Susan Keese

Producer, Reporter

Susan Keese is VPR's southern Vermont reporter, based at the VPR studio in Manchester at Burr & Burton Academy. After many years as a print journalist and magazine writer, Susan started producing stories for VPR in 2002. From 2007-2009, she worked as a producer, helping to launch the noontime show Vermont Edition. Susan has won numerous journalism awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for her reporting on VPR. She wrote a column for the Sunday Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus. Her work has appeared in Vermont Life, the Boston Globe Magazine, The New York Times and other publications, as well as on NPR. 

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Susan Keese / VPR

The artist Norman Rockwell moved to Arlington, Vermont in 1939 and lived there with his family until 1953. During that time Rockwell produced some of his best-known work. His neighbors and their children often served as models for his paintings. Rockwell and his work are generating renewed interest and debate. One of his paintings recently sold for more than $46 million.

Susan Keese / VPR

The Brattleboro Housing Authority is asking the public to come up with a new use for Melrose Terrace, a public housing complex in West Brattleboro. The 50-year-old complex can no longer receive federal subsidies because it’s in a flood hazard zone. Its residents will move to new public housing in a few years. But officials say the sturdy, red brick buildings at Melrose should be good for something. Suggestions have been pouring in.

Susan Keese / VPR

It’s been almost a year since the announcement that Entergy Vermont Yankee would close at the end of 2014. At the time of the announcement, the plant employed 632 people, at salaries well above the norm for southern Vermont.

Toby Talbot / AP

Applications are now being accepted for the first round of funds provided by Entergy Vermont Yankee for economic development in Windham County. In a settlement with the state, Entergy agreed to pay $10 million over five years to help the region recover from the plant’s closing later this year.

An effort to stop construction of a 30 megawatt ridge-line wind development in the Green Mountain National Forest got a hearing Wednesday in Federal Court in Brattleboro. The 15-turbine Deerfield Wind project has been authorized by the U.S. Forest Service and permitted by the state. But opponents say the Forest Service approval process was flawed. And they argue that the installation would compromise a federally designated wilderness area near the site.

Susan Keese / VPR

The owner of Santa’s Land in Putney has filed for bankruptcy.

Lillian Billewicz, of Fair Haven, bought the once-popular theme park last June but has not opened it this year. In March, Billewicz and an employee were charged with animal cruelty after 16 of the park’s fallow deer and some other animals were found dead and emaciated.

The surviving animals are still at the shuttered tourist attraction while the case is pending.

Jeff Grimshaw / Courtesy

This past March Bennington was the subject of a New York Times story that generated quite a bit of anger in town. The headline read, “Heroin Scourge Overtakes a ‘Quaint’ Vermont Town.”

Susan Keese / VPR

A Vermont nonprofit that’s experimenting with the use of human urine as a fertilizer has attracted the interest of the scientific community. Rich Earth Institute has begun a field trial in partnerships with two major universities and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Susan Keese / VPR

Backers of the $24 million restoration of Brattleboro’s Brooks House say the downtown building will be ready for its first tenants soon. The historic structure was gutted by fire in 2011. In early August Vermont Technical College and Community College of Vermont will open classrooms and offices in the building.

Seven Guilford fire fighters were hospitalized Wednesday afternoon after it was suspected they had been struck by lightning. The fire fighters were in the process of extinguishing a two alarm structure fire on East Mountain Road in Guilford, near the Massachusetts border.

A witness at the scene reported severe thunderstorms in the area at the time. Brattleboro Area Rescue and another ambulance service transported the firefighters to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.