Vermont's Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is turning 80 and their summer 2016 season boasts a line-up that includes groundbreaking partnerships, collaborations with major stars, and the Vermont Premiere of one of Broadway's longest-running hits.

Producing Artistic Director, Steve Stettler, joins us now to tell us all about it.

A new rule is in effect to prevent invasive insects from entering Vermont's forests on untreated firewood.

Vermont City Marathon & Relay

About 3,000 people are expected to take part in the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington.

This week's Book Picks  come from Phil Lewis of The Bennington Bookshop.

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian
Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson
The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddharta Mukherjee
Lost and Gone Forever by Alex Grecian

Vermont Statehouse
Photo by Pat Bradley

Vermont lawmakers have wrapped up their legislative session. Below is a transcript from Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin's End of Session Speech, delivered after midnight.

Rutland, VT
Doug Kerr-Dougtone/Flickr

A Vermont refugee official says the city of Rutland was one of a number of communities across the state that offered to host Syrian refugees who will be coming to the United States in the weeks and months to come.

Ben Cohen and childhood friend Jerry Greenfield opened Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream Parlor in Burlington, Vermont, in 1978, and over the years the pair turned Ben & Jerry’s into a worldwide phenomenon.

It is Vermont’s Finest ice cream. But, it did have its origins in our region – Saratoga Springs to be exact.

Ben and Jerry are bringing their new “Bernie’s Yearning” ice cream flavor to the College of Saint Rose tonight in conjunction with the Terrance Simien Zydeco Experience concert at the Massry Center. They will be on campus from 5:30 pm until 6:30 pm scooping out samples of the new flavor, which they whipped up as private citizens.

Photo of Congressman Peter Welch

  President Obama brought some representatives from our area along with him to Cuba.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about the experience.

Photo of Congressman Peter Welch

  Bernie Sanders went from long shot to in it for the long haul.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch continues his conversation about November with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Photo of Congressman Peter Welch

  Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign has thrust Vermont onto the national stage.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that he thinks Sanders still has a shot to win the Democratic nomination.

  It seems to be getting late for Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, but the Vermont lawmaker says not to count him out.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Union College political science professor Brad Hays and WAMC’s Alan Chartock discuss the state of the primaries.

Vermont residents marked their state's 225th birthday on Friday.

  It’s Super Tuesday.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about his expectations for today’s races, including in Vermont and the Bay State. 

Vermont’s Town Meeting Day is quickly approaching. It’s next Tuesday.  The day that personifies democracy in action coincides with the national Super Tuesday primaries this year.  Vermonters are expected to have a heightened interest this year as some schools look at merging and a native son appears on the presidential primary ballot.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we check in with the Vermont Humanities Council and documentary film producer Jeff Kaufman. Kaufman directed The State of Marriage, which shows the struggle for same-sex marriage equality in Vermont.

The film will be screened with a special panel discussion in Montpelier, Vermont on February 23.

Justin Johnson

The Vermont Secretary of Administration has one of the most important and powerful jobs in the state, responsible for the largest departments of government, controlling all money and the budget. Essentially the state’s Chief Operating Officer, the Secretary of Administration chairs the governor’s cabinet and helps craft the budget.  Justin Johnson was appointed to the position by Governor Peter Shumlin in January 2015.  Johnson already had experience in government, but it came a world away. Before he came to Vermont, he held federal and municipal jobs in Australia.  Johnson explains how he landed in the Green Mountain State.

Photo of Congressman Peter Welch

  In less than two weeks, we’ll have an Iowa caucus winner.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch continues his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Photo of Congressman Peter Welch

  President Obama called for redistricting reform in his State of the Union address.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the Green Mountain State has nothing to worry about on that front.

Vermont is holding public hearings on a proposed rule change for logging practices to protect water quality.

Photo of Syrian refugees at a Budapest railway station with police officer in foreground from September 2015.
Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons

As the investigation into the Paris attacks continues, the politics are heating up stateside. Now, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is criticizing several other governors — mostly Republican —  who are calling for a temporary halt to acceptance of Syrian refugees. 

 The Democratic primary has fewer candidates than the Republican side, but just as much intrigue.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that his fellow Vermonter Bernie Sanders would not run a third-party campaign.

Governor's office

UPDATED AT 3:27 p.m.

An Amtrak train headed from Vermont to Washington, D.C., derailed in central Vermont on Monday after apparently striking rocks that were on the tracks. No life-threatening injuries were reported.

  Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has been drawing huge crowds on the hustings.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Congressional Quarterly’s David Hawkings discusses the progressive darling’s chances with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Vermont state officials say a mother who was upset about losing custody of her child has fatally shot a Department for Children and Families worker.

  It has already been a great season at the Dorset Theatre Festival in Dorset, Vermont.

Next up is John Patrick Stanley’s unlikely Irish romance Outside Mullingar, in its regional premiere opening July 30th and running through August 15th. Then comes Paul Rudnick’s I Hate Hamlet (Aug. 20–Sept. 5), about a young television actor who grudgingly accepts the role of Hamlet, only to be haunted by the ghost of John Barrymore in full costume.

Dina Janis, DTF’s Artistic Director, joins us.

  In the end, disgruntled Democrats couldn’t stop fast-track authority.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock why many in his party opposed the move.

Photo of Congressman Peter Welch

  The Iran nuclear deal has been both applauded and renounced.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that ultimately, Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons.

  Greece appears to be off the brink once again.

But in today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the saga is far from over.

  Vermont's oldest professional theatre company has a new slogan: "Celebrating the classics. Nurturing the new." The 2015 Weston Playhouse season is underway and the Producing Artistic Director Steve Stettler joins us this morning to talk about the current season with a spotlight on two upcoming shows

Susan Haefner also joins us - she is playing Julianna, the lead role in The Other Place by Sharr White - a touching and witty play where a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, the past collides with the present, and the elusive truth about a successful neurologist boils to the surface.

Our final Weston guest is Matthew Wilkas who is playing the role of Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher - winner of five 2012 Tony Awards, the play with music asks the century-old question, "How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up?"

WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Vermont Legislature wants feedback on its legislative website and suggestions for improving it.