropical Storm Irene shut down the state mental hospital. 

That challenge may be about to get even more difficult.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR file

Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo says the recent beating death of a transgender man living in a homeless camp near Burlington's Barge Canal may have been the result of "petty" fighting between camp factions rather than motivated by bias.

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New state data out last month show the vaccination rate for kindergartners is on the rise in Vermont. But so is the number of parents claiming religious exemptions to getting their kids vaccinated. That's as the state is phasing out another exemption that let parents skip vaccinating their kids for philosophical reasons.

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When you think of drug use in Vermont, you probably think about the opioid epidemic. Back in 2014, Gov. Peter Shumlin dedicated his entire State of the State address to it. And the problem become a top priority for treatment professionals and law enforcement.

But sometimes, a crackdown on one drug makes the illegal drug market shift toward another, and Vermont authorities have noticed a surge in crack cocaine use and related violence.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Dr. Carol Moore, the president of Burlington College, spoke with VPR Wednesday about what she called "not a pleasant topic": the closure of the college, the contributing factors and what's next for BC students.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

The imminent closure of Burlington College next week is getting national attention thanks to the school’s former president and the presidential campaign.

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