Sage Van Wing

Vermont Edition Producer

Sage Van Wing was a Vermont Edition producer.


Among the 435 representatives in the US House, only one represents the interests of the Green Mountain State. That position has been held by Democrat Peter Welch since 2007. This year he faces a challenge from Republican Mark Donka and Liberty Union candidate Matthew Andrews. His opponents argue that it’s time for new blood in Washington. All three candidates meet in a live hour-long debate on VPR.


The agencies that serve homeless and runaway youth in Vermont have been noticing a trend recently: the youth they serve are getting older. That means the agencies can’t simply work with the family to help the young person return home. These youth often have no home to go back to. Instead, they need help finding housing, and learning how to live independently.

We’ll talk to Calvin Smith of the Vermont Coalition of Homeless Youth Programs and Danielle Southwell of Youth Services in Brattleboro, about the challenges faced by homeless youth in Vermont.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

On any given day, there are around 160 women in prison in Vermont. That’s a small percentage of the overall population, but the number of women in prison has been steadily increasing over the last few years.

On the next Vermont Edition, we’ll talk about the specific challenges faced by Vermont women in prison with Jill Evans, Director of Women and Family Services at the Department of Corrections. We'll also talk to Julie Brisson, coordinator of the Wellness Workforce Coalition at the Vermont Center for Independent Living, who served time in Swanton prison in 2009.

Sage Van Wing / VPR

The city of Vergennes has a proud history of boat building. At the base of the falls on Otter Creek, Commodore Macdonough built the ships that would defeat the British in the War of 1812. Many of the steamships that plied the waters of Lake Champlain were built there too. And now, another boat building tradition thrives in Vergennes: hand-built wooden boats, in the Japanese tradition.

If you’ve ever had a procedure done at a hospital, you know that hospital billing can get very complicated, very quickly.

You can imagine, then, that budgeting for an entire hospital is a difficult task. Some of a hospital’s income comes from private insurers, some from the state via Medicaid reimbursement, and some from the federal government in the form of Medicare reimbursement.

Toby Talbot / AP

Incumbent Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer is running unopposed in this election. He has accepted the nomination of both the Democratic and the Progressive parties. We'll talk to Doug Hoffer about the focus of his audits in the last two years, and why he thinks he deserves your vote in November.

Also on the show, we'll get an analysis of this election season with Paul Heintz, who writes the political column Fair Game for Seven Days.

Brian Ho / Ap

When John Fusco’s son insisted they ride on horseback through Mongolia, the Hollywood screenwriter was inspired to write about Marco Polo. The story of the historical Italian explorer combined two of Fusco’s great loves: horses, and martial arts.

We’ll talk to Vermont writer John Fusco about his new TV series about Marco Polo, and his new book, Dog Beach.

Also on the show, we’ll learn about the Vermont’s involvement in the War of 1812 with the new state archaeologist Jess Robinson.

Chris Line / AP

Some people like to read about history, other people like to live it. We'll talk with historical reenactors about what motivates them to put on the shoes of another era's soldiers.

We'll hear from Steve Smith, a member of the Champlain Valley Historical Reenactors. Smith runs a troop of Confederate reenactors here in Vermont. We'll also hear from Admiral Warren Hamm, co-chair of the 150th Anniversary of the St. Alban's Raid Committee.

Going back to your childhood home to visit your parents can be awkward at the best of times. Especially if your 38-year-old brother still lives at home and your mother is a hoarder … But sometimes going back home again is exactly what you need to do to move forward with your life. That’s the theme of Vermont author Sarah Healy’s new novel, House of Wonder. Sarah Healy spoke with Vermont Edition about the book. Healy starts off reading a passage.

Toby Talbot / AP

A visit to the hospital can be terrifying…and then you get the bill. Right now, hospitals receive money by billing for each patient visit, but sometimes those charges can seem out of synch with the services received.

We’ll talk to Tom Huebner, President and CEO of Rutland Regional Medical Center, about whether it would be possible to bring costs down by changing the way they budget.

We’ll also hear from Richard Slusky, Director of Payment Reform for the Green Mountain Care Board, and Joe Woodin, CEO and President of Gifford Medical Center.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

This week, Governor Peter Shumlin officially launched his reelection bid. We'll ask the Governor to explain his positions on the key issues facing the state.

Also on the show, we'll get an overview of the general election as it stands so far from VPR's Peter Hirschfeld.

Broadcast live on Friday, September 12 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Five states held their primaries on Tuesday, including New York. The race for governor in that state has a local connection: Vermont native Zephyr Teachout mounted an upstart campaign against popular Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo.

Mike Lee / Flickr

Many of us have found comfort and fellowship in online communities via social media and the internet. But how do those online communities interact with our real-world geographic communities? These days, a small incident in a small town can quickly become fodder for an international firestorm on the internet, and that can make local communities and local businesses feel harassed or overwhelmed.

Siena College / Flickr

You’ve graduated from high school and you feel pretty good about yourself, but now the real test begins: college. First year students are showing up on campuses all over the state this time of year and realizing they don’t know much of anything at all. What classes should you take? How do you make friends? Where is the free food? Are textbooks really that expensive?

Rob Friesel / Flickr

You may have gone out to farms this summer to pick your own blueberries or strawberries. Did it seem like you were doing all the work for the farmer? Well it turns out running a Pick Your Own farm can be a lot of work in its own right.

Bennington College / AP

Students of all ages are returning to school in the next couple of weeks, and along with them are all the administrators that make schools work. One of those administrators is Bennington College President Mariko Silver.

She’s been at Bennington College for just over a year, having taken over from long time president Elizabeth Coleman.

President Silver spoke with Vermont Edition about her first year in charge and her plans for the school.

Nina Keck / VPR/file

Police shootings elicit strong feelings in the affected communities and give people elsewhere pause to think about the wider implications. They also raise questions about how police are trained.

We looked at what police training looks like in Vermont with Richard Gauthier, Executive Director of the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Center, and we spoke with Allen Gilbert, Executive Director of the ACLU of Vermont about where he thinks that training might fall short. We also heard from Rutland Police Chief Jim Baker about how police training is put to use on the ground.

ErikaMitchell / Thinkstock

Sociologists have been worried for a while about a phenomenon called "rural brain drain." The best and the brightest young students are leaving rural areas in search of jobs and opportunities elsewhere.

Stowe Free Library / Flickr

Garret Keizer never really wanted to be a teacher, but he found himself wrangling high school students in the Northeast Kingdom until he was able to make ends meet as a writer. Then, fourteen years later, Keizer found himself back in the classroom again.

He’s written about his experience in a new book, Getting Schooled: The Reeducation of an American Teacher. We’ll talk to Keizer about the challenges and rewards of teaching.

If you’re out hiking on the Long Trail this weekend, you may be passed by a blur of motion and heavy breathing and running shorts. It’s probably Stowe resident RJ Thompson. He’s trying to break a speed record for running the length of the Long Trail. That’s 273 miles, the length of the state of Vermont.

Thompson started running Tuesday morning at the Canadian border. We caught him Monday afternoon as he was preparing.  Thompson is attempting to break the record for an *unsupported run. He told us that’s different from a supported run.