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, working in Washington, D.C., and Germany. While in Germany, she also worked as a stringer for Marketplace. 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. She began her career at Wisconsin Public Radio. 

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Nina Keck / VPR

Efforts to create a new refugee resettlement community in Rutland have stirred up passionate debate. While many want to welcome Syrians into the city, others fear Muslim refugees won’t assimilate, will become a threat or burden taxpayers.

For a Syrian couple who are raising their children in Rutland this debate has hit especially close to home.

Nina Keck / VPR

Voters in Rutland will not get the chance to weigh in on whether to bring in 100 Syrian refugees. A 6-4 vote by members of the Rutland City Board of Aldermen fell one short of the seven needed to put it on the ballot.

Nina Keck / VPR

Many Americans will celebrate the Fourth of July at barbecues or parades, or at band concerts or fireworks displays. But for more than 5,000 members of the Rainbow Family, who are celebrating Independence Day in Mount Tabor this year, the Fourth of July is a very different kind of holiday.

Bebeto Matthews / AP

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, gave a shout out to Rutland during a speech Wednesday on the global refugee crisis.

Nina Keck / VPR

About 2,300 members of the Rainbow Family of Living Light are in Mount Tabor this week for the group’s annual summer gathering. Thousands more are expected by July Fourth when the event culminates with an elaborate prayer for peace.

Nina Keck / VPR

In Rutland, residents and city officials are divided over whether to allow voters to weigh in on a proposal to bring in 100 Syrian refugees.

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It was after 10 p.m. last July 31. The Connecticut couple driving west on Route 4 never saw the 1,800-pound Scottish Highland bull that was standing in their lane.

Nina Keck / VPR

Nineteen performances ranging from musicals "Sunset Boulevard" and "Spring Awakening" to cabarets and dramatic readings will be staged across Rutland County over the next five weeks, as part of the first-ever Otter Creek Festival of the Arts. 

Nina Keck / VPR

Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras says his efforts to create a refugee resettlement community in Rutland are morally and economically based. Rutland's population is declining and aging and Louras says young refugee families are hard working, entrepreneurial and will bring much needed diversity to the city.  

Critics aren't convinced and many worry that refugees will end up being a burden on taxpayers. A good place to examine those concerns is Winooski, which has a large concentration of foreign-born residents.

Nina Keck / VPR

In Rutland, a survey of residents in a troubled part of the city indicate efforts over the past three years to reduce drug-related crime and revitalize the neighborhood are making a difference.

Nina Keck / VPR

In the weeks since Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras announced the city had applied to become a refugee resettlement community and take in 100 Syrian refugees this fall, people in Rutland have been quickly taking sides on the issue.

Castleton University has announced that it’s planning to invest $3.6 million to renovate and modernize its science facilities. It’s part of the school’s STEM Improvement Project.

Nina Keck / VPR

Vermonters honored veterans on Monday at Memorial Day commemorations and parades across the state.  In Brandon several hundred people attended services that locals say have been held in the town center for nearly 150 years.

Nina Keck / VPR

With its historic mansions and inns, Brandon has been a favorite wedding destination for years. But local business leaders hope a new marketing effort will help lure other types of visitors as well. 

Nina Keck / VPR

Vermont's population is aging, and that demographic trend has put new pressure on Medicare spending. It's also highlighted the need to improve care for older Vermonters. A unique program that links health care and other services to affordable housing complexes in Vermont may be part of the solution.  

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For anyone near Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport Saturday morning, don’t worry: What may look like a disaster is just a drill.

The airport and Rutland Regional Medical Center are sponsoring a mock plane crash that will include about 150 people.  Everyone from fire fighters and emergency medical technicians to actors, law enforcement, airport and hospital personnel will be taking part.

Nina Keck / VPR

Officials in Rutland say the city will take in 100 Syrian refugees beginning in October. Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras said he’s been working closely with state and federal refugee agencies to create Vermont’s first relocation community for Syrians.

Courtesy/File

The College Of St. Joseph in Rutland has put its new Physician Assistant Program on hold. Two dozen students who were expecting to begin graduate-level classes in June were notified this month that the program’s start is being delayed indefinitely.

Nina Keck / VPR

Despite the introduction of electronic medical records, pharmacists say they are often out of the loop when it comes to knowing if their patients' medications have been changed. Partly that’s a technology glitch. But many pharmacists complain that despite their expertise they’re not considered providers so most hospitals don’t allow them access to patients' electronic records. 

But at Beauchamp and O’Rourke, a family owned pharmacy in Rutland, managing pharmacist Marty Irons wants to change that.

Nina Keck / VPR

Nearly 60 percent of Americans are taking prescription drugs – the highest percentage ever – and more than half of those 65 and older are taking five to nine medications. With all those pills in our medicine cabinets, it's no surprise that medication mix-ups are on the rise.

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