Week in Review — Dec. 3-9, 2016

Saturday, Dec. 3
• After many years in a slumber, construction activity has awakened locally this year, with ground broken and site work progressing on several large-scale and, in some cases, long-awaited commercial projects in North Conway.
• Girl Scout Troop 10615 in Conway is helping the local "End 68 Hours of Hunger" program collect food to place in children's holiday backpacks.
• Roger J. Dana, 43, of Berlin was charged in the murder of his 2-year-old daughter, Madison Dana. The second-degree murder charge alleges that he recklessly cause the death of the child by physically assaulting her multiple times.
• Four Berlin City Auto employees were arrested on charges of improperly conducting New Hampshire safety inspections.
Tuesday, Dec. 6
• After a yearlong investigation, anonymous tips, witness interviews and physical evidence connected to a Nov. 13, 2015 armed robbery at the TD Bank in North Conway, a 21-year-old Massachusetts man turned himself in to Conway police. After surrendering on Dec. 3, Andrew J. Gray Jr. of Peabody, Mass., appeared in Conway Circuit Court and was ordered held on $10,000 cash-only bail, with a probable cause hearing set for Dec. 13.
• Dueling petitions surfaced following the Mount Washington Cog Railway's announcement that it will be seeking to build a hotel about a mile below the summit of the 6,288-foot peak. One petition was started by the Cog, urging the public to support the project, saying a 35-bed lodge and restaurant would expand the limited accommodations for those who use the mountain for recreational purposes. However, the hiking community has responded with petitions of its own, saying a lodge would have a large environmental impact on the fragile alpine zone.
• The season's first accumulative snowfall on Dec. 5 led to slippery roads and a few accidents, but no major injuries were reported.
• The Conway School Board decided against putting a warrant article on the ballot for three integrated preschools in Conway.
• Fryeburg selectmen set a public hearing date of Dec. 15 for the special town vote on increasing the size of the board of selectmen from three to five. The vote itself will take place Jan. 10.
• Conway Police Department collected more than 3,500 pounds of food in its annual "Cram the Cruiser" drive at North Conway Hannaford to benefit local food pantries.
Wednesday, Dec. 7
• Several locals recently headed west to join protesters at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, while others are doing what they can in Mount Washington Valley to support the Native Americans who oppose a 1,200-mile pipeline, designed to move crude oil to Illinois under Lake Oahe on the reservation. On Dec. 4, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it had declined to approve a permit that pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners, needed in order to finish construction along the planned route.
• Conway's Leanne Smith — 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.
Thursday, Dec. 8
• Pitcher Jeff Locke of Madison signed a one-year contract with the Miami Marlins. Locke, a Kennett High graduate, pitched six seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates but was let go earlier this month.
• The Appalachian Mountain Club announced that it is withdrawing its proposal for a new hiker hut in Crawford Notch State Park.
• Outgoing District 2 state Sen. Jeanie Forrester of Meredith said she will be a candidate for chair of the N.H. Republican State Committee when the party gathers to elect a new leader Jan. 28. Forrester gave up her District 2 seat to run for governor in the Republican primary earlier this year. She was unsuccessful in her gubernatorial bid.
• SAU 9 Administrative Services Director Jim Hill trimmed the district's fuel bill by $35,000 when he locked the district in at $1.79 per gallon for fuel oil for the next year.
Friday, Dec. 9
• The proposed 2017-18 budget of $7.73 million for Kennett High School is up nearly 3.1 percent.
• Three sets of siblings, known as the Mount Washington Valley Explorers, brought home a first-place presentation trophy at the 2016 New Hampshire First Lego League State Championship in Windham.
• Zeb's General Store in North Conway announced that it will purchase $16,000 of Community Development Finance Authority credits to support the renovation of the Bolduc Majestic Theatre in Conway Village. Payments by the store to the Community Development Finance Authority this year and next are recycled back to Mountain Top Music to help fund the capital campaign.

