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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VPR News
5:30 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Program Teaches Business Skills To Young Farmers

Members of the Youth Ag IDA program with their instructors.
UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Dan Brassard, 19,  is already well versed in many skills. He raises beef, sells firewood and produces maple syrup in the new East Randolph sugarhouse he’s standing in.

“All the lumber here I cut and logged off my parents’ land. It was my senior project at the tech center.  I sawed it all out,” he says.

In the past year, Brassard has gained some business know-how to go along with his hands-on experience. He’s a graduate of a new program run by University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

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VPR News
7:00 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Blue Bins Coming To Parades And Tractor Pulls

A truck unloads recycled material in E. Montpelier
AP/Toby Talbot

This year, for the first time in its 38-year history, there will be a full-on recycling effort at the popular Northfield Labor Day Weekend

It’s a voluntary effort on the part of event organizers, but next year recycling will be mandatory at this and other public events across the state.

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VPR News
6:15 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

FairPoint Declares Impasse, Implements Reduced Union Benefits

FairPoint says it will unilaterally implement pay and benefit provisions for union workers
VPR/Steve Zind

FairPoint Communications says it will unilaterally implement the terms of its union contract offer. The company has declared an impasse in talks with the unions representing as many as two thousand workers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. 

Under federal labor law an impasse declaration enables FairPoint to make changes to wages, benefits and employment conditions without union consent.  

A company can declare an impasse if there is no prospect for a negotiated settlement.

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VPR News
7:30 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Telecom Plan Raises Questions About Future Internet Service

The state's draft telecom plan envisions universal fiber service by 2024.
Ingram Publishing Thinkstock

Telecommunications is an essential part of the lives of most people.

If you own a telephone,  use the Internet, or subscribe to cable television, how can the state make sure those services are up-to-date, reliable and affordable in the future?

That’s a question the Department of Public Service is posing in a series of public hearings this week.

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VPR News
4:49 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Monthly Jobless Numbers Only Tell Part Of The Story

aarrows Thinkstock

This week, the Vermont Labor Department reported the state unemployment rate had gone up for a second straight month. It rose to 3.7 percent in July. 

But monthly jobless numbers tell only part of the story. There is good news in the latest report.

The monthly unemployment figure is a measure of people in the labor force who don’t have jobs but are actively looking for work.

When it goes down, that’s usually seen as a positive sign, but there’s more than one way for that to happen.

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The Frequency
1:05 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Vermont Unemployment Rate Up Again

Vermont's unemployment rate rose by .3 percent to 3.7 percent in July. It's the second straight monthly increase, following a .1 percent jump in June.

In a news release, Vermont Department of Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan said the increase, “mirrors the same trend we saw last summer in Vermont and we hope this will resolve as we move forward into early fall.”

Last year, the unemployment rate rose .2 percent from May to July, remaining at a high of 4.5 percent before dropping in October.

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The Frequency
11:11 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Former Senator Jim Jeffords Dead At 80

In 2001, Jim Jeffords separated from the Republican party, taking away the GOP majority in the Senate.
Toby Talbot AP File Photo

Former Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords has died. A lifelong moderate Republican, Jeffords earned national fame in May 2001 when he abandoned his party and became an independent, single-handedly shifting the balance of power in the Senate.

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VPR News
7:30 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Three New Food Co-ops Still In Early Stages

Vermont is home to many long-time food cooperatives.  Many of them were established to meet a demand for natural and organic foods.

Today, organizers in Barre, Morrisville and Bennington, say they’re hoping to start up more mainstream full service grocery stores in unserved locations.

Over the years, the migration of supermarkets from city centers to shopping plazas outside of town has left communities without a downtown grocery store. This new wave of co-ops in an  attempt to change that.

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VPR News
5:52 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

State Says Montpelier Water Supply Is Open To Recreational Users

The state says most non-motorized recreational activity is permissible on Berlin Pond despite a long stand ban by the City of Montpelier
VPR/Steve Zind

Berlin Pond is a familiar sight to motorists traveling on I-89 a few miles south of the  Montpelier exit. For years the city of Montpelier has prohibited recreation on the pond, which supplies the city with its water and is located in neighboring Berlin. 

Two years ago, after a legal challenge to Montpelier’s long-standing ban, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled the state, not the city, had regulatory power over the pond.

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The Frequency
4:52 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Union Says Waiting For FairPoint Response To New Offer

Following the first negotiating session since labor contracts with FairPoint Communications expired 12 days ago, an official with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Vermont expressed frustration with the status of the talks. 

Mike Spillane, who is part of the IBEW negotiating team, said the two sides met with a federal mediator in Portland, Maine on Wednesday. 

Spillane says Thursday morning the union offered a contract package that was “further than we wanted to go.” 

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