The Frequency

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation issues a water quality certification regarding the future operations of Green Mountain Power’s hydroelectric project in Waterbury. Many wooded trails are closed due to downed trees and debris. Vermont State Parks offer First Day Hikes. Colchester is asking local artists to submit design ideas for creative bicycle racks.

Steve Zind / VPR

The state says despite efforts to address service delays by FairPoint Communications, the pace of customer complaints shows no sign of slowing.

The Department of Public Service says it has received more than 730 complaints about FairPoint service since workers went on strike on Oct. 17.

The department was pressing the company to resolve repair delays for telephone customers even before the strike, but says the number of complaints increased dramatically when the work stoppage began.

Angela Evancie / VPR File Photo

Tristram Coffin, the U.S. Attorney for the district of Vermont, said he is resigning next month to take a job in private practice.

"I'm going to be reluctantly stepping down and taking on another job beginning Jan. 12," he said. "It's an excellent opportunity, but I will be leaving this job feeling it's been an amazing time here. We've got such an incredible office here and terrific people."

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Vermont Gas Systems announced Friday that it faces additional cost overruns for its pipeline to Addison County. 

The company is not ruling out a rate increase to pay for the new costs. And officials say they will ask regulators to delay proceedings on the the next phase of the project, pending revised cost estimates for that phase.  

Costs have gone up substantially since the project was first submitted to regulators a year ago.

The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is slated to close on Monday, Dec. 29. Employment at the plant will drop in the middle of January from around 550 employees to just over 300.

The impact is expected to be substantial in Windham County and across state lines in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Audio from this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

Gov. Peter Shumlin has abandoned his plan to institute a single-payer health system in Vermont.

The shocking policy reversal comes just six weeks after an election in which Shumlin had vowed, in unequivocal terms, to make Vermont the first state in the country with a publicly financed health care system.

Read Shumlin's prepared remarks from the news conference.

A new report  shows that Vermont is making progress toward some key education goals for high school students, but lagging behind the region in other areas. The data have been collected since 2009 using similar metrics and methods by five states in the New England Secondary School Consortium.

Susan Bulmer / Vermont State Parks

Looking for something to do New Year's Day? Vermont State Parks suggests you go take a hike.

Guided First Day Hikes are being offered at nine Vermont State Parks and Forests on Jan. 1. Professional guides and outdoor educators will lead the family-oriented hikes. Leashed dogs are also welcome on most of the hikes. Snowshoes are recommended if the snow is deep. There's no need to preregister just pack a snack, water and warm clothes and go take a hike!

iStock / Thinkstock

Attention artists: Colchester wants you to design its new bike racks.

The Town of Colchester is asking artists to submit designs for permanent outdoor bicycle racks for its Colchester Rides! contest. Three winning designers will be offered $2,500 honoraria to produce the bike racks, which will be placed at prominent locations in the community. Artists will also be responsible for the first year of maintenance on their racks.

The three members of Vermont’s congressional delegation have once again called on FairPoint Communications to settle a two month old strike with unionized employees.

In a joint letter to the company, Sens. Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch wrote, “It is becoming increasingly clear to Vermonters that management is more concerned with the interests of corporate owners of FairPoint than negotiating a reasonable agreement that is fair to your workers and customers.”

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