A Valley News Publication

How would J.D. Salinger’s relationship with an 18-year-old woman be viewed in the #metoo era?

FILE – This Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 picture shows copies of J.D. Salinger’s classic novel “The Catcher in the Rye” as well as his volume of short stories called “Nine Stories” at the Orange Public Library in Orange Village, Ohio. At left is a 1951 photo of the author. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

Joyce Maynard, who lived with J.D. Salinger at his home in Cornish in 1972, when she was 18 and he was 53, writes about the troubling reaction to her 1998 memoir about her experience, and how her story might have been received today. Read her essay in The New York Times.

It’s official: HomeGoods in West Leb is opening Sept. 23

It’s a Sunday, for all you looking at the calendar. And doors will open at 8 a.m.

The news comes little more than a year after we first reported that HomeGoods was on its way. Other bits of information in a news release just sent out by the company:

  • The store is 19,800 square feet.
  • It’s the third store in the Burlington market.
  • They expect to fill 65 full-time and part-time positions.
  • Regular store hours are Monday through Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.Friday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Special Grand Opening Day hours will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • And in case you live under a rock, we’re talking about the Upper Valley Plaza on Route 12A in West Leb.

Bring on the off-price shopping, y’all. Bring. It. On.

(But actually, more importantly, even when big new box stores come to town … don’t forget to shop local, as well!)

The verdict is in: The athletic community in Windsor really appreciates Bob Hingston

Windsor athletic director Bob Hingston stands in front of the newly-minted Windsor High Athletic Wall of Fame on Sept. 15, 2009, begun to honor the school’s top athletes and their accomplishments. (Valley News – Catalin Abagiu) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Check out the video of all of the comments on our Facebook page in the tweet below, and read the story about Bob Hingston’s latest award at the Valley News website.

The first day at the new middle school in Bethel, as told by an 8th-grader

White River Valley Middle School seventh-graders Sauntie White, left, and Tanner Drury ask prepared questions as they get to know each other in Holly Williams’ science class in Bethel, Vt., on Aug. 31, 2018. Paisley Irish speaks with Williams in the background on the first day of school. The students are all from Bethel. (Valley News – Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Not too long ago, student Grace Collins, 13, expected that she would attend South Royalton School through the end of her public schooling. But because of the merger, the South Royalton resident started eighth grade on Wednesday in Bethel. Grace has agreed to share her thoughts about the school year in a series of vlogs. In this submission, recorded on Wednesday, she answers the question, “What is your reaction to the first day of school, and what is different, challenging or exciting?”

This vlog first appeared in our Sunday Valley News story about the school’s first week. If you are a White River Valley Middle School student, or know of a student, who might like to record vlogs during the first few months of school, please email me at mcassidy@vnews.com.

p.s. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, another great place to find stories like these.

White River Valley Middle School teachers Shannon Bonsignore and Andy West usher sixth-grader Sonny Snelling, of Bethel, #VT, into Bonsignore’s morning music class after Snelling and his classmates were misdirected between classes on the first day of school last week. South Royalton and Bethel students are attending the merged middle school in Bethel for the first time this school year following an #Act46 merger. 🔸 Full story — in words, photos and a student vlog — at www.vnews.com/instagram. Link in profile. 🔸 (Valley News – Jennifer Hauck @hauck45) #uppervalley #upval #vnewsuv #vermont #VTed #firstdayofschool #summersover #middleschool #school #class #learning #education #hallway #new #802 #bethelvt #royaltonvt #soro

A post shared by Valley News (@vnewsuv) on

Dartmouth sociology professor says we’ve been conditioned to love fall

Too soon?

(Brett Critchley/Dreamstime/TNS)

Kathryn Lively told the Huffington Post that we humans are “conditioned from a very early age that the autumn comes with all these exciting things. As children, we come to associate fall with going back to school, new school supplies, seeing friends. It’s exciting, for most. We still respond to this pattern that we experienced for eighteen years.”

