North Country

Chris Jensen for NHPR

For the first time in five decades the Appalachian Mountain Club wants to build a new hut, which would be its ninth,  in the mountains of the North Country.

The group wants the state to lease it land in the almost 6,000 acre Crawford Notch State Park.

But the proposal is controversial and even New Hampshire Fish and Game has objections.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen has been looking into this and spoke recently with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley.

What makes this controversial?

Sean Hurley

Like most loggers, Rick Alger of Milan says all he needs to fell a tree is a chainsaw. But where most lumberjacks use skidders, cherry pickers and other machines to haul their timber from the woods, Alger does things the old fashioned way.  As Sean Hurley found out, Alger is one of the last horse loggers in New Hampshire.

For the last 18 winters, Rick Alger has followed a similar routine. He wakes at 5 a.m. and heads out to the stables to water and feed his horse, Emma. While she eats, he checks his saws and waits for the sun to rise over French Hill.

North Country Events

Jan 14, 2016

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: The newsletter typically announces events in the next week. The calendar shows you events in the coming months.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The top official with the Attorney General’s Charitable Trusts Unit said Tuesday there is nothing wrong with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests's plan to modify a conservation easement to help the developer of the Balsams resort.

The change "does not propose or threaten a change of overall purpose," Thomas J. Donovan, the director of Charitable Trusts, wrote in a 12-page letter.

A North County woman has been named to a Site Evaluation Committee group to consider the Northern Pass project.
 
Rachel Whitaker of Stark will serve as  one of two public members on the subcommittee.  She fills a spot left vacant by the death of Roger Hawk.

The citizen positions are new, following a legislative restructuring of the SEC in an attempt to streamline it and make it more responsive to the public’s concerns.

Narcan, also known as naloxone, is an anti-overdose drug.
Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Citing concern about illegal drug use, the Berlin school board will be making the anti-overdose drug Narcan available in its schools.

Almost six percent of Berlin high school students admitted trying heroin at least once, according to a 2013 student survey prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says Corinne Cascadden, the superintendent of the Berlin schools.

A food co-op in Littleton has been so successful that it plans to expand the size of its building next year. And now some people are exploring whether to try the same thing in Berlin.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

On Friday Senator Jeanne Shaheen said the federal government should take the problem with heroin and opioids as seriously as its concern over Ebola.

She made the comments during a meeting with about two dozen health and social workers, educators and police at the Berlin High School.

She said while the budget Congress approved last month has more money to deal with drug problems it is not enough.

North Country Events

Jan 7, 2016

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GALLERY AT WREN 2016 SEASON PREVIEW, BETHLEHEM
Friday January 8 5:00 - 7:00 PM 2013 Main Street. Celebrate the 2016 season with a preview show at a wine and cheese reception. For details about the 2016 artists, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1644576505825785/

Matt Bowman - Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue

With winter now here, New Hampshire's search-and-rescue teams are watching for storms in the Presidential mountains and worrying that once again, a hiker will make a decision that puts lives at risk.

That's what happened last February, when Kate Matrosova, a 32 year-old from New York, who thought she could beat an approaching storm.

North Country Events

Dec 31, 2015

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: The newsletter typically announces events in the next week. The calendar shows you events in the coming months.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The federal Army Corps of Engineers says a plan to redevelop the Balsam's Resort in Dixville Notch will have minimal effects on water resources and wetlands.

The corps has issued a permit needed for Maine ski resort developer Les Otten to move forward with the redevelopment plan.

North Country Events

Dec 25, 2015
Chris Jensen for NHPR

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: The newsletter typically announces events in the next week. The calendar shows you events in the coming months.

An artist's conception of the new hotel expected to open in the spring of 2017.Credit Mt. Washington Auto RoadEdit | Remove

From the 1880s until the late 1960s, visitors to the Mt. Washington Auto road could stay in a hotel right at its base.

Now the company that owns the road wants to rebuild that hotel.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A 54-year-old Massachusetts man suffering from hypothermia was rescued Tuesday in the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area, according to Lt. James Kneeland of Fish and Game.

Christopher Wright of Mattapoisett triggered an emergency locator beacon about 1:30 pm and the request for help was relayed to Fish and Game.

