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Vermont Edition
12:00 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Neurology, Research And Care For ALS Patients

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, second from left, and Gov. Peter Shumlin, second from right, take the "ice bucket challenge" on Aug. 14, 2014. The challenge is aimed at raising funds to fight ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Dave Gram AP

Maybe you have poured a bucket of ice on your head, or maybe you have just seen videos of friends doing it. Either way, the viral "ice bucket challenge" has accomplished its goal this summer: raising awareness and money for ALS, a fatal illness that was little-known a month ago.

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VPR News
5:00 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Ebola Unlikely In U.S., But Preparations Underway

A Nigerian health official wears a protective mask on Aug. 4, 2014. Though the chances of contracting the disease outside of West Africa are extremely slim, American hospitals are preparing for a possible outbreak.
Sunday Alamba AP

Grim news about the Ebola virus is filling the airwaves these days. And although the chances of contracting the disease outside of West Africa are extremely slim, American hospitals are preparing for a possible outbreak. Colleges are also starting to get questions from parents about whether international students could carry the virus to campuses.

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The Frequency
4:23 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Boil Water Order Lifted In Fair Haven

State officials lifted a boil water notice in the town of Fair Haven Wednesday, a day after it was declared.

Water samples tested positive for fecal coliform (E. coli) on Monday, causing officials to issue the notice Tuesday.

A positive E. coli test indicates "that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes," according to a release.

Updated August 20 at 4:23 p.m. to reflect that the notice was lifted.

Commentary
5:50 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Kunin: On Silence And Suicide

Let’s talk about it. Let’s stop whispering about mental illness and suicide. Two suicides - one close to home, Cheryl Hanna who many of us had known and loved - and another - Robin Williams - somebody we had known as an actor, who made us laugh and sometimes cry - have forced us to ask, “Why?”

Each was at the prime of life, why would they have wanted to kill themselves? We never knew, we didn’t have a clue, or so it seemed.

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The Frequency
2:44 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

West Nile Virus Detected In St. Albans

The State of Vermont tests mosquitoes for multiple diseases, such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus.
Lisa Poole AP File Photo

Mosquitoes from St. Albans City have tested positive for West Nile virus, the Vermont Department of Health announced.

The mosquitoes were collected on July 29.

West Nile was in Vermont in 2013 as well, with 28 of 1,328 testing pools showing positive results for the virus. One human in Lamoille came down with West Nile last year, but recovered.

The Department of Health said West Nile symptoms are usually mild, and about 1 percent of infected people develop severe illnesses that can be fatal.

Some tips from the department on avoiding mosquito-borne illnesses:

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Vermont Edition
10:28 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Sarah Buxton Speaks Out About Depression

State Representative Sara Buxton opens up about her depression
Kirk Carapezza VPR

The death of well-respected law professor and media analyst Cheryl Hanna has continued to reverberate in the many communities she touched.

Her husband, Paul Henninge, has been speaking out about his wife’s struggle with depression, expressing his desire for more openness about the often debilitating condition and for more people to come forward and bring the topic out of the shadows.

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Environment
6:12 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Watch Out For Blue-Green Algae Blooms

Blue-green algae blooms, like this on in July 2012 at Burlington's North Beach, can contain dangerous toxins and should be avoided.
Vermont Department of Health

Earlier this week a widespread bloom of blue-green algae prompted a warning for hundreds of thousands of people in Toledo, Ohio. Health officials said the algae found in Lake Erie made drinking water from the lake unsafe.

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The Frequency
11:11 am
Mon August 4, 2014

State To Drop CGI, Vermont Health Connect Developer

Vermont is done with CGI, the vendor it hired to develop the troubled Vermont Health Connect, officials announced today. The contract for development will shift to a new vendor as part of "new management structure to ease frustrations for Vermonters affected by the change of circumstance issue," according to a press release from the administration of Gov. Peter Shumlin.

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VPR News
5:00 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Lack Of Medicaid Coverage Hampers Addiction Treatment

A sign invites clients to a counseling service in St. Johnsbury. They can get Medicaid coverage for metal illness, but not addiction.
Charlotte Albright VPR

As an ever increasing number of people seek help with alcohol and drug addiction, a payment loophole is preventing many of those patients from getting timely treatment. That’s in part because Medicaid does not reimburse private providers who treat their patients for addiction, unless they are also diagnosed with a mental illness.

But not every patient who abuses alcohol or drugs is mentally ill.

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VPR News
5:51 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

In Fight For Soda Tax, Stakes Getting Bigger

Anthony Iarrapino, who will lead the lobbying push for a 2-cent per-ounce excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, sits behind a display showing how much sugar some common drinks contain.
VPR/Peter Hirschfeld

Two years ago, Vermont’s House Committee on Health Care became the first legislative panel in the country to approve a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The vote triggered a massive response from the beverage industry, which poured more than $600,000 into advertising and lobbying aimed at killing the measure.

“We really got outspent, big time,” says Tina Zuk, director of government relations for the American Heart Association. “I think we got outspent 80-to-1.”

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