Upper Valley Dispatch

Video: Carmen Tarleton Continues to Amaze, Inspire

When I first met Carmen Blandin Tarleton, it was on the steps of the Chelsea courthouse, and her body was still terribly disfigured from the lye attack she suffered in 2007 at the hands of her ex-husband. We spoke only briefly, but the encounter eventually led me to do a story on Carmen’s recovery from that attack. I spent time over the next year and half documenting Carmen and her family — a long enough period to gain an appreciation for what a truly amazing

A Grammar Gripe Centering On ‘Centers Around,’ As Illustrated by Zombies in Alabama

On Sunday, or maybe it was Saturday, I was listening to the weekend edition of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered with host Arun Rath. He’s one of my favorite NPR newscasters, someone I put into the Walter Cronkite school of serious journalists: He stays on point, asks leading questions and doesn’t act goofy. He was an English major and has had an impressive career in journalism. But even Rath has fallen victim to the creeping degradation of the language. And last weekend, he made

Series Homepage: A Time of Transition

Stories and photographs in this series will be linked below as they are published. Learn more about the series on the "about" page.

Valley Visual: Working on a Long-Term Story (3 Photos)

One of my favorite parts about working for the Valley News is the time photographers are given to research and pursue stories. While I’ve worked on long-term stories in the past, this story, which focuses on young special-needs adults who are transitioning from school to adult life, has taken a year, the longest amount of time I’ve spent on a story. While researching, photographing, and compiling this piece has stretched out for a year, four months elapsed before I actually began photographing any of my

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