North Country

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.

North Country Events

Jul 18, 2013

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

OUTDOOR SUMMER CONCERTS

Whitefield Thursdays 6 PM through August 29 vocal/acoustic on the common.

North Woodstock Saturdays 6:30 PM through August 24 Soldier's Park, Main St.

Bethlehem Sundays 6 PM through September 1 at the town gazebo.

Whitefield Mondays 7 PM through August 5 town band on the common.

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.

North Country Events

Jul 11, 2013

http://tinyurl.com/NorthCountryCalendar

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

OUTDOOR SUMMER CONCERTS

Whitefield Thursdays 6 PM through August 29 vocal/acoustic on the common

Bethlehem Sundays 6 PM through September 1 at the town gazebo

Whitefield Mondays 7 PM through August 5 town band on the common

Lancaster Wednesdays 8 PM through August 14

FARMERS MARKETS

Lisbon Thursdays 3-6 PM through Sepember 19

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.

North Country Events

Jul 4, 2013

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

OUTDOOR SUMMER CONCERTS

Whitefield Thursdays 6 PM through August 29 vocal/acoustic on the common Bethlehem Sundays 6 PM through September 1 at the town gazebo Whitefield Mondays 7 PM through August 5 town band on the common

FARMER'S MARKETS

Lisbon Thursdays 3-6 PM through Sepember 19

Berlin Thursdays 3-7 PM through September 19 (not July 4)

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.

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.

Mountain View Grand Resort

You could own a piece of history this weekend as the Mountain View Grand Resort in Whitefield looks to unload everything from sinks to sofas at a tag sale.

The tag sale is Sunday and runs from 1 to 3 at the hotel, which was built in 1865.

Director of Activities Bobbi Sue Baker says the hotel’s storage building is filled with chairs, couches, handmade oil paintings, dressers, cast iron sinks, all ready to go.

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.

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.

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.

Courtesy of The White Mountain School

A Vermont man has been indicted by a Grafton Country Grand Jury for second degree murder in the death of Catherine Houghton in Littleton in January.

The indictment - returned Friday - charges Rodney Hill, 37, of West Danville, Vermont with the crime.

Houghton, 70, was a trustee of The White Mountain School in Bethlehem. She came to the North Country for a meeting.

She was fatally injured January 28 when she went to the lobby of the Hampton Inn to ask about a television remote that wasn’t working.

North Country Events

Jun 20, 2013

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

OUTDOOR SUMMER CONCERTS

Whitefield Thursdays 6 PM through August 29 - acoustic and vocals

Whitefield Mondays 7 PM through August 5 - town band

FARMERS MARKETS

Lancaster Saturdays 9AM-noon through October 12

Bethlehem Saturdays 10 AM-2 PM through October 12

Littleton Sundays 10 AM-1 PM through October 1

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.

Some Northern Pass opponents are hoping Governor Maggie Hassan will sign Senate Bill 99, which they think may complicate approval of the controversial hydro-electric project. The bill may reach Hassan's desk this week but she says she hasn’t decided what to do.

“I haven’t reviewed the bill yet in any kind of detail so I’ll do that and then make up my mind,” she told NHPR Saturday.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A new economic development effort got underway Saturday in the North Country.

It is called Ride the Wilds and it is a linking of ATV trails designed to attract ATV-riding tourists from the Northeast and Canada.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

For decades the North Country has had hundreds of miles of trails on which ATVs could rumble along.

Sound of ATVs…

But they were not linked. So, riders had to stop and put their ATVs on a trailer to get from place to place.

Sean Hurley

The people of Littleton New Hampshire celebrated Pollyanna Glad Day this past Saturday. The June 8th event also marked the publishing Centennial of the bestselling children’s classic about the little girl who always looks on the bright side. While a dubious meaning shadows the character name in popular culture, Sean Hurley reports that the residents of Littleton believe they know the real Pollyanna.  A hundred people opened and closed their umbrellas in the rain and shine that came and went throughout Pollyanna Glad Day.

The motorcyclist killed Thursday morning in the Franconia Notch has been identified as Robin Staines, 47, of Pembroke, Massachusetts, according to state police.

Staines was traveling north on the two-lane section of I-93, failed to make the turn at the entrance of the former parking area for the Old Man of the Mountain.

He was thrown from his Harley-Davidson and was not wearing a helmet.

Passersby gave him CPR until an ambulance arrived but he died of his injuries at Littleton Regional Hospital.

North Country Events

Jun 13, 2013

Compiled and written by Tova Cohen of Franconia.

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

ACHS PRESENTS COMMUNITY HEALTH MATTERS, LITTLETON

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The Fields of Lupine Festival is marking its 20th year.

The event pays tribute to the brief but spectacular show of color the purple flower puts on in the Granite State’s North Country this time each year.

After making the hour and a half trek from Woodstock, Vermont to Sugar Hill, Renette Bedard found the perfect spot to snap a picture.

Standing atop a rock, she looks out into a sea of purple flowers known as lupines.

The backdrop: a lush forest and the majestic White Mountains.

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.

North Country Events

Jun 6, 2013

COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY TOVA COHEN OF FRANCONIA

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

OUTDOOR SUMMER CONCERTS

Whitefield Thursdays 6 PM through August 29

FARMERS MARKETS

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

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.

The Unusual Ascenders

May 31, 2013
Sean Hurley

The 3rd Annual Alton Weagle Unusual Ascent Day took place this past Monday on Mount Washington.  With fresh snow closing the summit, participants still gathered at the base of the Auto Road to walk, ran, paddle and roll their way to the snowline.  As NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports, it’s an event that blends the difficult with the whimsical. 

75 year old Otok Ben-Hvar stares at the white powder top of Mount Washington. He’s about to go rolling along the Auto Road in a shambling contraption of five inner tubes.  

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The 20th annual Fields of Lupine Festival gets underway this weekend.

The event pays homage to the purple wildflower, which blossoms around this time each year in the North Country.

Festival organizers say the lupines are blooming, despite the recent cold weather and snow fall.

The festival kicks off with a parade through downtown Franconia on Saturday.

There will also be open air markets, concerts and an art show.

The festival ends on June 15.

North Country Events

May 30, 2013

Compiled and written by Tova Cohen of Franconia

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

MARK SHELTON CONCERT TO BENEFIT MISS LITTLETON AREA SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM, LITTLETON

Courtesy of The White Mountain School

The man accused of murdering a stranger – a California woman - in Littleton in January thought she was the devil who previously used the form of his father, according to Littleton District Court records released Tuesday morning.

And, had Catherine Houghton, 70, not chosen to spend an extra night in Littleton she would have apparently missed her fatal encounter with Rodney Hill, the 37-year-old Vermont man accused of her murder.

Houghton was a trustee at The White Mountain School in Bethlehem and she came to the North Country for a trustees’ meeting.

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