Whitingham voters questioned a Town Meeting article asking voters to appoint rather than elect their road commissioner. Selectboard members said that, by law, the town highway department is under their jurisdiction, and appointing the commissioner would allow them to have more authority over the road commissioner.
Road conditions on Route 9 between Wilmington and Brattleboro were so bad that at least one accident had been attributed to frost heaves they were said to toss cars about like a leaf on the wind. State highway officials said they were trying to keep up with demand for patches, but repairs couldn’t be carried out until after winter. The road had been scheduled for major road repairs, but funding fell through.
15 years ago:
In a special February 29 leap year edition, The Deerfield Valley News explored several leap year traditions, including that of a kind of Sadie Hawkins Day when, in a role reversal, women were “allowed” to propose marriage to men. If a man refused, he was obligated to give the woman a gift, traditionally a pair of fine gloves.
The Legislature was struggling to find $11 million in cuts after revised forecasts suggested the state would receive less revenue than expected, according to local representative David Larsen. He said human services were likely to take the biggest cut, about $3.5 million, and education would be cut by about $3 million.
20 years ago:
Residents of Whitingham and Wilmington were facing a school “merger” vote, and there were heated opinions for and against the proposal. One Whitingham resident was concerned that Wilmington’s school bond (for renovations in 1980) wasn’t scheduled to be paid-off until 2002. After touring Wilmington High School, she warned Whitingham voters that they “have no idea as to the expenses you will be faced with in future renovations to that building.” A Jacksonville resident listed several shortcomings of small schools, and suggested that the merger would improve opportunities for Whitingham students.
A television crew from WCAX visited the offices of The Deerfield Valley News and The Green Mountain Currier for an upcoming story on newspaper competition. According to WCAX, they were the only two competing newspapers in the entire state.
25 years ago:
Dover held its 197th Town Meeting. The residents of the town that would become Dover held their first Town Meeting on February 3, 1789. At that time, Dover was the “south district” of Wardsboro. Because it was too difficult for residents of the south district to get to the north district of Wardsboro for Town Meeting, the Vermont General Assembly passed a bill in 1788 separating the districts. Residents held their own town meetings and elected their own officers. In 1810 the Legislature regranted the south district as a separate town named Dover. The town of Dover held its first annual Town Meeting in 1811.
30 years ago:
Junios Chambers, of New York, was shot by a New York corrections officer during an attempted armed robbery at an apartment in West Dover. According to police, Chambers forced his way into the apartment, handcuffed the two occupants, as well as three occupants of another apartment, and began robbing the apartments. The corrections officer broke loose and struggled with Chambers. During the struggle, Chambers was shot in the chest with his own gun. He was treated by Deerfield Valley Rescue and transported to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington. Police were investigating the possibility that Chambers was involved in a similar break-in a year earlier.
40 years ago:
A Searsburg Selectboard member called a section of Route 9 at the base of Searsburg Mountain a “death trap” after a fully-loaded propane truck crashed on the winding road. The road, which claimed scores of wrecked vehicles, wasn’t upgraded for another 30 years.
Bill Palumbo resigned as general manager of Haystack Mountain. Palumbo said he was leaving to devote more time to his sales firm which sold Meuller ski lifts. He had been at Haystack since 1961 and served as general manager since 1966.
Bob Grinold won a seat on the selectboard by one vote at Wilmington’s Town Meeting. In Dover, Rexford Bartlett, “a youthful East Dover man,” scored a two-vote victory to win a one-year position on the Dover Selectboard. Readsboro voters blocked a plan to demolish their historic 1829 town hall, instructing selectboard members to investigate a means of repairing and retaining the building.