Vermont Edition

Lauren Victoria Burke / AP

Republican leaders in Congress want their plan to overhaul the country's tax system finished by Thanksgiving, but Congressman Peter Welch says he opposes the bill. It's just one of many issues on the congressional docket that's setting a dizzying pace through the end of the year.

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, shown speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington, joins "Vermont Edition" to discuss key issues facing the Senate.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen discusses some of the top issues facing the Senate, including health care, North Korea, the Republican tax plan and protecting domestic violence victims.

Headshot of composer and arranger Robert De Cormier
File / VPR

Robert De Cormier has been revered for his work as a composer, musician and prolific arranger of choral music. He passed away Tuesday at the age of 95.

A daytime rendering of the new Champlain bridge that is currently under construction. "Montreal Gazette" reporter Jason Magder spoke to "Vermont Edition" to update on the bridge's progress.
Infrastructure Canada, Courtesy

A massive new bridge is rising over the St. Lawrence River this side of Montreal. Construction on the new Champlain Bridge began almost two years ago, and when finished, the bridge will accommodate six lanes of traffic, a commuter rail system and a bike path.

But whether the bridge will be finished by a December 2018 deadline is the subject of some concern by both the builders and government officials.

Creative Commons / Pexels

powerful wind storm raked Vermont a week ago, reminding many just how vulnerable the state's electric grid can be to severe weather. As climate change models forecast more unpredictable weather in the future, are Vermont utilities ready for the challenges of climate change?

Hemp plants at Green Mountain CBD's farm in Hardwick, taken earlier this year.
Jon Kalish / For VPR

Growing hemp became legal in Vermont in 2013 and today more than 90 people are registered to grow it here. Vermont Edition looks at the differences between hemp, CBD (Cannabidiol) and marijuana, and where these industries and products are in Vermont today.

Baker and author Martin Philip, head baker at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, has written a book that's part memoir and part cook book. It shares what he calls 75 recipes of "a baker's journey home."
Julia Reed / Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins

Before he became head baker at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Martin Philip trained as an opera singer and worked for an investment bank in New York City. Now the baker and author is sharing his expertise and answering questions for aspiring bakers.

Gov. Scott's Marijuana Commission is trying to decide what legalization should look like in Vermont.
Labuda / iStock

Earlier this year, Gov. Phil Scott created a special commission to study the possibility of approving recreational marijuana use in Vermont. The commission began meeting in late September.

Robert Siegel spent more than 40 years working in radio news, and has reported from across the country and around the globe. Senior host of NPR's All Things Considered since 1987, he'll be stepping away from the mic in January 2018.
Stephen Voss / NPR

Robert Siegel, senior host of NPR's All Things Considered, is speaking to the Vermont Humanities Council this week, reflecting on more than four decades working in radio newsrooms. It's an apt time for reflection for the seasoned host, as he prepares to step away from the mic and retire in January 2018.

A lineman from Burlington Electric Department repairs downed wires on a transmission line in Williston Tuesday.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Thousands of Vermont households and businesses are still without power days after Sunday night's fierce windstorm. Green Mountain Power and other electric co-ops say they're making progress restoring power, but caution frustrated customers that the wait for power to return could last into the weekend.

On this "Vermont Edition" we speak with Mark Bushnell, author of "Hidden History of Vermont."
Mark Bushnell, Courtesy

The new book Hidden History of Vermont collects 15 years of Mark Bushnell's writing about the state’s past.

There are up-close-and-personal stories about well-known figures like Ethan Allen, and obscure but fascinating people like Lucy Cook, who cured patients while in a trance.

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.

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