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Local news, reporting and newscasts from Vermont Public Radio

Vermont Edition Podcast

Vermont Edition brings you news and conversation about issues affecting your life. Hosts Jane Lindholm and Bob Kinzel consider the context of current events through interviews with news makers and people who make our region buzz.

Eye On The Sky Podcast

The Eye On The Sky is Vermont's weather service. It is a production of the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium and Vermont Public Radio.

Brave Little State Podcast

What if you could decide what stories Vermont Public Radio should be covering, before they're even assigned? That's the idea behind Brave Little State.

How's Vermont's Amish community doing?

Thu, 21 Oct 2021 3:32pm

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To answer this question from Dean Lehrke of Kansas, reporter Elodie Reed travels to the Northeast Kingdom to explore the ways that isolated Amish families have become fixtures in their Vermont community.

Tropical Storm Irene, 10 Years Later

Thu, 19 Aug 2021 1:34pm

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A listener's request about the legacy of Tropical Storm Irene prompted us to tell three stories about resilience — personal, entrepreneurial and spiritual.

NEXT New England Podcast

<p><strong>NEXT</strong> was a radio show and podcast that aired its final episode in May 2021 after a successful five-year run. The weekly program focused on New England, one of America's oldest places, at a time of change. NEXT was produced at Connecticut Public Radio and featured stories from journalists across the New England News Collaborative. Most recently, the program was hosted by Morgan Springer.</p> <p>With New England as our laboratory, NEXT asked questions about how we power our society, how we move around, and how we adapt. Through reporting and interviews, we explored:&nbsp;<em>Where are we now? How did we get here? And what's next?</em></p> <p>The New England News Collaborative is a regional partnership of public media stations, with Connecticut Public as the lead station. Partners include Maine Public, New England Public Media, New Hampshire Public Radio, Vermont Public Radio, WBUR, WGBH, WCAI, and WSHU. Vanessa de la Torre is the NENC&rsquo;s executive editor.</p>

NEXT’s Goodbye — And What’s To Come From The New England News Collaborative

Tue, 01 Jun 2021 7:00am

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After five years on air, our weekly program NEXT has ended. The show focused on New England at a time of change and featured stories from journalists across the New England News Collaborative. The good news is that these powerful stories aren’t going away. We are ramping up our next phase of New England reporting to bring you more news and conversations from the region. Executive Editor Vanessa de la Torre explains what’s ahead for the New England News Collaborative, and how you can follow our work. See for privacy information.

The Final Episode: How Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola Reimagines History; Protesters Reflect On The Year That Changed Us

Thu, 27 May 2021 9:25am

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On the final episode of NEXT, Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola talks about the evolution of her poetry, and how she uses futurism to reimagine history. Plus, protesters reflect on what has changed — or not — in the year since George Floyd’s murder. We also speak with band members of Lake Street Dive about their latest album, “Obviously.” And finally, to mark the end of NEXT, Executive Editor Vanessa de la Torre joins us to explain what’s ahead for the New England News Collaborative. See for privacy information.

Reflecting On ‘Surviving The White Gaze’; Why Green Burials Are Surging In Popularity

Thu, 20 May 2021 10:34am

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Rebecca Carroll’s new memoir details her experiences as a Black child raised by adoptive white parents in rural New Hampshire. This week on NEXT, Carroll talks about “Surviving The White Gaze.” Plus, epidemiologist and physician Dr. Sandro Galea on the impact of structural issues on public health — and how we should prepare for the next pandemic. And we learn about the practice of “green” burials, and why they’re becoming more popular. See for privacy information.

‘It’s Like Climbing Up A Mudslide’: Pandemic Pushes Women Out Of The Workforce

Thu, 13 May 2021 9:51am

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Millions of people in the U.S. left the workforce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A majority of them were women. This week on NEXT, we hear from women who left their jobs and talk with an expert about the stressors  — and what recovery might look like. Plus, high school English teacher Takeru Nagayoshi on what he’s learned in this past year of hybrid teaching. And we remember trans activist and ballroom icon Jahaira DeAlto. See for privacy information.

Alison Bechdel On ‘The Secret To Superhuman Strength'; Advocates Push Colleges To Hire More Black-Owned Firms To Oversee Investments

Thu, 06 May 2021 9:43am

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Alison Bechdel’s new graphic novel depicts her life through fitness. This week on NEXT, we talk with Bechdel about ‘The Secret to Superhuman Strength,' which is more about a state of being than six-pack abs. Plus, advocates make the case for colleges to hire more diverse financial firms to manage billion-dollar endowments. And scholar-activist Katharine Morris reflects on her experience at the intersection of racism, environmental justice and public health, and her framework for moving forward. See for privacy information.

