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This 1840s portrait by William Matthew Prior is of Nancy Lawson, a minister's wife.  Courtesy of Shelburne Museum

Shelburne Museum’s Exhibit Frames the Narrative of a Nation Coming of Age

Thursday, August 21, 2014

T hanks to its founder Electra Havemeyer Webb, the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vt., seven miles south of Burlington on the shores of Lake Champlain, is one of this country’s great repositories of Americana, a catch-all category that includes folk art and curios, historic buildings, furniture and textiles and genre paintings of rural scenes. A staggering 150,000 objects in all are on exhibit, which doesn’t even speak to the museum’s entire holdings. It’s a kind of Noah’s ark of American art. Webb, who was born in 1888 and died in 1960, had eclectic taste and a keen instinct for what and when to collect. Sometimes …

Vt. Environmental Official: Make Permit Process Simpler

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Montpelier — Vermont’s environmental permit review process must be changed, according to a top state regulatory enforcement official. David Mears, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, told members of the Associated Industry of Vermont on Tuesday that the state must make it easier for developers to apply for environmental permits such as those for stormwater, septic and wetlands. “I remain utterly, completely …

Vermont Public Money Gives Progressive Fundraising Edge

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Montpelier — Public campaign financing has left Vermont’s incumbent Republican lieutenant governor in an unusual position — trying to catch up in the campaign money race against a Progressive Party challenger. Former Progressive lawmaker Dean Corren qualified for public financing by more than meeting the requirement that he raise $17,500 in donations of no more than $50 by June. That qualified him for …

Historic Maine Lighthouse Sold

Monday, August 18, 2014

Portland, Maine — The federal government on Sunday closed out an auction for Boon Island Light Station, with the top bidder offering $78,000 for the lighthouse built in 1855 on a tiny rocky island 6 miles off Maine’s …

Vermont Lawmakers Grapple With Aging Prison Facilities

Monday, August 18, 2014

Montpelier — With Vermont’s prison facilities aging, lawmakers are beginning to grapple with whether to build new or patch up the old. The state Department of Buildings and General Services shared data with a legislative committee this past week on the maintenance costs of all eight Vermont correctional …

Attica Whistleblower Pursues Full Disclosure

Monday, August 18, 2014

Weston, Vt. — The whistleblower who spurred a state investigation of the 1971 Attica prison uprising is still on the case four decades later. Ex-prosecutor Malcolm Bell, now 82 and retired to the Green Mountains of Vermont, recently filed papers in support of opening long-sealed investigation volumes about …

New Court Planned Near VA

Monday, August 18, 2014

Nashua, n.h. — New Hampshire’s first court dedicated to helping veterans charged with crimes won’t be its last. Veterans’ advocates and health care providers will meet this month to begin planning a similar court for Grafton County, located …

Local & Regional Briefs for Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Business Development Center Adds Mini-Courses Durham, n.h. — The University of New Hampshire and other partners have created a series of free, extremely short, online courses aimed at teaching entrepreneurs about social media. The new mini-courses last up to 15 minutes each and cover three topics: “Pinterest for …

Obama Taking Rare Break From Vacation

Monday, August 18, 2014

Edgartown, Mass. — President Obama is getting off the island. In a rare move for him, the president planned a break in the middle of his Martha’s Vineyard vacation to return to Washington on Sunday night for meetings with Vice President Joe Biden and other advisers on the …

Monument Marks Capt. John Smith’s 1614 Voyage

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rye, N.H. — Around this time in 1614, Capt. John Smith and a handful of loyal men sailed the waters from present day Massachusetts to Downeast Maine. During this six-month journey, Smith carefully observed the region’s climate, soil, …

NRC Watching Mass. Plant

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Plymouth, Mass. — An electronic indicator that would help regulate the flow of coolant into the Pilgrim nuclear reactor during a severe accident was found to be on the fritz during testing Tuesday, a situation that had operators scrambling to fix the problem. Plant watchdogs responded by citing …

More Ride Ferry to Canada

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Portland — The number of passengers sailing on the Nova Star cruise ferry between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, nearly doubled in July from the previous month, but the passenger count was lower than many had hoped it would be at the height of the summer tourist season. …

E-Cig Blamed in Logan Evacuation

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Boston — Federal authorities should consider further restrictions for electronic cigarettes on planes, airport officials said after one of the devices apparently started a small fire that forced passengers to briefly evacuate a plane last weekend. Ed Freni, director of aviation at the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates …