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.



VPR News
6:30 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Highway Projects Could Be Delayed If Federal Funds Fall Short

Gov. Peter Shumlin along with other state officials urged Congress to put more money into the federal Highway Trust Fund.
VPR/John Dillon

Officials with the Shumlin Administration are warning that some road projects scheduled for this summer may have to be scaled back if Congress does not replenish the federal Highway Trust Fund.

The state relies on the trust fund to match state dollars for transportation projects.

Read more
VPR News
6:11 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Shumlin Says Single-Payer Alternative Based On 'Failed Model'

Gov. Peter Shumlin is dismissing a legislative consultant’s plan that lawmakers could use as an alternative to the administration’s single-payer health proposal.

The concept memo was drafted for the Legislature by health care economist Ken Thorpe. His plan was conceived as an alternative to single-payer, and would extend health coverage for more Vermonters by relying on state and federal subsidies as well as the existing insurance-based system.

At his weekly news conference, Shumlin said Thorpe’s ideas were based on “a failed model” of health care financing.

Read more
Archive Posts
1:25 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Vt. PSB Allows Yankee Nuclear Plant To Run Through 2014

State utility regulators have allowed Entergy Vermont Yankee to operate the state’s only nuclear plant through the end of the year.

The Vermont Public Service Board on Friday also approved an agreement between the state and Entergy that requires the company to pay $10 million for economic development in Windham County and to set up a $25 million fund to restore the Vernon site after decommissioning.

Read more
The Frequency
8:44 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Vt. Land Trust Retreats On Bill To Allow Easement Changes

The Vermont Land Trust has withdrawn support from legislation it was backing that would allow conservation easements to be altered or lifted after a legal review.

The move Friday followed criticism by others in the conservation community that the bill opened the possibility that a donor’s intent to preserve a particular piece of land would not be fulfilled.

Read more
VPR News
5:30 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Is Forever Always Forever? Bill To Alter Conservation Easements Divides Advocates

Darby Bradley of the Vermont Land Trust has staked his reputation on lobbying for legislation that would allow conservation easements to be changed retroactively.
John Dillon VPR

Conservation easements are legal agreements designed to protect land from development forever. But a bill under consideration in the Statehouse would allow those restrictions to be amended, or lifted entirely.

The bill has sparked a fierce debate among land conservation advocates. Opponents argue the legislation could lead to circumstances in which land that was supposed to be protected "in perpetuity” no longer would be.

Read more
2:08 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Analysis: Town Meeting Day Results

VPR News Director, John Dillon talks with Vermont Edition about the big stories from Town Meeting Day around the state.

Read more
VPR News
11:08 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

School Budgets In Larger Communities Defeated

The Burlington school budget was one of several turned down by voters on Town Meeting Day.
Flickr/Coldwell Banker Realty

Voters in several of Vermont’s larger communities have rejected school budgets, sending a message to local school boards and perhaps to Montpelier that the proposed tax rates were too high.

The school spending plans went down to defeat in Burlington, Bennington, Rutland and Montpelier. Other communities where budgets were voted down include Colchester, Milton, Westford and Underhill.

Read more
VPR News Blog
5:50 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

NRC Finds Some Problems With Vt. Yankee Flood Prevention

A federal inspection of flood prevention measures at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has found several deficiencies but none requiring enforcement action.

A team from Nuclear Regulatory Commission arrived at the reactor last July to conduct the on-site audit. The NRC required the inspections after an earthquake and tsunami crippled several reactors in Japan in 2011.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said the team did identify some problems with Yankee's record-keeping and flood-assessment calculations. He said the observations were similar to what NRC teams found at other 

Read more
VPR News Blog
2:45 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

ATF Gun Data Lacked Detail On Drug Connection

Vermont was one of seven states for which the majority of firearms traced to the state were recovered out of the state, according to ATF data.
Matt Parrilla VPR

In response to a Feb. 7 story on the connection between gun trafficking and drug trafficking in Vermont, a number of readers have written to VPR to call attention to statistics generated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that show the number of firearms recovered by law enforcement in other states and traced back to Vermont.

Read more
VPR News
6:02 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Waiting Lists, Funding Challenges For Low-Income Weatherization Efforts

Karen Lafayette, with the Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council, wants a boost in weatherization funds.
VPR/John Dillon

A coalition of lawmakers and anti-poverty advocates wants Gov. Peter Shumlin's administration to increase funding for a program that helps low-income people insulate their homes.

The advocates make a common sense argument: As every Vermonter knows, when you heat your house, you don’t want to heat the outside as well. The advocates say weatherization is an investment that saves people money and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more