North Country

Federal officials say six companies building a biomass plant in Berlin have put workers at risk by not following safety regulations.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration proposes fining the companies about $280,000 for thirty-one “willful, serious and repeat violations of workplace safety standards.”

“These hazards included potential cave-ins, falls, scaffold collapse, crushing, exposure to lead and electrocution hazards,” said OSHA spokesman Ted Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald said there were no serious injuries or deaths.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The town of Pittsburg is revamping its public water system.

It’s been a much-needed project; the issue came to a head in 2009 when the town was put under a boil order for several months after E. coli was detected in the drinking water.

But the town still needs another half a million dollars to finish the job.

When Rick Skarinka of the state’s drinking and groundwater bureau met with Pittsburg town officials, he decided blunt was the best approach.

North Country Events

Oct 10, 2013

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

LAST FARMERS MARKETS OF THE SEASON
Lancaster Saturdays 9 AM-noon through October 12
Bethlehem Saturdays 10 AM-2 PM through October 12
Littleton Sundays 10 AM - 1 PM through October 13

Colebrook Farmer’s Market: Sat 8:00-12:00 on the common on Colby St through Columbus Day

Pittsburg Farmer’s Market: Sat: 10:00-2:00 downtown Pittsburg.

A 72-year-old man from Quebec died in a motorcycle crash Wednesday in Dixville Notch, according to a news release from the New Hampshire State Police.

The victim, Raymond LaLancette, was on Route 26 about noon when he lost control of his motorcycle and struck a guardrail.

He was described as unconscious and bleeding heavily when rescuers arrived and was pronounced dead the the Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook.

A Campton resort is suing the Northern Pass, claiming it has no right to use an existing Public Service of New Hampshire right-of-way for larger transmission towers.

The suit was filed in Grafton County Superior Court by the owners of The Owl’s Nest Resort & Golf Club.

The resort already has a PSNH right-of-way and the suit claims Northern Pass’ plan to add substantially taller towers is unreasonable and “wrongfully exceeds” the original right-of-way agreement.

The North Country has its first EB-5 regional center, a move that could bring new, foreign investment to the North Country, including about 200 new jobs around Campton.

The new Invest New Hampshire Regional Center in Campton is the first to cover Grafton, Coos and Carroll Counties.

Laurie Tewksbury via Flickr Creative Commons

A search team rescued two hikers from the summit of Mount Madison early Tuesday morning, after they were caught in a severe rain and wind storm Monday evening.

Raymond Barnard and Stephanie Watkins, both of Brownville, Vermont, were hiking along the Pine Link Trail when heavy rain and winds approaching 90 miles per hour forced them to take shelter.

They called 911 around 7 p.m., as dense fog led to limited visibility and temperatures dropped.

Two Conservation Officers and two members of the Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team found the couple around 1 a.m.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The operator of twenty-two campgrounds in The White Mountain National Forest has been told to close them.

“We are directed now to close the gates as of Thursday the 10th unless something happens in Congress,” said Kent Tower, the owner of Pro Sports of Campton.

Last week federal officials in Washington began notifying private businesses that operate campgrounds in national forests that they would have to close even though they provide water, sanitation and other services without help from federal employees.

The shutdown of the federal government is expanding to include privately run campgrounds in national forests across the country, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service said late Thursday.

“We are in the process of shutting these operations down at facilities across the country due to the lapse in funding,” wrote spokesman Leo Kay in an e-mail. “Some closures have already taken place while others are still in progress.”

That is expected to include twenty-two campgrounds in The White Mountain National Forest operated by Pro Sports Inc. of Campton.

North Country Events

Oct 3, 2013

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

FARMERS MARKETS
Berlin Thursdays extended to October 3
 

Lancaster Saturdays 9 AM-noon through October 12
 

Bethlehem Saturdays 10 AM-2 PM through October 12

Colebrook Farmer’s Market: Sat 8:00-12:00 on the common on Colby St through Columbus Day

Pittsburg Farmer’s Market: Sat: 10:00-2:00 downtown Pittsburg.

rickpilot_2000 via Flickr Creative Commons

 A 55-year-old Brookyn man was helped from a trail near the Crawford Notch Wednesday after suffering a leg injury, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Steve Litwin slipped on a rock on the Webster-Jackson Trail and couldn’t continue,  according to Conservation Officer Kevin Bronson.

He was taken to Littleton Regional Hospital after being carried out by members of Fish and Game, the Appalachian Mountain Club, Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue, Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team, and Twin Mountain EMS.

Grace Family via Flickr Creative Commons

The extent to which the federal shutdown will hurt the White Mountain National Forest – and tourism - will depend on how long the shutdown continues, says forest supervisor Tom Wagner.

Wagner says the current workforce – about 120 people – will be cut to sixteen.

That’s to cover 800,000 acres.

People can still enjoy the views and the trails. But there’s a question about facilities.

Walsh TD via Flickr Creative Commons

If the federal government shuts down at midnight it will affect the White Mountain National Forest at a time when many tourists are headed there for fall foliage.

The White Mountain National Forest covers about 800,000 acres and normally has about 120 full or part-time employees, says Tom Wagner, the forest supervisor.

If the federal government shuts down more than 100 of them will be off work.

“Sixteen of those employees between our law enforcement and our line officers at each office will continue to work if this is an extended shutdown," Wagner said.

A Vermont man will go on trial Monday in connection with the deaths of two men in an explosion in Colebrook more than three years ago.

Sixty-four year old Craig Sanborn of Maidstone, Vermont is scheduled to appear in Coos County Superior Court in Lancaster.

