Government & Politics

The "News Done Right" web series claims to be made by Vermonters but may be being produced from outside of Vermont.
Screenshot from "News Done Right - Fan Club" YouTube channel

A series of satirical videos about Vermont politics attack local political figures from a particular point of view. They claim to be by Vermonters for Vermonters but may be produced out-of-state. It’s unclear who is paying for them, and the state attorney general's office has received a complaint that they constitute illegal electioneering.

I am a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association with a healthy distrust of our government, and I was as heart-broken as anyone to learn how one young man turned predator and hunted down and murdered fellow human beings – most of them children not unlike my own.

President Trump will visit Manchester Monday, where's he's expected to announce a new plan to battle the nationwide opioid crisis.

Manchester Fire Department Chief Daniel Goonan knows first-hand how big his city’s opioid problem is.

Layers walk around by the "egg mobile" at the Papineau Family Farm in Highgate.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A rule designed to insure poultry and their eggs sold under the organic label are from birds raised under healthy living conditions, including access to outdoors, has been withdrawn by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Zeb Towne, of Duxbury, is reportedly the only elected dogcatcher in the United States. Last week he was reelected without opposition.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

It’s a political insult that dates back to the 1800s and has been used as recently as last fall by the President: "He couldn’t get elected dogcatcher." Often considered hyperbole, since there are no longer elected dogcatchers in the U.S., there's a town in central Vermont where it could be taken quite literally.

According to campaign finance disclosures, Republican Gov. Phil Scott has raised more than twice as much money toward his 2018 reelection bid than any of the other four candidates challenging him for the office.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

In his second year in office, Gov. Phil Scott has called for limited spending and shared his change of heart on gun control laws. We're talking with the Governor about the surprises and changing priorities in Montpelier in 2018, and what he wants to accomplish in the rest of the legislative session.

Attorney General TJ Donovan announced a $28 million settlement with tobacco companies Thursday. Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders say they'll use $14 million to combat the state's opioid problem. They have yet to decide how to spend the remainder.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A legal settlement with tobacco companies has resulted in a financial windfall for the state of Vermont.

Michael Colby, right, of Regeneration Vermont, testifies about what he says is lax state oversight of large dairy farms.
John Dillon / VPR

One of the largest farm businesses in the state expanded its operation and constructed a manure pit in Franklin County last summer — without a permit or state oversight.

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

Historically young people haven’t had the best reputation: Teens have often been characterized as too busy texting and tweeting to be aware of or to engage in current events.

Ed Wilson, in yellow, was one of nearly 200 gun rights advocates in the Statehouse cafeteria Tuesday evening. Wilson and others say proposed gun legislation in Montpelier would infringe on gun owners' rights.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

In their first show of political force in Montpelier since lawmakers began taking up new firearms legislation, about 200 gun rights advocates jammed the Statehouse cafeteria Tuesday evening to show their opposition to the bills.

Allie Brown, a senior at Burlington High School, spoke at the rally. She urged her peers to call their state representatives about supporting a bill that would requre background checks for all gun purchases.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

While a number of planned walkouts were rescheduled Wednesday due to weather, rallies did take place across the state as part of a nationwide protest. 

The Cavendish community tapestry which shows a river, tree, gazebo and townspeople and says Cavendish 1761.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A community art project in the tiny town of Cavendish was shown for the first time at this year's town meeting, but its longtime champion wasn't there to see it.

Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Students across the country and around Vermont are planning school walkouts and other protest actions Wednesday morning, March 14.

"The Vermonter" travels from its northernmost stop in St. Albans through New England to Washington, D.C.
Vermont Agency of Transportation

Amtrak president and CEO Richard Anderson startled rail passengers and others who regularly use trains in Vermont when he said he "doubts" Amtrak would run trains on track that doesn't have a safety protocol known as PTC, or positive train control. Vermont is among the states that doesn't have PTC on its tracks.

A wooden gavel on a table with a blurry bookshelf in the background.
vladans / iStock

Last month, police arrested 18-year-old Jack Sawyer, after he was accused of plotting a school shooting at Fair Haven Union High School in Vermont. Among the charges Sawyer is facing: attempted murder. 

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

The Republican governor says the school budgets approved at town meetings last week are too high, and he wants the Legislature to intervene, by requiring districts to reduce spending. But a group of lawmakers say they have a better plan.

More than three weeks after a school shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead, students are demanding that Congress pass tougher gun laws, but so far U.S. lawmakers have failed to act.

In the absence of federal action, gun control advocates are urging states to take up the fight — and point to Connecticut as a successful model. After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School more than five years ago, the state passed some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and advocates say they’re working.