It may not feel like fall right now, and tomorrow’s not gonna be much different, but the National Weather Service mercifully reports that “much cooler air” will arrive shortly after that, so I’m sure we’ll all be super basic by the end of the week.

Read about our autumnal obsession and the science that Lively says drives us at the HuffPo piece.

Lucky 7 News Quiz winners, claim your pins or forever hold your pin-free peace!

The last two pins!

Breaking news … if my math is right, we are down to our last two pins!

However, we still have about a dozen pins that have not been claimed by Lucky 7 News Quiz winners. So, here’s what it all means …

1. If you want to win one of these remaining pins, you have until the end of Thursday to try your hand at Quiz No. 17, online now at uvindex.vnews.com/lucky7!

2. If you have won a pin but haven’t responded to our emails (or, if you did not give your email address in the first place, and haven’t reached out to us) you have until Sept. 17 to email us at uvindex@vnews.com or message us on Facbook. At that point, we will find a 🆕 and 🆒 way to dole them out.

Here are all the winners of quizzes 1-16. If your name is one here and you haven’t gotten a pin, talk to us!

1 Kelly Hyson
1 Celeste Pfeiffer
1 Gigi Martin
1 Melanie Benzel
2 Brent Fraser
2 Ann Sharfstein
2 Hayden Smith
2 Corinne Girouard
3 Jeff Silverstein
3 Carol Greene
3 Ginni Balch
4 Natalie Smith
4 Dana O’Neill
4 Sue Crislip
5 Lucas Devries
5 Brian Benkel
5 Dee Roberts
6 “AJ”
6 Gabe B-T
6 Rich Kearney
7 “AJ”
7 Richard Laferriere
7 Joseph Sampsell
7 CJ Hughes
8 Brian Benkel
8 Rebecca Bailey
8 Allan Leeson
9 Harry Kane
9 Steve Becker
9 Michael Waterman
10 Paul Pogba
10 Drew Peberdy
10 Griffin Shumway
10 Deborah A. White
11 Griffin Shumway
11 Ginni Balch
11 Cathleen Carroll
11 Alice Jones
11 Dave Foster
12 Peter Cole
12 Camden White
13 Alex Bullett
13 Kelsey O’connor
14 Lucinda Walker
14 Karen Zook
15 Kris Karlson
15 Patty McIlvaine
15 Kiel Alarcón
16 Brian Benkel
16 Jennifer Evelyn
16 Kate MacLam
16 Joel Teenyanoff


Lucky 7 News Quiz No. 17 is open through Sept. 6

Win pins!


If you’re on an smartphone or tablet, please click here for a mobile-friendly link to the quiz!


Continue on to the quiz below! (Note: There’s a scrolly bar.)


Wowowowow! Aces out the wazoo this week. I guess we will have to make the questions harder. We are awarding pins to three aces and one lucky rando.


  • Brian Benkel (ace!)
  • Jennifer Evelyn (ace!)
  • Kate MacLam (ace!)
  • Joel Teenyanoff (lucky random winner!)

CONGRATS! Comment on our Facebook or email us at uvindex@vnews.com to let us know if you want to come by the Valley News to pick up your loot or if we should pop ’em in the mail.


Q1. Which Upper Valley organization announced that it was realigning its giving practices and will seek to address the well-being of children holistically in three broad areas: early education, health care and child and family services?
A. Couch Family Foundation.

Q2. Groundbreaking is scheduled next month on a $7.5 million renovation and expansion of what facility?
A. Friends of Dartmouth Rowing Boathouse.

Q3. A recent Valley News video featured a ukulele group from Newport, N.H., playing which song?
A. “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John.

Q4. Hartland resident Alison Cheroff’s new book to aid pianists, “________ Hardly Say Anything During the Day”, includes which type of fruit in its title?
A. Bananas.

Q5. Sunapee resident Hazel Nilson celebrated a milestone birthday on Tuesday. How old is she now?
A. 110.

