Vermont Edition

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Friday, Feb. 23, 2018:

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Sheldon Raiders Homemaker's Club, courtesy

More than 200 barn quilts—painted pieces of plywood that use the simple geometric patterns common to quilting on a barn-sized canvas​—now blanket Franklin County. But the colorful landmarks that now make up the Franklin County Barn Quilt Trail have their genesis with one woman and her summer road trip through the midwest.

In a unanimous decision, the Public Utility Commission found that Vermont can regulate Voice over Internet Protocol service under federal law.
Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

One often-cited barrier that gets in the way of young professionals moving to Vermont is the lack of high-speed internet in many communities around the state. And where something doesn't exist, it is incumbent upon someone to create it.

Vermont has a very high rate of special education students categorized as having an "emotional disturbance."
GlenJ / iStock

Vermont has the highest rate in the country of students identified as having an "emotional disturbance." We're talking about what is actually covered by that term, and what's being done inside and out of the state's special education system to help the kids who need it most.

The graphic shows the seismic activity that is taking place about 100 miles below Vermont's surface.
Vadim Levin/Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Vermont is seismically and geologically a very stable place, but new data gleaned from a vast array of seismic sensors has uncovered a massive hot rock located just beneath our surface.

Guard member on ground with a gun.
Spc. Avery Cunningham / U.S. Army National Guard

Several of the proposals Gov. Phil Scott made in his State of the State address Thursday involved Vermont's veterans and National Guard members. These include free tuition for guard members and removing the state income tax on military pensions.

Sen. Joe Benning (R- Caledonia, left), Sen. Francis Brooks (D-Washington, middle), and Sen. Ann Cummings (D-Washington) peruse a list of bills before the Senate on the first day of the 2018 Legislative session.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

Lawmakers began the 2018 legislative session by putting landmark votes like legalizing marijuana at the top of their docket. Gov. Phil Scott outlined his own goals for the new year in his Thursday State of the State address.

Bone-chilling cold across the state will be back this weekend.
Nicholas Erwin / Flickr

The state is getting a very slight reprieve from the bitter cold snap we've been fighting, but we'll sink back into the intense deep freeze this weekend. We're talking about this dangerous spell of cold weather and how Vermonters are coping.

The Vermont Statehouse with snow around it.
Henry Epp / VPR File

While the weather outside has been frightfully cold, things are heating back up at the Statehouse with the start of the second year of the Legislature's biennium. And Vermont Edition will be there for the opening day.

Local salvage crews work with the U.S. Coast Guard in mid-December to remove a vessel wrecked during Hurricane Maria in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Lara Davis / U.S. Coast Guard

More than three months after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, the island of around 3.3 million U.S. citizens is still struggling to recover. One Vermont songwriter is releasing a song to help raise awareness of, and funds for, the ongoing plight of residents of the island territory. 

Moose in Vermont and across New England are dwindling due to more deaths from parasites like winter ticks, which are also linked to poor calving rates and low survivorship among new calves.
George Bosworth / Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

As Vermont's moose population continues to decline, state wildlife biologists say a warming climate is behind an explosion in winter ticks and "skyrocketing" levels of brain parasites, both of which are keeping moose mortality high and calving rates low.

Faced with a dwindling population and mounting threats, what does the future of moose management—and moose hunting—look like in Vermont?

Retro cassette tapes piled in front of a patterned wallpaper.
DutchScenery / iStock

It's almost time to take down that 2017 calendar, but before Vermont Edition takes a break ahead of the new year, it's time for the annual music show.

A Jersey heifer peers through a door used to push manure into a manure pit.
Emily Corwin / VPR

A leading source of contamination in Vermont's lakes is nitrate pollution leeching from animal manure on dairy farms. Now VPR Investigative Reporter Emily Corwin has found those nitrates are also finding their way into groundwater and private wells across the state. 

Accountants say the federal tax overhaul could not only change your tax bill, but also influence the choices homeowners, nonprofits, and businesses make.
U.S. Air Force

A major overhaul to how our country collects taxes has passed through Congress and now awaits the President's signature to become law. What does it mean for Vermont taxpayers? Vermont Edition dives into the details of the new tax plan with an accountant and the state tax commissioner.

Cavers discovered a 15,000-year-old cavern below the city of Montreal in October.
Guillaume Pelletier / Société québécoise de spéléologie

For someone who loves to go caving, finding a new, never-seen-before cavern is akin to King Arthur finding the Holy Grail.

These Hyde Park fifth graders took a bus ride to the Green Mountain Technology and Career Center to talk about The Littlest Bigfoot with a group of sixth graders. The sixth grade is at GMTCC while Hyde Park Elementary School is undergoing renovations.
Meg Malone / VPR

If you were listening closely a few weeks ago in northern Vermont, you may have heard what sounded like a secret colony of "Bigfoots." But no, it was just a group of Hyde Park Elementary School students acting like the characters in The Littlest Bigfoot.

Winter house and barn fires, like this one in Worcester in January, 2009, present special challenges to Vermont's firefighters.
Associated Press/File

Is there a more heart-wrenching scene than the image of an old Vermont barn or house engulfed in flames on a cold winter's night, with firefighters battling the blaze?

There are a number of precautions you can take to avoid tragic fires of this sort.

Creative Commons / Pixabay

Just how open are Vermont's public records? Vermont Edition delves into what it's like to access—and fight for—public records in our state.

Ground cinnamon in a spoon and cinnamon sticks on a table.
Derkien / iStock

Ever wonder where the spices you're using in holiday cooking or baking originated? Before they found their way to your kitchen cabinet? Well, we're going on a bit of a global adventure to find the answers.

"Vermont Edition" hears arguments for and against a carbon tax plan that will affect gasoline and heating oil prices.
Predrag Vuckovic / iStock

A carbon tax in Vermont has been floated before, but never gained much traction. But a new proposal - dubbed The ESSEX Plan - is going before lawmakers in 2018.

Vermont Law School, Courtesy

Vermont Law School has announced the creation of the Center for Justice Reform to train individuals on the use of less punitive forms of accountability than incarceration. Among its offerings, the center teaches theory and practice of reform efforts like restorative justice.

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