Melody Bodette

News Producer, Morning Edition

Melody is a News Producer for Morning Edition on VPR and a producer for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids.

She was formerly VPR's deputy news director and a reporter covering Addison and Franklin counties. 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

Enno Kapitz

The enormity and horror of the Holocaust has been chronicled soberly in newsreels, in history books, in documentaries and Hollywood films. And yet one of the most revered depictions of the 20th century's greatest atrocity is communicated in a medium too often dismissed as a frivolous diversion: cartoons.

In 1992 the graphic novel Maus won the Pulitzer Prize for offering readers a simple but brilliant and relatable distillation of the Holocaust by rendering comic book versions of Nazis drawn as cats and the Jews they slaughtered as mice. A sequel told of survivors struggling to make a new life in the U.S.

The encampment on Sears Lane in Burlington was taken down by the city this week. A judge ruled Friday to block the city from taking down another encampment on Monday.
Liam Connors / VPR

This week the city of Burlington is planning to close a homeless encampment in the city's south end. We spoke to some members of the homeless community to get a sense of what they think of the decision.

Nesting pairs of bald eagles produced 35 young in 2017. Just ten years ago, there were no nesting pairs in the state.
John Buck / Vermont Fish & Wildlife

Bald eagles nested in Vermont in record numbers this year. The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says 21-pairs of adult bald eagles produced 35 young.

istock

This episode of But Why is a serious one. We're talking about death. Why do people die when they get too old? What happens to people when they die? What does it feel like when you're dead? Our guide is Jana DeCristofaro from the Dougy Center: The National Center for Grieving Children in Portland, Oregon, which supports children and families facing serious illness or coping with the loss of a family member.

Meg Malone / VPR

Just last week, Vermonters in many parts of the state were still looking at the green leaves of summer, with some even browning prematurely due to a long span of unseasonably hot weather. But over the weekend that changed quickly, according to Mike Snyder, Commissioner of Vermont's Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation. His department puts out the state's weekly fall foliage report.

Ryan Remiorz / AP

Four years ago, a huge fireball appeared over the small Quebec town of Lac Megantic. The fireball was from an explosion caused by a runaway train that crashed into the downtown. Nearly 50 people were killed.

That tragedy is being examined again this week in a courthouse in Sherbrooke, Quebec, where three railway employees are on trial for criminal negligence.

Sen. Christopher Bray is backing a per parcel fee on all property in Vermont to help fund water quality projects
courtesy / the Vermont Department of Health

Last week cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, showed up in blooms that closed beaches on Lake Champlain and Lake Carmi, disappointing swimmers looking for relief from the late September swelter. But more than an inconvenience, it also posed health concerns for people and pets who might come into contact with the bacteria.

What is Vermont doing to prevent these blooms from happening? We asked Julie Moore, Vermont's Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

A potential teachers' strike has been averted in South Burlington and school is in session today.

Early Wednesday morning the South Burlington Educators' Association and the South Burlington School Board reached an agreement on a two-year collective bargaining agreement.

Manuel Balce Ceneta) / AP

Sunday's mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival Sunday night has been called the deadliest in modern American history, with at least 59 people killed hundreds more injured. Among those shot dead was a native Vermonter, 35-year-old Sandra Casey of Dorset.

VPR's Mitch Wertlieb spoke with Vermont Congressman Peter Welch on the prospect for legislation to change the country's gun laws.

In this 'But Why' episode - originally released in June 2016 - we look at how to talk to kids about violence in the news.
Allkindza / iStock

In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in Las Vegas on Sunday, we're re-releasing our special episode for parents. We speak with Dr. Robin Gurwitch about how to answer questions children may have about violence they hear in the news. She’s a child psychologist at the Duke University Medical Center and she has served on numerous commissions and committees about children and trauma, including the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters.

833789384 / istock

Is it OK to do something that you were told not to do and then never tell anybody? We tackle that question from 10-year-old Finn from Seattle. Also in this episode: why do people make really bad choices and want other people's lives to be harder?

RAINEX, 2005

In the last couple of weeks, two big hurricanes have hit parts of the United States and Caribbean islands. In this episode we answer questions from kids who have been hearing the news and wondering: How do hurricanes form? Why do hurricanes strike Florida? Why do hurricanes have names? We speak with atmospheric scientist Shuyi Chen of the University of Washington.

Ken Wiedemann / istock

How is glass made? Why does glass break? Why do bubbles pop? What's it like inside a bubble? We make everything clear in this episode! Our questions from kids in Arizona, Brazil, California and Cambodia.

Honeybees work together to store up honey to survive the winter. Honey is concentrated nectar from flowers.
Jane Lindholm / VPR

Why do bees pollinate? How do bees make honey? Why do bees have stingers? Why do bees die when they sting you? What's the difference between a bee and a wasp? Does honey have healing properties? Vermont farmer and beekeeper John Hayden of The Farm Between answers all of your bee questions! And we learn about one curious kid's app, which he hopes will help save pollinators.

Crews demolished Middlebury's Merchants Row rail bridge on July 28. A temporary bridge will open to traffic on Aug. 12.
Melody Bodette / VPR

Construction crews are installing two steel temporary bridges in downtown Middlebury, giving the town a taste of what the larger construction project will mean for the area.

Qvasimodo / istock

In this episode, we're answering some of our frequently asked questions, the questions we hear a lot from all of you: why are there so many different languages? Why do we get hiccups? Why do our fingers get wrinkly in the tub? Why are plants so many colors? Why do leaves change colors in the fall? Why is the sky blue?

Researchers aren't entirely sure, but the current prevailing theory is that flamingos stand on one leg to conserve energy.
Paul Rose / Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

We’re answering ten questions as quickly as we can in this episode of But Why. Why do onions make you cry? How do hummingbirds hum? Why do flamingos stand on one leg? Do moths have veins in their wings? Do cats that share a home have the same meow? What was the first book? How do libraries get money if people borrow books for free? Why do people have fidget spinners? Why can't my stuffed animal get wet? And how do pigs poop? Can we do it all in 20 minutes?!

Two large flake tools were found at the former Galick Farm in West Haven. The South Champlain Historical Ecology Project is conducting a dig in the Helen W. Bruckner Nature Preserve.
Melody Bodette / VPR

A team of archeologists is conducting a dig at one of the most remote farms in Vermont this summer. The South Champlain Historical Ecology Project is digging in West Haven for the second summer, and its early findings include some objects that may date back almost 11,000 years.

Helios8 / iStockphoto.com

How is bread made? Who made the first cake? Why shouldn't you touch raw eggs? On this episode of But Why, we're talking about baking. We get a lesson in bread making on a field trip to King Arthur Flour. Later, the Botanical Society of America weighs in on a recent episode where we talked about why some berries are poisonous.

Melody Bodette / VPR

A Charlotte family is working to turn their family farm into a non-profit to celebrate African-American heritage and culture. The Clemmons family has a long history of bringing communities together and celebrating African art and culture, and now they are finalists for a grant to expand their vision.

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