VPR News

Melody Bodette / VPR

Just as Vermonters are thawing out from a subzero temperatures, snow on Thursday will be followed by dangerous wind chills on Friday and Saturday.

Those temperatures are tough on the humans, but the state is also home thousands of dairy cows. How do all those cows, and their farmers stay warm? VPR visited one dairy farm to find out.

House Speaker MItzi Johnson welcomed lawmakers back to the Statehouse Wednesday morning. Legislative leaders have vowed to move ahead with major policy initiatives in 2018, but they're in many cases at odds over how to proceed.
Kate Alfin Johnson / For VPR

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe say they expect decisive action on major policy fronts during the 2018 legislative session, but as the session gets underway, it’s already clear that it’ll be tough to find consensus within the Legislature on many of those issues, let alone with Republican Gov. Phil Scott.

Ladybug crawls on a marijuana plant in Seattle on June 25, 2014.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press File

Lawmakers are getting ready to debate and vote on the highly controversial issue of marijuana possession right at the start of the new session.

The recent cold spell has spurred oil-fired power plants throughout New England into action. But the operator of the regional electricity grid says pollution control regulations could throttle supplies from those sources.

Over the last decade, relatively low-polluting natural gas has been New England’s dominant fuel for electricity generation. But in winter, demand for gas can skyrocket from consumers who need it to heat their homes, and that can limit supplies for electricity generation.

Upward view of the Vermont Statehouse
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Citizen legislators from across Vermont return to the Statehouse Wednesday morning for the second half of the legislative biennium, and many lawmakers are preparing for an unusually busy year in Montpelier.

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe says finding ways to reduce the cost of prescription drugs is a top priority for him in the new session
Angela Evancie / VPR FILE

Lawmakers return to Montpelier on Wednesday to tackle a number of key issues during the 2018 session. One bill that will receive close scrutiny could significantly reduce the cost of prescription drugs for all Vermonters.

Vermont lawmakers face a number of critical decisions in 2018, related to clean water funding, property tax reform, and whether to raise the minimum wage.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Here's what issues are top of mind as the legislative session begins, and what's planned for the opening days.

A Vermonter and one of the best college hockey players in state history is heading to the Olympic games in South Korea.

The New England Patriots did what they had to do, and by winning their final game of the regular season 26-6 in workmanlike fashion over the NY Jets, Tom Brady and company have secured home field advantage for the duration of the AFC playoffs.

Whiskey bottle pouring into a glass with ice.
igorr1 / iStock

Prohibition might have been repealed in 1933, but modern-day bootleggers are still sidestepping state liquor laws. Now Vermont officials want heavier penalties for people trafficking booze from neighboring New Hampshire.

Vermont Statehouse dome on a cloudy day.
Kirk Carapezza / VPR/file

State revenues are the life blood of Vermont government, but projecting just how much money will be coming into state coffers next year could be more difficult than usual.

Gov. Phil Scott, seen here in his Montpelier office on the one year anniversary into his two-year gubernatorial term.
Henry Epp / VPR

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott was sworn in nearly a year ago. Scott, a Republican, was elected after Democrat Peter Shumlin's six-year tenure.

Stephan Cantor, left, and Howie Cantor, right, of West Glover, Vt., stand here with Tara Rodriguez Besosa, center, director of the Puerto Rico Resilence Fund, and the fund's van that was purchased with donations since the hurricane.
Stephan Cantor, courtesy

Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, and though news of its impact on the island has receded from the front page, a long rebuilding effort continues — and a handful of Vermonters are helping out.

Keron Asencio has been staying at the new warming shelter in Montpelier.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

This week's extreme weather tested the state's shelter system for the homeless.

Drop, Cover, and Hold On illustration via ShakeOut
ShakeOut

A week after a minor earthquake hit the Upper Valley, the Agency of Natural Resources is reminding Vermonters what to do the next time the earth shakes.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos is urging Congress to release nearly $400 million from a special fund to help states upgrade their voting systems to protect them from future cyberattacks.

Although many vote tabulators in Vermont are 20 years old, Condos says it would be extremely difficult for anyone to hack into these machines.

Lauretta Sheridan with her doctor in August 2017. Sheridan reached out two years ago to share her experience recovering opioid addiction. Over the course of the last two years, we've kept in touch as she recovers.
Lynne McCrea / VPR

So often when discussing addiction, people wonder why addicts can't just stop using. Recover.

And so to better understand what it really takes to kick addiction, we followed one woman's multi-year journey.

Changes in the federal tax code could make it harder for economists to predict how much Vermont will collect in state revenues next year.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Vermont is about to generate the cash needed to pay for one of the biggest affordable housing initiatives in recent history.

Jay Peak shutdown its upper mountain Thursday after the temperature dropped to minus 31 degrees Fahrenheit.
AP/file

A spokeswoman for the Vermont Ski Areas Association says visitors should not shy away from their favorite mountain over New Year's weekend.

From left, Love signs in Plainfield, Grace Potter, the Jog Bra, Fezzik Wertlieb and witch windows.
VPR

Inspired by the always-radiant Linda Holmes' list of "50 Wonderful Things From 2017" for NPR's Monkey See blog, we bring you "17 Wonderful Vermont Things From 2017" (because 50 is a lot, you guys.)

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