The Frequency

The statewide emergency phone system operated by FairPoint Communications is not working in several Vermont communities this evening, according to emergency services agencies scrambling to find workarounds for people to reach them.

The state issued a new $11 million, five-year contract for the system's operations to FairPoint Communications and the company took over the "E911" system earlier this month

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Six months ago, Elmore residents John and Kristen Howell struck up a partnership with The Elmore Store owners Warren and Kathy Miller. They started selling pizza made from local ingredients out of the cramped general store.

Vermont’s Department of Corrections is trying to make it easier for out-of-state male prisoners to maintain contact with their families. The move follows a judge’s opinion that men are being treated differently from women when it comes to incarceration beyond Vermont’s borders.

Last summer, a Superior Court judge ruled that a father who was then housed in a Kentucky prison should be returned to prison in Vermont, so that he can see his children.

Burlington Police Department

A Burlington collector is offering a $30,000 reward for information that leads to the return of some very rare baseball memorabilia from the early 1900s, according to people familiar with the theft of the collection.

According to a release from the Burlington Police Department, a number of rare collectibles were reported stolen last week from a home on North Prospect Street in Burlington.


Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Amy Burell-Cormier says she was pulled over six times in three months, but not because of her driving.

“The third time, the officer asked ‘Do you know why I’m pulling you over?’” she remembers. “I said yes, he said ‘Why?’ I said ‘Because I’m black driving down the road in Vermont,’ and he was horrified.”

The officer’s reason, she says, is that she was speeding – 27 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone.

The U.S. Department of Education said Marlboro College is under investigation for issues relating to sexual violence.

Records show the department's Office of Civil Rights has been investigating the private non-profit college since early October.

The investigation is related to Title IX, the federal law protecting students from discrimination based on sex.

In the past six months, federal officials have launched more than 30 Title IX investigations across the U.S.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger has weighed in in favor of partial development of the 25-acre plot of land Burlington College is selling in order to improve its troubled finances.

Union organizing efforts by adjunct faculty at Champlain College and Burlington College came to a successful conclusion Monday.  A union vote at a third college will be announced next week.

The majority of adjunct faculty at the two colleges voted to join the Service Employees International Union, which has been organizing at colleges around the country. 

Naomi Winterfalcon, who helped organize the union effort at Champlain College, says the union "seemed like a pipe dream at the beginning of the semester."

The report was prepared by the State Agency of Administration. Its goal is to develop a plan for eliminating the home’s need for state subsidies by 2018. The study attributes recent shortfalls in part to a low census. The facility is budgeted for 171 beds but typically has fewer than 130 residents.

But Steve Howard of the Vermont State Employees Association, which represents workers at the home, says downsizing isn’t the answer.

The state is developing its first on-road bicycle plan for state highways. Real Estate items are in the news from Fairfield Pond, Mount Holly and Weston. And an open meeting law stumble means a revote on town property tax exempt status for Hard'ack Recreation Area in St. Albans.

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