Week in Review — Nov. 19-Nov. 25, 2016

Saturday, Nov. 19

• Fire destroyed the White Mountain Cider Co. Market and Deli on Nov. 18, but the restaurant in the same complex was unscathed. The fire, which is not considered suspicious, remains under investigation.
• State Rep. Ed Butler (D-Hart's Location) plans to file legislation to get the state to take concrete action against transgender discrimination during the upcoming session in January.
• There are still 16 fire lookout towers in New Hampshire. Fifteen are owned by the state, administered by the Division of Forests and Lands. One tower, on Red Hill in Moultonboro, is owned by the Lake Region Conversation Trust.
• The Albany Covered Bridge forest fire in the White Mountains was 100 percent contained as of Friday, Nov. 18. About 329 acres of forest burned in the blaze, which had started Nov. 12. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
• If you get lost in the woods, don't panic, there are a number of things to do to get you back on the right path. Tim Jones, the executive editor of the online magazine EasterSlopes.com, offers a number of wilderness tips.

Tuesday, Nov. 22

• Selectmen voted on Nov. 17 to move ahead with a plan to ask voters to replace old streetlights with energy-saving LED (light-emitting diode) fixtures, although making the investment back will take about two years.
• With Maine's passage of Question 1, which would allow people 21 and older "the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance," selectmen in Fryeburg will be seeking public input on to handle legalized recreational marijuana.
• Donald J. Trump became the U.S. president-elect on Nov. 8, but he wasn't the top choice of students at either Fryeburg Academy or Kennett High School. A majority of Raiders and Eagles cast mock ballots earlier this month for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
• The Fryeburg community lost a true Saco River steward with the recent death of Michelle Broyer, who served as the Saco River Recreation Council's conservation and education director and manager at Swans Falls Campground. Broyer died unexpectedly at her Fryeburg home on Nov. 9. She was 56.
• Kennett High School is teaming up with the Millen Foundation to purchase and place two solar powered scoreboards on the soccer/lacrosse and field hockey fields. The foundation has pledge half of the estimated $30,000 money for the project. School officials hope to have the scoreboards installed and operational in the spring of 2017.

Wednesday, Nov. 23

• A petition with 575 signatures given to Fryeburg selectmen last week persuaded them to schedule a town vote for Jan. 10 on possibly expanding the board to five members. At the same time, voters will also fill an existing vacancy on the board.
• Budget season has begun for the Conway School District. Kennett Middle School Principal Rick Biche is seeking a a family support liaison position for the 2017-18 school year. John H. Fuller and Pine Tree elementary schools added the position this spring. Conway Elementary School has had it for the past seven years.
• Zeb's General Store co-founders David Peterson and Peter Edwards were honored as co-recipients of the 2016 Bob Morrell Award for civic entrepreneurship on Nov. 17 at the 26th annual meeting of the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council, held a the Red Jacket Mountain View in North Conway.
• The American Red Cross and the Fryeburg Fire Department installed 206 free smoke alarms in 50 homes throughout Fryeburg on Nov. 19.
• Carroll County Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius told Brittany Dupuis, 34, of Brookfield, who is accused of stealing nearly $12,000, she won't be able to wiggle out of going to trial in December and January.
• Bretton Woods opened for the 43rd winter of skiing and riding on Tuesday on the Range Trail services by the Zephyr Quad.

