Liam Elder-Connors

Reporter

Liam is VPR's reporter covering Burlington and Chittenden County.

He also serves as an occasional fill-in host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Liam  joined VPR in 2015 as a board operator, announcer and producer before spending a year as the Morning Edition producer.  Before switching to full-time reporting in 2018, he was the All Things Considered producer and editor.

Liam graduated from St. Michael's College in 2014 with a degree in journalism and music.

Ways to Connect

In 2007, the state of Vermont established a goal of cutting the child poverty rate in half over a 10-year span. The Vermont Child Poverty Council was formed to study and recommend policies to succeed in this effort — but when the deadline was reached this June, the state had not met the goal it set a decade ago.

Kalmia Traver's first solo album as Kalbells is called Ten Flowers. She said making the album was part of a period of self-discovery after surviving ovarian cancer.
Courtesy of Jake Ryan

Kalmia Traver debut solo album as Kalbells is Ten Flowers; it’s a collection of shimmering electronic pop songs. It’s also deeply personal; Traver wrote it after surviving cancer.

Two solar panel manufacturers are asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to place tariffs on imported solar panels. But solar developers and installers across the country say a tariff would slow grow and cost jobs in the the industry.
Wilson Ring / AP/file

Two bankrupt companies that made solar panels are asking the U.S International Trade Commission to place a tariff on imported solar panels. The companies say that cheap foreign solar panels are harming the domestic industry.

In 2014, Gregory Zullo was pulled over for having part of his license plate covered. The state trooper said he smelled marijuana in the car and towed the car. The Vermont ACLU sued the state and is appealing the case to the Vermont Supreme Court.
ACLU-VT

A case regarding the traffic stop of a black motorist and a subsequent vehicle search based on the smell of marijuana is heading to the Vermont Supreme Court.

The Stowe Mountain Lodge Classic pro-tennis tournament starts Tuesday and last until Thursday. World class players will compete and use the tournament to warm up for the U.S. Open.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Some of the world’s top tennis players are competing this week in the first Stowe Mountain Lodge Classic.

The Boston Free Speech Coalition will hold a rally in Boston Common over the wekend. Counter-protesters say the rally is giving a platform to people who promote racist and white nationalist ideas.
Elise Amendola / AP

In light of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, a self-described "free speech rally" in Boston this weekend is drawing national attention.

State officials hope that Clean Water Week, which starts on Aug. 21, will celebrate Vermont waterways and the efforts underway to clean them up.
Ric Cengeri / VPR/file

The health of Lake Champlain and all the waterways in Vermont is a year-round concern. Gov. Phil Scott and other state officials want to drive that point home by officially kicking off Vermont Clean Water Week.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups in the country, lists one group in Burlington: The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, that encouraged users to start regional forums for planning real life meet-ups.

What can educators do to help integrate refugees into their new communities? An associate professor at the University of Vermont will lead an effort to find out, thanks to a Fulbright award to conduct research on refugee integration in western Canada.

From 2011 through 2016, the majority of gun deaths in Vermont were suicides. Public health professionals are working to reduce that number by encoraging people to safely store their firearms using gun locks and safes.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR Photo Illustration

An analysis of gun deaths in Vermont over a six-year period showed that 89 percent of those deaths were suicides. Public health experts say they aren't surprised by that number and are trying to find ways to reduce it.

To accommodate the rising number of people illegally crossing the border from the United States into Canada in order to seek asylum, Montreal has had to set up Olympic Stadium as a temporary shelter.

Vermont Suicide Prevention Center Director Joelle Tarallo says feelings of connection are very important in preventing suicide.
PeopleImages / iStock

According to the Vermont Department of Mental Health, the suicide rate in Vermont has increased over the past 10 years. In 2014, according to the department’s data, there were more than 17 suicides per 100,000 Vermonters. The New York Times reported that the national average that year was 13 suicides per 100,000 people.

A Vermont correctional facility with one of the highest per inmate costs in the state will be closing on October 31. The Southeast State Correctional Facility in Windsor is slated to shut its doors after Vermont lawmakers called for its closure in this year's budget bill.

The steeple on the Unitarian Universalist church at the head of Church Street in Burlington.
Historic American Buildings Survey / Library of Congress

A simple question about the history of Burlington's Church Street yielded some interesting trivia about the city, and the commercial district that now defines downtown.

Burlington-based band Swale has been together for 15 years. In July, they released their third album, "There's No One Here."
Shem Roose, Courtesy

Broadly speaking, the Burlington-based band Swale plays rock songs — though labeling their music that way is a little like filling a paint palette with just one color. 

Tom Huebner, the CEO of Rutland Regional Medical Center, says tens of thousands of Vermonters could lose coverage under the proposed Republican health care legislation. He also says his hospital could lose $19 million in federal reimbursement.
Nina Keck / VPR file

Senate Republicans plan to unveil a new version of their health care bill this week, but unless it differs substantively from the previous version, Rutland Regional Medical Center could lose $19 million a year in federal reimbursements, according to the hospital's CEO.

In the 1850s, a small but vibrant community grew up around a gold mining operation in the Plymouth-Bridgewater area. Called Plymouth Five Corners, it had a hotel, a school and a dance hall.
E.G. Davis / Plymouth Historical Society

This month on Brave Little State, we’re doing things a little differently. Instead of taking on one of your questions about Vermont, we’re taking on three - in a kind of local history lightning round.

VPR Newscast for 6/20/2017 at 12:15 p.m.

Dannyone / iStock

With frequently wet and cool weather in Vermont this spring and summer, that's meant farmers have had to play catch up when it comes to planting crops and harvesting hay.

Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

A teen who believes she can see into the mind of a serial killer, a feminist take on Death of a Salesman through poetry, and a collection of interlocking short stories set in Sweden. All three are subjects of the books nominated for this year’s Vermont Book Award.

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