Government & Politics

Sen. Patrick Leahy is backing efforts to release long held documents relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he supports the release tens of thousands of documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

By insisting that NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem, President Trump may have actually validated their exercise of free speech under the First Amendment.

A blue-gree algae bloom at a beach in Burlington. Some people who live near Lake Carmi, which has dealt with similar blooms, are questioning the state's use of game wardens to enforce order at a public meeting on water quality.
courtesy / the Vermont Department of Health

A government official’s decision to bring armed law-enforcement officers to maintain order at a public meeting on water quality has raised questions about the use of force.

The Vermont Supreme Court ruled that records of public business conducted on private email accounts are subject to the state's public records law.
Royalbroil / Wikimedia Commons

Vermont's Supreme Court ruled Friday that all records generated by public officials as they do their jobs are open to the public, regardless of where the record is stored.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court chose to hear a case over whether email providers must comply with government search warrants, even if the messages in question are stored outside the country. The state of Vermont is taking a central role in the case.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has created a cybersecurity team to defend the state against repeated cyber attacks. "Vermont Edition" looks at the problems the team hopes to prevent.
Henrik5000 / iStock

Governor Phil Scott has some serious concerns about Vermont's cyber safety. He recently noted that since January, the state has had 3.3 million cyber attacks, or an average of 524 per hour for the last nine months.

Earlier this month, Scott signed an executive order creating a cybersecurity team.

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.

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.

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.

“When they line up for a firing squad they form a circle.” So the late Democratic Congressman Mo Udall despaired when discussing his party’s disorganization some years ago. Today this seems to apply to both major parties, which are in a state of disarray not seen since the 1850's.

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.

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.

I’m what they call a “woman of childbearing age,” which means that every day, my ability and choice to or not to procreate is on my mind.

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.

Green Mountain Care Board chairman Kevin Mullin is calling for Congress to restore health care subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

The head of the Green Mountain Care Board is calling on Congress to restore the individual subsidies to the Affordable Care Act that have been eliminated by President Donald Trump.

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.

The Scott administration faces a year-end decision on the future of public safety communications. This could also affect broadband and cellular service in the state.

John Cotter, Margaret Cheney and Tom Knauer, from left, of the Public Utility Commission. The three defended the commission's proposed sound standards for wind energy projects Thursday. Some lawmakers say the proposal would kill wind energy in Vermont.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The future of ridgeline wind energy in Vermont hinges in part on proposed sound standards for large turbines, but a special legislative committee is struggling to decide whether or not to accept the new rules.

Former reporter Charlotte Albright decided it was time to de-activate her Facebook account after learning Russians may have used it to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
screenshot: facebook.com; illustration: Emily Alfin Johnson, VPR

Two weeks ago, I de-activated my Facebook account, after hearing that Russians may have used it to interfere with our last presidential election.

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