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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Narcan, also known as naloxone, is an anti-overdose drug.
Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Citing concern about illegal drug use, the Berlin school board will be making the anti-overdose drug Narcan available in its schools.

Almost six percent of Berlin high school students admitted trying heroin at least once, according to a 2013 student survey prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says Corinne Cascadden, the superintendent of the Berlin schools.

A food co-op in Littleton has been so successful that it plans to expand the size of its building next year. And now some people are exploring whether to try the same thing in Berlin.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

On Friday Senator Jeanne Shaheen said the federal government should take the problem with heroin and opioids as seriously as its concern over Ebola.

She made the comments during a meeting with about two dozen health and social workers, educators and police at the Berlin High School.

She said while the budget Congress approved last month has more money to deal with drug problems it is not enough.

Matt Bowman - Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue

With winter now here, New Hampshire's search-and-rescue teams are watching for storms in the Presidential mountains and worrying that once again, a hiker will make a decision that puts lives at risk.

That's what happened last February, when Kate Matrosova, a 32 year-old from New York, who thought she could beat an approaching storm.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

In 2008, when some North Country residents were trying to start a food co-op in Littleton, one of the goals was to support the region’s economy by buying as much locally as possible.

Six years later, the co-op is buying about $1.7 million a year in the area, says the Co-op’s general manager, Ed King.

“The local food and producer business is probably 25 percent of our business. That is a pretty good chunk of money going back into the local economy," he said.

That money goes to producers like Tim Wennrich.

An artist's conception of the new hotel expected to open in the spring of 2017.Credit Mt. Washington Auto RoadEdit | Remove

From the 1880s until the late 1960s, visitors to the Mt. Washington Auto road could stay in a hotel right at its base.

Now the company that owns the road wants to rebuild that hotel.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

During a town hall meeting Tuesday night in Bethlehem Republican Presidential candidate Marco Rubio covered plenty of policy turf -- including the New England Patriots.

"Tom Brady should retire, because the Miami Dolphins deserve a chance to win the AFC,” Rubio declared.

Laughter mixed with the tiniest rumble of boos...

“When I’m president, Tom Brady is going to be secretary of the Air Force," Rubio continued. "He knows a lot about throwing stuff and flying…and the Miami Dolphins will have a chance to win the division."

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A 54-year-old Massachusetts man suffering from hypothermia was rescued Tuesday in the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area, according to Lt. James Kneeland of Fish and Game.

Christopher Wright of Mattapoisett triggered an emergency locator beacon about 1:30 pm and the request for help was relayed to Fish and Game.

Two Fish and Game officers found Wright in his tent on the bank of the Franconia Brook, warmed him and escorted him out of the woods. Kneeland said Wright, who was on a two-day trip, had appropriate gear but said he wasn’t able to stay dry during steady rain.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

At a town hall meeting in Bethlehem, N.H. on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said the United States must be willing to use military force to stand up for allies such as the Philippines against China’s encroachment on fishing rights and attempts to expand its territorial waters. He compared China’s actions to the use of force by Russia in neighboring Ukraine last year.

“It is not unlike what Vladimir Putin has done in Crimea. He invaded a neighboring country, he took over an area of that country and today everyone has just accepted it.”

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The renovation of the Balsams resort has moved ahead with state officials giving the developers permission to fill in about 2.7 acres of wetlands for uses ranging from a parking lot to six ski towers.

To offset the destruction of the wetlands the developers will preserve other land totaling about 960 acres.

State development officials have been enthusiastic about the reopening of the Balsams, saying it would give the North Country an enormous economic boost.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Late last week, with the temperature almost 40 degrees, Walter Opuszynski stood next to the Upper Ammonoosuc River in Stark, watching an excavator finish a project he thought would be a lost cause if December bought typical winter weather.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Conditions at New Hampshire’s ski resorts haven’t been very encouraging so far this season. Most resorts have only a few lifts operating.

New Hampshire State Council on the Arts

Thursday night the National Christmas Tree will be lit in Washington.

And while that’s the centerpiece on the National Mall, it’s surrounded by smaller trees representing each state.

And this year for the first time the decorations for New Hampshire’s tree were created by a group from Berlin.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports….

Each year the state’s Council on the Arts decides who will make the ornaments for the state’s tree.

The state's public advocate says Northern  Pass is not providing the information needed to back up the benefits it says New Hampshire will receive if the controversial project is approved.

Peter Roth, a senior assistant attorney general appointed to represent consumers in the case, says Northern Pass’ “claimed benefits include lowering the cost of energy, providing low carbon, renewable power, creating jobs, increasing tax revenue and generally growing economic activity.”

