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

Smoking is banned on Church Street in Burlington. It's a win for public health and many in Burlington who advocated for the ban, but (a minority of) city councilors and some Burlingtonians say it has some negative side effects.

Lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday that would expand background checks for private gun sales and require Vermont courts to report some mentally ill Vermonters to the national background check system.

The bill has been discussed at length outside of the statehouse for weeks, but lawmakers finally have details to debate.

Colchester Police released a set of documents this week that shed more light on the former officer who allegedly stole from the department’s evidence locker to support his heroin habit.

A new report from a national gun control group says an unregulated online gun market in Vermont is putting more than 100 firearms in the hands of felons and domestic abusers annually.

Under federal law, those groups are not allowed to own guns.

The report from Everytown for Gun Safety says a proposed state law could help regulate the market and keep hundreds of guns from falling into the wrong hands.

Burlington's city-owned fiber broadband network has been re-branded in an effort to attract customers to the formerly troubled utility.

Mayor Miro Weinberger says Burlingtonians should know that Burlington Telecom's future is secure. And he's hoping more people will sign up for service with the city-owned utility.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Mark Larson, the commissioner of Vermont Health Access formerly in control of the development of Vermont Health Connect, is leaving the job, according to a release from Gov. Peter Shumlin's office.

Larson was in charge of oversight of the state's health care exchange from its inception until September of last year, when the exchange was taken offline for repairs.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

Vermont Gas Systems last week filed a detailed breakdown of the updated costs of the Addison County natural gas pipeline last week.

The new filing to the quasi-judicial Vermont Public Service Board shows dramatically increased construction costs. But the documents obscure cost changes in other areas of the project because costs are categorized differently than in previous filings.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Vermont’s largest group of gun rights advocates took a firm stand Friday against legislation they say would only serve to add a burden to law-abiding gun owners and wouldn’t prevent crime.

In fact, according to Chris Bradley, the president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, guns prevent murder.

“When I see households, by census data, that have 43 percent firearms in them, yet we have the lowest murder rate in the nation, I think there’s a pretty strong correlation there,” he said. “It’s self-evident.”

The House Transportation and Commerce committees are scheduled to hold a joint hearing next Thursday to gather testimony about high gas prices in the Burlington area.

The Burlington gasoline market is home to the second-highest profit margins in the nation. The high prices in that market are an issue that Sen. Bernie Sanders and others have focused on for years.

Two weeks into the new year, one Vermont wastewater system has already dumped thousands of gallons of untreated sewage into state waterways.

The Vergennes wastewater treatment system discharged 12,700 gallons of untreated sewage into Otter Creek when a mechanical failure caused a pump station to overflow.

City workers manually operated the pump on Sunday into Monday, when an electrician was able to fix the pump.

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