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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VPR News
10:27 am
Sun September 28, 2014

Austine Advocates Say Deaf Children Need Their Own School

Deaf people from around Vermont came to Montpelier Saturday to call for the state to re-open the Austine School for the Deaf.
Credit John Dillon / VPR

About 200 deaf people and their supporters rallied in Montpelier Saturday and called on the governor and the Legislature to re-open the closed Austine School for the Deaf.

The school shut its doors this summer due to financial troubles. State officials say the education needs of deaf children can meet through mainstream programs in public schools.

But the protesters who marched on the Statehouse yesterday say deaf children need a learning environment with their peers that’s based on American sign language.

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VPR News
2:46 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Jim Jeffords' Career, In Sound And Pictures

In this Sept. 13, 1988, file photo, Jim Jeffords celebrates his primary victory for the U.S. Senate with his family in Montpelier. Shown, from left, are Jeffords' son, Leonard, his wife, Liz, his daughter, Laura, and Jeffords.
Toby Talbot AP

Following the Monday morning death of former Vermont U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords, VPR dug into its archives for recordings of the pivotal moments in Jeffords' career – including his bombshell 2001 announcement that he would leave the Republican party.

We also dusted off the tape of Jeffords' announcement, in 2005, that he would retire from the Senate, re-digitized The Jeffords Effect, a five-part series we created in 2002, and collected photographs of Jeffords' time in Washington and Vermont.

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The Frequency
5:38 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

State Supreme Court Says No DNA Collection Until Conviction

The Vermont Supreme Court has ruled the state can't collect DNA evidence from suspects in criminal cases unless they've been convicted of a felony.

In a 3-2 decision issued Friday, the court ruled a state law that allowed for the collection of DNA from people charged with felonies after a court decided there was probable cause violated the Vermont constitution.

  Three years ago, Vermont's DNA database law was expanded to include people charged with felonies. Five Vermont trial courts have ruled the law unconstitutional.

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The Frequency
12:32 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Whooping Cough On Rise In Windham County

The state Health Department is reporting an increase in whooping cough cases in Windham County.

The department has alerted health care providers in the area that the number of confirmed cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, rose to 11 in June. Ten were among children age 3 to 17, while one was an adult. The cases occurred as schools were closing or after they had closed for the summer.

So far in July, the department says there are five more suspected cases. All but one of the confirmed and suspected cases are from Brattleboro.

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The Frequency
5:35 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

State Sets New Limits On Vermont Yankee's Hot Water Releases

Environmentalists say the heated discharge from Vermont Yankee harms fish and other aquatic life
AP File Photo

The state of Vermont has issued a draft pollution permit for Vermont Yankee that imposes new limits on how much the nuclear plant can heat the Connecticut River.

Yankee uses the river for cooling water. Environmentalists for years have argued that the heated discharge harms fish and other aquatic life.

Plant owner Entergy plans to shut down the reactor by the end of the year. But if the permit is finalized over the next several months, the lower limits would apply to Yankee’s operation this fall.

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The Frequency
3:14 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

After Supreme Court Rules, Burlington To Amend Clinic Buffer Zone Ordinance

Burlington's attorney says the city shouldn't enforce a buffer zone preventing people from demonstrating within 35 feet of Planned Parenthood. The decision follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a similar law in Massachusetts.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

The city of Burlington is no longer enforcing an ordinance that prohibits people from demonstrating or protesting within a 35-foot buffer zone surrounding family planning clinics. The city ordinance is similar to a Massachusetts law that was struck down last week by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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The Frequency
6:09 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Food Industry Sues To Block Vermont GMO Labeling Law

On May 8, prior to Shumlin signing the bill into law at the Vermont statehouse.
Angela Evancie

Food industry trade groups filed suit in federal court Thursday to overturn Vermont’s first-in-the-nation law requiring labels on foods made with genetically modified organisms.

The suit says the Vermont law is unconstitutional, because it forces food companies to label their products without a compelling government interest.

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The Frequency
7:40 am
Sun June 1, 2014

GMP Agrees To Cut Rates 2.5 Percent

A new settlement will reduce rates for Green Mountain Power customers by about 2.5 percent beginning in October.

The agreement was reached late last week between the Shumlin Administration, GMP, Associated Industries of Vermont, and IBM, whose manufacturing plant outside of Burlington is the utility’s largest customers.

The deal calls for a 1.46 percent rate cut, plus an additional 1 percent reduction due to an earlier revenue sharing agreement between the state and the owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

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VPR News
5:00 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Northeast Kingdom Wind Project On Hold Due To Grid Constraints

A large scale wind development planned for a remote part of the Northeast Kingdom is on hold for now.

Eolian Renewable Energy of Portsmouth, N.H, the developer of the Seneca Mountain wind project, has withdrawn its request to connect to the New England electric grid. The company faced expensive upgrades to the regional transmission network before it could distribute its power.

The problems with the regional electric grid were highlighted last summer when some wind projects in Vermont and Maine had to be dialed back because the system couldn’t handle the load.

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The Frequency
4:47 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Entergy Plans Radioactive Waste Transfer

Entergy Vermont Yankee has begun the process to gain regulatory approval to move spent fuel from a pool inside the reactor building to another area on the property.

Entergy wants to store the highly radioactive waste in steel and concrete casks on the plant grounds. But first it must construct a large, flat concrete pad to accommodate the new waste facility.

The company filed notice this week with the Town of Vernon and the Windham Regional Commission of its plans for the concrete pad. It plans to file a formal request with the state Public Service Board on June 30.

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