Regional Briefs For Jan. 14 - The Caledonian-Record - St. Johnsbury, VT
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home : news : regional February 6, 2016

Regional Briefs For Jan. 14

6 Hikers Rescued In NH's White Mountains

HARTS LOCATION, N.H. (AP) -- Six college students are OK after being rescued in New Hampshire's White Mountains, where they took a wrong trail during their return.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says the students from the Tufts University Mountain Club were reported lost in the White Mountain National Forest Dry River Wilderness area around 6 p.m. Friday.

The hikers had climbed Mount Pierce earlier in the day and intended to return to an Appalachian Mountain Club center in the town of Carroll. However, they took the wrong trail and wound up in an area that had been heavily damaged by Tropical Storm Irene.

Conservation officers located the hikers using global positioning information and snowshoes to get over 4 feet of snowpack. The rescue operation ended successfully at 5 a.m. Saturday.


NH Holds Vintage Snowmobile Race

PITTSBURG, N.H. (AP) -- The Great North Woods Vintage Snowmobile Race took place this weekend for snowmobiles built before 1973.

The race on Saturday in Pittsburg took participants back to a bygone era, when new machine prices hovered around $1,000 and gas was about 35 cents a gallon.

The event got under way at the Farr Road Gravel Pit.


NH Gov's 2nd Inaugural Ball Held In North Country

BRETTON WOODS, N.H. (AP) -- A ball was held in New Hampshire's North Country to celebrate Gov. Maggie Hassan's inauguration.

The ball was held Saturday at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods.

Hassan was sworn in as governor on Jan. 3. Her inaugural committee organized a ball in Manchester on Jan. 4 at the Radisson Center of New Hampshire.


Winter Activities Added To NH Itineraries

LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) -- An organization that promotes northern New Hampshire activities has added a new outdoor winter adventures itinerary to its website.

Tips on snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding and other activities are featured.

The New Hampshire Grand site points out snowmobile trails with dining options, winter festivals, indoor and outdoor ice skating spots, and snow tubing sites.

The itinerary can be found on


Mount Washington Hits All-time January High

MOUNT WASHINGTON, N.H. (AP) -- The January thaw in New England has even reached New Hampshire's Mount Washington, which recorded the all-time warmest temperature ever for the month.

Margaret Curtis from the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, says the temperature at the Mount Washington observatory hit 48 degrees at 6 a.m. Sunday, making New England's tallest mountain warmer than Phoenix and San Diego for a brief spell.

The previous record warmth for the month atop Mount Washington was 47 set on Jan. 20, 1995.

Curtis says temperatures will begin cooling across the region to more seasonable temperatures starting Monday, with the possibility of a shot of extreme cold Friday into Saturday.


Reaction To Shumlin Speech: Where's The Money?

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- The Vermont League of Cities and Towns is questioning who's going to pay for Gov. Peter Shumlin's proposals for improving the state's education system.

It cites the governor's proposal that some of the money for expanded childcare he's seeking will come from the state education fund, which is raised from property taxes and supports the statewide school funding system.

The governor also wants to make free school lunches available to more low-income students, and allow high school seniors to start college early.

The league says that about 70 percent of the $1.3 billion cities and towns raise each year in property taxes is used for education, and that plans to boost education spending often affect local property tax rates.


Vt. Grants Available To Improve Shooting Ranges

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says grant money is available to improve shooting ranges in the state.

Shooting clubs, sportsmen's groups and operators of shooting ranges, including archery ranges, have until Jan. 31, 2013 to apply for the funding.

The grant program -- which provides 75 percent reimbursement and requires a 25 percent non-federal match from the recipient -- was created in 2010 to improve shooting ranges and enhance their safety and operation.

Projects eligible for funding could be adding safety berms, shooting pads and stations, or reducing noise. Grant money also is available for lead mitigation.

The funds are derived from the federal excise taxes on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment.


Vt Contest Aimed At Boosting Food, Farm Businesses

RANDOLPH, Vt. (AP) -- The deadline is approaching to register for a business plan competition aimed at expanding farm, food and forestry businesses in Vermont.

Vermont Technical College and Strolling of the Heifers are putting on the competition. The deadline to register is Feb. 5.

All applications must involve some aspect of farming, forestry or food processing, distribution, packaging or retailing, including restaurants.

The winner will be awarded $10,000, with prizes of $8,000 and $5,000 for second and third place and two runner-up awards of $1,500. The student competition awards $4,000 for the winner, $2,000 for second place and two runner-awards of $1,000.

Finalists will be picked by March 20 and have until May 22 to prepare detailed business plans.

Contestants can register and find rules and information online at


Sanders Pushes Bill To Address Climate Change

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders says the warmest year on record in the United States and in Vermont has persuaded him it's time to get serious about climate change.

The independent lawmaker says he plans to introduce legislation that would include a tax on greenhouse gas emissions from the biggest polluters, more money for energy efficiency and clean energy research and development.

He says the measure also would end tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuels.

