Vermont News Briefs

VTDigger’s beat reporters cover health care, politics, education, energy, the environment, business and state finances. We offer brief Vermont news stories on issues are are keeping tabs on.

West Nile virus found in three Vermont towns

The Vermont Department of Health says mosquito pools have tested positive for the West Nile virus in three Vermont municipalities. Mosquitoes collected in Hardwick, Weathersfield and Brattleboro were found to be infected with the virus. West Nile is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus has been found in every county of […]

Burlington receives $500,000 for waterfront park

Burlington has received a $500,000 grant to establish a new waterfront park. The money will be used to assist the city in acquiring 12 acres of land to develop a park on the shores of Lake Champlain. The park will occupy a portion of the land formerly owned by Burlington College. Future plans are to […]

Police investigating ‘hate speech’ graffiti at Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library

BURLINGTON — City officials say they discovered racist and anti-semitic graffiti, involving a swastika and epithet, in the bathroom at the Fletcher Free Library. The graffiti has since been painted over and library staff are working with the Burlington Police Department on the police investigation into the graffiti, according to a news release. “As library […]

Savings announced from new health plan for retired teachers

State Treasurer Beth Pearce said Thursday that her office has completed negotiations for a contract to provide health insurance to retired teachers in the state. The one-year deal will save the state more than $550,000, while also saving retired teachers over age 65 a total of $110,000, according to Pearce. That’s because it reduces premiums […]

Ceremonial bill signing held for sexual assault legislation

In an emotional ceremony held at the Statehouse Tuesday afternoon, legislators and citizen activists gathered to watch Gov. Phil Scott sign two bills passed earlier this year that extend Vermont’s protections for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. This legislation enacts a so-called Bill of Rights for Sexual Assault Survivors and eliminates the statute […]

Medical society taps lobbyist as new leader

The Vermont Medical Society, which represents doctors across the state, has selected its lobbyist to run the organization when the current leader retires. Jessa Barnard, who has been the organization’s general counsel and vice president for policy since March, will replace Paul Harrington as executive vice president of the organization Dec. 1. Harrington retires Nov. […]

Hearings on health premium increases planned this week

State regulators will hold public hearings on proposals by two health insurance companies to raise premiums for people using Vermont Health Connect. The Green Mountain Care Board will hold two hearings this week, both in Room 11 at the Statehouse in Montpelier. Next week the board will hold an additional event in the evening to […]

Vermont Republicans to host New Hampshire’s Gov. Sununu

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu will be the guest of honor at a Vermont Republican Party fundraiser Aug. 31. Sununu said he’s looking forward to speaking to Vermont Republicans on the issues both states face. “As a region, we can continue to have important conversations on affordability, energy, the environment and important regional economic issues,” […]

State police investigating Charlotte drowning incident

A Massachusetts man is the fourth apparent drowning victim this month. First responders located a male body in the water around 30 feet offshore in Charlotte on Saturday night, after being notified of an idling boat near Point Bay Marina, according to a press release from Vermont State Police. State police have identified the victim […]

Middlesex murder victim’s boyfriend faces charges for taking car, debit card

Editor’s note: This story is by freelance reporter Anna Merriman. Homicide victim Cindy Cook’s boyfriend drove her missing car and used her debit card two days after Cook’s body was found in an embankment in Middlesex earlier this week, police said in a statement Saturday. Vermont State Police are looking for boyfriend Randal Gebo, 61 […]

Police: GlobalFoundries worker’s death apparently suicide

A GlobalFoundries worker died in an apparent suicide Thursday at the Essex Junction plant, police say. The person’s name and gender have not been released. The Essex Police Department said in a news release that first responders went to the company’s campus at 9:24 a.m. for a medical incident appearing to involve “self-inflicted wounds.” An […]

Vermont managing editor named for New England Newspapers

(This story first appeared in the Bennington Banner on July 12, 2017.) Greg Sukiennik is now the managing editor of New England Newspaper Inc.’s Vermont newspapers, the Bennington Banner, Brattleboro Reformer and Manchester Journal. Sukiennik, 47, has been editor of the Manchester Journal since October. He began work in the new position on July 3. […]

Police investigating two deaths in Londonderry

(This story was first published July 12, 2017, in the Brattleboro Reformer) LONDONDERRY — Vermont State Police are investigating a pair of unattended deaths, both discovered Wednesday in Londonderry. At 9:50 a.m., state police and Londonderry Rescue responded to a report of a non-responsive male in an apartment on North Main Street, state police said […]

In revote, Dover confirms approval of Act 46 merger

Once again, Dover voters have overwhelmingly OK’d merging their school district with that of neighboring Wardsboro. In a special election Tuesday, the tally was 47-9 in favor of creating a district with shared board governance between the two towns. Both towns’ elementary schools will remain open. Dover already had approved the Act 46 merger plan […]