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Upper Valley Dispatch

More on Monarchs, Including the Importance of Milkweed

Laurie-Helise Heijn is feeling better about the status of butterflies in the Upper Valley lately. As reported in the Valley News last month, Heijn had been concerned about a lack of sightings of monarchs and other butterflies and pollinators around her property in Quechee. An expert reported that this was actually probably an OK year for monarchs in the Twin States, based on data, but that was little solace for Heijn, who worries about the monarchs’ decades-long plight. However, I checked in with Heijn last

Spotlight on Hartford’s Parks and Recreation Projects

Hartford — The creation of several athletic playing fields on the Maxfield property along Route 5 is running on schedule, according to Hartford Parks and Recreation Department Director Tad Nunez, who updated the town’s Parks & Recreation Commission on the $3.1 million project earlier this month. Right now, the town is withholding a portion of payment to AJ Coleman, the general contractor, until a series of minor missteps are corrected, which is standard practice for large construction projects, Nunez said. Nunez said the “punch list”

Valley Visual: Making Connections

When I saw Thursday’s story about Windsor High School’s Haley Wood breaking her mother’s single-season field hockey scoring record, I remembered a photo I did for the Valley News in 1992. Doing a little digging, I found the clipping of Wood’s mother, then named Jody Farnsworth, after an on-field collision. “Going All Out For Glory,” the headline said. While some of my co-workers weren’t born when I started in 1989, it’s interesting for me to make connections between events from today and the past. ∎

Fire Destroys Thetford’s 3 Police Cruisers

Thetford — State investigators are outside the Thetford Police Department trying to determine the cause of a suspicious fire that destroyed all three of the town’s cruisers overnight. State Police Sgt. Steve Otis, with the fire investigation unit, said that investigators are working to determine the origin of the fire and whether it started in one car and spread to the others or if each car ignited separately. It is too early to tell whether the fire was set intentionally, Otis said at the scene

The Vermont Gubernatorial Debate: LOL

If nothing else, last week’s gubernatorial debate on Vermont PBS has provided some excellent fodder for flatlander comedians unfamiliar with the Green Mountain State’s, um, quirks. Colleague Rick Jurgens flagged to me this morning that Vermont’s very own GOP gubernatorial candidate, Scott Milne, has the unfortunate honor of being the centerpiece of the “moment of zen” on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. I would give you a setup for what happened, but it took all of 10 seconds, so I don’t know how to

On Foliage, Motorcycles, Selfies and a Butterfly

With a surge in vehicles traversing the Twin States blacktop during the fall foliage season — including motorcycles, including mine — I hope safety takes precedent over getting a perfect Instagram picture or a foliage selfie, especially as Vermont has recently enacted a new hands-free electronic device rule for drivers. Tourism officials are expecting a flood of visitors during the next few weekends to take in the fall foliage views, as reported by Vermont Public Radio's Annie Russell. Roughly 3.6 million tourists flock to Vermont

High School Football: Complex Ranking System Could Spoil Lebanon’s Playoff Dreams — Maybe

It’s happening again. With Lebanon High’s 35-21 win over Hanover on Friday night in the annual Principals Cup football game at Henry Emerton Memorial Field, the Raiders find themselves in prime position to compete for an NHIAA postseason spot this season. But because of the system instituted by the state association last year when it boiled a six-division gridiron landscape down to three divisions, Lebanon could end up missing the playoffs despite owning a better record than someone else who may qualify. Let me explain.

PHOTO: The Fake Moose That Lured the Big Moose

Last week, when we first heard about a Pomfret man using a refrigerator box to kill the largest bull moose ever taken in a Vermont archery season, I had pictured Kevin Rice hiding out in the forest inside a huge cardboard box, maybe with two circle cut-outs for eye holes and a door through which to shoot his arrow. As it turns out, the refrigerator box was used in a much different way: Rice and his hunting partner, Hartford resident Steve Schaeffer, used their hunting

Ebola, Putin and North Korea: Former CIA Official Michael Morell’s Dartmouth Talk Covered the Big Ones

Hanover — A former CIA deputy director took a pessimistic view of a variety of security questions facing the United States during his visit to Dartmouth College last week. Daniel Benjamin, the director of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth, and Michael Morell, a 33-year veteran of the CIA official who was spending a week on campus, focused much of their conversation Sept. 30 on conflicts in Iraq and Syria, as reported in the Valley News the following day. They touched

Police Capture Inmate Who Escaped From Windsor Prison (Updated 5:10 p.m.)

Windsor — Police have captured the escaped sex offender who breached the fence at Southeast State Correctional Facility this morning. State Police Capt. Ray Keefe said in an email shortly after 5 p.m. that Anthony Fitzgerald was taken into custody in Weathersfield after a call from a civilian alerted police. Posted at 5:10 p.m. Follow the Valley News on Twitter @VNewsUV and read more in Tuesday's Valley News. ∎ EARLIER: Vermont State Police and Windsor-area police departments are searching for an inmate who breached the