Vermont Edition

Ryan Mercer / Associated Press

In February, Jack Sawyer was accused of a thwarted shooting plot involving Fair Haven Union High School. Already the case against the 18-year-old Poultney man has taken many twists and turns. We'll look at what has transpired so far in the case and how it's grabbed the attention of the entire state.

Eight students sit in a library holding up copies of Firoozeh's Dumas' novel "It Ain't So Awful, Falafel."
Meg Malone / VPR

At the Orchard Elementary School in South Burlington, students come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. In fact, about a third of the students speak a language other than English at home. 

Last fall, a group of Orchard fifth-graders gathered to discuss It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel, a novel about an Iranian-born girl living in California in the late 1970s and early 1980s – much like author Firoozeh Dumas.

Then Governor-elect Philip Hoff sits on a couch with his wife Joan at the White House talking with President John F. Kennedy.
John Rous / Associated Press

"One hundred years of bondage - broken!" That's what Phil Hoff  shouted to an exuberant crowd of supporters in Winooski when he was elected Governor in 1962, ending more than a century of Republicans holding that office. Hoff died last week at 93. We're talking about his career and the enormous changes that it marked in the state's political landscape.

PIlls on a tabletop.
Tomas Nevesely / i-stock

Several dozen Vermont towns are taking part Saturday in a national project to collect unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs. 

Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders are still at odds over key budget issues, including an estimated $58 million needed for education funding.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Times Argus

Lawmakers are working on finalizing a budget in the closing weeks of the legislative session, but key disagreements on school funding and other programs have yet to be resolved. We're looking at how the state budget is taking shape and where lawmakers and Gov. Scott's administration disagree.

State and Essex Police at Essex High School during an April 2017 school lockdown.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

School shootings across the country—and a potentially averted shooting in Vermont—spurred Gov. Phil Scott to call for a security review for all Vermont schools. We're looking at the assessment's results and the holes it identified in school safety. 

Daria Bishop / VPR

When it comes to the dairy industry in Vermont, there are a lot of questions and myriad answers. We get a lot of both as we listen to a recent "News & Brews" event held at VPR that explored the relationship between agriculture and the environment.

Christina Nolan
VPR

U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont Christina Nolan says the opioid crisis—including related violence and human trafficking—is a top priority for her office, one she says will emphasize prosecutions to reduce the amount of opioids in the state.

Kids, parents and schools all are still figuring out how to deal with the increased connectivity offered by smartphones and social media.
milicad / iStock

Kids are growing up amidst the constant connectivity offered by smartphones and social media. We're talking about how parents, schools and young people themselves think about the technology in their lives and how they use it so that the benefits outweigh the risks.

An illustration of a car pulled over on a road by a police officer and the cop is talking to the driver. There is a blue sky, green mountains and a grey house in the background.
Illustration: Aaron Shrewsbury / For VPR

If you got a traffic ticket in Vermont last year, you’re not alone.

Law enforcement issued more than 24,000 tickets worth upwards of $4 million in fines to drivers in Vermont in 2017. A quarter were issued in just three Vermont towns: Plymouth, Bridgewater and Mount Tabor. 

What details would you include in your obituary? A Brattleboro-area hospice is using the question to encourage thinking about living and aging well.
Matthew Smith / VPR

What do you want your obituary to say? What details beyond birth, death and the basics are essential to the story of your life? The Brattleboro Area Hospice is holding a workshop encouraging people to think about their life - and to to engage people about aging well, dying well and making plans now for how to spend one's final days.

We're talking about philosophy as a discipline and a way of thinking - and its relevance to everyday life.
Jakarin2521 / iStock

Philosophy can get a bad rap as a subject only for scholars and academics, with little use in the real world. But many in the field say that philosophy doesn't have to be inaccessible; it can be a tool we use to tackle a wide range of the problems that we face every day. We're delving into this ancient subject and exploring how philosophy is relevant today.

A bill proposing new regulations on toxic substances was vetoed by Gov. Phil Scott, but lawmakers are voting again and could override the veto.
Antoine2K / iStock

A bill that could change how Vermont regulates toxic substances was vetoed by Gov. Scott. Now lawmakers are working on a possible veto override. We're looking at what the bill could mean for Vermont, the reasons behind the governor's veto and the prospect of a possible override. 

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe have a plan to avoid a government shutdown on July 1st if lawmakers are still at an impasse with Governor Phil Scott over property tax rates
Meg Malone / VPR File

Lawmakers were busy this week considering different ways to change Vermont's criminal justice laws in an effort to thwart future cases of mass violence.

And new information has emerged as to why former Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe resigned earlier this month.

Vermont State trooper cars parked.
Steve Zind / VPR file

Vermont State Police are emphasizing less-lethal weapons and tactics as they review their use-of-force procedures, as well as the policies that dictate when and how officers return to the job after critical incidents. But while some new weapons, tools and administrative changes have already been adopted, the policies surrounding use of force are still being reviewed.

What can state agencies like DAIL, the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, do to help Vermonters age well?
AleksandarNakic / iStock

The coming decades will bring pivotal demographic changes to Vermont as baby boomers retire in greater numbers and continue to get older. We're talking with DAIL—the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living—about their plans to help Vermonters "age well."

ansonsaw / iStock

In his 2014 State of the State address, Gov. Peter Shumlin highlighted the severity and far-reaching impact of Vermont's opioid crisis. Four years later, the state is still struggling with the deadly effects of that crisis. We're talking to Vermonters who have lived with addiction and are now in recovery, to hear their thoughts on the topic.

Rotor rust, tire tread, and other common issues could be eligible for advisory warnings under the DMV's updated vehicle inspection manual.
PxHere (left), Pixabay (middle), MeganLynnette via Flickr (right)

Vermont vehicle inspections went electronic last year, and while the rules for road-worthiness never changed, many reported headaches and failed inspections. Now the DMV's rules are getting an update. We're talking about the new inspection rules and what it means for Vermont drivers.

Norwich University senior Joshua Sassi's research on the Western Fence Lizard earned him an invitation to a national event for undergraduate researchers.
Sean Markey / Norwich University

Joshua Sassi is a senior biology major at Norwich University whose thesis work explores how the malaria parasite affects the Western Fence Lizard. His findings could shed light on how the parasite spreads in humans, which earned him a spot at Posters on the Hill, a Washington, D.C. event where the nation's top undergraduate researchers share their findings with Congress.

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

As charges of "fake news" keep flying, and many local newsrooms continue to dwindle, how much do Americans trust media outlets as sources of information and analysis? We're talking about the state of trust in the news media - both national and local - and how it affects how we form opinions and participate in our democracy. 

Pages