VPR News

Cans of Heady Topper roll off the production line at The Alchemist brewery, in Waterbury. The brewery recently intentionally over-built a solar project and is sharing its extra power with the Waterbury Area Senior Center.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

"Microbrews and bluebird skies." It could almost be a Vermont tourism campaign — but in this instance, it describes an emerging trend in the region: solar-powered local beer production. And one central Vermont brewery's raising the bar even higher by throwing philanthropy into the mix.

The House chamber of the Vermont Legislature
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

A big week for gun control at the Statehouse culminated in a day-long debate over a bill that would raise the age at which Vermonters could purchase guns, ban bump stocks, require universal background checks and restrict magazine capacity. 

Community members hold signs in favor of gun legislation in Brattleboro, Vt.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The "March For Our Lives" will take place on Saturday, March 24, with a national march in Washington, D.C., as well as local events in Montpelier and other Vermont locations.

A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student wears a March For Our Lives backpack
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

A group of Randolph Union High School students is going beyond the borders of Vermont and traveling to Washington, D.C., to take part in the national "March For Our Lives" event on Saturday. 

A stretch of road with a mini cell tower on a utility pole that a car is driving by.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont has been trying to get cell service into every corner of the state, and a few years ago, a new technology offered promise by mounting mini cell towers along utility poles.

But just last week the state learned that CoverageCo — the company that’s operating the cell system — is about to shut down after losing money on the experiment.

screenshot of timesargus.com

The Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus newspapers have been sold for the second time in 18 months.

The mural in Burlington reflects 400 years of Vermont history but has drawn criticism for lacking diversity.
Adam Fagen / Flickr

The mural that graces Leahy Way off of Church Street in Burlington is arresting. It's 120 feet by 14 feet and depicts a 400-year timeline. It's brightly-colored and loaded with many of Vermont's historical figures. And it lacks diversity. So what should the city do with it now?

Tom Wrasse is at his hunting shack alone. Light pours into the small room from a window framed by antlers, harvested from the surrounding central Wisconsin woods. On the opposite wall is a collage of fading photos, showing how big the hunting parties out here used to be.

courtesy

The Vermont Public Radio Board of Directors announced Thursday that West Virginia public broadcaster Scott Finn will be the next leader of VPR.

Bill Mares stands in front of a wall with an image of the cover of the book "The Full Vermonty."
Melody Bodette / VPR

A Gallup poll following President Donald Trump's first six months in office found his lowest approval rating among all 50 states was in Vermont, at just 26 percent. It is very much within that context that author Bill Mares got together with cartoonist Jeff Danziger to produce a book of essays called The Full Vermonty: Vermont in the Age of Trump.

Gov. Phil Scott sitting at a table with papers on it, looking at the camera.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says it's likely he'll veto an education financing bill that was passed by the Vermont House.

The governor’s comments potentially set up a confrontation with Democratic legislative leaders that’s similar to a situation that happened last year.

About 150 students from Montpelier High School walked out of class Wednesday afternoon to stage a rally on the steps of the Statehouse. Students across Vermont are calling on lawmakers to pass new gun legislation.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / The Times Argus

The school shooting in Parkland, Florida has given rise to a new wave of young activists. On Wednesday afternoon, House and Senate lawmakers heard from some of the Vermont students who are demanding action from Montpelier on gun control legislation.

Jim Jeffords, Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy holding glasses of milk in 1999 in Montpelier.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

On Wednesday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant appointed the state's Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith to a U.S. Senate seat, replacing Sen. Thad Cochran. With that appointment, Vermont is now the only state to never send a woman to Congress.

Dylan Fortin, who's 24 and from Barton, Vermont has been competing in Special Olympics since he was 8. His mother Gail says he loves to re-connect every year with friends.
Nina Keck / VPR

The annual Special Olympics Vermont Winter Games took place at Pico Mountain Resort, with nearly 200 athletes competing this year.

Stowe attorney Russell Barr, standing in Lamoille County Superior Court Monday, says he has evidence that a Vermont government official was arrested while on official business in China. State officials say they have no records of any such arrest.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Top state officials say they have no records indicating that a Vermont state employee was arrested for having sex with a minor while traveling on government business in China.

Moose are falling victim to winter ticks, whose population is booming because of climate change. The state says some very limited hunting of the big animals should still be allowed.
Sandy Macys / AP

The state is proposing to drastically reduce the number of permits to hunt moose as the population continues to suffer from a parasite that has grown more abundant with climate change.

The endangered North Atlantic right whale population took a big hit last year, with a record number killed by fishing gear entanglements and ship strikes. Now, an ongoing debate over threats posed by Maine's lobster industry is gaining new urgency.

Frank Amato / courtesy, Eagle Times

You can’t just walk into Springfield High School: There's a camera trained on the front door — which is locked — all part of the school's security plan. And that's just the beginning.

An empty school hallway with a row of lockers and a door at the end.
Halbergman / iStock

After the shooting in Parkland, Florida, and a threat of violence at Fair Haven Union High School, Gov. Phil Scott has called for safety assessments of Vermont's schools by the end of March. Scott has also requested $5 million over this year and next year to pay for security upgrades for schools.

President Trump's speech at Manchester Community College today about the national opioid epidemic included plenty of New Hampshire references.

Trump took time to thank Governor Chris Sununu and Manchester Fire Chief Daniel Goonan for attending.

The speech ranged widely on topics including sanctuary cities, DACA and the border wall with Mexico, but the President did not make any specific announcement of new funding measures to fight the opioid epidemic.

Trump did make it clear that he wants to see tougher penalties for those convicted of drug trafficking.

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