Nina Keck

Reporter

Nina has been reporting for VPR since 1996, primarily focusing on the Rutland area. An experienced journalist, Nina covered international and national news for seven years with the Voice of America. She has also served as a foreign correspondent in Germany, for both the VOA and Marketplace. She began her career at Wisconsin Public Radio. Nina has been honored with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards.  In 2006, she won for her investigative reporting on VPR and in 2009 she won for her use of sound.

Find this Person On

Rutland Police Chief James Baker has announced he’ll step down at the end of the year to take a job as Director of Law Enforcement and Support for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, in Alexandria, Virginia.

The 58-year-old police chief says he's looking forward to new opportunities and challenges in the Washington, D.C. area and a job that he says won’t keep him in the public spotlight handling crisis on a 24-hour basis.

If states were graded for their work on infrastructure, Vermont would earn a C. That’s according to a report released by the American Society of Civil Engineers that recently assessed the state’s roads, bridges, dams, landfills and waterworks.  For comparison, the nation as a whole earned a D+.

While Vermont has made progress with roads and bridges, the report indicates waste-water and drinking water infrastructure is still woefully outdated and underfunded.

Statistically speaking, it’s a good year to go for a drive. According to the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance, the number of traffic fatalities is half of what it was a year ago. State transportation officials aren’t sure why, but they say it may be due to better and more widely shared data.

By mid October of last year, 64 people had died in traffic crashes in Vermont. But so far this year, the number of roadway fatalities is 32, a dramatic drop.

Rutland’s record breaking Gift of Life Marathon has set the standard for one-day blood drives. But organizers say they wanted to find new ways for people to give blood at a time when supplies are often critically low.

“Instead of the biggest one day blood drive, it’s going to be the longest blood drive in American history,” organizer Steve Costello announced Wednesday at a press conference at the Paramount Theatre.

A record number of American college students are studying abroad - 282,000, according to the most recent data gathered by the Institute of International Education.

Educators say that’s good, since international education promotes critical relationship building and cross cultural understanding. But many in the field worry the influx of technology and social media may be hampering the ability of American students to fully immerse themselves abroad. 

SolarFest, the 20-year-old alternative energy festival, may be calling it quits. The festival’s Board of Trustees says low attendance and mounting debt forced them to cancel next year’s festivities and the event’s future is unclear.

As an event, SolarFest has always been hard to describe - a blend of live music, art and hands-on workshops heavily flavored with a hippy counterculture and sustainable, alternative energy bent.

Kayakers love the quiet beauty of the Chittenden reservoir, a 750-acre waterway surrounded almost entirely by national forest.

On Saturday, Green Mountain Power, which operates the dam there, will host its annual clean-up day and local historians will be on hand to talk about how the hydroelectric facility came to be. 

State officials say more staffing at the Department for Children and Families and more accountability to the public will go a long way to strengthen the state’s child protective services.

Those steps are part of an action plan Gov. Peter Shumlin requested after public outcry following the deaths of two toddlers under DCF supervision earlier this year.

In May and July, two intense hail storms hammered Rutland, causing millions in damages to homes and cars. Repairs are ongoing and insurance money has flooded the region.

Sunday evening Rutland’s Paramount Theatre will give audiences a sneak peek of “The Seagull,” before the Bedlam Theatre Company takes the classic Chekhov play to Broadway November 9. 

Typically when you see a play, the rehearsals are over. But Paramount Director Bruce Bouchard says it’s also fascinating to see a work in progress, especially with an acting company like Bedlam.

Pages