North Country

North Country
7:25 am
Wed November 20, 2013

In Troubled Times How Vermont Got $600 Million From Foreign Investors

The owners of the Balsams Grand Resort in Dixville Notch say they are exploring finding foreign investors through the EB-5 program so they can renovate and reopen the hotel. In 2012 most of its furnishings were auctioned off. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

Starting around 2008, as the economy began struggling and banks got skittish about lending, foreign investors began sending hundreds of millions of dollars into Vermont.

They were attracted by a federal EB-5 visa program administered by the state of Vermont.

It allows foreigners willing to invest at least $500,000 to get green cards and live in the United States.

New Hampshire didn’t have anything like it, but the state is warming to the idea.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

Sound  of construction……

Heavy machinery at work.

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North Country
7:00 am
Mon November 18, 2013

2012: State Traffic Death Ups, Heavy Toll On Baby Boomer Motorcyclists

Traffic deaths increased in 2012 in New Hampshire with alcohol and failing to wear seat belts or helmets again being major factors, according to a new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In the study federal officials estimated Americans drove roughly the same number of miles in 2012 as in 2011.

Overall there were 108 traffic fatalities in the state in 2012, an increase of 20 percent over the previous year.

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North Country
11:25 am
Thu November 14, 2013

North Country Events

Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

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

PROFILE PLAYERS PRESENT WEST SIDE STORY, BETHLEHEM

Thurs. Fri. & Sat. Nov. 14, 15, 16 at 7:30 PM and a matinee on Sat. Nov. 16 at 2 PM. Colonial Theatre. The cast includes 30 students from Profile School. Directed by Cindy Burlack. Musical direction by Alyssa Comeau, Profile music teacher. Tickets $4 students, $7 adults, at the door.

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North Country
6:20 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Ray Burton Memorial Service Scheduled

Ray Burton’s burial will be private, says BJ Perry, his administrative assistant. But there will be a public memorial service on December 14th.

It will start at 1 p.m. at Plymouth State University in the student union, Perry said.

Burton died less than three weeks after he announced his kidney cancer, said to be in remission, had returned and he would not seek re-election next year.

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North Country
7:57 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Executive Councilor Ray Burton Dies

Ray Burton on November 1 arriving to applause and a standing ovation at a scenic overlook on US 302 being opened and expected to be named in his honor. Photo by Chris Jensen
Credit Chris Jensen, NHPR

Less than three weeks after Executive Councilor Ray Burton announced his kidney cancer was no longer in remission he died.

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North Country
4:58 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Looking To Save Money, More Companies, Towns Turn To New Boilers That Heat With Wood

A 1950's era boiler that used heating oil at The White Mountain School was replaced by three self-feeding pellet boilers. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

Around the state more institutions, towns and businesses are turning away from oil in favor of heating with wood, viewing it as a renewable resource that helps the region’s economy, lowers the carbon footprint and apparently saves money.

There’s a good example in the basement of the main building at The White Mountain School in Bethlehem.

The old is a huge, black, gray and rust-fringed H.B. Smith boiler that once feasted on heating oil.

A few feet away are three modern-looking, green and white pellet boilers.

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North Country
12:11 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

New North Country Fire Training Center To Be Named After Burton

A fire in Bethlehem in 2012 badly damaged an apartment building. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

A new fire training facility in the North Country will be named after Executive Councilor Ray Burton, said Deborah A. Pendergast, the director of the state’s division of Fire Standards & Training and Emergency Medical Services.

The center, located in Bethlehem, will allow fire fighters from the North Country to learn fire fighting techniques without the cost and time involved in traveling to Concord.

“It gives the folks up in that area a facility that meets their needs,” she said in a telephone interview.

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North Country
11:12 am
Fri November 8, 2013

And The Winner Of The North Country Chef Competition Is...

Judges came from the White Mountain chapter of the American Culinary Federation. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR.

Travis Giles, the culinary instructor at The White Mountains Community College in Berlin, is the winner of the North Country Chef’s Challenge, an effort to see who can best match culinary skills with local ingredients.

Giles was competing against seven other chefs.

