Vermont Edition

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Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018

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Rep. Kiah Morris, left, speaks at a podium during a Statehouse press conference about a racial justice bill back in March.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

Bennington Rep. Kiah Morris is speaking up about her decision not to seek re-election — and she said being the target of hate both online and in the real world played a factor in her decision to withdraw her candidacy. 

State highway safety officials say increasingly aggressive drivers and texting while driving continue to plague Vermont's roads.
SHSPhotography / iStock

Vermont is seeing more cases of aggressive driving on its roads. And more drivers are using cell phones while driving, even though it's against the law.  We're talking with highway safety officials about how they're addressing these issues. 

The Vermont GOP elected 5 candidates Wednesday for the general election ballot. They are, from left, Rick Kenyon for auditor; Rick Morton for treasurer; Janssen Willhoit for attorney general; Anya Tynio for U.S. House; Lawrence Zupan for U.S. Senate.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont sets aside the second Tuesday in August for its primary elections, but the Vermont GOP had to wait until Wednesday night to find out who would represent the party in some of the most important statewide offices during the general election.

A new report collects accounts of alleged abuse at St. Joseph's Orphanage in Burlington. We're talking to the author of the report, which was published by BuzzFeed.
Wilson Ring / Associated Press

A new investigation from BuzzFeed News assembles allegations of horrifying abuse — possibly including murder — at a former Catholic orphanage in Burlington. We're talking to the report's author about what she uncovered.

Jim Condon speaking at Montpelier's Capitol Plaza Hotel.
Condon For Colchester website

Jim Condon, a prominent Vermont broadcaster and state representative for Colchester, died last week from esophageal cancer. He was 60 years old.

Wild parsnip can grow five or more feet tall. Its bright yellow flowers resemble Queen Anne's lace.
Jane Lindholm / VPR

Wild parsnip, aka "poison parsnip," has become ubiquitous in much of Vermont in the last decade, overrunning fields, highway medians and unkempt yards. But a group of intrepid Monkton residents are working at night to take on the invasive plant.

Winooski and Montpelier are exploring provisions that would allow their residents who aren't U.S. citizens to vote in local elections.
Jessamyn West / Flickr

There was a time when non-U.S. citizens could vote in elections where they resided in this country. But anti-immigrant feelings in the late 19th and early 20th century changed that. Winooski and Montpelier are now exploring ways to allowing their non-citizen residents to vote in local elections.

Vermont sends a handful of the 1,350 minors in state custody to out-of-state residential treatment programs for issues like mental health or substance abuse.
tarasov_vl / iStock

Vermont’s Department of Corrections has more than 200 prisoners serving their sentences in out-of-state prisons. But what about the roughly 1,350 juveniles in state custody?

We're talking with energy experts and environmental advocates about assessing "renewability" when it comes to renewable energy.
DrAfter123 / iStock

Vermont is striving to meet ambitious goals to get 90 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. But just how renewable is some of that energy? We're talking with energy experts and environmental advocates about how we assess renewability and other environmental costs to alternative energy sources.

The state is expanding its system of year-round dropboxes for prescription drugs.
Oxford / iStock

The state is expanding a program to get unused prescription drugs out of medicine cabinets - adding state police barracks to the list of dozens of sites for year-round dropboxes in police and sheriff's departments across Vermont. We’re talking about how available unused drugs can contribute to the opioid epidemic, plus the environmental impacts of discarded pharmaceuticals.

http://digital.vpr.net/post/top-state-health-official-containing-vermonts-health-care-costs
Jane Lindholm / VPR

You don't have to be an adult to be an expert in something. In fact, sometimes kids are the best teachers, especially when it comes to skills that require adults to use muscles they may not have tried flexing in a couple of decades. In this Summer School lesson, we learn how to climb a tree from Hinesburg 10-year-old Jack Kiedaisch.

A Vermont man charged with murder is arguing the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should protect him from facing the death penalty.
Michal Chodyra / iStock

Donald Fell was convicted in federal court of kidnapping Teresca King in Rutland in 2000 and killing her in New York state. He was sentenced to death, but his conviction was overturned due to juror misconduct.

As Fell awaits a new trial, his attorneys are working to avoid the possibility of him facing the death penalty again with unique arguments against The Federal Death Penalty Act, including one invoking the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

Green Mountain Care Board Chair Kevin Mullin joins "Vermont Edition" to discuss health care rates, hospital budgets and the state's overhaul of how health care reimbursements are made.
SteveColeImages / iStock

This month the Green Mountain Care Board told Vermont health insurers they won't get the rate increase they want. In the board's ongoing struggle with health care costs, it's also reviewing hospital budgets to curb medical spending and overhauling how Vermonters reimburse health care providers. We're talking about containing health care costs with GMCB Chair Kevin Mullin. 

Voter turnout for last Tuesday's primary election was a surprising 22.5 percent.
Bob Kinzel / VPR FILE

Before last Tuesday, many people were expecting the turnout for Vermont's 2018 primary elections to be low. Primaries during non-presidential election years are often lethargic. But when Secretary of State Jim Condos officially certified the primary election results, 22.5 percent of the state's registered voters made their voices heard. That might sound dismally low, but it's actually the second-highest primary vote total ever.

Wesley Genovart, co-owner of Honey Pie and SOLO Farm & Table restaurants holds a finished sausage.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

There's the old adage that you never want to know how the sausage is made. But in this case, we do! In this Summer School lesson we get tips on how to make the perfect sausage from Wesley Genovart, co-owner of restaurants Honey Pie and SOLO Farm & Table in South Londonderry.

A hand holds a just-picked wild mushroom.
Kari Anderson / VPR

VPR's Robert Resnik, one of Vermont's foremost wild mushroom experts, shares his philosophical approach to learning about mushrooms in this Summer School session.

There are growing opportunities for Vermont's forestland owners in the global carbon markets.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Vermont has been part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative for about a decade. But with emerging carbon markets, the state can play a role in California's move to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals as well as those of foreign companies. We'll learn about these markets and efforts to include Vermont landowners.

Christy Mihaly's first illustrated book for children is a rhyming picture book about making hay.
Holiday House publishers, courtesy

Vermont’s farms are the stuff of legend. The iconic barn, the determined farmer, the sturdy tractor and fresh-cut fields bursting with towering bales of hay. But you wouldn't be the first to realize — hey, there are no stories about hay!

East Calais author Christy Mihaly's new illustrated children's book aims to fill that gap in your child's bookshelf.

Dan French has worked in Vermont schools for more than 20 years. He took over the job of Secretary of Education on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018.
Vermont Agency of Education, courtesy

Dan French took over the job of Vermont's Secretary of Education just last week, but he's no stranger to the state's schools: he's taught in the Northeast Kingdom and worked as a superintendent in Southern Vermont for nearly a decade.

We're talking with the state's new education secretary about merging districts, shrinking enrollment and his vision for Vermont’s schools. 

Joe Slaimen uses electricity to bond two pieces of metal together as he demonstrates how arc welding works.
Amy Noyes / VPR

In this edition of Summer School we learn the art and science of arc welding with Joe Slaimen.

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