Vermont Research News: Scams, voting, health outcomes and more

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Vermont Research News: Scams, voting, health outcomes and more

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 3:12pm -- tim

Vermont Research News is a bi-monthly curated collection of Vermont research from the University of Vermont Center for Research on Vermont -- focused on research in the Vermont "laboratory" -- research that provides original knowledge to the world and research that adds to understanding of the state's social, economic, cultural and physical environment.

Vermont leads in voter participation

Vermont voters turned out at a significantly higher rate than much of the rest of the country during the 2018 midterm election, according to a recent study conducted by Nonprofit VOTE. The organization ranked Vermont 11th with a voter turnout rate of 56 percent, above the national average of 50 percent. Notably, the top 10 states have policies in place to encourage greater voter participation, including Same Day Registration and Vote at Home initiatives.

Scam calls increase

Scam calls are on the rise, with a 4.55 percent increase in scams reported to the Vermont Attorney-General's office between 2017 and 2018. The most common scam for the fifth year in a row is the IRS scam, in which scam callers pose as government officials collecting back taxes. The second and third most common scams were Social Security Number phishing and fraudulent computer tech support,  To learn more about the state’s most common scams last year, click here.

Housing for those seeking treatment falls short

A recent report commissioned by Downstreet Housing and Community Development found that while approximately 14% of the Vermonters who entered treatment for Substance Abuse Disorders in 2017 would benefit from access to a Recovery Residence, only 2% are given the option of transitional housing. Read more about the report and accompanying news conference in this Times Argus article.

Bullying linked to depression

A study identifying risk factors for bullying in Vermont teens identifies a correlation with self-reporting bullying and feelings of depression. The study finds that students who report feeling disengaged from their community are more likely to be bullied and less likely to report their being bullied or associated feelings of depression. In contrast, those who report bullying are more likely to also report feelings of depression.

Northwest & central Vermont the healthiest

Health outcomes in all fifty states, focusing on both citizens’ lifespans and how healthy they feel, were evaluated county-by-county in a recent study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. According to the report, northwestern and central Vermont are the healthiest regions, while the Northeast Kingdom and the two southernmost counties continue to fall behind. Essex was identified as the least healthy county for the second year in a row.

A clip from Our Rutland. Watch the entire film at the Vermont Historical Society Archives website.

Walking leads to happiness
A research posting at Sustainable Transportation Vermont links walking to well-being, and provides a video of the crowded sidewalks in Rutland Vermont, circa 1941.

International students contribute to Vermont economy

International college students contributed $88 million to Vermont’s economy in 2017-18, but this number may go down in 2019. A new report published by the New England Board of Higher Education warns that a number of factors, including China’s economic downturn and the U.S. government’s proposed limits on foreign STEM students, may lead to decreased enrollment of Chinese students in New England colleges in the coming year.

Cardiac teams suffer from rapid turnover

A study examining the effectiveness of rapid response and cardiac arrest teams in Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania finds that RRT teams in these states have problems with rapid team turnover and a lack of senior supervision.
Summer snow

Vermont’s snow may be able to survive the summer, according to a recent report from researchers at the University of Vermont. The researchers found that use of insulation technology, such as wet wood chips and insulation blankets, may allow Vermont ski centers to preserve their snow over the summer.

Food insecurity

Although food insecurity has decreased on a national scale, 40 million U.S. residences still struggled with food insecurity in 2017—including one in eight Vermont households. The Metropolitan Housing and Communities Center identified expanded summer feeding options, free school meals, and more food-centered programming for older youth as viable solutions to addressing childhood food insecurity in their recent report.

New books & art

The Vermont landscape, and the architectural structures within it, star in the current exhibit at T.W. Wood gallery in Montpelier. Steps on a Journey, Works of Two Vermont Artists, features works from artists Toby Bartles and Ray Brown, through April 26th. Both artists draw inspiration from their immediate surroundings. Head to the gallery to see works such as Brown’s “Tranquility Farm” (shown) and Bartles’ “T 4”. The series continues beginning April 30th, showcasing the works of Vermont artists Kate Longmaid & Tom Merwin.

BigTown Gallery in Rochester is welcoming two new exhibits on March 23rd, spotlighting local artists Rick Skogsberg and Peter Fried. Skogsberg’s “Bringing the Bull Home” is an eclectic mix of mediums, from painted shoes to ceramics and paper. Fried, a painter, harkens back to summer sunshine with “Figures in the Landscape,” the culmination of his studies of bathers at swimming holes in around Vermont. The exhibits will be on display until May 4th.

Saint Michael’s graduate David Patterson has garnered acclaim for his recent novel, Soon the Light Will Be Perfect. The tale follows a 12-year-old boy in rural Vermont, struggling to cope with his mother’s battle with cancer while his older brother makes waves in the Catholic community with his pugnacious anti-abortion protests. When he meets Taylor, a free-spirited girl from a nearby trailer park, their blossoming friendship provides an escape from his painful reality. The author will be holding a release party hosted by Phoenix Books in Essex on April 17th.

Source: Copyright © 2019 Center for Research on Vermont, All rights reserved.