Vermont Edition

The way villains are portrayed in fiction may help shape political views. We're talking about that, and other ways that entertainment can affect ideology.
Roger Murmann / flickr

Our politics and ideology are shaped by our upbringing and life experience, but a UVM political scientist says there may be another key component to what we believe and who we vote for: the fictional stories we're exposed to in books, movies, and television. We're talking about how entertainment can shape our politics - from Game of Thrones to House of Cards and The Hunger Games

The exterior of the Vermont Supreme Court building on State Street in Montpelier.
Matthew Smith / VPR

Legal and cultural norms regard sharing nude or indecent photos of someone without their consent as a violation of privacy. But when it's done to shame or humiliate that person, Vermont law says nonconsensual pornography—so-called "revenge porn"—is a crime. Now a Vermont Supreme Court ruling has overturned a lower court's decision, bolstering the state's law and deeming it constitutional.

Vermont's small-town ambulance departments, many run by volunteers, face increasing demands on time and resources. Some have even had to close their doors, including two departments in the Northeast Kingdom in the last year.
Andyqwe / iStock

Ambulance departments in rural areas of Vermont face growing costs and increasing demands of time and training. Some volunteer-run departments have been forced to close when those demands become too much to manage. We're looking at how Vermont's rural ambulance departments are meeting those challenges to make sure someone answers when Vermonters dial 911. 

 We're talking about the dangers of the synthetic opioid fentanyl and whether it's possible to overdose simply through skin contact. Experts say it is not.
Rick Bowmer / AP

Health officials in Vermont say that when someone dies of a drug overdose in the state, they fully expect it to involve the synthetic drug fentanyl. Fentanyl-related overdoses continue to rise, both in Vermont and nationwide. And reports about the potency and danger of fentanyl also continue to proliferate.

Cartoonist Rachel Lindsay's first book is "RX," a graphic memoir of her struggles with bipolar mania.
Courtesy Rachel Lindsay

Hearing the travails of someone's mental health struggles is not easy. But Vermont cartoonist Rachel Lindsay has taken a different approach to sharing her story of living with bipolar disorder. She has told it in a new graphic novel called RX.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, left, and Sen. John McCain, talk during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington in March 2017. Russian opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, with his wife Evgenia Kara-Murza, are to the right.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Arizona Sen. John McCain died Saturday, Aug. 25, at 81, and all this week the passing of the former naval airman, Vietnam veteran, senator and past presidential nominee has been marked with ceremonies and memorials from Arizona to Washington, D.C.

Many of McCain's Congressional colleagues have reflected on his life and career, including Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, who worked alongside McCain for 32 years in the U.S. Senate.

Rep. Kiah Morris, left, speaks at a podium during a Statehouse press conference about a racial justice bill back in March.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

Bennington Rep. Kiah Morris is speaking up about her decision not to seek re-election — and she said being the target of hate both online and in the real world played a factor in her decision to withdraw her candidacy. 

State highway safety officials say increasingly aggressive drivers and texting while driving continue to plague Vermont's roads.
SHSPhotography / iStock

Vermont is seeing more cases of aggressive driving on its roads. And more drivers are using cell phones while driving, even though it's against the law.  We're talking with highway safety officials about how they're addressing these issues. 

The Vermont GOP elected 5 candidates Wednesday for the general election ballot. They are, from left, Rick Kenyon for auditor; Rick Morton for treasurer; Janssen Willhoit for attorney general; Anya Tynio for U.S. House; Lawrence Zupan for U.S. Senate.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont sets aside the second Tuesday in August for its primary elections, but the Vermont GOP had to wait until Wednesday night to find out who would represent the party in some of the most important statewide offices during the general election.

A new report collects accounts of alleged abuse at St. Joseph's Orphanage in Burlington. We're talking to the author of the report, which was published by BuzzFeed.
Wilson Ring / Associated Press

A new investigation from BuzzFeed News assembles allegations of horrifying abuse — possibly including murder — at a former Catholic orphanage in Burlington. We're talking to the report's author about what she uncovered.

