Chris Jensen

North Country Reporter

Christopher Jensen worked as a reporter for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer for 25 years, covering topics including desegregation, the 1st Gulf War, international charities’ fraud and the auto industry. He also wrote stories about competing in off-road races including the 1988 TransAmazon, the Baja 1000, the Paris-Moscow-Beijing Raid and Paris-Dakar.

Since 2007 he has lived in Bethlehem, covering the North Country for NHPR in addition to freelancing on automotive topics for The New York Times. He enlisted in the Army in 1968 and spent 15 months as a combat photographer in Vietnam. He graduated from George Washington University with a degree in journalism.

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North Country
3:49 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Berlin Biomass Plant Fully Operational, But At What Cost To Ratepayers?

The Burgess BioPower facility is located on the site for a former paper mill in Berlin.
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

A new biomass plant in Berlin is finally producing electricity for Public Service of New Hampshire under a controversial 20-year contract that a report says will cost PSNH ratepayers $125 million more than if the electricity was purchased on the open market...

That estimate came from the consulting firm of La Capra Associates which did the report for the state's Public Utilities Commission as part of a wide-ranging review of PSNH’s operations.

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North Country
12:48 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

White Mountains Community College Begins Program In Outdoor Recreation Management

Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

The White Mountains Community College – in cooperation with the Appalachian Mountain Club - is offering a new program for those interested in working in outdoor recreation management...

The goal is to give young people interested in the field a head start, said Fran Rancourt, the vice president of academic affairs at the college, which is located in Berlin.

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North Country
8:39 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Massachusetts Man Drowns In Pemigewasset River

A 19-year-old man from Dracut, Mass drowned Sunday afternoon in the Pemigewasset River, according to a news release from the New Hampshire State Police Marine Patrol.

The man, whose name was not released, was swimming with companions south of the Route 175 bridge in Woodstock and was overcome by the swift current. 

His body was located in about 12 feet of water.

North Country
4:01 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Federal Report: Significant Advantages To Burying Northern Pass Type Power Lines

Credit Michael Kappel/Flickr CC

A new federal report about an electric transmission project in New York says there are a lot of good reasons to bury such lines and that is likely to give opponents of Northern Pass ammunition in their campaign to get the lines underground...

The U.S. Department of Energy analyzed the impact of the proposed Champlain Hudson Power Express, which hopes to carry power from Canada to the New York metro area.

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North Country
12:41 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Gorham Paper Plant To Reopen But With Far Fewer Workers

Credit AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

Gorham Paper and Tissue, the last paper plant in the North Country, will soon be operating again – but with far fewer workers...

The plant was closed for about a month while officials considered a new business strategy, but now they have it worked out, said CEO Mike Cummings.

Two of the three paper machines that were running earlier this year will start within the next week or two. They’ll produce tissue paper and the type of paper towels typically found at gas stations, Cummings said.

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North Country
1:26 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Canadian E-Cigarette Firm To Open Plant In Colebrook

A Canadian firm plans to open a manufacturing facility in Colebrook and will have at least ten employees by early next year, according to a news release from the state’s Department of Resources and Economic Development.

The company, Vaporium Inc.  of Sherbrooke, Quebec, makes electronic cigarettes. The company plans to lease about 7,500 square feet in the Colebrook Industrial Park.

North Country
12:45 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

First Fire Training Facility North Of The Notches To Open

Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

Tighter budgets over the last few years have meant volunteer fire departments in the North Country have been cutting back on making the trip to Concord for training at a state facility. But that will change Friday with the opening of the first fire training facility north of the notches...

It’s something that North Country fire departments have dreamt of for decades, said Jack Anderson, the Bethlehem fire chief.

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North Country
3:41 pm
Sat August 2, 2014

Man Who Drowned In North Country Was From Rhode Island

The man who drowned Friday in the North Country has been identified as William P. Glad, 37, of Cumberland, Rhode Island, according to a news release from the New Hampshire State Police.

