North Country

SectionHiker.com

A dilapidated bridge in a North Country wilderness area is officially slated for removal this fall. Officials in the White Mountain National Forest Service finalized their decision on the Thoreau Falls Bridge this week.

The old wooden bridge in the Pemigewasset Wilderness has been closed to hikers since last fall. It spans a rocky creek bed that sometimes floods.

District ranger Brooke Brown has now officially decided the bridge doesn't belong in federal wilderness, which is meant to be primeval and undisturbed.

Berlin School District

The city of Berlin and its school district will host a forum Thursday that explains how the state funds public education.

They're calling it: "Save Our Schools: Save Education Funding Now."

Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky and lawyer John Tobin have led three of these forums in other property-poor towns around the state.

The pair were lawyers in the original lawsuits against the state for adequate school funding more than two decades ago.

Going Local: The Great North Woods

Aug 31, 2018
Dan Tuohy; NHPR

For the first part of our series, Going Local, we look at the Great North Woods

The very top of our state, with its small towns and expansive outdoor recreation options, is a region driven by local government, where school funding, access to well-paying jobs, and retention of a sustainable workforce are all big issues.

This show originally aired on July 12, 2018. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch closed its doors in 2011 after more than a century of serving North Country tourists.

A few years ago, a private developer stepped forward with hopes of revitalizing the property, but yesterday, there was another setback for the famed property: a financing deal backed by taxpayer money is now on hold after the parties failed to come to terms.

NHPR’s All Things Considered host Peter Biello speaks with reporter Todd Bookman about what the announcement could mean for the iconic resort.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Berlin is the latest city to join a massive lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for their alleged role in the opioid crisis.

Lawyers representing Berlin filed a 284-page petition in federal court on Friday accusing a group of pharmaceutical companies of stoking the opioid crisis by misleading doctors and patients about the risks of addiction posed by drugs including OxyContin.

NHCF.org

 

New Hampshire and Vermont organizations are getting $1.5 million in grants to support efforts in the North Country.

The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has awarded 28 grants focusing on such projects as afterschool programs, a dental clinic upgrade, and more in-depth news coverage.

New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association

Governor Chris Sununu is standing by his veto of a bill to boost the biomass industry – even as more of the wood-burning plants say they may shut down as a result.

A wood buyer for Bridgewater Biomass confirmed Tuesday that the plant took the veto as a signal about the industry's future, and stopped buying new wood in late June.

The Pinetree Power plants in Tamworth and Bethlehem did the same, according to spokeswoman Carol Churchill of their parent company, ENGIE North America.

Britta Greene / NHPR

New Hampshire health officials decided to prioritize a specific demographic this year when allocating scarce federal funds toward the opioid epidemic: pregnant and newly post-partum women.

The choice reflects stark statistics both in New Hampshire and across the country. 

Sargent Corporation

Environmentalists are suing over alleged water pollution at a North Country landfill.

The federal lawsuit, filed Monday against landfill owner Casella, comes from the Conservation Law Foundation and Toxics Action Center.

Selbe B via Flickr CC

Coos County officials have sided with the Mount Washington Cog Railway in a dispute over a trail near the summit – but the fight is far from over.

The Coos County planning board says the Cog didn't need a permit to clear the trail on its property, as long as it's used for maintenance and recreation.

They say it will need a permit if it's ever used commercially, but it's still not clear what that means.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A group of residents in the town of Gorham is suing to shut down a popular ATV trailhead.

Neighbors of the trail say they are fed up with the dust, noise and fumes from the four-wheelers. In their court filing, they cite an escalating number of police complaints lodged in Gorham in recent years involving ATV and OHRV riders. 

  Congresswoman Annie Kuster today applauded continued federal money for the Northern Border Regional Commission in the government funding bill. The funds supply infrastructure and economic grants to struggling communities in the Northeast.

 

Google maps

 

Town meeting voters in Bethlehem have rejected a plan to expand a North Country landfill. 

 

The Casella-owned facility serves a large part of the region and is on track to fill up by 2021. 

 

Jim McCann was one of about 600 Bethlehem residents who voted against the expansion proposal, with about 500 residents voting for it. This is the second year in a row the matter has been up for a vote.  McCann says he wants to see his small town diversify its economy, not invest in the landfill.

 

Chris Jensen, NHPR

Just a few years after opening up local roads to ATV traffic, residents of the town of Stark are debating whether to reverse course. A warrant article up for a vote at tomorrow’s town meeting would close local roads to off-road vehicles beginning in mid-April.

Courtesy Woody Little / Toxics Action Center

Environmental groups say they plan to sue a Bethlehem landfill owner for allegedly dumping contaminants into the Ammonoosuc River.

The news comes just days before a Town Meeting vote on a plan to expand the site.

Vermont-based Casella Waste Services is dismissing the threat as a political stunt.

