North Country

North Country Events

Feb 6, 2015


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

Chris Jensen for NHPR


New Hampshire Fish and Game officers say a Massachusetts man on a snowmobile has died after crashing into a tree in the North Country.

Officers believe the 39-year-old man from Dunstable became distracted and missed a corner before crashing at about 6 p.m. Thursday on a trail in North Statford. He suffered serious injuries. One companion stayed with him while another went to a residence in Columbia and called for help.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

When most people buy skis they turn to a well-known company. Maybe they get a pair of Rossignols or K2s. But big-names are no longer the only option: some two hundred companies – mostly tiny – now make skis in the United States alone.

One of the newest - Sandwich Tech - is run by Katie Mros and Matt Michaud of Littleton.

Like many others who want to live in the North Country they decided to take an innovative idea, hold their breath and try to make a living doing something they love.

North Country Events

Jan 29, 2015

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

North Country Events

Jan 22, 2015

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

Chris Jensen for NHPR

For 15 years the Cold Mountain Café in Bethlehem has been a fixture in the North Country.

But when one of its co-owners died, it looked like the café might close.

That is until the owner’s daughter decided to turn to the community for help.

To a large extent Kate Foley grew up in the café her father co-owned, waiting tables and becoming friends with hundreds of customers.

But when she decided she wanted to buy the half of the business owned by her father’s partner she ran into a big challenge.


Chris Jensen for NHPR

Almost six years after it opened the only food co-op the North Country plans to expand so it can offer more locally produced food...

On average the Littleton Food Co-op has almost 5,000 customers a week and many of them want organic or locally produced food, says Ed King, the general manager.

So, the seven-member, elected board voted to expand.

“Obviously we’re focusing on the categories in our store that are most successful and I think natural, organic and local products are the linchpin of our business.”

Every year the federal government buys about $400 billion worth of goods and services including about $1.9 billion from New Hampshire. But there are many missed opportunities because doing business with the government is complex and can be confusing, says David Pease, who heads up the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Program...

A research project that examines the experiences and attitudes of Coos County youth and young adults has received a grant of nearly $128,000 from a charitable fund that supports organizations in northern New Hampshire and surrounding areas.

The Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire in Durham received the grant from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

The grant is one of 14 totaling nearly $1.2 million awarded to municipal, educational and nonprofit groups.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

In the North County incumbents  kept their offices, according to unofficial results from the Associated Press.

Sen. Jeff Woodburn, a Democrat from Dalton was re-elected, beating challenger Mark Evans, a Republican from Berlin. Woodburn had 9,056 votes to Evans’ 5,741 with 80 percent of the precincts reporting.

In the race for Executive Council incumbent Republican Joseph Kenney was re-elected with 42,838 votes over Democrat Michael Cryans with 41,297 and 84 percent of the precincts reporting.

In other races:

Giving Matters: Certifying Teachers In The North Country

Nov 1, 2014

The North Country Teacher Certification Program is a collaboration between Plymouth State University and White Mountains Community College. The program aims to increase the number of highly qualified teachers in the North Country. 

Amelia Alton was a pre-school teacher with more than 20 years of experience, who wanted to be a classroom teacher, “I always wanted to try my hand at the first and second grade level. But, I needed a different certification.” In 2010, with the help of the NCTCP, Alton went back to college and received her certification.

Chris Jensen

Veterans in the North Country should soon find it easier to get medical care with a VA medical clinic in Littleton moving into a larger facility next spring and a new center opening this year in Colebrook.

A 10,000-square foot facility now under construction at the Mt. Eustis Commons on Cottage Street will be about twice as big as the clinic’s current home.

Voters in the town of Columbia, New Hampshire, will be asked to approve nearly $200,000 in bonds to install a bridge before winter.

A combination of heavy rain, snowmelt and mountain runoff caused brooks and streams to flood in the spring. The bridge on Meridan Hill Road was washed out, temporarily stranding 13 families who live above the bridge.

The Caledonian Record reports a temporary bridge was installed, but selectmen say that bridge will be dangerous to maintain and cross in the winter.

A construction firm that took over work on the long-delayed elementary school in Unity, New Hampshire, is expected to finish all its work in the next two weeks.

Lebanon-based Trumbull-Nelson Construction Co. had the building completed on time in early September for students. The school opened Monday, Sept. 8. An official grand opening is scheduled at the school on Oct. 22.

