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home : news : regional July 24, 2014

8/5/2013
News Briefs

Lakeshore panel heads to northern Vermont

NEWPORT, Vt. (AP) -- A special panel studying which protections are needed for Vermont's lakeshores is planning a meeting along the shore of Lake Memphremagog in Newport.

The Lake Shoreland Protection Commission was formed after legislation that called for new restrictions on what could be built on lakeshores was stalled after opposition from landowners and some towns.

The commission's purpose is to travel around the state and hear from Vermonters before lawmakers make another effort to draft new shoreline protections.

Friday's session of the commission is set for the Eastside Restaurant in Newport from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

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Vt. gov welcomes Obama disaster declaration




MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says he appreciates the disaster declaration signed by President Barack Obama that will help the state recover from a series of severe storms and flooding in late June and early July.

Shumlin says Vermont has been pounded by storms, high winds and flooding and federal aid is critical to communities rebuilding and to lessen the impact of future storms.

The aid will go to emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged in the counties of Caledonia, Chittenden, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, and Windsor during severe storms from June 25 to July 11.

An earlier presidential disaster declaration had already had been issued for flooding in Chittenden, Washington and Essex counties in late May.

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Vt., RI and Del. To study watershed changes

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- University of Vermont researchers are going to use a National Science Foundation grant to study changes to the Lake Champlain watershed brought about in part by the increasing number of severe storms that have been hitting the region in recent years.

Vermont scientists will be joined by colleagues from Rhode Island and Delaware in sharing a $6 million grant to install a network of high-tech sensors that will gather data from underwater and transmit it remotely, giving a moment-to-moment portrait of what is happening across selected watersheds in all three states.

"You can liken it to taking the pulse of the watershed," said UVM assistant professor of geology Andrew Schroth, one of about 20 researchers involved in the project. "We can continuously monitor the biogeochemical pulse of the watershed."

The project will be led by the Vermont Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research at UVM.

The project will gather water quality and quantity data across all three states -- as well as launch a network of lab and field-based experiments to investigate how the best way to policy makers could use the information they collect.

Understanding the information will have value beyond Vermont, Rhode Island and Delaware, said UVM biologist Judith Van Houten, the lead investigator for the project.

"A goal is to allow policymakers and managers to accelerate their responses to storm events," she said.

The collaborative will be called the North East Water Resources Network.

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N.Y., Vt. meetings set for waterfowl hunters

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- New York and Vermont wildlife officials want to hear the public's thoughts about waterfowl at two upcoming meetings in the Lake Champlain valley.

The sessions are set from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Skenesborough Rescue Squad building in Whitehall, N.Y., on Tuesday, and at the University of Vermont's Billings Hall on Wednesday.

Vermont and New York waterfowl hunters are encouraged to attend one of these meetings and share their preferences and opinions with other waterfowl hunters and Vermont and New York wildlife personnel.

Under Federal regulations, waterfowl seasons, bag limits, and shooting hours in the Lake Champlain zone must be uniform throughout the entire zone.

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Vt., Maine senators talk up vets' aid bill

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Susan Collins of Maine are highlighting legislation aimed at letting veterans groups take advantage of federal surplus goods.

The Formerly Owned Resources for Veterans to Express Thanks for Service Act -- named to carry the acronym FOR VETS -- has passed both Houses of Congress and is headed to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The bill would amend existing law to make veterans groups eligible to receive surplus property, such as computers, trucks and home appliances, being donated by the federal government.

Those groups will be added to a list of recipients of surplus goods that already includes hospitals, providers of assistance to the homeless, universities, and childcare facilities.

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N.H. town seeking assurance on oil trains

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) -- The town of Durham is asking a railway that that transports oil through the community for reassurances about safety precautions and a description of the type of oil being transported.

Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig wrote a letter to Pan Am Railways, which handles and transports crude oil cargo in hopes of avoiding an accident such as what happened last month in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, killing 47.

"We have been aware for some time that shipments of oil have been transported via Pan Am rails through Durham and other New Hampshire communities," Selig told Foster's Daily Democrat. (http://bit.ly/15CJ1Gr) "I thought it made good sense to reach out to Pan Am directly to get a much better understanding of what Pan Am is doing to ensure safety along the rail corridor."

Selig said some community members asked about the issue in the aftermath of last month's accident in Quebec.

Selig said he had also in touch with town emergency personnel to ensure they are prepared for any potential mishap.

Pan Am officials could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Selig said he had notified other communities of the letter, including Exeter, Newmarket, Rollinsford and Dover.

"We would like to get a written description of the type of material that is transported along the rail line and also an explanation in terms of what specific protocols are followed to ensure the safety of that cargo," he said. "Based upon that response, we would certainly review the material and follow up as needed."

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N.H. delegation, gov., welcome disaster declaration

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The four members of New Hampshire's congressional delegation and Gov. Maggie Hassan are welcoming a decision by President Barack Obama to declare parts of the state disaster areas, making them eligible for help in recovering from a series of severe storms.

