Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.


Historic Willimantic, Connecticut To Demolish Rough Reputation

Small businesses including an upscale coffee shop have recently opened on Main Street, intermingling with crumbling buildings. Photo by Cassandra Basler for WSHU

Two grand hotels on historic Main Street of Willimantic, Connecticut, hosted movers and shakers from New York and Boston during the golden age of train travel. The hotels fell into disrepair when travelers took to the highways. Cheap rooms, cheap heroin and social services drew addicts, sex workers and the unemployed. A plan to demolish the buildings may force the town to reconcile its grand history and troubled past.

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State Official Went Roaming Around Vermont To Test Cell Coverage Claims

Corey Chase, a state telecommunications infrastructure specialist, went on a road trip to ground-truth cell carriers' claims about coverage. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

A Vermont Department of Public Service employee drove more than 6,000 miles around the state this fall to test the adequacy of wireless coverage. What he found is now part of a detailed challenge before the Federal Communications Commission that officials hope will bring federal dollars into the state to improve the wireless network.

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