Mitch Wertlieb

Local Host, Morning Edition

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as News Director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a News Director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station WBUR...as a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.

An avid Boston sports fan, Mitch has been blessed with being able to witness world championships for two of his favorite teams (and franchises he was at one time convinced would never win in his lifetime): the Boston Red Sox in 2004, 2007, and 2013, and in hockey, the Boston Bruins, who won their first Stanley Cup in 39 years in 2011.

Mitch has also been known to play a music bed or two during Morning Edition featuring his favorite band The Grateful Dead.  He lives in South Burlington with his wife Erin, daughter Gretchen, and their mixed lab Grendel. He (Mitch, not Grendel) has been host of Morning Edition on VPR since 2003.

 

Ways to Connect

Concern over concussions and other serious injuries in young student-athletes led to a bill signed into law this week by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin. The law will help treat and prevent concussions on high school sports fields across Vermont.

The new law is set to take effect July 1, 2015, giving the state time to research concussion rates in various sports. Football, hockey, lacrosse and wrestling will fall under the umbrella of “collision” sports. The law will require more training of coaches and referees, and will bring in medical professionals to advise where needed.

The proposed 2013 Farm Bill has cleared a key hurdle in the U.S. Senate. Senator Patrick Leahy says the vote means that it’s likely the legislation will win full Senate approval early next week. Pollution and conservation efforts on Lake Champlain often garner a lot of attention from both sides of the international border. But people are also concerned about the wellbeing of another lake shared by Vermont and Quebec – Lake Memphremagog. ) Saturday is free fishing day, a day when Vermonters will have a chance to fish without a license in the state's lakes and streams.

A group of House Republicans is calling for an independent review of Governor Peter Shumlin’s controversial land deal in East Montpelier.

A popular southern Vermont swimming spot is expected to reopen this summer for the first time since Tropical Storm Irene.  

A man in Vermont has agreed to plead guilty to stealing the identities of some two dozen people to collect unemployment insurance. AP

Governor Peter Shumlin signed a group of bills Wednesday designed to crack down on prescription drug abuse and related crimes. But the measures don’t focus on increased penalties for drug abusers, in fact, quite the opposite. Instead, the so-called “Good Samaritan” law makes Vermont just the 13th state in the nation to offer limited immunity from prosecution to people reporting a potentially deadly drug overdose.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is planning to sign a bill that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Thanks to recent warm, wet weather - mosquitoes are out in force. That has many in towns around Brandon concerned - because that’s where the mosquito born Triple E virus killed two people last year.  The former U.S. Army Reserve Center on Route 11 in Chester is up for sale.

Gov. Peter Shumlin is set to sign a bill that would allow immigrant farm workers in the country illegally to drive in Vermont, with a new type of driver's privilege card. The U-S Air Force released its revised draft of the F-35 Environmental Impact Statement on Friday. Vermont State Police have issued a citation for trespassing to a New Hampshire man after rescue crews pulled him from the Saxtons River. The owner of an art gallery and tourist destination for dog lovers has passed away.

The Vermont-based public policy group Campaign for Vermont is calling for greater transparency and accountability in state government.

The Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says African Americans are more likely than whites to be arrested on marijuana charges in Vermont.

The Bennington School District will turn to voters for a third time to approve a 2014 school budget next week.

All but about 270 Green Mountain Power customers who lost power in last weekend's severe storms are now back online.

A Vermont National Guard official says the Air Force will consider the information in a revised environmental report when it makes a decision on where to base F-35 fighter aircraft. The Bennington School District will return to the voters for a third time on June 11 to try to pass a 2014 school budget. A researcher at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center has found what may be a way to improve treatment for adults who have a common form of leukemia.  The recently published study shows that two drugs may be better than one.

The Burlington-based Committee on Temporary Shelter, better known as COTS, has received a grant that will allow them to launch a new program. The goal is to go beyond temporary housing in shelters and overflow motels and instead create a bridge back to permanent housing.

They’ll be working on this project with the Champlain Housing Trust and the Howard Center.

Rita Markley, the Executive Director of COTS, say the new program, says the program will put housing first.

Utility crews are working to restore power in the eastern and central part of Vermont after a powerful storm swept through the region yesterday. Champlain College is offering data protection services to more than 14,000 students and their families after a computer drive containing their Social Security numbers and other data was left unsecured in a computer lab.  Fletcher Allen Health Care has applied for a Certificate of Need to spend $3.7 million on detailed planning and design work for a new building that could have four stories and include up to 128 single patient rooms.

