Southern Vermont

Bennington County Towns Look To Improve Local Economy

Mar 18, 2016
Andrew McKeever for VPR

In Bennington County, concerns are growing about a regional economy that’s only slowly rebounding from the Great Recession.

State officials released new test results Tuesday that show more widespread chemical contamination in private wells in North Bennington.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Bennington College has been awarded an $89,810 National Science Foundation Rapid Response grant to offer a new course and conduct original research on PFOA contamination in Hoosick Falls, New York and North Bennington, Vermont.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

People who lived near the Chemfab plant in North Bennington complained for years that the emissions were making them sick. There were 32 citizen complaints between 1974 and 2000, according to documents obtained by VPR.

The Department of Environmental Conservation also brought two enforcement actions against the company in the mid 1970s.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Consumer advocate Erin Brockovich and the law firm Weitz & Luxenberg announced Friday they are expanding their investigation into well water contamination to include North Bennington.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Windham County Sheriff Keith Clark now says he wants to build an $18 million detention center in north Rockingham.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

State officials are testing private wells in North Bennington for PFOA, a suspected carcinogen. And the only way to find those wells to test is by going door-to-door.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Windham County Sheriff says he will not consider the former Liberty Mill in Bellows Falls as the site of a proposed 150-bed detention center.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Monday that the state will be testing between 80 and 100 private wells as it tries to determine just how far a potentially harmful chemical has spread in North Bennnington.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The southern Vermont community of Vernon will hold a non-binding Town Meeting Day vote on a proposed natural gas power plant, and an organic dairy farm is the main location under consideration.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / vpr

A Vernon organic dairy farmer says he's been approached by developers who want to build a natural gas power plant outside the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

There are vacant factories and run down houses all over Springfield, and the selectboard has been trying to work with landlords who own the most derelict properties.

Now the town wants to ramp up its response to clean up the dilapidated buildings.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Brattleboro's historic Austine School campus will soon have a new owner.

The U.S. bankruptcy court approved the sale of the former school for the deaf and hard of hearing to the Winston Prouty Center, an early education program in Brattleboro.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a series of public hearings in southern Vermont Monday on marijuana legalization.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont has tried to keep up with the opiate crisis by offering services to those directly affected by addiction. But the parents and spouses of addicts face a lonely and confusing journey of their own.

Bull Stockwell Allen / The Hermitage Club

A dispute between the owner of a private ski resort and the district Act 250 commission is coming to a head as the resort looks to obtain its environmental permits for further expansion.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR file

Brattleboro started a sidewalk compost program five years ahead of Vermont's 2020 mandate, and the move is already saving the town money.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

One of Windham County's largest employers will stay in Vermont, after considering a relocation to New Hampshire.

Nancy Eve Cohen for VPR

Since Tropical Storm Irene ripped through Wilmington, businesses there have worked hard to recover. And by some measures, the local economy now is better than before the flood.

Courtesy of Anita Dunlap

After a six-month, $1.2 million renovation to the former United Church of Putney, the Next Stage Theater swung open its doors. The pews have been replaced with raised theater seating, the tin ceiling has been restored and the building is fully accessible.