• Moats: For US, a harsh judgement ahead for anti-immigrant policies

    More than 200 protesters take part in a rally and march in Burlington on July 2, to protest the immigrant camps on the southern U.S. border and to call for the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
    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
  • Public Safety Commissioner Tom Anderson stepping down

    Vermont Department of Public Safety Commissioner Tom Anderson is stepping down from his post at the end of the month, according to a statement issued Tuesday afternoon by Gov. Phil Scott.
    In the statement, Scott called Anderson a “valuable member of my team.”
    The governor added: “Under his steady and professional leadership, the Department of Public Safety has tackled some of Vermont’s most complex and important challenges, including the ongoing opioid crisis, school safe
  • Rejecting treatment keeps White River Junction sex offender in prison

    Lucinda Smith, left, listens with her attorney Leah Henderson in Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction on Monday. Smith admitted to violating her probation while serving a sentence for sexual assault. Photo by Jennifer Hauck/Valley News
    This story by Jordan Cuddemi was published by the Valley News on July 15.
    WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A 48-year-old White River Junction woman who was scheduled to be released from prison next week after serving a seven-year sentence for sexually assaul
  • After a decade of gripes in Graniteville, neighbors question state response

    A view from the driveway of the NorthEast Materials Group operation in Graniteville on Monday. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
    Graniteville has always been a quarry town.
    The quarry itself takes whole chunks out of the village, revealing the rock underneath like a geode. Houses — most small, with peeling paint — sit studded into the mountainside. The town’s roads are cut out of the hills, winding beneath looming granite.
    Lori Bernier has lived in the Graniteville section of Bar
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  • Rebecca Holcombe announces candidacy for governor

    Rebecca Holcombe, the secretary of the state Agency of Education, at the Statehouse on March 15, 2017. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDiggerFormer Vermont Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe is running for governor as a Democrat.
    The 52-year-old Norwich resident led the Agency of Education between 2014 and 2018. Initially appointed by then-Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, she also served under Gov. Phil Scott before leaving abruptly due to growing tensions over policy.
    Since her departure from the go
  • Developer weighing ‘extensive’ redesign of CityPlace

    Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger reacts after an executive session briefing on the stalled CityPlace development project on Monday, July 15, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
    BURLINGTON — Brookfield Asset Management is considering an “extensive” redesign of the major downtown CityPlace development project, an architect working on the project told a group of city officials outside of a City Council executive session within earshot of reporters Monday.
    Architect Will Fellows
  • Champ: Myth, Reality Or Just A Bit Of Fun? http://dlvr.it/R8TD9T pic.twitter.com/1LnTG9kPTH

    Champ: Myth, Reality Or Just A Bit Of Fun? http://dlvr.it/R8TD9T pic.twitter.com/1LnTG9kPTH
  • Trees come down at City Hall Park as renovation moves forward

     
    A tree trunks remains after being trimmed down as part of the City Hall Park renovation project in Burlington. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
    BURLINGTON – Trees came down on Monday as part of a controversial renovation at Burlington’s City Hall Park. Crews were expected to cut down 20 trees by the end of the day.
    The citizen group Keep the Park Green has been challenging the project in court. The coalition is against increasing pavement and the removal of fully grown trees, a
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  • John Pelletier: Time is running out

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by John Pelletier, who is director of the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College.
    On July 10, Fitch, a major credit agency, reduced Vermont’s bond rating. This was expected, after Moody’s, another large credit agency reduced Vermont’s bond rating in October. Both rating agencies have the same concerns about Vermont and its economy. As a result, future state and municipal borrowings costs will increase.
    Why is this happening? B
  • Ashley Smith: Act now to close concentration camps

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Ashley Smith, of Burlington, who is a socialist writer and activist. He writes for various publications including Truthout, Jacobin, and New Politics.
    We are witnessing a full-scale humanitarian crisis in our country. The Trump administration has unleashed Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Customs and Border Patrol to repress migrants on our border, raid workplaces and homes to arrest them, and throw them into concentration camps and jails.
    It
  • Lisa Ventriss: Courage to change

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Lisa Ventriss, president of the Vermont Business Roundtable, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of private and nonprofit employers.
    Early in my time at the Vermont Business Roundtable (Roundtable) we authored a report titled Having the Courage to Change; it targeted our state’s looming workforce crisis. That was 2006. Children who were entering kindergarten that year are now graduating from high school and the workforce crisis is no longer loom
  • Auditor questions use of lake cleanup funds