Q6. Valley News columnist Jim Kenyon wrote a piece this week remembering John Girard, a well-known Norwich resident, longtime coach and teacher who taught which subjects at Marion Cross School?
A. Mathematics and science.

Q7. How many years was the downtown Lebanon location of Listen Community Services’ thrift store open before it recently closed up shop, in advance of opening a new store on Mechanic Street?
A. 41.

Listen Community Services on Saturday, June 17, 2017, in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News – Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.


They can find this page at www.vnews.com/lucky7 or uvindex.vnews.com/lucky7.

Hope y’all had a good first week of school

Whether you’re students, parents, teachers, staff or somehow connected to the new school year, hope it went smoothly!

Here’s a #tbt from the #valleynewsthrowback hashtag on the @vnewsuv Instagram.

There’s nothing like experience, especially when it’s the first day of school and there’s a “big sister” to lead the way. The Plainfield School in Meriden, N.H., was no exception on Sept. 4, 1979, as youngsters reported for classes. Most Upper Valley schools reported things going smoothly. (Valley News – Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lewiston’s on the map because Google includes ghost towns, obvs

Lewiston. ???

A colleague recently asked me why Google Maps appears to include a town called Lewiston on the Connecticut River between Norwich and Hanover.

Maybe that’s something that y’all know off the top of your head, but I had no idea. So I put it on the back burner to investigate later …

… until this morning, when the Norwich Historical Society emailed the answer, unprompted, directly into my inbox. (Request to the journalism gods, please make all investigations this easy going forward, thx.)

The email.

Indeed, the Norwich Historical Society is hosting a walking tour Sept. 9 of Lewiston, which is not so much a dubious underwater town as it is Norwich’s “ghost hamlet” that was flattened to make way for the interstate in the 1960s.

Via the historical society:

This tour takes you right into the past to the site of the former hamlet of Lewiston which was part of the town of Norwich and located on the Vermont side of the Ledyard Bridge. The houses and shops that comprised Lewiston were bulldozed in 1967 to make way for the new I-91 interchange and the road into town was re-routed. The tour explores the old route from Norwich to Lewiston and includes a visit to the railroad station.

As reporter Matt Hongoltz-Hetling said, “Ahhhhhh. Google includes ghost towns. That explains everything.”

If you’re interested in attending the tour, which starts at 1:30 that Sunday afternoon, click here to RSVP.

Raise your hand if the dumpster fire behind Home Goods is a metaphor for your life

*raises hand*

Lebanon firefighters bring under control a dumpster fire behind the soon-to-be-opened Home Goods in the Upper Valley Plaza in West Lebanon, N.H., on the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (Valley News – Maggie Cassidy) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

In case you live downwind of West Lebanon and are wondering what that smoky smell is, a dumpster behind the soon-to-opened Home Goods caught on fire this afternoon and was quickly brought under control by the Lebanon Fire Department. (The video below is from 4 p.m.) No word on the cause yet; we’ll let you know if we learn more.

RELATED: PetSmart, HomeGoods Expected to Open at Route 12A Plaza

Tonight in Randolph: Hear Valley News photojournalists talk about their craft

Happening at the Chandler Gallery tonight at 7: “Community Journalism; Working With a Photography Team,” a photographers’ roundtable hosted by Valley News photo editor Geoff Hansen and chief photographer Jennifer Hauck in conjunction with “A Second Look,” a look back at Herald of Randolph photographer Bob Eddy’s work.

Jennifer Hauck, left, and Geoff Hansen. (Valley News photographs)

A roundup of headlines about the proliferation of dead squirrels this year

New Hampshire squirrels are dying under tires at an unusually high rate because of a bumper crop of acorns, sparking an unofficial headline-writing contest.

SQUIRREL. (Stock photo)


It’s a Banner Year for Rodent Roadkill. Here’s Why.

Union Leader:

It’s become a rocky road for squirrels


Yes, there have been a lot of dead squirrels on NH roads

Granite Geek:

From fruit thieves to road kill, those $%^#! squirrels are everywhere

So yeah, that’s what we know so far. Good luck out there, buddies.

p.s. Can you do better? Let us know in the comments.


