A Valley News Publication

Photojournalism: We are living in the future

(Valley News night desk editor stuck with the paper, even after moving from Vershire to Las Vegas, where she works remotely!)

Nobody was injured when an apparent lightning strike ignited a fire at home in Vershire last night. Read more.


After cutting away an area of cedar shake siding with a chainsaw firefighters examine where lightning was suspected to have traveled down the side of Donna Goldberg’s house on Taylor Valley Road in Vershire, Vt., on July 17, 2018. The early 1970s-era house was unoccupied, undergoing renovations and is insured. (Valley News – Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.


p.s. Our friends at the Concord Monitor report that lightning caused three fires in New Hampshire.

Flashback Friday: ‘New Daily Starts Publication’ in the Upper Valley in 1952

See a PDF of the full article, and a text-only version, below.

Thank you to local history buff Art Pease for dropping this off at the Valley News this morning!

According to Art, it’s a clipping from the Hanover (N.H.) Gazette from May 29, 1952. “New Daily Starts Publication Wed. Afternoon, June 4″ is the headline, followed by the deckhead: ” ‘The Valley News’ Names Its Personnel And Plans.”

I scanned in the full article as a PDF below, and also typed it out at the bottom of this page.

Text version: 

New Daily Starts Publication Wed. Afternoon, June 4

“The Valley News” Names Its Personnel And Plans

The Valley News, first daily newspaper ever published in the Tri-Towns of Lebanon, White River Junction and Hanover, will begin publication on June 4 from its new plant on the Hanover Road in West Lebanon.

The six-day-a-week afternoon publication will be printed by the Valley Publishing Company, Inc. President of the company and editor of the News is Allan C. Butler of Plainfield, N.H. Allston S. Goff is vice president of the company and business manager of the News. Butler and Goff are both directors of the company and Robert Pittis of New York City is the third director.

The News is housed in a new one-story cinder-block building. Its machinery will include three Linotypes, a Duplex flatbed press and other new pressroom equipment. A darkroom and Fairchild engraving equipment operated by two staff photographers will insure quick photo coverage.

National and international news will be furnished by the United Press wire service. Both national and local news will be processed by teletypesetting equipment.

Heading the nine-man news staff will be James L. Farley of Windsor, managing editor. He has had five years’ experience reporting and at-desk work on the northern New England daily newspapers.

Advertising manager is John W. May, who until recently held a similar post with the Natchez, Miss., Times. William A. Russell of Woodstock is circulation manager, and David W. Durward, former mechanical superintendent of the Las Vegas, N.M. Optic, has a similar position with the new newspaper.

The news staff includes Michael J. de Sherbinin, city editor; Roy G. Kimball of Lebanon, sports editor; Mrs. Marcia O’D. Grodon of Woodstock, society editor; Granville S. Austin of Norwich, Edward S. Barnes and Weston A. Cate, Jr., of Hartford, reporters; William O. McAllister, chief photographer, and Hanson T. Carroll of Woodstock, assistant photographer.

Gordon A. Landry is composing room foreman on the News and Lyndon H. Kelley of Woodstock is press superintendent. Andrew R. Boisvert is advertising makeup man.

Mrs. Maxine D. Day of Wilder is chief teletypist and working with her are Miss Doris J. Wilkinson of West Lebanon and Miss Beverly J. Way of Hartland.

Mrs. Theresa A. Goular of Hartford is office manager. Edward J. Bennett of Canaan is consultant to the News in production and advertising and Harry Pearson of West Lebanon is Russell’s assistant in the circulation department. William J. Peck of West Lebanon is building custodian.

The News has hired a full staff of correspondents to gather items of local interest. They are Miss Frances E. Haslett, Hanover; Mrs. Jerome B. Hickson, Norwich; Mrs. John D. Warren, Wilder; Miss Josephine P. Sargent, West Lebanon; Mrs. Harold K. Gibson, Lebanon; Mr. Harry H. Gibbs, Hartford; Mrs. Henry Kessler, Quechee; Mrs. Earle E. Phelps, North Hartland; Mrs. C. A. McKenny, Hartland; Mrs. Herman Rogers, Meriden; Mrs. Palmer C. Read, Jr., White River Jct.,; Mrs. Willis K. Shirley, White River Jct.,; Mrs. S. J. Stebbin, Etna; and William E. Finley, West Hartford.

In addition to the UP wire service the News will carry the International News Service’s Wire Photos of national and international events. The Walter Lippman, Drew Pearson and Frederick C. Othman columns on national and international politics will be carried, as well as Sylvia Porter’s business and finances column, Mary Haworth’s Mail, a column of advice on personal problems, and John Crosby’s radio and television comment.

Nine comic strips — Steve Canyon, Blondie, Pogo, Donald Duck, Ozark Ike, Etta Kett, Dick Tracey, Rex Morgan, M.D., and Mary Worth — will appear daily. Jimmy Hatlo’s panel, “They’ll Do It Every Time,” will also be carried, as will a daily crossword puzzle and Thornton Burgess’ “Bedtime Stories.”

Hanover, N.H., Gazette; May 29, 1952

Sports! World Cup and Valley News staff healthy snack contest (lol)

Cops & courts reporter Jordan Cuddemi won the Valley News staff *healthy* snack contest (which, if you’ve ever seen Maggie and Jordan at the snack table, calls the integrity of that contest into question). In any case, she is loving her Fit for Print towel and UV INDEX pin. Go Jordan! ❤️

Cops & courts reporter Jordan Cuddemi with the best use of a UV INDEX pin that we’ve seen so far.


Congratulations to Amanda for winning the MacGregor Fiske Award honoring promising young journalists

Amanda, left, and Mary McCann. (Photo courtesy John Gregg)

From John Gregg, Valley News news editor:

On the same day as the massacre at an Annapolis newspaper, this happened: Mary McCann, right, drove six hours roundtrip from her home in southeastern Massachusetts to present Amanda Newman at the Valley News with a $1,500 check as the winner of the annual MacGregor Fiske Award.


Named for Mary’s late husband, the award is intended to encourage promising young journalists in New England to persevere in the field. (Amanda is a talented night editor and designer, and great fun to work with).


I was lucky to have known Mac Fiske when he worked, in quasi-retirement, as a copy editor at the MetroWest Daily News. Mac had been in the merchant marine, served in the Army during the Korean War, and was a fine pitcher in his day. Someone once called him “the Marlboro Man who could recite poetry.” He also was a fourth-generation newspaperman. As it happens, Mary McCann’s father was the chief photographer of the old Framingham News, and her mother, Jane McCann, was an obituary writer and columnist for what was then called the Middlesex News into her 80s. Mary and her sisters used to work as proofreaders on Friday nights, and she was later a compositer.


Since the attack at the Capital Gazette, lots of people, and even a source I occasionally spar with, have reached out to say hang in there. There is no question. A good newsroom is a magical place, and thanks to Mac, Mary and the Amandas of the world, we’re all going to pay it forward.

Here’s a nice story about Mac Fiske, following his death in 2009, from the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass.

I was lucky to know Jane McCann, and later Mary, through my dad’s career at MetroWest. Well into old age, she would come by our house for a bowl of tomato soup. I was just a kid and she always had something kind to say. It was great to see Mary again yesterday, a difficult day for the journalism industry.

Congratulations, Amanda. Keep on keepin’ on.