But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids Podcast

But Why is a show led by kids. They ask the questions and we find the answers. It’s a big interesting world out there. On But Why, we tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world. Know a kid with a question? Record it with a smartphone. Be sure to include your kid's first name, age, and town and send the recording to!

How Do Apples Grow?

Fri, 08 Oct 2021 10:20am

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Why do apples have stems? Why do fruits start out as flowers? How did the first apple grow when no one was there to plant its seed? Why can you make a seedless grape and not a seedless apple? Why are apples so juicy? How is apple juice made? Why are apples hard and pears soft? In this episode we take a field trip to Champlain Orchards in Shoreham, Vermont to learn more about apples. Our guides are 10-year-old Rupert Suhr, his father, Bill, and apple expert Ezekiel Goodband.  Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript  Flower to Fruit Image Why are some fruits a flower before they’re fruit? - Grayson, 8, San Jose, California Actually ALL fruits start as flowers (but not all flowers turn into fruit). Growing fruit is a way that some plants reproduce. Fruit is the nice ripe container that holds the seeds, which humans or animals will eat and then spread around (often through their poop), allowing new plants to grow. But that process begins with a flower. The outer part of the flower often has beautiful colors and shapes and smells—and that’s all part of the way the plant tries to attract a bee or other pollinator: “The flower has an ovary at the base of the petals. The petals are enticing a bee to come with the pollen from another blossom that it’s visited and there’s some nectar that the bee can collect and while the bee is doing that it’s shedding some pollen,” explains Ezekiel Goodband. “That pollen completes the information that the apple needs to start growing. So the flower is to attract the bee.” That ovary at the base of the flower will start to grow and that will become the apple that you eat. If you look at the bottom of an apple—the opposite end of where the stem is attached to the tree—you can actually see where the flower used to be. It even kind of looks a little bit like a tiny flower.

How Deep Is The Ocean?

Fri, 24 Sep 2021 11:00am

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We’re exploring a part of the world that not much is known about—in fact, you could be one of the people who help us understand and learn more about this very important, and very large, part of our earth. The land underneath the ocean is as varied and interesting as the terrain up on dry land—with mountains and canyons, plains and forests. (That’s right, forests! There are kelp forests where the kelp is as much as 150 feet tall!) In this episode, what’s known--and unknown--about the bottom of the ocean. How deep IS the deepest part of the ocean? And how was the Mariana Trench formed? We get answers from Jamie McMichael-Phillips and Vicki Ferrini of Seabed 2030, a global collaboration designed to map the sea floor, by 2030. Resources Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Seabed 2030  Visual: What Lurks In The Depths Of the Ocean? (CBC Kids) “How deep is the deepest part of the ocean?” –Freya, 8, Wellington, New Zealand The deepest part of the ocean is the Challenger Deep, 11,034 meters in the Mariana Trench. It’s about seven miles deep! How did the trench get so deep?  The same processes that formed canyons and mountains on dry land also formed the depths of the ocean and the islands that peek above the water. In the case of the Mariana Trench, it was formed by the process of subduction—when one tectonic plate slides under another. A tectonic plate is a gigantic piece of the earth’s crust and the next layer below that, called the upper mantle. These massive slabs of rock are constantly moving, but usually very slowly, so a lot of changes to the earth’s structure take place over a long time. But sometimes something like an earthquake can speed that process up. A trench is formed when one plate slides or melts beneath another one. The Mariana Trench is the deepest trench in the world—farther below sea level than Mount Everest, is tall!

Why Do Americans Use The Word ‘Soccer?’

Fri, 10 Sep 2021 1:00pm

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Kala wants to know why we say soccer in the United States, when the rest of the world calls the game "football." In this episode we hear from people who make their living in the game: professional players, coaches and commentators. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript “Why is soccer called 'soccer,' instead of being called 'football?'” - Kala, Colchester, Vt. "It's an interesting question because so many people around the world play the game of football," said David Saward, now-retired men's coach at Middlebury College. "What happened with the words soccer and football goes back to the 1800s when the game was developed. There were two groups of people in Britain who got together to set the rules of two different games, one that was known as rugby football, and another that was known as association football. From those two first words: 'rugby' and 'association,' came two very separate games. Rugby was abbreviated to the word 'rugger.' And out of the word 'association' came 'soccer.' That's the root of where the two differences came." So although these days you probably won't hear many Brits calling the sport "soccer," the word actually originated there. Americans brought the nickname to the US, and as the sport became popular, soccer stuck. "When you look around the world," says Coach Saward, "there are all sorts of different forms of football: American football, Australian rules football, Gaelic football, rugby football and association football. I think for the clarity of everyone over here when we say the word football, we think of people running around with helmets and pads on; so soccer is a very clear distinction."