The president's declaration, which was issued on Friday evening, will help pay for repairs to some damage in Cheshire, Sullivan, and Grafton counties between June 26 and July 3.

The counties will also be eligible to apply for Hazard Mitigation funds, which will cover some part of the cost of projects intended to reduce future damage.

A preliminary damage assessment done by officials with the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency determined damage exceeded $6.2 million.

Heavy rains washed out roads and forced the evacuation of some homes.

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N.H. trail hiker hurt in fall on rocks, rescued

BETHLEHEM, N.H. (AP) -- A hiker who slipped on wet rocks on a New Hampshire trail and suffered a leg injury has been rescued.

The state Fish and Game Department says 25-year-old Boston resident Lisa Simon was hiking south on the Twinway Trail in Bethlehem with a companion on Friday when she fell about a quarter-mile from the remote Galehead Hut. Simon couldn't put any weight on her injured leg.

Appalachian Mountain Club workers were called from the hut. They stabilized Simon's injury and took her back to the hut, where there are lodgings and a store.

Fish and Game Department conservation officers, Pemi Valley Search and Rescue Team volunteers and other Appalachian Mountain Club members responded. They helped carry Simon to the beginning of the trail where she could get more treatment.

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Mass. man injured on N.H.'s Mount Washington

PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. (AP) -- A Massachusetts man is undergoing treatment after being seriously injured in a 200-foot fall while hiking at New Hampshire's Mount Washington.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says 25-year-old Russell Kincade of Pembroke, Mass., was hiking in the Huntington Ravine central gulley with another hiker he'd met on the trail when he slipped and fell down a rock slope Saturday afternoon, suffering what appeared to be serious head injuries.

Kincade was initially tended to by Mount Washington State Park personnel and then carried by Fish and Game conservation officers and others over 2 ½ miles of rugged terrain, reaching the Appalachian Mountain Club Pinkham Notch visitors center at 3 a.m. Sunday.

Kincade was transported by medical helicopter to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, where he's being treated.

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Manchester installs meters to benefit homeless

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Manchester residents and visitors with some change to spare for the homeless have a new way to pay -- re-purposed parking meters.

Recycled parking meters painted by local artists are being installed in six locations around the city to benefit the New Horizons soup kitchen, food pantry and homeless shelter. The goal is to reduce panhandling in the city and help some of its neediest residents.

The program is similar to existing efforts in Baltimore, Minneapolis and Denver.

New Horizons provides meals to more than 250 individuals and families each month, and shelters an average of 80 adults per night.

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UNH widens innovation challenge to community

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) -- The University of New Hampshire is hoping to inspire social entrepreneurs of all ages by expanding a competition originally aimed at college students.

As part of the university's Social Business Innovation Challenge, participants must come up with innovative solutions to social problems such as poverty or climate change and show how they could sustain their business through earned revenues and profits rather than grants or donations. The idea is to encourage companies to tackle social issues by combining business know-how with the desire to improve quality of life.

Prizes will be awarded in September when the university hosts a statewide forum on social business and microfinance. Winners in the community competition division will get $3,000, plus 100 hours of consulting work from a New Hampshire-based web strategy, design and development firm and six months of participation in the New Hampshire Innovation Commercialization Center's business accelerator program.

UNH President Mark Huddleston said he was pleased to widen the competition to include more participants.

"Community members have first-hand knowledge of the social and environmental problems facing our region as well as the skills and enthusiasm needed to design innovative solutions to these problems," he said.

Nobel Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus will present the prizes at the Sept. 30 forum. The event is organized by the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics and the Carsey Institute.

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N.H. police use stun gun after woman goes for gun

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Police in New Hampshire's largest city say they were forced to use a stun gun on a woman after she grabbed for an officer's gun while police were clearing people out of a nightspot.

Manchester police say they were clearing out WR Taverna Club at 2 a.m. Sunday when 25-year-old Irene Alvarado started struggling with officers and attempted to go for one of their guns. That's when police subdued her with a stun gun.

WMUR-TV (http://bit.ly/1cpfMfq ) says Alvarado faces several charges, including simple assault on a police officer and obstructing government business.

It was unclear if she had a lawyer.

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N.H. Medicaid panel hearing from national experts

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A nine-member commission charged with making a recommendation on whether to expand Medicaid in New Hampshire will hear from national experts.

The commission has been holding a series of meetings to gather information so it can write a report to lawmakers by Oct. 15. On Tuesday it will hear from a group of national experts, and the following Tuesday New Hampshire experts will discuss the issue with the commission.

The Democratic House and Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, want to authorize the expansion to an estimated 49,000 poor adults under the federal health care overhaul law. The Republican-led Senate insisted on establishing a commission to study the potential impact and possible options other than enrolling the adults into the existing Medicaid program.

