Susan Keese

Producer, Reporter

Susan Keese was 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. 

Susan passed away in 2015.

Ways to Connect

Concerns about downward economic trends in Windham County have sparked a multi-town campaign to reverse those trends and boost the region’s prosperity.

The coalition behind the effort is called Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies, or SeVEDS. The campaign’s goal is to stop the region’s ongoing loss of population-- especially the loss of young, educated workers.

The SeVEDS group held meetings this week in four Windham County towns, to gather insights on the region’s assets and challenges --and to present the data behind the downward trends.

In middle school circles, spelling bees have become a high-stress activity. The national spelling championships are now televised, and the winner gets a thirty-thousand dollar cash prize.  It’s more relaxed for competitors in Spell Check, Brattleboro’s spelling bee for grownups.

Maybe that’s because the stakes aren’t quite so high. The winners get nothing more than their names on the marquis of the Latchis Theater.  But they keep coming back.  The house was packed for the fifth annual spelling bee, held earlier in April.

Workers from the troubled Vermont Veterans Home have taken to the streets of Bennington.

They hope to enlist community support for what they see as a fight to save the state-run nursing facility.

On Friday afternoon, Veterans home workers and supporters were waving signs on all four corners of Bennington's main intersection.

The signs read, ‘Save the Vets' Home -- Listen to the front line workers.'

The workers have been saying for over a year that the facility is understaffed.

John Dunham is a nurse at the home.

Susan Keese / VPR

Workers at the Vermont Veterans Home say the Bennington facility needs better financial management and better staffing.

The nursing home has projected an estimated $3.5 million budget shortfall for 2014.

Unionized caregivers at the home complained of understaffing before troubles that threatened to close the facility last year.

In September, the federal government threatened to take away the home's certification because of deficiencies that were found in a series of inspections.

The State Public Service Board is hearing testimony on a proposed wood-chip-fired power plant in North Springfield.

The 35 megawatt project would be Vermont's largest biomass plant.

Developers of the proposed plant say it will create jobs and help the state meet its goals for renewable energy.

Winstanley Enterprises is the company behind the plan, and it built North Springfield Industrial Park, where the plant would be built.

Winstanley partnered with Weston Solutions, which specializes in sustainable power projects.