• High court rejects bid by ex-Rutland City municipal attorney to overturn prison term

    Christopher Sullivan, former city attorney in Rutland, appears in Rutland Superior Court on Thursday for his sentencing in a fatal hit-and-run crash. Pool photo by Robert L. Layman/for the Rutland HeraldThe Vermont Supreme Court has rejected a call to overturn the prison sentence for a former attorney for the city Rutland who argued that the judge who sent him behind bars for his role in fatal drunken crash had it out for him.The ruling issued Friday by the state’s highest court is the lat
  • Fire consumes Vermont Country Store overflow warehouse

    A dozen fire departments responded to a weekend blaze at the Vermont Country Store overflow warehouse in Clarendon. Photo by Kevin O’Connor/VTDiggerCLARENDON — A late-night weekend blaze consumed a Vermont Country Store backup warehouse that many people, hearing initial police scanner chatter and incomplete press reports, feared was the nearby call and distribution center for the $100 million three-generation family business.
    “We purchased the building just a few months ago to
  • Satire: Plattsburgh tourism drops 78% overnight

    VTDigger’s newest feature, The Winooski — Vermont’s premiere local satire site — is founded and edited by Adam Hall. 
    PLATTSBURGH – The city of Plattsburgh, New York, has reported a startling decline in the number of tourists visiting from out of state. The number of out-of-state visitors plummeted by a staggering 78 percent from Tuesday to Wednesday, with no possible explanation yet clear.
    “We have no idea what happened,” said tourism bu
  • Peter Berger: On governing and moderation

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Peter Berger, an English teacher at Weathersfield School who writes “Poor Elijah’s Almanack.” The column appears in several publications including the Times Argus, the Rutland Herald and the Stowe Reporter.
    The country is in trouble. Over the past few months I’ve found that to be the majority opinion in my slim neck of the woods. Liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, Trumper or Never-Trumper – it doesn’t se
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  • Elayne Clift: Out of the DC spotlight

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Elayne Clift, who writes about women, culture and social issues from Saxtons River.
    Several months ago, I wrote a column about the fact that Donald Trump’s increasingly wild and disturbing public appearances and tweets were keeping important international stories from being reported. Recently the SCOTUS and Rosenstein debacles obscured in-depth news reports about the havoc Trump and his entourage are creating domestically as they demolish decades
  • J. Churchill Hindes: A rare opportunity for state colleges

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by J. Churchill Hindes, who is chair of the board of trustees of the Vermont State Colleges System.
    [T[he state of Vermont has a rare opportunity this year to demonstrate its support for public higher education in this state without raising taxes or shifting money from other priorities. Read on. First, a little background:
    According to the most recent State Higher Education Executive Officers Report, Vermont invests less per public higher education student
  • Tuition tracker shows sticker prices at Vermont colleges continue to climb

    The Old Stone Mill, Middlebury College. Photo courtesy of Middlebury College.A college with one of the highest sticker prices in the state – Middlebury College – is also the school charging students at the bottom of the income scale the least.
    That’s according to federal data analyzed by Tuition Tracker, a new, interactive tool for comparing college costs across the United States that was developed by The Hechinger Report, Education Writers Association and the Dallas Morning Ne
  • Sticker prices at Vermont colleges continue to climb

    The Old Stone Mill, Middlebury College. Photo courtesy of Middlebury College.A college with one of the highest sticker prices in the state – Middlebury College – is also the school charging students at the bottom of the income scale the least.
    That’s according to federal data analyzed by Tuition Tracker, a new, interactive tool for comparing college costs across the United States that was developed by The Hechinger Report, Education Writers Association and the Dallas Morning Ne
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  • Northwestern nurses claim intimidation ahead of pending union vote

    A rally outside Northwestern Medical Center calling for nurses at the hospital to create a union. Photo by Colin Meyn/VTDiggerST. ALBANS — Northwestern Medical Center nurses will decide Wednesday whether or not to form a union, a proposal opposed by the hospital’s administration — and some of the nurses.Two groups of nurses rallied outside the St. Albans hospital on Friday, one with signs reading “No $ for Union Busting” and “We support our nurses” and a
  • The Deeper Dig: An Amish enclave in the Northeast Kingdom

    Realtor Dan McClure has sold a half-dozen Brownington-area farms to Amish families in recent years. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
    The Deeper Dig is a weekly podcast from the VTDigger newsroom. Listen below, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts.
    Derby realtor Dan McClure first started receiving letters from Amish farmers about ten years ago. The authors asked for details on available farmland in the Northeast Kingdom
  • Cabot Hosiery Mills expands production and workforce