    The Burlington wastewater treatment facility on Lavalley Lane in Burlington. Bacteria process wastewater in the aeration tanks, foreground. Photo by Bob LoCicero/VTDiggerState auditor Doug Hoffer says spending over half of state Lake Champlain cleanup money on wastewater and stormwater projects is not providing taxpayers with the most “bang for the buck.”
    Vermont spent around $66 million on water projects in the Lake Champlain watershed during fiscal years 2016-2018. In a non-audit r
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  • High profile pols report low gains in last campaign finance filings of 2019

    The GOP election night party in November 2018. Photo by Bob LoCicero/VTDigger
    In the last campaign finance filing reports of 2019, Gov. Phil Scott, Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman and Attorney General TJ Donovan showed small gains in fundraising, as all three ponder gubernatorial runs in 2020.
    Between Dec. 22, 2018, and the end of May 2019, Scott raised $4,500 for his gubernatorial campaign. However, the current Republican governor still has quite the war chest with a $106,053 surplus from his last cam
  • Attorneys argue over DNA testing for fertility doctor in fraud lawsuit

     
    The Rousseaus say their daughter, now in her 40s, used Ancestry.com and 23andme.com seeking information about her biological father. Creative Commons photo
    BURLINGTON — A federal judge is weighing whether a fertility doctor should be forced to submit to saliva DNA testing in a lawsuit brought by a couple who claim he used his own semen to impregnate the woman.
    Attorneys for the doctor, John Boyd Coates III, argued during a hearing Monday in federal court in Burlington that their cli
  • LISTEN: A Status Update On 3 Recently Closed Vermont Colleges http://dlvr.it/R8Sqs1 pic.twitter.com/NSHXJDHnho

    LISTEN: A Status Update On 3 Recently Closed Vermont Colleges http://dlvr.it/R8Sqs1 pic.twitter.com/NSHXJDHnho
  • Congressional delegation calls for more oversight of immigration enforcement agencies

    Sen. Patrick Leahy, Rep. Peter Welch, and Sen. Bernie Sanders at a Statehouse ceremony in December 2017. File photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
    Vermont’s congressional delegation has roundly criticized Border Patrol and immigration enforcement leaders for their treatment of migrant children and for allowing employees to be part of a secret social media group where members shared derogatory comments about migrants and mocked Latino members of Congress.
    The Vermont lawmakers have also spoken
  • Longtime AAA WNCS PD Zeb Norris is new program director at Classic Hits 101

    News Release — Radio Vermont Group Monday July 15th, 2019
    Contact:Steve CormierRadio Vermont Groupscormier@radiovermont.com802-244-7321
    Longtime AAA WNCS PD Zeb Norris resurfaces in the Green Mountain State of Vermont as the new Program Director at Classic Hits 101 the One.
    “As part of the Radio Vermont Group, 101 the One is sister station to the legendary WDEV, a locally owned Full-Service institution since 1931. Their commitment to local broadcasting as a community service in
  • East Haven man faces 9 charges after rampage at Barton saloon

    The alleged assault on state police officers occurred outside the Lake House Saloon in Barton. Vermont State Police file photo
    Vermont State Police say they were attacked by 51-year-old man outside a Barton bar early Sunday after he threw pool balls at patrons, threatened bouncers with a knife, said he was going to blow up two towns and then crawled on the ground and slashed a car tire.
    Benjamin Clarke of East Haven was arrested that morning and now faces nine charges: aggravated assault on law
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock opening 10-bed neurocritical care unit

    Dartmouth-Hitchcock Chief Clinical Officer Ed Merrens shows Selma Bornstein one of the rooms that is part of the new Neurocritical Care Unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Bornstein’s late husband Murray Bornstein was a clinician and former adjunct professor at the Geisel School of Medicine. Photo by Geoff Hansen/Valley News
    Editor’s note: This story by David Corriveau was published by the Valley News on July 12.
    LEBANON, N.H. — While hospital leaders ceremonially opene
  • Emerald ash borers found in Derby Line

    An adult emerald ash borer, an invasive insect first found in Vermont in February. Vermont Invasive photoEmerald ash borers have been found for the first time in Orleans County, according to a press release sent Friday by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.
    The invasive insects were collected from ash trees in Derby Line, just below the Canadian border, and then identified by federal inspectors, the release said.The finding marks another example of the growing infestation of the insect in V
  • Scott signals support for new EV fee

