The Frequency

The Frequency is VPR's news blog, and your main source for our digital news throughout the day. This is where we'll keep you up to date on developing stories, big and small, from around Vermont.

Chloe Boyce / Green Up Vermont

Saturday, May 2 will be the 45th annual Green Up Day in Vermont. The first Green Up Day was held in April 1970, just days before the first Earth Day. Now the annual event is held the first Saturday in May.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

The Vermont Senate has voted to end the philosophical exemption some parents use to decline to have their children vaccinated.

The legislation, which passed the Senate Wednesday in an 18-11 vote, would require the full range of required vaccinations as a pre-condition to enrolling in school.

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One hundred years ago, Vermont lawmakers passed a Municipal Forest Law allowing for the creation of town forests. Next week a year-long celebration gets underway to commemorate the 1915 law and Vermont's tradition of  towns owning and managing their own forests for public benefit.

Vermont’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.1 percent in March, to 3.8 percent.

Nationally, the March unemployment rate stood at 5.5 percent.

While the number of employed Vermonters increased by 250 from February to March, the state’s civilian labor force declined by 250 during that period - and fell by 700 from March 2014 to March 2015.

According to the Vermont Department of Labor, the jobless rates for the state’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 2.9 in the Burlington area to 7.6 in Derby. The market area rates are not seasonally adjusted.  

Vermont Gas Systems made some changes in its cost estimates related to the company's pipeline from Chittenden County to Addison County, according to the latest filings with regulators, but the total cost of the project seems to have stopped rising. The filing shows a major increase in project management costs, largely offset by savings elsewhere in the project.

The new filing also shows the major costs related to the recently canceled second phase of the pipeline.

Champlain College is offering discounted online programs under a new partnership with the federal government, officials announced today.

The partnership opens up truEd, Champlain’s subscription-based online courses, to civilian federal employees and their dependents.

Sydney Smith-Heimbrock, the chief learning officer at the federal Office of Personnel Management, said the partnership is the second such agreement in a federal program launched last year to help close skills gaps within the federal workforce.

Windham Wood Heat has announced plans to convert 20 schools and other public buildings to locally-sourced wood heat. That announcement came last week from the Brattleboro-based Sustainable Energy Outreach Network. The state has awarded the network $1.6 million to get the job done.

Johnson considers form-based codes for its village center. Trails are closed to snowmobiles and high-elevation hikers. Drivers are warned to beware of moose and amphibians. Wallingford announces its 17th annual bike safety day.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Vermonters may soon have the option to get cell phone service through a new company, though it’s likely one they already use regularly.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Gov. Peter Shumlin has set a May 30 deadline for delivering what’s known as “change of circumstance” functionality to Vermont Health Connect. The administration and House Speaker Shap Smith, however, may be at odds over the significance of that date.

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