    Cabot Hosiery Mills CEO and president Ric Cabot on his factory floor. File photo by C.B. Hall/for VTDigger
    Forty-six new Italian knitting machines are on their way to the Cabot Hosiery Mills in Northfield as the company ramps up its sock production and prepares to hire new workers.
    The knitting machines will be installed in December and January, and will increase production at the 40-year-old family business by 1.5 million pairs of socks, said Ric Cabot, the company’s president and CEO.
    Ca
  • Then Again: The rise and fall of the Ely Copper Mines

    Laborers work underground at the Ely Copper Mines in Vershire in this undated photograph. Photo courtesy of the Vermont Historical Society
    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.”Ammunition was handed out to the troops: 20 rounds per man. The state militia planned to bring order to the town of Vershire.
    Before dawn on the morning of Saturday, July 7, 1883, roughl
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  • How Vermont’s Catholic Church hid decades of child abuse

    An interior stained glass window and exterior tangle of tree branches reflect off a closed Vermont Catholic church door. Photo by Kevin O’Connor/VTDigger
    BURLINGTON — Before Vermont Catholic Bishop Christopher Coyne invited questions at a recent press conference pledging cooperation with a current local and state investigation of past church-related misconduct, he turned to reporters with his own inquiry.
    “Want me to mike up?” he asked. “Any problem with the sound?&
  • ‘Sharing ministries’ object to state health mandate

    Addie Strumolo (far right) speaks in June as other members of the Individual Mandate Working Group look on. From left to right, they are Mike Fisher, chief health care advocate; Doug Farnham of the state Tax Department; Emily Brown of the Department of Financial Regulation; and Robin Lunge, Green Mountain Care Board member. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger
    While Vermont’s mandatory health insurance law has a definite start date of Jan. 1, 2020, the question of who will and won’t have to
  • Wired for Safety: Cyber threats to business can come from within

    Editor’s note: Wired for Safety is a column on cybersecurity and other tech issues. Duane Dunston is an assistant professor of cybersecurity and networking at Champlain College. He received his bachelor’s and master’s of science from Pfeiffer University. From 2001 to 2011 he worked in cybersecurity for NOAA. He is a doctoral student at Northeastern University with a concentration in Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership. His other activities include “You Have A
  • Brattleboro banker weighs working with marijuana business, despite risks

    President of Brattleboro Savings & Loan Dan Yates. Courtesy photoA Brattleboro banker has decided to seize the business opportunity presented by new medical marijuana dispensaries and the loosening of marijuana laws.
    Dan Yates, president of Brattleboro Savings & Loan, said he’s open to providing depository services, mortgages, and small business loans to companies that dispense medical marijuana.
    “We are looking right now — I won’t give you the details — at
  • Bankers weigh working with cannabis businesses, despite risks

    A worker tends marijuana at a growing facility. Photo by Andrew Kutches/VTDiggerThis story was updated at 7:17 p.m.
    Vermont bankers are venturing into the business opportunity presented by new cannabis businesses and a loosening of marijuana laws.
    David Silverman, president and CEO of Union Bank, said his bank has chosen to work with a few companies producing or selling industrial hemp or cannabidiol, also known as CBD, a cannabis extract that is used as a remedy for various ailments.
    “We
  • Parkland students urge Vermont youth to vote

    Kesha Ram moderated a panel with March for Our Lives founders Alex Wind, David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez (left to right) at a panel in Burlington Friday. Photo by Aidan Quigley/VTDigger
    BURLINGTON — Three survivors of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting brought their message of activism and optimism to Vermont Friday night.
    David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez and Alex Wind, the co-founders of the March for Our Lives movement calling for an end to gun violence in the United States, appeared at th
  • Despite withdrawal, Gottlieb’s supporters fight on in Bennington

    Arnold Gottlieb’s supporters will urge voters to cast a vote for him despite his withdrawal from the race. Bennington Banner file photo
    BENNINGTON — Rights and Democracy of Bennington is mounting a campaign to elect Arnold Gottlieb state’s attorney, despite his withdrawal in September from the race against incumbent Erica Marthage and challenger Christina Rainville.
    “The group of us feel that it is time for a change for Bennington, and for its State’s Attorney&rsquo
  • State injection site report relied on retracted research

    A person holding a sterile cooker and a syringe at a safe injection site in Vancouver. Photo from Vancouver Coastal Health
    Vermont officials have revised a new report on drug-injection sites after learning that one of their sources was an international study that’s been retracted.
    The revisions came several days after Gov. Phil Scott’s Opioid Coordination Council issued a report contending that safe injection sites – also known as supervised injection facilities – are &ld
  • Michael Colby: Vermont negligent on monitoring dairy use of antibiotics

