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
11:57 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Northern Pass Says State Could Overrule Forest Society Land Claims

Northern Pass wants to bury its transmission line along this section of Route 3 in Clarksville but the forest society says it owns the land on either side and beneath the road.
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

In what appears to be a groundbreaking  tactic Northern Pass says it plans to ask the state’s Site Evaluation Committee to give it permission to bury its transmission lines on roadside property that the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forest says it controls.

But there are serious doubts that the Site Evaluation Committee has that authority, leading to the prospect of a court fight and delay in the project.

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North Country
11:50 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Northern Pass Holds First Town Meeting On New Route

Chris Jensen for NHPR
Credit Chris Jensen / NHPR

Northern Pass officials held the first in a series of town meetings Monday night to explain – and convince residents to accept – their new route.

“The purpose is to share information, answer questions and get feedback,” said Northern Pass spokesman Michael Skelton.

The initial meeting was held in Millsfield, an unincorporated place, between Errol and Colebrook. It only has about two dozen residents.

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North Country
1:00 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Federal Safety Agency: ATVs On Pavement In Coos Is A Poor Idea

Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

The plan to open some streets in Coos County to all-terrain vehicles as part of the “Ride the Wilds” network is being greeted with dismay by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,  says Carl Purvis, an agency spokesman.

“It is much better to ride that ATV on terrain it was designed for as opposed to taking it onto a paved road,” Purvis said.

Purvis said ATVs were engineered for dirt and riders can have handling problems on pavement. They can also be struck by cars.

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North Country
4:15 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Heart Attack Felled 'Lucky 10' On Appalachian Trail

Robert Accola on July 21st. Photo courtesy of the family.

Robert Accola, the 54 year-old hiker found dead on the Appalachian Trail near Warren Monday, couldn’t wait to get to New Hampshire, says a sister, Katharine Accola of Providence, R.I.

“That is where we grew up hiking and that is the last place he hiked,” she said.

Accola, who began hiking north from Lee, Massachusetts on July 6th, died of a heart attack, according to his sister.

He was known on the trail by the nickname “Lucky 10.”

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North Country
1:22 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Northern Pass Predicts Approval In Two Years

A top executive with Northeast Utilities told analysts Tuesday that he expects to have final approval for the Northern Pass Project around the middle of 2015 and be importing hydro-electric energy from Canada two years later.

"Our plan has both the state and federal permitting processes complete by mid-2015. On that schedule we expect to bring the project into service around mid-2017," said Northeast Utilities chief operating officer Lee Olivier during a conference call with analysts.

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North Country
2:36 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Hiker Found Dead On Appalachian Trail

Chris Jensen for NHPR
Credit Chris Jensen / NHPR

A 54-year-old North Carolina man was found dead on the Appalachian Trail near Warren Monday morning.

Lt. James Kneeland of New Hampshire Fish and Game says two hikers found the man’s body.

“Early this morning we received a report of a hiker that was not responsive in his tent up here on the Appalachian Trail in Glencliff.”

Kneeland said the hikers were apparently worried when they didn’t see any activity and looked inside the tent.

Officials from the state police, U.S. Forest Service and Fish and Game responded.

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North Country
6:00 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Gorham Opens Arms, Streets (Ideally Cash Registers) To ATV Tourists

Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR
Credit Chris Jensen / NHPR

Starting as early as Thursday ATV enthusiasts will be able to ride on some streets in Gorham. It is part of a plan to increase tourism in the North Country.

State officials have given final approval for ATVs to drive on parts of Main Street and Route 2 in Gorham.

The idea is to make it easy for ATV riders to enjoy a network of trails in the North Country called “Ride the Wilds” and then easily get into town, says Gorham town manager Robin Frost.

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North Country
5:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Railway Grant Seen As Getting Coos Development Moving

North Country economic development officials are crossing their fingers and waiting to hear later this summer whether the federal government will provide money to upgrade a section of rail line through Coos County.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

For years one of the problems with economic development in the North Country has been getting stuff in and getting stuff out.

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North Country
11:20 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Another Setback For Balsams' Financing

Another effort to obtain financing for the renovation of the Balsams resort has fallen through.

The owners of the Balsams resort in Dixville Notch have run into another problem coming up with the $30 million needed to renovate the closed resort and put as many as 300 full or part-time employees back to work.

Owners Dan Hebert and Dan Dagesse hoped to use federally backed New Market Tax Credits to attract some investors.

But that has fallen through with a deadline being missed, says spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne.

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North Country
3:52 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Worst Case, Northern Pass Still Might Ask To Cross Tiny Bit Of Conservation Area

Northern Pass has formally filed its new route with the Department of Energy and it raises the possibility the hydro-electric project might still need to cross a tiny section of the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters Conservation area.

Late last month Northern Pass officials revealed a new northern route through Coos Country.  It calls for burying almost eight miles of line alongside roads, mostly in Stewartstown. But that will require the approval of the state’s Site Evaluation Committee.

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North Country
1:47 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Weathering The Next Storm: Economic Protection For The North Country

Figuring that storms are as inevitable as death and taxes a North Country planning group will be looking at ways to minimize the impact of bad weather on the economy.

“You know we can’t predict the weather but maybe we can be prepared for what it might bring us,” said Patricia Garvin, the economic development coordinator for the North Country Council.

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North Country
1:21 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

White Mountain National Forest Warns of Water Danger

With rain and thunderstorms expected today and tonight - and possibly later this week - The White Mountain National Forest is warning visitors to be wary of water.

“We don’t want them to underestimate the power of water,” said Tiffany Benna, a spokeswoman for The White Mountain National Forest.

Benna says heavy rain or a thunderstorm can result in surprising and dangerous changes in just a few hours.

“The water levels can change daily, even hourly,” she said.

So, a stream that was easily forded in the morning could become impassable a few hours later.

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North Country
5:31 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Northern Pass' New Route Hangs On Eight Miles of Country Roads

Broadcast version

After a series of delays PSNH has announced a new route for its Northern Pass project. 

The route follows a more easterly path than the original 2010 route and it includes nearly eight miles of underground wires.  But this new route isn’t a done deal. State officials still have to approve a key element – putting those underground lines on public property.

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North Country
10:38 am
Thu June 27, 2013

After A New Route What's Next For Northern Pass?

After the announcement of Northern Pass’ new proposed route through Northern Coos - expected late this morning - the utility’s next steps will be to seek state and federal approval.

Having a new proposed route means Northern Pass can formally file it with the U.S. Department of Energy, which has to give its approval for a Presidential Permit. That permit allows the hydro-electric power to be imported from Canada.

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North Country
4:50 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Hassan Signs Bill To Study Site Evaluation Committee

Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed Senate Bill 99, which calls for a study of the state’s important Site Evaluation Committee’s “organization, structure and process.”

The committee  reviews major utility projects, which would include Northern Pass Transmission. Without its approval the project to bring hydro-electric power from Canada could not move ahead.

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