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

By Maggie Cassidy
Valley News Staff Writer

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

Flight of a Lifetime

By Maggie Cassidy
Valley News Staff Writer

West Lebanon — Janet Bailey took control of the four-seater Cessna 172 airplane Monday morning as it rumbled forward on the runway at Lebanon Municipal Airport.

With the pilot’s gentle coaching, she pulled back, back, back and the plane lurched up, up, up — and suddenly, the woman who had celebrated her 82nd birthday only days earlier was in the air, flying again, piloting a plane for the first time since she took flying lessons at that same airport 60 years ago. Continue reading “Flight of a Lifetime”

One Year After Tropical Storm Irene, Farmers Prove a Resilient Bunch

By Maggie Cassidy
Valley News Staff Writer

South Royalton — Standing next to a row of cherry tomatoes, Geo Honigford extended his arm west, pointing toward “popcorn fields” across his produce farm, Hurricane Flats.

With the hot sun scorching his mustard-colored baseball cap, he let his arm rise and fall, rise and fall, sweeping from left to right, mimicking the undulated valleys and peaks of the corn stalks’ tops.

The stalks looked like soft green and yellow waves, an appealing visual — at least to non-farmers. But it’s actually a sign of the land’s recent distress: The stalks should all be of a uniform height, Honigford said, and those slopes signal a nutrient deficiency in the soil. Continue reading “One Year After Tropical Storm Irene, Farmers Prove a Resilient Bunch”