A Valley News Publication

Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the deadliest plane crash in NH history, people are sharing their memories

Jeff Rapsis, executive director of the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire, looks skyward as he hears a plane flying over Moose Mountain as he leads a hike to the South Peak in Hanover, N.H., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Before the hike, Rapsis spoke at the Granite Air Center about Northeast Airlines Flight 946 which crashed into the mountain on its approach to the Lebanon Airport in 1968. (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News reporter Jared Pendak and photographer James M. Patterson accompanied a group that recently hiked to the crash site. They included the late pilot’s son, Jeff Rapsis, pictured above, who was 4 at the time of the crash in Etna on Oct. 25, 1968.

Jared’s and James’ story is here.

Our Facebook post promoting their story has evoked a lot of additional memories from people who remember the crash.

A few of the memories shared in the comments:

  • Janet Lane Dunn: I remember being at a Friday night football game and the search helicopters flying over head.
  • Chris Clement: I was 8. Seemed like every fire truck in the world went by my house in Etna that night.
  • Dolores C. Struckhoff: My Dad, Don Crate, as the Fire Chief in ENFIELD, was one of the first responders as he led his crew up the mountain. He never shared much about what he saw but I do remember him saying that although he never served on a battle field he could only imagine this was as bad a scene. I know it shook him up enormously and he never forgot it. I’m not positive, but I suspect this accident led the Fire Department to raise funds for Enfield’s first ambulance. On the night of the crash I was attending a Halloween Party overnight at Lauren Merrill’s on George Hill. I was 14.
  • Gabby Heckmann Currier: Our 4-H organization was having our awards night at the Enfield Elementary School that evening. Kathy Ford our leader lived and still lives on May St.
  • Virginia Putnam: I was 10, living in Enfield. I remember responders coming to get gas at my parents gas station and the news flying back and forth. Back in those pre internet pre cell phone days that was how it got around. People would drive in tell us something and it would get passed on.

Click here to read more comments, and click here to read the full story.

‘Tis the season and all that

When you want your neighbors to know that you’re up on current events AND you’re down to get spooky.

This is my newspaper box, btw. B-)

Good morning, Upper Valley

We’re back!!!

Consider this your official notice that the site is no longer on hiatus. Hope you had a great two weeks. New posts coming in hot …


Gon’ fishing or whatever: We’re on vacation! See you Oct. 15


Hear ye, hear ye, friends, enemies and frenemies!

I flexed my MS Paint skills to make the glorious infographic above, because I want you to know we are on vacation for the first half of October!

That means the site is on hiatus until Monday, Oct. 15 and you’re on your own for a couple weeks. Don’t worry, we made a GIF of us standing awkwardly during a photoshoot for you to remember us by.

Have a good time (check out our picks for the most promising events over the next two weeks if you’re looking for ways to pass the time) and don’t do anything we wouldn’t do.


Upper Valley events calendar for the first two weeks of October

Colleen Lowe, of Plainfield, accepts a high five from Caodhan Barr, of West Lebanon, who perched on his father Paul’s shoulders to send off runners in the CHaD Hero Half Marathon and 5k run in Hanover N.H., Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.


Amanda and I are putting the site on hiatus for the first two weeks of October as we both take some vacation time!

As a going-away gift, here’s a list of events that have caught our eye over the next two weeks.

First of all, check out these excellent roundups by our colleagues here at the Valley News.

A sampling of events from Valley News staff writer David Corriveau’s fall roundup. Click the picture to read the roundup.

And get up-to-date information from these Valley News sources:

And now, on to our picks!

Saturday, Sept. 29

Roller derby: Twin State Derby (aka the Upper Valley Vixens) take on a Cape Cod team in Woodstock at 6 p.m.

* * *

Sept. 29-30

The second two days of the three-day International Black Theatre Summit in Hanover. It’s titled “Breaking New Ground Where We Stand” and revisits August Wilson’s 1998 summit at Dartmouth, “The Ground on Which I Stand,” and asks: Where do we stand now? Where can we go? How can we get there?

* * *

Sunday, Sept. 30

Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds.

* * *

Tuesday, Oct. 2

International Women’s Club meeting in Hanover.

* * *

Wednesday, Oct. 3

Hartford Parks & Rec leads a 9 a.m. hike of Gile Mountain in Norwich.

Therapy dog information session at the Norwich Public Library; 5:30 p.m.

* * *

Thursday, Oct. 4

Free workshop on drawing mandalas at the D-H Aging Resource Center; 9:30 a.m.

* * *

Friday, Oct. 5

Listen Thrift Store’s grand opening of their new Miracle Mile store in Lebanon (the former home the Bridgman’s Furniture Store).

