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
3:24 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Northern Pass Eyes Part Of The Balsams

The hotel and resort has been closed pending a sale. In addition to the hotel several thousand acres of forest land is also available.
Chris Jensen for NHPR

The Northern Pass hydro-electric project is interested in buying a section of land associated with The Balsams Resort. If such a sale went through it’s likely to create a furor in the North Country. NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

One of the companies interested in purchasing a slice of the Balsams resort in Dixville Notch is Northern Pass.

“They have identified land that they would like.”

That’s Tom Deans.

He’s the president of the Tillotson Corporation. It has been hoping to stem financial losses by selling the resort.

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Nutcracker in Berlin
5:11 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Nutcracker Ballet Comes To Berlin

On Saturday, December 3rdat 3 p.m. there will be a performance of the Nutcracker Ballet at the Berlin Junior High Auditorium.

The classic holiday tale will be performed by the Robinson Ballet Company (http://www.robinsonballet.org/index.html) of Bangor, Maine, according to a news release from the St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts (http://www.stkieranarts.org/).

The tickets are $12 for adults and $6 and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Burton praises consumer advocate
4:19 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

Ray Burton: Advocate Who Lost Job Was Good For Consumers

Executive Councilor Ray Burton of Bath says he tried unsuccessfully to keep Meredith Hatfield as the state’s consumer advocate on public utility matters because she has been “independent minded” and helped consumers.

But last week the Republican controlled Executive Council voted 3 – 2 against re-appointing Hatfield who represents consumer interests before the Public Utilities Commission.

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North Country
11:58 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Coos Administrator's Pension Tops $93,000

The Union Leader says Coos County Administrator Suzanne Collins has the 35thhighest pension benefit in the state and her $93,281 represents “the highest benefit for a state, county or local public employee who is not an educator. “

For the full article and list go here: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20111109/NEWS06/711099991

 

  

Ayotte prison vote
5:11 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Ayotte Prison Vote Angers Some North Country Leaders

A group of North Country leaders has sent Sen. Kelly Ayotte a letter expressing their unhappiness over her voting against a bill that - among many other things - included funding for the federal prison in Berlin.

Last week Sen. Kelly Ayotte voted against a wide-ranging bill that included about $28 million in funding to open the new federal prison in Berlin.

The prison would bring about 330 jobs to the area.

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North Country Hunting Accident
9:19 am
Wed November 9, 2011

31-Year-Old Died In Hunting Accident

A 31-year-old man killed in a hunting accident in Lisbon this morning was shot by a hunter in another party, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The victim, Kenneth Brunelle of Marlboro, Mass. was hunting with his father and brother off Mt. Eustis Road in Lisbon when the accident occurred about 8 a.m.

Early reports said Brunelle was shot in the neck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The name of the alleged shooter was not released.

The accident is being investigated by Fish and Game and the New Hampshire State Police.

 

Man rescued from Mount Eisenhower
2:54 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Injured Man Spends Night On Mount Eisenhower

A Massachusetts man who injured his ankle spent Saturday night alone on Mount Eisenhower in freezing temperatures before being rescued late Sunday afternoon.

According to a news release from Fish and Game Sergio Mori, 41, of Brookline, was coming down the Edmands’s Path when he hurt his ankle.

He couldn’t walk and didn’t have cell phone coverage so wound up spending the night on the mountain. While temperatures were below freezing Mori was “very well prepared for his hike,” according to Fish and Game.

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Grants available to boost North Country firms
11:07 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Federal Grants To Help North Country Firms

A new federal grant is going to be helping small businesses in the North Country. NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

About $400,000 is now available in grants under a federal program aimed at helping  small businesses in Grafton, Coos and Carroll Counties.

Molly White is with the Northern Community Investment Corporation in Lancaster. It is administering the funds.

“Typically I find that most business owners know their type of business or the industry they are in very well but they have trouble with the other types of support services such as marketing or web design.”

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North Country
3:27 pm
Sun November 6, 2011

Free Environmental Symposium: Issues And Action

Chris Jensen NHPR

A free environmental symposium dealing with topics including reinventing local farms, grassroots solar energy, the effect of acid rain on songbirds in the state and “agritourism” is planned at The White Mountain School in Bethlehem on the afternoon of Saturday, November 12th.

The goal is not just to provide presentations but give participants the tools they need to make changes in their communities and lives, said Elizabeth Lokey Aldrich, the chair of the Sustainability Studies Department at the school

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North Country
4:01 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Job Fair For Berlin Biomass Plant But There Is A Catch

The Berlin Daily Sun is reporting there will be a job fair in Berlin next Thursday (Nov. 10th) for the new biomass plant but the construction workers must either be union members or agree to temporarily pay union dues.

“The job fair is being held by the New Hampshire Building Trades Council which will be providing union workers for the construction of the facility,” the newspaper reported.

