Upper Valley Dispatch

An Extra Edition of Raise Your Glass: Fred Franzia and Cheap Wines

For some years now, one of my favorite house wines, the ones you drink for no special occasion, has been Crane Lake cabernet sauvignon. It’s really cheap — $8.99 for a 1.75 liter bottle — and it tastes good, dry and amazingly complex. I’m not wild about the Crank Lake merlot or the pinot grigio, but I just recently discovered the Chardonnay, a crisp, dry and slightly fruity wine, also $8.99 for the big bottle. It is very nice for regular drinking during the winter

Shumlin Won’t Seek Single Payer Health in 2015

Montpelier — Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says he’s not going to ask lawmakers to pass a single-payer health care system in the upcoming session of the state Legislature. Shumlin made the announcement today at the Vermont Statehouse. Shumlin says he likes the idea, but “this is not the right time.” It’s unclear if he might resurrect the idea in the future. Shumlin had planned to release his financing plan at the end of the month for what would have become the nation’s first single-payer health

Holy Cow: In 40 Years at the Sports Editor’s Desk, One Letter from a Dartmouth Alum Stands Out

Imagine what it must be like for me, after 40 years of sitting at the sports editor’s desk, to start going through the papers that have accumulated. There were letters from outraged Red Sox fans who hated my Yankee bias; a fax from an investment bank offering to set the newspaper up with a company looking to invest $300 million, and then, of course, the infamous letter from former Dartmouth College admissions czar Karl Furstenberg that commiserated with a Swarthmore colleague about how football was

More About the VA’s Videos on PTSD

The Veterans Administration joined a growing trend when its White River Junction-based National Center for PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, released its first whiteboard animation video over the summer, using the innovative marketing technique to introduce a whole new audience to the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. The video, titled “What is PTSD,” racked up nearly 85,000 YouTube views in its first five months, making it a massive success for the VA’s marketing team, which is tasked with connecting sufferers of the syndrome with treatment

A Ref Makes the Call: WABA Locker Rooms A Huge Step Up

The process of improving athletic facilities at Hartford High School has drawn its fair share of criticism the past couple of years. But there’s at least one item on the to-do list for updating Wendell A. Barwood Arena that I can assure you authorities got right. On behalf of zebras everywhere, the referee locker room is spot on. Those of us who simultaneously skate and blow whistles for fun (yeah, I can do two things at once) and small profit used to dress for youth

Sign Atop Windsor Diner Catches on Fire

Windsor — Last year, it was a 20-foot pile of goat manure. Today, it was the Coca-Cola sign outside the diner downtown. It seems that things in Windsor have a knack for unexpectedly bursting into flames, as firefighters were called to the Windsor Diner shortly after 10 a.m. today after staff reported their sign being on fire. Shelly Becker, a regular at the diner who sometimes helps out behind the counter, said that a passerby came in to alert the staff to the, uh, unusual

Want Ad: Tell Us About Former Valley Residents Who Are Now College Athletes

Three times a year, the Valley News charges me with keeping our readers up to date on the exploits of former Upper Valley residents now playing college sports. We run a fall/winter version in early to mid-December, such as the one published today. There’s also a winter/spring roundup that comes out in April and a spring-only wrap-up that’s published in June. The latest update includes nearly 150 names, a vast increase from what we did even several years ago. That’s partially because even small colleges

Support, Fundraising Continues for Tunbridge Family Who Lost Home To Fire

Tunbridge — Friends and family continue to support members of a Tunbridge family who lost their home, pets and belongings in a late November fire. The Strafford Road home’s owners, Irma Chezhiya and Peter Klinck, and their son Duncan have received donations of clothing, toys and housing, as we reported last week. Since then, the donations have continued. The total raised through a fundraising page established by the family’s former neighbors, Kerri and Jim Juergens, neared the page’s $5,000 goal on Wednesday. Those still seeking

N.H. Press Association Honors ‘Valley News’

West Lebanon — The Valley News took home nine first-place awards in the 2014 Better Media Contest sponsored by the New Hampshire Press Association. At an NHPA banquet Friday night in Manchester, staff writer Aimee Caruso was recognized as writer of the year for a daily newspaper for her work on a number of enterprise stories, including one on summer churches and another entitled “Where Students Are Teachers.” Sports editor Donald Mahler won two first-place awards, for sports news and as sports columnist of the

Pack Up Your Pitchforks: Upper Valley Officials Discuss the ‘Art’ of Snow Removal

Over the course of this week, I’ve been talking to various state and local officials who have some say over which roads get cleared and when. The conversation mostly focused on the public’s rising expectations over the decades regarding snow removal. Look for a story in Saturday’s Valley News. In the meantime, here are two useful documents that you’ll especially enjoy if you, like me, have somewhat nerdy tendencies and enjoy data. State officials directed me to these documents. One of them was described as