News Features

Congressman Peter Welch has been skeptical about the President’s plan to use limited air strikes against Syria to punish the Syrian government for using chemical weapons.

That’s why he strongly supports an effort to have the United Nations Security Council adopt a resolution that condemns the use of chemical weapons and sets a deadline for Syrian President Assad to turn the weapons over to the United Nations.

Champlain College and the University of Vermont are both on the rise within the higher education community, according to new U.S. News & World Report Rankings released today.

Champlain took first place in list of "up-and-coming" colleges in the northeast, and UVM was 14th in the nation on the "up-and-coming" list. Those schools are chosen based on an annual survey of college and university administrators.

The discussion of if and when to hire an employee to help run the town takes place in many mid-sized towns around the state. Recently, that conversation has been happening in Thetford. The Thetford Select Board meets weekly and, according to meeting minutes, the board chair puts in about 20 hours per week between meetings.

Champlain College Vice President David Provost answered questions at Monday night's Burlington City Council meeting.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

The Burlington City Council unanimously approved on Monday the sale of a downtown parking lot to Champlain College. The college will pay $1.1 million for the 42-space lot one block Burlington's City Hall Park.

The college has plans to develop the Browns Court Parking lot along with the adjacent property, which it bought in 2009. The new development will hold 70 to 90 apartment-style housing units for Champlain College students.

Wikimedia / US Department Of Homeland Security

A recent Vermont Superior Court ruling has raised questions about whether US Border Patrol agents may detain motorists without explanation while waiting for state or local law enforcers to arrive on the scene.

And it’s not the only case to test that authority.

Governor Peter Shumlin is on his way back to Vermont after a weekend of policy discussion with his counterparts in New England and eastern Canada.

The annual meeting of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, hosted this year in Quebec, allows the region’s leaders to coordinate their approaches to various regional issues. This year, the organization churned out six resolutions (PDF), mostly hinging on energy and transportation infrastructure.

Governor Peter Shumlin says it might be possible to funnel the power through Vermont without building large new transmission lines.

Shumlin says the discussion of future energy sources was a key topic at this weekend’s annual meeting of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian premiers.

Vermont currently gets about a third of its electrical power from Hydro Quebec and this share could increase in the future if the state acts as a conduit to bring additional power from Quebec to the states of southern New England.

Psychiatric hospitals often receive patients who are admitted involuntarily. And the procedures for giving emergency medications to those patients are of growing concern in Vermont. Questions on these complex and sensitive issues were put to a panel of Vermont lawmakers last week.

Gov. Peter Shumlin said increases in the payroll tax will “play a major role” in the public financing system he wants to use to fund single-payer health care.

The public discussion over single-payer has taken a back seat of late to the health insurance “exchange” set to come online in the beginning of October. The new online marketplace, a product of the federal Affordable Care Act, will offer consumers a platform from which to comparison shop from a more strictly regulated slate of coverage options.

Even before the news that Vermont Yankee would close in 2014, the state’s southeast corner was grappling with declining jobs, wages and population.

A Career Expo in Brattleboro this month will address these problems, which experts say would exist with or without the region’s highest-paying employer.

A coalition hoping to improve the local employment picture has been working since last fall on the expo, scheduled for September 26.

AP Photo/Toby Talbot

Public Post reports on a TIF-financed parking garage project in St. Albans, Burlington's Smarter Cities Challenge, bacteria counts in the White River, a database of Brattleboro artists and rethinking exit 17 on Interstate 89.

Click here to learn more about the Brattleboro Town Arts Committee.

Here's a sampling of the week's Public Post Twitter updates from Fairfield, Waterbury Center, Monkton and more:

Electric vehicle sharing, smart grid technology, a district heat project and promoting energy efficiency across the city - those are the top priorities laid out in Burlington's Smarter Cities Challenge final report released this week.

The report is the culmination of a three-week consulting project held last spring with a six-member team of IBM’s top experts.

AP/Toby Talbot

The state has reached a settlement with the owners of an inactive asbestos mine that officials say poses an ongoing pollution threat in two Northern Vermont towns. 

It’s unclear, though, how much money the settlement will provide to pay for the cleanup.

Asbestos is a carcinogen and the mine, in the towns of Eden and Lowell, is the state’s biggest hazardous waste site.

Congressman Peter Welch says his vote on President Obama’s plan to launch limited air strikes against Syria hinges on one important question: that’s a determination if these strikes will make matters better or worse on the ground in Syria.

Welch says he views this issue from two different perspectives and he says he’ll make his final vote on which policy approach makes the most sense for this country.

VPR/Annie Russell

Once known as a town on the decline, St. Albans is taking major steps to turn around their local economy- and their reputation. The city has invested millions in new projects designed to do both. Mayor Liz Gamache said revitalization has been in the works for years.

“We’ve seen this struggle and decline in our small, local businesses keeping up and staying here in St.Albans. We’ve seen certainly more than a few leave,” Gamache said.

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BURLINGTON - The City Council is expected to approve on Monday an offer from Champlain College to purchase a public parking lot from the city. The Browns Court lot currently has about 40 metered public spaces.

The college has plans to join the lot with the former Eagles Club property, which it bought in 2009, and develop the property, adding 70 to 90 units of apartment-style housing for students. In addition, Champlain has agreed to maintain the current number of publicly available spaces on the property.

Contract negotiations between Chittenden County Transportation Authority and drivers have come to a halt, and a driver strike remains a possibility as the parties enter fact-finding, a last-ditch effort to save the negotiations.

A planned district heat project in Montpelier has run into another delay.

The city and the state of Vermont have planned a system to connect 20 city buildings to the state’s upgraded biomass heat plant.

The city is building the distribution system for the heat, and that project is expected to be finished this fall. But Montpelier Mayor John Hollar says the project to upgrade the state’s biomass plant has run into some unexpected delays.

Courtesy Scott Milne

A plan to place a mixed-use development at the exit of Interstate 89 near Quechee has been rejected by a District Environmental Commission, but the developer says he will appeal that decision. The Commission’s ACT 250 ruling is at odds with approval granted by the town of Hartford.

VPR/Nina Keck

Castleton College built its newest dormitory, Hoff Hall, with solar panels on the roof.  Now, four new micro wind turbines will be generating power alongside them. 

When Vermonters think of wind turbines they’re likely to imagine ridge lines with huge blades turning hundreds of feet in the air.

But JLM Energy of Rocklin California has made a name for itself designing much smaller micro turbines designed for urban and suburban areas.