Week in Review — Jan. 14-20, 2017

Saturday, Jan. 14
• Ski jumping has a long and storied history in the Granite State — especially in the Mount Washington Valley. Not only is skiing the official sport, but New Hampshire is the only state that offers high school ski jumping, with eight schools — including Conway's Kennett High — fielding squads.
• The community lost two pillars in the first week of 2017 in separate unrelated circumstances. Dr. Michael Cline, 65, longtime executive director of the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, died Jan. 3 at his Chatham home after a heroic battle with pancreatic cancer. Two days later, former longtime North Conway Community Center Executive Director Rowland McKim "Kim" Perkins, 87, died in North Conway after a brief illness.
Tuesday, Jan. 17
• At a special town meeting on Jan. 26, Fryeburg residents will be asked to decide on a six-month moratorium on any marijuana-related ordinances, and also whether to move the day of the annual town meeting in June from Thursday to Saturday.
• The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests has demanded that Les Otten, developer of the Balsams, turn over all documents relating to any financial dealings with Northern Pass. Otten has plans to make the Balsams Wilderness Ski Area into the largest and most technically advanced ski area on the East Coast. Northern Pass is a 192-mile transmission line project proposed to bring hydroelectric energy from Quebec, Canada, through New Hampshire to the rest of New England.
• Hundreds of women's marches are expected to take place not only in Washington, D.C., but on the streets of towns across the country and world Saturday in the wake of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration. One march is set for Jackson.
Wednesday, Jan. 18
• The Conway School Board and the Conway Education Association (teachers union) reached a tentative agreement on what would be the first three-year teacher contract in decades. The cost of the contract, which would have to be approved by voters in April, would be $461,926 for the first year, $468,005 for the second year and $482,627 for the third year.
• Unity and world peace. Those are the comforting goals one reflects on when seeing the more than 5,000 origami cranes dangling from the rafters of the Conway Village Congregational Church. They were created by church members last year, which the Rev. Martell Spagnolo and his board declared as a year of peace for a church known as "the Brown Church."
• A group of locally owned and operated retail businesses are coordinating their joint marketing under an umbrella organization to be known as the White Mountain Independents.
Thursday, Jan. 19
• Conway Budget Committee members said they don't want to see the North Conway Community Center submit is normal $75,000 request. They've asked the center to decrease its funding.
• Fryeburg selectmen are urging residents not to take more than their fair share of sand from the Department of Public Works for personal use because the town's sand budget is nearly exhausted thanks to an unusually large number of ice storms the region has experienced this winter.
• Progress is being made at converting the former Groveton mill site into a new manufacturing facility, with NSA Industries planning to begin operations there in February.
• Representatives of Vaughan Community Services held an open house at their food pantry's new quarters behind Via Roma in North Conway.
• A man convicted in Conway Circuit Court for "whipping" his driver's license at a police officer is appealing his conviction to Carroll County Superior Court. Gilbert Robert, 61, of Conway was found guilty of simple assault against Conway officer Richard Gaudrea.
• Melody Nester was named community relations and development coordinator at Memorial Hospital in North Conway.
Friday, Jan. 20
• Memorial Hospital is studying the feasibility of opening an off-campus day-care facility for senior citizens with "cognitive or physical issues."
• Kennett High was forced to scrap its JV girls' basketball season because there weren't enough players.

