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Upper Valley Dispatch

Sierra Leone: The Delicate Dance of Donning Protective Gear in the Fight Against Ebola

I wrote the following during my recent visit to Sierra Leone, where I reported on maternal and child healthcare issues. This piece originally appeared on the Field Notes blog of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, which is supporting the project. Read more of my reporting under the “related stories” section at the bottom of this page. ∎ Long before I traveled to Sierra Leone’s rural Kono District, I’d heard about the difficulty Ebola responders and health care workers had working in PPE — the

Baseball Card Collection Has Some Twin State Standouts

I own a ton of baseball cards — most of them worthless relics from the “junk wax” era of the late 1980s-early ’90s, when card companies let the presses roll and printed enough cards to dam up the Connecticut River a hundred times over. That it turned out Pete Incaviglia cards wouldn’t put us through college shouldn’t stop us from enjoying them, of course. Here are a few of my random cards of baseball players with Upper Valley/Twin State connections: ∎ Carlton Fisk (Charlestown), 1992 Donruss

Neat Technologies At Play in I-91 Bridge Replacement Project

White River Junction — When it comes to the Interstate 91 replacement project over Route 5, there are a few interesting things going on, including engineers’ use of lateral slide construction — which is explained in detail in this article and demonstrated in a time-lapse video of a similar New York project at the top of this page. Another interesting thing is Vermont project leaders’ use of video and sensor technology. On the main project website, www.i91wrj.vtransprojects.vermont.gov, you can find a link to this page,

Even Thinking About Kindling a Fire? ‘Take a Hose and Soak Your Head With It’

Plainfield Town Administrator Steve Halleran had a pretty good post on the town Facebook page yesterday, which may be relevant for several days to come. “If you followed the events in the Upper Valley the last twenty four hours you know how high the fire danger is at this time,” he wrote, referring to several significant brushfires. “Despite the long winter with lots of snow, the top layer of ‘duff’ is now extremely dry. If you even think of kindling a fire right now take

‘Impromptu Reunion’ Between Vermont Trooper and Thetford Woman He Saved

Thetford — A nice moment scrolled across my Facebook newsfeed recently showing a Vermont State Police trooper meeting the 82-year-old Thetford woman whom he pulled from her burning home. According to the VSP Facebook page, Sunday evening was the first time that Sgt. Lyle Decker met Roberta Howard since the dramatic rescue in February. Howard spent some time recovering in a Boston hospital before returning home. “An impromptu reunion of Sgt. Decker and Roberta Howard of Thetford this evening,” the post said. “Sgt. Decker was

Sierra Leone: Modern People, Ancient Beliefs

I wrote the following during my recent visit to Sierra Leone, where I reported on maternal and child healthcare issues. This piece originally appeared on the Field Notes blog of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, which is supporting the project. Read more of my reporting under the “related stories” section at the bottom of this page. ∎ Deborah Koroma is, in every respect save one, a modern woman. She lives in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s largest urban center, where her innate talents serve her well

Flatlander Beyond the Valley: A Weekend Trip to Montreal

One of the things I’ve come to appreciate during my time acclimating to the Upper Valley is something that has nothing to do with the valley itself: its fortunate proximity to a different country — Canada — where my fiance and I visited last weekend. I’ve been to Montreal twice before, and Quebec City twice as well. I’ve never been to Europe. In fact, the only other country I’ve been to is the Bahamas, and when you live in Florida, that hardly even counts. French

In Friday’s 'Valley News': Bernie’s In, Upper Valley Reacts

With U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders officially in the race for president, the Vermont independent, now running as a Democrat, spoke to reporters today in Washington and to Matt Hongoltz-Hetling of the Valley News. In Friday’s edition, read what voters in New Hampshire and Vermont think about his candidacy. ∎ Posted to the Upper Valley Dispatch blog Thursday at 3:15 p.m. Follow the Valley News on Twitter @VNewsUV.

Fundraisers Sunday: Colby-Sawyer Nepalese Students Trying to Help Their Home Country After Earthquake (Updated Friday)

New London — For a story in Wednesday’s newspaper, I wrote about the response by the Nepalese community at Colby-Sawyer College to the recent devastating earthquake in their home country. Among their efforts were several fundraisers, including one held Monday night that raised more than $3,700 and a few more that were in the works. Some more of the details of those in-the-works fundraisers were finalized today. Both will take place in New London on Sunday during the following time frames: ∎ 10:10 a.m. to

Student Video: Pine Tree Lane Resident Discusses Impact Of Expected Subsidy Loss

West Lebanon — The announcement in late March that residents of the 50-unit Pine Tree Lane Apartments are expected to see their rental subsidies expire in December has spurred some Upper Valley community college students to talk with residents there. Emily Landry, of Thetford, and Tiana Cross, of Wilder, both students in a human services course at the Community College of Vermont, visited Pine Tree this month. Among the residents they talked to was Billi Gifford, 70. In a video produced by Landry and Cross,