Sanders' announcement follows word from the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., this past week that the annual U.S. temperature last year was 55.32 degrees Fahrenheit, a full degree warmer than the old record set in 1998.

The mean 2012 temperature in Burlington was 50 degrees, also beating a record set in 1998.


Woman Charged With False Report In Vt. Drug Death

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. (AP) -- A 28-year-old New Hampshire woman is facing a charge of making a false report that Vermont State Police say interfered with a drug investigation after a man died with illegal drugs in his system.

Police say Julene Alva and an associate whom they did not name dropped Luke Vanranst off at the Bellows Falls police department on the evening of Dec. 4, saying they had found him collapsed in a parking lot in New Hampshire. Vanranst later died, and drugs and alcohol were found in his system during an autopsy.

Police say Alva's statements about where Vanranst was found were false, and prevented police from going to the location to where the illegal drugs were.

Alva is to be arraigned in the criminal court in Brattleboro on Feb. 26.


Investigation: Deeghan Overcharged $213,000

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- New documents allege that a former Vermont State Police sergeant accused of padding his time sheets obtained overpayments of nearly $212,000 over six years.

James Deeghan is expected to face new criminal charges.

Deeghan is due in court on Monday for a change-of-plea hearing on two felony charges that he claimed 63 hours of overtime in June that he didn't work.

The Burlington Free Press reports ( that investigators had believed he overcharged almost $140,000 from Dec. 21, 2008 to July 14, 2012. But a new police affidavit filed Friday said the investigation now showed that Deeghan had overcharged nearly $212,000.

Deeghan resigned in July.


Vt Non-profit Raises Money To Reopen Barnard Store

BARNARD, Vt. (AP) -- A nonprofit group in Barnard is planning to buy the building that housed a general store for 180 years, until it closed last spring after operating for 180 years at the edge of Silver Lake.

The Barnard Community Trust has raised $470,000 as part of its effort to buy the building and reopen the store.

Tom Platner of the community trust said the largest single donation was $100,000. There were other significant contributions, but also many small contributions.

"A lot of it's come in $100, $200, $10. The kid up the block gave us $3.95 from his lemonade stand this summer," he said.

In addition to the agreement to buy the building, the trust has found people to operate the store.

"I can't share their names yet, but they're a young couple. They've got experience and youthful enthusiasm is really important. They're looking forward to being here and we're looking forward to having them here," he said.

The previous owners said too many customers were buying groceries and other goods out of town.

The couple who will run the store are planning to move into living quarters above the store next month. It's hoped the store will reopen in April


Mass. Computer Networking Firm Returns To NH

SALEM, N.H. (AP) -- A computer networking company has completed its move from Massachusetts back to New Hampshire, bringing with it 600 jobs.

Enterasys announced a year ago it was moving out of Andover, Mass., to Salem, N.H. The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover ( ) says the computer networking giant last week completed its three-week move.

Enterasys is a spinoff of Cabletron Systems, which was founded by former New Hampshire Gov. Craig Benson and business partner Robert Levine in Levine's Rochester garage in 1983.

Company spokesman Vala Afsha says the move was a chore, but it was welcomed by employees. He says many of them still live in New Hampshire and will no longer have to pay Massachusetts income taxes.


2 Arrests Made In 4 Armed Robberies In Manchester

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Two arrests have been made in four armed robberies in Manchester in a five-day stretch.

Manchester police say 34-year-old Danien Brousseau and 36-year-old Oscar Grande were arrested Saturday afternoon in connection with robberies that occurred from Jan. 5 through Wednesday.

Police say Brousseau has been charged with four counts of armed robbery and Grande has been charged with one count of armed robbery. Both suspects live in Manchester.

Authorities say the robberies took place at the 99 Cent & Cigarette Market, two Crosstown Variety Store locations and the Bremer Street Food Mart, all on Manchester's west side.


NH Gun Show Draws Long Line Of Buyers

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- A line to get inside a Manchester, N.H., gun show stretched through the lobby and all the way outside the Expo Center in the Radisson Hotel.

WMUR-TV ( ) reports that more than 1,000 gun shoppers showed up for Saturday's show. Regular attendees said they had never have seen the show so crowded before. The DiPrite Promotions gun show ends Sunday.

Some of those attending said they wanted to buy the weapons before new gun control regulations can be imposed. The issue has heated up since the Dec. 14 shootings in Newtown, Conn.


NH Bill Would Reinstitute Straight Ticket Voting

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A group of Republican representatives want to bring back straight ticket voting.

Straight ticket voting was repealed by Democrats in 2007. Supporters said the practice was confusing with some voters selecting a box on the ballot that indicates they are voting for all candidates of one party, then voting for individual candidates from the other party. The contradiction left voting officials scratching their heads.

The House Election Law Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on a bill to allow straight ticket voting in general elections. Voters could vote for one party's candidates by marking by the party name. If voters marked by the party's name and then voted for individual candidates, the straight ticket vote would be cancelled for that office only.

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