Rutland

Courtesy of Mary Nemeth

Many people in Rutland are debating what impact new refugees would have on the city. But immigrants from Italy, Ireland and Eastern Europe have already left indelible marks on the city.

A plan to resettle up to 100 Syrian refugees in Rutland continues to draw supporters, detractors and a lot of questions from people who just want to know more about what exactly it would mean for the city.

The Rutland Herald and   Barre-Montpelier Times Argus are in the process of being sold to two out of state partners, ending the two papers' run as the longest continuously owned family newspapers in America.

The sale was announced late Wednesday night amid a controversy over checks that bounced for newsroom staffers and the firing of a long time editor who wanted to print a follow up story about those financial troubles.

The Rutland Herald is dealing with fallout from a story that called its own financial status into question. Not long after the Herald ran a story that staffers and freelancers hadn’t been getting paid, the newspaper’s publisher, John Mitchell, fired news editor Alan Keays.

The Rutland Herald was founded in 1794 and is one of the oldest continually published papers in the country.
Nina Keck / VPR File

The Rutland Herald may be facing serious financial trouble. On Friday, the paper ran an article that reported bounced paychecks for some of the news staff. That same day, longtime news editor Alan Keays was fired for approving a follow up story.

Nina Keck / VPR file

A new VPR poll shows Vermonters are divided over resettling refugees here, with significant numbers on both sides of the issue. It's the first time a VPR poll has surveyed residents on the issue.

Nina Keck / VPR

Efforts to create a new refugee resettlement community in Rutland have stirred up passionate debate. While many want to welcome Syrians into the city, others fear Muslim refugees won’t assimilate, will become a threat or burden taxpayers.

For a Syrian couple who are raising their children in Rutland this debate has hit especially close to home.

Daily hearings have been underway and will continue to be until July 22 in Rutland federal court on the constitutionality of the death penalty, and the testimony could make a difference in whether a man facing a second trial for murdering a North Clarendon woman in 2000 is once again sentenced to death.

Nina Keck / VPR

Voters in Rutland will not get the chance to weigh in on whether to bring in 100 Syrian refugees. A 6-4 vote by members of the Rutland City Board of Aldermen fell one short of the seven needed to put it on the ballot.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Across Vermont, organizations are experimenting with new models to combat homelessness. In some communities they're being welcomed, but in others, there's been push back.

Bebeto Matthews / AP

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, gave a shout out to Rutland during a speech Wednesday on the global refugee crisis.

Nina Keck / VPR file

In Rutland, residents and city officials are divided over whether to allow voters to weigh in on a proposal to bring in 100 Syrian refugees.

Soon one of Vermont's oldest papers will no longer put out print editions daily. Leaders of the Rutland Herald and its sister paper, the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, announced Monday that starting next month, both publications will only be printing the paper four days a week.

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It was after 10 p.m. last July 31. The Connecticut couple driving west on Route 4 never saw the 1,800-pound Scottish Highland bull that was standing in their lane.

Nina Keck / VPR file

Nineteen performances ranging from musicals "Sunset Boulevard" and "Spring Awakening" to cabarets and dramatic readings will be staged across Rutland County over the next five weeks, as part of the first-ever Otter Creek Festival of the Arts. 

Nina Keck / VPR

Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras says his efforts to create a refugee resettlement community in Rutland are morally and economically based. Rutland's population is declining and aging and Louras says young refugee families are hard working, entrepreneurial and will bring much needed diversity to the city.  

Critics aren't convinced and many worry that refugees will end up being a burden on taxpayers. A good place to examine those concerns is Winooski, which has a large concentration of foreign-born residents.

Nina Keck / VPR

In Rutland, a survey of residents in a troubled part of the city indicate efforts over the past three years to reduce drug-related crime and revitalize the neighborhood are making a difference.

Nina Keck / VPR file

In the weeks since Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras announced the city had applied to become a refugee resettlement community and take in 100 Syrian refugees this fall, people in Rutland have been quickly taking sides on the issue.

Nina Keck / VPR

Vermont's population is aging, and that demographic trend has put new pressure on Medicare spending. It's also highlighted the need to improve care for older Vermonters. A unique program that links health care and other services to affordable housing complexes in Vermont may be part of the solution.  

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For anyone near Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport Saturday morning, don’t worry: What may look like a disaster is just a drill.

The airport and Rutland Regional Medical Center are sponsoring a mock plane crash that will include about 150 people.  Everyone from fire fighters and emergency medical technicians to actors, law enforcement, airport and hospital personnel will be taking part.

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