Kathleen Masterson

New England News Collaborative Reporter

Kathleen Masterson as VPR's New England News Collaborative reporter. She covered energy, environment, infrastructure and labor issues for VPR and the collaborative. Kathleen came 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.

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Vermont Department of Health

A new state program will monitor and test all 22 drinking water systems that pull water from Lake Champlain, with a focus on detecting blue-green algae blooms.

mgpenguin86 / via Flickr

The Rutland City Police Department is participating in a nationwide initiative to make more data about police activity available to the public.

mark wragg / Thinkstock

It's not often that Rutland, Vermont and the Bronx, New York are linked in a news story.

But Vermont's now well-publicized heroin problem has its roots in a drug cartel based in the Bronx. A recent Drug Enforcement Administration bust seized 70 kilos of heroin with a street value estimated at $50 million. This bust broke up a major warehouse that shipped heroin north up Interstate 87 and 90 into New England.

The editorial staffs at a number of small-town newspapers in Vermont and Massachusetts are getting smaller still.

New England Newspapers Inc., has laid off 10 editorial employees at papers it owns including the Brattleboro Reformer, the Bennington Banner and the Manchester Journal.  The layoffs leave skeleton crews at the three Vermont newspapers.

haglundc via Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday ruled against new federal regulations that would crack down on mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants. 

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

So far this June is one of the wettest on record in Vermont. With over 7 inches of rainfall, it’s the fourth wettest June in Burlington since 1884.

For many farmers, waterlogged fields have prevented them from harvesting hay; and the standing water stunts the growth of corn and other grains.  

The Vermont College of Fine Arts is hosting the first Vermont Book Award this year. Judges announced the six finalists in the running for the inaugural honor – and the $5,000 prize – Thursday.

Bud Mayfield / U.S. Forest Service

Ecologists are hoping a tiny fly from the Pacific Northwest could help save the towering hemlock forests dying along the East Coast.

Vermont's Department of Motor Vehicles was breaking Vermont law when it searched its records using facial recognition software, Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan says.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

In January 2014 Vermont enacted a law that established a new kind of driver’s license called a driver’s privilege card. The identification allows undocumented immigrant farmworkers residing in Vermont to drive legally in the state.

Courtesy of Jeff Kaufman

The new documentary The State of Marriage tells the story of a prominent civil rights attorney and two small-town Vermont lawyers whose legal battle paved the way for same-sex marriage in Vermont and across the county.

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