Week in Review — Dec. 31, 2016-Jan. 6, 2017

Saturday, Dec. 31
• Politics, the drug epidemic and weather were The Conway Daily Sun's top stories of 2016. The presidential race, New Hampshire primary and November general election put politics on top. The opioid crisis was a major issue nationwide and hit close to home as well. Weather-wise, the valley experienced its warmest winter in recorded history, followed by one of the driest summers.
• Winter Storm Fortis dropped more than a foot of snow on the area heading into the New Year's weekend.
Tuesday, Jan. 3
• Twenty-seven wolf dogs from the New England Wolf Advocacy Rescue Center were packed up Christmas Eve for a cross-country journey to the rescue center's parent facility, the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center in Frazier Park, Calif.
• A debate is raging over the legality of existing ATV trails in Nash Stream State Forest in Stark.
• The Kennett High hockey team won the fourth annual Peter Hall Christmas Tournament at the Ham Arena in Conway.
Wednesday, Jan. 4
• With just eight students in the Licensed Nursing Assistant course in the Health Science Technology program at the Mount Washington Valley Career and Technical Center, some Conway School Board members have questioned whether the program should continue.
• Ariana Jones was the first baby born at Memorial Hospital in 2017. She arrived on Jan. 1 at 4:22 a.m. Parents are Marlena Nichols and Corey Jones of Chocorua.
• A Conway landlord, Alexander Franke, 56, was ordered held on $7,500 cash bail after being charged with threatening a tenant with a gun and firing it on the ground near the person.
• With plenty of snow on the ground for skiers and winter outdoor enthusiasts, Mount Washington Valley businesses reported one of the most successful Christmas and New Year's weeks in many years.
Thursday, Jan. 5
• New County Attorney Michaela Andruzzi, Register of Deeds Lisa Scott and County Commissioners Amanda Bevard and Mark Hounsell were sworn in by Judge James Patten in Ossipee.
• Conway selectmen are mulling a 1,000 percent increase in fines associated with pushing snow out into the street or onto sidewalks and not cleaning it up. At least one public hearing will need to be held before a decision is made.
• Two Kennett High School teachers, Jack Hadam and Theresa Sires, were granted early retirement by the Conway School Board. Hadam, 56, has been with the district since 1986, and Sires, also 56, since 2000.
Friday, Jan. 6
• Moving the town parks and rec department to Kennett Middle School is back on the table, after selectmen agreed to keep negotiating with SAU 9 over converting unused space at school into a new town recreational facility.
• At Wednesday's meeting of the Carroll County commissioners, newly sworn-in Mark Hounsell (R-Conway) said he would like to shut down the county farm and replace it with something more productive. His fellow commissioners, David Babson (R-Ossipee) and Amanda Bevard (R-Wolfeboro) said they would like to keep farming on the land.
• While a stakeholder meeting about overuse of the White Mountain National Forest is being planned for later this month, Conway selectmen seem reluctant to participate because they feel their stance on limiting parking at Diana's Baths has been made abundantly clear.
• The Bartlett teachers union and school board reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract to bring to voters March 7 at the annual Bartlett School Meeting. The contract carries a $122,634 price tag.
• Bartlett School Board decided against bringing forward a $25,000 article to purchase surveillance cameras to monitor students getting on and off the buses at Josiah Bartlett Elementary School.

Week in Review — Jan. 7-13, 2017

Saturday, Jan. 7
• Mount Washington Valley lost many treasures in 2016. Coach Bob Burns, lifelong resident and star high school athlete Leona (Reny) Hill, the Rev. Donald Derse, author Tom Ryan, Dr. Miles E. Waltz, athlete Jim Soroka, ever-colorful native Ralph Wiggin, Saco River steward Michelle Broyer and Realtor, writer, playwright and former innkeeper Peter Pinkham were among those who passed away last year.
• Based on the makeup of the state Senate, the New Hampshire legislature may be poised to decriminalize marijuana.
Tuesday, Jan. 10
• Tamworth selectmen last week reinstated fired police chief Penny Colby days before Colby and the town were to square off in Carroll County Superior Court over a lawsuit she filed last year.
• N.H. Fish and Game responded to a number of off-road incidents over the weekend, including a woman who crashed through the ice in her Utility Task Vehicle on Big Island Pond in Hampstead. Ashley Wright, 30, of Hampstead, sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
• Bartlett School Board decided to not pursue an integrated preschool this year. An integrated preschool includes children who are developing within age expectations as well as those in need of specialized services such as speech/language therapy, occupational therapy of physical therapy.
Wednesday, Jan. 11
• Members of the Wilson family credit the Lord with preventing a recent terrifying car accident in Hiram, Maine, from becoming a tragedy. The Wilsons are missionaries from Lawtey, Fla., and three members of the family were in a car that plunged 50 feet over an embankment onto the frozen Saco River. All managed to walk away with relatively minor injuries.
• While a School Start Time ad hoc committee would like to see high school and middle school start later, after 10 months it was concluded that such a move would be too costly.
• King Pine Ski Area in Madison was among the recipients of a grant to purchase safety netting to line training and racing courses.
• A Conway man, Ryan Stewart, 33, who was charged with selling heroin twice in two weeks back in October was arrested again for violating bail conditions by not returning to jail once he completed drug treatment.
• Fryeburg Academy field science teacher Dylan Harry was nominated for the 2016-17 national LifeChanger of the Year award, which recognizes educators who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.
Thursday, Jan. 12
• Despite renewed overtures from school officials to consider moving the town recreation center to Kennett Middle School, Conway selectmen decided that the idea wasn't feasible.
• Richard Murray was elected Fryeburg selectman in a three-person race to replace former Selectman Jeff Cox. Voters at a special town meeting also voted to increase the size of the board of selectmen from three members to five.
• More than 60 people attended a commencement ceremony for seven Eagle Academy students: Callie Blackburn, Savannah Bradbury, Hunter Coughlan, Arawn Hewitt, Emily Soucy, Kaylyn Ward and Lee Moore.
Friday, Jan. 13
• Although Tamworth selectmen voted to hire her back last week after firing her last fall, former Police Chief Penny Colby said she doesn't want her old job back.
• The Kennett High hockey team defeated powerhouse Berlin-Gorham for the first time in the last 14 meetings between the two teams.
• The chairman of the committee tasked with finding the best possible use for 900 acres of county farm and timber lands has suggested paying $10,000 to a consultant to find out.
• Asked to trim the 2017-18 school budget by $137,500, administrators have chosen to cut positions rather than programs.