Who Invented Money?

Fri, 27 Aug 2021 8:30am

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In this episode of But Why we visit a credit union to learn what money is all about. And Felix Salmon, Anna Szymanski and Jordan Weissman from Slate Money answer questions about why money plays such a big role in modern society. How was money invented? Why can't everything be free? How do you earn money? How was the penny invented? Why are dimes so small? Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Related Episodes: What Is The Biggest Number? Resources: How To Talk To Kids About Money, Million Bazillion podcast Who invented money? - Luca, 9, Ashland, Ore. There's no first person we can point to who invented money. The idea of money has evolved as human society got more complicated. In the early days of humankind, people mostly bartered. Bartering is essentially trading. But over time people realized they needed to have a system for dealing with things when there wasn't an easy trade. If you have something I want but I don't want anything you're offering because I really need something else, how do we work it out? That's where the earliest forms of money emerged. First they were things like shells or rocks. Then pieces of clay with symbols or faces pressed into them. These things don't have much value by themselves, but if everyone agrees that they're going to use them as a symbol of value, you can trade them and start a system of payment. Eventually these objects became more formalized, turning into coins and paper dollar bills, like the ones we use today. These days there's another method of buying and selling: the credit or debit card.

What If You’re Scared To Start School?

Fri, 13 Aug 2021 8:30am

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Five-year-old Odin in Wyoming is about to start school and he sent us this question: If I’m terrified about kindergarten do I have to go? What should I do if I’m scared? What if kids are mean to me? In this episode, tips and suggestions from our listeners for kids returning to school, along with answers from guidance counselor Tosha Todd and National Teacher of the Year Juliana Urtubey. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Related Episodes: Why Do We Have To Go To School? First day of school book recommendations from Tosha Todd First Day Jitters Night Before Kindergarten Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten The Kissing Hand Back to school tips Make a hug button! Draw a heart on the inside of your hand. Draw a heart on your parent’s hand. Squeeze them together to charge your hug button. If you feel nervous at school, push the hug button and it will send you a hug. - Tosha Todd, school guidance counselor Keep a picture of your family in your backpack. You can share with your teacher the things your family does for fun. That will help your teacher understand your family. - Juliana Urtubey, National Teacher of the Year If you're nervous try to have fun and try to make some friends and the school year will be a lot better.-  Zoe, 10 Colorado Remind yourself that you are brave and confident. - Clarissa, 8, Ontario Get into a school routine now. Pick out your clothes the night before. Maybe pack your lunch too. - Tosha Todd When I start school I feel nervous, but when I step in I feel ok. For the first few days I play by myself. When those first few days are done, I play with others. - Julius, 8, Ontario Take a deep breath, be kind to someone and they'll be kind to you. - Zoe, 6, California Get everyone's names and if you forget them it's ok to ask again. - Lucy, Vermont Say hi to all the kids. - Ben, 6, Michigan You're going to make friends, and your mom and dad will pick you up; they're not going to leave you there forever. - Sly, 7, New York

Outdoor Radio Podcast

The Vermont Center for Ecostudies and VPR unite the sounds and science of nature in this monthly feature. The program is hosted by biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra, who share their knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm for wildlife education and conservation.

Outdoor Radio: Invasive Zebra Mussels

Wed, 16 Dec 2020 10:39am

Zebra Mussels are an invasive species in Lake Champlain. Not only do they consume a great deal of the food supply in the lake, but they also attack native mussel species by sticking to them and robbing them of fresh water and food. The Zebra Mussel can reach a density of 100,000 per square meter, covering exhaust and intake pipes for water treatment and power plants.

Outdoor Radio: On The Hunt For Invasive Worms

Wed, 21 Oct 2020 9:17am

There are 19 species of worms in Vermont. Three of them are considered invasive; they are known as snake worms or jumping worms. These busy, invasive worms change the forest floor and the content of the soil, making it difficult for new growth to take root. This affects the habitat and food source of wildlife and the future of the forest itself.

