Upper Valley Dispatch

Top Prosecutor in Windsor County Appointed as Judge

White River Junction — Windsor County State’s Attorney Michael Kainen has been appointed as a trial judge by Gov. Peter Shumlin, according to a news release this morning. Kainen, a Hartford resident and former member of the Vermont House, will fill a vacancy left by the retirement of Judge John Wesley, a Windham County judge. Find a full report in the VALLEY NEWS. ∎ Posted online Monday at 10:30 a.m. Follow the Valley News on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @VNewsUV.

From Cantore Profile to Lebanon Time Capsule: Our Top 20 Web Stories of 2015

West Lebanon — Not too long ago, identifying the year’s most significant news stories went something like this: A group of editors would get together, review the big events and major investigations of the past 12 months, and compile a list. That was that. Presumably their professional experience and expertise proved useful, but it was essentially a collective judgment call. If Valley News editors were to engage in that sort of exercise this year, they might come up with a list that included the conviction

Calendar Highlights: Christmas Lights Display in South Royalton

The display of Christmas lights at the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial has been on my Upper Valley to-do list since I moved here in 2012, but it wasn’t until this year that I made it out to South Royalton to see it. On Monday night, my co-worker Maggie Cassidy and I set out after work to visit. Approaching the memorial, we caught a few glimpses of trees draped in lights and a Christmas tree illuminated in a picture window. A sign informed us the channel

Weekend Picks: For the Last-Minute Crowd

It’s the weekend before Christmas and all through the Valley, gift-hunting residents continue to rally. As you can see in the Calendar, there are still several chances to take care of last-minute shopping at local organizations. Here are a few events to check out this weekend. Need help addressing gift tags or personalizing last-minute gifts? Visit the Main Street Museum at 58 Bridge St. in White River Junction on Saturday between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Calligraphers Laura Di Piazza and Tamara Green will be

Attorney For Norwich Says Town Manager Is Not An At-Will Employee

The lawyer hired by the Norwich Selectboard to assess Town Manager Neil Fulton’s employment status has advised that Fulton cannot be fired without cause, according to a legal opinion obtained by the Valley News under a public records request. Last week: Norwich Manager Contract Still Unresolved Find a full report in Friday’s Valley News. ∎ Posted online Thursday at 3:25 p.m. Follow the Valley News on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @VNewsUV.

Roaring 20s Blog: Kristin Thompson Transitions from the Pitch to the Barn

Elite soccer player Kristin Thompson has appeared in our pages before. My colleague Jared Pendak wrote about Thompson when she first arrived in the Upper Valley by way of Guam in 2013 to take over the Lightning Soccer Club girls program. Read that story here. Now 29 years old, Thompson will be featured in the next edition of the Roaring 20s series in the Sunday Valley News about young people living in the Upper Valley. This time around, we have focused on a relatively new

Calendar Highlights: Annual Festival Displays Artfully Decorated Trees in Enfield

Enfield — Instrumental Christmas music plays softly. Lights that illuminate but don’t overwhelm reflect against the restored, original 1837 hardwood floors. On tables covered in white table cloths sit 38 artificial Christmas trees, each artfully decorated. Welcome to the Festival of Trees at the Enfield Shaker Museum, held every December for the last 10 years. The festival serves as a fundraiser for the museum. Visitors to the museum purchase raffle tickets to bid on the trees, which are voluntarily decorated by businesses, organizations and individuals

Weekend Picks: Vie for Best Dressed at 1960s Ski Dance

The relationship between West Windsor and Brownsville has always confused me a bit: How can West Windsor Town Hall be located in Brownsville? In an attempt to clear up my confusion over an event location earlier this week, I called West Windsor Town Hall and a kind woman explained to me how, exactly, it works. (Brownsville, of course, is a village within the town of West Windsor.) She also gave me the perfect solution for how to list an event in the space: Call it

Cornish Committee Votes for SAU Withdrawal

Cornish — As expected, the SAU Planning Committee voted unanimously Thursday night to approve a plan to allow the school district to withdraw from SAU 6 with an effective date of July 1, 2017. The plan must next be approved by the state Department of Education and then passed by voters at the annual school district meeting in March with a 60 percent majority. Find more information in the VALLEY NEWS. Previously: “Cornish Plans to Seek SAU Withdrawal” ∎ Posted online Friday at 10:15 a.m.

Lebanon Hires New Police Chief

Lebanon — The city has hired a new police chief, according to a news release from the city manager’s office this afternoon. Richard R. Mello, who is second in command at the Hollis, N.H., police department, will take over in Lebanon on Dec. 20. Mello began his police career in Concord in 1993, according to the release. He has worked in Hollis since 2002, advancing from patrol officer to lieutenant. Former Lebanon Police Chief Gary Smith retired in May after 28 years working in the