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BRATTLEBORO — For a handful of people gathered in front of the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center Friday morning, seeing the flag that hung over the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and the days after was incredibly heart-touching.

BRATTLEBORO — This year’s annual Backpack Giveaway was the most attended since the event started six years ago.

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The Reformer-Ukraine connection

Vermont News & Media's three newspapers have a direct connection to people there who continue to work in Ukraine while under siege: Owner Paul Belogour has information technology teams based in Dnepr and Kyiv, Ukraine, which support the online operations of his other businesses, such as Vermont Innovation Box, Vermont Beer Makers and Vermont Real Estate and Development. Send your photos, videos and English-language reports from Ukraine to news@reformer.com to share them with Vermonters and other American readers.

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PUTNEY — The Vermont Foodbank and the Putney Foodshelf co-sponsor a monthly food drop of free produce and some non-perishables on the fourth T…

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Health officials on Tuesday encouraged Vermonters to get COVID-19 booster shots right up through Wednesday to protect themselves and others as they travel and visit friends and family for the Thanksgiving holiday. Testing for the virus is also recommended, Health Commissioner Mark Levine sai…

State

Walmart, the nation’s largest employer, is expanding its abortion coverage for employees after staying largely mum on the issue following the Supreme Court ruling that scrapped a nationwide right to abortion. In a memo sent to employees on Friday, the company said its health care plans will now cover abortion for employees “when there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or lack of fetal viability.” In Arkansas, where Walmart is based, abortion is banned under all circumstances unless the procedure is needed to protect the life of the mother in a medical emergency. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Abortion opponents and abortion rights advocates together spent more than $22 million on a ballot question this month in Kansas, and famed film director and producer Steven Spielberg contributed to the successful effort to affirm abortion rights.

Apple regularly issues updates to the software powering the iPhone, and sometimes it’s OK to dawdle when it comes to installing them. But that’s not the case with its latest — an upgrade that Apple released Wednesday to close a security hole that could allow hackers to seize control of iPhones and several other popular Apple products. Security experts are warning that everyone with an iPhone should install the update as quickly as possible to protect the personal information people typically store on a device that has become like another appendage for many.

Yellowstone National Park officials say part of a foot found in a hot spring this week is believed to be linked to a July 31 death. Park officials do not believe foul play was involved but did not disclose more details about the death in a statement issued Friday. The park says an employee found part of a human foot in the shoe floating in the Abyss Pool on Tuesday. A man from Maryland reported he and his family last week had spotted a shoe floating sole up in the hot spring. Abyss Pool is a 53-foot-deep hot spring west of the West Thumb area of Yellowstone Lake.

Transgender girls in Utah will be given the opportunity to participate in female sports as the school year begins after a judge reversed a ban pending legal challenges from parents. Utah state Judge Keith Kelly made his ruling Friday. Instead of an outright ban, transgender girls will now go before a state commission of political appointees who will determine if they are eligible to participate. Utah’s ruling marked the latest court development in a nationwide debate over how to navigate a flashpoint issue. Similar cases are underway in states such as Idaho, West Virginia and Indiana.

Technology stocks led Wall Street lower, leaving major indexes in the red for the week. The benchmark S&P 500 index gave back 1.3% Friday, breaking a four-week winning streak. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite fell even more. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also fell. Meme stock Bed Bath & Beyond plunged after the high-profile activist investor Ryan Cohen confirmed that he’s sold his stake in the struggling retailer. General Motors rose after reinstating its dividend, and Foot Locker soared after replacing its CEO and reporting better-than-expected earnings. Treasury yields rose.

Walmart, the nation’s largest employer, is expanding its abortion coverage for employees after staying largely mum on the issue following the Supreme Court ruling that scrapped a nationwide right to abortion. In a memo sent to employees on Friday, the company said its health care plans will now cover abortion for employees “when there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or lack of fetal viability.” In Arkansas, where Walmart is based, abortion is banned under all circumstances unless the procedure is needed to protect the life of the mother in a medical emergency. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

Several boats, buildings and vessels were destroyed by a large fire at a Massachusetts boatyard. Aerial video taken by WCVB-TV on Friday showed several boats and vehicles at the boatyard in Mattapoisett either burned out shells or being consumed by flames. People who picked up the phones at the Mattapoisett fire and police departments said no one was available to comment. It was unclear if anyone was hurt. The area of the fire was part of a National Weather Service warning Friday of elevated fire risk due to drought and high winds. It sent a plume of dense black smoke over southeastern Massachusetts.

Friends and fellow authors have spoken out on Salman Rushdie's behalf during a rally on the steps of the main branch of the New York Public Library. Friday's rally came a week after Rushdie was attacked onstage in western New York and hospitalized with stab wounds. His literary agent says he has been removed from a ventilator. Jeffrey Eugenides, Tina Brown and Kiran Desai were among those who shared wishes for a full recovery and read passages from his books, essays and speeches. Other readers included Gay Talese, Andrew Solomon and Reginald Dwayne Betts.

A British man nicknamed one of the Beatles by his captives because of his English accent has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the deaths of four U.S. hostages captured by the Islamic State. Prosecutors say El Shafee Elsheikh is the most notorious member of the Islamic State ever to be convicted at trial in a U.S. court. A jury found him guilty of hostage taking resulting in the deaths of Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller. All but Mueller were executed in videotaped beheadings circulated online. Elsheikh lawyer said at Friday's sentencing hearing that he is appealing the conviction.

GUILFORD — The annual Write Action Potluck Picnic will be held Saturday from noon to 4 at 640 Melendy Hill Road in Guilford. A highlight is the open reading, with five-minute slots for poems or short prose.

BURLINGTON — William Clarence Matthews, who broke several color barriers in baseball in the early 20th century including playing professionally in Burlington, will be honored at historic Centennial Field prior to the Vermont Lake Monsters game on Thursday. Jeff Schulman, UVM director of athl…

MANCHESTER — On what was just about a perfect night to be outside at Judy McCormick Taylor Field, the Burr and Burton Bulldogs were nearly perfect, as well. The BBA girls raced out to an early lead and never looked back, overwhelming Brattleboro for a 20-4 victory at home.

After growing up on the Gulf Coast, I have packed up my husband, dog, and three cats to embark on our new adventure. I am trading in homestyle Cajun cooking for the world-renowned maple creemee. We are moving from Louisiana to the great state of Vermont.

Our communities are still struggling through the pandemic and its harmful impacts on mental health, substance use and affordable housing. It’s clear that we still need to do far more to support one another and to build healthy, safe and vibrant communities.

To the editor: I was pretty maddened to read the transcript of an interview with Liam Madden of Bellows Falls after his win in the Republican Primary. The interview was with Vermont Public Radio.

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