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Upper Valley Dispatch

Couple Who Nearly Drowned in Car Credits Stranger With Saving Their Lives

Do you remember that blog post from a few weeks back, “This Is Not How You Put a Kayak in the Water,” which showed a reader-submitted photo of a van becoming submerged in water as its owners tried to launch a kayak near the Wilder Dam? It was easy enough to write a snarky headline when the folks involved were nameless, faceless and unidentifiable, like kayaking ghosts. (Witnesses didn’t know who the owners were and officials couldn’t say.) But now I feel kind of badly,

Upper Valley Inspires Dartmouth College Literary Journal ‘40 Towns’

Seven Days recently featured a project called 40 Towns , a literary journal written by students in Dartmouth College creative nonfiction courses that aims to document life in the Upper Valley. Find the Seven Days piece here, and the 40 Towns website here. When I first saw the 40 Towns site a few weeks back, I’ll admit I sort of wrote it off. I read the tops of a few stories, and they didn’t really grab me. But the Seven Days article pointed me in

Go West, ‘Early Bird’: Woodstock Blogger Flying Away

Woodstock — The Woodstock Early Bird is no longer, founder Julia Carlisle announced earlier this week. Carlisle, the voice behind the popular news and opinion blog which debuted just months before Tropical Storm Irene hit in 2011, announced her decision to retire the Early Bird in a post on Sunday. “It is also time for Woodstock Early Bird to bid a fond adieu, to fly the coop away from this project and onto new endeavors,” she wrote. “We have enjoyed writing, reporting, opining and observing

Itchy Nipples Can Have Many More Thousands of Web Hits Than You Ever Expected When You Publish an Article About Them

You’ve seen it in our most popular stories list, which ranks the ten most-read stories of the past seven days. “Itchy Nipples Can Have Many Causes.” Oh, that headline. It’s pretty much the bane of this web editor’s existence. I get tired of seeing it there, day after day, and people like to make fun of it, because, well, it’s an article about itchy nipples. There’s also what I like to call the “itchy nipples card,” which organizers pull out of their pockets if the

Entergy To Close Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant (Updated 3:55 p.m.)

Entergy Corporation said today it will close the controversial Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in Vernon, Vt., calling the move an “agonizing decision.” The plant along the Connecticut River will cease power production after its current fuel cycle and close in 2014. In a news release, Entergy officials said the decision was driven by sustained lower prices and a high cost structure. “This was an agonizing decision and an extremely tough call for us,” Leo Denault, Entergy’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in the release.

To Market, To Market: Questions to Make a Farmer’s Heart Sing

Food news website Civil Eats recently published an article outlining the four questions that farmers hate to be asked during farmers markets. (Hint: Don’t try to weasel a last-minute deal as the market is closing.) I decided to take that list on a stroll around the Lebanon Farmers Market on Thursday, and put a little spin on it: What questions do farmers wish market shoppers would ask them? I hit the jackpot with Molly Smith, 23, who is working at Enfield-based Blue Ox Farm while

The Baby Bird Blues

The other night I was convinced there was a nest full of baby birds somewhere in the hallway outside my bedroom. Turns out, it was the squeaky laundry drier. But I was on edge because recently, I tried to save a young barn swallow — and failed. After prying the poor bird from my cat Ernie's jaws on a recent Sunday evening, I followed the obvious subsequent steps: one, take an iPhone photo for Facebook, and two, turn to Google. I think I punched in

Vote for the Bethel and Fairlee Drive-In Theaters to Win Digital Projectors

As the movie industry phases out film, the Upper Valley’s two drive-in theaters have a chance to win digital projectors — and you can help get them there by voting online or via text. The Randall Drive-In Theatre in Bethel and the Fairlee Motel & Drive-in Theater are among roughly 75 drive-in theaters nationwide participating in Honda’s “Project Drive-In” campaign. Honda will donate digital projectors to the five drive-in theaters that receive the most votes by Sept. 9. (Watch the campaign's promotional YouTube video above.)

20-foot Pile of Goat Manure Combusts in Windsor

Windsor — The owner of a Route 5 goat farm said roughly 120 cubic yards of goat manure spontaneously combusted into a small fire last night, creating a stench that spread for at least a couple of miles and which the police chief compared to the smell of “burning rubbish.” George Redick, who owns and manages the 800-goat Oak Knoll Dairy farm south of town with his wife, Karen Lindbo, said the 20-foot pile of manure would typically have been spread around the farm earlier

Friday: American Red Cross Seeking Blood Donors in Lebanon

The American Red Cross is hosting a blood drive on Friday from noon to 5:30 p.m. off Route 120 in Lebanon. Red Cross recruitment coordinator Mackenzie Sivret said the donations are “critical” for the region’s blood supply during the warm months. “The summer months are critical for the region’s blood supply as many people go on vacation and are out enjoying the wonderful weather,” she wrote in a letter seeking donors. “Although our schedules are busy with summer fun, hospitals continue to have patients in