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

Steve Zind / VPR

On a per-capita basis, Vermont has been the biggest recipient of federal broadband largesse:  A total of $174 million.

Four years ago, Bellows Falls-based Sovernet Communications received more than $30 million in federal money to build a fiber optic network in Vermont. The project is now complete.

The grant for the Vermont FiberConnect Project was the second largest chunk of funding, behind an award to Springfield-based VTel which is building a wireless system.

The three members of Vermont’s congressional delegation have once again called on FairPoint Communications to settle a two month old strike with unionized employees.

In a joint letter to the company, Sens. Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch wrote, “It is becoming increasingly clear to Vermonters that management is more concerned with the interests of corporate owners of FairPoint than negotiating a reasonable agreement that is fair to your workers and customers.”

VT Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation and US Forest Service Forest Health Protection

An annual report on the health of Vermont forests identifies some trouble spots but says overall, it was a good year for trees.

Because Vermont is 78 percent forested, the health of the state’s hardwood and softwood species is important.

Audio from this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 17.

VPR/Angela Evancie

In the aftermath of last week’s storm, Vermont’s major electric utilities issued a steady stream of news releases detailing the number of customers without service.  

But information on storm related telephone outages was hard to come by.

FairPoint Communications, the state’s principal telephone company, says it can't determine how many customers lost service due to the storm.  

Both FairPoint and Green Mountain Power, the largest utility, rely on a mix of technology and customer calls to determine how many people are without service.

iStock / Thinkstock

Nearly a year after the original target date for bringing broadband service to every Vermont address, the state says 2,183 locations still remain to be served.  

The state calculates broadband coverage based on reports from providers. There have been instances where service doesn’t extend as far as believed, especially in the case of mobile wireless broadband.

But Department of Public Service Telecommunications Director Jim Porter is confident the figure is accurate. 

VPR / Ric Cengeri

Living in the north country, we are obsessed with weather. And for good reason. The weather can change in a hurry and can bring with it some bizarre stuff. The recent storm is a great example of that.

We devote the entire show to our weird, wicked and sometimes wonderful weather.

Greg Hanson, hydrologist for the National Weather Service, and Dr. Jay Shafer, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Lyndon State College, look at the year in weather, explains why we just got dumped on, and gives us an idea of what the months ahead have in store.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are flavors that enrich holiday cooking and baking. But how did these spices make it into American dishes, and why do these flavors evoke the holiday season? On the next Vermont Edition, we’ll talk about the origins of spices and why certain flavors work together, and others don't. Our guests are Hank Kaestner, who was a spice buyer for McCormick and Company for three decades, and Jim Romanoff, the food editor at Eating Well magazine.

State regulators are considering whether to link FairPoint Communications' service problems to the renewal of a plan giving  the company more leeway to set rates.

Steve Zind / VPR

As the strike by FairPoint’s unionized employees nears the two month mark there’s still no sign of progress toward an agreement between the company and workers.  

In deciding to strike the unions felt they had no choice, but it’s an option that has become rare and not nearly as effective as in the past.

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013 there were 15 labor stoppages involving 1,000 or more workers. 

Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. will spend $220 million to purchase a European competitor in the at-home beverage brewing market.

The Waterbury-based company has announced it will use cash on hand to purchase the company that makes the Bevyz multi-drink system, which dispenses a range of both hot and cold beverages.

Keurig has long dominated the domestic home single serve hot beverage market and earlier this year introduced Keurig 2.0 which also brews carafe sized portions of hot drinks.