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BRATTLEBORO — Before the doors opened on the second day of the Windham Toys for Tots toy drive, a long line of parents and grandparents queued up to find just the right presents for the children in their lives.

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BENNINGTON — Southwestern Vermont Health Care and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center are planning a merger that could be completed by March, a…

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VERNON — Troopers from the Westminster barracks responded to Newton Road for a report of a s…

Downtown Brattleboro was abuzz with seasonal activities last Friday during the last Gallery …

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BENNINGTON — Southwestern Vermont Health Care and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center are pla…

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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…

MONTPELIER — To relieve some of the pressure on Vermont hospitals caused by a combination of factors, including COVID-19, the state is opening 80 beds at long-term care and rehabilitation facilities, said Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith.

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The former Minneapolis police officer who held down George Floyd’s back as one of his colleagues kneeled on the Black man’s neck has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison. J. Alexander Kueng pleaded guilty in October to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. He is already serving a federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights, and the state and federal sentence will be served at the same time. Kueng appeared at his sentencing via a video feed from a federal prison in Ohio. When given the chance to address the court, he declined.

Federal data shows that a spill dumping almost enough oil to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool into a northeastern Kansas creek this week is the largest for an onshore crude pipeline in nine years. It also shows that its operator was allowed to exceed typical maximum pressure levels. The Keystone pipeline spill was in a creek running through rural pastureland in Washington County, Kansas, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northwest of Kansas City. U.S. Department of Transportation data shows that it was the biggest in the system’s history. Canada-based operator TC Energy said the spill was about 14,000 barrels, or 588,000 gallons. Both it and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday the spill was contained, though cleanup efforts will continue into next week.

A judge will determine whether evidence of disbarred South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh’s alleged financial crimes are admissible in an upcoming double-murder trial that has drawn worldwide attention for its bizarre twists. Prosecutors recently said that Murdaugh killed his wife and youngest son last year to gain sympathy and distract others from his damning financial crimes. On Friday, prosecutors and defense attorneys debated the relevance of those years of alleged financial misdeeds that lined Murdaugh’s pockets with nearly $9 million. Murdaugh has denied any involvement in the June 2021 killings of his wife and son.

Tennessee’s lead investigative agency is seeking $2 million in contracts with outside labs to process 1,000 rape kits that need to be tested before the end of June. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued the request for proposals for up to three contractors, as the state’s turnaround times for sexual assault kits continue to face scrutiny after the high-profile killing of teacher Eliza Fletcher in September. As of October, the agency said the average turnaround time for a rape kit was 43 weeks at the Knoxville lab, 42.4 at the Jackson lab and 32.7 at the Nashville lab. The bureau wants the contractors on board by the end of January.

Pulled from a sunken trunk at an 1857 shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina, work pants that auction officials describe as the oldest known pair of jeans in the world have sold for $114,000. The white, heavy-duty miner’s pants with a five-button-fly were among 270 Gold Rush-era artifacts that sold for a total of nearly $1 million at an auction in Reno last weekend. There’s disagreement about whether the pants have any ties to the father of modern-day blue jeans. Officials for Levi Strauss & Co. say any claims about their origin is speculation because they predate the first jeans the San Francisco-based company officially manufactured in 1873.

The former Minneapolis police officer who held down George Floyd’s back as one of his colleagues kneeled on the Black man’s neck has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison. J. Alexander Kueng pleaded guilty in October to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. He is already serving a federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights, and the state and federal sentence will be served at the same time. Kueng appeared at his sentencing via a video feed from a federal prison in Ohio. When given the chance to address the court, he declined.

Federal data shows that a spill dumping almost enough oil to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool into a northeastern Kansas creek this week is the largest for an onshore crude pipeline in nine years. It also shows that its operator was allowed to exceed typical maximum pressure levels. The Keystone pipeline spill was in a creek running through rural pastureland in Washington County, Kansas, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northwest of Kansas City. U.S. Department of Transportation data shows that it was the biggest in the system’s history. Canada-based operator TC Energy said the spill was about 14,000 barrels, or 588,000 gallons. Both it and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday the spill was contained, though cleanup efforts will continue into next week.

A judge will determine whether evidence of disbarred South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh’s alleged financial crimes are admissible in an upcoming double-murder trial that has drawn worldwide attention for its bizarre twists. Prosecutors recently said that Murdaugh killed his wife and youngest son last year to gain sympathy and distract others from his damning financial crimes. On Friday, prosecutors and defense attorneys debated the relevance of those years of alleged financial misdeeds that lined Murdaugh’s pockets with nearly $9 million. Murdaugh has denied any involvement in the June 2021 killings of his wife and son.

Several students at a Kansas high school have been disciplined for their behavior after a coach accused them of making racist and offensive statements to his team. The controversy began after a basketball game Dec. 3 between Valley Center High School and Topeka High School. Topeka coach Coach Geo Lyons accused students from Valley Center of shouting racist and insulting chants at his players. Principals of the two schools said in joint statement Friday that several Valley Center students have been disciplined but federal laws prevents them from providing details. The principals also said that some reports of what happened at the game were inaccurate or exaggerated, leading to “disappointing” responses from both communities.

DORSET — In his beloved Christmas poem “Little Tree,” e.e. cummings imagined a child speaking to a lonely evergreen in the woods and its promise of warmth and love: “put up your little arms/ and i’ll give them all to you to hold/ every finger shall have its ring/ and there won’t be a single …

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.

It’s time for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department (FWD) and elected state officials to act on the wishes of the majority of Vermonters and ban recreational and fur trapping for furbearers (bobcat, otter, fisher, coyotes, beaver, red and gray fox, muskrat, raccoon, opossum, weasel, min…

Eric Metaxas, author of “Seven Women and the Secret of Their Greatness,” in 2015, said, “Each era has the fatal hubris to believe that it has once and for all climbed to the top of the mountain and can see everything as it is, from the highest and most objective vantage point possible.” We h…

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