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80th annual crafts fair opens in Newbury, N.H.

NEWBURY, N.H. (AP) -- The 80th annual League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's Fair -- billed as the nation's oldest continually running crafts fair -- has gotten underway at Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury.

Featuring the work of 350 juried craftsmen and luring thousands to the region, the nine-day fair kicked off Saturday and runs through Aug. 11.

This year features an entire floor in the lower ski lodge called "Living with Crafts" that shows entire rooms decorated solely with the work of the craftsmen. New this year is child care in the Family Pavilion, where children engage in arts and crafts projects, and a tent that displays the works of the children of the artisans.

The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, except for Friday when it stays open until 7 p.m. with half-price admission of $5 after 4 p.m.

Susie Lowe-Stockwell, executive director of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, said the fair is brimming with pottery, hand-blown glass, framed wood-block prints, bowls, jewelry, handcrafted jewelry and more.

For those needing a break from the overwhelming array of crafts, Lowe-Stockwell suggests a visit to the Mount Sunapee Resort Adventure Park, featuring zip-lining, a treetop obstacle course, miniature golf, disc golf, interpretative hiking tours and off-road Segway excursions.

More than 35,000 people attend the fair each year.

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N.H. officials to discuss waterfowl season

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire's Fish and Game Department is holding a public meeting this month on proposed season dates and bag limits for the 2013 waterfowl hunting season.

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at fish and game headquarters in Concord. Public comments will be taken into consideration in setting the season dates.

The proposed waterfowl season is similar to last year's.

The overall duck season would be 60 days, with a daily bag limit of six birds. The Canada goose season also would be 60 days with a daily bag limit of two birds. One proposed change is for possession limits for ducks, geese and other migratory game birds to be three times the daily limit rather than two times the bag limit.

Waterfowl seasons are broken into zones. The proposed northern zone season would open Oct. 2 and run through Nov. 30. The inland zone would open Oct. 2 and run through Nov. 3, close and then reopen Nov. 26 through Dec. 22. The coastal zone would open Oct. 3 and run through Oct. 14, close and reopen Nov. 26 through Jan. 12.

A map of the waterfowl zones is at: http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_waterfowl.htm.

Fish and game officials say duck and waterfowl population levels this year in New Hampshire and the Atlantic flyway are in good shape. Breeding surveys indicated higher duck and goose populations than in recent years, but persistent rainy weather after nesting is expected to lower duckling and gosling survival.

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N.H. sex-offender counseling center vandalized

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Police are investigating an act of vandalism at a sex-offender counseling center in New Hampshire that neighbors have criticized and city officials are trying to evict.

Officials say somebody threw bricks through a plate-glass door and a window Friday night or early Saturday at RTT Associates in Concord.

RTT Associates is located in a largely residential neighborhood and provides counseling to sex offenders, substance-abuse patients and others. It's come under criticism after a man who was receiving counseling there allegedly sexually assaulted a girl in a nearby home in May.

The city has ordered RTT to leave the building, calling it "a hazard to the health, safety and general welfare of the public." RTT appealed that order Friday.

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Vt. event marks Hiroshima, Nagasaki bombings

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- People interested in promoting peace will be gathering on the Burlington waterfront this week for an event to mark the 68th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

The event being organized by Burlington's Peace & Justice Center is set for Friday evening at 7 p.m. The anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing is Aug. 6, which is Tuesday, with the Nagasaki anniversary following on Friday.

Organizers say there will be singing and a special candle boat ceremony on Lake Champlain.

A statement from the Peace & Justice Center says effects of the bombings at the end of World War II have lasted for decades, and continue to affect the lives of survivors, their ancestors, and the environment.

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12-year-old girl presumably drowns in Vt. river

WINOOSKI, Vt. (AP) -- Searchers have recovered the body of a 12-year-old Massachusetts girl who presumably drowned in Vermont's Winooski River after going missing while swimming.

Officials say Kaylynn Small of Springfield, Mass., was swimming with friends in the river that runs between Winooski and Burlington when she went under and failed to resurface shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday. Her body was recovered at about 10 a.m. Sunday.

Winooski Police Chief Steve McQueen tells the Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/14rZ8Kc ) that the girl was spending the summer with relatives.

Searchers were unable to find the girl before nightfall Sunday and resumed their search Sunday.

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2 profs at Vt.'s St. Michael's College get grant

COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) -- Two professors at Vermont's St. Michael's College in Colchester are part of a research team that has won a $2 million grant to study DNA technology.

Mathematics Professor Joanna Ellis-Monaghan and computer science Professor Greta Pangborn will be working with 10 experts on a project from the National Science Foundation to develop "self-replicating nanoscale origami."

The project will look for ways to select and identify useful DNA configurations, copying them to produce more, and evolving the configurations over successive generations to produce the best features.

Ellis-Monaghan and Pangborn will be working closely with each of the labs to develop mathematical problem formulations for the various processes.

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