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.

Ways To Connect

The interim administrative team that was in place to right the troubled Burlington Public School system earlier this year resigned suddenly Friday morning, citing conflicts with the city’s school board.

A letter signed by the three-member administrative team says that some members of the school board “have little understanding, concern or respect for the work the interim administrative team has faced in a very short time under very difficult circumstances.”

Vermont lawmakers have been working for years to move the state’s schools toward more efficient operations. They’ve passed laws and enacted tax incentives in an effort to make school district mergers easier and more appealing for local communities.

But when the question makes it down to the community level, the issues at play are many and complicated.

Vermont is putting a hold on the use of a potentially faulty guardrail component that some other states have deemed a safety hazard.

As VPR reported Monday:

The concern is that a change in the design of the terminus of the guard rail has caused these products to malfunction. Instead of cushioning the blow of a car, these products break apart and become "bayonets" that penetrate the body of the car.

Vermont’s teachers’ union isn’t happy with Gov. Peter Shumlin. In the midst of the South Burlington teacher strike that ended earlier this week, Shumlin weighed in on the issue, saying he believes strikes should be illegal for Vermont teachers. Shumlin favors binding arbitration for teachers and school boards in labor disputes.

The NEA agrees, but they were more than slightly irritated that Shumlin chose to raise the issue in the middle of a strike.

Burlington drivers who recently started making money with Uber are in violation of city taxi regulations, according to a new memo from City Attorney Eileen Blackwood.

“After carefully reviewing our Vehicle for Hire Ordinance, our office has concluded that Uber and its drivers are operating vehicles for hire and therefore are subject to its regulation,” Blackwood wrote in a letter to Uber.

Scott Milne, by his own account, likes to keep things "boring." But political insiders have been wondering just how boring the Republican candidate can afford to be; Gov. Peter Shumlin has already put out four television ads and as of Oct. 15, Milne's only ad buys were on Facebook.

Vermont’s unemployment rate went up last month, from 4.1 percent in August to 4.4 percent in September, according to the latest report from the Department of Labor. Over the same period, the national unemployment rate fell from 6.1 percent to 5.9 percent.

Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan attributes the increase to seasonal trends, noting that last year’s unemployment rate followed a similar pattern in late summer and early fall.

The deal between IBM and GlobalFoundries for IBM’s chip manufacturing and sales divisions doesn’t fit the traditional definition of the word “sale.” In a sale, the money goes to one party and some asset or commodity goes to the other.

The South Burlington School Board and teachers still haven’t come to an agreement after 11 hours of negotiations Thursday, but the school system announced yesterday that non-academic activities will resume.

According to a release from the school board, “the Teachers’ Association and School Board remain apart on both salaries and employee contributions towards health insurance premiums.”

FairPoint workers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine have launched a strike. The 2,550 workers are holding out for a better contract deal after months.

Negotiations reached an impasse in early September, but at the time workers decided to hold off on a strike. Since then, FairPoint unilaterally reduced benefits for the unionized employees.

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