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. 

Ways to Connect

AP/Charles Krupa

Tues 7/30/13 at Noon & 7PM

Depending on where you are in Vermont, your access to the internet and the speed of that connection vary dramatically. Tuesday on Vermont Edition, we look at how widely available high-speed internet is here, and the efforts to connect the so-called "final miles."

A summer of leisure is a dream that many teenagers either can’t or won’t indulge in. Summer jobs, internships and volunteer projects are the stuff that fill the long days of summer for a lot of teens.

And one of those opportunities is called the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont. The Governor’s Institutes are finishing their 30th summer of programs this week. Karen Taylor Mitchell is the program's executive director. She spoke with Vermont Edition about the experiences that Vermont teens have had this summer.

AP/Ted S. Warren

Mon, July 29 Noon and 7 PM  For some runners, completing a marathon is a lifetime goal. Then there are the ultramarathoners. Running 26.2 miles is just getting started for these people. They enter 50-mile and 100-mile events around the country. And even seek out longer races throughout the world.

Amy Mosher

For almost ten years RAFFL, the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link, has been promoting locally produced foods and farms to bolster the region’s agricultural economy.  

Now RAFFL is teaming up with the Chaffee Art Center for a first ever Farm and Food Art exhibit. 

Headlining the show are painters Amy Mosher and Betsy Hubner.  

For victims of domestic violence, the courage to get help can come at odd hours. 

That’s why shelter advocates say 24-hour hotlines are so important. 

More than 12,000 calls a year are made to domestic hotlines across Vermont.  It’s a number that’s rising at the same time federal funding is dropping.  

In Rutland, the situation has prompted shelter advocates to reach out to the community for help.

VPR/Nina Keck

 Check out the progress of Joseph Michael Kai-tsu Liu Roqueni's journey here.

For many runners a 26-mile marathon is the ultimate distance goal.  But for a Canadian man who’s running through Vermont on his way to Argentina, 26 miles is all in a day’s work. 

VPR/Nina Keck

Nearly 100 people met in Brandon Wednesday evening to hear how the state plans to fight Equine Encephalitis or EEE - the mosquito borne illness that caused two deaths in Rutland County last year.

State Health Commissioner Harry Chen said those tragic deaths ushered in a new reality in Vermont that the state is taking very seriously.

“I think it was vitally important for us to come back here,” said Chen, “and show you what we’ve done throughout the winter in terms of planning, in terms of building resources and capabilities to better address that new reality.”

This year, Brandon is celebrating the 200th birthday of their native son Stephen Douglas.  As part of the town’s Independence Day celebrations, they’ve invited two former governors to star in a play about the famous debates between Douglas and his political rival Abraham Lincoln.

The play takes audiences back to 1858, when the nation was sliding toward civil war and the U.S. Senate race in Illinois was heating up.  Abraham Lincoln, a relative newcomer at the time, was trying to unseat the powerful incumbent Stephen Douglas.  Their debates have become the stuff of legend.

The wet weather of May and June hasn’t exactly been conducive to outdoor activities – including camping. 

The weather has been taking its toll on business at Vermont State Parks.

Montpelier set a new record for wettest June and most of the state feels like it could be wrung out.

Nina Keck

See a town-by-town breakdown of FEMA Irene assistance at VPR's Mapping the Money project.

Long term Irene recovery projects are still underway across Vermont.   In Rutland County, 90 volunteers have put in nearly 300 hours of work in the last four months - helping people like Kim Garner, who’s mobile home was ruined by the storm nearly two years ago.  

The Rutland woman says she’s had to live out of a suitcase ever since. 

In Rutland this weekend, there will be a symphonic buffet for Broadway music lovers.

Rip Jackson, Grace Congregational Church’s music director wanted to go big for Saturday’s Broadway Cabaret.

“There’s 3 oboes, four flutes, four clarinets, saxophone four trombones, four horns, tuba,  three trumpets, three bassoons, many different percussion," Jackson listed.

Nearly 50 musicians from all over the state and an even larger chorus will perform a medley of Broadway classics. 

Rutland County’s four colleges believe Green Mountain Power’s new energy innovation center can be a powerful educational tool for their students The colleges and utility announced a unique new collaboration that GMP officials hope will also help them find future employees.

Green Mountain Power President Mary Powell says their new partnership has many goals.

Solar City

Jun 11, 2013
Toby Talbot / AP

Tues 6/11 at Noon and 7pm When Green Mountain Power merged with Central Vermont Public Service last year, GMP promised to turn Rutland into a ‘solar city.’ The goal is to install at least 6,250 kW of installed solar capacity by 2017.

VPR/Nancy Eve Cohen

While the town select board is the most identifiable form of local government in Vermont, 56 towns in the state also have a town manager. The role of these chief administrators is often overlooked and few of us understand what these individuals actually do on a daily basis.

Steve Jeffery, the executive director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, told Vermont Edition that town managers play a key role both on a day-to-day, and in times of crisis. 

AP/Courtesy of Harvard Medical School

Mon 6/10/13 Noon & 7 pm  Brain injuries can be caused by falls, car accidents, attacks or from a medical situation like a tumor. For survivors, recovery can be a long lonely struggle.

VPR/Jane Lindholm

Thurs 6/06/13 Noon & 7 pm   Vermont is one of the country’s most rural states to begin with. So think of those towns that are located a bit more remotely and that have little or no public transportation. How do people in those towns and villages have access to basic services if they don’t drive?

Mosquito Season Heats Up

Jun 6, 2013

Thanks to recent warm, wet weather - mosquitos 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.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or Triple E, and West Nile are both rare and potentially deadly viruses.  Both illnesses are also initially carried by birds but spread to humans by mosquitos who feed on both.

Yesterday, the American Civil Liberties Union released a report claiming that there is racial bias in arrests for marijuana possession. The report includes details on drug arrests in Vermont as well. Allen Gilbert, Executive Director of ACLU Vermont. He spoke with Vermont Edition about the report.

Wed 6/05/13 Noon & 7 pm Three years ago, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont won a $4.5 million dollar grant as a part of the Federal stimulus package. They promised to improve the energy efficiency of 40 percent of the homes in Rutland County. Energy efficiency was one of the Governor's big goals in his budget this year too, but his plan for funding retrofits never made it through the legislature.

The Blood in This Town, the documentary about Rutland’s grassroots effort to revitalize itself will make its European debut this weekend.The 80-minute film by Art Jones will be shown Sunday in Breda one of Holland’s largest cities.

Monique Mols, a Breda native who translated the film into Dutch says she hopes the can-do spirit in Rutland will inspire residents of Breda who’ve seen their city hurt by unemployment and the European Debt Crisis.

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