Rob Mitchell

Rob Mitchell is the third generation of his family to work for the Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus. He has worked in newspapers for 10 years, returning to Vermont in 2008 to join the family business.

Recent Posts

Shumlin to swear in new Supreme Court justice Crawford

BURLINGTON — Vermont is going to getting a new Supreme Court justice. Gov. Peter Shumlin is scheduled to swear in Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford on Wednesday at the Costello Courthouse in Burlington. Crawford replaces Associate Justice Brian Burgess, who recently announced his retirement. Crawford is a graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School. Continue Reading →

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Shumlin appoints Hoyt to fill Cheney seat

Gov. Peter Shumlin has appointed Kathy Hoyt of Norwich to the House seat formerly held by Rep. Margaret Cheney, D-Norwich, who was named earlier this week to a post on the state Public Service Board. Hoyt is no newcomer to state government. She previously served as commissioner of the state Department of Employment and Training, planning director for the Vermont Agency of Human Services, Gov. Madeleine Kunin’s and Gov. Howard Dean’s chief of staff, and secretary of the Agency of Administration. According to the governor’s office, Hoyt has most recently been caring for her husband, former Tax Commissioner Norrie Hoyt, who died in early August. Norrie Hoyt held the same House seat for nine years, ending in 1983. Continue Reading →

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Joint committee meeting to review energy projects

MONTPELIER — Suggestions for a new process for how to permit and site wind turbines and other electrical generation projects will be the topic when the House and Senate committees on natural resources and energy hold a joint hearing in Montpelier on Sept. 25. The hearing is part of a review of how the state’s permit process balances state, local and other interests when it comes to wind, solar and other power projects. That review began with a siting policy commission report stemming from an executive order by Gov. Peter Shumlin last fall. The joint committees will hear from several parties, including the siting commission’s director and several representatives of state agencies involved in the permit process. Continue Reading →

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Neal Goswami joins the Vermont Press Bureau

Neal Goswami has joined the Vermont Press Bureau as of Sept. 3. Goswami was a reporter for the Bennington Banner for more than 7 years, and most recently was the newspaper’s social media editor and senior staff reporter. Goswami will join Bureau Chief Pete Hirschfeld in reporting on state government, the legislature and statewide issues. He will work out of the Barre offices of the Herald’s sister newspaper, the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, and provide local coverage on Waterbury and other assignments in Central Vermont; he report out of the Statehouse during the legislative session. Continue Reading →

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After resignation, Rader Wallack returns to Vermont health care

MONTPELIER — She may have resigned her high-profile post as chairwoman of the Green Mountain Care Board, but Anya Rader Wallack’s role in health care reform in Vermont is far from over. Rader Wallack, who departed her post less than two weeks ago, is on the verge of inking a $100,000 contract with the state to oversee the use of a $45 million federal grant. In her work on the “State Innovation Model” grant, Rader Wallack will seek to propel many of the same objectives pushed by the Green Mountain Care Board. Her expertise on matters including alternative care models and payment reform is among the reasons cited by a top administration official in his request to award Rader Wallack a no-bid contract. In an Aug. Continue Reading →

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Advocates raise alarm for disabled kids after funding change

MONTPELIER — The problems began in the spring of 2012, when state officials decided to change how they determine whether disabled children in Vermont are eligible for government-subsidized home care. The Department of Health discarded its old evaluation tool in favor of one borrowed from Wisconsin, which would from then on be used to determine whether the state was properly allocating “personal care services” to the approximately 2,200 kids served by the program in 2011. Disability advocates were almost immediately alarmed. “There was a very significant and very sudden drop-off in the number of children found eligible,” says Gloria Quinn, vice president of developmental services at Rutland County Mental Health. The Agency of Human Services this week was unable to provide data indicating precisely how many families have been affected by the changes. Continue Reading →

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Irene-prompted reforms make positive changes in mental health care

MONTPELIER — Before he turned even 20, Ivan Deutsch had been through 20 foster families, 15 visits to the psych ward, and more run-ins with police than he cares to remember. For his entire teenage life, Deutsch suffered the slings of a mental illness that robbed him of a normal childhood. Thanks to a newly sprouted eight-bed residential treatment facility in Westminster, however, Deutsch said the future has finally started to look promising. “If they hadn’t stuck with me like they had, I wouldn’t be here right now talking to you,” Deutsch told a panel of lawmakers Thursday. “I thought I was always going to be on the borderline of not living. Continue Reading →

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Leahy ‘straw purchase’ gun bill advances out of Judiciary Committee

By Edward Donga | For the Rutland Herald and Times Argus

WASHINGTON — Breaking down largely along party lines, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-7 Thursday to approve a bill, sponsored by Chairman Patrick Leahy, that would outlaw the so-called straw purchase of firearms.

The committee’s action paves the way for the legislation to come before the full Senate for debate. A straw purchase involves someone buying a firearm for another individual — such as a convicted felon — who would otherwise be unable to purchase it because he or she cannot pass the required background check. “The practice of straw purchasing firearms is undertaken for one reason: to get a gun into the hands of someone who is prohibited from having one,” said Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont. “We know that many of the guns used in criminal activities are acquired through straw purchases.”
(more…) Continue Reading →

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Shumlin tells Politico: “Congress… is holding America hostage”

From reporter Kevin Robillard:
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has seen the enemy — and it is Republicans in Congress. “The one thing that stands in our way of prosperity, of job creation, right now, is this Congress, which refuses to work with the president,” Shumlin said Friday on POLITICO’s State Solutions Conference, adding: “We have a Congress that is holding American prosperity hostage right now; we have Republican governors who are passing the tax policies they can’t get past a Democratic [Senate] and a Democratic president.”
He was speaking at Politico’s “State Solutions” conference, and had much more to say, on gun control and on the 2016 Presidential race. The interviewer gets in a nice sigh, about 45 seconds into the video – watch the video and read the full story at Continue Reading →

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Debate on opening police records nearing a close

By Brent Curtis | Special to the VPB

MONTPELIER — A prominent member of the media added his views Wednesday to a debate at the Statehouse over expanding public access to criminal investigation files. “It seems to us that this is an excellent start, if not an endpoint,” retired WCAX-TV anchor and news director Marselis Parsons said of draft legislation to adopt federal Freedom of Information Act standards for records that are categorically off-limits under existing Vermont public records exemptions. “The change would make information more available to the public — not the press per se … but the public,” he added. Parsons, who retired from a full-time role at the station more than three years ago, and WCAX president and general manager Peter Martin were among six people who spoke Wednesday about proposed changes to the records law. Continue Reading →

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