Peter Biello


Peter was a Producer/Announcer at VPR until 2015. He began his public radio career in 2007 at WHQR-FM in Wilmington, North Carolina where he served as Morning Edition host and reporter, covering county government and Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base. His work has won several Associated Press awards and has appeared on NPR's All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and PRI's This American Life. A graduate of the creative writing program at the University of Maine at Farmington, Peter enjoys writing, cooking and traveling.

Peter Biello / VPR

The U.S. Department of Veterans affairs offers great medical care, but its customer service needs improvement. That was the word from many veterans who attended an open forum on Friday about Vermont’s VA health care system.

All veterans who spoke praised the medical care they received, but some complained about phone calls that weren’t returned, or alleged rudeness on the part of VA clinic staff.

Todd Alexander is a veteran from Milton. He says the care he’s received at the VA has been good, but overall the VA needs better management.

Locally developed solar-powered wreaths decorate Randolph's Main Street. Winter parking bans go into effect. Waterbury celebrates with its annual River of Light lantern parade.

Namelos Editions

Will Poole's Island, a new novel by Vermont writer Tim Weed, is a perfect fit for the Thanksgiving season. It's historical fiction set in the colonial era, and it tells the story of an English boy who becomes immersed in a native community.

The state is developing its first on-road bicycle plan for state highways. Real Estate items are in the news from Fairfield Pond, Mount Holly and Weston. And an open meeting law stumble means a revote on town property tax exempt status for Hard'ack Recreation Area in St. Albans.

Used with the Pallotta family's permission / Facebook

The mother of a Vermont National Guard Soldier who committed suicide in September says the current system set up to help soldiers at risk is not working.

Valerie Pallotta says soldiers and veterans need more frequent check-ins with case managers and better access to health care. She’s in Washington D.C. Wednesday making this case before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Her son, PFC Joshua Pallotta, took his own life after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Cities, towns and school districts are in the thick of building budgets for the next fiscal year. Towns continue to struggle with the online posting provision of Vermont's revised open meeting law. Guildhall will hold a runoff election for two justice of the peace seats.

While many Democratic incumbent senators and governors across the country weren’t able to keep their seats, Democratic incumbents in New Hampshire largely survived. Governor Maggie Hassan, Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Congresswoman Annie Kuster all held off their GOP challengers.

The Button Up Day of Action encourages Vermonters to weatherize their homes. A new bridge and an alternative truck route make getting around easier in Bristol and Morrisville. Winooski aims for city-wide mindfulness.

On November 4, Voters in many Vermont towns will be weighing in on local ballot initiatives as well as electing local and statewide candidates. Local votes include school renovation projects, utility projects and municipal charter changes.

Fair season is wrapping up in Vermont, but at the Addison County Fair and Field Days, organizers are trying to get to the bottom of a counterfeit ticket operation that could have cost them thousands of dollars.

Evan Johnson had that story in the Addison Independent and he spoke with VPR's Peter Biello for our Friday Regional Report.

Cricket Blue

Laura Heaberlin and Taylor Smith have been playing music together since they met at Middlebury College. Most people familiar with Burlington’s music scene now know them as Cricket Blue, a singing, acoustic-guitar-playing duo.

Heaberlin says she and Smith always write songs separately, then come together and work out their share of the sound.  Their music is inspired, in part, by fairy tales and the work of short story writer Angela Carter.

Helen Shepartz

Fans of Guilford author Michael Nethercott’s first novel, The Séance Society, will be happy to know that the so-called “odd couple” sleuths, Lee Plunkett and Mr. O’Nelligan, have returned to solve another crime.

Nethercott’s new novel, The Haunting Ballad, features Plunkett and O’Nelligan on the job in Greenwich Village in 1957. The folk singer Lorraine Cobble has fallen to her death from the roof of her apartment building. Did she jump, or was she pushed?

On September 27, 3,349 pounds of drugs were collected statewide. Vermont has been dubbed the most energy efficient state, and some events this week back that notion. There’s an effort underway in Shrewsbury to bring back the local phone book.

Vandalism problems persist in Wallingford. Several local items will be voted on next month, on Election Day. Pittsford has a new polling place starting with the November 4 elections.

Peter Biello / VPR

The Vermont Army National Guard says it has the right systems in place to help prevent enlisted and veteran soldiers suffering from PTSD or other combat-related injuries from committing suicide.

This statement comes after the suicide last week of Vermont Army National Guard Private First Class Joshua Pallotta. It’s the ninth suicide the Vermont Guard has seen in the past decade.

Police and Sheriffs Departments across Vermont are participating in Drug Take Back Day. Town Halls are in the news for their uses and lack of usability. Brandon launches a flood planning effort for businesses and public infrastructure.

Fair Haven is asking for public participation in a street light evaluation before making the switch to LED fixtures. Sign thefts and signing regulations have been a topic of discussion for several select boards. Greensboro's Development Review Board gives a green light to the Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency's plan to build the Mirror Theatre.

Craftsbury installs a solar tracker using money from the Kingdom Community Wind project. Essex and Rutland hold cleanup events to reduce stormwater runoff pollution. Library Trustees in Waitsfield consider renovations after the town office relocates to a new building.

Warren is among the towns looking at designated Neighborhood Development Areas. The Vermont Agency of Transportation is holding a meeting in Mount Holly to discuss rumble strips on Route 103. Middlebury is discussing changing its curbside recycling program.

Randolph is about to build a new wastewater treatment facility and has a settlement agreement with the state regarding violations at the old plant. Concerns are raised over litter and vandalism at recreation areas in Wallingford, Norwich and Waitsfield. And school and town officials in Pittsford aim to lower last year's $68,000 heading bill at Lothrop Elementary School.