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.

Ways To Connect

The familiar Lang McLaughry Real Estate signs are a thing of the past. 

The South Burlington residential and commercial real estate company, which was Vermont's largest, has merged with the smaller Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty based in New Hampshire.

The company has also acquired a real estate firm based in Manchester, Vermont Country Properties Sotheby’s International Realty.

The new company,  called Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty, has 23 offices and more than 220 sales agents in two states.

The Department of Public Service says FairPoint Communications continues to make significant progress in resolving the backlog of telephone repairs. 

The repair delays, which have been a problem since last summer, have landed the company in hot water with regulators.

The department says the number of outstanding repairs has dropped by 50 percent from a week ago.

Based on numbers provided to legislators, that means there are now about 400 Vermont customers waiting for phone service and repairs.

In the first statement since negotiations began under their auspices, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service has acknowledged that talks between representatives of FairPoint Communications and two striking unions are continuing and that “progress is being made”.

A statement issued Friday evening by FMCS Acting Director Allison Beck on behalf of the negotiating parties offers little additional information.  

Steve Zind / VPR

It’s clear lawmakers have been hearing from constituents about the wide disparity in gas prices in Vermont – especially higher prices in the Burlington area – and the fact the average price of a gallon gas statewide is currently about 40 cents above the national mark. 

Why and what can be done about it wasn’t so clear, as lawmakers heard from a testimony during a public hearing at the State House on Thursday.

Darn Tough Socks

Vermont manufacturer Darn Tough Socks is planning a 100,000-square-foot expansion at its mill in Northfield. The addition, to be completed in 18 months, is nearly twice as large as the company’s present facility.

Darn Tough President and CEO Ric Cabot says the company has experienced consecutive years of revenue growth of between 60 and 70 percent annually. Sales revenue in 2013 grew 63 percent over the previous year.

Lawmakers from Vermont and New Hampshire have asked the Federal Communications Commission to consider whether FairPoint Communications has the ability to operate emergency communications networks in their states.

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and, Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Annie Kuster (D-NH) have written to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Their letter expresses concerns over recent E-911 outages in both states.

A group of Dartmouth College alumni "angel investors" has established a venture capital fund to help businesses with connections to the college.

"Angel investors" put up money to help entrepreneurs and start-ups to get off the ground and grow. The idea is less about turning a quick profit and more about nurturing a business.

State officials say FairPoint Communications is making significant progress reducing the backlog of telephone repairs.

Public Service Department Commissioner Chris Recchia told the Senate Finance Committee on Friday that the number of instances in which customers have been waiting more than 24 hours for telephone repairs had been cut from 1,800 to 1,200 in just one week.

Department officials talk to FairPoint daily. Since Recchia spoke to the committee, the department says the company reports it has cut the number of outstanding repairs even further, to roughly 800.

carefullychosen / istock

Last September at a small break-out discussion during a conference on Vermont’s Digital Economy, Kerrick Johnson of the Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) made an announcement that raised eyebrows.

Johnson told participants that VELCO has more than 1,300 miles of fiber that could be used to get high speed broadband to Vermonters.

Carolyn Caster / AP Photo

State college officials say President Obama’s proposal to make community college tuition-free would boost enrollment and benefit the entire system.