The judges were from the White Mountain chapter of the American Culinary Federation.

The event is the idea of the North Country Farmer’s Co-op.

For his entrée Giles began with “a whole red deer” from a farm Milan. 

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North Country
9:14 am
Fri November 8, 2013

North Country Events

Photo by Chris Jensen

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

VETERANS DAY CEREMONY AT LITTLETON HIGH SCHOOL

Thursday Nov. 7 1:30 PM in the gymnasium. Presentation of Colors, Regional JROTC, guest speaker Lt. Colonel Jeffrey Howard, LHS Chorus and Band, flag pole ceremony. Veterans and community members invited. For more information contact Connie Ward at LHS 444-5186 x2208.

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North Country
7:16 am
Fri November 8, 2013

North Country Research: How To Attract The Sometimes Elusive Young Adult

The focus group was held at the North Country Resource Center in Lancaster. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR.

While the North Country is routinely working on economic development some people are also looking at human resources, in particular the source of the next generations of community leaders and volunteers.

Their concern:  Talented young adults being one of the North Country’s rarer creatures.

And, some research into that issue got underway recently at the North Country Resource Center in Lancaster, where fourteen young adults – in their 20’s and 30’s – volunteered to answer questions about what brought them or keeps them in the North Country.

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North Country
11:30 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Ray Burton Given PSU's Highest Honor For Public Service

Executive Councilor Ray Burton has received Plymouth State University’s highest award for public service, only the third time the honor has been given in almost a decade.

The Henry W. Blair Award for Distinguished Public Service was created in 2004.

“It is for distinguished public service, it recognizes someone who has devoted – as Henry Blair did – a life to making the world better through strong public service,”  PSU president Sara Jayne Steen said in an interview. “And, in that sense of course, Ray is the perfect candidate.”

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North Country
7:46 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Berlin Mayor Grenier Re-Elected

Mayor Grenier speaking at a ceremony in April
Credit Courtesy CDFA

Unofficial results show Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier was re-elected on Tuesday, beating challenger Mark Evans 971 to 272.

Evans is a member of the city’s Planning Board and former member of the city council.

This will be Grenier’s third term. He is also one of three Coos County Commissioners and is unusual in the North Country as an elected official who favors the Northern Pass project, which does not pass through his city.

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North Country
3:30 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Discovery At Frost Place

Maudelle Driskell holds the discovered crate top.
Sean Hurley

When poet Robert Frost returned to New Hampshire from England in 1915 he moved his family into a small farmhouse in Franconia.  Since 1976, when the town of Franconia purchased the property, The Frost Place has provided a glimpse at the poet's life from a hundred years ago.  His old chair sits near his old desk near his old wallpaper.

Frost Place Director Maudelle Driskell says volunteer Dee Macoun was emptying the contents of a small closet during a routine clean up when she noticed something unusual about the large slab of wood supporting a shelf. 

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North Country
5:27 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Ailing Ray Burton Honored: A Scenic Overlook And A Look Back

Executive Councilor Ray Burton was helped to the place of honor. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

It is hard to imagine there have been many openings of roadside scenic areas that attracted three former governors, a sitting governor and two US Senators as well as dozens of state office holders.

But that happened Friday afternoon in the North Country during a ceremony to honor longtime Executive Councilor Ray Burton.

In theory the ceremony was for the opening of the scenic area on US 302 across from the Mount Washington Hotel.

But it was really about North Country Executive Councilor Ray Burton, who arrived in the back seat of a yellow convertible.

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North Country
9:52 am
Thu October 31, 2013

North Country Events

Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

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

THRILLER AT THE FRANCONIA BONFIRE
Thursday Oct. 31 7 PM Dow Field. Flash dance mob at the Halloween bonfire.

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North Country
11:34 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Ray Burton To Be Honored At Opening Of New Scenic Overlook

A new scenic overlook will be opened Friday in the North Country and the plans include honoring Executive Councilor Ray Burton.

The new overlook and rest area is on Route 302 just across from the Mount Washington Hotel.

It cost about $1.4 million and replaces a much smaller pull-off on the other side of the road.

