Neal Goswami


Neal is a a reporter for the Vermont Press Bureau. He also files reports for Vermont Public Radio.

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Vermont has a new first lady after Gov. Peter Shumlin married his longtime partner Katie Hunt Tuesday evening in a small, private ceremony at the East Montpelier home the couple shares.

The 59-year-old Shumlin announced his engagement to Hunt, 31, in September, several weeks after the proposal took place. At the time the governor said the two planned to get married within the next year.

Hunger Free Vermont is in dire need of donations as federal authorities investigate a long-term embezzlement that sapped its cash reserves, according to Executive Director Marissa Parisi.

The theft was discovered about a month ago by the group’s local bank branch after irregularities in a checking account were spotted, according to Parisi. The extent of the theft is still being determined, she said.

Sage Van Wing / VPR File

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott says he has become more comfortable with the vetting of Syrian refugees after learning more from state and federal officials about the process.

Angela Evancie / VPR File

A resolution designed to oust Sen. Norm McAllister from the Senate has been drafted by a fellow Republican member of the body and is ready to be filed once Senate officials determine the legal avenues available to remove the senator.

The administration of Gov. Peter Shumlin says it hopes to avoid asking lawmakers for additional funds for the 2016 fiscal year in the annual budget adjustment and will instead seek authority to shuffle spending within state government.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

Chittenden County Sen. David Zuckerman will enter the race for lieutenant governor and seek the Democratic Party’s nomination.

“I am planning to enter the race,” the Progressive-Democrat told the Vermont Press Bureau Tuesday.

Zuckerman, 44, has served several terms in the Vermont Legislature as both a Progressive and a Democrat. However, Zuckerman said he will enter the Democratic Primary and seek the Progressive nomination through a write-in campaign. State law does not allow a candidate to formally enter the primary of more than one major party.

Steve Zind / VPR File

The Shumlin administration is planning to move Department for Children and Families workers from their location at Barre City Place to a nearby courthouse in what officials say is a direct response to the August shooting death of a DCF worker.

Craig Line / AP

Former Republican Lt. Gov. Barbara Snelling, who was also a state senator and first lady of Vermont, died Monday at her home in South Burlington at the age of 87, according to her family.

Snelling, who served lieutenant governor from 1993 to 1997, was the state’s 76th lieutenant governor. She also was also elected twice to the Vermont Senate beginning in 1998.

Gregory J. Lamoureux / AP/POOL County Courier

State Senate officials are considering their options for how to deal with embattled Franklin County Republican Sen. Norm McAllister in case he does not resign before the legislative session starts in January.

David Zalubowski / AP File

Burlington-based law firm Downs Rachlin Martin has filed a class action law suit against Volkswagen companies in the U.S. and Germany following revelations the automaker used a “defeat device” to deceive the Environmental Protection Agency emissions tests.

Commissioner of Finance Jim Reardon, who has crafted state budgets for Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin and former Republican Gov. James Douglas, is retiring after nearly 30 years of state service.

Reardon’s retirement was part of several staff changes the governor announced Tuesday.

Reardon has served as finance commissioner since February 2005. Before that he served as deputy finance commissioner and financial operations manager for the Agency of Human Services (AHS).

Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott will become the fourth candidate to jump into the gubernatorial race on Tuesday.

Scott, 57, told the Vermont Press Bureau Monday morning that he is planning a “soft announcement” that is “favorable” to a run for governor. The Vermont Press Bureau was the first to report Scott’s pending announcement on Twitter.

Scott himself used a new Twitter account on Monday to drop the news. "Watch for a special announcement from the Phil Scott for Vermont campaign," said the message from PhilScott4Vt. 

Neal Goswami / Vermont Press Bureau

Three months into an improbable presidential campaign, Sen. Bernie Sanders has seen his poll numbers rise and is feeling buoyed by enthusiastic support from his fans. But plenty of challenges remain for the 73-year-old democratic socialist whose core support continues to come from white voters.

Officials said Friday the state will pay Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont $1.6 million to cover Vermont Health Connect premiums the insurer did not receive and claims it paid out incorrectly because of technology problems during 2014.

The director of the EB-5 Vermont Regional Center has resigned to take a job overseeing an EB-5 program at Mount Snow, raising concerns from Gov. Peter Shumlin about the relationship between the now-former state employee and the business operations he was supposed to oversee.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, fresh off a strong showing in a Wisconsin straw poll, will begin a weekend trip to the Hawkeye State Friday evening with a town meeting at Drake University.

Sanders, Vermont’s junior senator, is looking to carry on the momentum he has seen at recent campaign events in Iowa, New Hampshire and Minnesota. The self-described democratic socialist remains far behind Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady, New York senator and secretary of state in the Democratic primary, according to national polls.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Strange. Weird. Bizarre. Lawmakers, pundits and lobbyists have used all these words, and more, to describe the past 18 weeks in Montpelier. Amid all the drama, however, the Legislature managed to get some work done.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR/file

Franklin County Sen. Norm McAllister was arrested Thursday evening on sex charges, according to the Vermont State Police.

McAllister, a 63-year-old Republican from Highgate, has served in the Legislature since 2003, first as a member of the House and later in the Senate. State police spokesman Scott Waterman issued a release late Thursday saying VSP detectives assigned to the Northwest Unit for Special Investigations arrested McAllister and charged him with sexual assault, prohibited acts and human trafficking.

Gov. Peter Shumlin privately signed new gun legislation Friday afternoon without any fanfare. His office announced the move in a statement.

The new law, which passed the Legislature as S.141, creates a new misdemeanor state-level crime for possession of firearms by people with certain criminal convictions. The law also requires the reporting of names to a federal database when people are found by a court to be in need of mental health treatment and are deemed to be danger to themselves or others.

Reporter Neal Goswami of the Vermont Press Bureau updates the status of a payroll tax bill the Shumlin administration proposes; a sugar-sweetened beverage tax; and a paid sick days bill. He also reads the tea leaves on a decision that Senator Bernie Sanders is making on whether to run for president.