News Features

Charlotte Albright / VPR

The state of Vermont is equipping 12 public buildings, including prisons, with solar energy systems. Thursday Governor Shumlin and the leaders of several businesses held a news conference at the first solar array under construction, for the Northeast Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury.

The complex of low buildings surrounded by barbed wired fencing perches on a scenic knoll on Route 5 just south of town.

You might have heard about these blue-green algae blooms on Lake Champlain. But do you know what they smell like? What causes them? The health effects? VPR reporters Annie Russell and Taylor Dobbs take a field trip to an active bloom in St. Albans Bay to get some answers.

For a map of algae problem areas, check here.

Martha E. Diebold Real Estate

Author J.D. Salinger, the enigmatic author of The Catcher in the Rye, was secretive and reclusive. And his neighbors in Cornish, New Hampshire guarded his privacy fiercely. So, just about anything that gives us a peak into his world is of interest to those who loved his work. Recently, a home he once owned in Cornish, New Hampshire was put up for sale by its current owner.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Steve Berry, Scott Milne and Emily Peyton are the three candidates on the Republican ballot running for governor of Vermont.

In advance of next Tuesday’s primary election, they debate their positions and platforms in the hope of becoming the GOP candidate to face incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin.

Broadcast live on Friday, August 22 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Angela Evancie / VPR File

Political campaigns in this state are almost always funded by private money. Figuring out where exactly the cash is coming from, however, can be difficult.

Unlike federal elections statutes, which require major contributors to list the businesses they might represent, Vermont mandates no such disclosures. So VPR decided to dig in to the numbers.

What's the point of primary elections? What are "open primaries"? In the first installment of The Catch-Up, VPR's new explainer series, we tell you what you need to know.

For more information from the Vermont Secretary of State's office, check out this page.

Nina Keck / VPR

This summer Vermont ski resorts are investing millions to upgrade their snowmaking equipment, thanks in part to an innovative rebate offer from Efficiency Vermont. The snow gun exchange program is expected to help the state’s ski industry reduce carbon emissions and save $2 million a year in energy costs.

Killington is one of about 15 participating resorts. 

On a recent visit, the resort's snow making control center was quiet. But in a few months, foreman Steve Reynolds pointed to a bank of computer screens he said would be humming.

Toby Talbot / AP

Following the Monday morning death of former Vermont U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords, VPR dug into its archives for recordings of the pivotal moments in Jeffords' career – including his bombshell 2001 announcement that he would leave the Republican party.

We also dusted off the tape of Jeffords' announcement, in 2005, that he would retire from the Senate, re-digitized The Jeffords Effect, a five-part series we created in 2002, and collected photographs of Jeffords' time in Washington and Vermont.

Courtesy Peter Brown

31-year-old Peter Brown is a software developer at Agilion, a remote company based in Burlington. While Brown could make web applications anywhere, he chooses Vermont because of the quality of life he says he hasn't found anywhere else.

Courtesy Kate Warren

Kate Warren, 25, grew up in Richmond, but after leaving for college in New York's Hudson Valley, she hasn't moved back. Now based in Washington, D.C., Warren works as a professional photographer.

Courtesy Alex Shevrin

A teacher at an alternative school, Alex Shevrin first came to Vermont as a student at UVM, where she also earned her Vermont teacher's license.

The 27-year-old loves her life in Burlington, but career mobility for both her and her partner make her wonder if she's here to stay.

Kelly Fletcher

Ariel Brooks is the director of non-degree programs at Marlboro College. Living in Guildford with her husband and daughter, Brooks grew up in small-town New Mexico. Having met her husband in Boston, the two left the city in favor of southern Vermont.

Courtesy Dan Marchetti

Dan Marchetti, 34, is the head of school at the Grammar School in Putney. Originally from Connecticut, a national job search landed Marchetti and his family in southern Vermont.

Courtesy Maureen McElaney

Maureen McElaney is a digital advisor and soon-to-be quality assurance engineer at She also founded the Burlington chapter of Girl Develop It, a nonprofit that encourages women to learn to code and break into the tech industry.

While it was her husband's job that brought the couple to Vermont two years ago, the Philadelphia native wasted no time immersing herself in the local tech scene.

Jenna Pugliese is the environmental manager at Stratton Mountain Resort. After coming to Vermont for a summer job right after graduating college, where she initially fell in love with the small-town charm of Stratton and the beautiful weather.

Courtesy Ben Bonaccio

Ben Bonaccio, 26, is the social media marketing manager for Long Trail Brewing. A Vermont native, Bonaccio has seen many of his friends leave the state, but he hasn't found a reason to move away.

Jeff Grimshaw / Courtesy

This past March Bennington was the subject of a New York Times story that generated quite a bit of anger in town. The headline read, “Heroin Scourge Overtakes a ‘Quaint’ Vermont Town.”

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

On a table in the front room of the milking barn here at Nordic Farms in Charlotte, you can hear the murky liquids bubbling inside a series of foot-tall Erlenmeyer flasks.

The scene seems more like a 1970s-era chemistry set than a cutting edge research facility. And in fact the set-up here is mostly for show – a larger version of the experiment is being run out of a high-tech laboratory in Burlington.

Toby Talbot / AP/File

The lessons of Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont have been incorporated into a new report designed to assist communities across the nation. 

The federal Environmental Protection Agency says the report offers a more comprehensive approach to mitigating the effects of flooding.

Lake Champlain Research Institute

The spiny water flea is a creature as disgusting as its name implies. It resembles a bristly glob of jelly with little black spots all over it. But its looks are not the real problem.

This tiny invasive pest can disrupt the food chain in a water body, hook itself to fishing lines to annoy anglers, and it can be a big problem for fish.

Oh, and by the way, it’s been found in Lake George and environmental officials are bracing for it to find its way into Lake Champlain sometime soon.