North Country

The owner of a New Hampshire gunpowder factory that was the site of a 2010 explosion that killed two men is scheduled for trial next week.

Craig Sanborn of Maidstone, Vt., was indicted last year on two counts of manslaughter and two counts of negligent homicide for negligently engaging in the manufacture, production, testing and storage of explosive material.

The Black Mag plant explosion in Colebrook killed Donald Kendall and Jesse Kennett.

The two ATV riders killed Saturday in separate accidents were each from the North Country, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The first accident occurred on South Hill Road in Colebrook about 1:15 when David Howe, 40, of Colebrook was killed when he rolled his ATV.

The second accident occurred a little more than an hour later on the Dixville Peaks Trail where  Clifton Scott, 79, of Stewartstown missed a turn. His ATV also rolled.

So far this year three ATV riders have died in accidents in New Hampshire.

Mt. Eustis Ski Area To Make A Comeback In 2014

Sep 11, 2013

Plans are in the works to bring back the Mount Eustis ski area in northern New Hampshire, which has been closed since the early 1970s.The town of Littleton will lease the 33-acre property to the nonprofit Mt. Eustis Ski Hill Group for $1 a year. A three-year lease starts Oct. 1.

The Caledonian-Record reports the plan is to reopen the slopes for skiers and local school ski programs after Jan. 1. It would be run by volunteers and funded through donations.

Mount Eustis has two open trails and a natural gladed area in between.

Sean Hurley

They eat your crops, they scold you from the treetops, they prey on songbirds.  Experts consider the crow, which can use tools and recognize human faces, one of the smartest birds.  And while many people don’t know it, crows are also hunted in NH.

Some North Country Health officials told Gov. Hassan Thursday that increasing funding for psychiatric services and expanding Medicaid are vital for improving healthcare in the region.

Hassan met with workers at Ammonoosuc Community Health Services in Littleton.

Its executive director, Edward Shanshala, told Hassan it is good that she restored funding for primary preventive care.

And he is hopeful that Medicaid will be expanded to help low-income families in the North Country who can’t afford health insurance.

New Hampshire State Police say the man killed in an accident Monday in the North Country was Harry Goodwin, 67, of Milan.

The accident happened about 10:40 am on Route 16 near the Appalachian Mountain Club Lodge in Pinkham’s Grant.

According to a news release from Troop F a Toyota Sienna minivan apparently crossed the center line and collided with a Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Goodwin, who died at the scene.

For a century, the North Country was dominated by the wood, pulp and paper industry. Today, those sectors have almost died out and now many see the region in the midst of an economic makeover, moving away from its paper past.  But what that future should look like is a still huge discussion…is it tourism, high-tech, manufacturing, government, or “all of the above”?  We'll look at what many are calling a North Country makeover.


Two good Samaritans were involved in a dramatic rescue attempt at The Upper Ammonoosuc Falls in Crawford’s Purchase in the North Country Saturday that almost cost one his life, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The falls – not far from the Cog Railway – are well known for treacherous undercurrents.

According to Fish and Game about 4:30 a 15-year-old boy who was swimming got into trouble and began yelling for help.

Freddy Poisson, 36, of Haverhill, Massachusetts jumped into the water but was himself pulled under.

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.

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.

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.

Sean Hurley

There’s buried treasure in the rivers and streams of New Hampshire.  22 carat gold to be precise. While it’s very high quality, it’s also very low quantity.  Experienced New Hampshire prospectors say that even though there isn’t much to find, it’s not hard to find.  But you have to know where to look and how to find it as Sean Hurley reports from the gold-speckled Wild Amonoosuc River in Bath. 

The Wild Ammonoosuc River trickles to life in Kinsman Notch and rushes for 15 miles from Woodstock to Bath before breaking into the bigger, slower glass of the Ammonoosuc.  

With hurricane season ramping up and fire danger decreasing, New Hampshire’s Civil Air Patrol is beginning to switch roles.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

On a morning early in May Civil Air Patrol 2875 is about to leave the runway at Mount Washington Regional Airport in Whitefield.

Sound of pilots going through a checklist.

“Electrical equipment is off. Avionics switch one and two, off…”

The Civil Air Patrol is a non-profit corporation created by Congress that also serves as an auxiliary to the Air Force.

The company in charge of building a huge biomass plant in Berlin is suing one of its contractors claiming fraud.

But a spokesman for the plant’s owner - Berlin Station - says it should still open late this year, right on schedule.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen has this report.

The suit was filed in federal district court in New York by Babcock & Wilcox Construction Company.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Michael Bartoszek and the Laidlaw Energy Group – the original developer of the new biomass plant in Berlin - with insider trading.

In a filing Wednesday the SEC said Bartoszek failed in his obligation to publicly disclose the shaky financial state of his New-York based company before he sold his own stock.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Lots of people climb Mount Washington. But a North Country non-profit group is wants help to go beyond a normal ascent.

