Cover story: In the business of death, one of our most timeless industries confronts a changing world
Apr19

Cover story: In the business of death, one of our most timeless industries confronts a changing world

When Lee Webster’s mother died, her body was laid out at home. Family members came and went for the weekend, before loading her body into Webster’s van. They played her mother’s favorite music while driving the corpse to a crematorium in St. Johnsbury. The next day family members picked up the remains, and Webster’s mother was buried in the family plot in East Montpelier Center. “It was simple,” said Webster, president of New...

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Made in the Upper Valley: The art of taxidermy brings visions of luxury and learning to life
Apr19

Made in the Upper Valley: The art of taxidermy brings visions of luxury and learning to life

Whether it’s a carcass found in the woods, a coyote struck by a car, or the annual hunters’ take of deer, moose, bear and turkeys, death isn’t necessarily the last stop for animals in the Upper Valley. Many are restored to a semblance of their previous lives by professional taxidermists in New Hampshire and Vermont. “We memorialize these beautiful animals,” said John Matyka, owner of Jacobs Brook Taxidermy in Orford, “and in the...

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The Exit Interview: Dr. Judith Hills
Apr19

The Exit Interview: Dr. Judith Hills

Dr. Judith Hills recalls that when she graduated from high school, not many women went on to become doctors. Still, she’d always been interested in medicine, and after her husband became a veterinarian, she decided she had what it took to become a physician. When her youngest child started first grade, Hills started medical school at Dartmouth College. She worked briefly at the Ottauquechee Health Center, when hospice was getting...

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The Exit Interview: Terry Appleby
Jan22

The Exit Interview: Terry Appleby

Most people in The Upper Valley have visited the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society at one point or another. With locations in Hanover, Lebanon and White River Junction, as well as auto service centers in Hanover and Norwich, the Hanover Co-op Food Stores does about 5,000 customer transactions each day, totaling around $72 million annually. For decades, the man behind that force was Terry Appleby, the co-op’s general manager from...

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The Business of Agriculture: Succession Is a Family Affair
Jan22

The Business of Agriculture: Succession Is a Family Affair

Agricultural enterprises constantly confront swarms of problems and issues as they try to be profitable and sustainable, but often there’s one in particular that hovers over everything, that vexes the owners for years and, occasionally, spells doom for the business. It’s the matter of succession — what will become of the farm when the present generation ages out and whether or not there’ll be the talent, interest and wherewithal to...

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Made in the Upper Valley: Stave Puzzles
Jan22

Made in the Upper Valley: Stave Puzzles

It was 1970, and Steve Richardson was out of a job. He’d moved his wife, Martha, and their two young sons to the Upper Valley from New Jersey to work in a software development firm, but the company went broke and everyone was laid off. “Martha was working at Creare putting bread on the table,” he recalled, “while I was out re-inventing myself.” It’s not too much of a stretch to say that his professional life was in pieces. Richardson...

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It’s All Relative: Multigenerational Businesses in the Upper Valley
Jan22

It’s All Relative: Multigenerational Businesses in the Upper Valley

Jason Whitney was a college student when he first worked for Whitney Pension Associates, his father’s retirement administration firm, then located in Wellesley, Mass. The summer job involved a lot of data entry, which was boring for a young man majoring in criminal justice and with his sights set on joining the FBI. “I hated it,” Whitney said. “I hated the job.” While waiting on the FBI, Whitney went out west to San Diego, where he...

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On the Hunt for Help: Upper Valley Employers Fight for Workers
Oct11

On the Hunt for Help: Upper Valley Employers Fight for Workers

The signs are everywhere, and are hard to miss. Now hiring. Help wanted. Jobs available. Apply online. All positions needed. They appear outside manufacturing plants, stuck in the ground at fast-food establishments and big-box retailers or posted just inside the door. They can be spotted on rural roads with no surrounding buildings, or along a town’s main thoroughfare. Applications for employment are prominently displayed as customers...

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Old Business: 1968 Was a Year of Careers
Oct11

Old Business: 1968 Was a Year of Careers

A look at 1968, which was a busy year for growth and employment in the Upper Valley

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