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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Windham school lawsuit moves ahead, but most claims dismissed

Question remains whether the elementary school failed to provide ‘quality basic education’

WINDHAM-Parents in the Windham School District, who sought via a lawsuit to have the district pay tuition to send students elsewhere, have had a majority of their claims dismissed. But Windham Superior Court Judge David Barra allowed a central part of the suit to continue - the allegation that...

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Construction innovator looks to take on housing crisis

Brattleboro firm creates modular rooms and works to develop open standards for their installation, hoping to weaken one barrier to affordable housing: construction cost

BRATTLEBORO-Talk to anybody about Vermont's housing crisis, and the subject of high construction costs will inevitably come up. It currently costs about $500,000 to build a modest apartment or small home in the state, according to the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA). That's up from about $370,000 in 2022.

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BMH Auxiliary celebrates a century of service

BRATTLEBORO-JoAnne Rogers has been a member of the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Auxiliary since 1993. "I joined the organization and was the manager of the gift shop and the coffee shop at BMH," says Rogers, the organization's current president, who remembers "so many wonderful ladies" with whom she has worked over the years. The names of members past and present are a who's who of Brattleboro women. "If you've lived in this town for very long, you'll likely remember the BMH...

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Landscape architecture students look at Route 30 with fresh eyes

NEWFANE-The students of the senior capstone landscape architecture studio of the UMass-Amherst Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning (LARP) Department will present designs focused on the Route 30/West River Valley corridor. The public is invited to drop by to meet the students and to view and discuss their designs at the Union Hall in Newfane Village from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1. The Windham Regional Commission (WRC) invited LARP faculty Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Carolina Aragón and...

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State’s smallest hospital makes big economic impact

TOWNSHEND-The people of the West River Valley love Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital for its role in providing health care to this underserved rural area, but they might not realize the economic contribution it makes to the region. While Grace Cottage - by numerous metrics, the smallest hospital in Vermont - relies on philanthropy to continue providing its services, it also pours a significant amount of money back into Windham County. Founded in 1949, Grace Cottage offers a small,

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Brattleboro must decide on contract for solid waste, with few options

BRATTLEBORO-As the town approaches the end of its current contract for solid waste collection, the only company interested in handling town trash in future has a caveat about how that will ultimately work: automation. Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland, who met with Selectboard members April 16 to lay out the plan for collection after the current contract ends June 30, called the mechanization qualifier "either a deal-maker or a deal-breaker, depending on how you look at it." In February, the...

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Brattleboro wonders about the future of its downtown

BRATTLEBORO-Five years ago, this community received an early Christmas present with the November 2019 news of a proposed $30 million arts and apartment block for downtown. "This project," Brattleboro Museum & Art Center director Danny Lichtenfeld said then of the priciest Main Street plan in local history, "will encourage enduring economic and civic vitality." Four months later, the COVID-19 pandemic upended everything. The museum and its partners at M & S Development saw funding for their seven-story building dry up...

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