They need people for the Sunrise Ascent to help push and pull two children and three adults with disabilities to the top.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

Sandy Olney is the head of Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country and she cherishes her volunteers but she calls them mules.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Nobody expected it to be balmy this Memorial Day weekend but parts of the North Country - such as Bethlehem - had about four inches of snow by 8 a.m. Sunday and it was still snowing only to taper off and end by 10 a.m.

PSNH reported about 2,100 customers in communities clustered around Littleton losing power.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

People leaving the movie at the Colonial Theatre in Bethlehem Saturday night were stunned to see several inches of snow.

"It was May when we went into the movie. I don’t know what happened. Is it six months later?”

Northeast Utilities, the parent company of the Northern Pass project, did not announce a new route during a conference call with analysts Thursday morning. 

NHPR’s Chris Jensen listened in and has this report.

Late last year Northern Pass officials said they finally had a new route through the North Country.

But they said they weren’t ready to disclose it.

Then, at the end of March officials basically said the same thing.

North Country Events

Apr 25, 2013

Compiled and written by Tova Cohen

The newsletter typically announces events in the next week. The calendar shows you events in the coming months.


April 22-27. Friends of the Littleton Public Library present events for kids during screen-free week. See the full schedule here.

One person was killed Wednesday afternoon in a crash in Milan, according to a news release from state police.

The accident occurred about 4:30 on Route 110 when a tractor-trailer carrying logs and a 1995 Dodge pickup collided head-on.

The pickup caught fire and was fully in flames when police arrived. When the Milan Fire Department put out the fire they found a body.

The identity of the victim was not released. The driver of the logging truck was not seriously injured. The cause of the accident is still under investigation by Troop F in Twin Mountain.

North Country Events

Mar 28, 2013

Compiled by Tova Cohen of Franconia

Chris Jensen / NHPR

If the Senate bill that proposes a single casino in the state becomes law it “would dedicate millions of dollars per year directly to North Country economic development,” Governor Maggie Hassan said during a speech Thursday night before the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

That would spur business and job growth “helping us attract new companies by marketing the North Country’s advantages to businesses in Canada and elsewhere,” she told about 125 people at the Log Haven Restaurant on lonely Route 26 in Millsfield, about 145 miles from Concord.

A New Boston man fell Saturday while ice climbing in the Crawford Notch, according to news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Eric Scoville, 55, fell about 2:30 p.m. while climbing on the Frankenstein Cliffs when he fell about 70 feet. He was climbing alone without ropes, Fish and Game reported.

Nearby climbers reached him, arranged a litter and carried him to the Arethusa Falls parking area where he was met by an ambulance.

He was then flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock where yesterday he was listed in critical but stable condition.

North Country representatives overwhelmingly favored legalizing small amounts of marijuana, although as The Associated Press reported the bill failed.

As the AP said “supporters had argued that it was time to stop the government's war on marijuana users, saying tobacco and alcohol abuse are legal but pose a greater danger to personal health.

North Country representatives were split on a bill that would raise the speed limit on parts of I-93 to 70 miles per hour.

As NHPR reported the bill - HB 146 - passed the House 292-65. It would allow 70 mph from Exit 18 north with the exception of a two-lane stretch through the Franconia Notch.

A Connecticut man was killed early Saturday morning in a snowmobile accident in Errol, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game officer Glen Lucas.

The man was identified as Louis Voegeli Jr., 56,  of Woodbury.

He was traveling with three other snowmobiles about 2 a.m. when he failed to make a turn and hit a tree on 13 Mile Woods trail approximately 2 miles north of Millsfield Pond Road in Errol.

Voters headed to town meetings Tuesday in the North Country will find some unusual issues including creating a community ski slope, challenging the rights of corporations as people, abolishing a police department and excluding “formula stores and fast-food restaurants.”

* In Bethlehem voters are considering two articles aimed at preventing “formula retail and formula fast food restaurants” from locating in the center of town.

There were three snowmobile crashes in the North Country Saturday, including two in which riders were injured, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The first involved 32-year-old Kevin Brigham of Brookline, New Hampshire who lost control of his snowmobile and struck an oncoming snowmobile, Conservation Officer Geoffrey Younglove wrote in a news release. Brigham suffered internal injuries in the crash on Trail 18 and was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Maine.

North Country legislators split pretty much along party lines Wednesday on whether to increase the gas and diesel tax and use the money to improve roads and bridges.

Ten Democrats voted in favor of an increase. Six Republicans and one Democrat voted against.

The bill passed 207 – 163.

As NHPR’s Josh Rogers reported the House decided to increase the tax on gas and diesel fuel 15 cents per gallon.

The increase would be phased in over four years for gasoline and six years for diesel.

An amendment to Senate Bill 152, which proposes a single casino in the state, provides details on how money designated for use in the North Country would be used.

Sen. Jeff Woodburn, a Democrat from Dalton, says his amendment:

1) Requires the funds would be managed by “three public members from the North Country appointed by the governor.” Each would serve a two-year term.

2) Requires the money would be used for “job creation, economic stability and other activities which improve the standard of living of residents of the North Country."