A Valley News Publication

Hitchhiking Strafford butterfly thumbing for a southbound ride to warmer skies

Mark Chute and Anita Onofrio, of Strafford, recently posted this on the listserve, which I am sharing here with their permission:

Hello neighbors,


We have a just emerged monarch butterfly that needs a lift to N.Y., New Jersey or farther south. It is too cold for her now to leave from here so
she needs help getting to Mexico. If you are heading south in the next couple of days and you can help please e-mail (mark.w.chute@gmail.com) or call 765-4507.

(Thanks to Calendar editor Liz Sauchelli, author of the Out & About columns, for the heads up!)

Mark told me that their post turned up a ride for the butterfly that would depart on Saturday, but ideally they are looking to send her on her way sooner than that. If you could be a monarch chauffeur, let them know!

Here’s a picture of a monarch, but not the monarch. 

FILE – In this Oct. 20, 2017, file photo, John Miano of Destin, Fla., holds a monarch butterfly on his fingertip as he waits for the newly tagged insect to take flight during the Panhandle Butterfly House’s Monarch Madness festival in Navarre, Fla.(Devon Ravine/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP, File)


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

For a good cause and all that

Emergency 90-minute power outage planned for Fairlee area this evening from midnight until 1:30 Thursday morning

Here’s a press release from Green Mountain Power:


Green Mountain Power will need to interrupt power tonight to 1800 customers in parts of Fairlee, West Fairlee, Vershire, Strafford and Thetford in order to safely repair broken equipment. The interruption will begin tonight at midnight and last until approximately 1:30 Thursday morning.

The areas affected include:

  • In Fairlee –  most of Fairlee including areas along VT Route 244, US Route 5, Lake Morey Rd & Redmond Rd.
  • In West Fairlee – most of West Fairlee including along VT Route 113, Beaver Meadow Rd, Middlebrook Rd,  & Blood Brook Rd.
  • In Vershire – the south-west portion of Vershire along S. Vershire Rd, Vershire Center Rd, & Taylor Valley Rd.
  • In Strafford – the north-west portion of Strafford along Old City Falls Rd, Miller Pond Rd, & Sawnee Bean Rd.
  • In Thetford – northern sections of Thetford along Sawnee Bean Rd, VT Route 113, VT Route 244 Quinibeck Rd & US Route 5 south to Cider Mill Rd.

It’s official: Strafford students’ marble run was a world record-setter

Newton School teacher Eric Walker holds the record-setting marble aloft after it ran over 1.5 miles in a tube along Route 132 in Strafford, Vt., on Mary 13, 2017, setting a world record on May 13, 2017. (Valley News – Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Back in May, a group of students, teachers and parents known as Team Marbleous attempted the world record for longest marble run by sending a marble through hundreds of feet of blue maple sap tubing down Sharon Hill.

(Read about their attempt here; video below.)

Parent Dustin Ray said he recently got word that the attempt was officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s longest marble run at the time, and they will be getting a certificate soon. Woop woop!

According to Guinness Public Relations Coordinator Sofía Rocher, who I spoke to over email today, another team from Switzerland recently surpassed Strafford’s record — Team Marbleous hit 8,650 feet on May 13, and the Switzerland team got 9,379 feet on Sept. 1 — but Strafford will always be No. 1 in our hearts. Maybe motivation for another attempt? 😉

Plus, beyond the record itself, the students learned a lot about teamwork and overcoming obstacles.

Go Team Marbleous!

RELATED: Upper Valley man goes for grape-catching Guinness record … again! … but without the hot air balloon this time