Flood watch, Wilder bike path outrage, Salt Hill comes in #2, Heady Topper goes statewide -- it's Daybreak 3/15

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IT'S FRIDAY, UPPER VALLEY!

There's a flood watch in effect. Just light rain in the forecast for this morning, but temps will be getting up around 60, producing some serious snow melt, and rivers are gonna rise. That, along with river-ice breakup later today, could produce jams and localized flooding. Watch those roadways this afternoon and tomorrow!

Kendal at Hanover grapples with flu outbreak. It's limited access to its community center, and has canceled public events. It's had up to 18 cases of influenza A. (VN: subscription required)

The Wilder bike path has a mess problem -- from dogs and people.Discussion's heating up on Facebook. The big problem is dog owners not cleaning up, but also needles, beer cans, etc. "If those that are out and about walking or biking and see an offender, take a photo. Also get a photo of their faces," says the guy who started the discussion off.

Cory Booker will be at Salt Hill in Lebanon this morning at 8:30. Doors open at 8 am for the NJ senator and presidential candidate. And presidential candidates are never late. Hit the link to register. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren will be in Salem and Exeter, and William Weld in Nashua.

And speaking of Salt Hill, the pubs came in #2 in a WMUR poll for best Irish pub in New Hampshire. They were edged out by Kathleen's Irish Pub in Bristol, over by Newfound Lake.

The Alchemist is going to start statewide distribution. I know: it's morning and we're still talking beer, but this seems important. Those lines for Heady Topper? Thing of the past. They're aiming to get Heady Topper and Focal Banger to 200 stores and restaurants across VT.

Claremont police officer who was busted for falsifying documentation sentenced to community service. Mark Burch pleaded guilty yesterday, has to do 100 hours of community service. His partner, Ian Kibbe, got jail time in January.

Compost transfer station slated for N. Hartland. The UV's solid waste management district just got a grant to build a facility for food scraps from institutions around the region. The state's girding itself for a ban on organic waste going to landfills beginning next year. "Thirty-five to 55 percent of our waste in Vermont is organic material. It's crazy," says the co-owner of the Waterbury company that will run it. (VN: subscription etc)

NH House passes minimum wage bill. Dems pushed through a measure to raise the state minimum wage to $12 an hour from its current $7.25. Lawmakers rejected a $15-an-hour bid. Now action moves to the Senate.

Remember those NH legislators in pearls at the red-flag gun hearing 10 days ago? One of them took the podium yesterday to complain that he'd been pelted with "outrageous and obscene" phone calls and email messages. He offered a semi-apology for the pearls to "those few women who spoke at the hearing and were disturbed by my show of support for women who choose to defend themselves with firearms rather than seek to disarm the populace."

GMP will offer rebates to its customers who buy all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars. The vehicles will have to have MSRPs of $50K or less (sorry Tesla X owners). All-electrics will get a $1500 rebate, plug-ins $1000, and low/moderate-income buyers can get up to an additional $1000.

Another VT college hits the skids. The College of St. Joseph in Rutland has told students and faculty it's closing its undergrad programs. Grad programs will continue as trustees try to buy time to land a partner so the college can survive.

So just what is it like to work at one of those sprawling VT dairy farms?Seven Days sent a reporter to find out. 1300 cows, 15-hour days. "There is no Christmas, no snack time, no union-sanctioned piss break for either the cows or the workers, all of whom relieve themselves in the [milking] parlor when the urge strikes." Maybe don't read this over breakfast.

NEED FRIDAY NIGHT PLANS?

Hey, tonight could be the night you finally do Montshire Unleashed. Once a month, the museum turns itself over to adults to play. It doesn't hurt to have a Jasper Murdock Ale or wine from the Norwich Inn in hand, along with food from Blue Sparrow Kitchen. But really, the main event is to wander around unfettered, messing with soap bubbles, checking out the ants, getting lost in the puzzles without anyone tugging at your sleeve. 

Or you could head up to Bethel, where you can learn traditional dances of Vermont's Italian immigrants. It's Bethel University, of course. And things might feel surprisingly familiar: "Although the dances are unique, they are also reminiscent of New England contradances, both in choreography and music," say the instructors.

Or what the heck, how about Birds of Passage at the splendid Red River Theatres in Concord? Yes, it's a drive. But the film, an epic tale involving the indigenous Wayuu and the Colombian drug trade, is getting rapturous reviews. "It’s about how the world changes, about how individual actions and the forces of fate work in concert to bring glory and ruin to a hero and his family," wrote the NYT's AO Scott. "Your perception of the world is likely to be permanently altered." And who knows if it'll ever play around here.

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