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Michael Colby, of Walden, the president of Regeneration Vermont.
    Despite calls from health professionals worldwide to curb the use of farm-animal antibiotics, Vermont’s conventional dairy industry— dominated by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) – continues to use the antimicrobial drugs extensively, including non-therapeutic uses to prevent diseases caused by the animal confinement and concentration. After numerous records
  • Keith Ballek: A question of VPIRG’s conflicts

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Keith Ballek, of Sheffield, who is a member of the Northern Vermont Development Association, chair of his town’s Democratic Committee, and is a delegate to the State Democratic Committee. He is a longtime activist on environmental and social justice issues.
    I applaud the creation of the state of Vermont’s first-ever Ethics Commission.
    The first complaint before the Ethics Commission was filed by Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont
  • Bob Stannard: America’s newest mass hysteria

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Bob Stannard, an author, musician and former lobbyist. This piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner.
    She slowly drifted to the back of the hysterical crowd. She could still see the smoke and hear the screams, but had no desire to watch. It seemed like everyone had lost their minds. The charges against the women seemed plausible, but she had doubt. Perhaps the scariest thing was listening and watching her friends and neighbors chanting “Burn
  • Margolis: A reminder that the 2-party system isn’t all that bad

    Gubernatorial candidates taking part in a debate Thursday night, from left, Cris Ericson, Stephen Marx, Trevor Barlow, Emily Peyton, Phil Scott, Christine Hallquist and Charles Laramie. Moderator Lauren-Glenn Davitian is at right. Channel 17 photo
    Not just Republican incumbent Gov. Phil Scott, not just Democratic challenger Christine Hallquist, but all seven – count-em, seven (7) – candidates on the ballot for governor this year confronted one another at a forum Thursday night.
    What
  • Amish families quietly take up residence in the Northeast Kingdom

    A road sign in Brownington warns drivers that they might encounter a slow-moving Amish carriage. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
    While Vermont leaders tie themselves in knots trying to draw new people to the state, a group of Amish families has quietly moved into the Northeast Kingdom from Ohio and Pennsylvania on its own.
    The 10 Amish families are all loosely related, and they started arriving around 2015. The families bought farms and land and have built large barns and houses. Now they&rsquo
  • Challenge to DNA evidence in Butler case likely

    Defense lawyers Fred Bragdon and Susan McManus talk to their client, Timothy Butler, during his arraignment in March 2017. Butler is accused of murder in the first degree of Helen Jones and burglary. Photo by Holly Pelczynski/Bennington Banner
    BENNINGTON — Challenges to DNA evidence in the Timothy Butler murder case are likely, but hearings on that topic are not expected to delay his March 2019 trial date.
    Butler, 32, is charged in the January 2017 stabbing death of 81-year-old Helen Jones
  • Debate 2018: Donovan and Willhoit, Candidates For Attorney General dlvr.it/Qnsd12 https://t.co/EHs7TE8iTe

    Debate 2018: Donovan and Willhoit, Candidates For Attorney General dlvr.it/Qnsd12 https://t.co/EHs7TE8iTe
  • Campaign 2018: TJ Donovan Seeks A Second Term As Attorney General dlvr.it/QnsMts https://t.co/Uf3eyJKrqC

    Campaign 2018: TJ Donovan Seeks A Second Term As Attorney General dlvr.it/QnsMts https://t.co/Uf3eyJKrqC
  • Hartford woman refuses sex offender program

    This story was published by the Valley News on Oct. 18.
    WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A 47-year-old Hartford woman who has served more than six years in jail for sexual assault appeared in court on Wednesday for an arraignment on an allegation that she has violated her probation.Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice coverage with our weekly headlines in your inbox.Daily
    Sundays only (Weekly Wrap) Email me stories on these subjects... Busines
  • YWP: ‘On a Deserted Road’

    Young Writers Project, an independent nonprofit based in Burlington, engages young people to write and use digital media to express themselves with clarity and power, and to gain confidence and skills for school, the workplace and life.Check out the most recent issue of The Voice, Young Writers Project’s monthly digital magazine. Click here.Each week, VTDigger features a writing submission – an essay, poem, fiction or nonfiction – accompanied by a photo or illustration from Yo
  • SCOV: A conflict in bail set by 2 judges

    Editor’s note: This piece from the SCOV Law Blog is by Elizabeth Kruska.State v. Morton, 2018 VT 22 (mem.)
    In a perfect world, we’d all have perfect information upon which to make our decisions. But our world is far less than perfect, and sometimes decisions have to be made on the information we’ve got.RELATED STORIESSCOV Law Blog: DCF too quick to interveneSCOV Law Blog: Inmate calls out DOC on pricey phone serviceSCOV Law Blog: Restitution for a pricey knuckle sandwichSCOV La
  • Trump tariffs take toll on Vermont businesses

