Pat Bradley | WAMC

Pat Bradley

North Country Bureau Chief

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Officials at the Rutland Regional Medical Center are considering a plan to close the hospital's inpatient rehabilitation unit, one of only three in Vermont.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

If the Rutland hospital decides to close its unit, the remaining inpatient units would be at Mount Ascutney Hospital in Windsor or Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

Rutland's 12-patient inpatient rehab unit helps patients recover from strokes, head or spinal injuries, joint replacements and some long-term ailments.

Hannaford Supermarkets has become the first major supermarket chain in the country to implement a policy to only sell seafood products that are proven to be sustainably harvested.

New York has received a federal waiver that will allow the state education department to modify some of the provisions of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Law.

Vermont National Guard Adjutant General Michael Dubie is getting ready to take a new job.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

Last week the U.S. Senate confirmed Dubie's promotion to the rank of lieutenant general and his naming as deputy commander of the United States Northern Command.

The Northern Command was created following the 9/11 attacks to protect U.S. territory and provide military support for civil authorities in the event of a national emergency.

The new job means Dubie will leave the National Guard post he's held since 2006.

A conference is planned Wednesday to begin establishing a Genuine Progress Indicator in Vermont. It will measure more than the state’s monetary progress by including environmental and social indicators such as an happiness index.

A poll released late last week finds Vermonters evenly divided on whether the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant should remain open.

An effort to have cell coverage along the entire stretch of the Adirondack Northway took another step forward as another cell tower was activated Thursday.  It leaves only a 13 mile gap of coverage along the remote rural highway.

A proposed change in how the state monitors air quality is raising some concern from environmental and health advocacy groups.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin says he supports a plan to bring F-35 fighter jets to the Air National Guard base at the Burlington International Airport.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

Shumlin says Vermont should be honored to host the F-35. He calls it a commentary on the quality of the Vermont National Guard.

The Air Force is considering a proposal to base between 18 and 24 of the planes in South Burlington.

The Commissioner of the New York State Office For People With Developmental Disabilities met with members of the advocacy community in Plattsburgh this afternoon to explain legislation offered by Governor Cuomo to strengthen protections for people with special needs.

A public meeting by the NRC to discuss the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant took a bizarre turn last night as a silent protest disrupted proceedings and officials nearly stopped the meeting.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission holds annual meetings in Brattleboro to present its safety assessment of Vermont Yankee. Brattleboro Reformer reporter Josh Stilts covers Vermont Yankee for the paper.  He says the meeting started cordially, but took an odd twist as it progressed.

Vermont State Police say human remains, including part of a skull, have been found on private property that was being excavated in Northfield.  More from WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley......

Police say the skull piece and other skeletal remains found at the construction site will be sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation laboratory for further investigation.

The office of the Vermont chief medical examiner and a University of Vermont anthropologist determined that the bones are human.

Numerous museums across the region will participate in a program this summer that offers free admission to active duty military personnel and their families.

The Department of Homeland Security implemented its Secure Communities Program in Vermont on Tuesday.

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The state of Vermont is now a part of a federal program aimed at identifying illegal immigrants arrested and charged with crimes.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

The Department of Homeland Security says its Secure Communities program went into effect Tuesday in Vermont.

The program shares the fingerprints of illegal immigrants charged with crimes with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Vermont’s unemployment rate is down two-tenths of a percent this month. One group says state's job market isn't improving as fast as it might appear.

The Vermont Department of Labor reports that the state unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent in April, well below the national unemployment rate of 8.1 percent.  Economic and Labor Market Information Chief Mathew Barewicz says it continues a trend.

The Burlington City Council has voted to move forward with a plan that would create a buffer zone around reproductive health care clinics in the city.

Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders says he’s “extremely disappointed” that the chairman of the Federal Nuclear Regulatory  Commission has announced his resignation. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more….

Sanders reacted Monday to news of Gregory Jaczko’s departure by saying he has appreciated the chairman’s recognition that the NRC’s job is not to promote nuclear power, but to be a strong safety regulator.

The communities on both sides of the new Lake Champlain Bridge are holding a two day festival this weekend to celebrate the bridge that links their communities and two states.

The Adirondack Council and other conservation groups are criticizing New York State Senate passage of a bill that would change permitting and other policies at the Adirondack Park Agency.

Rep. Peter Welch
photo provided

The mail processing plant operated by the U.S. Postal Service in White River Junction will remain open, saving 245 jobs.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

Senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy and U.S. Representative Peter Welch announced on Thursday that the postal service plant, which earlier had been threatened with closure, will remain open under legislation the Vermont delegation championed. 

Sanders says keeping the center open will help ensure good postal service in Vermont…

A Quebec town is fighting plans to erect wind turbines close to the border in Vermont.

Vermont Governor's Office

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has signed into law the state’s next step in a multi-year effort to revamp Vermont's health care system and make it a single payer system similar to Canada's.

Vermont’s governor has signed into law the nation’s first ban on the natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

There's no drilling currently happening in Vermont, which is believed to have little to no reserves of oil or natural gas.

Lawmakers passed a preemptive ban on the practice and Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin signed the law Wednesday in a ceremony at the Statehouse in Montpelier…

Governor Peter Shumlin has signed into law the next step in a multi-year effort to revamp Vermont’s health care system and make it more like Canada’s.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

The bill Shumlin signed on Wednesday calls for setting up a regulated health care marketplace — or "exchange" — in keeping with the federal health reform law passed two years ago.

The Governor says it helps the state as it tries to move to a single payer system…

Shortly after noon on Wednesday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law the nation's first statewide ban on the natural gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing.

Governor Peter Shumlin signed H.464 to ban the drilling method. Lawmakers had considered a moratorium, but after testimony and debate, moved a bill forward to ban the practice.  Governor Shumlin says it’s a critical move to protecting a critical resource.

The Plattsburgh Public Library kicks off its Summer Reading Program today.  It’s part of a statewide effort to get more children to read.

The New York State Library is part of a consortium between most states that have pooled resources to create a summer reading program for children.  New York State Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and Acting State Librarian Jeffrey Cannell says it’s critical that reading skills  be maintained.

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Vermont's top fiscal officer says the state's General Fund took in $10.6 million more than expected last month, making it possible for the state to end the fiscal year with a surplus.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports… 

Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding said general fund revenues were 6.3 percent ahead of expectations.

So far this fiscal year, general fund revenues are four-tenths of one percent ahead of expectations.

Spaulding says the results were largely because of strong corporate income tax filings.

The U.S. Air Force is considering five sites across the country to host their new generation of fighter jets.  One of its preferred sites is the National Guard base in South Burlington, Vermont. Both supporters and opponents packed a hearing last night to voice their opinions on the plan.

A federal board has approved a rail company's plan to resume freight traffic along a 30-mile stretch of unused tracks in the Adirondacks.

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