Two Fish and Game officers found Wright in his tent on the bank of the Franconia Brook, warmed him and escorted him out of the woods. Kneeland said Wright, who was on a two-day trip, had appropriate gear but said he wasn’t able to stay dry during steady rain.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The renovation of the Balsams resort has moved ahead with state officials giving the developers permission to fill in about 2.7 acres of wetlands for uses ranging from a parking lot to six ski towers.

To offset the destruction of the wetlands the developers will preserve other land totaling about 960 acres.

State development officials have been enthusiastic about the reopening of the Balsams, saying it would give the North Country an enormous economic boost.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Late last week, with the temperature almost 40 degrees, Walter Opuszynski stood next to the Upper Ammonoosuc River in Stark, watching an excavator finish a project he thought would be a lost cause if December bought typical winter weather.

North Country Events

Dec 16, 2015

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Chris Jensen for NHPR

Conditions at New Hampshire’s ski resorts haven’t been very encouraging so far this season. Most resorts have only a few lifts operating.

North Country Events

Dec 10, 2015

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LITTLETON FOOD CO-OP GINGERBREAD HOUSE CONTEST
December 9 - 11 drop off, December 12 & 13 voting open, 43 Bethlehem Road, open 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM every day. Register at the co-op service desk. Categories for kids and adults. For more information: www.littletoncoop.com/events.

North Country Events

Dec 5, 2015

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New Hampshire State Council on the Arts

Thursday night the National Christmas Tree will be lit in Washington.

And while that’s the centerpiece on the National Mall, it’s surrounded by smaller trees representing each state.

And this year for the first time the decorations for New Hampshire’s tree were created by a group from Berlin.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports….

Each year the state’s Council on the Arts decides who will make the ornaments for the state’s tree.

The state's public advocate says Northern  Pass is not providing the information needed to back up the benefits it says New Hampshire will receive if the controversial project is approved.

Peter Roth, a senior assistant attorney general appointed to represent consumers in the case, says Northern Pass’ “claimed benefits include lowering the cost of energy, providing low carbon, renewable power, creating jobs, increasing tax revenue and generally growing economic activity.”

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The developers hoping to reopen the Balsams Resort got a boost Wednesday night as the Coos Planning Board approved a long-range concept plan.

While it is called a concept plan, it includes many details of what developers Dixville Capital hope to accomplish. That includes a huge expansion of the ski resort and as many as 4,600 housing units, including condominiums and a hotel.

Courtesy Tim Martel

Rescuers helped two lost hikers in Randolph and a man who fell while ice climbing in the Huntington Ravine Saturday, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The lost hikers, both from Massachusetts, were part of a group of four who climbed Mount Madison and then separated. About 5:20 pm two of the hikers reached their vehicle, didn’t see their companions, and figured the other two had missed the correct trail, so they called for help.

North Country Events

Nov 27, 2015
Chris Jensen for NHPR

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LITTLETON COMMUNITY CENTER HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE
Friday November 27 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM 123 Main Street. Annual Holiday Party, house tours, hot chocolate, cookies, fudge, cookie decorating, visit Santa 1-3, Santa will read a story at 1:00 PM. 

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Citing a desire to avoid a confrontation with a legislative committee, the Site Evaluation Committee Wednesday softened proposed a rule involving "public interest" as part of its consideration of new utility projects.

The issue at the meeting was whether the Site Evaluation Committee had gone beyond what the legislature intended when it ordered the body’s reorganization so it would better serve "the public good" and "provide clarity" about its rules and how it makes decisions.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The developers of the Balsams Resort told Coos County officials Tuesday night they hope to begin construction and renovation of the buildings on June 1st of next year.

That raises the possibility at least part of the now-closed resort could be open by the end of 2016 or early in 2017.

However, a spokesman for the developer said some other work may start earlier.

The news came during a meeting between the developers and the Coos County Planning Board to try and work out details of a long-range, multi-year concept plan.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Over the next year, the state’s Site Evaluation Committee will consider whether to okay the controversial Northern Pass project.  Eventually it is also likely to weigh in on at least one wind farm and the Kinder Morgan pipeline.  That puts a spotlight on the committee-- made up of seven state officials and two members of the public.

North Country Events

Nov 12, 2015

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FALL PLAYS AT LITTLETON HIGH SCHOOL
Thursday, Friday, Saturday November 12, 13 14 at 7:00 PM and also Saturday at 2:00PM. Littleton High School. LHS drama students are putting on two shows. The Suessification of Romeo and Juliet stars Eric Shafer as Romeo. The second show is a take on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, called Kids in Louvre.

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