Government & Politics

When I first heard that Senator John McCain had undergone emergency surgery for a blood clot in his brain, I was really worried for him and his family. Those are not simple operations, no matter what the cause or prognosis. 

Vermont will study how so-called 'rape kits' are processed into evidence, as part of a new law that Gov. Phil Scott signed on Tuesday, July 17, 2017.
Rick Bowmer / AP

The governor signed two bills on Tuesday that extend protections for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Some of the changes have been long in coming for the advocates who work on these issues.

Vermont's Department of Motor Vehicles was breaking Vermont law when it searched its records using facial recognition software, Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan says.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

A facial recognition system in place at Vermont's Department of Motor Vehicle has been suspended indefinitely after a review by the state's Attorney General found that the system violates state law.

Among June’s Supreme Court releases was a short per curium ruling in Hernández v. Mesa. It didn’t get much coverage – the Justices basically sent everything back to the lower court. But, the case itself raised some of the most controversial questions of the term … and the Court’s attempt to avoid answering them spoke volumes.

The Guildhall Public Library dates from 1901. We're talking about how libraries fund the services they provide to Vermonters.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Among many other records, Vermont can boast more public libraries per person than any other state in the union. How those libraries get their funding is far from uniform; it can vary greatly from town to town. We're talking about how libraries get the money they use, how they deal with funding challenges, and how it all affects the services they offer to Vermonters.

My state representative Lee Oxenham recently asked me to sign a petition calling on the town select board to commit to the goals of the Paris Climate Accords. I gave it a quick look.

Two top officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Manchester have been removed pending a review of conditions described in a Boston Globe report. Several doctors at the Manchester VA complained in the report of unsanitary operating rooms and alleged substandard care.

At the Vermont Statehouse on July 17, Republican Gov. Phil Scott joined Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy (left) and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (right) to denounce proposed cuts to Medicaid funding.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Vermont's top elected officials from across the political spectrum came together in Montpelier Monday morning to show their opposition to U.S. Senate Republicans' health care proposal.

Railroad veteran Charlie Moore, left, has joined David Blittersdorf, right, in Blittersdorf's effort to establish commuter rail in Vermont.
Steve Zind / VPR

Wind developer David Blittersdorf has put millions of dollars into a plan to bring commuter train service back to Vermont, and the new service could begin as early as next year.

Former lawmaker Norm McAllister takes the stand to testify on the third day of his trial at Vermont Superior Court in St. Albans on Friday, July 14, 2017.
Greg Lamereaux / Pool Photo

Late Friday night, the jury in the case against former state senator Norm McAllister found him guilty of one count of prohibited acts and acquitted on charges of sexual assault and a second count of prohibited acts. 

Montpelier's new city flag takes the place of one thrown together years ago to display in the Rose Parade.
Courtesy: City of Montpelier

The nation’s smallest capital city has a newly designed flag.

Montpelier’s original flag was created in haste years ago when the nationally televised Rose Parade put out a call for flags from all the state capitals.

Vermont Division for Historic Preservation

The drive took me about ten miles west of St. Albans, through the pastoral countryside of Fairfield, surrounded by rolling fields of corn, lush pastureland, red barns and distant mountains.

Vermont State Police are investigating the death of 59-year-old Cindy Cook of Barre after her body was found next to a dirt road in Middlesex Wednesday evening. According to preliminary autopsy results, Cook’s death was a homicide. A cause of death has yet to be determined.

All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation say the president's transportation infrastructure plan is a giveaway to Wall Street investment firms.
tomazi / iStock

While all three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation support a $1 trillion plan to rebuild America's roads and bridges, they say President Trump's transportation proposal is a giveaway to Wall Street investment firms, and will send tolls skyrocketing.

A federal investigation of Jane Sanders is quickly becoming a political problem for her husband, Sen. Bernie Sanders. Officials are looking into whether Jane Sanders lied on a loan application when she was president of Burlington College, a small liberal arts school along the shore of Lake Champlain in Vermont.

Questions about Jane Sanders' time at the college are putting Bernie Sanders on the defensive at a time when national speaking tours and regular appearances on cable talk shows have some of his supporters predicting a 2020 presidential run.

Secretary of State Jim Condos, seen here in his office in June, is refusing to turn over Vermont's voter database to the Presidential Election Integrity Commission
Bob Kinzel / VPR file

Secretary of State Jim Condos says that for now he won't send any Vermont voter information to the Presidential Election Integrity Commission.

Chief Health Care Advocate Mike Fisher, center, is urging state regulators to reject the 12.6 percent premium increase being sought by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/file

Consumer pushback against proposed rate hikes for health insurance premiums might persuade state regulators to lower the increases, according to Vermont's chief health care advocate.

Tom Huebner, the CEO of Rutland Regional Medical Center, says tens of thousands of Vermonters could lose coverage under the proposed Republican health care legislation. He also says his hospital could lose $19 million in federal reimbursement.
Nina Keck / VPR file

Senate Republicans plan to unveil a new version of their health care bill this week, but unless it differs substantively from the previous version, Rutland Regional Medical Center could lose $19 million a year in federal reimbursements, according to the hospital's CEO.

Update at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday: Iranian cancer researcher Dr. Sayed Mohsen Dehnavi and his family were put on a flight back to Iran Tuesday night, per U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Original story:

An Iranian researcher coming to work at Boston Children’s Hospital as a visiting scholar has been denied entry to the United States.

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