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

Hemp plants at Green Mountain CBD's farm in Hardwick, taken earlier this year.
Jon Kalish / For VPR

Growing hemp became legal in Vermont in 2013 and today more than 90 people are registered to grow it here. Vermont Edition looks at the differences between hemp, CBD (Cannabidiol) and marijuana, and where these industries and products are in Vermont today.

Gov. Scott's Marijuana Commission is trying to decide what legalization should look like in Vermont.
Labuda / iStock

Earlier this year, Gov. Phil Scott created a special commission to study the possibility of approving recreational marijuana use in Vermont. The commission began meeting in late September.

Chefs working on projects at the James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change held this fall at Shelburne Farms.
Melissa Pasanen, Courtesy

When you hear about a boot camp for chefs, you probably envision great cooks preparing fine meals while bedecked in an apron and carrying a rolling pin. That wasn't exactly what went down at The James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. 

Robert Siegel spent more than 40 years working in radio news, and has reported from across the country and around the globe. Senior host of NPR's All Things Considered since 1987, he'll be stepping away from the mic in January 2018.
Stephen Voss / NPR

Robert Siegel, senior host of NPR's All Things Considered, is speaking to the Vermont Humanities Council this week, reflecting on more than four decades working in radio newsrooms. It's an apt time for reflection for the seasoned host, as he prepares to step away from the mic and retire in January 2018.

Deicing winter roads by applying salt is poisoning Vermont's ecosystems, and experts say it’s over-salting by private contractors in parking lots and other urban areas that are increasingly the source of the salt.
Modfos / iStock

Salt used for deicing and winter road management is poisoning Vermont's ecosystems, but it isn't coming from where you'd think. Parking lots and congested urban areas are increasingly the source of the salt, winter managers say. Drivers expecting visibly salted roads, and a lack of standards for private companies offering salting services, has many calling for tough standards to stop the problem cold.

A spooky sampler of ghost stories, Green Mountain hauntings and more.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Maybe it's just the Halloween spirit, but Vermont seems extra spooky in the fall. And trust us when we say that there have been enough stories of ghosts and spirits haunting the Green Mountain State to make things interesting.

On this "Vermont Edition," we look at the performance of Vermont Health Connect, which had many problems when it first went online.
screenshot from Vermont Health Connect

As Congress debates the future of the Affordable Care Act, a new enrollment period begins next week. We take this opportunity to assess how Vermont Health Connect is faring today after the series of technical problems that has riddled it in the past.

Spirulina is an edible type of blue-green algae being grown at a green house in Johnson.
Sally Pollak / Seven Days

Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is no friend to those who enjoy a swim in the lake but, in another form, is actually edible, high in protein and rich in certain vitamins. It's called spirulina and being grown right here in Vermont.   

A pasture full of cows overlooks the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vt. Robbie Leppzer's film "Power Struggle" documents efforts to close Vermont Yankee; the plant was closed in 2014.
Robbie Leppzer / PowerStruggleMovie.com, courtesy

The Vermont International Film Festival is screening a documentary on Sunday chronicling the grassroots movement to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, and the events both global and local that surrounded its closure in 2014.

The cast of "Mill Girls" at the Champlain Mill in Winooski. There will be free performances of the show at Saint Michael's College in November.
Jerry Swope / Saint Michael's College

A new play premiering at Saint Michael's College tells the story of the women who worked the textile mills in Winooski and across New England in the mid-1800s. But it's also a story about America's shift from small towns to big cities, how women were treated and compensated in the country's earliest factories, the fight for workers' rights and the mills' connections to slavery before the Civil War.

Conservation biologist Kent McFarland spoke with "Vermont Edition" about the robust number of box elder bugs currently populating the state.
Renman1605 / iStock

For those of you who have been shocked by huge clusters of bugs that are graphite in color with red piping, fear not. It's just a little box elder bug invasion.

A look at the town of Maricao, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. WNPR's Jeff Cohen spoke to "Vermont Edition" about his recent trip to Puerto Rico.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover from two damaging storms that have devastated the island territory.

Blue-green algae blooms, like this one photographed in the summer of 2014 in Lake Champlain, have many in the state concerned. A new draft plan proposes funding sources for water cleanup efforts.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR FILE

Lake Champlain and Lake Carmi saw numerous outbreaks of blue-green algae blooms this summer, which seems to have rallied support for clean water efforts in the state. But the age-old question of how to fund those efforts persists.

When paired with the right spirits, ingredients like cinnamon, pear, vanilla and rosemary will add an abundance of flavor to fall cocktails.
Suzanne Podhaizer / Seven Days

If you've ever been intimidated by mixing cocktails for guests, don't sweat it. If you prepare ingredients, follow a few simple steps and pay attention to ratios, playing bartender doesn't need to be stressful.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has created a cybersecurity team to defend the state against repeated cyber attacks. "Vermont Edition" looks at the problems the team hopes to prevent.
Henrik5000 / iStock

Governor Phil Scott has some serious concerns about Vermont's cyber safety. He recently noted that since January, the state has had 3.3 million cyber attacks, or an average of 524 per hour for the last nine months.

Earlier this month, Scott signed an executive order creating a cybersecurity team.

Rex Butt is the interim executive director of the Pride Center of Vermont.
Pride Center of Vermont, courtesy

After just five months on the job at the Pride Center of Vermont, executive director Susan Hartman abruptly stepped down in early October.

Volunteer and board member Rex Butt has stepped in to lead the organization in the interim, and he said turmoil within the local LGBTQ community contributed to Hartman's swift departure.

Actors Andy Butterfield, left, and Jory Raphael of the Middlebury Actors Workshop practice the duel scene from the French farce "The Metromaniacs," by David Ives.
Melissa Lourie / Middlebury Actors Workshop, Courtesy

The Middlebury Actors Workshop is performing The Metromaniacs, a French farce, at Middlebury's Town Hall Theater from Thursday, Oct. 19, through Sunday, Oct. 22.

Earlier this week, two of the actors in the play — Andy Butterfield and Jory Raphael — stopped by VPR's studio to perform a couple of the scenes from the production and describe the play.

"American Street" by Ibi Zoboi and "Clayton Byrd Goes Underground" by Rita Williams-Garcia are both on the shortlist for the 2017 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.
HarperCollins Publishers, courtesy

When Rita Williams-Garcia read Ibi Zoboi's application to Vermont College of Fine Arts, she knew the writer was extremely talented. Williams-Garcia then served as Zoboi's faculty advisor at the school.

Now, Zoboi and Williams-Garcia each have a book nominated to the shortlist for the 2017 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. That's two of the final five!

We look at the economic and environmental viability of electric vehicles in a rural state like Vermont.
Boarding1Now / iStock

There are some positive virtues of electric vehicles, like reducing carbon emissions created by conventional gas-powered engines. But where does the money meet the road?

The Scott administration faces a year-end decision on the future of public safety communications. This could also affect broadband and cellular service in the state.

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