John Dillon

Senior Reporter, New England News Collaborative

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.

 

Ways to Connect

Exterior of the Vermont Gas building.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

The Vermont Supreme Court has told a state utility board to reopen a Vermont Gas Systems rate case involving tens of millions of dollars in cost overruns for its Addison County natural gas pipeline.

Daria Bishop / VPR

When it comes to the dairy industry in Vermont, there are a lot of questions and myriad answers. We get a lot of both as we listen to a recent "News & Brews" event held at VPR that explored the relationship between agriculture and the environment.

A male brook trout in his spawning colors. Trout Unlimited wants the state to reduce the catch limit to 12 a day to six.
file

As Vermont’s trout season opens, an environmental group is calling on the state to reduce the number of brook trout that can be taken.

The spent nuclear fuel at Vermont Yankee is being moved from the cooling pools, shown in this photo, into dry cask storage.
Toby Talbot / AP/file

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the potential buyer of the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has yet to show it will have the money available to clean up the site.

Amid boos and cheers, Gov. Phil Scott signed three pieces of gun control legislation on the front steps of the Statehouse in April. The VPR-Vermont PBS poll shows Vermonters by and large approve of the law.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR file

S.55, a bill that became the unexpected hot-button issue of the session so far, was signed into law Wednesday on the steps of the Vermont Statehouse.

Stowe High School student Sam Robertson holds an American flag and stands in front of a truck.
John Dillon / VPR

In just a few months, young people — some who can’t yet vote – have led the U.S. and Vermont on a dizzying pace of change around gun control legislation. Far less visible are the students who favor gun rights.

The Vermont Gas pipeline to Addison County has been completed, but state regulators are looking into allegations of shoddy construction.
John Van Hoesen / VPR File

The Vermont Public Utility Commission wants an independent investigation into allegations of shoddy construction of the Addison natural gas pipeline.

Blue-green algae blooms, like this one photographed in the summer of 2014 in Lake Champlain, have many in the state concerned. A new draft plan proposes funding sources for water cleanup efforts.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR FILE

Vermont’s phosphorus pollution problem is almost a century in the making and persists today, as the nutrient contained in fertilizer and animal feed continues to accumulate in watersheds.

Jacques Rainville farmed in Highgate Center but low milk prices forced him out of business.
John Dillon / VPR

While Vermont dairy farmers are experiencing some of the hardest times in recent memory, their counterparts in Quebec are thriving. The reason is a complex system that regulates the supply of milk  and sets the price farmers receive.

Justin Turco of Ira came to Montpelier to deliver a message to Gov. Phil Scott after the Legislature approved sweeping gun control legislation.
John Dillon / VPR

A day after the Legislature passed a sweeping gun control bill, supporters of gun rights held a rally on the Statehouse steps to call the legislation unenforceable and unconstitutional.

Lawmakers gathered in the Senate at the kickoff of the biennium in 2017. Now, lawmakers will return for a special session next week.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

A weeks-long debate in the Vermont Legislature over controversial gun legislation came to end on Friday when the Senate held a final vote on a bill known as S.55.

Exterior of the Vermont Gas building.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

In response to detailed allegations about safety shortcuts, Vermont Gas Systems has agreed to an independent review of its Addison pipeline project.

A rally in Thetford two years ago criticized the USDA's move to allow vegetables raised hydroponically to be labeled as "organic."
Rebecca Sananes / VPR File

For a group of farmers and consumers around the country, the term "organic" just doesn't go far enough. They say the U.S. Department of Agriculture has weakened standards for food that is supposed to be raised organically.

Moose are falling victim to winter ticks, whose population is booming because of climate change. The state says some very limited hunting of the big animals should still be allowed.
Sandy Macys / AP

The state is proposing to drastically reduce the number of permits to hunt moose as the population continues to suffer from a parasite that has grown more abundant with climate change.

Layers walk around by the "egg mobile" at the Papineau Family Farm in Highgate.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A rule designed to insure poultry and their eggs sold under the organic label are from birds raised under healthy living conditions, including access to outdoors, has been withdrawn by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Michael Colby, right, of Regeneration Vermont, testifies about what he says is lax state oversight of large dairy farms.
John Dillon / VPR

One of the largest farm businesses in the state expanded its operation and constructed a manure pit in Franklin County last summer — without a permit or state oversight.

left: Screenshot from web.archive.org, right: U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Bernie Sanders inspired a political movement with his insurgent 2016 run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Yet he's been reluctant to acknowledge that his campaign likely got some help from a Russian covert propaganda campaign.

A deal is being finalized that would resolve financial issues related to the cleanup of the closed Vermont Yankee  nuclear plant.
Jason R. Henske / AP

A settlement that would allow the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to be sold by the end of the year has been reached, although state regulators still have to approve the deal.

Randolph Center farmer David Silloway offers free milk samples at the annual Farm Show. An oversupply or organic milk has stalled Silloway's plans to earn a higher price for his product.
John Dillon / VPR

Organic dairy farmers are getting paid less because of an oversupply of their milk, a market glut that’s led one major organic buyer to delay signing on new farmers.

Screenshot from WCAX stream of Vermont State Police Press Conference

Authorities are investigating an officer-involved shooting that took place after a traffic stop on Interstate 89 southbound Sunday, leaving one man dead.

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