First Friday festivities in White River Junction.

Astronomical observing in Hanover.

* * *

Saturday, Oct. 6

Autumn moon festival in Windsor; 4 to 9 p.m.

Revolution’s Fall Fashion Extravaganza starts at 8 p.m. at the Briggs Opera House. Tickets are $15 and proceeds benefit Living Proof Mentors.

* * *

Oct. 6-7

Vermont North by Hand hosts its 14th annual artisans co-op tour, where members will be displaying, selling and demonstrating a wide variety of handcrafted items — all made in Vermont. It’s 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days and artist studios are located in Corinth, Bradford, Fairlee, Newbury ,West Newbury, Ely and North Thetford.

* * *

Sunday, Oct. 7

The 16th Annual Pumpkin Festival at Cedar Circle in Thetford.

* * *

Tuesday, Oct. 9

Two lectures at Dartmouth College: “Race, Psychiatry and African-American Religions” (4:30 p.m.) and “The 10-Year Anniversary of the Financial Crisis” (5 p.m.).

* * *

Thursday, Oct. 11

Indigenous People’s Day potluck, movie showing and discussion at the Bugbee Senior Center in White River Junction; 5:30 to 8 p.m.

OUT in the Valley Happy Hour, a queer mixer/happy hour at the Skinny Pancake in Hanover; 6 to 9 p.m.

* * *

Friday, Oct. 12

Lea DeLaria — better known as Boo from Orange Is the New Black — performs at Dartmouth.

Fall Rail Trail walk in Lebanon; 10 a.m.

* * *

Sunday, Oct. 14

CHaD Hero Day to benefit the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

The 2018 Cider Festival at the Enfield Shaker Museum.


Poynter publishes a reader’s guide to falsehoods about the Kavanaugh hearings

Via Poynter:

In the weeks leading up to Kavanaugh’s confirmation this week, which senators are expected to vote on this morning, fact-checking projects like The Washington Post Fact Checker and Snopes started debunking viral social media rumors about Kavanaugh, Ford and sexual assault. Journalists at outlets like The New York Times, which recently launched an anti-misinformation project, and BuzzFeed News also documented wide-reaching hoaxes.


“Our emphasis in covering the hearings is giving readers clarity and context about what they’re seeing and hearing,” said Angie Holan, editor of (Poynter-owned) PolitiFact in a message. “It’s an important moment in the confirmation process, but we can’t assume that all readers are familiar with the issues or process.”


Still, the hearings have proved to be a little harder to fact-check than the traditional political event. And that’s because there’s still a lot that journalists don’t know, Holan said.

Click here to read the full piece with links to fact-checking projects.


Christine Blasey Ford, seated, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, September 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill. (Melina Mara /The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

If Dr. Ford’s testimony has stirred up painful memories, the LA Times has this list of resources

Speaking of tips for weathering a news cycle hell storm, the Los Angeles Times has put together a list of resources in the case that Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony stirred up painful memories.

Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (Win McNamee/Pool Photo via AP)

Strafford Town House steeple taken down for a little R&R time (video & 3D tour)

The Strafford Town House, built in 1799, sits atop the hill in Strafford, Vt., on Thursday, July 26, 2018. (Valley News – August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

You know how that old poem goes …

Here is the church town house
Here is the steeple
Open the doors
And see all the people

Here is the crane
Taking down the steeple
For historic renovations
But it will be put back there again eventually

Read all about it in Friday’s Valley News.

For now, you can watch a video of the scene in Strafford today, courtesy of Celeste Pfeiffer!

But wait! There’s more!

Mark Shaw, of SkyView VT, has graciously shared a 3D tour of the town house that is pretty neat! Take a look below.

RELATED: Minnesota Man Builds a Replica of Strafford’s Town House


Friday’s full story: Strafford Town House’s Spire Removed for Repairs

Margaret Sullivan’s tips on how to stay “slightly” sane when the news cycle is a hell storm

Margaret Sullivan, of The Washington Post, published this column on Monday, headlined “How to stay (slightly) sane this week: A user’s guide to the media maelstrom ahead.”

I pulled it off our news wire just now because I feel like, A, a lot of these tips are evergreen, and B, a few of them might be pertinent during the Kavanaugh hearings today.

The points I want to underscore: It’s totally legit not to take in difficult live news all at once, moment by moment, blow by blow. You can read about it later when it’s all been digested into a coherent article or two or three (or, if that’s too traumatic for you, never! for some people, never is fine, too!).

