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Chester home furnishings firm announces spring collection

Walnut cheeseboard from Atelier Annex.

Atelier Annex of Chester announced its 2017 Spring Curated Collection. Items in the collection include silk pillows and lambswool throws in warm neutrals to adorn furniture, fine art photography prints and watercolor-based greeting cards to ponder, ceramic platters, a live edge cheeseboard and table linens to enhance a tablescape, beeswax candles and an instrumental CD of meditative guitar music.

The goods selected come from Arcadia Park Designs, Black Barn Artisans, Samantha Verrone Textiles, Simply Birch, Snow On Water, and artist Harry D. Hudson. The collection was developed by Atelier Annex’s founder Katherine Henry.

The collection can be seen here.

Two area firms make VT Biz Mag’s best places to work list

Two area companies have made the list of Vermont Business Magazine’s annual list of best places to work.

Countryside Alarms of Mount Holly was named one of the best places to work in Vermont.

Countryside Alarms, located in Mt. Holly, and the Richards Group, with offices in 11 towns, including Ludlow, Bellows Falls, Brattleboro and Manchester, both made the list in the medium and small employer category. Most of the other businesses on the list are in the Burlington area.

Countryside owner Mike Blais said the reason Countryside was named lies with the way he treats his employees.

“Most companies get a 30 or 40 percent satisfaction rating,” he said. “Those businesses who won received 90 percent. We have flexible hours, high wages and we allow families to bring their kids into the office. I want to bring families to Vermont and keep them here.”

More good news: he’s hiring. “When we sent the paperwork in, we had 28 employees. Now, we have 33,” Blais said. More information can be found at the company’s Web site.

The Richards Group did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Charlestown business destroyed by fire

An early morning fire on Friday, March 24 claimed the offices and garage of Beaudry Enterprises, a trucking company based in Charlestown, N.H.

Assistant Fire Chief Mark LaFlam said the building was empty at the time.

“We got the call at about 2 a.m.,” he said. “We found the building fully involved, and it took two and a half hours to bring under control.”

LaFlam said the state fire marshal came to the scene, but that no cause has yet been found.

The two-alarm fire brought in mutual aid from Langdon and North Walpole, N.H., and from Springfield. Claremont covered the Charlestown station.

Springfield Animal Hospital making progress after fire

A fire damaged the Springfield Animal Hospital in February.Telegraph photo

Springfield Animal Hospital will remain at its temporary location for several more months, according to office manager Samantha Hawkins.

“We had a fire on Jan. 19,” she said. “Right now, the building is getting a new roof.”  Hawkins said the hospital is fully operational, except for boarding and grooming pets.

“We can do everything else,” she said. “Dental, emergencies, all of it.”

The temporary location is at 368 River S., near the Bibens Home Center.

Pleasant Valley Brewing shutters doors

After nine years, Pleasant Valley Brewing in Saxtons River has closed its doors, much to the dismay of loyal patrons who expressed sadness over the turn of events on its Facebook page.

The pub, owned by Patrick LeBlanc of Grafton, had been hinting at the inevitable for a couple of weeks on its Facebook page, posting on March 14, “Oh yeah, we’re closed tonight. Duh. If you really need to go out, our brothers at Donovan’s are open. Taco Tuesday is pushed back to Taco Thursday.”

Then on March 15, PVB posted, “Due to unforeseen circumstances, we will not be open tonight (Wednesday). Please share this with your karaoke peeps.” On March 16, it posted, “Closed again tonight. Everyone is fine, thanks for the concern.”  Then on March 23, the pub suggested that patrons go to another restaurant in Bellows Falls for its open mic night.

And finally, on Sunday, March 26, PVB announced that it indeed had closed, writing that “there was no possible way to continue on. Costs of running a restaurant are astounding, and while we loved doing it, there comes a time when a labor of love just doesn’t cut it anymore. … the bottom line is, losing money is no way to run a business.” 

The post went on to urge its clientele to patronize a long list of bars and restaurants from Chester to Walpole, N.H., and thanked, “my wonderful staff for standing with us … (and) thank you to our patrons. Obviously, we couldn’t have done this without your love and support over the years.”  – by C. Prairie

— By Stephen Seitz

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About the Author: Steve Seitz is an author, journalist and film critic based in Springfield,VT. He has reported local news in the Upper Connecticut River Valley for many years. Steve has been interviewed on NPR's "The Story" for his knowledge of cinematic music. He also has interviewed such cinematic luminaries as James Earl Jones, Jerry Lewis, James Whitmore, Matthew Lewis ("Neville Longbottom" from the Harry Potter films), and an original cast member from every "Star Trek" series, among many others. He is working on other novels.

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