VTDigger.org

  • Nov. 2017 – April 2018.
From left: Me, Morgan True, Phayvanh Leukhamhan, Tom Brown, Laura Krantz, Hilary Niles, John Herrick. Below: Diane Zeigler and Anne Galloway.

I’ve worked for VTDigger.org on and off for several years, starting as an editorial intern focusing on video production in 2014. I interned again, this time as a writer, and then in 2017 I was brought on as VTDigger’s reporter in Burlington after longtime bureau chief Morgan True left the organization.

VTDigger is one of the country’s most innovative and hard-hitting local newsrooms, netting shout-outs from the New York Times and several interesting profiles. Over the years VTDigger has accumulated an all-star staff, attracting veteran Vermont journalists and up-and-coming young reporters all the same.

In a bittersweet departure, I left VTDigger in April of 2018 to travel in the U.S. and Europe with my best friend. After returning, I picked up my life to move to Washington D.C. to start graduate school.

Below are some of my favorite pieces from my work at VTDigger.

Leahy renews call for safeguarding Mueller probe

Mar. 19, 2018 By Cory Dawson

Sen. Patrick Leahy.

SOUTH BURLINGTON — Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., renewed his call Monday for legislation that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Russian government.

Leahy was in the news this weekend when he released a Jan. 30 letter to the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, imploring Grassley to hold open hearings to “examine the escalating attacks on, and risk of politicization of, the FBI.”

Never before have I been more concerned for the institutions we rely on to maintain our government’s integrity than I am today,” Leahy wrote, adding in a handwritten note at the end of the letter, “Chuck — it is serious.”

Protests continue as UVM leaders announce new diversity plans

Feb. 26, 2018 By Cory Dawson

Students pack the Waterman building at UVM in ongoing protests in response to racially-charged postings at the university. Photo by Cory Dawson/VTDigger.

BURLINGTON — University of Vermont students walked out of classes and flooded the halls of Waterman, the university’s main administrative building Monday, as part of sustained protests against what they say is a climate of racial injustice at the school.

The campus protests have been ongoing since last week. They were sparked by the appearance of signs associated with white supremacists. The signs, with slogans like “innocent lives matter, not guilty ones,” and “white privelaged [sic] and proud of it,” were found taped to a display case containing information about the university’s Mosaic Center for Students of Color.

The Burlington Police Department last week released the results of its investigation into where the signs came from. Police also issued a tentative warning to students protesters who blocked a main road during a rally last Thursday.

Burlington official resolves bruising California eviction battle

Apr. 21, 2016 By Cory Dawson

Peter Owens is director of Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office. Courtesy photo

In San Francisco, it seems that a 99-year-old woman will get to live out her life in her longtime apartment after a judge granted a tentative stay on eviction proceedings. But here in the East, the Burlington official who co-owns the apartment says he is out $137,000 in legal fees, is soon to be out of a job, and continues to be on the receiving end of a media firestorm.

Peter Owens, director of Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office, had planned to step down June 30, he told Mayor Miro Weinberger in a letter. He’s now decided to leave early next month after coming under intense scrutiny for trying to evict Iris Canada, who has lived for more than six decades in the San Francisco apartment Owens has owned since 2002.

But Owens and other owners of the property say they never wanted to evict Canada, a longtime friend. They wanted her signature.