Jim Condon speaking at Montpelier's Capitol Plaza Hotel.
Condon For Colchester website

Jim Condon, a prominent Vermont broadcaster and state representative for Colchester, died last week from esophageal cancer. He was 60 years old.

Wild parsnip can grow five or more feet tall. Its bright yellow flowers resemble Queen Anne's lace.
Jane Lindholm / VPR

Wild parsnip, aka "poison parsnip," has become ubiquitous in much of Vermont in the last decade, overrunning fields, highway medians and unkempt yards. But a group of intrepid Monkton residents are working at night to take on the invasive plant.

Winooski and Montpelier are exploring provisions that would allow their residents who aren't U.S. citizens to vote in local elections.
Jessamyn West / Flickr

There was a time when non-U.S. citizens could vote in elections where they resided in this country. But anti-immigrant feelings in the late 19th and early 20th century changed that. Winooski and Montpelier are now exploring ways to allowing their non-citizen residents to vote in local elections.

Vermont sends a handful of the 1,350 minors in state custody to out-of-state residential treatment programs for issues like mental health or substance abuse.
tarasov_vl / iStock

Vermont’s Department of Corrections has more than 200 prisoners serving their sentences in out-of-state prisons. But what about the roughly 1,350 juveniles in state custody?

We're talking with energy experts and environmental advocates about assessing "renewability" when it comes to renewable energy.
DrAfter123 / iStock

Vermont is striving to meet ambitious goals to get 90 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. But just how renewable is some of that energy? We're talking with energy experts and environmental advocates about how we assess renewability and other environmental costs to alternative energy sources.

The state is expanding its system of year-round dropboxes for prescription drugs.
Oxford / iStock

The state is expanding a program to get unused prescription drugs out of medicine cabinets - adding state police barracks to the list of dozens of sites for year-round dropboxes in police and sheriff's departments across Vermont. We’re talking about how available unused drugs can contribute to the opioid epidemic, plus the environmental impacts of discarded pharmaceuticals.

http://digital.vpr.net/post/top-state-health-official-containing-vermonts-health-care-costs
Jane Lindholm / VPR

You don't have to be an adult to be an expert in something. In fact, sometimes kids are the best teachers, especially when it comes to skills that require adults to use muscles they may not have tried flexing in a couple of decades. In this Summer School lesson, we learn how to climb a tree from Hinesburg 10-year-old Jack Kiedaisch.

A Vermont man charged with murder is arguing the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should protect him from facing the death penalty.
Michal Chodyra / iStock

Donald Fell was convicted in federal court of kidnapping Teresca King in Rutland in 2000 and killing her in New York state. He was sentenced to death, but his conviction was overturned due to juror misconduct.

As Fell awaits a new trial, his attorneys are working to avoid the possibility of him facing the death penalty again with unique arguments against The Federal Death Penalty Act, including one invoking the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

Green Mountain Care Board Chair Kevin Mullin joins "Vermont Edition" to discuss health care rates, hospital budgets and the state's overhaul of how health care reimbursements are made.
SteveColeImages / iStock

This month the Green Mountain Care Board told Vermont health insurers they won't get the rate increase they want. In the board's ongoing struggle with health care costs, it's also reviewing hospital budgets to curb medical spending and overhauling how Vermonters reimburse health care providers. We're talking about containing health care costs with GMCB Chair Kevin Mullin. 

Voter turnout for last Tuesday's primary election was a surprising 22.5 percent.
Bob Kinzel / VPR FILE

Before last Tuesday, many people were expecting the turnout for Vermont's 2018 primary elections to be low. Primaries during non-presidential election years are often lethargic. But when Secretary of State Jim Condos officially certified the primary election results, 22.5 percent of the state's registered voters made their voices heard. That might sound dismally low, but it's actually the second-highest primary vote total ever.

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