Sanborn owned the Black Mag factory - which made a gun powder substitute – when it exploded in May 2010, killing two workers and injuring a third.

fply via Flickr Creative Commons

Fish and Game officers rescued two Ohio hikers from a trail on Mount Washington Thursday night because the pair didn’t have flashlights.

The husband and wife, Robert Scanlon and Candy Neville – both in their mid-60’s - from Shaker, Heights Ohio, rode the Mount Washington Cog Railway to the top of Mount Washington, Fish and Game Lt. Wayne Saunders said in a news release.

Then, they decided to hike down on the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail.

But Scanlon began having knee pain on the rocky trail, slowing their descent and it got dark before they could reach the bottom.

North Country Events

Sep 26, 2013

  

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: http://tinyurl.com/NorthCountryCalendar
The newsletter typically announces events in the next week. The calendar shows you events in the coming months.

FARMERS MARKETS
Berlin Thursdays extended to October 3
Lancaster Saturdays 9 AM-noon through October 12
Bethlehem Saturdays 10 AM-2 PM through October 12
Littleton Sundays 10 A

In the North Country nine chefs are getting ready to compete in the finale of the second annual North Country Chef’s Challenge, an effort to determine who can best match culinary expertise with local food.

The goal is to show people in other parts of the state that North Country dining is worth a trip north of the notches.

A Salem, Massachusetts man drowned in the Connecticut River near Colebrook on Wednesday, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

John Cornish, 71, was launching his boat with a friend when it began to drift away, carried by the current,   Conservation Officer Kevin Bronson wrote in a news release.

Cornish, who was wearing hip waders, went after the boat, lost his footing and slipped under the water. He was pulled from the river by a friend but was unconscious and couldn’t be revived.

Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

Paul Grenier, the mayor of Berlin, one of three Coos Country Commissioners and an advocate of the Northern Pass was a lonely guy Wednesday evening at the U.S. Department of Energy’s third public hearing on the project.

Grenier walked through a sea of orange to reach the podium.

There were about 350 people gathered at the Mountain View Grand Resort and most wore orange, a symbol of their opposition to Northern Pass.

Grenier was not wearing orange.

The U.S. Department of Energy held its second “scoping” hearing on Northern Pass’s amended route last night in Plymouth.  Opponents criticized not only the hydro-electric project but the federal agency.

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.

Two ATV riders were killed Saturday afternoon in separate accidents in the North Country, according to police and rescue reports.

One fatality occurred in the ski area near Dixville Notch and the other at South Hill Road in Colebrook.

At least one of the accidents involved a rollover.

No additional details were immediately available.

So far this year three ATV riders have died in the state.

In August a 56-year-old tourist was killed in an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle in the southern part of the state near Fremont.

The hiker killed Thursday in a fall on Mount Washington was from Canada, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

He was identified as Luc Paquette, age 25, of Boisbriand, Quebec.

Paquette was hiking was hiking with friends and left the Tuckerman Ravine trail to get water and a better look at a waterfall when he slipped and fell about 150 feet.

A 25-year-old hiker was fatally injured in a fall Thursday afternoon while coming down the Tuckerman Ravine Trail on Mount Washington, according to Sgt. Mark Ober of New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The man was hiking with friends and left the trail to get water and a better look at a waterfall when he slipped and fell about 150 feet “landing on a small ledge approximately three quarters of the way up the Headwall," Ober wrote in a news release.

National Weather Service

That odd color of the sky.

On September 21, 1938 that’s what worried Beatrice Dorsey, a 10-year-old living in Plainfield, New Hampshire.

“The sky above my house was green. It was pretty scary, that ominous green,” said Dorsey.

Dorsey and many other New Englanders didn’t know that green sky meant the most damaging hurricane to hit New England was on its way.

A group of North Country towns working with the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust has purchased 844 acres to create the Cooley-Jericho Community Forest in Easton.

The group – which includes Easton, Franconia, Landaff and Sugar Hill - has been working to buy the land, which is adjacent to The White Mountain National Forest.

A search for a man reported missing along the Baker River in Plymouth will resume Monday morning, says Lt. James Kneeland of New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Michael Gatto, 51, of Thornton, was reported missing Saturday evening by a companion, with whom he had been camping along the banks of the river near the Plymouth High School.

The search Saturday night and Sunday included the waters and shorelines of the Baker and Pemigewasset Rivers.

A North Country firm has been fined $420,000 for failing to comply with a court order to close above-ground oil storage tank facilities in Gorham to prevent the Androscoggin River from being polluted.

The company is Munce’s Superior Petroleum and Harold Munce, according to a news release from the attorney general’s Environmental Protection Bureau.

The fine represents $1,000 a day for 420 days, the amount of time since Munce was ordered to remedy the problem, which was completed last June.

Heavy Rain Collapses Four-Story Building In Bethlehem

Sep 13, 2013

Heavy rain has collapsed part of an abandoned four-story building on Main Street in Bethlehem, forcing emergency crews to close Route 302.

No one has been injured. WMUR-TV reports a demolition crew is scheduled to arrive this morning to take down the rest of the building, which is over 100 years old. The building is 150 feet long by 50 feet wide.

The building started bowing Thursday afternoon after a strong storm and part of the roof eventually collapsed.

Sean Hurley

In 2006, Plymouth resident and PSU Music Professor Jonathan Santore was named New Hampshire Composer of the year.  Just last month, he was awarded The American Prize in Choral Composition for 2013. As he tells NHPR's Sean Hurley, he's come a long way since playing trumpet for his high school marching band in Tennessee. 

French composer Erik Satie once remarked, "Before I write a piece, I walk around it several times, accompanied by myself,"  It's a creative prelude that Plymouth composer Jonathan Santore finds absolutely necessary.

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