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
4:58 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Vermont Gas Pipeline Gets Federal Approval

Vermont Gas Systems has federal approval for Phase II of the company’s pipeline from Addison County under Lake Champlain to an International Paper mill in New York.

The approval, which came from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), is the only federal permission needed for the three-phase pipeline project. For each of the three phases in Vermont (Chittenden County to Addison County, Addison County under the lake to New York, and Addison County to Rutland County), Vermont Gas will need a Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Service Board.

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The Frequency
3:25 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Rabid Skunk Bites Burlington Man

Burlington Police today announced Tuesday that a rabid skunk bit a “reportedly homeless” man last week. 

According to the police, the man went to the emergency room at Fletcher Allen Health Care and said he’d been bitten. The man “was able to kill the skunk and it was later brought to the Vermont Health Department for rabies testing.”

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The Catch-Up
2:15 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

The Catch-Up: Ello

Everybody seems to want an invite to Ello, the new social network pitching itself as the anti-Facebook. We talk about Ello's Vermont roots and its challenges.

Disclosure: VPR is an investor in Fresh Tracks Capital's Fund II. That fund was not used to finance Ello.

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The Frequency
2:08 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Vermont Sisters Sue Jehovah's Witnesses For Child Sex Abuse

Miranda Lewis (right), with her mother Marina Mauvoleon-Folsom. Lewis and her older sister are suing the Bellows Falls congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses over sexual assaults they say took place when they were less than five years old.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

Two sisters raised in Vermont filed lawsuits Tuesday against the Bellows Falls congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, alleging that an ordained minister of the church sexually abused them as children.

Miranda Lewis, 23, said she was in a church meeting when she was around the age of four when Norton True – at the time a "ministerial servant" in the church – held her back as everyone else left.

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The Frequency
2:29 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Fletcher Allen Hopes New Building Will Give Patients Privacy

Fletcher Allen Health Care, here in this 2007 file photo, will undergo construction of new facilities in order to retire some of its older, outdated lodgings.
Toby Talbot AP

Dave Keelty is the director of facilities planning and development at Fletcher Allen Health Care. And he’s taken a break on this sunny Monday morning to survey the future site of what he hopes will become next great project.

“What we’re looking at is the west side of our ambulatory care facility,” Keelty says. “Most people would recognize it with the emergency room parking lot, and the entrance to the emergency room directly in front of us.”

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VPR News
5:26 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

UVM Staff May Join State Employees Union

A group of UVM staff, supported by labor advocates and members of other nearby unions, announced that they will hold a vote on whether or not to join the Vermont State Employees Association.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

About 800 staff members at the University of Vermont will vote on whether to join the more than 5,000 public employees in the Vermont State Employees Association.

The association represents state workers and is already representing staff members within the Vermont State Colleges system.

The UVM staffers from across the university aren't currently part of a union, though the university's faculty and some specialized staff are unionized.

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VPR News
5:09 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Vermont Officials Consider A Ban On Hunting With Drones

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering a ban on the use of drones like this one to assist hunters.
iStock Thinkstock

Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials are considering a ban on the use of aircraft while hunting, and the big concern isn't about helicopters and small planes - it's unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones.

Officials aren't so much worried about a drone flying around shooting at deer (though that would certainly be alarming), but they want to make sure hunters don't violate landowners' rights, get too much of an unfair advantage in their hunt or disrupt other hunters.

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The Frequency
2:25 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Fact-Checking Candidates' Remarks In The VPR Debate

Gov. Peter Shumlin, shown here at the Champlain Valley Union High School library in January, made some factual claims at Tuesday's VPR debate that don't line up with reality.
Taylor Dobbs VPR File Photo

In Tuesday's gubernatorial debate between Gov. Peter Shumlin, Scott Milne, Dan Feliciano and Peter Diamondstone, the candidates spoke mostly about how Vermont could be best served by different styles of leadership, leaving few factual claims to be checked.

With two terms in office under his belt, Shumlin often cited his record in office when making his case for a third term. We checked some of his factual claims, as well as some claims made by his challengers.

Here's the breakdown...

On universal cellular coverage in Vermont...

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The Frequency
2:18 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Jeb Spaulding Named State Colleges Chancellor

Jeb Spaulding will take over as the top official in charge of the Vermont State Colleges system in mid-January.
Taylor Dobbs VPR File Photo

The Vermont State College system’s board of trustees appointed Gov. Peter Shumlin’s Secretary of Administration, Jeb Spaulding, as the new chancellor of the state’s public college system, officials announced today.

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VPR News
5:00 am
Wed September 24, 2014

License Plate Scanners Raise Privacy Concerns, But Do They Help Police?

Winooski Sergeant Michael Cram operates an automatic license plate reader (ALPR) in his cruiser on Sept. 20. ALPRs use high-speed cameras mounted on police cruisers that take photos of passing cars. There are 116 in the state.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

Over the past five years, law enforcement agencies in Vermont have invested more than $1 million in technology that gathers millions of data points every year about the whereabouts of vehicles across the state.

The Automated Plate Recognition Systems, or ALPRs, use high-speed cameras mounted on police cruisers that take photos of passing cars and relay them to an in-car computer for analysis. The technology keeps track of every license plate the cruiser passes and checks each against a “hot list” of vehicles, all in real time.

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