• Leahy: Trump looking for ‘reality TV moment’ in government shutdown threat

    Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., at a conference in Burlington June. File photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
    Donald Trump’s plan to force a government shutdown is a “cockamamie idea” and the president is just looking for a “reality TV moment,” Sen. Patrick Leahy said in a speech on the Senate floor Monday.
    “For months now he’s repeatedly called for a government shutdown unless we provide $5 billion for his boondoggle border wall,” Leahy said in the speec
  • State’s flu vaccination rates falling

    A woman receives the seasonal influenza vaccine. NIAID photo
    Amid a severe influenza season in 2017-18, federal statistics show that Vermont’s flu vaccination rates dropped significantly.
    State officials are hoping that trend reverses as the 2018-19 flu season gets started.Get all of VTDigger's health care news.You'll never miss our health care coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox.Daily
    Sundays only (Weekly Wrap) Email me stories on these subjects... Business News
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  • Downtown Burlington Catholic church headed for the real estate market

    Burlington’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, located on Pine Street, opened in 1977 after its predecessor was destroyed by arson. Photo by Kevin O’Connor/VTDigger
    Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Burlington hosted its last Mass on Saturday as the parish plans to sell its prominent downtown property.
    The property has received substantial interest from developers and will likely be listed for sale in January, Steve Donahue, principal of Donahue & Associates real est
  • Newcomb Greenleaf: The scary climate

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Norman Greenleaf, of St. Johnsbury, a mathematician and computer scientist currently on the Goddard College faculty.
    John McClaughry’s commentary “The Really Scary Climate Report” is an attack on the congressionally-mandated National Climate Assessment. He starts out right on target: “‘Grim’ is too weak an adjective for the terrors that the report describes.” I totally agree. But there are two radically differen
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  • Becca Balint: Reject the ‘moral rot’

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by state Sen. Becca Balint, D-Windham, and the current majority leader in the Senate. She lives in Brattleboro.
    Last week a bipartisan group of senior senators emerged from a classified briefing with CIA director Gina Haspel and told the press that Haspel’s testimony had solidified their belief that Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, had ordered the killing of Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Sen. Bob Corker, Republ
  • Nevin Zablotsky: Tobacco 21 — its time has come

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Nevin Zablotsky, DMD, a retired periodontist who practiced in South Burlington and the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont.
    As we approach the holiday season I am reminded of the gifts of love we share with our families, as well as the New Year’s resolutions we make and try to keep after Jan. 1 history.
    I am a periodontist having practiced in Burlington and South Burlington for the past 40 years. In that time I have treated patients that have bee
  • News analysis: Duty, hope and history — Biden prepares for 2020 run

    Former Vice President Joe Biden, right, is interviewed by author Jodi Picoult during an appearance at the Flynn Theater in Burlington on Sunday. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
    He’s running.
    He never said it explicitly, but former Vice President Joe Biden left little doubt Sunday when he spoke to a full house at Burlington’s Flynn Theater that he will be a candidate in the 2020 presidential race.Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly
  • New Hampshire's Secretary Of State Just Got Re-Elected For The 22nd Time dlvr.it/QtJpQ8 https://t.co/wrwcgpgUo8

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  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center announces $130 million expansion

    Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center as seen from the air in December 2017. File photo by Charles Hatcher/Valley News
    This story by Nora Doyle-Burr was published in the Valley News on Dec. 7.
    LEBANON, N.H. — Citing growing demand for its specialty and acute-care services, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center plans a $130 million expansion to include 60 new inpatient beds, a new parking garage and additional rooms in the emergency department.Get all of VTDigger's health care news.You'll never m
  • Guard clarifications to VTDigger articles

    News Release — Vermont National GuardDec. 10, 2018
    Contact:1st Lt. Mikel R. ArcovitchState Public Affairs Officer789 Vermont National Guard RoadColchester, VT 05446(O) (802) 338-3478(BB) (802) 734-1677
    Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media and Vermont National Guard Service Members:
    After yesterday’s press conference we felt it was important to clarify several points. The paramount point is that law and military regulation prohibit the VTNG from disclosing specific details about its pers
  • Margolis: Political tribalism may keep some from accepting global warming

