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Upper Valley Dispatch

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

Dartmouth Calls for ‘Derecognition’ of Alpha Delta Fraternity

Hanover — A Dartmouth College judicial committee has called for Alpha Delta fraternity to be “derecognized” as a student organization because of a branding incident involving new members of the fraternity last fall. An attorney for the fraternity last month said the students “voluntarily” chose to brand their bodies, and said it was not a condition of membership. Although the fraternity, which was under suspension at the time, has until April 20 to appeal the decision of Dartmouth’s Organizational Adjudication Committee, Dartmouth’s dean of the

Flatlander in the Valley: An Introduction

In Florida we called outsiders “snow birds.” In the Upper Valley, they’re “flatlanders.” I am a flatlander. To some this may be an insult, or at least a gibe. To me, it’s an accurate description. As it pertains to those who are foreign to Northern New England customs, it suits me well. But like most transplants, I am slowly discovering the experiences many Vermonters and Granite Staters may take for granted at this point. In fact, I have been blown away by just how much

Fairlee Lumber Company Says It Will Rebuild Sawmill Destroyed in Fire

Fairlee — Britton Lumber Co. today announced that it would rebuild its sawmill after it was leveled by a devastating fire two weeks ago, but that the company would have to cut back some of its staff positions during the rebuilding period. Britton Lumber President Robert Moses said in a news release that the company estimates it could take 18 to 24 months to rebuild the sawmill at its Fairlee plant. He said one full-time position was being eliminated and that the company “would not

En Garde: Upper Valley Fencing Club in Upcoming ‘Sunday Valley News’

Norwich — So elegant. So cordial. And so much harder than it looks. Before contacting the Upper Valley Fencing Club for a story for the Sunday Valley News, I knew nothing about the sport. But the club’s members, who number in the dozens, are eager to share what they know, and during a recent practice session at Tracy Hall, I gave it a try. Observation: Persuading your feet, arms and a weapon to cooperate in proper form ain’t easy. But, judging from the short lesson

Charlestown Man To Serve Minimum 30 Years For Slaying Wife

Newport — A judge this morning sentenced a 45-year-old Charlestown man to a minimum of 30 years in prison for killing his wife on the day she filed for divorce. In February, a jury found James Robarge guilty of second-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife, Kelly Robarge, whose body was discovered in a wooded area in Unity in July 2013, about a week after she went missing. During a sentencing hearing in Sullivan Superior Court this morning, Judge Brian Tucker said he

Dellinger to Serve 9 Years in Fatal Crash

North Haverhill, N.H. — A former corporate executive will serve at least nine years in prison in connection with a fatal crash on Interstate 89 in Lebanon that killed a Wilder couple. Sunapee resident Robert Dellinger, 54, was sentenced this afternoon to two 4 1/2-to-10-year sentences in the December 2013 deaths of 24-year-old Amanda Murphy, who was eight months pregnant, and her fiance, 29-year-old Jason Timmons, to be served consecutively. He had pleaded guilty to two counts of negligent homicide in their deaths, and also

Dellinger: ‘I Have Never Been Suicidal’

The wife of the Sunapee man who pleaded guilty to two counts of negligent homicide in the deaths of a Wilder couple in a crash on Interstate 89 in Lebanon said her husband is a “man of ethics, integrity and friendship.” Deborah Dellinger today said her husband, former corporate executive Robert Dellinger, has worked to handle the multiple sclerosis diagnosis that cost him his professional career and lives a life of “grace and modesty.” “We are devastated by the deaths of your loved ones,” Deborah

ECFiber Announces 'Sap Propelled Internet Technology'; SunCommon Discloses Energy Spill

ECFiber chose today to announce its significantly sweetened plans for high-speed Internet in Vermont. In a news release titled “Amazing Technology Breakthrough,” the communications firm said its new plans include using sap and rubber tubing to connect its customers throughout rural Vermont. The new network, called Sap Propelled Internet Technology, or SPIT, should be available by the end of the year, Irv Thomae, ECFiber’s chairman, said in the release. The official-sounding statement was enough to convince one Valley News reporter that he had a real