Melody Bodette

Deputy News Director

Melody wakes up very early in the morning to produce regional content for Morning Edition. She began at VPR as a part-time production assistant and was promoted to full-time in 2007. She has also served as a news and editorial assistant for The Burlington Free Press. After graduating from Skidmore College, she spent a year in France working as a high school teaching assistant. Melody grew up on a dairy farm in Addison County. She spends her free time gardening, cooking, and being outside as much as possible.

Ways To Connect

This week, a major contract was awarded for a big construction project. A construction consortium has won the bid to replace the Champlain Bridge in Montreal. That span is familiar to any Vermonter as the bridge that carries them  from the highway across the St. Lawrence River into the city.

A Vermont theater organization will help determine the winner of an international play-writing competition, drawn from more than 200 submitted works.

A collaboration between a homeless shelter and a psychiatric hospital in Brattleboro has a goal of preventing a mental health crisis, and improving the mental health of the homeless population.

Brattleboro Retreat and Morningside Shelter will bring a therapist to the shelter two days a week.

Daniel Fishel for VPR

The student population in Vermont is trending decidedly downward. Since peaking at 107,000 students in 1997, the number of students in the Green Mountain State has fallen to around 88,000 today.

Yet, it's been pointed out that the number of teachers and staff in the state remains the same. While some small schools have closed over the last few years, many are still operating with fewer and fewer students.

There was some good news recently for Vermont's only state home for veterans. Vermont House members in Montpelier voted to fund the Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington with $5.4 million from the state's General Fund.

Bryan Pfeiffer

A tiny songbird living in Vermont has been on the move and showing some amazing stamina on its journey. The Blackpoll Warbler has been tracked with a migration lasting up to three days over the ocean. A recent study tracked the little bird's astonishing flight from the Northeastern United States and Nova Scotia, over the Atlantic Ocean and then all the way to the Caribbean.

A group of Middlebury College students has created a video called "Middlebury Unmasked." In it, survivors of sexual violence appear in masks to tell the stories of what happened to them after the assault.

Colleges and universities have protocol for reports of sexual assault. They follow the guidelines laid out in the Department of Education's Title IX. But these Middlebury students want to raise questions about whether or not that process works the way it was intended.

Vermont's Agency of Agriculture will no longer run the Dairies of Distinction program, ending a decade's worth of participation. The Addison Independent broke that news last week. The program is run in four other states, and recognizes farms for their aesthetic value.

The multinational food service company Sodexo is working to increase the amount of local food served in 20 locations around Vermont. The company has hired Annie Rowell as the company's Vermont First Coordinator.

Michael Dwyer / AP

The trial continues in Boston this week for the man accused in the bombing of the Boston Marathon. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces the death penalty for those crimes. And next month, a pre-trial hearing in Vermont will begin in the case of Donald Fell, who faces the death penalty for the murder of a Clarendon woman in 2000.

Neither Vermont nor Massachusetts are states that have the death penalty, but having a trial that could end with capital punishment in those states is not an uncommon occurrence.