The old area had room for five cars or two buses which state highway officials say caused traffic problems and raised safety concerns. The new area has room for 22 cars and six buses.

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North Country
6:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Lighting The Way For Abigail Hernandez

Firefighter Brian Ames and his family
Sean Hurley

Abigail Hernandez has now been missing for 19 days.  Although thousands of acres have been combed and hundreds of tips have been followed, both the FBI and local police still don't know what happened between 3 and 4 in the afternoon on October 9th when Abby disappeared.  Despite this, the Hernandez family and the local community remain hopeful. On Saturday night nearly 500 people attended a flashlight vigil in Schouler Park in downtown North Conway meant to light the way home for Abby.  Sean Hurley was there and has this report. 

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North Country
2:11 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Ray Burton: Cancer Back, He Will Not Run For Re-election

Ray Burton
Credit State of New Hampshire

Ray Burton, a Republican who has represented the North Country for four decades, says his kidney cancer has returned and he won’t be seeking re-election.

Burton has served as both Executive Councilor and a Grafton County Commissioner.

Earlier this year Burton, who lives in Bath, said he had cancer but it was curable.

For much of the year he has been attending functions throughout the North Country, his cancer said to be in remission.

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North Country
9:29 am
Thu October 24, 2013

North Country Events

Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

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

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North Country
5:50 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Vermont Man Guilty In Colebrook Explosion Faces 30 Years

A 64-year-old Vermont man has been found responsible for the 2010 explosion in Colebrook that killed two men and injured a third.

Craig Sanborn’s trial in Coos County Superior Court in Lancaster took about four weeks and the jury made up its mind in about three hours on Wednesday, says Coos County Attorney John McCormick.

The jury returned verdicts of guilty on all counts, two negligent homicide charges and two manslaughter charges,” he said.

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North Country
5:43 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Ayotte Says Northern Pass Should Pay To Have Lines Buried

Sen. Kelly Ayotte's town meeting at noon in Whitefield attracted about three dozen people. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

Despite a modified route for the Northern Pass Project Sen. Kelly Ayotte says she still has “serious reservations” about the plan and the lines along the entire route should be buried.

“I am still very concerned about the impact on the beauty on the North Country and many other areas of the state,” she told NHPR following a Town Hall meeting Wednesday in Whitefield.

Ayotte says it would be best to bury all the transmission lines, not just an eight-mile section in Northern Coos County.

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North Country
5:29 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Ayotte Town Hall: What Is Going On Down There?

Joe Vigue of Berlin waited quietly for his chance to ask Senator Kelly Ayotte about Congress' behavior. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

At Senator Kelly Ayotte’s town hall meeting in Whitefield Wednesday Berlin resident Joe Vigue sat quietly through her description of the nation’s growing deficit and struggle to adopt a budget.

His arms were folded across his chest – and a sweatshirt reading: “I’m like an owl. I don’t give a hoot.”

When Ayotte opened the floor to questions, Vigue wanted to know about a dysfunctional Senate.

“What is it like to deal with almost all of that 100 people that are worse than my eight and nine-year-old grandchildren,” he asked.

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North Country
3:16 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

OSHA Claims Some Berlin Biomass Contractors Put Workers At Risk

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.

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North Country
5:00 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Pittsburg Water Project Short $500K Needed To Complete Water Line

Enginfeer Mike Duffy talks about the technology inside the town's new pump station.
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.

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North Country
8:48 am
Thu October 10, 2013

North Country Events

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.

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North Country
8:34 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Canadian Motorcyclist Dies In North Country Crash

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.

North Country
4:50 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Resort Sues Northern Pass Over Right-Of-Way

Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

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.

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North Country
5:25 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

North Country Gets EB-5 Center: Prospect Of Jobs, Investment

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.

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North Country
4:02 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Two Hikers Caught In Storm Rescued From Mt. Madison

Mt. Madison on a clear day
Credit 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.

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North Country
4:55 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Campgrounds In White Mountain National Forest Told To Close

Folks who figured on spending Columbus Day weekend at campgrounds in The White Mountain National Forest won't be able to do so. The campgrounds will close Thursday.
Credit 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.

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