The Eagle Times reports cleaning, furniture setup and cosmetic work are still being worked on.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A Colebrook woman is trying to make it easier for people to buy locally grown foods while giving farmers an economic boost. Her idea is a variation on the classic roadside farm stand, and it is a model that could be used around the state.

But it’s going to require a change in state law.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Major concerns of North Country residents outlined in a new, preliminary draft report include protecting air quality and the water supply both for drinking and recreation...

There is also strong support for local agriculture and improving energy efficiency, including renewable resources.

But there is also a desire for local governments to have more of a say in whether renewable energy projects are approved.

The state of New Hampshire has approved an expansion to a landfill in the town of Bethlehem.

The Caledonian Record reports the application by North Country Environmental Services was approved with 17 conditions last week by the state Department of Environmental Services.

In this expansion, 8 acres would be added to the current 38-acre landfill and its lifespan would be extended by five to 10 years.

Residents have a 30-day window to appeal the DES approval.

The final demolition is underway for a 133-year-old building in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, that collapsed after heavy rain last fall.

The Main Street building, which has been called the Summit Building or the Cruft Block, housed a post office, jail, library, ballroom, general store, pizza parlor, and newspaper offices, among other businesses, throughout the years. The five-story building has been vacant in recent years.

Giving Matters: WREN Helps Local Entrepreneurs Thrive

Aug 9, 2014
Jeannette Fournier

WREN (formerly the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network) provides support, training, and networking opportunities to people operating small businesses in northern New Hampshire. They also operate two storefronts and two farmers’ markets for local vendors. 

“I’ve been a painter all my life.” Jeannette Fournier’s medium is watercolors and a few years back she and her husband relocated to the Littleton-area. “We happened to drive through Bethlehem and I noticed the WREN organization on main street. I thought, “this couldn’t be more perfect timing.”

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.

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.

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.

VTDarkStar / Flickr Creative Commons


The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied New Hampshire's appeal for a major disaster declaration for April flooding in the North Country, saying the impact "is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants" such a declaration.

Gov. Maggie Hassan had asked for funding assistance to help Carroll and Coos counties and hazard mitigation statewide. In her appeal letter to FEMA, she said current state and local FEMA-verified assessments exceeded $1.9 million, exceeding the thresholds needed to receive federal assistance.

The state is investigating companies working to finish the elementary school in Unity over allegations that some subcontractors are using workers living in the country illegally.

James Craig, commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Labor, tells the Eagle Times investigators were at the job site last week. Authorities say it was sparked by the arrest of two men from Mexico who were held on immigration detainers.

Chris Jensen

The North Country economy is ever-changing and evolving. Laura Knoy went to the source to discuss this topic at the Colonial Theatre in Bethlehem.



A 133-year-old building in Bethlehem is headed for demolition after heavy rain collapsed part of it last fall.

A North County town is expected to get a $278,000 grant to make repairs to a broken water main suspended from a historic covered bridge across the Ammonoosuc River.  The 100-year-old cast iron pipe suspended on the underbelly of the Northumberland Covered Bridge feeds wells and storage tanks. It broke in April, and only temporary fixes have been made.  The New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority approved an Emergency Community Development Block Grant for the repairs in Northumberland.  The solution requires drilling to install 300-plus feet of new pipe beneath the riverbed.

Tourism is a huge part of the economy in the North Country and many of those tourists head to the upper reaches of the Connecticut near Pittsburg.

But those going up to fish for trout have noticed the river is lower than usual, Cindy Howe, one of the owners of the Tall Timber Lodge in Pittsburg said earlier this week.

“Well, right now the water coming out of the three dams which affect the fishing in the area is quite low. TransCanada has reduced the flows substantially and it is making it a little bit tougher on the fishing,” she said.

Sean Hurley

The forests of New Hampshire provide an excellent hiding place for those things that either wish to remain hidden, or have simply fallen into the past. Old logging towns, abandoned train tracks, and the leftovers of eccentrics funded by economic booms all litter the state and set the background for many a local legend. Here we’ve listed some of the loneliest, and often mysterious, spots in the state. 

Selbe B via Flickr CC

Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the Mount Washington Cog Railway's daily trips to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast.

The Cog Railway opened its 2014 season April 26, but operated weekends only until now.

This season marks the 145th year of operation of "the Cog."

The popular tourist attraction is also rolling out a new biodiesel engine during the holiday weekend. The new engine is named Metallak, in honor of the last surviving member of the local Abenaki tribe.