A 1927 photo of Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters founder Sam Borofsky and his wife, Yetta, looks over the downtown Brattleboro store.
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Iconic retailer will leave Brattleboro

‘Losing Sam’s is like New York losing Macy’s,’ former Gov. Peter Shumlin said of Brattleboro’s largest, longest-operating downtown store

Sam's Outdoor Outfitters has long advertised itself as "The Biggest Little Store in the World." But such hype will likely morph into history when the nearly century-old family-owned business leaves its 30,000-square-foot Main Street location at the end of its lease next spring.

"With a lot of thought, and with huge regret, we have decided that we must close the Brattleboro store," third-generation head Brad Borofsky recently wrote in a letter to employees.

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A Brattleboro movie palace offers a picture of storm resilience

When Jon Potter, director of downtown's Latchis business block, first heard the weather forecast this past July, his brain flooded with flashbacks as historic as the predicted precipitation. Potter knew his predecessors had to postpone the formal opening of the Art Deco landmark's anchor theater 85 years ago during the Great New England Hurricane of September 1938. Years later, they had to shutter the adjacent hotel and storefronts for weeks after Tropical Storm Irene wreaked $500,000 in damage in 2011.

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Judge’s ruling clears closing of pharmacy

A judge's denial of a motion for a restraining order has likely sealed the fate of yet another independent Vermont pharmacy - but its former owners, who sought the judicial intervention, say they will open a new pharmacy once they regain control of their commercial space. Greater Falls Pharmacy at 78 Atkinson St. will close at the end of the day on Friday, Sept. 29, and the current operators will be filing for bankruptcy. On Sept. 15, Vermont Superior Court...

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Railfans visit Bellows Falls

Rail enthusiasts from around New England rolled into town on the morning of Sept. 23. They soon rolled back out again - this time, riding in one of four rail passenger cars pulled by Green Mountain Railroad's Engine 405, the F. Nelson Blount. This rail fan trip for 150 was part of a daylong excursion chartered by Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts, Inc. The engine traveled from Bellows Falls to Rutland, passing a number of notable sights, including covered bridges, train...

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Brattleboro to run its own EMS

The Selectboard has voted unanimously to pursue a municipal-based model to provide the town's emergency medical services (EMS), choosing it over starting a new contract with Rescue Inc. Staff members recommended the town model, saying it outperforms any other model investigated, including Rescue, by nearly $1.2 million over five years. Town Manager John Potter said before the vote on Sept. 19 that staff members recommended the municipal model knowing that "for some in our community, this will be a deep...

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One town struggles with housing issues

Short-term rentals (STRs), like those listed on websites like Airbnb and VRBO, are adversely affecting the housing market. That's according to the town's "Housing Needs Assessment and Strategy" report, published in April. The report acknowledges that, while not solely responsible, STRs have contributed to rising housing prices and a decline in the availability of long-term rental housing. There are more than 300 active short-term rentals in the Londonderry area, an increase of 62% over the past three years, as reported...

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Galbraith to reflect on role of the U.S. in a fast-changing world

For years, former Ambassador Peter Galbraith has given an annual talk to the Windham World Affairs Council (WWAC). These talks have usually focused on the various hot spots in the Middle East and the U.S. role in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. This year's annual Galbraith Lecture, set for Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 6:30 p.m., at Centre Congregational Church, will take a wider view of U.S. foreign policy. The talk - titled "Is the American Century Over? Can...

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Fall water main flushing begins on Friday, Sept. 22

Utilities Division crews from the Department of Public Works will start fall flushing of the town water mains on Friday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. and continue work through Friday, Oct. 13. Some daytime flushing will continue throughout the week of Oct. 6–13. Customers are asked to check the flushing schedule closely, as flushing causes water discoloration, low water pressure, and, in some areas, periods of no water. Water main flushing will occur during both night (10 p.m. to 6...

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Brattleboro employees support municipal fire-based EMS model

Out of the gate at the Sept. 12 public forum at Brooks Memorial Library, Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland surprised some by recommending the Selectboard choose a fire-based EMS service for the town - a move supported by the 10 other town staff members present, each speaking in favor of it. "I believe we have a fantastic opportunity in the municipal model," Moreland said. He continued to note that after reviewing the Request for Proposal (RFP) responses from American Medical...

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