Locals bring supplies to Standing Rock protest

By Daymond Steer

CONWAY — Several locals recently headed west to join protesters at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Meanwhile, others are doing what they can in the Mount Washington Valley to support the Native Americans who oppose a 1,200-mile pipeline, which was planned to move crude oil to Illinois under Lake Oahe on the reservation.

standing-rockSean Carney of Conway posted this picture on Facebook. He headed with a supply convoy to North Dakota on Dec. 1. (COURTESY PHOTO)A major breakthrough occurred Sunday, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it had decided declined to approve a permit that the pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners, needed in order to finish construction along the planned route. While the company has vowed to continue its construction, this was good news for the protesters, who had been anticipating a mandatory evacuation order from North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

Over the months of the standoff, police had fired water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas and other non-lethal weapons at the protesters, many of them tribal members who fear the pipeline's potential effects on the environment as well as its impact on burial sites and drinking water on the reservation.

Among the locals who left late last week to join the protest was Sean Carney of Conway, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the state House of Representatives from District 2 in the recent election.

He said the people of Bismark, N.D., had tried to get the pipeline rerouted away from the city and toward the Sioux Nation.

Smith returns to World Cup racing after two injury-plagued seasons

By Lloyd Jones

12-5-leanne-smith-2016-17-ski-team-mugLeanne Smith is pleased to be  back on the World Cup circuit. (COURTESY U.S. SKI TEAM)CONWAY — While the results weren't quite what she was looking for, they weren't the most important thing to Leanne Smith over the weekend.

The Conway resident — sidelined the past two winters due to injury — made it back to the starting gate on the World Cup circuit for the U.S. Ski Team in Lake Louise, Canada, where she skied two downhills and a Super G over the weekend.

They were Smith's first races since 2014. She finished 30 and 34th in the downhills (out of 58 skiers) on Friday and Saturday, and was 47th in the Super G on Sunday out of 56 skiers.

"Leanne Smith is back and ready to rock," Megan Harrod, alpine press officer U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association said Friday on the team's website.

"The team is stoked to have teammate Leanne Smith back on the mountain, returning to World Cup action after sitting out two seasons due to injury. In a recent interview with Ski Racing, she said, 'I think that getting myself into a race atmosphere and back into what I do best will be good for me — just to let everything go and not think about technique or the fact that I've been out two years.' Make sure to cheer that girl on ... I've never seen a fighter quite like this one."

Smith, 29, the only women's national team member to ascend the World Cup ranks after pursuing a collegiate ski racing career, is the daughter of Paula and Joe Smith of Conway, and has been on the U.S. Ski Team for eight years.

She missed much of this past season due to knee surgery. She traced the knee problems back to her playing days at Kennett High School, where she was a three-sport standout.

World War II veterans recall Pearl Harbor attack of Dec. 7, 1941

By Tom Eastman

CONWAY — It was a "date which will live in infamy."

12-6-16-file-shot-11-12-Veterans portrait-of-SmittyLuther Earl "Smitty" Smith, 93, of Conway served in World War II. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)Those famous words were uttered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his address to Congress, seeking a declaration of war the day after the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941.

The surprise attack killed more than 2,000 Americans and triggered the entry of the United States into World War II.

The 75th anniversary is being marked today, including in New Hampshire at the Manchester VA Medical Center, which will hold a commemorative ceremony and an exhibit, from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Gov. Maggie Hassan has proclaimed today as "Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day" in New Hampshire and has directed flags to be flown at half-staff today.

"The course of history for our great nation and the world changed with the horrific attack at Pearl Harbor 75 years ago," Hassan said. "This solemn occasion is an important opportunity to join together in honoring the sacrifices of the brave lives lost that day, as well as those who survived and those who courageously went on to defend our nation in World War II. Because of their selfless sacrifices, our country and world are safer and stronger. I join all Granite Staters, Americans and people across the world in remembering this dark day in our nation's history and in expressing our profound gratitude for the brave men and women who sacrificed bravely to protect their fellow citizens and defend our shared values of freedom, liberty and equality."

Alleged TD Bank robber turns self in; held for armed robbery

By Tom Eastman

CONWAY — After a yearlong investigation, anonymous tips, witness interviews and physical evidence connected to the Nov. 13, 2015, armed robbery at the TD Bank in North Conway, a 21-year-old Massachusetts turned himself in to Conway police last weekend.

12-5-Police-arrest-Andrew-Gray-Jr-for-2015-TD-Bank-RobberAndrew Gray Jr., 21, is in custody in Conway. (POLICE PHOTO)After surrendering on Dec. 3, Andrew J. Gray Jr. of Peabody, Mass., appeared in Conway Circuit Court on Monday and was ordered held on $10,000 cash-only bail with a probable cause hearing set for Dec. 13 at 1 p.m.

Gray was charged with robbery in accordance with RSA 636:1, a crime that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison due to the use of a firearm.

Conway Detectives Ryan Wallace and Ryan True had led the investigation, according to Conway Police Lt. Chris Mattei.

Asked why Gray turned himself in, Mattei said it might have had something to do with the suspect's learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

"Detectives True and Wallace and I traveled to Peabody last Thursday and met with police," Mattei said.

"We went to his grandmother's house, where he lives with his girlfriend. They were not there, but word got out that there was a warrant for his arrest, so that may have led to his turning himself in," Mattei said Monday.

It has been more than a year since a male robber wearing a blond wig brazenly entered the bank at 2561 White Mountain Highway in broad daylight, pointed a gun at tellers and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. But local detectives have been working doggedly on solving the crime.