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With weeks to go, could lawmakers radically reimagine Vermont’s education finance system?
04-11-2024 3:45 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

The Vermont House’s tax-writing committee rolled out a preliminary proposal this week that would radically reimagine education finance in the state. The plan, written into the annual bill that helps set tax rates statewide, would provide school...

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Binge drinking, alcohol use disorder in Vermont ranked among the highest in the nation
04-03-2024 3:26 PM

By TIFFANY TAN

Journey to Recovery, an addiction recovery center in the Northeast Kingdom, refers two people a week to inpatient treatment for alcohol use disorder.At the other end of the state, 2 out of 3 patients that Bennington Turning Point recovery coaches see...


Auditor’s report details lack of state oversight in Vermont’s EB-5 fraud
04-02-2024 3:06 PM

By BABETTE STOLK

A new report released by State Auditor Doug Hoffer this week affirmed a longstanding conclusion of the EB-5 scandal: that a lack of state oversight allowed the fraud to happen.“In short, we found a pattern of misplaced trust, unfortunate...


2024 eclipse expected to bring traffic jams to Vermont
03-26-2024 4:22 PM

By BABETTE STOLK

As the 2024 total solar eclipse draws near, so do the hordes of people expected to visit Vermont to see it. Public safety officials say they’re doing what they can to minimize risk.Although the exact number of people coming to Vermont remains unknown,...


Vermont could become the next state to make Juneteenth an official holiday
03-19-2024 4:29 PM

By AUDITI GUHA

An effort afoot in the Vermont Senate would make Juneteenth a legal holiday — but not a day off.Two Senate committees have given their support to S.206, which would add June 19 to a dozen other dates already in statute, and the bill could hit the...


Few people have made their way to state’s last-minute temporary shelters
03-19-2024 4:26 PM

By CARLY BERLIN

Last week, Gov. Phil Scott’s administration scrambled to set up four mass shelters within a matter of days, anticipating hundreds of people would lose their eligibility for state-subsidized rooms through Vermont’s motel housing program on Friday. Yet...


Vermont House passes ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products and substitutes
03-18-2024 5:00 PM

By PETER D’AURIA

The Vermont House passed a ban on the sale of flavored nicotine products and tobacco substitutes Friday morning, a key hurdle before the legislation goes to the governor’s desk. The passage of S.18, after hours of floor discussion Thursday afternoon,...


Black bears are emerging from their winter dens early, in search of food
03-14-2024 4:45 PM

By K. FIEGENBAUM

Reports have been coming in from around the state: Bears are leaving their dens after a shorter-than-usual winter sleep — and they’re hungry.Late last week, the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife began urging Vermonters to take down their bird...


Dick McCormack to retire after 3-decade Senate career
03-12-2024 3:14 PM

By SARAH MEARHOFF

After more than three decades representing Windsor County in the Vermont Senate, Dick McCormack plans to retire next January at the conclusion of his term. The veteran Democrat disclosed his decision to constituents on Town Meeting Day last week and...


Major addition to Fairbanks Museum to open to the public Saturday
02-17-2024 9:01 PM

By K. FIEGENBAUM

This Saturday, a Northeast Kingdom institution is set to unveil to the public a project long in the making: the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium’s new Tang Science Annex.The 6,500-square-foot, three-story addition comprises hands-on galleries...


Thousands of Vermonters applied for FEMA assistance after last summer’s floods. What became of them?
02-06-2024 5:49 PM

By PETER D’AURIA

Last month, Sue Minter, the executive director of the Barre-based nonprofit Capstone Community Action, explained to state lawmakers how many Vermonters are still facing the impacts of last summer’s floods.“Many are either displaced entirely or living...


‘There’s no rules or oversight’: New bill seeks to ease Vermont’s animal welfare ‘crisis’
01-26-2024 9:12 PM

By BABETTE STOLK

For months, maybe even years, people had raised concerns about two horses in Randolph who looked like they were neglected and starving. Time passed on, until finally the many calls reached the right destination. Together with law enforcement, a rescue...


Newbury, citizens group lose longshot bid for new review of secure juvenile facility case 
01-23-2024 8:37 PM

By ALAN J. KEAYS

The Vermont Supreme Court has quickly rejected bids by the town of Newbury and a citizens group to reconsider a ruling last month that cleared the way for the state to open a secure facility for youth involved in the criminal system.The town and the...


‘Unintended consequences’: Concern mounts in Montpelier about the newest changes to education finance
01-23-2024 2:08 AM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

In a letter directed toward school boards and superintendents on Friday, two leaders of legislative tax committees warned of the “unintended consequences” of the state’s newest education finance law, which, they suggested, could have districts trying...


As Vermont Town Meetings prepare to return to the floor, some COVID-19 changes remain
01-18-2024 6:53 PM

By KEVIN O’CONNOR

For the first time in four years, none of Vermont’s 247 municipalities have publicly announced plans to cancel in-person March Town Meetings due to COVID-19 concerns, according to a VTDigger survey, although many are permanently adopting such...


Vermont is racing to meet its own electric vehicle targets
01-16-2024 2:38 AM

By HABIB SABET

State transportation officials told legislators last week that Vermont’s electric vehicle transition has made substantial headway in recent years but still has a long way to go to meet its goals.Vermont currently leads the country in efforts toward...


State agency puts former Norwich police chief on paid administrative leave
01-11-2024 5:26 PM

By ALAN J. KEAYS

The director of enforcement and safety for the state Department of Motor Vehicles has been placed on paid administrative leave after less than six months on the job.Vermont Transportation Secretary Joseph Flynn, whose agency oversees the motor vehicle...


In unusual move, board votes to temporarily close Vt. school amid staffing challenges
12-19-2023 3:23 AM

By PETER D’AURIA

School board members have decided to temporarily shutter Windham Elementary School after administrators struggled to fill staffing positions at the tiny school.The three-person Windham School Board voted Thursday evening to close the 15-student school...


Despite objections, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board moves ahead with new rules for hunting and trapping
12-16-2023 2:31 AM

By EMMA COTTON

On Thursday evening, members of the Fish & Wildlife Board voted unanimously to approve new rules for trapping and hunting. Recent laws required the board to create the rules, which were intended to make the activities safer for wildlife, pets and...


Vermont selects sports betting operators, allowing for pre-registration ahead of January launch
12-13-2023 11:34 PM

By SARAH MEARHOFF

With legal, regulated sports betting on track to launch in Vermont next month, the Scott administration has awarded state contracts to three vendors to host mobile sports wagering platforms.DraftKings, FanDuel and Fanatics Sportsbook were selected...


Bernie Sanders votes against Ukraine aid package, citing unconditional funding for Israel
12-08-2023 4:23 AM

By SARAH MEARHOFF

A major foreign aid package designed to support Ukraine’s fight against Russia and Israel’s fight against Hamas failed on a key procedural vote in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday as a united Republican caucus — joined by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. —...

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