    The sun setting over New York’s Adirondack Mountains as seen from the Burlington waterfront. Seventy-three percent of Vermonters, including those concerned about the impact of climate change on Lake Champlain, agree that global warming ‘is happening.’ Photo by Jim Welch/VTDigger
    Vermonters are not global warming deniers. Almost three quarters of them (73 percent) agree that global warming “is happening,” according to an extensive public opinion survey conducted by t
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  • Ludlow man faces 2nd-degree murder charge in death of infant

    A Ludlow man is due in court Monday afternoon to face a charge of second-degree murder in the death earlier this year of an 11-month-old boy, according to Vermont State Police.
    Tyler Pollender-Savery, 23, is set for an arraignment on the murder charge in Windsor County criminal court in White River Junction in the death of Karsen Rickert, also of Ludlow, police said in a release issued earlier Monday.Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice co
  • Biden in Burlington talks cancer research, mum on 2020

    Former Vice President Joe Biden appears at the Flynn Theater in Burlington. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerAfter the former vice president had already been speaking for more than an hour, the novelist Jodi Picoult, who was moderating Joe Biden’s talk at the Flynn Theater, asked a version of the question audience members had wanted to him to answer all afternoon.
    “How do you want to spend the rest of your life?”Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political s
  • Louis Porter: A rebuttal to Protect Our Wildlife commentary

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Louis Porter, who is the commissioner of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
    The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s professional staff work tirelessly to conserve fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the people of Vermont. As a state agency we are accountable to ALL members of the public, not just one interest group. We recognize and celebrate that people in Vermont connect to the land in different ways, from bird watching,
  • Satire: Vermont kids camps all full for next summer

    VTDigger’s newest feature, The Winooski — Vermont’s premiere local satire site — is founded and edited by Adam Hall.To those parents who had hoped to send their children to camp next summer but haven’t yet secured a spot, you may just be out of luck. Every single summer program in the state has now been filled, with many Vermonters already starting to sign up for the 2020 season. This is a full eight days earlier than last year, and experts expect the trend to cont
  • Louis Josephson: Spotlight on mental health, addiction issues represents opportunity

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Louis Josephson, who is the president and chief executive officer of the Brattleboro Retreat.
    It’s hard to turn on the radio or visit your favorite online news source these days without coming across a feature story or in-depth series about the state of mental health treatment here in Vermont and nationwide.
    More often than not, the media pays a good deal of attention to system inadequacies, regulatory and/or clinical missteps, perceived waste, an
  • Rebecca Foster: Button Up Vermont demonstrates power of partnership

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Rebecca Foster, who is the director of Efficiency Vermont. 
    Vermont has a steep climb to meet its 2020 goal of insulating and air sealing 80,000 homes. It’s a worthy cause to make Vermont homes more affordable, more comfortable, and more sustainable. But on our current trajectory we’ll only meet about half of that goal; it’s clear we have a lot of work to do to accelerate Vermont’s weatherization effort.
    The climb ahead of u
  • Nursing home beds in short supply in the Upper Valley

    Cassandra Gilmore, a support staff member at Bradford Oasis Home and Respite, walks with resident Tina Libbey and Mia the dog in September 2017, in Bradford. Photo by Jennifer Hauck/Valley News
    This story by Nora Doyle-Burr was published by the Valley News on Dec. 1, 2018.LEBANON — Some Upper Valley hospital patients who are ready to be discharged and transferred to places more appropriate — and less costly — for the care they need are unable to leave because there are simply n
  • Then Again: A bootlegging gone bad launched career of Vermont’s first woman lieutenant governor

    The 1926 murder trial of Walter Mason put prosecutor Consuelo Bailey in the limelight. Items related to the trial — Bailey’s handwritten notes, court summons for witnesses and newspaper clippings — are housed at Special Collections at the University of Vermont’s Bailey-Howe Library. Photo by Mark Bushnell
    Editor’s note: Mark Bushnell is a Vermont journalist and historian. He is the author of “Hidden History of Vermont” and “It Happened in Vermont.&
  • Moats: When the subjective overrides the objective

     
    Editor’s note: David Moats, an author and journalist who lives in Salisbury, is a regular columnist for VTDigger. He is editorial page editor emeritus of the Rutland Herald, where he won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for a series of editorials on Vermont’s civil union law.
    It is a frequently repeated truism that Donald Trump is a narcissist, but if that is true, how did someone with such a repellant trait gain the highest office in the land, and what does it even mean to say someon
  • Making it in Vermont: Showcasing Vermont’s industrial side