Monday, June 3rd:

5:59am: Rjd2: "All For U", from "Magnificent City Instrumentals."

6:20am: Modern Groove Syndicate: "El Guapo", from "Ms. Popular."

6:49am: Greyboy: "Ruffneck Jazz", from "Freestylin'".

6:58am: Moses Guest: "De Jam>Stealin'", from "Moses Guest."

7:20am: Jazz Mandolin Project: "Oh Yeah", from "Jungle Tango."

7:58am: Coleman Hawkins: "O Pato (The Duck)", from "Desafinado." (In honor of Jessica Lahey's commentary about a pregnant wild Mallard duck at Crossroads Academy)

Powerful thunderstorms passed through the region yesterday, taking down trees and knocking out power for over 13,000 utility customers. Smaller airports are feeling the crunch as airlines continue to cut costs.  The big carriers are consolidating services at larger airports and flying fewer planes in and out of smaller ones. At Burlington Airport passenger numbers are higher than they were a decade ago, but they’ve declined nearly 18 percent since peaking five years ago.

AP/Toby Talbot

Big plans are being considered at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. The hospital has applied for a Certificate of Need to spend $3.7 million on detailed planning and design work for a new building that could have four stories and include up to 128 single patient rooms.

The hospital needs the approval of the Green Mountain Care Board just to spend the money on the design phase. If they decide to move forward and build the project, they’ll need separate approval.

Dave Keelty, director of facilities planning and development for Fletcher Allen Health Care.

AP/Eric A. Besette

The new Lake Champlain Bridge connecting West Addison, Vermont with Crown Point, New York was re-opened in 2011.

The former bridge on the site was imploded in 2009, after the foundation was determined to be unsafe. For months after the demolition, people had to use a temporary ferry during the construction project.

In the months after the bridge re-opened, some of the lights on the $76 million bridge stopped working.

Reporter Lohr McKinstry has been following that story for the Plattsburgh Press Republican

A newly formed Health Care Cooperative wants the state of Vermont to reconsider its rejection of the CO-OP’s application to sell health insurance policies.

A revised report on the F-35 fighter jet and how it would affect the Burlington area is due to be released Friday.

Vermont State Police fire investigators say an early morning blaze that destroyed a vacant mobile home in Barnet was deliberately set.

A plan to bring F-35 fighter jets to Vermont has its backers—from Vermont’s congressional delegation to Governor Peter Shumlin, and business groups who say Vermont Air Guard jobs would be protected with the new jets.

But the plan has also drawn a lot of opposition, mostly from people concerned about the noise the planes would make in the communities around the Burlington International Airport where they would be based.

State tax officials say while Vermonters are required to pay tax on out of state and online purchases, many don’t. A long-running dispute over the tax status of an educational organization has led to a lawsuit.  Officials took part in a ceremony this morning marking the re-opening of an historic bridge in Richmond.  Vermont has the lowest unemployment rate in New England, at just 4 percent.

Monday, May 27th:

5:59am: Brad Mehldau: "Twiggy", from "Ode."

6:20am: Steely Dan: "Do It Again", from "Can't Buy A Thrill."

6:49am: Medeski, Martin and Wood: "Moti Mo", from "It's A Jungle In Here."

6:58am: Wynton Marsalis and Willie Nelson: "What'd I Say", from "Here We Go Again."

7:20am: Allman Brothers: "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed", from "A Decade of Hits 1969-1979."

7:58am: Jesse Cook: "Ocean Blue", from "The Blue Guitar Sessions."

8:20am: Rez Abbasi Trio: "The Cure", from "Continuous Beat."

Heavy rains fell over parts of Vermont causing road washouts and flash flooding. Especially hard hit were the towns of Underhill, Jericho Cambridge and Essex. Senator Patrick Leahy wants a new immigration reform bill to include a provision that would provide key rights to same-sex couples. But he also knows his proposal would imperil the larger immigration effort. Leahy is looking for other ways to accomplish his goal. Nearly 40,000 runners and spectators will be in Burlington this Sunday for the annual KeyBank Vermont City Marathon.

A land sale in East Montpelier is attracting a lot of attention, and it’s because the buyer of the property is Governor Peter Shumlin, and the seller is now publicly expressing remorse about the sale.

Peter Hirschfeld has been covering the story for the Vermont Press Bureau, and he joins VPR's Mitch Wertlieb for our Friday Regional Report.

Click listen to hear the interview.

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