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 Catch-Up
12:13 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

The Catch-Up: Lake Champlain Is Kinda Gross

You might have heard about these blue-green algae blooms on Lake Champlain. But do you know what they smell like? What causes them? The health effects? VPR reporters Annie Russell and Taylor Dobbs take a field trip to an active bloom in St. Albans Bay to get some answers.

For a map of algae problem areas, check here.

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VPR News
5:43 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Vermont Health Connect Development Slowed By Contractor Switch, Open Enrollment

Vermont's head of health care reform, Lawrence Miller, said that to maintain stability, Vermont Health Connect won't add functionality this year.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

In the lead up to the state’s firing of contractor CGI as the developer of Vermont Health Connect, officials contracted a separate company to analyze the project’s development.

The 166-page report was handed over to state officials last night; it concludes that CGI wasn’t delivering on its promises, and the work it completed was often sub-par.

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The Frequency
2:05 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

West Nile Virus Likely Widespread In Vermont

Flickr user: jingleslenobel https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The Vermont Department of Health says mosquitoes captured in multiple towns across southern Vermont have tested positive for West Nile virus.

Mosquitoes in Rockingham, Brattleboro, Putney and Newbury have all tested positive for the virus.

In addition to the state's earlier finding that the virus was in St. Albans, officials warn that mosquitoes carrying West Nile are probably widespread in the state.

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VPR News
5:12 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

As Lake Cleanup Money Flows In, Advocates Call For New Policy

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced $45 million in Lake Champlain cleanup funds as Sen. Patrick Leahy (left) and Vermont Secretary of Agricluture Chuck Ross (right) looked on.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stood at the edge of Lake Champlain Thursday and promised help for its troubled waters.

"This is the sixth-largest fresh water body in the country, and there’s no question that it needs help,” Vilsack said.

That help - $45 million of it - is coming from the USDA over the next five years. That’s the same amount USDA dedicated to Lake Champlain over the previous 10 years, to be given out in half the time.

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VPR News
9:25 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Vermont Primaries: Live Updates

Signs for candidates line the parking lot outside a polling place in Burlington on Tuesday morning.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

With more than 80 percent of precincts reporting, most major primary races showed a clear victor before midnight on Tuesday, but the three-way race for the Republican nomination the U.S. House of Representatives was still tight. As of Wednesday morning at 9:15 with 240 of 275 districts reporting, Mark Donka held a lead of 94 votes over Donald Russell. Donald Nolte trailed Donka by 409 votes.

Here are the latest unofficial results from the Secretary of State:

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VPR News
5:12 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

In St. Albans Bay, Blue-Green Algae Problems In Full View

Chris Kilian of the Vermont Conservation Law Foundation said he was "in shock" when he saw St. Albans bay on Friday.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

Pat Caverzasi has had a home on St. Albans Bay for 40 years, and she says the water on the front edge of her property has never been green before.

This year, it is. St. Albans Bay has been green for weeks, covered by one of the biggest blue-green algae blooms there in years.

“Even though they’ve seen blue-green algae and they’ve located a little bit down there,” she said, gesturing to the north end of the bay, “now it’s spread incredibly – it looks like a carpet – it’s really bad.”

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The Frequency
4:24 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Federal Inspector Joins Search For Burlington Fuel Leak

A federal inspector was in Burlington Thursday to inspect fuel storage facilities as part of a search for the source of a fuel leak that has been stumping local and state officials for almost three years.

The inspector from the Environmental Protection Agency was checking the infrastructure and protocols at the Vermont Rail Systems rail yard on Burlington’s waterfront. 

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The Frequency
12:49 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

At Burlington College, A Troubled Summer

Burlington College is in financial trouble.

Earlier this summer, the regional accrediting body for colleges put the lakeshore liberal arts college on probation, citing financial problems.

New reports detail just how troubled the college's finances really are.

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The Frequency
4:23 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Boil Water Order Lifted In Fair Haven

State officials lifted a boil water notice in the town of Fair Haven Wednesday, a day after it was declared.

Water samples tested positive for fecal coliform (E. coli) on Monday, causing officials to issue the notice Tuesday.

A positive E. coli test indicates "that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes," according to a release.

Updated August 20 at 4:23 p.m. to reflect that the notice was lifted.

The Catch-Up

The Catch-Up is VPR's news explainer series: we tell you what you need to know about the news in Vermont.

Do you have feedback or a suggested topic? Contact The Catch-Up.

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