Another tip I have: Turn off previews on your notifications! It’s easier then going into each app one at a time and turning off notifications all together. (I learned this when news outlets kept blowing surprises for me when I was watching the Olympics *shakes fist in air*.)

Turning off previews on your notifications may help you stay (slightly) sane.

Anyway, here’s Margaret Sullivan’s piece:

How to stay (slightly) sane this week: A user’s guide to the media maelstrom ahead


Sept. 24, 2018

On Friday morning — which already feels like a month ago — Washington Post White House reporter Seung Min Kim posted an exhausted sigh of relief on Twitter: “Well. We at least made it to Friday, everyone.”

The universe seemed to read that like a dare. It reared up in anger and hurled blazing fireballs of news.

Within a few hours, the New York Times had posted a blockbuster story that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein suggested last year that President Trump should be secretly recorded, and that the 25th Amendment might be explored to remove him from office.

And Washington once again was in a froth. There would be no weekend.

No sooner had that been processed — challenged, defended, disparaged, celebrated — then the news arrived that a date had been set for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear from Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

Then, on Sunday evening, the New Yorker dropped a shocker about a second allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. All hell broke loose again.

With the Kavanaugh hearings — and possibly a collective nervous breakdown — approaching like a Category 4 hurricane, I humbly offer a media user’s guide to the week ahead, with a little help from my media-desk colleagues Paul Farhi and Sarah Ellison.

Here’s what you can do to keep the insanity to a dull roar.

  • Consider actually reading that story before you share it on social media. It’s astonishingly common to see a story hit Twitter and see it retweeted with outraged commentary even before it could possibly be digested. Headlines are only a hint, after all, and the fine print in the 19th paragraph may change your mind about what you think, or what you say to your Facebook friends in your next blistering post.
  • Know your source. When you see the names Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow — two of the most careful, disciplined reporters in America, it’s reasonable to take them seriously. (Although even with reporters of this caliber, it’s important not to overstate what their New Yorker story really says and to pay close attention to what it doesn’t say.) When you see declarations from Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’s attorney, about representing a third Kavanaugh accuser — without naming names or providing details — doubtful hesitation is in order.
  • Trust the stories you like less than those you want to believe. At the very least, it’s a good exercise in critical thinking to employ extreme skepticism to fight the confirmation bias we’re all guilty of. Seek out reaction and commentary from the other side of the situation; you don’t have to believe it, but you ought to consider it.
  • Wait and see. Know that cable news anchors — and all who deliver breaking news — may be scrambling in the first hours of a development. On Sunday night, CNN’s Ana Cabrera — grappling with the just-dropped New Yorker story, seemed never to have heard of the estimable Mayer, whom she referred to as Farrow’s co-author before consulting her notes and then mispronouncing her name. CNN’s Brian Stelter took pains in his Sunday-night newsletter to backtrack on something he had said spontaneously on air earlier: That “frat boy” behavior is forgivable. (He clarified to say that’s not true when it allegedly involves sexual assault.)
  • Know who is paid to say what on cable. Remember that cable commenters — particularly Trump surrogates — are paid to bring a particular point of view to the table. They may be legally constrained by nondisclosure agreements from doing anything other than gushing positively. Take this, therefore, with a few extra pounds of salt. As Farhi asked pointedly in a story: Shouldn’t media organizations be disclosing this? Clearly yes, but they don’t. So consumer beware.
  • Compare and contrast. Those who were quick to disparage the Times’s Rod Rosenstein story when it first appeared had to recalibrate their angry disbelief as other news organizations, including The Post, were able to match the story with their own sources. In some cases, the follow-up reporting from other places had a different tone or emphasis, making more, for example, of the possibility that Rosenstein had been speaking sarcastically. (On Monday morning came widespread reports that the Deputy Attorney General was resigning.)
  • Take a break. The news never stops, so put down your phone, turn off your TV, and do something else for a few hours. Cook a meal, take a walk, go to yoga class, read a 19th century novel.

Of course, there’s a downside.

Chances are that when you come back, some fresh hell will have hit the fan. But at least your heart rate will be lower — for a minute — while you catch up.

WRJ’s newest grocery store … in 1964

Find more Upper Valley throwbacks at the #valleynewsthrowback hashtag on the @vnewsuv Instagram. !!!!!