Friday, Nov. 25

• A group of Denmark, Maine, residents who attended a recent town hearing on the renewal of Poland Spring's water extraction permit urged selectmen to hold off on approving it for six months, saying they want time to review the pending agreement.
• The Conway School Board is supporting technology coordinator Dale Anderson and three technology aides moving to full-time status in the 2017-18 school budget.
• Preparations were in full swing for North Conway Village to host the the spirit of "An Old Fashioned Christmas" this Saturday. The day will be marked by carols, tree lightnings, storytelling and even the arrival of Santa Claus. A parade is planned from Depot Street up Main Street to Schouler Park at 3:30 p.m.
• Bear Notch Road and Hurricane Mountain Road both closed for the winter on Wednesday.
• The White Mountains Community College celebrated its new North Conway branch with a ribbon cutting on Nov. 21.
• Two new courses and two leagues are planned for the 2017 Mountain Meisters recreational ski season. Ray Gilmore Jr. says he wants to "make Meisters great again." The changes are intended to increase participation, from those aged 34-48 — a key portion of the Meisters racing core in the past, who surveys show dropped out in recent years due to time constraints from work and family commitments.

 

Week in Review — Nov. 26-Dec. 2, 1016

Saturday, Nov. 26
• With snow falling in the higher elevations earlier in the week, coupled with the return of colder temperatures, hopes were riding high for the skiing and riding season.
• A federal judge agreed to sentence Arnold Hanson, former president and CEO of Isaacson Structural Steel Inc., to six months of home confinement and another six months of curfew for his oversight of the company while it defrauded its primary lender.
• A new group has been formed to promote backcountry skiing in New Hampshire and Western Maine.
Tuesday, Nov. 29
• The Moat Mountain area of the White Mountain National Forest is known as a hot spot for smoky quartz and other minerals, but U.S. Forest Service officials say they need to rein in some of collectors' passion for treasure hunting in order to protect the environment. Now they are asking for public input on how to achieve that balance.
• Pam Stimpson, SAU 9 director of special services, said the time is right for the school district to create an integrated preschool. At a presentation to the Conway School Board, Stimpson said a preschool could be operational as early as July of 2017.
• The death of a young girl in Berlin Sunday was ruled a homicide. Law enforcement authorities said Madison Dana, 2, died as a result of blunt force injuries.
Wednesday, Nov. 30
• In a move to bring salaries more in line with those around the state, elementary school principals within the Conway School District are on track to get significant raises in the 2017-18 school budget. Some of the raises represent a 9.5 percent increase to their salary.
• The town of Freedom is raising money to take the town of Ossipee to court over its approval of the Westward Shores Campground, which the town of Freedom considers a potential threat to Ossipee Lake. Westward Shores wants to add 246 new RV sites to 258 existing campsites.
• A Freedom police officer had to shoot two pit bulls after they attacked a man and killed the man's dog during a violent altercation on Nov. 20. The police chief stressed that his officer had no choice.
Thursday, Dec. 1
• A fast-moving fire destroyed a home at 70 Mountain View Drive in the Cranmore Shores neighborhood south of Pequawket Drive in Conway on Wednesday afternoon. A resident and a firefighters were injured, and the family dog and cat were feared to have been inside the burning home.
• State and local authorities investigating the death of Robert Dishman, 63, an Effingham goat and pig farmer, ruled the death a homicide.
• The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that it is parting ways with pitcher Jeff Locke of Conway. A graduate of Kennett High School, Locke was in the Pirates' organization for six years.
Friday, Dec. 2
• Mount Washington Cog Railway co-owner Wayne Presby is slated to appear before the Coos County Planning Board next week, reportedly to discuss plans to build a lodging facility one mile below the summit or Mount Washington.
• A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family who lost their Conway home to a fire on Wednesday afternoon. The home belonged to Denis and Joselyn Frechette. Two family pets perished in the blaze.
• The Conway School Board's budget committee is recommending that the board pursue a $2.1 million for upgrades next summer to the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) system at Conway Elementary School.