The announcement came from two Boston-based nonprofits – the Conservation Law Foundation and the Toxics Action Center, where Woody Little is an organizer.

Cog Railway

The Coos County planning board is giving the Cog Railway more time to respond to complaints about a new trail along its tracks on Mount Washington.

The board met Wednesday night to discuss what the conservationists says is an un-permitted road near the summit.

Chris Magness is president of Keep the Whites Wild, and says the board wants to know how the railway will use the road.

Courtesy photo

Joel Storella’s “Cash Only Vintage” is about the last thing visitors to Littleton, New Hampshire expect to find while strolling along Main Street.

The quintessential New England town is known for being home to the world’s longest candy counter and the author of Pollyanna...but vintage Ralph Lauren sweatshirts and highlighter colored ski suits? Not so much. But those are just two of the many 80s and 90s gems you’ll find at Storella’s vintage clothing store.

Grant Helps North Country Kids Gear Up To Ski

Jan 22, 2018
Chris Jensen for NHPR

For years volunteers in Lancaster and Littleton have run the Mount Prospect and Mount Eustis ski slopes to give North Country kids a chance for low-cost winter fun. But one thing was missing: the kids.

Standing at the top of the newly opened Mt. Eustis last year, organizer Dave Harkless wondered why.

Sean Hurley

The tiny North Country town of Shelburne has proven a bellwether for New Hampshire politics for several years running. In many recent elections, the local vote has matched the state’s better than any other town.  

NHPR’s Sean Hurley has visited Shelburne periodically over the past two years to gauge the residents’ thoughts on politics and the new President.

North Country Greenhouse Project Delayed

Dec 11, 2017
Courtesy North Country Growers

A pair of high-tech greenhouses that were expected to bring 80 jobs to the North Country has been delayed.

North Country Growers executive Marguerite Piret described the project at a planning board meeting earlier this year.

“The acreage will be approximately 10.3 acres of salad greens and about 9.5 of tomatoes.”

That means about 8 million pounds of tomatoes and 15 million heads of lettuce a year would be grown in water blended with nutrients, Piret said. The produce would be picked fresh and delivered the next day to stores and restaurants in New England.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A new study from the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire shows people living in rural northern New Hampshire and adjacent counties in Maine and Vermont hold increasingly positive views of life there, though they also agree that the lack of job opportunities, drug abuse, and population decline are important problems.  (Scroll down to read the full research report.)

For more on the study of life in rural northern New England we turn to Larry Hamilton, professor of sociology and a senior fellow at the Carsey School. He's one of the authors of the study.

Jamelah E./Flickr

Two Berlin businesses are cancelling an Election Day-related raffle after learning the drawing violates state law.

Scene Street, a consignment shop, and Tech Pro, a computer repair store, each planned to give anyone who entered wearing an “I Voted” sticker on Election Day a raffle ticket for various prizes.

The State Attorney General, however, ordered the businesses to cancel the promotions, citing a 1973 law that prohibits using items of value to encourage a vote.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Local economies don’t turn on a dime. When a factory town loses its factories, and workers lose their jobs, it can take decades for a community to get back on its feet.

That’s been the reality in places like Berlin and Gorham: two former paper mill towns in the North Country now trying to reinvent themselves.

Businesses, officials and residents are hoping that ATV tourism can provide a much-needed financial boost. 

Alexius Horatius/Wikimedia Commons

After years, even decades of trailing behind the rest of the state, Coos County may be headed in a better economic direction.

New numbers from the American Community Survey, which is released each year by the U.S. Census Bureau, puts the percent of people living in poverty in Coos last year at 11.7%. 

New Hampshire State Police

A 19-year-old mystery may have been solved Tuesday when authorities pulled a pickup truck out of the Androscoggin River containing what are believed to be the remains of Tony Imondi. The truck was discovered in the river a few miles south of Errol Village.

This story originally appeared in The Berlin Daily Sun.

Cori Princell

The 42nd New Hampshire Highland Games took place this weekend in Lincoln.  It’s one of the largest gatherings like it in the U.S.  NHPR’s Cori Princell attended with her family...and something of a unique perspective.  


Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Border Patrol agents staged a weekend checkpoint on Interstate 93 in Lincoln, New Hampshire over the weekend, resulting in the detention of 25 undocumented immigrants, including several minors.

Charlottesville Vigil Planned Up in the North Country

Aug 25, 2017
FACEBOOK

A group in the North Country will host a vigil Friday in response to the violence in Charlottesville. There will be similar events in Keene and Portsmouth on Sunday.

Courtesy of The Friendship House

By next fall, the North Country will have a new residential drug treatment facility offering 32 beds. Construction is expected to start next month.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

If you find yourself in downtown Berlin, New Hampshire, take a glance at the Androscoggin River. There, in the middle of the water, you’ll notice a long, straight line of small rocky islands poking through the surface.

Pages