The Brattleboro Reformer has many colleagues around the country producing news for our "sister" papers. The Daily DFM is a "top picks" of today's national news. Consider it a collection of "things you should know, today."

1. Updated Obamacare site gets mixed reviews

By Kelli Kennedy/AP

Gina Denis, now seen, a certified counselor at Miami's Boringuen Health Center, works with an unidentified Haitian client, signing her up for Obama Care, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. Floridians eager to sign up for health insurance through the federal governmentÂ’s troubled website worked their way through the process after officials fixed hundreds of software bugs and increased software capacity to handle 50,000 visitors at once.

Gina Denis, now seen, a certified counselor at Miami's Boringuen Health Center, works with an unidentified Haitian client, signing her up for Obama Care, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. Floridians eager to sign up for health insurance through the federal governmentÂ’s troubled website worked their way through the process after officials fixed hundreds of software bugs and increased software capacity to handle 50,000 visitors at once. J. Pat Carter/AP Photo

Counselors helping people use the federal government's online health exchange are giving mixed reviews to the updated site, with some zipping through the application process while others are facing the same old sputters and even crashes.

The Obama administration had promised a vastly improved shopping experience on healthcare.gov by the end of November, and Monday was the first business day since the date passed.

Brokers and online assisters in Utah say three of every four people successfully signed up for health coverage on the online within an hour of logging in. A state official overseeing North Dakota's navigators said he had noticed improvements in the site, as did organizations helping people sign up in parts of Alabama and Wisconsin.

But staffers at an organization in South Florida and a hospital group with locations in Iowa and Illinois said they have seen no major improvements from the federal website, which 36 states are relying on.

show more

2. 10 late-season college football rivalries and what makes them great

3. Bode Miller commands attention for Sochi - win, lose or crash

By Liz Clarke/The Washington Post

U. S. skier Bode Miller, 36, is looking to make on more Olympic run in the Sochi Games.

U. S. skier Bode Miller, 36, is looking to make on more Olympic run in the Sochi Games. AP

Sidelined by knee surgery and largely out of the spotlight for 18 months, Bode Miller was no less brash on the eve of his return to competition this fall. Asked his expectations as he girded for a run at his fifth Winter Olympics, the 36-year-old Miller said: "The plan is to kick [butt]."

In his three World Cup races since that bold declaration, though, Miller hasn't even been a factor, finishing no better than 16th in the giant slalom at Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 27, and the downhill and Super-G at Canada's Lake Louise this past weekend.

But if ever there were a skier who demands attention regardless of how calamitous his previous performance, it is Miller, a preternaturally gifted athlete whose competitive DNA defies convention and common sense.

show more

4. The definitive glossary of modern US military slang

By Ben Brody/GlobalPost

20131126_glossary_afghanistan3

CAPTION HERE

KABUL, Afghanistan - It's painful for US soldiers to hear discussions and watch movies about modern wars when the dialogue is full of obsolete slang, like "chopper" and "GI."

Slang changes with the times, and the military's is no different. Soldiers fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have developed an expansive new military vocabulary, taking elements from popular culture as well as the doublespeak of the military industrial complex.

The US military drawdown in Afghanistan - which is underway but still awaiting the outcome of a proposed bilateral security agreement - is often referred to by soldiers as "the retrograde," which is an old military euphemism for retreat. Of course the US military never "retreats" - rather it conducts a "tactical retrograde."

This list is by no means exhaustive, and some of the terms originated prior to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But these terms are critical to speaking the current language of soldiers, and understanding it when they speak to others. Please leave anything you think should be included in the comments.Big Voice: On military bases, loudspeakers broadcast urgent messages. When incoming rocket or mortar fire is detected by radar systems, the Big Voice automatically broadcasts a siren and instructions to take cover. The Big Voice will also warn of scheduled explosions, usually to destroy captured weapons.

Bird: Helicopter. "Chopper" is rarely used, except in movies, where it is always used. A chopper is a kind of motorcycle, not an aircraft.

'Black' on ammo, fuel, water, etc: Almost out.

Blowed up: Hit by an IED. Example: "I been blowed up six times this year."

Bone: The B-1 bomber.

show more

5. Two seriously injured in Route 9 crash

CHESTERFIELD, N.H. - A mid-morning crash on Route 9 Tuesday sent two women, including one from Brattleboro, to the hospital with serious injuries.

According to Spofford Fire Chief Gordon Rudolph, the crash occurred about halfway up Chesterfield Hill, near the intersection of Cady Lane.

The two cars collided head-on, said Rudolph.

"Both came to rest in the westbound lane, facing west," he said. "And both operators were heavily entrapped."

According to a press release from the Chesterfield Police Department, Emily Ranagan, 19, of Spofford, was traveling east at approximately 10:35 a.m. when she crossed into the westbound traffic lane, causing two other vehicles to take evasive action before she collided with a car being driving by Carol Mench, 74, of Brattleboro.

After extrication, both were transported to Cheshire Medical Center before being transported to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon for treatment of serious injuries.

Route 9 was closed for about two-and-a-half hours and all traffic, except for tractor-trailer trucks, were diverted along Cady Lane to Old Chesterfield Road.

At this time, the Chesterfield Police Department is continuing to investigate this accident. Any persons who witnessed this accident are encouraged to contact Lieutenant Duane Chickering at 603-363-4233, ext. 62.

The Brattleboro Fire Department was called to assist with another extrication device, but was not needed. The Spofford Fire Department and the Chesterfield Police Department were assisted by Diluzio Ambulance, the Chesterfield Fire Department, the Cheshire County Sheriff's Department and the New Hampshire State Police.

Bob Audette can be reached at raudette@reformer.com, or at 802-254-2311, ext. 160. Follow Bob on Twitter @audette.reformer.