Taylor Dobbs

Digital Reporter

Taylor is VPR's digital reporter. After growing up in Vermont, he graduated with at BA in Journalism from Northeastern University in 2013.

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The Frequency
3:37 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

GMO Labeling Bill To Become Law

The House of Representatives voted 114 - 30 in favor of a bill that requires the labeling of genetically modified foods.
Angela Evancie VPR File Photo

The Vermont House of Representatives  voted 114 - 30 Wednesday to require the labeling of foods produced with genetically modified organisms.

Proponents of the bill, including Sen. David Zuckerman, P/D-Chittenden, argued that Vermonters have a right to know what is in the food they eat.

During the floor debate, opponents often agreed with that premise, but said they would vote against the bill because of concerns that national food producers would sue the state over the law.

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The Frequency
3:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

What Happened To Those 35 Failed School Budgets?

On Town Meeting Day this year, 35 cities and towns voted down proposed school budgets - the highest number in a decade. But students in those towns still have to go to school in the fall, so school boards, administrators and voters have to find a workable solution.

For some of those budgets, solutions have already been passed. Others have gone back to the drawing board a second time. Many cities and towns still have to have a re-vote. Here's what's happening with each of the 35 school budgets that failed on Town Meeting Day 2014.

VPR News
5:22 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Frat Houses Fret Over Statehouse Tax Bill

The owners of the Sigma Phi fraternity house on College Street in Burlington would owe $31,068 this year in taxes if it didn't have a tax exemption.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

A tax bill in the statehouse has fraternities and sororities in Burlington on the defensive.

The bill would revoke a long-standing tax exemption for the owners of fraternity and sorority housing and require them all to pay taxes based on the appraised value of the property.

For the 10 fraternity and sorority houses in Burlington, those payments add up to $278,120 a year, and the students in those groups say the bill threatens their presence in the university community.

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The Frequency
12:02 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Vermont Labor Market Continued Growth In March

Vermont’s unemployment rate decreased for the sixth straight month in March, down to 3.4 percent, according to statistics from the Department of Labor.

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The Frequency
2:06 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

High Water Recedes, But Many Roads Still Closed

Signs near Essex warned of high water on Route 128.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

Rivers across the state are high and rising with a combination of snow melt and rain contributing to a surge, which officials say is likely to lead to flooding.

Update April 16th 6:30 a.m. The National Weather Service says that most rivers around Vermont should drop below flood stage today. But this morning, the freezing temperatures mean that many roadways are slippery. Crews are out, but Vermont Emergency Management is asking drivers to slow down on the roads and be mindful of conditions.

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The Frequency
1:08 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Moody's Upgrades Burlington Credit Outlook

Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the city of Burlington’s credit rating outlook this week from “Baa3 negative” to “Baa3 stable,” indicating increased confidence in the city’s financial management.

The move comes after the city closed a financing deal to cover the cost of settling a multi-million dollar lawsuit with Citibank over borrowed money that hadn’t been paid back.

Moody’s accompanied the upgrade with this explanation:

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The Frequency
11:01 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Controversial Former NSA Director To Speak At Norwich Commencement

Keith Alexander, who stepped down as head of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, delivered remarks at his retirement ceremony at the National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., March 28, 2014.
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler DOD Photo

Norwich University will host recently retired National Security Agency director Keith Alexander as commencement speaker this year.

Alexander served as the head of U.S. Army Cyber Command and the National Security Agency and oversaw the agency’s moves toward the bulk collection of millions of Americans’ phone records and online activity.

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The Frequency
1:12 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Basement Flooding 'Likely' In Montpelier This Week

Officials in Montpelier are warning residents and business owners that a combination of melting snow Monday and rain on Tuesday could cause basement flooding along the North Branch of the Winooski River.

“Current trends indicate that the Winooski will crest at 14 feet late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning,” assistant city manager Jessie Baker said in a press release. Bakers said that level is "likely to result in basement flooding" near the river.

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The Frequency
3:55 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

'Heartbleed Bug' Not Affecting Vermont Health Exchange, Banks

The Heartbleed Bug has raised doubts about the security of private information sent over the Internet.
Codenomicon

Vermont’s major banks and credit unions as well as the state health care exchange report that they are safe from the Heartbleed Bug, an online security vulnerability. 

The bug was a problem with the technology that secures online traffic, protecting things such as user passwords and banking information as it passes through the Internet. A problem with Open SSL, one such security technology, made it possible for third parties to intercept this privileged information without either the sender or the recipient noticing.

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The Frequency
2:37 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Rabies Detected In Burlington Area Raccoons

Four raccoons in the Burlington area have tested positive for rabies recently, and health officials say the disease has been detected in 11 animals this year, including in a bobcat in Clarendon.

“This is a good reminder to vaccinate your pets and not attract wild animals with food, compost, bird seed or exposed trash,” said Robert Johnson, DVM, state public health veterinarian in a press release.

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