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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Teachers picketed outside the Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes in Burlington on Sept. 14. A new bill to be considered during the 2018 session would prohibit teachers from striking in Vermont.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Teachers in Burlington are on strike this morning after the union and school board were unable to reach a contract agreement.

On Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, 67 people became U.S. citizens at a ceremony in the Vermont statehouse.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

At the Vermont Statehouse Monday, Judge William Sessions welcomed more than 60 new U.S. citizens in a naturalization ceremony in the House chamber. The date of the ceremony was not a coincidence; Sessions has held naturalization ceremonies on or close to September 11 for the past 15 years.

Google, whose sign is pictured at Vivatech in Paris in June, is resisting a request from Vermont authorities for user data that's stored overseas. A Vermont court ruled against the company, but Google appealed that decision to the state's supreme court.
Thibault Camus / Associated Press

This summer, the Addison unit of the Vermont Superior Court ordered Google to turn over customer data that the tech giant stored on overseas servers. The case is one of many around the country that pits tech companies against government, spurring a debate about privacy rights in the era of cloud computing.

Mike Stewart / AP

State officials are urging Vermonters to find out whether they’re among the 143 million people affected by a massive data breach at Equifax. But experts say it's unclear if the website established by the company in response to the breach requires consumers to waive their right to sue over the incident.

Burlington Education Association President Fran Brock, who teaches at Burlington High School, announced the union's decision to strike as teachers looked on after the union vote on Thursday, Sept. 7.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Burlington’s teachers’ union voted overwhelmingly to begin a strike next week if the school board doesn’t return to the bargaining table to negotiate a contract for the current school year.

After the Trump administration announced its intent to reverse some protections for people brought into the United States illegally as children, Rep. Peter Welch called on Congress to pass a new law to make those protections permanent.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Rep. Peter Welch says the Trump administration’s decision to reverse the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, also known as DACA, is the “height of cruelty.”

Members of the Vermont State Police Tactical Services Unit shot and killed a 32-year-old man at his home in Poultney Friday morning, according to a release from Vermont State Police.

The Conservation Law Foundation says the proposed sale of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant lacks key safeguards that would protect Vermonters.

First responders from across Vermont form Task Force One, a special group that trains for disasters and other search and rescue operations. Members of the task force's swift water rescue team are deploying to Texas in the aftermath of storm Harvey.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

A crew of Vermont first responders is traveling to Texas with truckloads of equipment and five boats for an eight-day emergency response mission.

Burlington's police chief is calling on the city council to pass a new ordinance that would create criminal penalties for people who repeatedly commit civil offenses, such as disorderly conduct or public urination. Critics say the plan would have the effect of criminalizing people who struggle with homelessness or mental illness.

Montpelier Pharmacy will be turned into a Kinney Drugs location on October 15, and the Waterbury Pharmacy is closing, the owners announced.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Two independent pharmacies in central Vermont have been sold to the Kinney Drugs chain, the former owners announced. Montpelier Pharmacy will become a Kinney Drugs location on Oct. 15, and Waterbury Pharmacy will close its doors for good later that day, the three co-owners announced in a letter to customers.

The Twitter account Indivisible Vermont tweeted this screenshot of Gov. Phil Scott's twitter account as it appears when viewed by a blocked user.
Courtesy / Indivisible Vermont via Twitter

Gov. Phil Scott’s staff came to work Monday morning to, among other things, a deluge of incoming Tweets from the weekend. Many were critical, and some were suggesting that the governor and his staff had broken the law.

Farms in two of four "priority" watersheds have exceeded targets for water pollution reductions, but officials say there's still pressure to improve on those reductions for the health of Lake Champlain.
ands456 / iStock

Officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture say farmers in Vermont are making better-than-expected progress in reducing the amount of phosphorus flowing into two of four “priority” parts of Lake Champlain.

A report from Wired magazine said that data show online comments from Vermont are the most "toxic" of any state, but some Vermonters on social media raised questions about the underlying data.
photo: omersukrugoksu, iStock; illustration: VPR; Trollface: Carlos Ramirez

Vermonters were abuzz on social media this week after Wired magazine published an article that said the Green Mountain State is home to the most toxic internet commenters in America, but making sense of news stories about data can be tricky.

The National Cancer Institute released this image of melanoma cells. The State Cancer Profiles website - a collaborative effort by the NCI and the CDC - shows Vermont had the second-highest rate of new melanoma cases in the country from 2010 through 2014.
Julio C. Valencia / NCI Center for Cancer Research

A Gifford Medical Center doctor is spending his summer giving free skin cancer screenings around the state in an effort to detect and treat potential skin cancers early.

Rutland is one of more than a dozen Vermont municipalities with a combined sewer system. When the city's water treatment system is overloaded, untreated sewage and runoff flows out of this pipe into a local creek.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Since the beginning of August, hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater have flowed into Lake Champlain and creeks that flow into it, according to public reports.

Dozens of employees at Dealer.com in Burlington were laid off Tuesday according to a statement from Dealer.com’s parent company, Cox Automotive.

A consultant hired by the state says the majority of Green Mountain Power's planned system investments haven't been properly regulated. The result is a $73 million disagreement between the state and the utility.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR File

As regulators decide 2018 electric rates for Green Mountain Power customers, a disagreement between the state and GMP raises a $73 million question about regulation of Vermont's largest electric utility.

Winnoski Police Officer Derrick Kendrew greeted customers at the Colchester Dunkin' Donuts location Friday as part of an event to raise money for the Special Olympics.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Frequent customers of any Dunkin Donuts location know that the stereotype isn’t totally overblown; it’s not uncommon to see a police cruiser in the drive-through or a cop inside. An officer on the roof, however, is a new one.

Some Burlington residents who live in buildings served by Burlington Telecom could be getting high speed internet service for less than a dollar per month under a new program, officials announced Wednesday.

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