Glad was swimming at the Upper Falls of the Ammonoosuc River in what police described as “swift, turbulent water directly adjacent to the falls” when he began yelling for help.

He surfaced again downstream in quieter water but efforts to revive him failed.

NH News
4:30 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Four Community Health Centers To Share $921,000 In Federal Funds

Four health centers in the state will be sharing about $921,000 in federal funds to help people with mental illness or substance abuse...

The funds are coming through the Affordable Care Act and they’ll be used at community health centers, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services said Thursday.

Those centers are:

* Goodwin Community Health in Somersworth: $250,000.

* Harbor Homes in Nashua: $250,000.

* Manchester Community Health Center: $250,000.

* City of Manchester: $171,360.

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North Country
2:53 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

2nd Congressional District GOP Contenders: What They Say About Northern Pass

The Northern Pass project was one of the topics covered during a debate Wednesday on WGIR among three candidates seeking the Republican nomination in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District to oppose incumbent Democrat Ann McLane Kuster this fall.

State Representative Marilinda Garcia of Salem said she visited the North Country recently and recognizes the opposition and concerns about the project involving private property rights and the benefits going to other states. 

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North Country
4:49 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

The Polish Princess: Baking Bread And Helping The Economy One Job At a Time

The Polish Princess Bakery is expected to open on Main Street in Lancaster this October.
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

At 7:30 in the morning on the 4th of July Magdalena Randall is in her kitchen in Lancaster with mixing bowls, dough, a large baking oven and a dream...

Many people in the North Country couldn’t tell you her real name. To them she’s The Polish Princess, purveyor of European-style bread.

Randall started baking about six years ago. It was a way to supplement the family income and she missed the kind of bread she grew up eating in Poland.

She had zero experience but did some research and gave it a shot.

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North Country
2:00 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

North Country Hospitals Form Umbrella Group To Explore Lowering Costs

Faced with increasingly worrisome economic challenges, four North Country hospitals said Monday they have signed an agreement to work together to try and find ways to “improve quality, increase efficiencies and lower cost of health care delivery in the region.”

The hospitals said their problems range from growing healthcare costs to Medicaid payments that don’t always cover services provided to the poor.

And, the situation has been getting worse, said Russell Keene, the CEO at Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin.

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North Country
6:28 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Runaway Teen Found Near Jefferson After Five-Hour Search

Rescuers found a missing teenager in the woods near Jefferson just before midnight Monday, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Matthew Darr, who is 19 and has autism, had been staying at the Easter Seals Intensive Residential Treatment Facility in Lancaster.  But about 6:30 pm he ran away from his caregivers when their van stopped near a rest stop on Route 115.

Members of Fish and Game, State Police and local police began searching almost immediately and at one point a search dog from Fish and Game picked up the scent but then lost it in a swampy area.

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North Country
6:00 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Extra ATV Riders Prompting Extra Patrols

Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

Safety officials are expecting a large number of ATV enthusiasts will be following trails in the North Country over the holiday weekend and they’re saying safety patrols will be watching for reckless behavior...

The riders are being attracted by the new 1,000-mile network called Ride the Wilds, part of an economic development effort for the North Country.

“I’m asking them to drive safe. To be out there, to think about what they are doing,” said Fish and Game Lieutenant Wayne Saunders.  “Sober is huge.”

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North Country
5:26 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Hassan Signs Bill That Saves Tiny Millsfield From Huge Tax Hike

Governor Hassan signed a bill Wednesday that keeps about two dozen residents of tiny Millsfield in the North Country from having to pay huge increase in property tax bills...  

Millsfield was facing the increase in the state tax bill because of a deal Coos County commissioners – Paul Grenier, Tom Brady and Bing Judd - made in 2008.

That’s when they decided the value of a newly proposed wind farm –mostly in Millsfield - was $113 million.

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