Budget committee not supporting teachers' contract

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — A proposed three-year teacher contract won't have the blessing of the Conway Municipal Budget Committee. Members voted 9-4-2 last Thursday not to support the first three-year agreement to come before it in more than three decades.

The Snow Report — On a record-setting pace

By Lloyd Jones

2-21-17-wildcat-ski-5A skier enjoys the wide-open terrain, and mountain views, at Wildcat on Tuesday. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)Phenomenal conditions, picture-perfect weather — it's a skier's paradise this week in and around the Mount Washington Valley. Local alpine resorts and ski touring centers are reporting nothing but good news.

Cranmore Mountain Resort's President and General Manager Ben Wilcox said the mountain that Hannes Schneider put on the map is off to its best February vacation week ever. Sunday was the busiest day in the history of the mountain in terms of skier visits.

"It was great, but the really nice thing is how smooth the day went," Wilcox said. "We had great conditions, and the weather has really cooperated."

Wilcox said the resort's tubing park also saw record numbers.

"People obviously got the word about the snow from last week," he said. "The biggest thing for us, it's nice to get the record numbers and have our service level stay strong. The weekend was great. Monday was fantastic and (Tuesday) is looking really good, too. Right now, we're optimistic for the rest of the week. We're kind of in a marathon where every day is like Saturday for a week. It's nice to see people getting the vacation they hoped for. If this keeps going, it's going to be a week for the record books."

Engaged on Mount Washington: Taking love to new heights

By Terry Leavitt

2-18-17-couple-engaged-on-Washington-3-Jamie-Gemmiti-photoTasha Dunsey shows off her engagement ring with fiance John O'Kelly, who popped the question on Mount Washington. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)CONWAY — Last Friday was a memorable day for John O'Kelly and Tasha Dunsey of Philadelphia. The young couple's trip to the summit of Mount Washington, booked months in advance, was finally coming together.

But the memories O'Kelly hoped to make included more than taking a Snow Cat to the top of the Northeast's highest peak. Once they reached the summit, he planned to pop the question. Yes, that question.

The proposal was months in the making.

O'Kelly, 33, who booked the Snow Cat ride with the Mount Washington Observatory in August, had been coming to the valley for more than 20 years. He started bringing Dunsey, 30, when they began dating two years ago.

In terms of the area, "we love everything about it," O'Kelly said. "There's so much to do, so many trails for hiking."

Last year, they even rode the Polar Express at Christmas time.

"And we're really into breweries," said Dunsey.

They also believe in supporting the Mount Washington Observatory's mission of scientific research and education. "They are a non-profit. We want to support their weather research, and research in general," O'Kelly said.

Booking the trip was just the beginning. O'Kelly bought the ring in January. He had a 4-by-8-foot banner with "Will you marry me?" printed on it, and had it sent to the summit with the crew, who agreed to drop it where Tasha would see it at the summit.

He bought flowers. And a cake. O'Kelly planned every detail of their getaway from their home in Philadelphia.

But one thing you can't plan for is the weather on Mount Washington.