Vermont Edition

According to campaign finance disclosures, Republican Gov. Phil Scott has raised more than twice as much money toward his 2018 reelection bid than any of the other four candidates challenging him for the office.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

In his second year in office, Gov. Phil Scott has called for limited spending and shared his change of heart on gun control laws. We're talking with the Governor about the surprises and changing priorities in Montpelier in 2018, and what he wants to accomplish in the rest of the legislative session.

Lisa Kaiman's Jersey Girls Dairy in Chester has been producing dairy prodcuts, veal, and other value-added products since 1999.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Lisa Kaiman operates Jersey Girls Dairy in Chester, and the farm comes by its name honestly: Kaiman is originally from New Jersey, and she tends a herd of Jersey cows. Like many small dairy farmers, she says the job isn't easy. But she also says Vermont's dairy regulations don't make it any easier.

As of Jan. 1, 2018, all Vermont employers are required by law to provide paid sick time to employees working 18 hours a week or more.
Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

For more than a year, Vermont has required employers to provide paid sick time to employees working at least 18 hours per week. Even businesses that already offered paid sick leave often required policy changes to comply. We're looking at Vermont's paid sick time law one year in.

The #MeToo movement has shined a light on how men need to change to end the abuse and harassment of women.
Ronniechua / iStock

According to, nearly 18 million women have reported a sexual assault since 1998.

The #MeToo movement is successfully raising awareness, but moving forward, how do we cultivate healthier attitudes in men—and boys—to end these unwanted actions?

The stolen black rhinoceros horn has been returned intact to UVM.
Brian Jenkins / University of Vermont, courtesy

In April 2017, the University of Vermont discovered a black rhinoceros horn was stolen from Torey Hall.

Potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars on the black market, the horn has now — almost a year later — been found. But not in Vermont.

"The Vermonter" travels from its northernmost stop in St. Albans through New England to Washington, D.C.
Vermont Agency of Transportation

Amtrak president and CEO Richard Anderson startled rail passengers and others who regularly use trains in Vermont when he said he "doubts" Amtrak would run trains on track that doesn't have a safety protocol known as PTC, or positive train control. Vermont is among the states that doesn't have PTC on its tracks.

Comic book legend Stan Lee and actor Chadwick Boseman pose together at the LA premiere of "Black Panther."
Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

With Black Panther roaring at the box office to become one of the top-grossing movies of all time, some hope it's the dawn of a new era of black representation in film. We're talking to Dartmouth professor Monica White Ndounou. She studies film and media and offers a cautionary take to the film's success, suggesting ways the structure and ideology of Hollywood need to change first.

The exhibit at the Champlain College Art Gallery showcases "artifacts" of the imaginary town of Ralston, Vt., like this faded postcard bearing the town's seal. The exhibit runs through March 29, 2018.
Peter Moore / Champlain College

The history of Ralston, Vermont is well-known to many: the story of feuding brothers at odds over logging and textile fortunes, a dispute that ultimately led to the digging of the Thibodeau Canal which now separates the island from Burlington. Only, there is no canal and that history isn't real. But it's all part of "Quality of Life: The Ralston Historical Museum" exhibit now at the Champlain College Art Gallery.

An F-35B lifts off from the runway at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in October 2017. Burlington will receive 18 F-35s starting in 2019.
Samuel King Jr. / U.S. Air Force

Eighteen F-35 stealth fighter jets are set to come to Vermont next year, but on Town Meeting Day, a ballot question with language rejecting the fighters passed with wide support in Burlington. We're looking at what that vote means and what happens next for the F-35s in Vermont.

A group of female musicians, from the nations of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, are visiting our region to perform a new multimedia production based on the epic story 40 Girls, or Qyrq Qyz — an oral tale from the region that dates back centuries.

A screenshot from one of Professor Bongard's videos shows a robot "dreaming" about how to move.
courtesy of Josh Bongard

In order to be as useful as possible, robots need to be able to think and act for themselves. But with that autonomy can come serious concerns about human safety. We're talking about teaching machines how to be smart and independent, without kicking off a robot uprising.

About 100 people filled Tracy Hall in Norwich for an informational town meeting on Monday night.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

An overwhelming majority of school budgets passed on Town Meeting Day, but the Scott administration says those budgets need be cut back further and placed in the hands of state policymakers.

The job school superintendents love to hate is deciding on whether to close school or not in the winter.
Willowpix / iStock

There are two sides to school snow days. You've got the kids who get a day off and a chance to romp in the snow and catchup on the homework they might not have gotten done on time. And then there's the parents who might have to take a day off of work to watch the kids. But beyond that are the school superintendents who have to make the decision to close school.

UVM students recently gathered in the Waterman Building to call on the school to address racial justice, inequity and diversity on campus.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR FILE

UVM students blocked a main thoroughfare to highlight their demands for greater inclusion and diversity. High school students in Montpelier and Burlington organized to raise the Black Lives Matter flag at their schools. And next week, high school students across the state plan to walk out of class to push for gun legislation.

In Vermont, student activism is alive and well in 2018!

Calais voters respond to a meeting to increase funding for battered women's shelter. We're talking about some of the results out of Town Meeting Day.
John Dillon / VPR

Before the glow fully fades, we're checking in with two reporters from VPR's team to talk about some of the results out of Town Meeting Day.

Vermont's gubernatorial race is beginning to take shape.
Angela Evancie / VPR

There's a big election on the horizon in Vermont. Parties will choose their candidates for Governor in an August primary, with the general election in November. It's still early, but the race is starting to take shape.

Emerald ash borers have been confirmed for the first time in the state of Vermont.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

A long-expected, but still dreaded, moment has arrived. The emerald ash borer, a tree-killing insect that has decimated forests in other parts of the country, has finally been officially confirmed in Vermont. We’re talking to experts about what comes next and what can be done to mitigate the damage from these invasive pests.

Alex Jospe was on the U.S. National ski orienteering team from 2007 to 2015, and she set the course for this week's ski orienteering world cup in Craftsbury.
Alex Jospe / courtesy

World class athletes from teams around the world are gathering in Craftsbury, Vermont for the final event in the Ski Orienteering World Cup this week. Never heard of SkiO? You're not alone.

The Jericho town meeting in 2017. We're talking about whether town meeting still make sense in the modern era.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Town Meeting Day is almost here, and every year the question gets raised: does town meeting still make sense in the modern era? We're looking at how this tradition has changed over time and how it fits with Vermont's democracy today.

We're checking in on the status of key bills in Montpelier at the legislature's town meeting break.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

The legislature is nearing its Town Meeting Day break. At this halfway mark, we're talking to top political reporters on the status of key bills, including gun control, education financing, paid family leave, raising the minimum wage and water quality efforts.