VPR News

Governor Peter Shumlin will sign the capital budget bill at the state office complex in Waterbury Wednesday. The complex was rendered unusable after flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.

Most of the $69 million in capital spending that Shumlin will authorize will be for Irene-related projects.

The state is still waiting to hear from FEMA exactly how much the federal government will contribute to the estimated $124 million cost of renovating and rebuilding the state offices.

The New Hampshire Senate Commerce committee wants the full Senate to reject a bill that would bring the state’s insurance laws in line with President Barack Obama's health overhaul plan.

The State’s Insurance Commissioner says without the bill, the federal government will regulate all insurance products in New Hampshire, not just those related to the health care overhaul.

But Republicans who voted against the bill in committee called it the latest in a series of moves by the department and the governor's office to set up state-run insurance markets.

The head of a newly created cooperative health insurance company set up to serve Vermont says there may be inaccurate and misleading statements in a state ruling that denied the company a license.

C.E.O. of the Vermont Health Co-op, Christine Oliver, says the co-op will continue to fight for its future. She's planning a briefing for today.

A plan to bring F-35 fighter jets to Vermont has its backers—from Vermont’s congressional delegation to Governor Peter Shumlin, and business groups who say Vermont Air Guard jobs would be protected with the new jets.

But the plan has also drawn a lot of opposition, mostly from people concerned about the noise the planes would make in the communities around the Burlington International Airport where they would be based.

Escaped Cows On I-89

May 28, 2013

Early morning motorists may have come across some unexpected obstacles on Route 89 North, near exit 16.

Several cows escaped from a farm on Mallets Bay Road, near the Colchester-Winooski border. The cows made their way to the interstate shortly after 3 o’clock this morning.

About an hour later State Police reported all bovines had been removed from the interstate. And all cows are now safely back on the farm.

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch is joining West Virginia Republican David McKinley to back legislation designed to promote more energy efficiency in homes and other buildings.

One of the bills would provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements. A second measure, the Better Buildings Act, focuses on improving efficiency in commercial buildings.

It's now easier for historians to peer into the depths of Vermont's legal history, thanks to the ongoing efforts of experts at the state Archives in Middlesex.

The State Archives and Records Administration recently completed processing Caledonia County court records from 1794 to 1945.

Orleans County court records were opened for research in July 2012 and Lamoille County court records will be completed this summer.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board is holding three public hearings on proposed changes to trout and bass fishing regulations.

The board proposes reducing the daily creel limit for brook trout by half. It’s also considering opening 11 new river sections to catch-and-release trout fishing with artificial flies or lures, outside of the normal season.

And catch-and-release open water bass fishing outside the normal season is being proposed on all lakes, ponds and reservoirs not listed as "seasonally closed waters."

The Brattleboro Retreat could lose its federal Medicare funding unless it can come up with a plan to correct a series of violations. Those violations were documented during an inspection last month.

Senior Vice President Peter Albert says most of the deficiencies were discovered in the hospital's new 14-bed unit, which accepts Vermont State Hospital patients. At least some of those patients were involuntarily committed.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The Northeast Kingdom town of Greensboro is home to a number of unique and successful ventures – from Circus Smirkus to the cheese cellars at Jasper Hill.  And now it’s home to what a popular beer rating website has named the single best brewer in the world: Hill Farmstead Brewery. Despite being located far off the beaten path, crowds are flocking to Greensboro to get a taste of what Hill Farmstead has to offer.

Governor Peter Shumlin says that the new law decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana should allow law enforcement to deal with a more pressing drug problem in Vermont.

“I would argue, that if you want to talk about the biggest threat to our downtowns, to our quality of life, to a low crime rate, which we’ve always enjoyed in this state, to our family members being destroyed by an epidemic, it’s opiates," said Shumlin. "It’s heroin. It’s Oxycontin. It’s all of the issues that are driving crime in this state.”


Camping reservations at Vermont’s 52 State Parks poured in for the Memorial Day Weekend, despite rain in the forecast. Last year broke a twenty year record with more than 900-thousand visits to the parks all year.

State Parks Director Craig Whipple says the State Park website has added some new bells and whistles to entice even more campers this year.

"We’ve got menu ideas, we’ve got ideas for activities, we’ve got checklists for how to plan, the gear to bring camping, and we’ve also done seven really fun videos," Whipple said.

Governor Peter Shumlin and the Vermont Legislature agree on the gas taxes scheduled to take effect May 1st. But the agreements end there.

VPR's Bob Kinzel speaks with Peter Biello about where the Governor and the Legislature agree and disagree.

A Vermont man who was shot in the thigh by a Winooski police officer after a confrontation has pleaded not guilty to related charges. A judge said on Friday that 35-year-old Isaac Sage, of Winooski, should undergo a mental health evaluation to determine his sanity at the time of the incident and whether he is mentally competent for court proceedings.

Vermont consumers need to be better informed about which foods are organic and which aren't. That was the upshot of a Senate Agriculture Hearing today that looked at the problem of confusing labeling on products sold in stores and at farmers' markets. Senator David Zuckerman is an organic farmer and he says confusion often arises when organic farms expand into non-organic products. The organic certifying group Vermont Organic Farmers says it is stepping up efforts to educate farmers about good labeling practices.

The family of a Vermont State Police trooper who was killed almost a decade ago has received a $4.5 million settlement from the state and its insurance carrier. Sergeant Michael Johnson was struck by a car driven by a fleeing suspect in 2003. The Valley News reports Washington Superior Court has approved a settlement to compensate Sgt. Johnson's widow and their three children. The suspect, Eric Daley of Lebanon, New Hampshire, is in prison for gross negligent operation of a vehicle.

A handful of Vermont dairy farmers are raising concerns at the State House about a bill that would grant driver identification cards to Vermont residents who are in this country illegally. A Winooski police officer shot a man after an altercation yesterday afternoon. Isaac Sage is a 35-year old Winooski resident who’s had run-ins with the police before. The family of a Vermont State Police trooper who was killed while trying to stop a fleeing suspect in 2003 has received a $4.5 million settlement from the state and its insurance carrier.

AP/Toby Talbot

It’s kale versus chicken, David versus Goliath.

For months, a Vermont folk artist who prints ‘Eat More Kale’ t-shirts above his garage in Montpelier has been trapped in a legal battle with a fast food chain whose slogan is “Eat Mor' Chikin'.”