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.

Courtesy of Woody Jackson

Public Post reports on Montpelier's pledge to become the nation's first net zero capital city; efforts to track the Rusty Blackbird in its spring migration; amphibian tunnels planned for Monkton and an Arctic Roadshow in Fairlee.

Here's a sampling of the week's Public Post Twitter updates from Brattleboro, Guildhall, Franklin, Manchester and more:

Burlington Public Schools have selected 48 teaching positions that could be cut in an effort to cut back the school system’s budget after voters turned it down on Town Meeting Day. Nine additional positions in the district's central office were also named for potential cuts.

Superintendent Jeanne Collins said the list of positions is just preliminary.

“It’s kind of like setting the stage for the discussions,” she said.

An effort to mandate paid sick days for all Vermont workers appears destined to wither on the vine this year. But at least one class of employees could soon be enjoying the new benefit.

The union that represents state workers and the Shumlin Administration have struck a tentative deal on issues surrounding the use of temporary employees. And the agreement would provide up to five days of paid sick leave per year for all temps working in state government.

Vermont Public Television will keep its federal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the station's board announced today.

The board's audit committee chairman, Tom Pelletier, said in a statement that CPB had informed Vermont Public Television that its funding was safe.

Angela Evancie / VPR

You know the old saying: March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well, Wednesday and Thursday's weather may prove at least half of that adage true. A massive storm is hitting New England.

Track the National Weather Service radar for our region with this handy tool from WNYC.

Final Update 4:30 p.m. 3/13/14

Courtesy of Woody Jackson

For salamanders and frogs, the trip from their winter habitat in the woods to their swampy spring breeding grounds can be treacherous.

Angela Evancie / VPR

With more than 100 reported accidents in the past 24 hours, this week's storm is proving to be one of the winter's most difficult for Vermont drivers. Vermont State Police Lt. Garry Scott, head of traffic operations, has some tips for winter driving.

The union representing drivers for the Chittenden County Transportation Authority rejected an offer from CCTA management proposed last weekend.

The drivers voted against the offer Wednesday night and voted to strike. Molly Smith of WCAX reports that a strike is set to being next Monday, March 17.

Steve Zind / VPR

The Vermont Agency of Transportation says conditions are hazardous on most state roads as plow trucks try to keep up with the storm bearing down on the state.

At the VTrans garage in Randolph, there are just enough drivers to staff the trucks they have. Foreman Jerold Kinney says they’ll all be working until the storm is over.  

DuBois & King / City of Montpelier

Two development proposals are under review this week for Montpelier's planned multi-modal transit center.

Sen. Bernie Sanders says more than 300 IBM workers laid off last year at the company’s Vermont facilities are eligible for additional training and employment services.

The Trade Adjustment Assistance is available to workers the U.S. Department of Labor considers displaced by foreign competition or because jobs were moved overseas.

Previously 115 workers who were part of the same round of layoffs had been deemed eligible for the benefits, but the state subsequently requested that all of the former IBM employees qualify for the benefits.

Think of Marlboro as a gas station on the information superhighway.

There’s enough gas for everyone, but there’s a limited number of pumps.  

As a result, some Marlboro FairPoint customers have to wait in line to get broadband service, even though it’s available at their address. They are unserved residents in an area with broadband service.

Kirk Carapezza / VPR

The City of Montpelier has launched an effort to become the country's first "net zero capital city."

City officials have coined the initiative Net Zero Montpelier, and have partnered with Green Mountain Power, Efficiency Vermont, and a list of other groups and business. The Net Zero Montpelier website describes the project this way:

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Three hundred eighty teenage cross-country skiers from 23 states spent the week of March 3 competing at Trapp Family Lodge Nordic Center. The racers are the next generation of Olympians and World Cup skiers. They were in Stowe for the Junior National Cross-Country Championships. Event organizer Kristina von Trapp Frame is our guide to the U-18 Boys 10 kilometer final.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Public Post reports on the work Vermont town face in the wake of Town Meetings and the results of some Town Meeting Day votes. We also look ahead to events celebrating maple sugaring season.

Here's a sampling of the week's Public Post Twitter updates from Proctor, Wolcott, Shelburne, Burke and more:

The gun-control group that won big in Burlington on Tuesday is promising to continue its advocacy in the Legislature. But the early legislative prognosis for three proposed charter changes is looking grim.

The voters of Burlington approved three charter changes Tuesday that would institute new restrictions on firearm owners in the state’s largest city. But the changes will need sign-off from the Legislature before they can go into effect. And House Speaker Shap Smith on Wednesday said chances for that happening aren’t too promising.

Toby Talbot / AP

Voters in Albany, Barton, Charleston, Glover, Hartland, Jay, Richmond, Shelburne, Stannard, Stafford, Sutton, Westmore, and Wheelock passed anti-tar sands resolutions at Town Meeting this year.

The issue was also on the Town Meeting warning in Burke, but voters there decided to table a vote after some discussion.

VPR/Melody Bodette

A second historic marker on the state’s African-American Heritage Trail has been damaged.

A Ferrisburgh marker commemorating the site of an 1843 speech by abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass was found on the ground, with the pole it was mounted on snapped off.

John Dumville of the Division for Historic Preservation says it’s possible someone accidentally backed into the pole, which will be re-erected when the ground thaws. 

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Some Vermont towns considered eliminating certain elected positions at Town Meeting this year. Voters in Townshend decided to keep the elected offices of lister and auditor. Londonderry and Wolcott both voted to eliminate the post of auditor.

Wolcott's Assistant Town Clerk Belinda Clegg told voters there simply isn’t anyone willing to do the job:

Angela Evancie / VPR

Addison County sent a strong message of opposition to Phase II of the Vermont Gas pipeline at Town Meetings held on Monday and Tuesday.

At Cornwall's Town Meeting on Monday evening, voters passed a non-binding resolution to oppose the Addison-Rutland Natural Gas Project, 126-16.

Also on Monday, residents in Shoreham also approved a non-binding resolution to oppose Phase II of the pipeline, 63-38.

And Monkton voters strongly denounced the pipeline on Tuesday, with three speakers delivering prepared remarks against the project and no one speaking in support.