VPR News

Commuter rail fans in New Hampshire received some good news recently. A private train company is offering to connect Nashua and Bedford to Lowell, Mass., with the promise that the towns won’t be on the hook beyond the costs of maintaining a station. If you’ve been following commuter rail issues in New Hampshire for the past two decades, this funding scenario may jog some memories.

Enno Kapitz

The enormity and horror of the Holocaust has been chronicled soberly in newsreels, in history books, in documentaries and Hollywood films. And yet one of the most revered depictions of the 20th century's greatest atrocity is communicated in a medium too often dismissed as a frivolous diversion: cartoons.

In 1992 the graphic novel Maus won the Pulitzer Prize for offering readers a simple but brilliant and relatable distillation of the Holocaust by rendering comic book versions of Nazis drawn as cats and the Jews they slaughtered as mice. A sequel told of survivors struggling to make a new life in the U.S.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab, courtesy

It was a violent collision hundreds of millions of light years away, the likes of which forged the gold found in our jewelry and the uranium in our stockpile of nuclear bombs. Scientists around the globe announced Monday groundbreaking observations of two neutron stars crashing together at nearly the speed of light. A Dartmouth physicist asserts it's the beginning of a new field of scientific discovery.

Aita Gurung allegedly killed his wife at the family's home on Hyde Street in Burlington on Oct. 12. Just days before, on Oct. 7, he had self-reported to Burlington Police his involvement in a domestic violence incident.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

About half of the murders that have taken place in Vermont over the past 20 years have been related to domestic violence.

We're talking about that persistent, deadly link between domestic violence and homicide, and what steps can be taken by the state going forward to stop both.

Rex Butt is the interim executive director of the Pride Center of Vermont.
Pride Center of Vermont, courtesy

After just five months on the job at the Pride Center of Vermont, executive director Susan Hartman abruptly stepped down in early October.

Volunteer and board member Rex Butt has stepped in to lead the organization in the interim, and he said turmoil within the local LGBTQ community contributed to Hartman's swift departure.

Courtesy

Target has signed a lease to open a "small-format store" in South Burlington on Dorset Street.

The Scott administration wants to reallocation existing revenues to pay for clean water initiatives, but lawmakers are worried the plan could shortchange other state programs.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/File

Vermont’s secretary of natural resources is out with a new plan to fund costly water quality improvements, but legislators have some concerns about where she wants the money to come from.

In June, about 25 protesters showed up at the detention facility in South Burlington where Yesenia Hernández is being held for ICE. Migrant Justice is trying to get records related to the arrest of Hernández and several other members of Migrant Justice.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Last week, a group that advocates for undocumented farmworkers in Vermont filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Burlington against three federal agencies that enforce immigration laws.

In the wake of an investigative report by The Washington Post and "60 Minutes," Rep. Peter Welch is calling for congressional investigations into the effects of legislation he co-sponsored in 2015.

An image from one of several 30-second ads Mondo Mediaworks has created as part of a $200,000 marketing campaign to attract new residents to Rutland County.
screenshot, Mondo Mediaworks video

Thirty-second ads touting Rutland have begun to air on cable TV networks in Burlington and Plattsburgh, Boston and Hartford and even Rutland.

"American Street" by Ibi Zoboi and "Clayton Byrd Goes Underground" by Rita Williams-Garcia are both on the shortlist for the 2017 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.
HarperCollins Publishers, courtesy

When Rita Williams-Garcia read Ibi Zoboi's application to Vermont College of Fine Arts, she knew the writer was extremely talented. Williams-Garcia then served as Zoboi's faculty advisor at the school.

Now, Zoboi and Williams-Garcia each have a book nominated to the shortlist for the 2017 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. That's two of the final five!

Some of the principal figures behind civil unions and same-sex marriage in Vermont celebrate the unveiling of a historic marker honoring passage of the laws.
Stefan Hard / The Times Argus

A historic marker rising prominently from the Statehouse lawn now commemorates Vermont’s outsized role in the history of gay rights.

Guillermo Class just couldn’t wait any more. The reports he was getting from his two teenage sons living in Puerto Rico weren’t good. Food and water were getting to them and their mother. But not enough.

New England electricity consumers paid billions of dollars more than necessary over a three-year period. That’s the conclusion of an academic analysis sponsored by a national environmental group that suggests that natural gas suppliers withheld fuel capacity needed for electric generation at key moments on the coldest days — to the benefit of the companies' affiliates.

But some industry players and observers are skeptical at best, while one utility named in the report is calling it an outright fabrication.

The encampment on Sears Lane in Burlington was taken down by the city this week. A judge ruled Friday to block the city from taking down another encampment on Monday.
Liam Connors / VPR

This week the city of Burlington is planning to close a homeless encampment in the city's south end. We spoke to some members of the homeless community to get a sense of what they think of the decision.

Supporters of Keep BT Local came out in droves to the Burlington City Council meeting Monday to voice their support for the co-op's bid to buy Burlington Telecom. The council advanced the bids of Tuecows/Ting and Keep BT Local.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The Burlington City Council voted Monday night to advance the bids of Keep BT Local and Ting  in the process to buy Burlington Telecom.

Londonderry Rep. Oliver Olsen says he won't return to Montpelier in January.

Olsen, an independent, announced Sunday that he is resigning from the Vermont House due to his work schedule.

Aita Gurung allegedly killed his wife at the family's home on Hyde Street in Burlington on Oct. 12. Just days before, on Oct. 7, he had self-reported to Burlington Police his involvement in a domestic violence incident.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

A press release from police about last week’s cleaver attack in Burlington has left questions about the role of an armed bystander at the scene. Here’s what we know — and what we don’t — about the role he played.

The Burlington Telecom building. The City of Burlington hopes to have a buyer for Burlington Telecom lined up by the fall. The City Council will vote to eliminate one of three bids from the sale process.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

The three bidders hoping to buy Burlington Telecom will be narrowed down to two after the city council meets on Monday evening.

Colin Benjamin, director of the Office of Professional Regulation, says an overhaul of rules governing alcohol and drug counselors will increase the supply of addiction-treatment specialists in Vermont.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

As substance abuse treatment agencies struggle to find qualified workers, state officials are trying to make it easier to become an alcohol and drug counselor in Vermont.

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