Vermont Edition

Medication-assisted treatment is one of the most effective ways to combat opioid addiction, but access to MAT in Vermont prisons can be limited.
Instants / iStock

Dealing with addiction in prison is complicated. For some, it helps them get away from the drugs and into treatment. But treatment while incarcerated can be limited, and those leaving prison often face the greatest risk of a relapse.

Angela McDevitt is being credited with helping to thwart what could have been a deadly school shooting in Vermont.
Angela McDevitt

On the day a shooter in Florida killed 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, 18-year old Jack Sawyer of Poultney, Vermont was allegedly texting with his friend Angela McDevitt. "That's fantastic. 100% support it" he is reported to have written about the Parkland shooting. "It's just natural selection, taken up a notch."

Elizabeth Atherton and Sally O’Brien work on placing their photos, taken in front of a green screen, into pictures of places from medieval France.
Aym Kolb Noyes / VPR

Readers at the Neshobe School in Brandon are really getting into Adam Gidwitz’s book The Inquisitor’s Tale, which takes place in the Middle Ages — meaning that with the help of imagination and technology, they are literally putting themselves into the narrative.

Gun control advocates demonstrate at the State House in Montpelier, on Tuesday Feb. 20, 2018.
Wilson Ring / AP

The conversation around gun control in Vermont has changed significantly in the days following the arrest of an 18-year-old for allegedly plotting a mass shooting in Fair Haven. Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who had resisted any changes to the state's gun laws, now has presented a set of proposals to tighten them, and lawmakers are already taking action. We’re talking about what might happen.

Sec. of State Jim Condos discusses how states like Vermont could be vulnerable to election meddling, and what's needed to secure future elections.
Toby Talbot / AP File

Thirteen Russians face indictments for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Last year, the Department of Homeland Security identified more than 20 states whose voting systems were compromised by Russian hackers. As they face concerns over election integrity both inside and outside the ballot box, how are Vermont officials keeping future elections secure?

UVM Plant Biologist Eric Bishop von Wettberg displays the domestic and the wild chickpea.
Joshua Brown / UVM

You probably don't often think of chickpeas — sometimes called garbanzo beans — even when you're digging into some humus. And you likely think of the wild chickpea even less. But it's the primary source of protein for about one in five people around the globe, which is why one UVM biologist is turning to wild strains of the legume to keep the chickpea population healthy.

With temperatures bobbing and weaving above and below freezing, Vermont's backyard sugaring is going strong.
Bakinbitz / iStock

Vermonters catch a fever at this time of year. And it isn't necessarily the flu bug. It's the hankering to get outside and start hauling buckets full of sap to the sugarhouse or to wherever they do their boiling. It's backyard sugaring time.

Senator Bernie Sanders joins us for an hour-long discussion and takes your calls.
Screenshot @BernieSanders Twitter

Senator Bernie Sanders joins Vermont Edition for a discussion about the Russia investigation, the immigration debate, the Trump budget, his recent comments on gun legislation and more.

The average smart phone is replaced roughly every 22 months, spurring calls across the country to protect customers' "right to repair" their electronics.
Bru-nO / Pexels

Have you ever tried fixing one of your electric gadgets? Even simply replacing the battery in your cell phone can require special skills or tools. You may not be allowed to do more advanced repairs without potentially voiding a warranty. That's led to demands across the country, including here in Vermont, for the "right to repair," the ability to perform basic repairs on items like smart phones, other electronics and more.

At 106 years old, Warren Patrick credits staying physically busy and making the right choices for his long, happy life.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

He's seen the change from oil lamps to electric lighting, and from the advent of radio to television and the computer. And modes of transportation shift from the horse and buggy to self-driving automobiles. At 106, Townshend's Warren Patrick finds happiness in every new day and gives thanks for it every night. 

Romeo, a Burnese Mountain Dog, owned by Pam Eldredge of Waterbury, competes at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Dalmi Sirabo

One of the major competitions in the canine world took place this week in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show concluded Tuesday, Feb. 13. About a dozen dogs owned by Vermonters were among the field of 3,000 that competed this year. One of those dogs had an excellent show: Romeo, a Bernese Mountain Dog owned by Pam Eldredge of Waterbury.

Schools must work to identify students who are experiencing crisis so the situation does not escalate. And they need to help students cope with traumatic events at their school.
Bodnarchuk / iStock

As the country was reeling from the news of a deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida last week, Vermont State Police released news that a similar event may have been thwarted at Fair Haven Union High School.

According to the Vermont Commission on Women, 75 percent of women who report sexual harassment in the workplace say they've experienced retaliation for speaking up.
Kameleon007 / iStock

Sixty percent of women say they've experienced sexual harassment at work, according to the Vermont Commission on Women, and three out of four of those women report experiencing retaliation for speaking up. Now House lawmakers are updating Vermont's sexual harassment laws to protect victims' rights and ban settlements that can silence victims and favor employers.

Vermont organizations have a long tradition of promoting peace and non-violent protest.
bkindler / iStock

Vermont has a long tradition of pacifism and activism for peace. The movement can be traced from the early Quakers through to the back-to-the-land movement, and to the many groups advocating for peace in the state today.

Montpelier High School's raising of a 'Black Lives Matter' flag has met with strong reactions across the country.
Ian Noyes / for VPR

The raising of a Black Lives Matter flag at Montpelier High School made news across the country and garnered a range of reactions from support to anger. We're talking about the deeper meaning of that symbolic action and how people have viewed it locally, statewide and nationally.

"Heart Spring Mountain," a new novel by Vermont author Robin MacArthur.
Harper Collins Publisher, courtesy

Southern Vermont author and musician Robin MacArthur won acclaim for her first book, a collection of short stories called Half Wild. Her debut novel, Heart Spring Mountain, is also getting rave reviews. The story jumps back and forth in time to follow the lives of the women in one rural Vermont family, as they search for a family member who disappeared during Tropical Storm Irene.

Climate researchers say a changing climate could mean, among other changes, more extremes of heat and cold for Vermont.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Vermont's climate is already changing, and experts say that could mean rising temperatures, wetter weather and more extremes for both heat and cold. But are there also opportunities to be seized as those changes unfold? 

Local comedian Tina Friml performs at "Comedy And Crepes" at The Skinny Pancake in Burlington on Nov. 27, 2017.
Anna Ste. Marie / VPR

Tina Friml, an up-and-coming local comedian, set the stage of a recent performance by describing herself as “a bit of an enigma.”  At age 24, she has quickly gained popularity for her unique — and almost taboo — style. She avoids some of the more typical comic fodder like dating and the workplace. Instead, Friml jokes about what it’s like to live with a disability.

A recently passed Vermont House bill addresses questions of parenthood that are not covered by existing state law.
Cogent-Marketing / iStock

When Vermont's Parentage Act was passed in 1984, same-sex marriage and assisted fertility were not issues contained in the law. A bill recently passed by the House attempts to provide Vermont's judiciary with updated guidelines on matters of legal parenthood.

With tax day on the horizon, there are growing concerns that some people who are owed a tax refund might have their refund stolen if when criminals file for it first. Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom joined Vermont Edition to discuss the scope of the problem and what the state does to protect against fraudulent filings and payments.

Broadcast live on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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