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The developers hoping to reopen the Balsams Resort got a boost Wednesday night as the Coos Planning Board approved a long-range concept plan.

While it is called a concept plan, it includes many details of what developers Dixville Capital hope to accomplish. That includes a huge expansion of the ski resort and as many as 4,600 housing units, including condominiums and a hotel.

Courtesy Tim Martel

Rescuers helped two lost hikers in Randolph and a man who fell while ice climbing in the Huntington Ravine Saturday, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The lost hikers, both from Massachusetts, were part of a group of four who climbed Mount Madison and then separated. About 5:20 pm two of the hikers reached their vehicle, didn’t see their companions, and figured the other two had missed the correct trail, so they called for help.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Citing a desire to avoid a confrontation with a legislative committee, the Site Evaluation Committee Wednesday softened proposed a rule involving "public interest" as part of its consideration of new utility projects.

The issue at the meeting was whether the Site Evaluation Committee had gone beyond what the legislature intended when it ordered the body’s reorganization so it would better serve "the public good" and "provide clarity" about its rules and how it makes decisions.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The developers of the Balsams Resort told Coos County officials Tuesday night they hope to begin construction and renovation of the buildings on June 1st of next year.

That raises the possibility at least part of the now-closed resort could be open by the end of 2016 or early in 2017.

However, a spokesman for the developer said some other work may start earlier.

The news came during a meeting between the developers and the Coos County Planning Board to try and work out details of a long-range, multi-year concept plan.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Over the next year, the state’s Site Evaluation Committee will consider whether to okay the controversial Northern Pass project.  Eventually it is also likely to weigh in on at least one wind farm and the Kinder Morgan pipeline.  That puts a spotlight on the committee-- made up of seven state officials and two members of the public.

 The Department of Energy on Thursday released a supplemental environmental impact statement on Northern Pass’ plan to bury an additional 52 miles of its 192-mile route. The federal agency also said it would hold three public hearings on the 36-page document next month.

The issue of whether the Coos County Planning Board is moving quickly enough as it considers the renovation of the shuttered Balsams resort came up Wednesday night in Colebrook and in contrast to the board's normal, civil demeanor there were sharp and angry words.

Mike Pelchat

Monday  afternoon a 24-year-old hiker who thought he could take the Cog Railway down after climbing Mount Washington was rescued after making trying to descend the steep Huntington Ravine Trail. The hiker, Andy Nguyen of Billerica, Massachusetts, was at the summit when he found out the trains were no longer operating, said Sgt. Mark Ober of New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Marcelo Graciolli/Flickr

For nearly as long as anyone can remember, there’s been talk about expanding broadband and cell coverage in the North Country. Last spring several small groups in the region announced plans to provide faster internet and better cell reception. Among others, Sen Jeanne Shaheen was there to applaud the announcement.


Chris Jensen for NHPR

Sometime next year an official with the White Mountain National Forest will try to answer a complex question: How wild should the wilderness be?

The issue is whether to remove – or replace - a decrepit bridge in the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has declared the landscape along the 192-mile route Northern Pass wants to use for its transmission lines to be a “national treasure" and says the project threatens “New Hampshire’s historic character.”

Chris Jensen for NHPR

  The Department of Energy says Northern Pass' new plan to bury 52 more miles of the controversial line will require additional study and it is cancelling public hearings planned in October.

The new review was requested by conservation groups and New Hampshire's congressional delegation. They told the DOE that burying an additional 52 miles was not one of the routes in the draft Environmental Impact Statement released earlier this year. So, they argued, the draft was incomplete.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Egg is dripping down Jeff Colt’s bare back as he stands in the kitchen of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Greenleaf Hut just below Mount Lafayette. Such is the peril of carrying about 28 pounds of eggs along with 50 pounds of other food.

But then again, running a restaurant high in The White Mountains is a little different than running one in Portsmouth, Laconia or Colebrook.

Chris Jensen for NHPR


In Whitefield Wednesday night, Northern Pass officials told Coos residents burying the entire transmission line would be so expensive the project couldn't move forward.

The public meeting for Coos County was one of a series required by the state before Northern Pass can seek approval from the state's Site Evaluation Committee.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

For just over two decades three towns in the North Country have held a Moose Festival at the end of August. And, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that such an homage would include a moose calling contest.

This one started with a demonstration by Roger Irwin, a wildlife photographer and experienced moose vocalist.

Now I’ll try and do a cow call. This is the cow. She’s asking for a bull to come visit her.”

There were about a dozen folks trying to make that moosey come-hither sound.

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