Kathleen Masterson

New England News Collaborative Reporter

Kathleen Masterson is VPR's New England News Collaborative reporter. She covers energy, environment, infrastructure and labor issues for VPR and the collaborative. Kathleen comes to Vermont having worked as a producer for NPR’s science desk and as a beat reporter covering agriculture and the environment.

Kathleen covered food production for Harvest Public Media while based at Iowa Public Radio in Ames, Iowa. She wrote stories ranging from the risks of antibiotic use in livestock feed to how hedge fund managers visit corn fields to bet on the commodities market to how the fracking boom has spurred sand mining in Iowa. As a digital producer for NPR for several years, Kathleen reported science and health stories and produced multimedia series for NPR.org. She covered topics that ranged from human evolution to swine flu to the Affordable Care Act to plastic chemicals BPA and phthalates.

Kathleen has contributed work to NPR, Marketplace, Grist, and NPR-affiliates including KQED and WGBH. She also worked as a digital producer for PBS NOVA, a science writer for University of California, San Francisco and the Morning Edition producer/reporter for VPR.

Ways to Connect

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Ohio Gov. John Kasich spoke to a packed auditorium of more than 400 people in Colchester in his second visit to Vermont on Saturday. The Republican presidential candidate pitched himself as a fiscally conservative moderate who would prioritize creating jobs. 

propheta / iStock

Vermont maple producers are protesting foods labeled as "maple" or "maple-flavored" that don't actually contain the real thing.  

Felipe Dana / AP

The University of Vermont Vaccine Testing Center has been selected to help test a potential vaccine that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is developing against the Zika virus.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Carol and Bob Backus have been married 15 years. They’re both engaged citizens and longstanding Democrats, but this year they watched the Democratic debate in separate rooms.

Evan Vucci / AP

In a photo finish early Tuesday, the Iowa Democratic Party declared Hillary Clinton the winner in Monday's Iowa Caucus. She edged out Sen. Bernie Sanders by a mere fraction of a percent, 49.9 percent to 49.6 percent, in what NPR calls "the thinnest of margins in the closest Democratic contest ever." And Sanders’ supporters say a tie is as good as a win for the Vermont senator. 

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

With fewer than 12 hours to go until the Iowa caucuses, polls show an extremely tight Democratic race, with Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders by a few percentage points. But polls can’t precisely predict who will actually show up to caucus, or what their final decision will be after the persuasive discussions on the caucus floor.

GMVozd / iStock.com

Vermont's Open Meeting Law requires that all meetings of public committees be open and accessible to the public — and in today's world of electronic communication the state says this applies to emails, too. 

Courtesy Lucy Ring

Let’s face it: Most news stories are not of the happily-ever-after variety. Sometimes they can be downright rough to read. That is … ruff! As in the human approximation of what a dog's bark sounds like.

And if that terrible pun gives you paws – er, pause – don't worry. We’ll get right to the news story that really does end well – about a beloved dog being reunited with his family after being on the run for more than a year in Vermont.

As the heroin problem in Vermont has affected more and more families, communities across the state are responding by increasing treatment options for those afflicted by addiction.  

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

As many Vermonters know all too well, catastrophic floods have become increasingly frequent in the state. In many cases, they devastate homes, roads and farms.

Losers Crown Productions

A new film featuring the Green Mountain State is about a young married couple who decides to move to Vermont to find their more “authentic” selves and work on their troubled marriage. It's Us explores the idea of a "geographic fix" – that moving to a bucolic state with its beautiful pastoral landscapes and mountain air can help resolve an existential crisis. But ... can it?

Since it first opened its doors earlier this year, the Champlain Area National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has received a slew of discrimination complaints.

Many of those complaints involve discrimination when it comes to renting or buying a house.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Since the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino there has been a fresh wave of anti-Muslim rhetoric across much of the United States.

Yet the reaction in Vermont has largely been marked by acceptance of the Muslim community. Many Vermonters have expressed their support to the Islamic Society of Vermont, where about 200 people worship each week. 

Thibault Camus / AP

After two weeks of intense negotiating at COP 21, the United Nations conference on climate change north of Paris, nearly 200 of the world’s nations signed off on an agreement to finally do something meaningful about curbing global warming. But not everyone's enthusiastic about the outcome.

In Vermont and across the nation the vast majority of doctors offices and hospitals have been undergoing a shift from paper to electronic medical records. But the challenge is that many of these software systems don't actually talk to each other.

Francois Mori / AP

A Dartmouth College professor is heading to Paris this week to join in the global conversation about strategies to combat climate change, and she'll be doing so as the new chair of the Union of Concerned Scientists' board of directors.

The chief of the Veterans Affairs hospital in White River Junction is moving to Phoenix, Ariz., to oversee a troubled VA facility there.           

Deborah Amdur is a social worker by training, and she will replace one of several interim directors in Phoenix. Her appointment comes after allegations surfaced last year that the Arizona hospital had manipulated reports on patient wait-times.

The Phoenix VA became a flashpoint in a national scandal over mismanagement and corruption in the VA health system.

If there's one thing most doctors, patients and lawmakers agree on when it comes to health care, it's that the fee-for-service model simply isn’t working. That model has been the standard for many years, but it creates an economic pressure for doctors and hospitals to administer more tests – which don’t necessarily make people any healthier.

But there’s little consensus on just how to set up a medical system that gives people the health care they need, and ensures that doctors and hospitals stay in the black.

More than 100 community members in Burlington who were at risk of losing their homes earlier this fall have found an innovative way to keep them.

A national nursing home chain under federal investigation for fraud is looking to acquire more properties in Vermont.

Genesis Healthcare has put in a bid to purchase five Vermont homes that care for seniors and disabled people. If the purchase passes muster with Vermont regulators, it would make the national corporation the largest nursing home operator in Vermont.

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