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North Country
11:27 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Berlin Mayor Unhappy With Ayotte's No Vote on Prison Funds

The New Hampshire Union Leader is reporting that Berlin mayor Paul Grenier is not happy that Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) voted against a bill that included funding to allow the new federal prison to finally open. “I am deeply angered, saddened and mystified that Senator Ayotte voted against creating 332 jobs,” Grenier told the newspaper. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D) voted in favor of the bill.

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North Country
4:15 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

PSNH Faces First Statewide Challenge For Residential Customers

For the first time Public Service of New Hampshire has statewide competition from another utility company. That could be good news for some consumers and bad news for PSNH.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

In 1996 the state passed a law that gave consumers the right to pick the company from which they wanted to buy electricity.

But the pickings were so slim as to be non-existent.

In short nobody gave Public Service of New Hampshire any statewide competition for residential customers and PSNH currently dominates the market.

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North Country
1:39 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Sen. Ayotte To Open Office in Berlin

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte is opening an office in Berlin next week, according to a news release.

“This location will serve as a base of operations for my Senate office’s Coos County outreach efforts, with a staff member available to provide assistance to those who need help on matters related to the federal government,” Ayotte said.

The office will be located at 19 Pleasant Street, Suite 13B, Berlin. Office hours will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday On other days meetings will be by appointment.

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North Country
7:29 am
Tue November 1, 2011

Northern Pass Exec Hosts Romney Fundraiser

The Boston Globe is reporting that an official working for the controversial Northern Pass project is hosting a fundraiser for presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“According to an invitation provided by the liberal Center for American Progress, Greg Butler, the senior vice president and general counsel for The Northern Pass, is one of the co-chairs of a $500-a-head fundraiser for Romney at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan this Wednesday evening,” the newspaper reported.

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North Country
3:19 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Stratford Woman Seriously Injured In Crash

A 49-year-old Stratford woman was seriously injured Tuesday morning in a crash on Route 3, according to a news release from Troop F.

The release said Donna Malone, 49, was driving south through North Stratford when her car crossed the center line and struck the trailer of a tractor-trailer headed north.

 Malone suffered “critical injuries” and was taken by helicopter Dartmouth Medical Center in Lebanon.

The driver of the truck was not injured.

Trooper First Class Paul Rella of Troop F is investigating the cause of the crash.

North Country
1:06 pm
Sun October 30, 2011

Trooper Crashes Chasing Speeder

A state trooper chasing a speeder early Saturday morning in the North Country lost control of his cruiser and crashed, allowing the speeder to escape, according to a news release from Troop F.

The release said the chase began about 12:55 am in Franconia when the trooper attempted to stop a gray or silver BMW coupe for a traffic violation.

The vehicle fled on Route 116, a particularly twisty and challenging road, towards Easton.

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North Country
5:30 pm
Thu October 27, 2011

Saying "No" To Northern Pass - And Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

The Northern Pass electric project is searching for a new, less controversial path through the North Country.

But a small group of landowners is determined to block the utility’s plan even though it means giving up hundreds of thousands of dollars.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

Sound of piano music.

At 65 years of age Lynne Placey gives piano lessons.

She lives with a cat and a gray-muzzled dog in a small house in Stewartstown.

And she hopes she’s blocking the path of a corporate giant.

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North Country
2:43 pm
Thu October 27, 2011

DOE Plan For Northern Pass Study Criticized

Chris Jensen NHPR

The Conservation Law Foundation says the U.S. Department of Energy isn’t providing enough public scrutiny of its environmental impact study on the Northern Pass.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

The environmental impact statement is an important part of the Department of Energy’s decision whether to approve the 180 mile long hydroelectric transmission project.

That’s why the Conservation Law Foundation is so worried about how the study will be carried out.

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North Country
5:34 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

Bats Get A Break With 1,000 Acre Easement

Rebecca Brown Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust

Almost 1,100 acres of land in the North Country will be protected against development under a new conservation easement that will benefit loggers, people who enjoy the woods and perhaps most important of all – a devastated bat population. NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

The easement will permanently protect more than 1,000 acres of land on Gardner Mountain in Lyman.

It’s an important habitat for wildlife, but especially so for bats.

Emily Brunkhurst, a wildlife biologist with Fish and Game says bats gather in the area to mate.

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North Country
6:55 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Trio Rescued From Cliff In Franconia Notch

Three college students were rescued early Tuesday morning after being stranded on a cliff in the Franconia Notch.

Three rock climbers were rescued early Tuesday morning from the Cannon Cliffs in the Franconia Notch, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The three men were identified as Jonathan Merritt, age 18, of Lander, Wyoming; Jason Reitman, age 18, of Potomac, Maryland; and Alexander MacMillan, age 19, of Boston, Massachusetts.

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North Country
12:00 am
Thu October 13, 2011

Maine Aircraft Manufacturer Considering Berlin

Kestrel Aircraft Company

Last week Berlin got the news that a new company – which officials declined to name - could be bringing at least 150 manufacturing jobs to the city. NHPR’s Chris Jensen has talked to the chief executive officer of that company.

The North Country could be getting into the high-tech end of the aircraft industry.