    President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shake hands during a joint press conference on Feb. 13 in the White House. Photo by Shealah Craighead/White House
    BURLINGTON — It’s been four years since Kate Whelley McCabe founded the Montpelier-based Vermont Evaporator Company, which makes sap evaporators used to make maple syrup. The business has been successful, and she was hoping to be profitable this year.But then the news of the Trump administration’s tar
  • Pownal man injured in officer-involved shooting expected to survive

    Glenn Hall, commander of the Vermont State Police criminal division, speaks to reporters in Bennington County Friday. Photo by Alan Keays/VTDigger
    This story was updated at 8:15 p.m. Friday.
    POWNAL — Vermont State Police say a Bennington County man critically injured in an officer-involved shooting Thursday night has “stabilized” and is expected to survive.Get all of VTDigger's criminal justice news.You'll never miss our courts and criminal justice coverage with our weekly head
  • Man critically injured in officer-involved shooting in Pownal

    State police are investigating a Thursday night shooting in Pownal. State police website photo
    Vermont State Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that critically injured a Bennington County man late Thursday night.
    Bernard Rougeau, 48, of Pownal, who police said was shot by a trooper after he refused orders to drop his shotgun, was airlifted to Albany Medical Center in New York for treatment for his injuries. Police said he was in critical condition.Get all of VTDigger's crimina
  • Lake Champlain Chamber announces new health insurance benefit for members

    News Release — Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of CommerceOct. 17, 2018
    Contact:Nicole BelanusOperations ManagerLake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commercenicole@vermont.org802-863-3489 ext. 209
    BURLINGTON, VT. – The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce (LCRCC) is pleased to announce that its members will once again have access to a variety of health insurance plans through the Vermont Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (VACE). BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont will p
  • BCBSVT receive top national quality rating

    News Release — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of VermontOctober 18, 2018
    Contact:Sara Teachout(802) 371-3254
    Berlin, VT – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT) is among the most highly ranked commercial health plans nationally, as assessed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The recently released 2018-2019 Private Health Insurance Plan Ratings comprehensively compare and rate the quality and services of health plans in the United States. There were 1,040 plan
  • State and UVM officials visit Canada farms and food producers

    News Release — Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets; Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing; University of Vermont ExtensionOct. 17, 2018
    Contact:Trevor AudetVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets802-522-4725
    A Tour to Enhance Regional Agritouism Efforts
    October 17, 2018 / Ottawa, ON – Vermont is clearing a path for a new tasting trail that will encompass two countries, two states, and two provinces. A collaborative effort among officials from Vermont,
  • Seven Paul Frank + Collins attorneys recognized by New England Super Lawyers

    News Release — Paul Frank + CollinsOct. 18, 2018
    Contact:Meghan L. Abrahamovich, SHRM-CPHuman Resources GeneralistPAUL FRANK + COLLINS P.C.802.860.4116 directwww.pfclaw.com
    Burlington, VT. October, 2018: Paul Frank + Collins directors Robert G. Cain, Mark G. Hall, John T. Sartore, Stephen J. Soule, and Kerin E. Stackpole have been recognized as five of New England’s top attorneys in the 2018 issue of New England Super Lawyers.
    Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating se
  • All welcome at 46th annual FREE community Thanksgiving dinner in Montpelier

    News Release — Washington County Youth Service Bureau/Boys & Girls ClubOct. 17, 2018
    Contact:Christine HartmanWashington County Youth Service Bureau/Boys & Girls Club802-229-9151www.wcysb.org
    Montpelier, VT, (10/17/18) — The Washington County Youth Service Bureau/Boys & Girls Club, with support from the Central Vermont community, is hosting the 46th Annual FREE Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Thursday November 22nd at the Bethany Church, 115 Main Street, Montpelier. The me
  • Norwich University presents author Stephen Wasby on ‘Trump and the Law’

    News Release — Norwich UniversityOct. 16, 2018
    Contact:Daphne Larkin802-485-2886dlarkin@norwich.eduFollow us on Twitter @NorwichNews
    NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University’s College of Liberal Arts presents “Trump and the Law,” a lecture and discussion on President Donald J. Trump’s approach to the law and the judiciary by Stephen Wasby, PhD, on Monday, Oct. 22, from 1 – 2 p.m. with a discussion to follow.
    Free and open to the public, this event is sponsor
  • Rutland corporal who resigned was subject of criminal probe