The Valley News plays it straight.

Congratulations to Turtle the senior cat on her special adoption at Lucy Mackenzie

John Zahara with Turtle the cat. Photo courtesy Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society.

Congratulations are in order for Turtle the senior cat, who first arrived at Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society in 2007, and John Zahara, a volunteer and member of the Board of Trustees.

John adopted Turtle into her family as she deals with some serious health issues, but is letting her live out the rest of her days where she’s most comfortable: at the shelter that she’s called home for much of that time.

Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society wrote on Facebook that Aug. 22 was a “BIG day for Turtle,” and here’s that story:

Turtle first came to Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society December 1, 2007. Since then, this special girl had been adopted a handful of times, but none of them were forever. All her life, she has dealt with multiple health issues, but through it all, has always been a giant ray of sunshine to the people that know her best.


After being dealt with yet another curve ball health-wise, one of her biggest admirers, and a member of the Lucy Mackenzie family, John Zahara, wanted her to know just how loved she is. He adopted her knowing that she would be most comfortable remaining at the shelter where she’s lived the majority of her life surrounded by all her friends. Nobody knows just how many days Turtle has left, but she now proudly asks that everyone address her as Turtle Zahara and she will live every single moment knowing how very much she is loved by her new Dad.

Turtle the cat. Photo courtesy Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society.

It’s not a particularly traditional adoption, but a very special one, because it means that Turtle has a family member until the very end, whenever that may be, and it’s a statement that she is worthy of adoption. <3 And for now, she gets to do what she knows best: rule the shelter, where John is an active volunteer!

Congrats to both of you.

BTW, if you are looking to add a pet to your family …

Check out the Valley News’ weekly adoptable pets feature, put together in conjunction with Upper Valley pet rescue organizations, at www.vnews.com/adoptablepets.

Sasha Velour to collab with fashion brand for NYFW showcase

You better werk!

Center for Cartoon Studies alum — and RuPaul’s Drag Race season nine winner — Sasha Velour has an exciting project in the works: She’s set to be featured in Opening Ceremony’s upcoming New York Fashion Week show.

Opening Ceremony is an American fashion brand and clothing retailer who recognized Velour’s creative approach and commitment to fashun. The show, which is private, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 9.

The Cut had full deets in a story it published on Wednesday.

Opening Ceremony’s spring 2019 line will debut in “The Gift of Showz,” a fashion show created in collaboration with Sasha Velour. The show will be “a live spectacle celebrating of the art of drag — both in New York and around the world.”

Congrats, Sasha!

Sasha Velour in a promotional photograph for the ninth season of the TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” premiering in March 2017. (Courtesy photograph)

Video: Puppies and Pooches on Parade in Woodstock

Riley the Doxie. Photo courtesy Friends of the Norman Williams Public Library.

Forget the Well-Dressed Sports Heads. Look at these well-dressed doggos!

Some friends and I attended the Puppies and Pooches on Parade fundraiser for the Friends of the Norman Williams Public Library in Woodstock on Saturday, and I took a bit of video from a dog’s-eye-view. Find a list of winners from the various categories — such as Most Precious Petite, Mightiest Mid-Size, and so on — at the Valley News website.


Humpback whales spotted playing in Boston Harbor

That’s Bahstin Hahbah to you, pal.

Boston Globe reporter Steve Annear (a fellow Roger Williams alum!) tweeted on Tuesday that humpback whales had been seen in Boston Harbor. As a result of the sightings, the U.S. Coast Guard was urging mariners on Tuesday to be careful in the area. Apparently multiple people have reported seeing the whales splashing about in the harbor since the weekend.

People were pretty excited about the sightings.

It’s worth noting that Annear seems to be Boston’s unofficial whale and marine life beat reporter — he’s the one who broke the “Baby Wheel” story. (Click the link to revisit that video. It’s peak Boston.)