    An industrial computer in Logic Supply’s manufacturing facility in South Burlington. Photo courtesy of Logic Supply.
    Making it in Vermont is an ongoing series by VTDigger’s business reporter Anne Wallace Allen looking at companies and industries driving innovation in the state. If you have ideas about inspiring entrepreneurs or companies, send them to Anne at awallaceallen@vtdigger.org.
    If you ask people outside Vermont to name the state’s largest export, nine out of 10 will sa
  • New mental health commissioner to tackle ‘major challenges’

    Incoming Mental Health Commissioner Sarah Squirrell. Courtesy photoSarah Squirrell is taking a job that not everyone would want.
    But Squirrell, currently the executive director of Building Bright Futures, says she is up to the challenge of improving Vermont’s overburdened mental health treatment system when she becomes the state’s next mental health commissioner on Jan. 1.Get all of VTDigger's health care news.You'll never miss our health care coverage with our weekly headlines in yo
  • Report: Vermont has lost child care capacity

    Reeva Murphy of DCF. File photo by Amy Ash Nixon/VTDigger
    Child care capacity in Vermont’s regulated market fell by 7 percent between 2015 and 2018, mostly because of a precipitous decline in home-based providers, a new report from the Joint Fiscal Office found.
    Legislators asked for the report last session to get a better picture of Vermont’s shifting early education landscape. It includes data on child care capacity for kids ages 0 to 5 by county, age and type of provider.
    Departme
  • Leahy, Welch call for Trump AG nominee to protect Mueller probe

    Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch at the Vermont Democrats’ election night headquarters. Photos by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerAfter President Donald Trump nominated William Barr to be the new attorney general on Friday, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., voiced concern that Barr would not protect the special counsel’s investigation.
    Almost a month to the day after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced out, Trump called announced his new pick for the p
  • Donovan joins brief challenging Trump asylum ban

    Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan. File photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerAttorney General TJ Donovan joined a multi-state coalition in support of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenging President Donald Trump’s order imposing severe restrictions on asylum seekers.
    The ACLU suit, filed in federal court in San Francisco in November, challenges the efforts by Trump’s administration to bar people who enter the country by illegally crossing the U.S.-Mex
  • Gov. Phil Scott’s public schedule Dec. 8-14, 2018

    News Release — Office of the GovernorDec. 7, 2018
    Contact:Ethan LatourEthan.Latour@vermont.gov
    Governor Phil Scott’s Public Schedule: 12/8/18 – 12/14/18
    No public events scheduled
    Please note, this schedule is subject to change
    Read the story on VTDigger here:Gov. Phil Scott’s public scheduleDec. 8-14, 2018.
  • Vermont Arts Council announces grant awards

    News Release — Vermont Arts CouncilDecember 7, 2018
    Contact:Kira Bacon, communications director, kbacon@vermontartscouncil.org 802.828.5422
    Montpelier – The Vermont Arts Council has awarded grants to artists, arts organizations, and communities throughout Vermont. The projects funded through these grants are as vital and varied as the state’s creative sector — ranging from a Cultural Facilities Grant that helps fund the installation of an ADA-compliant elevator to a Creat
  • Enosburgh awarded $17,700 state planning grant

    News Release — EnosburghDecember 7, 2018
    Contact:Ivonne Kio802-858-5594recdirector@enosburghvt.org
    Enosburgh, Vt. – The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) awarded $17,700 to Enosburgh in state Municipal Planning Grant funds to develop a Recreation Fields Revitalization Plan for a more engaging, accessible and varied community recreation space that supports the creation of a healthy community for Enosburgh’s diverse ages, abilities, and interests. Enosburgh s
  • Gov. Phil Scott highlights Route 15 wildlife underpass project in Wolcott

    News Release — Vermont Fish & Wildlife DepartmentFriday, December 7, 2018
    Media Contact:Louis Porter, Vermont Fish & Wildlife802-828-1454
    Event part of Governor’s “Capitol for a Day” initiative
    Wolcott, Vt. – As part of Governor Phil Scott’s “Capitol for a Day” initiative, he toured a wildlife underpass project along Route 15 in Wolcott on lands owned by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. The project promotes safe movement of wildl
  • Vermont State Police Royalton Barracks holding holiday food drive