Week in Review — Nov. 12-18, 2016

Saturday, Nov. 12
• As the country observed Veterans Day on Friday, the Conway Historical Society is reaching out to families of those who served in World War I for an exhibit scheduled to open in the spring at the Salyards Center in Conway Village. "We wanted to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States entering World War I," said Bob Cottrell, executive director of the historical society. "We wanted to give the local community a reason to stop and think about the past and its implications for the future."
• Members of both the North Country Justice Involved Veterans Team and the N.H. State Justice Involved Veterans Task Force told Coos County commissioners about initiatives the state supports to address the challenges faced by veterans, active service members and their families.
• Two recent symposiums looked at ways to create affordable workforce housing in the area. The results will soon be available to the public and will be shared with local planning boards.
Tuesday, Nov. 15
• A wildfire in the White Mountain National Forest that began over the weekend burned over 300 acres as of Monday morning, making it the largest fire to strike the area in a century. The fire broke out near the Albany Covered Bridge at Passaconaway Road. With the help of rain, the fire was contained later in the week.
• Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, the largest cross-country skiing center in the Northeast, held a ribbon-cutting to dedicate a trail expansion. The expansion included nearly four miles of new trails and eight bridges.
• A Massachusetts man died Sunday while guiding a Boy Scout troop down the 19 Mile Brook Trail in Bean's Purchase during a weekend hiking trip.
• Longtime Fryeburg Academy running coach Bill Reilly was among seven people enshrined as the 19th class in the Maine Running Hall of Fame.
Wednesday, Nov. 16
• A former addict talked to The Conway Daily Sun about her journey into and out of a fentanyl habit. "I like to think of it as 'discovery' as opposed to 'recovery,'" she said.
• The Conway School Board got its first look at a few of the budgets within the school district, and the item that stood out the most was a potential increase in health insurance. The district is bracing for a 15 percent increase in health premiums for an overall increase of $760,985 to that line item.
• Mount Washington Valley Habitat for Humanity turned over the keys to its most recently constructed home to new owners Deni and Evan Shangraw, along with young son, Oaken. The home is located on Silver Pine Lane in Tamworth.
Thursday, Nov. 17
• The food pantry at the Conway Village Congregational Church is well-stocked once again heading into the holidays, thanks to the helping hands of students and faculty at Conway Elementary School. And at First United Church of Christ, Congregational in North Conway Village, a total of 543 frozen turkeys were donated as of late Wednesday afternoon for Vaughan Community Service/WMWV Radio annual food drive.
• Conway selectmen were told that there is a less expensive way to solve traffic congestion in Conway Village than constructing a large roundabout known as a "dog bone." Town and state officials have been studying the feasibility of putting a roundabout at the intersection of routes 16 and 153/Washington Street, and a second one at routes 16 and 113. Both would form a traffic oval resembling a dog bone.
• Four years after it opened, the Federal Correctional Institution in Berlin is not operating at full capacity, with 250 empty beds.
• Sonya McInnis, 38, formerly of Madison, pleaded guilty to a series of 13 burglaries and was sentenced to three to six years in jail.
• Conway's newly revitalized Historic District Commission has been crafting its mission statement and is inviting residents to offer their ideas.
• Matt Geary joined the physical therapy staff at Memorial Hospital. He joins therapists Stephanie Pavao and Angela Serrani.
Friday, Nov. 18
• Conway Elementary School is next up on the list for necessary upgrades to the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems in the 60-year-old facility. Officials from Siemens Engineering of Scarborough, Maine, believe it will cost about $2.1 million to do the work.
• Students in Paul Cail's advanced building trades class at the Mount Washington Valley Career and Technical Center are out to prove you can get all the comforts of home in a tiny house. Students are building a 192-square-foot house from scratch.
• A Carroll County Jail program is helping to give inmates the life skills needed to succeed after their release.
• Fire crews on Thursday were mopping up the remnants of a wide-ranging forest fire that started in the White Mountain National Forest last weekend. Tiffany Benna, spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service, said the cost of putting out the fire is estimated at $80,000, which would come out of the Forest Service budget.
• A group that includes Joe Berry, White Mountain Oil, David Watson Foundation and Gibson Woodbury Foundation has pooled resources to raze a dilapidated 116-year-old structure north of North Conway Village and give it to the town to use as green space.