    Electric vehicles recharge on Main Street in Burlington on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
    Gov. Phil Scott is renewing a call to levy a fee on electric vehicles as the state unveils a new incentive program to help more Vermonters purchase EVs.
    At a press conference Thursday, Scott and other state officials detailed the $1.1 million allotted for low and moderate income electric vehicle incentives in this year’s transportation bill. The incentives, available for househ
  • Don Keelan: The residential rental crisis

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Don Keelan, a retired certified public accountant and resident of Arlington.
    Other than in Chittenden County, there are not many, workforce residential housing units being developed in Vermont. We hear of the dire need for such housing from federal, state, county and local officials. Housing conferences are held throughout the state addressing the issue.
    What is being addressed can be summed up by several statistics that appeared in a June 20 Rutland He
  • Chloe Learey: Good news for families

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Chloe Learey, executive director of the Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development in Brattleboro, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. She is a member of the Building Bright Futures State Advisory Council.
    The start of summer brings the start of a new state budget year. And this year, there is a reason for families with young children to celebrate. One large new investment came in the form of an increase in the Child Care Fi
  • Tessa Barnett: A compromise on coyote hunting

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Tessa Barnett, a junior at the University of Vermont majoring in environmental studies with a minor in animal science. She is a writing associate intern with Protect our Wildlife VT. The views expressed are her own.
    I recently became aware of an effort to enact a regulated coyote hunting season, versus the current open season that leaves coyote puppies orphaned when their parents are killed during the summer months. The petition put forth by Vermont Law
  • Lights for Liberty to host Montpelier vigil

    News Release — Lights for LibertyJuly 11, 2019
    Contacts:Fearn Lickfield802-505-8011
    Linda C. Vincent(508) 277-0877
    Kathleen Moore802/793-4650
    LIGHTS FOR LIBERTY VIGILS in MONTPELIER to END HUMAN DETENTION CAMPSFriday, July 12, 2019 – 12 noon and 7 p.m. in Montpelier, Vermont
    On Friday July 12th, 2019, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps, will bring thousands of people to locations worldwide as well as to detention camps across country, into the streets and into t
  • Vermont Artificial Intelligence Taskforce to host public meeting

    News Release — Vermont Artificial Intelligence TaskforceJuly 11, 2019
    Contact:Brian Breslandbbreslend@dubois-king.com
    Kayla DeweyKayla.Dewey@vermont.gov
    VERMONT ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TASKFORCEPUBLIC HEARING, JULY 25, 2019 from 6 PM to 8 PMNORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY, LYNDON CAMPUS,ACADEMIC STUDENT ACTIVITY CENTER, Room 214
    The Vermont Artificial Intelligence Taskforce was created by Act 137 of the 2018 session of the Vermont Legislature “to investigate the field of artificial intel
  • Jerusalem Peacebuilders to present film screening and community discussion

    News Release — Jerusalem PeacebuildersJuly 11, 2019
    Contacts:Jerusalem Peacebuilders:Jack Karn – (207) 232-8391
    Windham World Affairs Council:Rosalyn Shaoul – (917) 566-6122
    118 Elliot:Lissa Weinmann – (917) 239-8743
    Name of Event:Jerusalem Peacebuilders presents: “Within the Eye of the Storm,” a Screening and Community Discussion
    Date & Time:Thursday, July 25, 2019, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Doors open at 5:30 PM)
    Location & Address:118 Elliot118 Ellio
  • Sen. Leahy demands information on family separation from ICE raids

    News Release — Sen. Patrick LeahyJuly 11, 2019
    CONTACT:Jay Tilton (w/Leahy) – 202-224-2667
    Tom Mentzer (w/Feinstein) – 202-224-9629
    Emily Hampsten (w/Durbin) – 202-228-5643
    Leahy, Feinstein, Durbin: ICE Should Not Separate Families During Upcoming ICE Raids. . . Senators Demand To Know Whether Family Separations Will Occur During Upcoming Immigration Raids
    (THURSDAY, July 11, 2019) — Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), joined by fell
  • Attorney General Donovan announces Vermont to assist children at southern border

    News Release — Attorney General T.J. DonovanJuly 10, 2019
    CONTACT:Charity Clark802-828-3171
    VERMONT JOINS COALITION DEFENDING HUMAN RIGHTS OF CHILDREN IN IMMIGRATION DETENTION AT SOUTHERN BORDER
    MONTPELIER – Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced today that Vermont joined a coalition of attorneys general in filing an amicus brief to defend the human rights of children in civil immigration detention near the southern border of the United States. The brief argues that the federal gove
  • Heady Vermont announces team expansion and summer plans

