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I’m in the process of setting up a new portfolio at http://www.maggcass.com.

Contentious in Cornish: Outraged Residents Bombard School Board

Cornish — Pandemonium erupted when the School Board chairman announced that he would not allow public comment at the board’s meeting Tuesday night, even as the audience of nearly 100 demanded the chance to speak on the controversy surrounding a board member’s social media post. Continue reading

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Vermont Amber Alert Ends With Mother’s Arrest in Lyme

Lyme — A 49-year-old mother is awaiting extradition to face felony charges in Vermont, where authorities allege she abducted her biological son from his foster family near Bennington before transporting him to the Upper Valley, where she was apprehended Monday night.

An Amber Alert was issued around 8:30 p.m. for 12-year-old Zachary Lee after his foster family reported he had not arrived home from his school bus drop-off on Monday in Sunderland, Vt.

Hanover Police arrested the boy’s mother, Patricia Kane, at the Lyme Inn around 11:30 p.m. on Monday after following up on a tip from someone who reported seeing Kane, her teenage daughter and Zachary dining together at the Canoe Club in downtown Hanover earlier that evening. Continue reading

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Bolstered Rail Service Could Be Around Bend

Listen to Maggie discuss this story with Vermont Public Radio’s Mitch Wertlieb on the Jan. 24 broadcast of Morning Edition.

White River Junction — Rail enthusiasts and regional planners turned out to a hearing Wednesday night to advocate for more frequent stops along two passenger rail routes to connect Boston with Montreal and southern Connecticut, while several attendees with Claremont ties urged for that city to be included in the loop. Continue reading

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Perriello Gets 35 Years to Life; Sentence Is Harshest Possible For Man Who Killed Wife

Newport — James W. Perriello received the maximum sentence for the shooting death of his wife, teacher Natalie Perriello, following a heart-wrenching hearing on Wednesday where the oldest of the couple’s four children confronted her father for the first time since the murder, and Perriello apologized for what he had done.

More than 40 people crowded into Sullivan Superior Court where Natalie Perriello’s friends and family took turns giving statements about the impact her death has had on their lives, and none was more powerful than the one delivered by 14-year-old Jillian Perriello, who read an open letter to her father as he sat with his head hung low at the nearby defense table.

“Dear Dad, I still hear them, the bangs, the booms, the crashes, the shots,” Jillian said.

It was the first time since his arrest that James Perriello had seen any of his children, who were all at home in Grantham at the time of the April 2012 shooting.

“The words, the shouts, the crying, the footsteps,” Jillian continued. “The rain pounding down the window. The sirens.

“I still see them. … The two frantic boys across the hall. The petrified look on your face. … The flashing lights. … The Mickey Mouse comforter that still snuggles my body at night.” Continue reading

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Thursday Is the New Black: No Rest for Workers, Shoppers as Big Box Stores Open on Thanksgiving

West Lebanon — Box store spokespersons said consumers have demanded it. A workers’ rights advocate called it “a sad state of affairs.” And shoppers out on Route 12A Thursday said they’re grateful for the convenience — but maybe enough is enough.

Black Friday continued its slow take over of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, when at least two of the Upper Valley shopping mecca’s box stores were open by 7 a.m., and another batch opened to long lines in the early evening.

Most kept their doors open overnight, with no plans to close them until tonight, meaning they were open for as many as 41 consecutive hours.

“My kids were asking me, ‘Mom, I thought that Black Friday was supposed to be on Friday?’, ” said Nicole Scrimgeour, of St. Johnsbury, on Thursday afternoon.

She was standing in a tent that she had set up outside Best Buy around 4 a.m. Continue reading

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