Kestrel Aircraft Company of Brunswick Maine is seriously considering setting up a plant in Berlin.

“Well, Berlin is one of the locations we have been looking at and there are a number of very interesting attributes there.”

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Tropical Storm Irene
12:00 am
Wed August 31, 2011

Saco, Pemi Flow Increased At Least 100 Times

Three rivers in the northern part of the state set new records thanks to Irene. On Sunday the water flow was more than 100 times normal for the Saco and more than that for the East Branch of the Pemigewasset and the Pemi. 

During Irene’s visit anyone who looked at the torrents called the Saco, East Branch of the Pemigewasset and the Pemigewasset probably guessed that the horrifying amount of water tearing past was a record.

And that was the case, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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North Country
4:00 pm
Sun May 29, 2011

New (And Weird) Mount Washington Auto Road Ascents

Several new records were set Saturday for first ascents of the Mount Washington Auto Road involving roller skis, a unicycle and driving backwards.

 “I felt quite comfortable to four-mile but from there up it was getting hard,” said Sue Wemyss, 51, of Randolph. She arrived first, skiing up the 7.6 miles in two hours and 15 seconds.

 While the weather was mostly clear the last few miles were in windy, foggy conditions.

 “I really didn’t know where I was the last mile or so,” she said. “When I came to where the service road cuts off I knew I was close.”

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North Country
7:59 am
Sun May 29, 2011

Man Killed In Crash Near Colebrook

A 70-year man from Clarksville was killed Saturday morning in a crash on Route 3 near Colebrook, according to state police.

 The victim was Robert L. Eidell, who was southbound in a 2007 Chevrolet HHR when it collided with a 2003 Hyundai Sante Fe sport utility driven by Robert J. Queen, 74, of Woburn, Massachusetts.

 Police said their investigation indicates the accident occurred when Queen “drifted into the southbound lane” a little after 9 a.m. just south of the state-run rest area.

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North Country
4:32 pm
Sat May 28, 2011

Foreclosure For Proposed Bretton Woods Development, Golf Courses

Grand plans for a huge resort community around the Mount Washington Hotel have fallen apart and a foreclosure auction is planned.

About 900 acres surrounding the Mount Washington resort – including two golf courses - are going on the auction block late in June.

 That includes about 500 wooded acres that the owners had hoped could be turned into a huge, upscale development with hundreds of homes and retail shops.

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Northern Pass
12:00 am
Tue April 12, 2011

Northern Pass Says It Will Look for A Different Route in the North Country

Faced with strong, statewide opposition officials from Northern Pass say they are reworking parts of their plan, including finding a better route through the North Country. NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

NorthernPass officials say they want to change some important parts of their plan to bring 1,200 megawatts of hydro-electric power from Canada.

 Their possible changes include finding a new route between Canada and Groveton, one that will calm the furor in the North Country.

 Last month at least 2,300 people attended seven public hearings on the project.

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Northern Pass
12:00 am
Sun April 3, 2011

Angry Voices: Transcripts of Northern Pass Hearings Available Now

Chris Jensen, NHPR

Transcripts of the seven public hearings on the Northern Pass project are now available at a web site operated by the U.S. Department of Energy, which conducted the meetings.

 1) Colebrook: http://www.northernpasseis.us/Document_Library/transcripts/03-19-2011%20NORTHERN%20PASS%20COLEBROOK%20HEARING.pdf

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Weeks Act
12:00 am
Wed March 30, 2011

Weeks Act Has Been Good for Business

scottfidd vis Flickr/Creative Commons

In commemoration of the centennial of the Weeks Act, NHPR is looking at the impact the federal legislation has had on the state and its largest forest. The Weeks Act gave the federal government the authority to buy private land to turn into the National Forest system. While the law is typically appreciated by conservationists, it was business interests that drove its passage. And one hundred years later, the law has had a large and positive economic impact on the North Country, providing jobs and improving the quality of life. NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

 

 

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Weeks Act
12:00 am
Mon February 28, 2011

He Created the Weeks Act but Wasn't a Hardcore Conservationist

John Wingate Weeks
Courtesy of The Weeks Estate

Lancaster’s John Weeks, who was responsible for the Weeks Act of 1911 that gave the government the authority to create national forests, appreciated nature but wasn’t a hardcore environmentalist, according to a historian who is also his great granddaughter.

 “He, himself was a businessman. He did not claim to be a conservationist in the classic sense of the word, certainly not in our sense,” said Rebecca Weeks Sherrill More. “But I think it is important that as a good businessman he understood that conservation was good business”

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Northern Pass
12:00 am
Wed December 29, 2010

The Northern Pass: Bringing Hydro-Power to New England

-AX- via Flickr/Creative Commons

The Northern Pass project promises to be one of the biggest, most complex and controversial issues of the coming year.

When built it’s going to bring electric power to New England from massive dams in Quebec .

It’s renewable power and therefore very attractive to state officials and utilities looking to get away from fossil fuels.

But it’s going to cut a long swath through New Hampshire, much of it forest land.

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