Vermont Edition

Deicing winter roads by applying salt is poisoning Vermont's ecosystems, and experts say it’s over-salting by private contractors in parking lots and other urban areas that are increasingly the source of the salt.
Modfos / iStock

Salt used for deicing and winter road management is poisoning Vermont's ecosystems, but it isn't coming from where you'd think. Parking lots and congested urban areas are increasingly the source of the salt, winter managers say. Drivers expecting visibly salted roads, and a lack of standards for private companies offering salting services, has many calling for tough standards to stop the problem cold.

A spooky sampler of ghost stories, Green Mountain hauntings and more.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Maybe it's just the Halloween spirit, but Vermont seems extra spooky in the fall. And trust us when we say that there have been enough stories of ghosts and spirits haunting the Green Mountain State to make things interesting.

In this file photo from 2014, signs are seen in the office of Mike Spillane of IBEW that describe past labor actions. On this "Vermont Edition," we're talking about the state's labor history and unions today.
Steve Zind / VPR File

Roughly one in 10 employed Vermonters belong to a union, and nearly half of those jobs are in public sectors like government and teaching. The role of organized labor has changed dramatically in recent decades, with union jobs declining in Vermont and nationwide. But organized labor, and how employers have responded to it, has profoundly shaped Vermont's history and culture.

On this "Vermont Edition," we look at the performance of Vermont Health Connect, which had many problems when it first went online.
screenshot from Vermont Health Connect

As Congress debates the future of the Affordable Care Act, a new enrollment period begins next week. We take this opportunity to assess how Vermont Health Connect is faring today after the series of technical problems that has riddled it in the past.

A pasture full of cows overlooks the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vt. Robbie Leppzer's film "Power Struggle" documents efforts to close Vermont Yankee; the plant was closed in 2014.
Robbie Leppzer / PowerStruggleMovie.com, courtesy

The Vermont International Film Festival is screening a documentary on Sunday chronicling the grassroots movement to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, and the events both global and local that surrounded its closure in 2014.

The cast of "Mill Girls" at the Champlain Mill in Winooski. There will be free performances of the show at Saint Michael's College in November.
Jerry Swope / Saint Michael's College

A new play premiering at Saint Michael's College tells the story of the women who worked the textile mills in Winooski and across New England in the mid-1800s. But it's also a story about America's shift from small towns to big cities, how women were treated and compensated in the country's earliest factories, the fight for workers' rights and the mills' connections to slavery before the Civil War.

Conservation biologist Kent McFarland spoke with "Vermont Edition" about the robust number of box elder bugs currently populating the state.
Renman1605 / iStock

For those of you who have been shocked by huge clusters of bugs that are graphite in color with red piping, fear not. It's just a little box elder bug invasion.

A look at the town of Maricao, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. WNPR's Jeff Cohen spoke to "Vermont Edition" about his recent trip to Puerto Rico.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover from two damaging storms that have devastated the island territory.

Blue-green algae blooms, like this one photographed in the summer of 2014 in Lake Champlain, have many in the state concerned. A new draft plan proposes funding sources for water cleanup efforts.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR FILE

Lake Champlain and Lake Carmi saw numerous outbreaks of blue-green algae blooms this summer, which seems to have rallied support for clean water efforts in the state. But the age-old question of how to fund those efforts persists.

Mike Stewart / AP

Millions of Americans were only vaguely aware of the credit bureau Equifax until earlier this month, when the company revealed that the personal data of more than 147 million people was exposed in a massive data hack.

A scene from Main Street in Stowe back in October 2012. "Vermont Edition" wants to know what topics you'd like to discuss with your fellow Vermonters.
KenWiedemann / iStock

Vermont Edition brings you the news and conversation about the issues affecting your life. What's a conversation you want to have with your neighbors?

Wikimedia Creative Commons

What do the Vermont companies King Arthur Flour, Gardener's Supply, PC Construction, and Switchback Brewing have in common? They're all employee-owned businesses.

The Boy Scouts are opening their program to girls. Vermont Edition talks about scouting for boys and girls in Vermont Monday, Oct. 23.
gloch / iStock

The Boy Scouts of America this month officially welcomed girls for the first time in their century-long history. Girls will be able to enroll in the entry-level Cub Scout program by 2018, with a path toward ranks like Eagle Scouts in the coming years. But after decades of declining membership, is it a bold move toward inclusion or a necessary change for a struggling organization?

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has created a cybersecurity team to defend the state against repeated cyber attacks. "Vermont Edition" looks at the problems the team hopes to prevent.
Henrik5000 / iStock

Governor Phil Scott has some serious concerns about Vermont's cyber safety. He recently noted that since January, the state has had 3.3 million cyber attacks, or an average of 524 per hour for the last nine months.

Earlier this month, Scott signed an executive order creating a cybersecurity team.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab, courtesy

It was a violent collision hundreds of millions of light years away, the likes of which forged the gold found in our jewelry and the uranium in our stockpile of nuclear bombs. Scientists around the globe announced Monday groundbreaking observations of two neutron stars crashing together at nearly the speed of light. A Dartmouth physicist asserts it's the beginning of a new field of scientific discovery.

Aita Gurung allegedly killed his wife at the family's home on Hyde Street in Burlington on Oct. 12. Just days before, on Oct. 7, he had self-reported to Burlington Police his involvement in a domestic violence incident.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

About half of the murders that have taken place in Vermont over the past 20 years have been related to domestic violence.

We're talking about that persistent, deadly link between domestic violence and homicide, and what steps can be taken by the state going forward to stop both.

Rex Butt is the interim executive director of the Pride Center of Vermont.
Pride Center of Vermont, courtesy

After just five months on the job at the Pride Center of Vermont, executive director Susan Hartman abruptly stepped down in early October.

Volunteer and board member Rex Butt has stepped in to lead the organization in the interim, and he said turmoil within the local LGBTQ community contributed to Hartman's swift departure.

Actors Andy Butterfield, left, and Jory Raphael of the Middlebury Actors Workshop practice the duel scene from the French farce "The Metromaniacs," by David Ives.
Melissa Lourie / Middlebury Actors Workshop, Courtesy

The Middlebury Actors Workshop is performing The Metromaniacs, a French farce, at Middlebury's Town Hall Theater from Thursday, Oct. 19, through Sunday, Oct. 22.

Earlier this week, two of the actors in the play — Andy Butterfield and Jory Raphael — stopped by VPR's studio to perform a couple of the scenes from the production and describe the play.

"American Street" by Ibi Zoboi and "Clayton Byrd Goes Underground" by Rita Williams-Garcia are both on the shortlist for the 2017 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.
HarperCollins Publishers, courtesy

When Rita Williams-Garcia read Ibi Zoboi's application to Vermont College of Fine Arts, she knew the writer was extremely talented. Williams-Garcia then served as Zoboi's faculty advisor at the school.

Now, Zoboi and Williams-Garcia each have a book nominated to the shortlist for the 2017 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. That's two of the final five!

Allegations have come to light against Harvey Weinstein of decades of sexual misconduct. We're hosting a discussion about sexual assault and harassment.
Vince Bucci / AP

The uncovering of decades of alleged sexual assault by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is spurring widespread discussion. There's revulsion, but also - recognition. "Me too," say thousands of women. We're talking about what that means - and what can be done about a culture of violence and pervasive misogyny.

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