    News Release — Vermont State PoliceDec. 6, 2018
    Contact:RANK/TROOPER FULL NAME: Sgt. Eric HudsonSTATION: RoyaltonCONTACT#: 802-234-9933
    DATE/TIME: 12/6/18
    LOCATION: 2011 VT Rt. 107 Royalton Field Station
    INCIDENT: Holiday Food Drive
    The Vermont State Police at the Royalton Barracks invite our communities to help us with donations to area food shelfs during this holiday season. The Troopers and staff at Royalton have started collecting and donating canned food goods for distribution to area
  • Vermont to receive $67,000 in national settlement

    News Release — Office of Vermont Attorney GeneralDecember 4, 2018
    Contact:Justin KolberAssistant Attorney General(802) 828-3171
    VERMONT TO RECEIVE $67,000 IN NATIONAL SETTLEMENT WITH MIDLAND FUNDING OVER DECEPTIVE DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES
    MONTPELIER – Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced Vermont’s participation in a $6 million multistate settlement with Midland Funding LLC (“Midland”). As part of the settlement, Vermont will receive $67,309. Twenty-one Vermont c
  • SAM-VT applauds Vermont Medical Society resolution opposing commercialized marijuana

    News Release — SAM-VTDecember 5, 2018
    Press contacts:SAM-VT Co-ChairsMariah Sandersonmariahfsanderson@gmail.com or 802.881.9227
    Courtney HillhouseCourtney.Hillhouse@mahhc.org
    History and data show resulting retail system would be both harmful and revenue negative
    At its 205th annual meeting, the 2000-plus members of the Vermont Medical Society (VMS) passed a resolution opposing the commercialization of non-medical marijuana in Vermont. Smart Approaches to Marijuana–Vermont applauds t
  • Seven Days hires three staff writers

    News Release — Seven DaysDec. 5, 2018
    Contact:Paula RoutlyPublisher/CoeditorSeven Days802-865-1020 x12paula@sevendaysvt.com
    December 5, 2018 — Vermont’s independent newsweekly, Seven Days, has hired three experienced writers to join its editorial staff.
    Kevin McCallum, who shared in the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news, will join Seven Days’ Statehouse bureau in January. The veteran journalist spent 13 years as a business and then city hall reporter for the Press Dem
  • VPR hires journalist Mark Davis as assistant news director

    News Release — VPRDec. 5, 2018
    Media Contact:Michelle Owens, mowens@vpr.net, 802-528-9429
    COLCHESTER, Vt. – Vermont Public Radio has announced that journalist Mark Davis will join VPR as Assistant News Director early next month.
    Davis will be a leader in shaping VPR’s news coverage and long-term reporting projects, helping VPR refine and strengthen our reporting In the coming year, Davis will also play a role in helping us improve how Vermont Edition, Brave Little State and the
  • Common Good Vermont announces 2018 Vermont Nonprofit Wages & Benefits Report

    News Release — Common Good VermontDec. 5, 2018
    Contact:Morgan Webster, Program Directordirector@commongoodvt.org
    Common Good Vermont is pleased to announce the Vermont Edition of the 2018 Report on Nonprofit Wages and Benefits in Northern New England. The Wages and Benefits Report is released every two years and surveys Vermont’s nonprofits about wages and benefits benchmarks for full- and part-time positions. The report tells the story of how mission-driven work is valued in Vermont
  • Candidates lining up for Burlington City Council

    BURLINGTON — Progressive/Democratic lawyer Jared Carter and Republican Paco DeFrancis are planning on running in the March City Council election against two longtime incumbent councilors.
    Carter will seek the nominations of the Democratic and Progressive parties against Progressive Jane Knodell, while DeFrancis will run against Democrat Joan Shannon.Get all of VTDigger's political news.You'll never miss a political story with our weekly headlines in your inbox.Daily
    Sundays only (Weekly Wr
  • Troopers didn’t investigate colleague slumped in car, state’s attorney says

    Bennington County State’s Attorney Erica Marthage. Courtesy photo
    Two Vermont State Police troopers did not investigate an off-duty trooper apparently passed out in his vehicle in a convenience store parking lot in Bennington, according to a prosecutor.
    That slumped-over off-duty trooper has since resigned and three of his colleagues have been suspended as state police conduct an internal investigation.Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal ju
  • State to use $20 million in federal funds to upgrade rail bridges

