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Watts: E-cigarettes

Sep 25, 2018
Neydtstock / iStock

I started smoking when I was 15. By the time I was 16 I was addicted. It took ten years to quit, something some of my teenage friends were never able to do.

Illustrator Harry Bliss, his dog Penny, author Kate DiCamillo and The Flying Pig Bookstore owner Elizabeth Bluemle pose at The Film House, in Burlington. All three (humans) happen to be creators of picture books about dogs, published by Candlewick Press.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Over the weekend, a crowd of picture book fans got a chance to meet award-winning author Kate DiCamillo and illustrator Harry Bliss, a part-time Burlington resident. Attendees also got to know one of the furry, four-legged inspirations for the duo's new picture book.

Updated at 1:06 p.m. ET.

President Trump defended his "America First" agenda in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, in effect spiking the football at what his secretary of state described as the "Super Bowl of diplomacy."

The president boasted that he's accomplished more during his time in office than almost any previous administration — a claim that drew immediate laughter from the assembled diplomats and other world leaders.

Trump pressed ahead, undaunted.

"I didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK," he said.

After Quebec confirmed its first-ever case of chronic wasting disease earlier this month, wildlife officials say they're working to make sure the disease doesn't spread to the deer herd in Vermont.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

Wildlife officials are keeping a close eye on a potentially lethal threat to Vermont’s deer herd.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter said officials in Quebec have confirmed the province’s first-ever case of chronic wasting disease.

With the Nov. 6 election approaching, we're featuring interviews with candidates seeking statewide offices. Stephen Marx is running for governor as an independent on the Earth Rights platform.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to President Donald Trump at U.N. headquarters on Monday.
Evan Vucci / Associated Press

President Donald Trump is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

VPR will carry NPR's special coverage of the president's U.N. remarks beginning at 10:30 a.m., and the address will also be streamed via video.

McCallum: Squirrels

Sep 25, 2018
A grey squirrel in the grass.
Dgwildlife / iStock

Lately it seems like everyone’s got a squirrel story. Newspapers, radio and the internet have been buzzing about the exploding population of Sciurus carolinensis, the Eastern gray squirrel.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a protest in July opposing Brett Kavanaugh's U.S. Supreme Court nomination.
Cliff Owen / Associated Press

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders does not want the Senate Judiciary Committee to move forward with any votes in the confirmation process for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

That's after a second woman went public with an allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, who has denied both allegations.

Bill Schubart

I’ve been trying to picture the Catholic Church - the Mother Church if you will – as a matriarchy instead of a patriarchy, in which the first pope had been Christ’s friend and apostle, Mary Magdalene, instead of Peter, the wayward apostle who thrice denied him.

Al Gore stands on a stage with a sign that says Global Climate Action Summit in the background.
Eric Risberg / Associated Press

The Global Climate Action Summit was held earlier this month in San Francisco. While it may seem counterintuitive for that conference to be in a major American city when the United States has pulled out of the Paris climate accord, the activists who were there see an opportunity for the U.S. to still be a leader in fighting the effects of climate change.

Third graders Max Becker, Anastasia Moshovetis and Eliza Frehsee, from left, hold up a question about Leo Arden, a character in one of Chris Harris' poems whose parents forgot to teach him the number eight.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

At Guilford Central School, the entire school – kindergarten through sixth grade – gets together for Community Music Time.

Sometimes musicians from the greater community come in to perform. But on the day Dorothy's List was there, it was small ensembles of sixth graders who took the spotlight to highlight a book they'd read.

Dan Weintraub of Quechee is on day 999 of his self-imposed challenge to write a new song a day for 1,000 days in a row.
Dan Weintraub, courtesy

Sipping a cup of coffee. Floating down a river. Laundry detergent. Song lyrics can capture memories of relaxing mornings, summer adventures or even mundane daily duties. Writing lyrics like these are now very familiar to Dan Weintraub, a Quechee-based singer/songwriter, as he nears the end of a unique songwriting challenge: writing a song per day for 1,000 days

Scott Finn took over as president of VPR in March, and says the station should stay focused on audio storytelling.
VPR

VPR's new president and CEO Scott Finn has been traveling to each of Vermont's fourteen counties to hear what Vermonters what from their public radio station. On this Vermont Edition, we take the conversation from the 'Tell Me More Tour' on the air.

A row of occupied voting booths with curtains drawn in Norwich, Vt.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

The town of Norwich has been trying to get an affordable housing project off the ground for more than a decade, and there will be a special vote on Election Day to see if the town wants to keep trying to encourage the development.

AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

As a Puerto Rican living in Vermont, I was deeply disturbed by the President’s recent tweet denying Puerto Rico's hurricane Maria revised death toll of two thousand nine hundred and seventy five.

After allegations of sexual assault have arisen against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, his path to approval has gotten murky.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP FILE

The recent confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been controversial. And now the Senate Judiciary Committee — of which Sen. Patrick Leahy is the seniormost member — is trying to decide how to review allegations of sexual assualt that have been brought against Kavanaugh by professor Christine Blasey Ford.

When people are crossing a U.S. border, they expect to be asked about their citizenship. But not when they're driving up the East Coast.

U.S. Border Patrol agents are boarding buses from private lines like Greyhound and Concord Coach within 100 miles of a U.S. border, asking passengers if they're American citizens. It turns out agents are empowered to do this through a little-known law called the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. There are more and more reports of officers stopping cars and buses.

The two toddlers currently enrolled at LouLou's Pre-K & Family Child Care have a lot of books and toys to choose from. Once the home day care is licensed by the state, up to ten children will be allowed to enroll.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

If you've ever looked for child care in Vermont, you know it can be tough to find openings. But it can also be a tough, and expensive, process for providers to open up and register with the state.

The organization Vermont Birth to Five is trying to help make it easier. 

AP Photo/Warren Winterbottom, File

Maybe it’s the toxic quality of politics today, or a general sense of unease about the future, but my thoughts – and the thoughts of many others - have been returning to another time of anger and division - and the ways that history affects us.

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