    News Release — Heady VermontJuly 11, 2019
    Contact:Monica DonovanEmail: monica@headyvermont.comPhone: (802) 391-4251
    Heady Vermont expands team and plans for Summer Farm Jam and Guide Launch
    BURLINGTON, Vermont – Cannabis media and events company Heady Vermont has had big changes over the last month. Co-founder and COO Eli Harrington left in late May to pursue other career opportunities in the cannabis industry, after which co-founder and CEO Monica Donovan took the helm of this grass
  • Becoming a lawyer in Vermont, law school optional

    Rep. Nader Hashim, D-Dummerston, of the House Judiciary Committee listens to testimony on a proposed waiting period for firearm purchases at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerIn May, Nader Hashim stepped down from his role on the Vermont State Police to focus on his duties as a member of the Vermont House of Representatives. Now, he’s turned his attention to a new goal: becoming a lawyer — though he’s not going to law scho
  • Kia dealership that hired alleged fraudster McKibbin has fraught record of its own

    The Berlin City Auto Group dealership in Williston on June 27. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger
    When Stowe resident William McKibbin was first criminally accused of auto loan fraud this spring, his employer at Berlin City Kia swore that McKibbin had no connection to finances, no access to loans, and nothing in his history that popped up on a background check.
    Now, it appears that McKibbin was once Berlin City Kia’s finance manager, or at least gave that impression to customers —
  • The Vermont Community Foundation announces funding for Bennington county organizations

    News Release — The Vermont Community FoundationJuly 11, 2019
    Contact:Celia Cadwell802-388-3355 ext. 222ccadwell@vermontcf.org
    Funding Available for Organizations in Bennington County through the Opportunity Fund for Southshire Youth
    Funding is now available for organizations and projects in Bennington, North Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury, and Woodford through the Opportunity Fund for Southshire Youth at the Vermont Community Foundation. The fund awards grants up to $4,000 for creative and
  • Then Again: In early Vermont, criminal justice was swift and harsh

    For minor offenses, like ignoring the Sabbath, violators could be forced to sit or stand stooped in public while locked in the stocks that each town was required by law to maintain. New York Public Library image
    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.”Vermont’s earliest criminals seldom went to jail, but don’t count them lucky.
    Instead, they faced a c
  • Satire: Majority of Vermont rezoned as retirement community

    The Winooski — Vermont’s premiere local satire site — is founded and edited by Adam Hall.MONTPELIER – After much research and deliberation, the Vermont state government has agreed to rezone most of the state as a retirement community. With the exception of Chittenden County, all other towns, cities, counties, gores, and unincorporated municipalities will now gain the benefits of being officially labeled as “designated for senior living.” The moves comes after
  • Drag Queen Story Hour draws crowd after calls to cancel

    Emoji Nightmare, left, and Nikki Champagne go over the books they plan to read read during a drag queen story hour at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier on Saturday, July 13, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerMONTPELIER – A conservative online commentator tried to close down a Drag Queen Story Hour planned for the Kellogg-Hubbard Library on Saturday morning, urging her nearly 700,000 Facebook followers to contact the organizers to “respectfully express your disgust.”
  • Former secretary sues Woodstock school for age discrimination, retaliation

    Woodstock Union High School & Middle School. Photo by Anne Wallace Allen/VTDiggerA former secretary at Woodstock Union Middle and High School is suing the school, alleging her former employer discriminated against her when the district laid her off during a restructuring and reassigned her duties to a younger employee.
    Jill Lambert, 65, of Springfield, who worked at Woodstock Union between 2000 and 2018, also accuses the school of retaliating against her for taking three months of leave in 2
  • Towns enact rules on conflicts of interest

    Political signs dot the roadside in Elmore on election day, Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerThis story by Andrew Martin was published by the Stowe Reporter on July 11.
    Does your town have a conflict of interest policy?
    It’s supposed to.
    A state-imposed deadline for all Vermont towns to adopt a conflict of interest policy or ordinance has come and gone — it was last Monday, July 1.
    According to a model policy being distributed by the Vermont League of Cities
  • At Northeast Kingdom meetup, business leaders ID barriers

    EAST BURKE — Speaking to a room of regional business leaders Wednesday, Sunny Naughton raised a question about the Northeast Kingdom: “Where is the hope?”
    Naughton, who works for the Northeast Kingdom Learning Service, grappled with that and more alongside regional business leaders during a meetup and panel discussion at Burke Mountain Hotel that night.Speakers pinpointed unreliable access to both broadband internet and transportation as reasons why businesses in the Kingdom st
  • Two Burlington men arrested in connection with spree of credit card thefts