    The VTrans rail bridge inspection team inspects a truss bridge in Montpelier using the Aspen Aerials A30 “Snooper” truck. Agency of Transportation photo
    The Vermont Agency of Transportation will receive $20 million of federal funding to rehabilitate the state’s railways, bringing with it economic opportunity and reducing the state’s dependence on fossil fuels, officials announced on Friday.
    The funding will go towards rebuilding or replacing 31 rail bridges along 53 miles
  • Fact-check: Burlington’s using less electricity now than in 1989, but it’s not that simple

    Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger announces the completion of rehabilitation work on a stretch of the Burlington bike path Wednesday. The project has been in the works since last year and will continue into 2019. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDigger
    “As a city, we currently use about 4 percent less electricity today than we used in 1989.”—Burlington Mayor Miro Wenberger said in a speech at the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network Conference Dec. 1.In the wake of a national climate
  • Vermont Yankee buyer looking for quick start

    An informational flier distributed at a Brattleboro meeting in December 2016 promotes “a new chapter” for Vermont Yankee if NorthStar Group Services were to be permitted to buy the Vernon nuclear plant. File photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger
    NorthStar’s top administrator says his company will “get moving quickly” on decommissioning Vermont Yankee now that state regulators have approved the sale of the Vernon nuclear plant.
    Speaking a day after the Vermont Public Utility
  • John Killacky: Legislator 101

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Rep.-elect John Killacky, a Democrat will be one of four legislators from South Burlington in the Vermont House of Representatives. He was formerly the executive director of the Flynn Center.
    As one of the newly elected citizen legislators in Vermont, I had a busy four days of orientation last week along with 45 of my freshman colleagues: famers, administrators, restaurateurs, librarians, policeman, ex-mayors, and more. Over two days, the Snelling Cente
  • Mark Hage: Israeli policing techniques not needed here

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Mark Hage, a member of Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel and host of the VTJP television program Salaam Shalom: Report on Palestine/Israel.
    Since 2001, thousands of U.S. police and agents from the FBI, CIA and ICE have attended training programs in Israel or here in the U.S. with visiting Israeli military personnel. Just weeks ago, it came to light that the Vermont State Police were scheduled to attend one of them.
    Coined “deadly exc
  • DEA-surveilled pilot found guilty of unlicensed flying

    The Southern Vermont Rutland Regional Airport. Vermont Agency of Transportation photo
    A convicted drug smuggler on probation for transporting 25 kilograms of marijuana by plane in Iowa has been convicted by a jury in Vermont of flying without a license stemming from a late-night flight into a closed airport in Rutland County.
    Following a trial this week in federal court in Burlington, a jury returned a verdict Thursday finding Angelo Efthimiatos, 49, guilty of “knowingly and willfully pilo
  • Walt Amses: The bliss of ignorance

    Editor’s note: Walt Amses is a writer and former educator who lives in North Calais.
    Have you ever noticed that the loudest voice in the room is — frequently enough — emerging from someone so convinced of their own intellect that it leaves you speculating that maybe they’re incapable of feeling embarrassment? Well, it turns out that they very well may not be, because they’re essentially not smart enough to realize they’re not all that smart, and, consequently,
  • Major redevelopment plan for Burlington auditorium gains most support

    Memorial Auditorium in Burlington has been closed since December 2016. Courtesy photo
    BURLINGTON — City officials are considering options for the renovation of Memorial Auditorium, and voters will likely not be weighing in on its future until 2020.
    The city’s Community and Economic Development Office and consultants discussed four plans for the renovation of the historic events space on Main Street in downtown Burlington during a Thursday meeting of the city council’s parks, ar
  • Help VTDigger tackle complex issues. Donate today.

    
    Every day, VTDigger receives tips from readers that we act on. Investigations take time and expertise. Donate today to support local, honest journalism.Dear Readers,
    At a time when the press is being disparaged by some as the “enemy of the people” and the number of reporters at the state and local level continues to shrink, the need for the kind of reliable news produced by VTDigger has never been greater.
    We are reminded each day of our mission to tackle comple
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  • Marijuana advocates warn against overregulation at Hartford session

    Christmas baubles filled with bells and marijuana buds at Simply Pure in Denver. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
    This story by Jordan Cuddemi was published by the Valley News on Dec. 6.
    HARTFORD — More than a dozen Vermonters who are proponents of a legal marijuana market urged state officials on Thursday to not overregulate a potential industry and keep it true to Vermont’s values.Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice covera
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