During A&P Supermarket’s grand opening, shoppers take advantage of the many sale specials and to get a first hand look at its up-to-date facilities at the corner of Gates and Main Streets in White River Junction, Vt., on Sept. 23, 1964. (Valley News – Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Check out Dartmouth animator Jodie Mack’s ‘kaleidoscopic vortex’ in Times Square through Sunday night

Jodie Mack is a filmmaker and associate professor of film, teaching animation at Dartmouth College. January 14, 2016. Mack makes animations on film using recycled materials. (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright © Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Wowee zowee! Jodie Mack, who teaches in the department of film and media studies at Dartmouth College, has this big installation up in Times Square right now. If you’re going to be in New York City, you can watch it in-person at 11:57 each night through Sunday, Sept. 30. Check out the video below to get a sense of what it’s all about.



The late June Foray, in a June 2000 file image, supplied the voice for Rocky the Flying Squirrel, of “The Bullwinkle Show” fame. (Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS)


Squirrels from r/newhampshire


S q u i r r e l s


National Weather Service says heavy rain and thunderstorms are coming back through this evening

Black River plays at Windsor in soccer on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. Windsor defeated Black river, 3-2, in double overtime. (Valley News – August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Don’t say we never told you nothin’. An excerpt from the Lebanon forecast:

Showers and thunderstorms likely before 9pm, then a chance of showers between 9pm and 10pm. Some of the storms could be severe. Patchy fog after 2am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 53. Southwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming northwest after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Introducing Valley News Digest, a collaboration with CATV

From left to right: News editor John Gregg and reporters Tim Camerato and Jordan Cuddemi.

Break out the popcorn, y’all.

The Valley News has teamed up with public access station CATV to produce Valley News Digest, a discussion between reporters and editors about the news of the day.

Episode 1 will air tonight and tomorrow night at 6 on channel 8, plus several times throughout the weekend. And, thanks to the magic of the internet, you can also watch it right now!

In the debut show, news editor John Gregg talks to reporters Tim Camerato and Jordan Cuddemi about upcoming changes to the rail tunnel in downtown Lebanon and skepticism over drug recognition experts in Vermont.

I will not be participating in the ‘Coffin Challenge,’ thank you v much

A Six Flags amusement park in Eureka, Mo., has announced it is holding a “coffin challenge,” inviting people to be locked in a coffin for 30 hours for the chance to score some prizes. How fun!!! /s

Yes, that’s right. The “Fright Fest 30-Hour Coffin Challenge” will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13. According to a report by Fox 4 News, those who last the longest being locked in the coffins could win an assortment of things that don’t even come close to making up for the trauma that likely would result from being trapped in a coffin for 30 hours straight. Those prizes include:

Two 2019 Gold Season Passes, a Fright Fest prize package, two VIP Haunted House passes and a ticket for two to ride the Freak Train for Freak Unleashed. The winner will also be entered in a drawing for a $300 prize.

Six Flags will be providing six “deluxe” 2-foot by 7-foot coffins as well as “meals, snacks and drinks in bed” (and by bed, they mean coffin). They’ll also generously offer a six-minute bathroom break every hour.

Oh, and did I mention the coffins are PREVIOUSLY ENJOYED (???) (Six Flags says they’re “slightly used.” I don’t even wanna know what that means, tbh.)

Y’all, I’m not even claustrophobic, but I’m saying it’s a hard pass on this one. I don’t care what the prize is. I’d do a lot of things for a Klondike bar, and I would do anything for love, but like Meatloaf said, I won’t do that.

The Philadelphia Flyers have a new mascot, and everyone hates it

The Philadelphia Flyers on Monday announced they had added a new mascot to their hockey family. The team introduced the world to “Gritty,” an orange … thing that most closely resembles some kind of monster. It’s unclear if he’s related to the Phillies’ Phanatic, which I just today found out is not a monster but instead a large green flightless bird.

Here’s what the team had to say about Gritty, who you can follow on Twitter, if you’re into that sort of thing:

He’s loyal but mischievous; the ultimate Flyers fan who loves the orange and black, but is unwelcoming to anyone who opposes his team. Legend has it he earned the name “Gritty” for possessing an attitude so similar to the team he follows.

He claims that he’s been around for a lot longer than we know it, and recent construction at the Wells Fargo Center disturbed his secret hideout forcing him to show his face publicly for the first time.

Gritty apparently is a little rough around the edges, a bit quirky, and a huge fan of hot dogs. OK, sure.

Despite all his charm, however, Gritty was not as well-received as the team presumably had hoped. I scrolled pretty far down through the replies to the Flyers’ announcement tweet and didn’t see anything positive. Here are some selected reactions:

I feel like I need to warn you about the next photo. Sorry in advance.

Valley News sports reporter Josh Weinreb even weighed in on Gritty’s unveiling.

Says it all, tbh.

The Philadelphia Flyers mascot, Gritty, takes to the ice during the first intermission of the Flyers’ preseason NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Monday, Sept, 24, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)