Robert F. Smith

A detail from the Stephen Belaski mural at the Bellows Falls Middle School of the Abenaki salmon fishing in the Great Falls at the site of the petroglyphs. The mural was painted in the 1930s as part of the Work Progress Administration Federal Art Project.

Unearthing history

After years of work, the Kchi Pôntegok Project concludes and offers a deeper understanding of the story of Native peoples of the Connecticut River Valley

BELLOWS FALLS-In May, a community group will begin unveiling its work on a $37,000 study of the Native rock carvings next to the Vilas Bridge on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River.

The Kchi Pôntegok Project (kit-see pohn-tuh-guk), named after the Abenaki expression for "at the Great Falls," which refers to the location of the petroglyphs. The group is at the point of wrapping up the project and members are planning public presentations of their findings.

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BFUHS will turn focus on student mental health

The Jed Foundation aims to improve students’ mental and emotional health through self-assessment surveys and a three-year plan

BELLOWS FALLS-This month, Bellows Falls Union High School will begin a partnership with the Jed Foundation, a national nonprofit, for a three-year program aimed at improving and safeguarding the emotional and mental health of students and preventing teen and young adult suicide. The Jed Foundation was established by Phil...

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Rockingham voters mark ballots for change

Dunbar, North, Cowan elected to Rockingham Selectboard; Paul Obuchowski returned to UHS #27 school board

ROCKINGHAM-Town Meeting voting on April 1 and 2 brought several changes to school boards and the Selectboard. It was a particularly rough night for those seeking reelection. The incumbents — Rockingham School Board chair Priscilla Lambert; Deborah Wright, who was also running for a one-year Selectboard seat; and Bellows...

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How ‘Roosevelt’s Tree Army’ remade Vermont

-It was 91 years ago this week, on April 5, 1933, that President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as part of his New Deal, a program intended to get people back to work during the Great Depression. Anyone visiting state or national parks in the U.S. today still benefits from the work of the CCC. The program virtually created more than 700 state parks, and National Parks across the country benefited from CCC workers. When Roosevelt...

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Rockingham Selectboard hopefuls make their cases

The five candidates running for two open one-year seats on the Rockingham Selectboard - Jamey Berrick, John Dunbar, Bonnie North, Stan Talstra, and Deborah Wright - held a forum at the Rockingham Free Public Library. The March 13 forum also included candidate Rick Cowan, who is running unopposed for the three-year seat left vacant by Bonnie North. Voters will cast their ballots at the polls on Tuesday, April 2 at the Masonic Temple at 61 Westminster St. in Bellows Falls.

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‘Most people get it; some don’t’

What happens when a couple combines high intelligence, high creative writing and art skills, along with what a native New Englander might call a "wicked good sense of humor"? For over 20 years, Rolf and Cynthia Parker-Houghton have merged their skills and talents to leave their creative marks - from the concrete to the absurd - on the region, creating institutions like the University of Brattleboro, which Rolf refers to as the "oldest non-existent university in the world." Its official...

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Bellows Falls diner plans come into focus

Plans are falling into place to make sure that a restored and reopened historic diner installed downtown 80 years ago heads into its next 80 years on a strong and sustainable foundation. Literally. Over a year ago, the citizen's group Rockingham for Progress Inc. signed a purchase-and-sale agreement with former owner Brian McAllister, for the Miss Bellows Falls Diner, on Rockingham Street. The 1941 Worcester Lunch Car has been closed for over three years. Rockingham For Progress, a civic organization...

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Owners plan pharmacy opening in June

Ever since it closed on Sept. 29, 2023, due to a bankruptcy, former Greater Falls Pharmacy owners Gina and Marc Cote have stated that their goal was to reoccupy the building and reopen. "As soon as we get our building back," they told The Commons this past September, "we will get ready to reopen, with a new name, a new business model, and with serving our community with optimal pharmacy care at the heart." Those plans have started to fall...

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