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Upper Valley Dispatch

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

Bowling Alley In, Strip Club Out?

White River Junction — Social media has been abuzz today after Upper Valley Lanes and Games posted a Facebook status Thurdsay night announcing it was closing, effective immediately. But there may be good news on the horizon: I spoke today with a Thetford resident who said he’s in negotiations to buy the building and hopes to close the sale in the coming days. If all goes as planned, he said, the bowling alley will remain — but the adjoining strip club is out, he said,

Dartmouth College Roundup: Things Could Be Better

Dartmouth College has had a rough week on the web, as a bunch of fraternity and sorority members didn’t recognize the inherent insensitivity of throwing a Bloods and Crips gang-themed party ... until after they had already thrown a Bloods and Crips gang-themed party. Joe Asch at Dartblog posted about the party yesterday, and it was picked up by the Huffington Post soon after. The fraternity, Alpha Delta, released a statement to Dartblog in which it said the theme was not meant to be “derogatory”

Raise The Roof (On The Norwich Pump Station)

Norwich — Driving past the burned-out Norwich pump station on my way to work this morning, I saw a flurry of activity: Builders from Wolcott-based Phillips & Sylvester, Inc., were working on building a new roof. The roof was largely destroyed during an early-morning fire at the station last week. That fire also destroyed the electrical system that powers the pump, leading the town to ask its municipal water system customers to conserve water. An electrician has since jury-rigged a generator to the pump to

Have You Seen the Online Volunteer Jobs Listing?

Diane Taylor — who wears an array of hats here at the Valley News, including staff writer, calendar editor and Valley Parents editor — has spiffed up our online volunteer jobs listing, making for easier online browsing. The volunteer jobs listing printed in the paper shows a selection of the jobs available based on the space available on the page, rotating through the list every Sunday. The online listing, on the other hand, includes all the jobs, all the time. Take a look! Click on

Big Man, Big Tractor, Little Man, Little Tractor

Claremont — Driving along Red Water Brook Road this afternoon, I noticed Charlie Woodman, 44, and his son Evan, 11, each driving appropriately proportionate tractors. Young Evan, standing about 4-foot-11, was navigating a 1947 John Deere “M” on tires roughly 3 feet tall. He was tugging along the 1958 Farmall 300 with 5-foot tires, atop which his 5-foot-11 father sat. We stopped to chat. I learned that they’re getting ready to show the Farmall at the Cornish Fair on Saturday, and they were trying to

Thetford Teen Builds New Treasure Island Sports Surface in Honor of Late Friend

Thetford — Wyatt Ulman has a pragmatic plan with a personal touch: Transform the run-down Treasure Island tennis courts into a multi-purpose sports surface, and do it all in honor of his late friend, fellow Thetford Academy student Connor Cook. Ulman, who has been involved with the Boy Scouts since he was 6 years old, is overseeing the creation of the new court, from fundraising to construction, for his Eagle Scout service project. Completing a service project is part of the requirement for advancing to