Ric Cengeri

Vermont Edition Producer

Ric is a Vermont Edition producer. Prior to joining VPR in 2007, Ric was the morning show host at WNCS in Montpelier. Before that, he hosted the morning show at WOXY in Oxford, Ohio.

Interwoven with his radio experience, Ric has been a senior copy writer and account supervisor for McGuire & Associates, a Florida-based advertising agency. He has also taught media writing classes at Miami University.

An expert in polo and British soccer, Ric holds a B.S. from the University of Dayton and an M.S. from St. Thomas University.

Ways to Connect

"Vermont Edition" hears from GOP Legislative leaders on some of the key issues that remain to be decided in the final weeks of the biennium.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

The end of the Legislative session looms, but there is still time for movement on a number of key issues. We get input on education funding, financing clean water efforts, the state minimum wage and paid family leave from the Republican legislative leadership.

The spotted salamander adds a colorful dash to the Vermont outdoors. And now is a great time of year to see them.
JasonOndreicka / iStock

As the temperatures slowly climb northward, you're about to see a lot of movement outside. Especially if you look really closely at the spring migration of reptiles and amphibians.

The Vermont Legislature is looking for ways to shift the educational fund burden from property taxes to income taxes. H.911 includes legislation that would spell out how that can be accomplsihed.
ParkerDeen / iStock

Ask any legislator in Montpelier and they'll probably agree that getting the state's education funding model right could be their most difficult task. Now a bill passed by the House sets about shifting some of the burden of paying for our schools from property taxes to income taxes.

A puppy sits and looks sadly at the camera.
TatyanaGI / iStock

There might be nothing to ever equal the unbridled joy of bringing home a new dog. As the pup races around its new home smelling the thousands of smells that live in its new abode, it's hard not to share the excitement. Then the real work starts — training your new pooch.

A blue-green illustration of a brain.
Jakarin2521 / iStock

As artificial intelligence continues to develop, concerns grow about its invasive nature and reach. How much are we willing to cede to the machines, and what effect will that have on our lives?

The Vermont House recently passed a bill that would create an AI commission to address these subjects.

A chocolate pig with tiny chocolate piglets inside is just one of the many Easter novelties created by chocolatier, Pier Normandeau, at L'Oeuf in Mystic, QC.
Sally Pollak / Seven Days

There's a little place north of the border that makes you feel as though you've been transported to a small, French village. A Québécois Brigadoon, if you will. It's called L'Oeuf - a French country restaurant and chocolate shop where chocolate takes center stage this time of year.  

Handy with the lot of these? Then you're in high demand for the "Repair Cafe" scheduled for April 28 in Hardwick.
anilakkus / iStock

If you fancy yourself a Mr. or Ms. Fix-It, or maybe you're more of a "Need a Ms. Fix-It" kind of person, we've got a matchmaking event for you! 

The Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District, the Onion River Exchange and the Center for an Agricultural Economy are working together to host a Repair Cafe in Hardwick at the end of April.

Jack Moulton succeeds Jeff Bartley as the Vermont Republican Party's executive director.
Vermont Republican Party, Courtesy

The Vermont Republican Party has a new executive director. Jack Moulton replaced Jeff Bartley, who stepped down suddenly in January after three years in the position.

A Drug Free School Zone sign on a chain link fence with a playground in the background.
duckycards / iStock

As the state continues to battle the opioid abuse crisis, ways of fighting it have taken many different forms — including focusing on drug prevention strategies in our schools.

On this Vermont Edition, we look around the state to learn what's being done to deliver that anti-drug message to our kids and also look at the effectiveness of these efforts.

Hazing in sports can have devastating effects on athletes, schools and communities.
mmac72 / iStock

Hazing is happening in greater numbers than you might suspect. One recent study reported that 80 percent of student athletes experienced some form of hazing during their college athletic career. And 42 percent said they also were hazed in high school.

The mural in Burlington reflects 400 years of Vermont history but has drawn criticism for lacking diversity.
Adam Fagen / Flickr

The mural that graces Leahy Way off of Church Street in Burlington is arresting. It's 120 feet by 14 feet and depicts a 400-year timeline. It's brightly-colored and loaded with many of Vermont's historical figures. And it lacks diversity. So what should the city do with it now?

Chicken dumplings (pictured) served at Double King, a Chinese food pop-up at Montpelier's Kismet restaurant.
Hannah Palmer Egan / Seven Days

From traditional Chinese food restaurants to Asian fusion, from buffets to pop-ups, it all can be found scattered throughout Vermont. In this episode, Seven Days food writer Hannah Palmer Egan shares a few of her favorites.

An empty school hallway with a row of lockers and a door at the end.
Halbergman / iStock

After the shooting in Parkland, Florida, and a threat of violence at Fair Haven Union High School, Gov. Phil Scott has called for safety assessments of Vermont's schools by the end of March. Scott has also requested $5 million over this year and next year to pay for security upgrades for schools.

Lisa Kaiman's Jersey Girls Dairy in Chester has been producing dairy prodcuts, veal, and other value-added products since 1999.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Lisa Kaiman operates Jersey Girls Dairy in Chester, and the farm comes by its name honestly: Kaiman is originally from New Jersey, and she tends a herd of Jersey cows. Like many small dairy farmers, she says the job isn't easy. But she also says Vermont's dairy regulations don't make it any easier.

The #MeToo movement has shined a light on how men need to change to end the abuse and harassment of women.
Ronniechua / iStock

According to metoomvmt.org, nearly 18 million women have reported a sexual assault since 1998.

The #MeToo movement is successfully raising awareness, but moving forward, how do we cultivate healthier attitudes in men—and boys—to end these unwanted actions?

After learning to bake bread as a child in Germany, Bread and Puppet Theater founder, Peter Schumann, is still rising sourdouogh rye today in Glover.
Sally Pollak / Seven Days

Glover, Vermont, is a strange and wonderful place. There's the self-serve/self-pay Red Sky Trading Company, Currier's Market and Taxidermy, The Museum of Everyday Life and - the epicenter of strangeness - Bread and Puppet Theater.

Vermont's tea culture abounds with many tea rooms around the state including Stone Leaf Teahouse in Middlebury (owner, John Wetzel, in background).
Melissa Pasanen / Vermont Life

There's no doubt the British have a tea culture. But Vermont? Oh yeah, it's a thing!

A screenshot from one of Professor Bongard's videos shows a robot "dreaming" about how to move.
courtesy of Josh Bongard

In order to be as useful as possible, robots need to be able to think and act for themselves. But with that autonomy can come serious concerns about human safety. We're talking about teaching machines how to be smart and independent, without kicking off a robot uprising.

The job school superintendents love to hate is deciding on whether to close school or not in the winter.
Willowpix / iStock

There are two sides to school snow days. You've got the kids who get a day off and a chance to romp in the snow and catchup on the homework they might not have gotten done on time. And then there's the parents who might have to take a day off of work to watch the kids. But beyond that are the school superintendents who have to make the decision to close school.

UVM students recently gathered in the Waterman Building to call on the school to address racial justice, inequity and diversity on campus.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR FILE

UVM students blocked a main thoroughfare to highlight their demands for greater inclusion and diversity. High school students in Montpelier and Burlington organized to raise the Black Lives Matter flag at their schools. And next week, high school students across the state plan to walk out of class to push for gun legislation.

In Vermont, student activism is alive and well in 2018!

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