John Dillon

News Director

A veteran Vermont reporter, John joined VPR in 2001. Previously, John was a staff writer for the Sunday Times Argus and the Sunday Rutland Herald, responsible for breaking stories and in-depth features on local issues. He has also served as Communications Director for the Vermont Health Care Authority and Bureau Chief for UPI in Montpelier. John was honored with two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2007 for his reporting on VPR. He was the lead reporter for a VPR series on climate change that in 2008 won a national Edward R. Murrow award for continuing coverage. In 2009, John's coverage of an asbestos mine in northern Vermont was recognized with a regional investigative reporting award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

 

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Attorney General Bill Sorrell has closed a closed a criminal investigation into allegations that environmental activist Annette Smith has practiced law without a license.

John Dillon / VPR

A raucous crowd at the Statehouse Wednesday demanded more local control over the siting of large scale renewable energy projects.

Rogelio V. Solis

Donald Trump campaigning in Bernie Sanders' backyard? The Trump campaign has reserved the Flynn Theater in Burlington Thursday evening Jan. 7 for a free event, Flynn executive director John Killacky confirmed.

The campaign contacted the Flynn Wednesday about booking the space. Killacky said the theater will charge its normal $3,300 facility rental fee for a Thursday night event on the main stage. “We don’t endorse views of any particular candidate. We welcome the discourse,” Killacky said.

Toby Tabot/AP, Angela Evancie/VPR, Kathleen Masterson/VPR

On this final day of 2015 we're taking a look back at some of the year's most significant news stories, some of which will no doubt influence events in 2016.

A worker at a Burlington detox facility faces charges that he sexually assaulted a client last summer.

Burlington police say Robert Trepanier assaulted the woman in a bathroom at the Howard Center's ACT 1 detox facility on July 18. The incident was reported to police on Dec. 23 and assigned to the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations (CUSI).  

“Due to the seriousness of the report, the investigation moved rapidly,” police said in a statement.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Burlington police have identified the man shot and killed early Sunday on Church Street as Odafemi Adedapo, 28, of New York City.  Police say Adedapo is known to the New York City Police Department as a member of the Cashford Crips, a criminal gang operating out of East New York, Brooklyn.

Burlington Mayor Miro  Weinberger says he has concerns about a drug raid on Tuesday that sent bullets flying into a neighboring home.

Courtesy of Josh O'Gorman / Vermont Press Bureau

Gov. Peter Shumlin on Tuesday announced a program to treat opiate addiction in newly released inmates.

Another Democrat could soon join the race for lieutenant governor.

Former journalist Garrett Graff confirmed Friday that he's seriously considering the race. The 34-year-old was editor of Politico Magazine in Washington and worked as deputy national press secretary for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign.

Graff is from Montpelier, and says he moved back to Vermont recently to take on new challenges, including running for office in the 2016 political cycle.

Charlotte Albright / VPR File

The state Agency of Agriculture is moving to require more stringent controls to cut pollution from farms in the Missisquoi Basin of Lake Champlain.

The shallow bay in the northwest part of the lake is often choked with algae blooms in the summer. Those blooms are fueled in part by phosphorus run-off from farms.

The state of Vermont has won a round in its challenge to how Entergy Vermont Yankee plans to spend its decommissioning funds.

Toby Talbot / AP

A recent Gallup poll showed that more Americans would vote for a Muslim or an atheist for president than they would for a socialist. Yet that’s how Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has described himself throughout his career.

The state of Vermont has gone to court to fight a decision by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission that could affect the decommissioning of the now-closed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. 

John Dillon / VPR

Investigators who probed the recent deaths of three Vermont prison inmates have found little blame to assign in two of the three incidents.

But the state did seriously mishandle its treatment of the third inmate — a man who committed suicide last spring — the lead investigator told a legislative oversight committee on Wednesday.

John Dillon / VPR

The green expanse in front of the Statehouse in Montpelier could be considered Vermont's front yard — a gathering place for everything from political protests to ultimate Frisbee contests.

The broad lawn was transformed Tuesday into an open air market with fresh food, handmade furniture and farm products for sale.

mgkaya / iStock.com

Some good news Friday for customers of Green Mountain Power, the state's largest electric utility. The company has agreed to lower rates starting in October by .76 percent.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

A new national poll out Thursday shows Sen. Bernie Sanders gaining ground in his presidential campaign.

JOHN DILLON / TOBY TALBOT / VPR / AP

Tensions around renewable energy development surfaced at the first meeting Tuesday of a state task force charged with sorting out issues related to siting solar projects.

Toby Talbot / AP

The state of Vermont and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission don't always see eye to eye. The state and the feds disagreed over the future of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant when the Vernon reactor was operating. And now that the plant is shut down, the state has challenged the federal agency over emergency planning and decommissioning.

Wilson Ring / AP

An underwater power line planned for Lake Champlain has won key support from two Vermont state agencies.

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