    Rutland Police Chief Brian A. Kilcullen. Photo by Andrew Kutches/VTDigger
    A Rutland City Police corporal who had been placed on paid administrative leave for several months before recently resigning had been the subject of a criminal probe that ended up with no charges being brought against him, according to a city response to a public records request.
    That response revealed little about the specific nature of the allegations that led to the investigation that was launched in December 2017 into
  • Bristol photographer convicted for possessing child pornography

    The Google logo on a wall in its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Photo by Robert Scoble/Flickr
    A Bristol man who ran a photography business was sentenced to 10 years in prison at the U.S. District Court in Burlington Thursday after he pleaded guilty to one count of child pornography possession.Cody Clark, 27, ran several online businesses including a photography business called Life in the Moment Photography. The photography business’ Facebook page features a collection of photos of
  • Mike Fisher: New plans threaten Vermont’s marketplace and health insurance affordability

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Michael Fisher, who is the head of the Vermont Office of the Health Care Advocate.
    Vermont needs to act now to protect Vermonters from a harmful Trump administration policy that will destabilize the health insurance market and increase health insurance prices for many. This month, Vermont’s Department of Financial Regulation began approving new association health plans to be sold in the state in 2019. These plans stem from the Trump administration
  • Bill Schubart: Our flawed criminal justice system

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Bill Schubart, a regular commentator for Vermont Public Radio and a former board member of the Vermont Journalism Trust, the umbrella organization for VTDigger.org. This piece was first aired on VPR.
    In the criminal justice system, three groups have agency: the victim, the offender, and society at large. Our ability to balance these interests will determine the efficacy of our criminal justice system.
    Getting it right relies on the probity and shared va
  • Wavell Cowan: Education campaign needed on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

    This commentary is by Wavell Cowan, of Montpelier, a research scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, businessman, social activist, and author.
    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is now recognized as the most common, most expensive, most under appreciated and most ignored, yet most preventable mental disorder in the industrialized world. Much of the special ed portion of the student population in America are misdiagnosed youngsters really suffering from FASD due to alcohol consumption by their mo
  • Father, daughter deny heroin charges as Northeast Kingdom homicide probe presses on

    A Vermont State Police crime investigator enters the Waterford home of homicide victim Michael Pimental and his girlfriend, Krystal Whitcomb on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. Photo by Alan Keays/VTDigger
    BURLINGTON — A federal grand jury Thursday returned indictments on heroin charges against a father and daughter from the Northeast Kingdom who also are being questioned in the shooting death of a 37-year-old Waterford man.
    The body of Michael Pimental was found Sunday off a rural dirt road in C
  • Father, daughter deny heroin charges as homicide probe presses on

    A Vermont State Police crime investigator enters the Waterford home of homicide victim Michael Pimental and his girlfriend, Krystal Whitcomb on Wednesday. Photo by Alan Keays/VTDigger
    BURLINGTON — A federal grand jury Thursday returned indictments on heroin charges against a father and daughter from the Northeast Kingdom who also are being questioned in the shooting death of a 37-year-old Waterford man.
    The body of Michael Pimental was found Sunday off a rural dirt road in Concord, about 1
  • Sex-related survey riles parents of Windsor fifth-graders

    Photo by Alexandre Silberman/VTDigger
    This story by Tim Camerato was published by the Valley News on Oct. 17.
    WINDSOR — School officials and researchers this week apologized for a survey administered to fifth-graders at the Windsor School that included questions about students’ gender identity and their romantic and sexual relationships.
    They’ve also pledged to work with parents before conducting any additional research or violence prevention classes at the elementary school.
    T
  • Mattis visits agent orange cleanup site in Vietnam after call with Leahy

    Defense Secretary James Mattis arrives in Hanoi, Vietnam, Jan. 24, 2018. Department of Defense photo by Amber Smith
    The top Pentagon official is visiting the last and largest site in Vietnam to be contaminated by Agent Orange, thanks in part to some prompting from Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy.Leahy has been pushing for years for the U.S. to clean up sites in Vietnam where it used the chemical herbicide, which has been linked to a range of human health problems. Get all of VTDigger's politi
  • Putney sparkling wine to christen USS Vermont

    A bottle of Northern Spy, from Putney Mountain Winery, will be used to christen the USS Vermont (pictured on cellphone), this weekend. Photo by Kristopher Radder/VTDigger
    This story by Susan Smallheer was published by the Brattleboro Reformer on Oct. 18.
    PUTNEY — When the USS Vermont nuclear-powered submarine gets formally christened this Saturday in Groton, Connecticut, it will be showered with a sparkling wine made in Putney from Vermont apples.
    Putney Mountain Winery was selected to pro

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