Government & Politics

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's decision to separate children from their families as a way to curb illegal immigration is adding fuel to an already fiery debate over immigration.

A group of House Democrats converged on an immigration detention facility in New Jersey on Sunday, days before a planned vote by House Republicans next week. Meanwhile, Trump administration officials alternately took credit and sought to distance the administration from the family separation policy.

Eric Howe, director of the Lake Champlain Basin Program, says the lake will take time to recover from years phosphorus pollution even as it faces new threats such as climate change.
John Dillon / VPR

A new report on the health of Lake Champlain says polluted areas are not generally getting worse, but the lake isn't showing many signs of recovery from decades of phosphorous runoff either.

Updated at 12:31 p.m. ET

A federal judge ordered Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, to jail on Friday following allegations by prosecutors that he tampered with witnesses in his case.

"You've abused the trust placed in you six months ago," said Judge Amy Berman Jackson. "I thought about this long and hard, Mr. Manafort. I have no appetite for this."

But Berman Jackson said she could not turn a blind eye to the charges that Manafort had attempted to contact witnesses in his case after he was on bail.

Sens. Jane Kitchel, Tim Ashe and Ann Cummings, from left, called on Gov. Phil Scott Thursday to develop a contingency plan in the event of a government shutdown.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott Thursday night vetoed the state budget passed by lawmakers last week. And with Scott and the Legislature still at odds over one key policy issue, elected officials are calling on the administration to develop a contingency plan in the event of a government shutdown.

Angela Evancie / VPR

“Where are all the aging hippies that moved to Vermont during the '60s and '70s, and what are they doing now?”

Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom, center, said in an email to employees Monday that their "anxiety" and "stress" over the prospect of a government shutdown is unncessary.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

The disagreement between Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders over using one-time surplus money to stabilize property tax rates is now in its fourth week. And Gov. Scott has vetoed the latest budget from lawmakers. We're hearing from administration officials on their take on the standoff.

Orleans County Sen. John Rodgers was an outspoken critic of Gov. Phil Scott's support for new gun laws in Vermont. Now, Rodgers is waging a write-in campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Courtesy, Times Argus

His name won’t be on the ballot for the primary, but Essex-Orleans District Sen. John Rodgers says he is a Democratic candidate for governor, thanks to what he calls a “grassroots” write-in candidacy being waged on his behalf.

At his campaign launch in Barre in May, Democrat James Ehlers touted his policy agenda as the most progressive of the candidates seeking the governor's seat in 2018.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

James Ehlers is one of four Democrats running for governor. We're talking with the candidate about his platform and his priorities as we head toward the state's Aug. 14 primary. 

In a memo to lawmakers and the Scott administration, State Treasurer Beth Pearce, right, warned of dire consequences if they don't soon resolve their budget impasse.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

State Treasurer Beth Pearce says Vermont will begin to experience serious fiscal setbacks if Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic lawmakers don’t resolve their budget impasse soon.

Members of the Vermont Poor People's Campaign block traffic in downtown Montpelier on Monday, June 4. The group says it's using non-violent protest to call attention to poverty, systemic racism and ecological destruction.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Inspired by the organizing tactics of Martin Luther King Jr., a coalition of Vermont activists is using 40 days of nonviolent protest in Montpelier to launch the “fusion movement” they say is needed to alleviate poverty.

It was a big night for supporters of ranked-choice voting. 

A Trump administration effort to shift family planning funding away from organizations that offer comprehensive reproductive health services, including abortion, could cripple federal efforts to stop a dramatic increase in sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S., some public health officials fear.

"This is the perfect storm, and it comes at absolutely the worst time," says Daniel Daltry, program chief of the HIV/AIDS, STD and Viral Hepatitis Program at the Vermont Department of Health.

Gov. Phil Scott discusses the Administration's property tax plan with Budget and Finance Commissioner Adam Greshin at the Statehouse on Tuesday afternoon
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says he'll veto the newly passed state budget unless lawmakers agree not to increase the state's non-residential property tax rate.

Scott says he's giving legislative leaders until Thursday to find a solution that meets his requirements. But House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says she's not giving in to Scott's demands.

States attorneys in Chittenden and Windsor Counties held 'expungement days' to help people with marijuana misdemeanors start petitions to clear their records.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

On Tuesday, more than 30 people in Chittenden County began the process of clearing their records of minor marijuana offenses.

Alexandra Kosiba, a UVM scientist, documented the recovery of red spruce trees in the Northeast after decline due to acid rain.
Courtesy / Alexandra Kosiba

A University of Vermont researcher says red spruce forests in the Northeast that were once damaged by acid rain are recovering, thanks to stronger pollution controls.

President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau standing outside at the 2018 G-7 summit.
Evan Vucci / Associated Press

Tuesday's headlines are all about President Donald Trump's historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but it was just a few days ago that Trump lashed out at one of the United States' closest allies: Canada.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET Tuesday

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a broad statement Tuesday that calls for a "firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," after their historic summit in Singapore — the first ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

On Tuesday, Maine primary voters will participate in a ranked-choice voting experiment so unprecedented that the state’s top election official sometimes compares what’s about to happen to a perilous space mission.

Anako Lumumba was 33 years old when she was allegedly killed by her longtime boyfriend, a case of domestic violence taken to its most extreme consequence — and perhaps one that could have been prevented.

Burlington Free Press reporters Jess Aloe and Liz Murray uncovered news about the circumstances of Lumumba's death that are raising questions about how law enforcement handles domestic violence complaints. 

H. Brooke Paige
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

If you look at the list of statewide candidates in this year's election, there's something that will definitely catch your eye: H. Brooke Paige of Washington, Vermont is listed as a Republican candidate for six different state and federal offices.

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