Upper Valley Dispatch

Flatlander Spies Nature’s Green and Gold

The Green Mountain State is living up to its name this spring. All different shades of green are filling in the bare trees and fields on the mountains and hillsides of the Upper Valley. Spring is a season I knew nothing of before moving up north from Florida, where everything is green all of the time and few appreciate the landscape’s rare and awesome bounty. It’s a tad difficult to appreciate your surroundings when all you can see are housing developments or strip malls and

Lebanon Water Tests Negative For Bacteria Friday; Boil Water Order Remains in Effect

Lebanon — The first round of follow-up tests of the city’s water system have come back negative today for any bacteria contaminants, but the boil water order remains in effect as testing continues. The city announced the findings in an alert sent out shortly after noon. The samples were taken Thursday after the city received positive tests for E. coli and Coliform bacteria at four sites in the water system. “The City of Lebanon just received the results of the first round of water test

Boil Water Order in Lebanon Due to Bacterial Contamination (Updated 6:30 p.m.)

Lebanon — Residents are being told to boil water following the detection of E. coli bacteria contamination in the city’s water distribution system, according to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. City officials are meeting on the matter. UPDATE AT 3:05 P.M.: The city issued an alert about the boil water order shortly before 3 p.m. In an accompanying news release, officials said that "at noon today, the City of Lebanon received notification from our water testing laboratory that samples of water collected for

Former Tunbridge School Principal Pleads Not Guilty to Misdemeanor Charge of ‘Prohibited Act’

Chelsea — Former Tunbridge Central School Principal Richard Talbot this morning pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of engaging in a prohibited act with an 11-year-old girl in his school office. Authorities allege in an affidavit filed in Orange Superior Court that the 68-year-old educator engaged in “inappropriate and ‘grooming’ behaviors of several young students” and charged him in one specific instance where he allegedly invited the 11-year-old girl into his office, rubbed her back and then touched her buttocks over her clothing. Talbot,

A Thrifty Search for White Elephants

It started with a gray stuffed elephant that I would drag around by the trunk as a toddler. Ellie, a gift from my grandparents, attended tea parties, played dress-up and started a lifelong love of the majestic creatures. She currently resides in the attic of my parents’ home in New Jersey. Since then, I’ve grown an accidental collection of elephants: bronze earrings, a solar-powered creature whose ears move when the sun hits it, a sterling silver brooch, many items found from a thrifting habit that

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