Vermont Edition

Weekdays at Noon & 7:00pm

Vermont Edition brings you news and conversation about issues affecting your life. Hosts Jane Lindholm and Bob Kinzel consider the context of current events through interviews with news makers and people who make our region buzz.

Ok, it is pretty chilly still, but that won't stop the hard-core gardeners among us from getting ready for the growing season.

Monday on the program, garden expert Charlie Nardozzi, of VPR's Vermont Garden Journal, dishes his best advice for getting the most out of your vegetable rows, berry patches and flower beds. You will be putting your hands in warm soil soon!

Post your questions below, or on Vermont Edition's Facebook page.

John Dillon / VPR

Governor Peter Shumlin has proposed a $190 million package of federal and state funds to address the Medicaid cost-shift, but the idea hasn't gained enough traction with lawmakers at the Statehouse so far this session. We look at that issue in a live interview with Shumlin. We also look at the work to release two critical upgrades to the state health care exchange in the next six months, and  plan to cleanup Lake Champlain.

Eric Gay / AP

The theory is that if organizations like colleges, state governments and religious organizations changed the way they managed their investment portfolios, they could put pressure on companies that produce fossil fuels. Those pushing for divestment hope this will change the way we produce energy.

Nerthuz / iStock

The Vermont Crime Information Center has a wide range of responsibilities: maintaining the state's sex offender registry, overseeing marijuana dispensaries, running criminal record checks, and more. 

What's more, in the past several years, a lot under the VCIC's purview has been changing. The sex offender registry has gone through big changes, and has come up short in state audits of its accuracy.  And the arrival of medical marijuana dispensaries has added a complex new layer of oversight to the center's responsibilities.

We're discussing it all with VCIC director Jeffrey Wallin -- first hearing from Allen Gilbert of the ACLU Vermont about his concerns about the sex offender registry.

Patti Daniels / VPR

Vermont Health Connect, the state's health care exchange, has been expensive to build, frustrating to use, and a target of criticism ever since it went online in October 2013. 

Alexandra Thompson / iStock

A bill mandating that businesses offer their workers paid days off for illnesses or emergencies is alive again at the Statehouse, but in a watered-down state.

But does providing paid sick days make smart business sense and is it a benefit to the community at large? Or is it an onerous demand on small businesses that can easily be abused?

Michelle Fay, director of the Vermont Paid Sick Days Campaign, and William Driscoll, Associated Industries of Vermont vice president debate the merits of the bill.

Toby Talbot / AP/file

The school district consolidation bill that passed the House is now being debated in state Senate, where lawmakers are taking a dimmer view of mandatory consolidation than their colleagues in the House did.

Emergent Media Center at Champlain College

Champlain College's trailblazing Game Studio -- which offered the nation's first four-year degree in making video games -- is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Since the program began, a lot has changed in the world of gaming. You're as likely to be playing Angry Birds on your phone as blasting away at aliens on your home console or PC. The community of people who play video games has become more diverse, not without some resistance. And a growing world of independent developers are experimenting with new ideas and forging their own paths.

Ric Cengeri / VPR

The House has passed a Clean Water Bill that would raise $8 million in new revenues for fiscal year 2016 to be paid into a new Clean Water Fund. This would help hire 20 new staff members to implement the state's water quality plan.

temmuz can arsiray / iStock

The return of warm weather has a lot of Vermonters pumping up the tires and checking the chains on their bicycles. But bikes are more than just recreational vehicles: many people rely on bicycles as their mode of transportation. We talk about the accessibility of bike commuting, and the roadblocks that keep some people from getting on their bikes with Emily Boedecker, executive director of the bike and pedestrian advocacy group Local Motion.