Dierdre Baker, organizer of the town’s community Christmas Breakfast and a cancer survivor, was the Grand Marshal of the 2012 Brattleboro Fourth of July parade.
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‘One of the best people I ever knew’

Deirdre Baker, a beloved community volunteer, endured a decade of surgeries for cancer before dying in a weekend blaze

When Deirdre Baker was named grand marshal of this town's Fourth of July parade in 2012, she didn't let that morning's storm clouds dampen her spirits.

She already had weathered too much for that.

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'Cut and fit, cut and fit'

Historical restoration is an art form that attempts to preserve and connect us with our roots. In Putney, one of our historical landmarks is Pierce's Hall, built circa 1831, which has served as a community center and dance hall for over a century. A committed group of citizens has kept the hall operative for decades, restoring the roof and providing space for monthly contra dances, potlucks, celebrations, community presentations, and even food shelf pop-ups. Once upon a time, the Ladies'

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Brattleboro starts the budget process for FY25

A first look at the draft proposal of a $22,473,369 operating budget for fiscal year 2025 shows a 2% increase ($434,692) to the current fiscal year's $22,038,677 operating budget. As the budget process continues, any - or none - of 13 potential additional expenses could be included in it. Calling it the "first bite" when reviewing the proposal as such on Nov. 21, Selectboard Chair Ian Goodnow said while the board could pass the "base budget sandwich" without adding to...

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Journeying away to see the world — and our connections

A group of Leland & Gray High School students will spend the spring semester exploring food systems and culture here at home, then travel south to several Gulf Coast states, as well as Vietnam and France, to study how food is grown, produced, distributed, prepared, and consumed. To raise money and help pay the estimated $140,000 needed for the 15 students and three teachers expected to participate, the group prepared and served a Community Dinner in Town Hall on Nov.

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In Putney, a housing crisis flies under the radar

People experiencing homelessness live in a range of conditions. Some live in motels, like the more than 93 Brattleboro households participating in the state's General Assistance Emergency Housing Program. Others, largely uncounted, live in tents in the woods, in friends' barns and sheds, in cars, garages, and campers - all situations that do not meet all the human needs for comfort and security. In Putney, approximately 40 people live outside and in campers, according to Fire Chief Tom Goddard, who...

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Westminster names new town manager

After the position has been vacant for 18 months, the town has hired Louis Bordeaux as its new town manager, effective last week. A resident of Bernardston, Massachusetts, Bordeaux has worked in local government for just over a decade. Prior to that, he had a long career in mid- and upper-level retail management. Bordeaux said that he got into politics at the urging of a friend in 2012, when a three-year seat on the Bernardston Selectboard opened up. He ran...

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Can media help solve society's problems?

The public is invited to attend a Media Mentoring panel discussion on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. on Zoom about a different approach to media that seeks to uncover and report on how people are trying to solve problems - not just the bad news, but what's working and why - offering communities with information they need to participate in a healthy democracy. Leading this global shift in journalism is MMP guest David Bornstein, CEO and co-founder of the...

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‘Talented, humble, and irreplaceable’

At almost 75 years of age, Lester Dunklee is one of those original kinds of Vermonters who are issued so many words at birth. He tries not to let go of too many of them at one time. And yet, once he gets to know you, the stories, historical facts, words, and laughs just flow out of him. Dunklee is retiring and, on Dec. 31, he plans to close R.E. Dunklee and Sons Machine Shop at 72 Flat St., a...

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Alternative school expands campus, program

Community House has added a high school at 80 Linden St. to its Community School House programs and Oak Street campus holdings. With the acquisition and renovation of the historic, newly renovated Deacon John Holbrook House, day students in grades 9-12 in the program now, for the first time, have a dedicated high school building. According to the organization's website, it provides a short-term residential stabilization and assessment program for children 6–12 years of age, an independent and general special-education...

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