Steve Zind

Senior Reporter & Special Projects Producer

Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.

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The Frequency
6:40 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Vermont Companies Generally Upbeat About The Economy

Chief Executive Officers of many of Vermont's largest employers are generally optimistic about the economy, according to a recent survey.

The 1st quarter VBR-EPR Business Conditions Survey was conducted by the Vermont Business Roundtable and Economic Policy Resources, a Williston research and analysis firm. 

The survey of Vermont Business Roundtable's membership, which includes CEOs of approximately 120 businesses in the state, is conducted quarterly. 

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The Frequency
4:50 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Credit Union Manager Sentenced To Three Years In Prison

Three months after pleading guilty to embezzlement charges, the former manager of the Border Lodge Credit Union in Derby has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Debra Kinney, who ran the small Northeast Kingdom credit union from her home, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Burlington.

Kinney pled guilty to federal fraud charges in January after an FBI investigation concluded that she had been embezzling money from the credit union over a period of years. 

VPR News
5:38 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

New Program Adds To Incentives Offered To Companies

“This is the biggest initiative that a governor has ever had at their disposal to be able to attract high paying research and development high-tech jobs," Gov. Peter Shumlin says of the proposed $4.5 million program.
FUSE Thinkstock

Gov. Peter Shumlin and legislative leaders want to devote up to $5 million to help the state attract and keep high tech jobs.

Shumlin says the money will add flexibility and speed to the state’s economic development effort.

Vermont already has programs to help businesses, but they are loan programs, like those administered by the Vermont Economic Development Authority, or the tax incentives offered through Vermont Economic Progress Council.

This is something new.

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VPR News
6:00 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

National Life Adds More Jobs After A Record Year

Mary Putnam (l) of National Life Group talks with Brandy Rexford at the company's job fair.
VPR/Melody Bodette

National Life Group is adding more than 30 new jobs at its Montpelier headquarters.

In the late 1990s the company made significant job cuts, but it says the new positions reflect a steady growth in recent years.

National Life is filling 100 jobs in all; about one third are new positions, ranging from housekeeping to company vice-presidents.

To attract candidates Angela Kiniry organized the company’s first job fair in six years.

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The Frequency
10:22 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Dollar General Chain Sees Room To Grow In Vermont

Dollar General now has 20 Vermont stores.
Steve Zind VPR

The nation’s largest discount retailer continued to expand in Vermont in 2013.

According to the company's latest annual report, Dollar General opened three new stores in Vermont last year.  The Tennessee-based chain says it now has 20 Vermont stores.  In 2007, the company had just one outlet in the state.

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VPR News
3:52 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Shumlin Adds Upper Management In Health Care Reform Efforts

Lawrence Miller, right, and Patricia Moulton at a news conference on Thursday.
VPR/Steve Zind

Gov. Peter Shumlin added a high-level slot in his administration today when he made former Commerce Secretary Lawrence Miller the new “senior advisor to the governor and Chief of Health Care Reform.”

Miller will report directly to Shumlin, officials said at a news conference Thursday, and serve as the governor’s point person on health care reform issues. Previously, Robin Lunge, who serves as director of health care reform, was the top administration official working exclusively on health care reform issues.

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VPR News
6:06 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Tourism Industry Watching For Fallout From Coverage Of State's Heroin Problem

Those in the tourist industry say they are concerned, but there's no evidence so far that the coverage of Vermont's heroin problem will discourage people from visiting.
Katherine Welles Thinkstock

Before last January most people across the nation would have said "maple syrup," "fall foliage" or "skiing" when asked to list the images that come to mind when they think of Vermont.

Now "heroin" might also be on that list.  

There’s been widespread national news coverage of the state’s heroin problem ever since Gov. Peter Shumlin’s State of the State address.

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The Frequency
6:10 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

VEDA Loans Will Support Solar Project And Slaughterhouse

A variety of energy, farm and commercial projects have received Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) loans totaling $5.2 million.

The latest round of loans includes $1 million to help finance a large solar array in Barton. VEDA says the $7.8 million project will be built on 24 acres of land on Rt. 16.

Agriculture-related businesses receiving loans include Mack’s Meats in Grand Isle which plans to purchase the former Champlain Valley Meats slaughterhouse, which has been closed since 2009.

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VPR News
5:30 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Randolph's 'Poem Town' Hopes To Win New Poetry Fans

Dozens of Randolph businesses are displaying work of local poets as part of Poem Town.
VPR/Steve Zind

Among the posters advertising spring sales and specials on Easter candy, there are poems in the windows of downtown Randolph businesses.

The idea for what organizers call "Poem Town” was inspired by a similar effort in Montpelier.

Auto parts and poetry may not seem like a natural match, unless gear pullers and alternator belts are your muse, but Larry Hart didn’t hesitate when organizers asked him to make room for poems in the window of his NAPA store.

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The Frequency
9:08 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Personal Income Growing In Vermont, But Mostly For The Rich

This week the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis published its annual estimates of average state personal income, but a Vermont economist says the numbers lack some telling details.

According to the BEA estimates, personal income growth nationally slowed to 2.6 percent in 2013, compared to growth of 4.2 percent in 2012.

In Vermont, average personal income rose 2.88 percent in 2013; above the national average but below the state's 2012 growth of 3.71 percent.

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