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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VPR News
5:36 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Cost Overruns A Lingering Issue For Vermont Gas Pipeline

Vermont Gas is preparing to build its pipeline by staging equipment in this Williston pipe yard.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

When Vermont Gas announced on July 3 that its pipeline from Colchester to Middlebury was going to cost 40 percent more than expected, opponents weren’t happy.

The harshest critics called it a “bait and switch” and asked regulators to revoke the company’s Certificate of Public Good approving the project.

Vermont Gas spokesman Steve Wark now says company officials knew as early as March that the project costs were on the rise, and he says the company probably should have told regulators sooner.

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The Frequency
2:50 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

More Cost Increases In Vermont Gas Pipeline Plan

Vermont Gas Systems is again alerting regulators about cost increases related to the natural gas pipeline the company hopes will bring service to Rutland.

On Friday, less than a month after telling the Vermont Public Service Board about a $35 million cost increase in Phase 1 of the project, the company is telling the board that Phase 2 will also be above the cost the company originally planned on - to the tune of $10 million.

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The Frequency
11:37 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Vermont PBS Fined But Keeps Funding After Open Meeting Violations

Vermont PBS will not lose federal funding after a number of violations of open meeting rules last year, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ruled this week.

Instead, the station faces a $15,000 fine, which the station “feels strongly” should not have been levied.

The ruling comes after months of investigation that stemmed from an anonymous complaint filed with the CPB in December. The complain alleged that the station’s board had held closed meetings without public notice.

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The Frequency
11:59 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Pipeline Protestors Flee Company Official After Hour Long Sit-in

Police were on the scene as pipeline protestors stood and left the Vermont Gas Systems pipe yard.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

A group of protestors associated with Rising Tide Vermont briefly stopped work at a Vermont Gas Systems pipe yard in Williston Wednesday morning.

The group, singing protest songs and chanting, marched across a field and through the pipe yard before staging a sit-in at the entrance to the site, blocking vehicles from coming in or leaving.

Unlike at previous protests, like a “knit-in” that led to one arrest, the protestors fled as soon as a Vermont Gas official approached them. It was a coordinated effort to evade being served notifications of trespass.

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The Frequency
5:23 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Essex Junction Pays Up In Settlement Over Wastewater Spills

The Essex Junction wastewater treatment plant was undergoing upgrates when workers accidentally released more than 1 million gallons of undisinfected water.
Taylor Dobbs VPR File Photo

The village of Essex Junction will have to pay $22,625 in fines related to multiple unauthorized wastewater dumps last year, the state says.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Essex Junction wastewater plant wrongly released 1,954,853 gallons of un-disinfected wastewater into the Winooski River last summer.

The releases happened over two days, according to the DEC news release.

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The Frequency
2:16 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Vermont Law School Professor Cheryl Hanna Dies

Vermont Law School professor Cheryl Hanna, also a VPR Commentator and frequent guest on Vermont Edition, has died.
Vermont Law School

Vermont Law School has announced that Professor Cheryl Hanna, a prominent professor and expert in constitutional law, has died.

From the VLS announcement:

It is with the most profound sorrow that we announce the untimely death of our dear colleague Professor Cheryl Hanna.

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The Frequency
1:34 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Vermont Gas Ordered To Halt Digging Near VELCO Lines

The Vermont Public Service Board ordered Vermont Gas Systems to stop digging for its pipeline near power lines owned by the Vermont Electric Power Company, citing environmental and health concerns.

Vermont Gas approached the Public Service Board after the state Agency of Natural Resources alerted the company to the possibility that soil contaminated with Pentachlorophenol (PCP) could be disturbed by pipeline construction.

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The Frequency
11:56 am
Mon July 28, 2014

New Bill Makes It Easy To Transfer Cell Phones To New Carriers

Sen. Patrick Leahy joined an unlikely group in Burlington today to show off his new legislation that will make it easier for used cell phones to work on a variety of cellular networks.

At the Women Helping Battered Women offices in Burlington, Leahy introduced women’s advocates and a telecom official to speak about the new bill, which he said will help shelters like the one in Burlington.

Leahy said the new law will help shelters use donated phones to pass out to women in need.

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The Frequency
5:32 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Police Arrest Mother's Boyfriend In Shelburne Toddler Death

Detectives from the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations on Thursday arrested 26-year-old Joshua Blow for the alleged First Degree Murder of 2-year-old Aiden Haskins on Tuesday, police say.

According to an earlier news release, Blow was Haskins’ mother’s boyfriend, and the child was “being cared for” by him at the time of the death.

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The Frequency
4:33 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Critics Say Burlington Telecom Deal Could Hurt Community

Trey Pecor (left) shook hands with Mayor Miro Weinberger after signing a deal to help finance the settlement between Burlington and Citibank.
Taylor Dobbs VPR File Photo

To hear Mayor Miro Weinberger tell it, getting Burlington Telecom out of city ownership will be a big win for Burlington and its taxpayers. But some of the network’s high-profile proponents have serious concerns.

They say the city’s settlement with Citibank over unpaid BT bills and a financing plan with Merchant’s Bank and local businessman Trey Pecor put the high-tech telecom on an uncertain and perilous path.

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