Outdoor Radio: Little Bee On A White Flower

Fri, 28 Aug 2020 8:00am

Fen grass-of-Parnassus has a beautiful white flower that blooms from mid-August to mid-September in Vermont. It is the sole food source for a rare species of bee, which are only referred to by their Latin name, andrena parnassiae.

Outdoor Radio: "Backyard Biodiversity"

Tue, 23 Jun 2020 10:17am

In these times of social distancing, when people can feel disconnected from one another, it's important to realize that nature is just outside your door. From bird songs to green frogs' croaking chatter, stay connected to the outdoors by exploring your own "backyard biodiversity."

Outdoor Radio: Red-winged Blackbirds "A True Sign Of Spring"

Wed, 29 Apr 2020 12:13pm

Birdwatchers know that when they see the Red-winged Blackbird return, spring is on its way. These birds are numerous and everywhere. The males are stark-black with a red epaulette, a striking flash of color on their wings, that they use to attract mates and ward off other competing males.

VPR Classical Timeline Podcast

Join VPR Classical host James Stewart on a journey into the events, characters and concepts that shaped our Western musical tradition. We'll start at the very beginning and trace the steps of music through history. This music, and its history, is ours.

204 - Olatunji Akin Euba (1935-2020)

Mon, 18 Oct 2021 9:18am

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We continue our series of episodes about African composers with an exploration of the life, music and legacy of Nigerian composer Olatunji Akin Euba.

203 - Neo Muyanga

Mon, 11 Oct 2021 12:15pm

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Since the dawn of the Romantic era, composers have used their music as a means to express their individual nationalities and their hopes for their culture. Consider the nationalism evident in the music of Mikhail Glinka or the activism in the works of Jean Sibelius. Today, composers are still finding new ways to incorporate their ethnic identity and cultural heritage in the tradition of classical music; as evident in the works and influence of contemporary South African composer Neo Muyanga.

202 - Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou

Fri, 01 Oct 2021 11:12am

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August of 2013, the city of Jerusalem hosted a series of tribute concerts dedicated to the music of Ethiopian violinist, pianist and composer, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou. It was the first time that her music had been performed in that city. However, her recordings had been around for decades. Her solo piano waltzes have a unique lilt and style, with an almost blues-like quality. Perhaps that’s why Guèbrou has been nickname “The Honky-Tonk Nun.”

201 - Fela Sowande (1905-1987)

Mon, 20 Sep 2021 12:35pm

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The Yoruba people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Western Africa. Over the centuries many of the Yoruba were displaced, first by the Atlantic slave trade and later in the 20th century by mass migration to the United States and the United Kingdom. The music of Nigerian composer Fela Sowande provided a voice for these African people entering a Western world. Sowande is an internationally recognized African composer and was called the father of Nigerian art music.

200 - Jacqueline Nova

Mon, 02 Aug 2021 11:16am

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Innovation and transformation are impossible without experimentation. That’s something that 20th Century Columbian composer, Jacqueline Nova, truly understood. Nova pioneered electroacoustic music and smashed limitations, including form, sound, discipline and even gender.

JOLTED Podcast

A five-part podcast about a school shooting that didn’t happen, the line between thought and crime, and a Republican governor in a rural state who changed his mind about gun laws.

Update: One Year Later

Wed, 13 Mar 2019 8:00pm

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How the events of last year changed Vermont schools and law enforcement. Also - where's Jack?

Part 5: Threat Assessment

Wed, 26 Sep 2018 10:11pm

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How do you know if a young person is plotting a school massacre? And what do you do then?

Part 4: The Reversal

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:11pm

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How a Republican governor who had been rated "A" by the NRA decided that Vermont, one of the most gun-friendly states in the nation, needed gun control laws.

Part 3: Thought, Or Crime?

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 10:40pm

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When does planning a school shooting become attempted murder? The question went all the way to the Vermont Supreme Court.

Part 2: How We Got Here

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 10:02pm

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Who is Jack Sawyer, and why did he want to kill his former classmates?

My Heart Still Beats Podcast

A six-part series from Writers for Recovery and VPR, featuring conversation about addiction and original writing from the recovery community around Vermont.

Bonus Episode: Voices From The Series

Thu, 16 May 2019 5:55pm

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What role does storytelling have in addressing the opioid crisis? In March, Vermont Public Radio hosted a gathering at the Turning Point Center of Burlington to talk through that question with the team behind My Heart Still Beats .