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Upper Valley Dispatch

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,

Police ID Victim in Bethel Shooting; Suspect Pleads Not Guilty (Updated 4:40 p.m.)

East Bethel — Police say a Sunday night shooting on Route 14 that led to a man being airlifted to a hospital was the result of an argument inside the home. Authorities allege homeowner Dennis Dundas, 66, shot visitor Donald Giovanella, 47, with a handgun multiple times after “a dispute broke out,” according to a news release from Vermont State Police. Giovanella was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center where he underwent surgery for multiple gunshot wounds, according to the release. He was listed in stable

Springfield Shooting Suspect Captured

Springfield, Vt. — Police this morning announced the capture of the man who has been on the run since being identified as the suspect in the fatal shooting of a Springfield resident Saturday night. Gregory Allen Smith, 30, also of Springfield, was taken into custody this morning in South Londonderry, Vt., according to a news release from state police. He faces second-degree murder charges in the death of Wesley Wing, 37, who was shot on South Street and succumbed to his injuries at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical

Flatlanders Stuck in the Mud

With the beauty of spring comes the inevitability of muddy roads. At least, this is what I’m learning as I continue to discover the Upper Valley from the viewpoint of a flatlander — and as it turns out, I’m not the only one. A colleague and neighbor of mine, Matt Hongoltz-Hetling, got stuck in the mud last week. Really stuck, really late at night in Vershire. There were no cars on his road for hours as he dug under the frame of his car with

Sounds of Spring Abound

When I stepped outside for a break at the office earlier this month, there was something noticeably missing: my big, puffy winter coat. But it wasn’t so much what was missing, but what was newly there, that caught my attention. I was watching the melt from a day’s worth of rain coupled with what remained of our April 8th snowfall drizzling off the roof into puddles when I saw him: a robin, red-chested and proud. As he swooped down from a nearby bush, I noticed

Police Release Mug Shot in Manhunt for Springfield,Vt., Shooting Suspect

Police are hunting for a suspect in a fatal Springfield, Vt., shooting over the weekend. Gregory A. Smith, 30, of Springfield is wanted in connection with the shooting death of Wesley Wing near Jake’s Market in Springfield on Saturday night, according to a news release from the Springfield Police Department and Vermont State Police. Police released a mug shot of Smith this afternoon as well as images of decals on a 2004 white Buick Rendezvous with N.H. registration 3364095 that he is believed to be