Vermont News: Top Stories

Latest Vermont News

Family shocked by overdose deaths of two brothers

Dennis Thibault, 34, died of an overdose in June, 2015. Source: Facebook
“The picture of their blue, lifeless bodies, playing over and over again in my head, will never leave me peace,” Penny Thibault wrote to reporters.

 

State: Vermont Gas likely won’t face fines for killing flowers

Vermont Gas
The Fish and Wildlife head envisions a settlement that would aid recovery of the endangered species. But the Public Service Board also could assess penalties for violating its permit to build a pipeline.

 

State taxpayers to pick up tab for Burlington College student records

Burlington College
The college had recently moved to electronic transcripts and hired Campus Cafe, a Massachusetts software and information management company that caters to small colleges, to process the transcripts. Campus Cafe has not been paid since last February.

 

Receiver rebuffs $93 million offer for Jay Peak

Jay Peak
“We’re not even selling it at this point. It was an unsolicited offer,” said Michael Goldberg, who is overseeing the resort and other properties at the heart of the SEC’s fraud case against Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros.

 

Castleton pollsters hired to help develop health research app

A photo of a teenager using a smart phone by Flickr user Brandon Warren (brandoncwarren).
The pilot app will be directed at students older than 18 and will be field tested this fall at state colleges around Vermont. The Castleton Polling Institute was awarded a $400,000 contract to partner with Stanford on the project.

 

Vermont Yankee’s plan to send tainted water into river ‘on hold’

Vermont Yankee 2010
A spokesman says a water intrusion problem at the shut-down nuclear plant has abated. That means Entergy is not pursuing a proposal to send water into the Connecticut River that is contaminated with low levels of radiation.

 

Hartland man seeking to rename Mount Ascutney

Mount Ascutney
Robert Hutchins wants to more accurately honor the traditional Abenaki. But there’s question as to what the mountain, which spans Windsor, West Windsor and Weathersfield, was originally called.

 

UPDATED: UVM network, others seek to acquire drug-test lab

hospital
The hospital system is among the would-be investors, according to a letter seeking emergency review of the deal by regulators. The lab company is hobbled by a fraud settlement and in default on a loan, the letter says.

 

GNAT launches ‘News Project’ for and by the community

GNAT
Community access broadcaster seeks to provide in-depth coverage of news for Bennington County, and eventually implement citizen journalism, having residents gather and interpret news.

 

In first debate, Minter, Scott clash on Act 46 and school choice

Phil Scott, Sue Minter
Scott wants to change Act 46 to expand school choice; Minter supports the law as written.

 

Feds asking questions about Vermont EB-5 Regional Center

Pat Moulton
The outgoing commerce secretary told the Burlington Free Press that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has requested information about the office that oversees EB-5 projects.

 

Citing ‘imprudent’ costs, regulators urge Vermont Gas rate cut

Sections of pipe are encased in cement at Vermont Gas' staging area in Williston. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger
The Public Service Department says $53.1 million of the cost of a pipeline project should be thrown out because it was imprudently spent or hasn’t been properly documented. The department also says it's time for a new way of setting rates.

 

Sanders’ new group exempt from campaign finance rules

Bernie Sanders
Our Revolution, as described by the former presidential candidate and on the group's website, would be the type of organization that can use so-called dark money to influence public policy.

 

Drug task force expands with help of federal money

Matthew Birmingham
The addition of five detectives comes as synthetic opiates are being blamed for a spike in overdoses.

 

Special Reports and Projects

EB-5 fraud at Vermont's Jay Peak

Read about the latest developments. Check out the investigative stories VTDigger has published about Jay Peak, Q Burke and AnC Bio Vermont over the past several years.

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Medicaid by the Numbers

About 35% of Vermonters have some kind of Medicaid benefit. Meanwhile, state spending on the program for low-income residents has increased by 73% since 2008.

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Legislative bill tracker, 'Inside the Golden Bubble'

Find all of our coverage on important legislation and oversight issues on this microsite, and follow stories about bills listed by topic — education, energy, judiciary, the economy, health care, and the budget.

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One child's allegations: ‘This never ends for him’

A young boy tells stories about being sexually abused by his mother’s boyfriend. Four years later, the allegations persist, and there is no legal resolution. The case raises questions that experts say are common when child sex assault is suspected.

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In a life of drugs and prison, treatment is elusive key

Chris Dezotelle has spent his adult life in and out of prison because of his addiction to opiates. Now he wants to change. But his struggle shows how the cycle between prison, the outside and treatment can be complicated.

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Turbine sound and fury aggravates neighbors

A recent legal filing from the state lays out a path for individuals to sue over noise from wind farms. Experts say there is no public health threat from the sound of turbines spinning, but neighbors are still seeking relief. 

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The stories about Bernie

Part one of five: Ingest all the up-close-and-personal profiles the national media is producing about Bernie Sanders and you’ll find they start with the same fact: The presidential candidate hates up-close-and-personal profiles.

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Vermont hospital CEOs average $500K a year

The data show that hospital CEO pay is more than double what CEOs in other industries in Vermont make each year. The average CEO compensation was $162,210 in 2013, and the median was $141,050 that year, according to data from the Vermont Department of Labor.

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Pepperspray, pornography and two bad apples

Police officer sues over racial discrimination in the Rutland City Police Department.

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Tax breaks fuel Vermont's solar gold rush

The combination of state incentives and an impending deadline for federal tax credits is making the Green Mountain State a preferred destination for solar energy developers.

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Inmate took his own life after mental illness treatment needs went unmet

Prison was not the place for Fennessey to receive treatment for mental illness, but he returned to a cell several times because the state and community partners could not coordinate what they deemed a suitable re-entry plan before he took his own life.

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Former Rutland Mental Health CEO’s poor leadership may have put clients in danger

Officials cite a pattern of shortcomings in the care provided by the agency that contributed to a client’s overdose, a client being sexually exploited and several others being placed in neglectful or abusive situations, according to documents obtained by VTDigger. Poor management may have also contributed to one client’s untimely death.

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Quote of the Day

“I have nothing more to say on this.” — Pat Moulton, the secretary of commerce and community development, in an email after declining to speak with VTDigger about the federal government’s questions about the EB-5 program her agency administers.

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