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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Selectboard discusses EMS options in advance of impending major decision

It was almost 11 p.m., about 2{1/2} hours into a three-hour discussion on Sept. 7 about how the town will provide emergency medical services (EMS) in the future, when the conversation focused a beam directly on the town's partnership with previous provider, Rescue Inc. For a nanosecond, you could hear a pin drop after board member Elizabeth "Liz" McLoughlin, asked the board to direct town staff members to plan to outline a history of the Brattleboro Fire Department's previous relationship...

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Funding in place to move families living in danger of flooding

With the final piece of financing approved on Sept. 11 by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Tri-Park Cooperative Housing Corporation, which owns three Brattleboro mobile home parks - Mountain Home Park, Glen Park, and Black Mountain Park - is set to implement flood resiliency projects outlined in its 2020 Master Plan. The majority of the $6 million in federal and state grant funds assembled for the project will be used for a voluntary buyback program to relocate 26 Mountain Home...

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Lawsuit seeks to prevent pharmacy from closing

In the latest legal confrontation in a long string of civil claims and counterclaims surrounding one of the last independent pharmacies in the area, the former owners of Greater Falls Pharmacy are seeking judicial intervention to keep the current owners from closing the business. On Sept. 8, Michelle and Donald Laurendeau, who have operated the pharmacy since 2018, announced on the pharmacy Facebook page that, "due to the changing pharmacy environment and the impact these changes have had on our...

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No easy solutions

The unemployed, the unhoused, the people with mental health problems, the panhandlers, the drug users, the dealers, the travelers, the thieves - it is hard to tell the players on the street without a scorecard. When I first thought about writing about homelessness in Brattleboro, I lumped all of the above together because homelessness has become an all-encompassing word. Yet it shouldn't be. Brattleboro has problems, certainly. But why should this town be different from everywhere else in the country?

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Move allows community radio station to offer local access — literally

After WVEW-LP 107.7 FM saw its second-floor studios and transmitter at the Brooks House heavily damaged in the April 17, 2011 fire that gutted the downtown landmark, the nonprofit, independent community radio station found itself homeless and unable to broadcast. A year later, WVEW was back on the air from its new broadcast studio at the Hooker-Dunham Building, across the street from the Brooks House. But there was one big problem with the station's new home in the repurposed shoe...

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A Bear in the air

When the Brattleboro Union High School Bears football team took the field in the season opener against Middlebury on Sept. 1 at Natowich Field, and voices singing the national anthem rose to the line "and the rockets' red glare," in the sky appeared a small Cessna 182. Perfectly poised, the plane, piloted by 17-year-old BUHS senior Ben Berg, saluted the team and celebrated the first varsity sports event at the school with its new mascot, the Bears. "It was awesome,"

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Brattleboro Food Co-op manager leaves after 15 months on the job

Brattleboro Food Co-op General Manager Lee Bradford is leaving after 15 months. Bradford came here to the job from Fresno, California with 26 years of business management expertise in a variety of industries. He previously served as general manager for FreshKO Produce Services, Inc., a $100 million produce sales and distribution company with more than 150 employees.    Co-op Board President Jerlyn Wilson addressed Bradford’s leaving, which was not explained in any press release, other than his saying it was not...

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Flood plain will be restored by Whetstone River

It might seem crazy to buy land with the hope that it will flood, but that's exactly what the Vermont River Conservancy (VRC) has done through its purchase of 12 acres along the Whetstone Brook. With permits in place, VRC and the town of Brattleboro are jointly cleaning up and restoring the land to its former flood plain status in an effort to reduce future flood damage downtown. VRC, whose mission is to permanently protect special lands along Vermont's rivers,

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