VPR News

New Hampshire regulators on Monday put off a final decision on Eversource’s appeal for its Northern Pass permit.

The state Site Evaluation Committee, or SEC, voted to wait on next steps until the end of March, when they expect to put their earlier denial of the utility's proposed transmission line in writing.

That denial came in early February. Soon after, Eversource asked for the decision to be reconsidered.

On Monday, the SEC declined to take up any such request until after their written decision comes out.

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.

At least 30 years ago, when a student brought a gun into the middle school where I was teaching, I realized with a shock how vulnerable we were.

The exhibit at the Champlain College Art Gallery showcases "artifacts" of the imaginary town of Ralston, Vt., like this faded postcard bearing the town's seal. The exhibit runs through March 29, 2018.
Peter Moore / Champlain College

The history of Ralston, Vermont is well-known to many: the story of feuding brothers at odds over logging and textile fortunes, a dispute that ultimately led to the digging of the Thibodeau Canal which now separates the island from Burlington. Only, there is no canal and that history isn't real. But it's all part of "Quality of Life: The Ralston Historical Museum" exhibit now at the Champlain College Art Gallery.

An F-35B lifts off from the runway at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in October 2017. Burlington will receive 18 F-35s starting in 2019.
Samuel King Jr. / U.S. Air Force

Eighteen F-35 stealth fighter jets are set to come to Vermont next year, but on Town Meeting Day, a ballot question with language rejecting the fighters passed with wide support in Burlington. We're looking at what that vote means and what happens next for the F-35s in Vermont.

Castleton University President Karen Scolforo sits in the office she took over in December. Scolforo says she's optomistic the univeristy will be able to correct a budget deficit of $1.5 million the university is currently facing.
Nina Keck / VPR

When Castleton University announced last month it was facing a $1.5 million budget shortfall, it raised concerns in Rutland, where the college has expanded in recent years.

Jace Laquerre, a 19-year-old freshman at the University of Vermont, told the audience at Ira Allen Chapel Thursday that, despite all the calls for gun control after Parkland, not all young people are in favor of new restrictions on gun ownership.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The public debate over gun laws arrived Thursday evening on the campus of the University of Vermont, where both supporters and opponents of new gun legislation made their views known.

A group of female musicians, from the nations of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, are visiting our region to perform a new multimedia production based on the epic story 40 Girls, or Qyrq Qyz — an oral tale from the region that dates back centuries.

There’s a lovely old Welsh tune, "The Ash-Grove" that elementary school music teachers and scout leaders often choose for their kids to sing. In it, lost love is recalled under the graceful boughs of the lovely and practical Ash tree.

I once bought ten acres of woods in New Hampshire because they looked so much like my Adirondacks. The county forester walked them with me and showed me how I could harvest them sustainably for firewood. But save these, he said, tapping a white ash. These are your most valuable trees.

It seems every few weeks there is a hate crime reported on a college campus in New England. The groups that keep track of these kinds of incidents say there is, in fact, a marked increase in the number of racist slurs found scrawled on campus walls and an increase in white supremacist group activity.

A screenshot from one of Professor Bongard's videos shows a robot "dreaming" about how to move.
courtesy of Josh Bongard

In order to be as useful as possible, robots need to be able to think and act for themselves. But with that autonomy can come serious concerns about human safety. We're talking about teaching machines how to be smart and independent, without kicking off a robot uprising.

Brian Jenkins/Courtney Adams/UVM Athletics

When Anthony Lamb broke his foot during a practice over the Christmas holidays, University of Vermont men's basketball coach John Becker knew his team stood at a crossroad. 

If the Catamounts hoped to continue their two-year run of excellence, every player on the roster would have to do more — and no one needed to step up bigger than Drew Urquhart.

Syrup producer David Hall stands outside near Lac Brome, Québec.
Lorne Matalon / For VPR

While Vermont is by far the highest producing maple syrup state in the United States, 70 percent of the world's maple syrup is made in Québec.

And that's where the benchmark global price for bulk maple syrup — the price paid by processors to Vermont's maple syrup producers — is set each year by a powerful, but legal, cartel.

About 100 people filled Tracy Hall in Norwich for an informational town meeting on Monday night.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

An overwhelming majority of school budgets passed on Town Meeting Day, but the Scott administration says those budgets need be cut back further and placed in the hands of state policymakers.

Every morning, Mary Hollis follows a routine. Breakfast is oatmeal with granola, coffee, and maybe some yogurt or applesauce to help wash down her medication.

During the winter, the retiree says she “shivers” through the meal.

A headshot of author Chris Bohjalian and the cover of his new novel The Flight Attendant.
Victoria Blewer

The new novel The Flight Attendant is a page-turner thriller — and the 20th book by Vermont's own Chris Bohjalian.

The job school superintendents love to hate is deciding on whether to close school or not in the winter.
Willowpix / iStock

There are two sides to school snow days. You've got the kids who get a day off and a chance to romp in the snow and catchup on the homework they might not have gotten done on time. And then there's the parents who might have to take a day off of work to watch the kids. But beyond that are the school superintendents who have to make the decision to close school.