Week in Review — Dec. 17-30, 2016

Saturday, Dec. 24
• Local outdoors enthusiasts Diane McGregor, Marianne Borowski and Jackie Hamblet, all of Glen, last summer completed their quest to hike New England's highest 100 peaks. Only 927 people have achieved that feat since the Appalachian Mountain Club first began recording ascents in 1988. The three climbed 59 peaks in New Hampshire, along with 14 in Vermont and 27 in Maine.
Tuesday, Dec. 27
• Conway selectmen decided they will ask voters in April to do an architectural study of the Conway Community Building, which has lacked potable water for close to a year due to pipes that are leaching copper and lead. Selectmen have spent years trying to figure out what to do with the 107-year-old building that had housed Pine Tree School and now is used as the recreation center. In addition to the lead pipes, the building's wiring is not up to code, the gymnasium is too small and there is no air conditioning in the gym. Estimated cost to rehabilitate the building and bring it up to code is $782,000. Expanding the building could bring the price tag to $1.5 million.
• In the works for 13 years, the Club Motorsports track in Tamworth is set to open to members next spring or summer. The 2.5-mile European-style course has 15 turns, 250 feet of elevation change and a long downhill straightaway. A video that conveys the thrill of racing around the road course in a Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2 was recently posted by Motor Trend Magazine on its website.
• N.H. Fish and Game officers recovered the body of hiker John Holden, 26, of Jefferson, Mass., near the top of Bondcliff, a remote 4,265-foot mountain located 8.8 miles from Lincoln Woods and the Kancamagus Highway.
• Mike Pelchat of Gorham, manager of the Mount Washington State Park, retired from his longtime post.
Wednesday, Dec. 28
• More stores, some with as many as 25 rental apartments above them; the abandonment of McMillan Lane; and the upgrading of Barnes Road — these are among the desired outcomes of a proposed lot merger by Settlers Green developer Robert Barsamian, a plan that was presented to Conway selectmen for review on Dec. 20. The goal would be to remove McMillan Lane (leading from Barnes Road to Settlers Green) and create one large lot for continued development.
• The state Fish and Game Department, along with other first responders, aided in a number of search and rescue calls Monday. During the first call Monday afternoon, an Indiana man, Thomas Southwood, was rescued off the summit of Mount Washington after suffering a lower leg injury. Also on Monday, a teenager sustained non-life-threatening injuries after crashing a snowmobile in Pittsburgh.
Thursday, Dec. 29
• Winter Storm Fortis moved into New England and dropped more than a foot of snow on Mount Washington Valley.
• Officials of the New England Ski Museum announced that they have passed the critical 60 percent mark in their $1.7 million capital campaign to open a branch of the ski museum in the former North Conway Community Center. The 2,200-square-foot facility became available after a new community center opened last year.
• A Massachusetts man was taken to Memorial Hospital in North Conway following a snowmobile accident on Corridor 19, about a mile from Hurricane Mountain Road.
Friday, Dec. 30
• Led by Bretton Woods and Wildcat Mountain, several local alpine areas received accolades in the nationwide 2016-17 "Best in Snow Awards" by Liftopia, an online and mobile marketplace for lift tickets, ski lessons and other mountain activities. Bretton Woods received No. 1 ranking in more categories than any other resort in the Northeast.
• Two Fryeburg men, Robert "Dalton" Parker, 23, and Tyler Judyski, 28, were arrested after being pulled over by police and then taking off, resulting in a multi-state chase. Parker, the driver of the vehicle, faces multiple charges, including driving to endanger; eluding an officer; criminal mischief; and operating after suspension. Judyski was charged with possession of a controlled drug (heroin).
• Two public hearings were scheduled for January on the town's possible acceptance of vacant land in North Conway Village. At present, the land is being occupied by a 116-year-old dilapidated house, which is to be torn down before the town takes the land.
• A court date was scheduled for Jan. 10 for a lawsuit brought against the town of Tamworth by former Police Chief Penny Colby, who was fired by selectmen in September.