Brattleboro

Susan Keese / VPR

The closing of Vermont's only school for the deaf has opened new debate about the best way to educate deaf and hard-of-hearing children. For decades, mainstreaming in public schools has been seen as a more enlightened alternative to residential schools for the deaf.  Now some Vermonters are questioning that assumption.

Courtesy, Brendan and Jeremy Smyth

The Brattleboro Film Festival takes over the screen at the Latchis Theater one week a year to show original movies and this year, the festival has added a category to include young movie makers.

Sadie Holliday is a Brattleboro Union High School graduate who studied film at UVM and she serves as the festival's director for its newly added Young Filmmakers Showcase.

Courtesy Brooks House Development

Brattleboro celebrated the reopening of an important downtown building Friday. The historic Brooks House was heavily damaged by fire in 2011. But now it’s back in business. 

The 140-year-old landmark, with its store fronts and ornate towers, stood vacant for three years after the fire. It left a big hole in Brattleboro’s downtown. The building cost $24 million to restore, significantly more than its listed value. The project was spearheaded by local investors, and financed through tax credits, grants, loans and government programs.

Susan Keese / VPR

A repeat inspection this week has found the Brattleboro Retreat remains out of compliance with federal Medicare and Medicaid standards.

The psychiatric hospital was threatened with the loss of federal funds because of problems identified in earlier inspections. But it now has another chance to keep its Medicare certification.

A team of state regulators carried out the three day return inspection on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.

Susan Keese / VPR

A team from the Vermont Division of Licensing and Protection is at the Brattleboro Retreat this week conducting an unannounced inspection.

The state inspectors are at the psychiatric hospital on behalf of the federal agency that governs Medicare and Medicaid. The Retreat stands to lose its federal funding if problems cited in two recent inspections haven’t been corrected.

Susan Keese / VPR

Entergy Vermont Yankee says it's looking forward to a new era of cooperation as the plant the plant winds down operations this year. The comments came as the Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel held its first meeting last Thursday at Brattleboro Union High School.

Susan Keese / VPR

Alumni from the shuttered Austine School for the Deaf in Brattleboro want the state to reopen the facility as a state school for the deaf.

The group also wants a re-evaluation of outreach programs that have placed deaf and hard of hearing children into mainstream programs at public schools.

James Tucker spent seven years as a deaf student in public schools. Then in 1974 he went to Austine as a freshman. Speaking through an interpreter, Tucker says being in a place where everyone used American sign language saved him from a life of isolation and unhappiness.

The Vermont Agency of Education has tapped a Montpelier nonprofit group to oversee outreach services for Vermont children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Those services faced an uncertain future when the Brattleboro-based Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing closed abruptly earlier this month.

Susan Keese / VPR

The Brattleboro Housing Authority is asking the public to come up with a new use for Melrose Terrace, a public housing complex in West Brattleboro. The 50-year-old complex can no longer receive federal subsidies because it’s in a flood hazard zone. Its residents will move to new public housing in a few years. But officials say the sturdy, red brick buildings at Melrose should be good for something. Suggestions have been pouring in.

Susan Keese / VPR

Backers of the $24 million restoration of Brattleboro’s Brooks House say the downtown building will be ready for its first tenants soon. The historic structure was gutted by fire in 2011. In early August Vermont Technical College and Community College of Vermont will open classrooms and offices in the building.

Plans to renovate the police and fire stations in Bratttleboro are likely on hold, the select-board decided this week.

Reporter Howard Weiss-Tisman has been following that story for the Brattleboro Reformer and he spoke with VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb for our Friday Regional Report.

Susan Keese / VPR

Voters in Brattleboro overturned the town’s 2015 municipal budget in a town-wide ballot Thursday. The $16 million spending plan was approved at Brattleboro’s representative town meeting on March 22. But later, more than the required 50 town meeting representatives signed a petition to revisit the budget in a town-wide referendum. The budget failed by a wide margin, 771 to 478.

It's So. Vermont

Dec 10, 2013
Lincoln Benedict / AP

The impending closing of Vermont Yankee has everyone worried about job losses in southern Vermont. But a group of people in Windham and Bennington counties have been working for years to try to understand the region’s underlying economic situation.

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