Nina Keck | Connecticut Public Radio
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Nina Keck

Nina has been reporting for VPR since 1996, primarily focusing on the Rutland area. An experienced journalist, Nina covered international and national news for seven years with the Voice of America, working in Washington, D.C., and Germany. While in Germany, she also worked as a stringer for Marketplace. Nina has been honored with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards: In 2006, she won for her investigative reporting on VPR and in 2009 she won for her use of sound. She began her career at Wisconsin Public Radio. 

The 2018 arrest of Vermont teenager Jack Sawyer raised some big legal questions. Among them: At what point does a thought — or even a plan — become a crime?

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It was sunny and cold on Feb. 13, 2018, when 18-year-old Jack Sawyer walked out of Dick's Sporting Goods in Rutland, Vt., with a brand-new pump-action shotgun and four boxes of ammunition.

The next day, Valentine's Day, Sawyer took his new gun out for target practice.

Around the same time, about 1,500 miles away in Parkland, Fla., a 19-year-old shot and killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The Vermont Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that prosecutors did not have enough evidence to hold without bail a man accused of planning a mass shooting at a high school in February. The ruling may bolster renewed calls by the defense to dismiss the case.

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In the U.S., protests, confusion and anger have followed President Trump’s executive order that prevents new refugees from entering the country for 120 days, suspends resettlement for Syrians indefinitely and bars travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days.

Next month, a mix of Syrian and Iraqi refugees will begin arriving in Rutland, Vermont. They’ll be the first of 100 that will be resettled there over the next year. Though there's been loud opposition to the plan in the aging, blue-collar city of 16,000, proponents remain optimistic — and many have been volunteering long hours to ensure the plan succeeds.

When it comes to fighting addiction, they say you have to hit bottom. For Rutland, Vt., a town of 17,000 devastated by heroin, the bottom came in September 2012.

A popular high school senior was struck and killed by a driver who was high. Local resident Joe Kraus says the tragedy galvanized the community.

"People who perhaps never would have gotten involved in a meaningful way decided it was time to get involved," he says.

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The lack of snow is disappointing for skiers, but it’s also a problem for the several thousand people who depend on Vermont ski resorts for seasonal work; many resorts are reducing hours or delaying the start of those employees, while other resorts are having to get creative in the way they put staff to work.

Ski resorts across the state are gearing up for the winter ski and riding season. But many resorts have seen a pleasant uptick in summer and fall business thanks to recent multi-million dollar investments in lodging and non-skiing activities. 

Green Mountain Power officials say its now official: Rutland is the solar generation capital of New England.

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