Vermont Water Cooler aggregates top news headlines from all over Vermont in one easy-to-find place.

State House leaders pledge regaining voter confidence, listening to all views - WCAX

Vermont’s new legislative leaders sound like they want to pivot from the kind of aggressive legislation that lost them voter confidence and, thus, seats in the 2020 election. They say they want all voices to be heard and even presumably included in the decision-making process. Vermonters will be watching.

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"We're thrilled:" Women take command at the State House- WPTZ

As Democratic women seize the reins of power in the State House, they promise to make pandemic recovery the #1 priority. Just like in 2020!

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Backfilling permits to grind “recyclable” glass put on hold - VT Digger

Caught dumping supposedly “recyclable” glass? No problem if you’re a government agency - just approve it retroactively! Uh, not so fast….

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UVMMC restores key medical records - WCAX

UVM Medical Center IT professionals have restored that electronic medical record system taken down by an October cyberattack. That’s EPIC.

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Editorial: Scott justified in banning multi-household gatherings- Addison Independent

Vermont’s ‘model citizens’ are pushing back against Phil Scott’s latest restrictions. Addy Indy Publisher Angelo Lynn agrees with some of their complaints - but only up to a point.

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Balint first woman and gay person to lead VT Senate - VT Digger

Windham County’s junior senator, Becca Balint, has been chosen to lead the Vermont Senate. Allison Clarkson of Windsor County will inherit her last job, Senate Majority Leader.

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Vermont could receive first Covid doses early next month - Seven Days

Vermont will get a limited shipment of the Pfizer vaccine as early as Dec. 10, Health Commissioner Mark Levine said. Who will get it first? When will the rest come? And how long before we can stop wearing these masks? These questions will surely be asked at tomorrow’s press conference.

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Smaller mountains won’t be as affected by Covid regs - WCAX

Small-scale, local ski areas that draw more local customers are less likely to be hurt by stringent interstate quarantine regulations.

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Recount confirms Mitzi Johnson loss - AP

Mitzi Johnson lost an additional vote in Friday’s recount, so Mike Morgan of West Milton will join uncle Leland Morgan as Grand Isle - West Milton’s two lawmakers. Jill Krowinski (D-Burlington) appears likely to be the next speaker, as both Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D-Bradford) and Charlie Kimbell (D-Woodstock) have dropped out.

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Prison sentence reduction rule takes effect Jan. 1 - Fox 44

The ‘good time’ rule accords with the push to save money, reduce pandemic transmission pressures, and decarcerate Vermont inmates. But what do victims’ families think? The State has a program for that, too.

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Police investigate suspicious death in Rutland hotel room - WPTZ

An early morning disturbance ended with a dead body in a Rutland hotel room.

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Covid grinches steals Shelburne Museum Christmas - Sun Community News

Shelburne Museum will postpone Winter Lights, an all-new nighttime outdoor color and light display that was scheduled to open on Nov. 27. Reason: pandemic restriction compliance.

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Obituary: Craig Bensen - pastor, political leader, prayer warrior - dead at 72 - Vermont Daily

A leader in the Vermont evangelical world and a force in the Vermont State House, Craig Bensen passed into eternity on November 8. My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel.

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“Trending poorly” Vermont sets new Covid case record with 148 - VT Digger

Vermont - once the bright spot in the nation for Covid cases - is now “trending poorly.”

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Kilburn family files wrongful death suit against Burlington cop, chief, mayor - Seven Days

After patiently asking a man to drive away from the UVM Medical Center ER, the cop blew his cool. He angrily used a four-letter word. The man then punched the cop. The cop punched back. Days later the man died. Now the man’s family is suing for wrongful death.

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Human Services Secretary: health care payment system needs improvement, new leadership - AP

Vermont’s health care payment system isn’t working well and must be changed, Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith said. Among other things it needs a “new leadership strategy.”

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Black Lives Matter, then Blue Lives Matter flags to fly over Barre - Vermont Daily

In December, the Black Lives Matter flag will fly over Barre’s City Hall Park. In January, it will be replaced by the Blue Lives Matter flag - a compromise reached by the Barre City Council Tuesday night after contentious discussion.

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Pushed by State of VT, big retailers will let Vermont workers get hazard pay - Burlington Free Press

It took a while to get their attention, but big national retailers have finally signed up for essential worker hazard pay programs. And that means more money in the paychecks of generally low-paid retail workers.

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Mitzi Johnson vote recount takes place today in North Hero - The Islander

Twelve Vermonters - six from each party - today in North Hero will conduct the recount requested by Grand Isle Rep. Mitzi Johnson after the 18-year lawmaker and current House Speaker fell 20 votes short of re-election.

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Parents lying to schools about children being out-of-state - Brattleboro Reformer

A Vermont school district “needs” to go to remote learning in the weeks following the Thanksgiving-Christmas vacation because parents aren’t telling the truth about whether their kids have been traveling out of state. That’s the best long-term strategy to protect in-person learning, a school nurse said.

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