Howard Weiss-Tisman

Reporter For Southern Vermont & The Connecticut River Valley

Howard Weiss-Tisman is VPR's reporter for Southern Vermont & the Connecticut River Valley. He worked at the Brattleboro Reformer for 11 years, reporting on most towns in the region and specializing on statewide issues including education, agriculture, energy and mental health. Howard received a BA in Journalism from University of Massachusetts. He filed his first story with VPR in September 2015.

Ways to Connect

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the license transfer for the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.

Jess Weitz / Submitted

Nobody’s born a rock star.

Making the big time takes practice, commitment and a lot of good luck.

But in Brattleboro an annual youth rock festival is trying to help aspiring artists by giving teenage musicians a place to come together, learn a little bit, and rock out.

Two Townshend Elementary School students sit at a table.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

State government almost shut down earlier this year, and the fight was largely over education funding.

And all of those debates in Montpelier, and negotiations over taxes and education costs? They’re all rooted in the decisions that local school boards make around this time of year.

A meeting with Vermont Agency of Education staff facing State Board of Education members in Bethel.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

After an all-day meeting Tuesday in Bethel, the State Board of Education has adopted a set of guidelines to help steer its decisions about which school districts will be forced to merge under Act 46.

Tony James stands holding a drink cup in front of some James Oil Company trucks.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont’s fuel dealers are having a hard time hiring drivers, and the Vermont Department of Labor is getting involved to get more people interested in driving the delivery trucks.

Stock image of fiber-optic cables.
kynny / iStock

The Public Utility Commission is opening an investigation into service complaints toward Consolidated Communications.

Maisie Twohig, 10, drinks from a water fountain at Grafton Elementary School.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Department of Environmental Conservation will extend its testing program for PFAS chemicals in the drinking water at Vermont schools.

A row of occupied voting booths with curtains drawn in Norwich, Vt.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

The town of Norwich has been trying to get an affordable housing project off the ground for more than a decade, and there will be a special vote on Election Day to see if the town wants to keep trying to encourage the development.

Andy Paciulli, who was Academy School principal when this photo was taken in February, points to one of the Brattleboro school's fixtures that was replaced after state tests discovered lead was leaching into the water.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR File

The results of a new report found lead contamination in each of the 16 Vermont schools tested.

The state is calling for more testing, however the report says there are not enough resources to test the water in every school building in Vermont. 

A group of people gather around a table in a dark room.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

After a series of meetings to hear testimony from Vermonters, the final decisions about forcing mergers on school districts throughout the state now lie with the State Board of Education.

The exterior of the brick  Chester-Andover Elementary School.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Things got off to a rocky start this year for Chester-Andover Elementary School, after a water main leak flooded the building just before school opened. Now about 240 displaced elementary students are spending their days learning at the local high school.

A pile of bags and other personal belongings in a church basement.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

On some of the coldest nights of the year, a state-run program helps find emergency housing for people. The Vermont Department for Children and Families is now planning a revamp of the rules that govern this program, which has been around for more than 50 years.

AP/Toby Talbot

The state will expand a high-speed broadband network that could serve hundreds of customers in the Northeast Kingdom.

Springfield High School Nurse Jenny Anderson stands outside a shut wood door that says HEALTH CLINIC on it.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Springfield School District will offer medical, dental and mental health services under an agreement recently reached with the nearby Springfield Medical Care Systems.

The exterior of Townshend Elementary School on a blue-sky day.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont’s public education system is at a crossroads — and school districts across the state are trying to determine a way forward in order to provide a 21st-century education to students in a rural state with declining enrollment. 

The painting "Red Square" by Helen Frankenthaler.
Bennington College, Courtesy

Bennington College will sell works of art from its collection to help kick off a new scholarship program.

A streetview of downtown Wilmington, Vermont.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Selectboard member Ann Manwaring says the town of Wilmington is considering a proposal to ban plastic bags and will take up the issue at its next meeting.

The exterior of the the Joseph C. McNeil Generating Station in Burlington
National Renewable Energy Laboratory / Associated Press

If Burlington is ever able to get its district heating proposal off the ground, the state would not have the authority to regulate the system.

The Public Utility Commission this week effectively ruled against itself, saying that the commission doesn’t have jurisdiction over the proposed heating service.

The exterior of the Windham County Superior Court in Newfane.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The state wants a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that challenges Vermont’s public education funding system.

The Windham County town of Whitingham, along with resident Madeline Klein and Sadie Boyd, a student in the town’s school system, filed the suit late last year.

Adam Silver stands looking out of a window in a Brattleboro apartment.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

As companies like Uber and Airbnb continue growing across Vermont, two new state laws to better regulate the "gig economy" are now in effect. 

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