Northeast Kingdom

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Vaudeville, that old-time brew of slapstick humor and outlandish stunts, is making quite a comeback in Vermont.

Vermont Vaudeville, a troupe based in Hardwick will be juggling, joking, singing and dancing this weekend in a restored theater beside the railroad tracks that used to host traveling vaudeville shows at the turn of the century.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

There’s a brisk debate in St. Johnsbury over whether to open an emergency warming shelter this winter. Several sites have been proposed and rejected. So the fate of about 40 homeless families is still unclear.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Northeast Kingdom residents like to boast that Lake Willoughby is one of the clearest, cleanest, deepest lakes in Vermont. Now there’s proof. 

Charlotte Albright / VPR

There’s a proposal to build a 16-bed mental health care facility in Essex County. A non-profit agency serving the Northeast Kingdom wants to partner with the state to add more psychiatric beds.

Supporters say such services are sorely needed, but not everyone agrees on where and how they should be provided.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

A proposal to erect two commercial wind turbines in Irasburg is drawing local opposition. But the developer, David Blittersdorf, says the project would benefit the entire state.

Freeman/French/Freeman

Northeast Kingdom developer Bill Stenger has unveiled the design for a new airport terminal to be built at the state airport in Coventry.

Patti Daniels / VPR

Linda Michniewicz runs her hands over a Thai lemon basil plant and admires the lettuce that’s growing in the garden at her office in Barton, where she’s the program director for Northeast Kingdom Community Action Head Start and Early Head Start. Their central office is on a residential street, and the backyard of their building gives the eight-person staff enough space to try out gardening at work.

Charlotte Albright / VPR file

There’s a hiring spree going on in the ski resort town of Burke in the Northeast Kingdom. A new hotel and conference center due to open in December will need as many as 200 workers. The rush is on to find them as construction moves ahead.

stalkerstudent / iStock

It appears a troubled broadband service provider is still operating in Vermont, but officials say there’s a great deal of confusion over who’s operating it.

Herb Swanson / swanpix.com

A young man from the Northeast Kingdom village of Wheelock is making history at Dartmouth College. He’s only the ninth Wheelock resident since 1830 to benefit from a remarkable fact. 

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Three communities — Newport, Rutland and Barre — are facing big budget cuts for services aimed at helping at-risk youth. Federal funds for a grant program called Youth In Transition have been reduced, so the state is making some tough decisions about how to spend what remains of the grant.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

The fate of Concord High School was on a ballot — again — on Tuesday. Last April voters decided to end the secondary program and keep only kindergarten through eighth grade. But a petition drive forced yet another vote in a deeply divided town.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Opposition is building to a plan by Community National Bank to close two of its downtown locations in the Northeast Kingdom. Over 100 petitioners are asking the bank to reverse its decision, and there will be a public meeting about it this week.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

A solar company based in Waterbury is urging residents of northeastern Vermont to harness the sun.

SunCommon got its start as a spin-off from the Vermont Public Interest Research Group only three years ago. It’s already installed 1,200 residential systems and eight larger community arrays of panels for 300 members in several communities, including Milton and Barre. Now it’s looking for more customers in the southern part of the Northeast Kingdom.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

As spring returns, controversy swirls over a dam in East Burke. The land trust that owns the dam wants to tear it down. But other residents see the dam as an historic buttress to the local economy. 

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Community National Bank is planning to shutter two branches in Caledonia County – one in Lyndonville and another in St. Johnsbury. Both branches that will close are located in retail districts. The company says it needs to consolidate, but some customers are unhappy.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

The Northeast Kingdom town of Concord will close its high school at the end of this term. More than half of all registered voters weighed in on an issue that has deeply divided the town for many years.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

A new business is mushrooming in St. Johnsbury. Literally. 

At Mushroom King, a new venture at the former site of a lumber kiln, shiitake, oyster and reishi mushrooms are sprouting. The farmers, Bob and Lisa Brown, hope to sell the thousands of pounds of exotic fungi to local restaurants and to a produce distributor.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Construction will begin in Newport on May 14 for a biotechnology research and manufacturing center that will be one of the first of its kind in the nation.

silvrshootr / iStock

Here's some good news for Vermont homebrewers thinking of turning their hobby into a business. The Vermont Small Business Development Center is offering a free class in Hardwick this month on "The Business of Craft Brewing."

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