Kevin O'Connor

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

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

‘We’ve come through an awful lot over time,’ says the head of the Latchis, which opened during the Great New England Hurricane of 1938. ‘That just makes us very empathetic to others.’

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...

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Rescue Inc. and its supporters press to restore service to Brattleboro

As Brattleboro debates a potentially costly fire department takeover of emergency medical services, Windham County’s largest and longest-serving ambulance provider is pitching its nearly six-decade ability to do the job

Approaching its 60th anniversary, Rescue Inc. - Windham County's largest and longest-serving ambulance provider - is marking an exceptionally healthy year. The private nonprofit that serves 14 communities has opened Vermont's first training academy for emergency medical services, signed pioneering support contracts with the town's main health care facilities...

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For one restaurant, it’s three strikes but definitely not out

When Judith Platt married her husband, Tom, in 1970, they chose Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" as their wedding song for its vow of rising above any torrent of misfortune. Going on to open this town's Garden Market, Café and Gallery, the couple didn't foresee the lyrics would flow so literally. Just before the Main Street business debuted in 1973, a flood soaked everything and scared off the hired help. Platt, then a new mother working as a...

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How will the ‘Flood of 2023’ rank in history — and does it foretell the future?

The good news: This month's statewide storm was no match for Vermont's "Great Flood of 1927," a 36-hour downpour that economists estimate would have damaged up to $4 billion in property today. And the bad: Although officials are still tallying the impact of the most recent deluge, the collective cost could rival 2011's Tropical Storm Irene - and be a sign of things to come, according to a recently-released national study. "Make no mistake, the devastation and flooding we're experiencing...

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Weston Theater Company to relocate from flooded playhouse for rest of the year

Flooding this month will force the Weston Theater Company, Vermont's oldest professional acting troupe, to relocate from its waterlogged playhouse for the rest of the year. "The extremity of the damage combined with the difficulty of the timing requires us to make some essential changes," Susanna Gellert, executive artistic director, wrote in a statement to supporters. The company - a cornerstone of its namesake Windsor County hometown of 623 - had planned for an 87th summer season with big productions...

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For Vermont youth, politics meets the personal

High schoolers at the Governor's Institute on Global Issues & Youth Action, cell phones in hand, pointed to U.S. Rep. Becca Balint as the political pioneer trumpeted by the Teen Vogue headline on their screens as “Vermont's first woman and LGBTQ+ federal representative.” But the subject herself knows the less-reported flip side. “It's not just the stories that people tell about us, it's the stories that we tell about ourselves,” the 55-year-old shared with students at the start of the...

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Vermont’s combined fire/EMS stations experience soaring ambulance calls, costs

When Steven Locke took his current job, it seemed like a mouthful to say he was chief of the South Burlington Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department. But the 30-year veteran firefighter knows the addition of ambulances brings more than just a longer name. South Burlington reported 74 fires in 2022, according to city records. But its EMS requests totaled 3,154 in the same period - up 16% from the year before. That's a challenge when the resulting $950,000 in...

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