    Eris Breeyear, left, and Tyler J. Sears. Photos courtesy BPD
    Burlington Police arrested two men Thursday as suspects in connection to a slew of cases of stealing and identity theft over the past weeks in several Chittenden County locations.
    Tyler J. Sears, 28, a transient, and Eric Breeyear, 36, of Burlington, were identified by police as the perpetrators in the incidents that included using credit cards, several stolen from vehicles in Burlington. Sears is also suspected of car theft.
    Police re
  • Vermont Mozart Festival cancels all 16 summer performances

    The Vermont Mozart Festival has played regular summer concerts at a number of area venues over the years, including Shelburne Farms, above. The festival’s entire 2019 season has been canceled following the abrupt resignation of director Michael Dabroski on June 16. Courtesy photo
    This story by Lisa Scagliotti was published in the Shelburne News on July 12.
    Fans of one of Vermont’s most popular outdoor summer music events will need to make new plans and in some cases seek ticket refun
  • Planned Parenthood funding cut as Title X rules takes effect

    Lucy Leriche and Meaghan Gallagher of Planned Parenthood. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerA Trump administration rule update that restricts funding to organizations offering abortions went into effect yesterday, stripping Planned Parenthood of Vermont of a stream of federal funding that supports access to reproductive health care.
    The organization is vowing to continue offering its services despite the funding cut while it combats the rule on a national scale.
    The Trump administration’s
  • Walt Amses: We Vermonters are godless … but patriotic

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Walt Amses, a writer who lives in North Calais.
    The revelation last week in VTDigger that Vermont was named the third most patriotic state was startling, especially considering it has consistently been one of the least religious, in fact, quite frequently THE least religious. Patriotism, religion — Christianity to be precise — and politics have become so intertwined the last few decades that we’ve come to perceive them as being one and
  • Elayne Clift: Harriet Tubman a good change for a bill

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Elayne Clift, who writes about women, culture and social issues from Saxtons River.
    The lengths this administration will go to in order to erase decisions made by the Obama administration or insult blacks while signaling white supremacists are nothing short of stunning.
    Those can be the only reasons that Treasury Secretary Steven Minuchin announced to a House Financial Services Committee meeting in May that the Obama administration’s 2016 decision
  • Quiros defense mulls motion to move criminal case out of Vermont

    Ariel Quiros, center, arrives outside federal court in Burlington for his arraignment on charges pertaining to the EB-5 fraud case on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — The attorney for the man federal prosecutors termed the mastermind of a scheme to defraud investors in a Northeast Kingdom project says he is weighing a request to move the trial out of Vermont, in part due to high-profile officials’ connections to the case.
    Those top officials includ
  • How Vermont's State Colleges Are Navigating A Turbulent Time In Higher Education http://dlvr.it/R8JjZb pic.twitter.com/h6qk4pDtTy

    How Vermont's State Colleges Are Navigating A Turbulent Time In Higher Education http://dlvr.it/R8JjZb pic.twitter.com/h6qk4pDtTy
  • Kamala Harris considers Vermont campaign presence in challenge to Bernie Sanders

    Sen. Kamala Harris speaks at the 2019 National Forum on Wages and Working People in Las Vegas, Nevada, in April. Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr
    Sen. Kamala Harris is weighing whether to set up a campaign operation on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ home turf.The California Democrat plans to send staffers to the Burlington area to test the waters for a “field program” in the Green Mountain State later this month, according to two Democratic sources in Vermont.The Harris camp has reached out
  • YWP: ‘Don’t Forget’

    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 Law Blog: Defamation suit dismissed on absolute privilege grounds

    Editor’s note: This piece from the SCOV Law Blog is by SCOV Law editor Andrew Delaney.
    Couture v. Trainer, 2017 VT 73
    Dad sued mom and aunt because he claimed that they coached daughter in saying “Daddy hit me.” He also alleged that they submitted defamatory audio and video recordings of daughter’s statements to his parole officer, and that mom made false statements to his parole officer and in mom’s petition for relief from abuse. Dad also brought claims on the bas
  • Was cannabis planted on the Statehouse lawn?

    A cannabis plant found on the Statehouse grounds. Photo courtesy of Capitol Police Chief Matthew Romei
    On Monday, the Capitol Police got a unique call — someone had planted cannabis on the Statehouse lawn.A thorough review found 34 plants mixed in among the flowerbeds in front of the building. But as for whether the plants were actually marijuana or hemp — Police Chief Matthew Romei said the plants are too young to tell.
    “At this age of plant, you can’t tell from visual i

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