Charlotte Albright


Charlotte Albright lives in Lyndonville and currently works in the Office of Communication at Dartmouth College. She was a VPR reporter from 2012 - 2015, covering the Upper Valley and the Northeast Kingdom. Prior to that she freelanced for VPR for several years.

The other day, when my curious three-and-a half year old granddaughter asked her mother a question, she was told that she could read to find the answer. The curly-haired cherub answered sweetly but matter-of-factly, “You know I can’t read.” But she does love books, and I bet this time next year she’ll be reading on her own, because she’ll be in pre-school – along with thousands of other little Vermonters.

When I was a reporter covering the Northeast Kingdom and the Upper Valley, I spent countless evenings in small towns listening to people wrangle about whether or where to erect wind turbines or solar arrays.

The EB-5 program was supposed to bring economic salvation to the Northeast Kingdom. Until I left VPR last year, I covered this story as a field reporter, beginning with the press conference at Jay Peak resort in 2012, where Bill Stenger mapped out the projects he said would create 10,000 jobs.

When I was a little girl living in Pennsylvania, my dentist, Dr. Miller, was a curmudgeon. If he happened to spot you in the local diner about to stick your fork into a piece of pie, he would whisk away the dessert plate and replace it with a piece of fruit.

As the presidential primary campaign grinds on, it's been reported that a slew of Americans are doing online research about how to leave this loony country – as they currently see it - for the country of the loony.

Now that the suspected carcinogen PFOA is turning up in more and more private wells in North Bennington, Vermont, and across the country, people who live near possibly contaminated sites are justifiably worried.

The Northeast Kingdom, where I live, is a gorgeous place to call home. Ridges, valleys, farm towns, sunsets - it’s a feast for the eyes. But putting food on the table isn’t easy for everyone. There’s high unemployment, rising taxes, and crumbling infrastructure. Yet those very liabilities have made my Kingdom neighbors resilient and creative.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Bag Balm, that yellowish salve made in the Northeast Kingdom, was developed 115 years ago for farmers who wanted to soften their cows’ teats before milking.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Joyce Dobbertin, a physician at Corner Medical, a large rural primary care practice in Lyndonville, is a big fan of electronic medical records. In fact, about 15 years ago, when Corner Medical’s office burned down, she saw an opportunity rise from the ashes, as a fellow physician looked at the flames in horror.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

If you’ve had a medical appointment lately, you’ve probably seen your provider peering at your medical history on a computer. Many doctors and patients are happy that paper records are giving way to digital information. But there are concerns that electronic health records can be hacked, and that physicians are now spending too much time with computers and not enough with patients. 

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Going to the dentist can be expensive. And under the Affordable Care Act, Vermonters have increased access to insurance for dental services, including Medicaid. But many dentists do not accept new Medicaid patients.

Herb Swanson /

It's hard to imagine a worse disease than amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. The muscle-wasting affliction strikes about 5,600 patients each year. Thirty thousand people are living with it in the United States. The vast majority of those cases are not inherited.

But for families that do carry the gene, it is especially heartbreaking. One of those families lives in Vermont, and they are helping to advance medical research.

An artists’ cooperative gallery is facing closure in Enosburg Falls because of declining membership.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Chances are you're stocking up on fresh, locally produced eggs this holiday season, for everything from the turkey stuffing to pumpkin pie. So for thousands of choosy consumers, the barn fire last month at Pete and Gerry’s, the organic egg producers based in Monroe, New Hampshire, came at a terrible time.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

A group of students from Lyndon Institute will meet their perhaps unlikely hero Saturday: Garrison Keillor, host of "A Prairie Home Companion." The kids did their own version of the popular public radio variety show earlier this year and sent Keillor a copy. He liked what they did so much he invited them to a rehearsal and show.

Scott Milne

Former gubernatorial candidate and travel business owner Scott Milne has won a court battle in his attempt to develop a large parcel of land in Quechee on Route 4. Opponents say the mixed use project would snarl traffic and cause sprawl, but Milne says that part of the 167-acre property is ideal for offices, retail, and residences.

Courtesy of the Vermont Agency of Education

When it comes to reducing youth smoking, some regions of the state have made much more progress than others.

That’s the word from the State Agency of Education, which has a released a statewide map showing the disparity of youth smoking rates in Vermont.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Vermont’s new school consolidation law is raising concerns about school choice. Currently, students who live in towns that do not operate schools may take their state tuition dollars elsewhere, even to private academies.

But there is confusion about whether — and how — districts can hold onto choice as they combine under the new law.

Herb Swanson /

The tiny airport at Coventry, recently re-named the Northeast Kingdom International Airport, now has the second longest runway in the state, after Burlington.

Thanks to about a million dollars in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration, the airport now has a 5,000 foot runway—about 1,000 feet longer than the old one. Larger planes can now land, and commercial air service may come to the Northeast Kingdom. At the ribbon cutting, Vermont Aviation Administrator Guy Rouelle said upgrades also include WIFI, modern snow removal equipment and a more reliable water supply.

File photo/Charlotte Albright / VPR

A big hotel and conference center under construction on Burke Mountain has narrowly escaped a work stoppage that could have killed the project. But the contractor and developer must still hash out disagreements with state regulators.