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
12:02 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Vermont Labor Market Continued Growth In March

Vermont’s unemployment rate decreased for the sixth straight month in March, down to 3.4 percent, according to statistics from the Department of Labor.

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The Frequency
2:06 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

High Water Recedes, But Many Roads Still Closed

Signs near Essex warned of high water on Route 128.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

Rivers across the state are high and rising with a combination of snow melt and rain contributing to a surge, which officials say is likely to lead to flooding.

Update April 16th 6:30 a.m. The National Weather Service says that most rivers around Vermont should drop below flood stage today. But this morning, the freezing temperatures mean that many roadways are slippery. Crews are out, but Vermont Emergency Management is asking drivers to slow down on the roads and be mindful of conditions.

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The Frequency
1:08 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Moody's Upgrades Burlington Credit Outlook

Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the city of Burlington’s credit rating outlook this week from “Baa3 negative” to “Baa3 stable,” indicating increased confidence in the city’s financial management.

The move comes after the city closed a financing deal to cover the cost of settling a multi-million dollar lawsuit with Citibank over borrowed money that hadn’t been paid back.

Moody’s accompanied the upgrade with this explanation:

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The Frequency
11:01 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Controversial Former NSA Director To Speak At Norwich Commencement

Keith Alexander, who stepped down as head of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, delivered remarks at his retirement ceremony at the National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., March 28, 2014.
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler DOD Photo

Norwich University will host recently retired National Security Agency director Keith Alexander as commencement speaker this year.

Alexander served as the head of U.S. Army Cyber Command and the National Security Agency and oversaw the agency’s moves toward the bulk collection of millions of Americans’ phone records and online activity.

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The Frequency
1:12 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Basement Flooding 'Likely' In Montpelier This Week

Officials in Montpelier are warning residents and business owners that a combination of melting snow Monday and rain on Tuesday could cause basement flooding along the North Branch of the Winooski River.

“Current trends indicate that the Winooski will crest at 14 feet late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning,” assistant city manager Jessie Baker said in a press release. Bakers said that level is "likely to result in basement flooding" near the river.

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The Frequency
3:55 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

'Heartbleed Bug' Not Affecting Vermont Health Exchange, Banks

The Heartbleed Bug has raised doubts about the security of private information sent over the Internet.
Codenomicon

Vermont’s major banks and credit unions as well as the state health care exchange report that they are safe from the Heartbleed Bug, an online security vulnerability. 

The bug was a problem with the technology that secures online traffic, protecting things such as user passwords and banking information as it passes through the Internet. A problem with Open SSL, one such security technology, made it possible for third parties to intercept this privileged information without either the sender or the recipient noticing.

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The Frequency
2:37 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Rabies Detected In Burlington Area Raccoons

Four raccoons in the Burlington area have tested positive for rabies recently, and health officials say the disease has been detected in 11 animals this year, including in a bobcat in Clarendon.

“This is a good reminder to vaccinate your pets and not attract wild animals with food, compost, bird seed or exposed trash,” said Robert Johnson, DVM, state public health veterinarian in a press release.

VPR News
3:52 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Shumlin Adds Upper Management In Health Care Reform Efforts

Lawrence Miller, right, and Patricia Moulton at a news conference on Thursday.
VPR/Steve Zind

Gov. Peter Shumlin added a high-level slot in his administration today when he made former Commerce Secretary Lawrence Miller the new “senior advisor to the governor and Chief of Health Care Reform.”

Miller will report directly to Shumlin, officials said at a news conference Thursday, and serve as the governor’s point person on health care reform issues. Previously, Robin Lunge, who serves as director of health care reform, was the top administration official working exclusively on health care reform issues.

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The Frequency
1:53 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Is It Illegal To Take Selfies While Driving? Depends On Your Definition Of 'Negligent'

The American Automobile Association of Northern New England warned today that drivers taking “selfies,” or self-portraits, while driving are “becoming more prevalent on the roads.”

And the people taking the digital snapshots aren’t shy about it. A search on the photo sharing service Instagram for the hashtag #drivingselfie returns more than 8,000 photos. Users on Twitter and the social video service Vine also have posted hundreds or thousands of photos and videos taken while driving.

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The Frequency
12:10 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Shumlin Appoints Retired Teacher To Fill House Seat

Gov. Peter Shumlin has appointed Tommy Walz, a former teacher from Barre, to fill the vacancy left by Rep. Tess Taylor.

Taylor, a three-term Democrat, left the house in March to become executive director of Vermont’s Coalition for Universal Reform. The group advocates in the state legislature for single-payer health care.

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