In the fall of 2018, a young mother, Madelyn Linsenmeir, died of complications related to her heroin addiction. Afterward, Madelyn’s sister, Kate O’Neill, wrote a heartfelt obituary that went viral. O’Neill was subsequently hired by Seven Days to report on Vermont’s opiate crisis in a series called HOOKED. Kate O’Neill discusses her sister’s life and death, who gets addicted and why, and her personal experience with Vermont’s opiate crisis. (March 27, 2019 broadcast)
In 2005, Ben and Jerry’s chief financial officer Mickey Wiles was charged with embezzling more than $300,000 from the company. Wiles pleaded guilty to a felony charge of wire fraud and served two years in federal prison. He confessed that his actions stemmed from alcoholism and substance abuse, and sought treatment.
After his release, Wiles became executive director of the Turning Point Center in Burlington, which assists people in recovery. He later joined the drug testing company Burlington Labs as chief financial officer. He played a key role lobbying in 2016 for passage of “ban the box” legislation in Vermont. In 2017, he founded Working Fields, a staffing agency which helps people in recovery to get a second chance and find a job. He discusses why he embezzled, who gave him a second chance, and his work helping others who have made mistakes. (June 27, 2018 broadcast)