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Stop for school buses

GORHAM—Police are reminding motorists that it is illegal to pass a school bus when it is stopped to drop off or pick up children and it has its lights on.

Lt. Jen Lemoine of the Gorham Police said there have been a number of incidents recently in which motorists have not stopped for a school bus with its lights on and stopping to pick up children.

Police have received a number of calls from schools about such incidents but noted they cannot be everywhere at once.

“People need to be aware it is illegal to pass a school bus when its lights are on,” Lemoine said.

Even if the road is four lanes wide, cars must stop. Vehicles several lanes over that pass a school bus do so illegally.

It is a $100 fine for the first offense.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 23:12

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Havenstein says he looked at locating company in Berlin

BERLIN – Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein said he looked at locating an electronic cable assembly operation in Berlin 13 years ago. But he said he did not move forward because "frankly we didn't have the right talent as well as the right economic conditions to do that."

Havenstein was in Berlin last Friday for a brief meet and greet with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at the Northland Restaurant and Dairy Bar. He is hoping to defeat incumbent Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan in November.
The retired businessman clarified his views on biomass and specifically the Berlin plant. Havenstein called the Burgess BioPower facility a beautiful plant and said he is supportive because it means good jobs for North Country citizens and it supports the forest industry here. He said his concern with biomass plants has to do with subsidies for such facilities.
"I want to make sure we're not artificially propping up biomass, or any other energy plant, that ultimately is being paid for by the ratepayers," he said.
It was Havenstein's second visit to Berlin. He visited the city in June and toured the biomass plant as well as two local machine shops.
Havenstein said the North Country needs better infrastructure including both broadband accessibility and an improved road system. He said the transportation infrastructure is crucial but said he opposed the recently passed gas tax. Havenstein charged there would be money for transportation if the state stopped diverting money from the Highway Fund. He said the fund should be limited to improving and maintaining the road system. He said he supported state Senator Jeb Bradley's plan to structurally fit the system so Highway Fund money would not be used for things like the Department of Safety.
Havenstein pointed out the gas tax also includes diesel fuel and said the increase for the lumber trucks that serve the region comes to about $800 a year.
"It's an $800 a year tax on every one of our trucks up here that are transporting lumber or transporting logs, or frankly transporting anything that's sold and that's an impact not just on the businesses but it's an impact on everyone of our customers," he said.
With the economy stagnant, Havenstein said this is not the time to raise the gas tax.
Formerly CEO of both BAE Systems, Inc., and SAIC, Havenstein cites his business experience as an advantage he would bring to the governor's office.
He said he sees great opportunities in the North Country for light manufacturing as well as some high tech companies. The state, he said, needs to create a business environment that encourages job growth. He said young people need education to work in those fields. Havenstein said regulations, taxes, health and energy costs make it more difficult for businesses to start.
Asked about the high property taxes that plague many North Country communities, Havenstein placed the blame on state government forcing cost down to the local level. As an example, he cited the state pension program. Historically, he said the state covered all costs and funding but now some of the cost has been pushed to the local level.
Havenstein said he is not worried by polls that have him trailing Hassen by ten percentage points. He said at one time he was 30 points behind and said the gap is closing.
Havenstein graduated from the U.S. Navy Academy with a degree in aerospace engineering and holds a masters degree in electrical engineering from the Navel Postgraduate School. He served 28 years in the Marine Corps, retiring in 1999 from the Marine Reserves. He spent 30 years in the private sector working in the defense industry.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 23:04

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10/14 Berlin District Court news

 A charge of going through a traffic light in Gorham on May 12 against James Speranza, 55, Dixfield, Maine, was placed on file for one year without a finding.
A charge of littering against Timothy Gallagher, 47, Berlin, stemming from a July 4 incident in Gorham, was placed on file without a finding.
A complaint of speeding against Clifford Robinson, 60, Wellesley, Mass., in Gorham was placed on file without a finding.
A charge of speeding against Jennifer Holmes, 42, Stoughton, Mass., in Gorham on July 31 was placed on file without a finding.
Jacquelyn Campbell, 27, Berlin, was found guilty of driving in Berlin on May 1 after the revocation of her license and was fined $620.
Caleb Hurd, 23, Andover, Maine, was found guilty of drunken driving for an Aug. 30 incident in Berlin. He was fined $930, lost his license for one year and must attend an impaired driver's course.
Christopher Mohr, 37, N. Conway, was found guilty of the prohibited sales of alcohol for an incident on May 25, 1998 and was fined $420.
A charge of driving after the revocation of his license against Thomas Styles, 61, Berlin, for a Sept. 5 incident in Berlin was placed on file without a finding.
Randy Poulin, 27, Berlin, was found guilty of drunken driving for a July 24 incident in Berlin. He was fined $620 and lost his license for nine months.
Randy Duguay, 34, Berlin, was found guilty of violating a protective order in Berlin on April 19. He received a six-month jail sentence, suspended, and was sentenced to one year of probation.
He was also found guilty of contempt of court for a May 9 incident and received a concurrent jail sentence of six months in jail suspended and one year probation.
Mark Tabak, 51, Milan, was found guilty of shoplifting at Cumberland Farms in Gorham on June 11 and was fined $434. A second count was placed on file for one year without a finding.
Kate-Lynn Greenlay, 25. Berlin, was found guilty of driving without a valid license in Berlin on Sept. 4 and was fined $124.
Gregory Wood, 47, Milton, Mass., was found guilty of criminal trespass for an Aug. 26 incident and was fined $434.
Jonathan Dingman, 26, Henniker, was found guilty of driving 107 in a 55 mph zone in Randolph and was fined $620.
Harold Hannigan, 64, Berlin, was found guilty of aggravated drunken driving, and transporting alcohol. For the first charge he was fined $930, lost his license for one year, and was sentenced to 17 days in jail with 12 days suspended.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 22:56

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Stairs at historic St. Anne Church get facelift

 BERLIN – For more than a century, parishioners have walked up the wide granite steps and through the arches to enter the ornately decorated St. Anne Church.
Done in Romanesque and late Victorian style, the church is considered one of the most beautiful in New England and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979.
But thousands of footsteps and years of snow, ice, and salt have taken a toll on the steps. Some of the steps have moved and settled and others have fallen into disrepair.
Concerned about safety, Rev. Kyle Stanton, pastor of Good Shepherd and Holy Family parishes, said the church has hired a contractor to repair the stairs retaining as much of the original granite as possible. The work got underway Monday and the project will take up to four weeks to complete.
Rev. Stanton said the parish began planning a year ago to repair the stairs. The parish hired HEB Engineers to come up with a variety of options that would save as much of the original granite steps as possible.
Jason Ross, senior structural engineer at HEB, said the granite steps are six inches tall and 12 inches wide. He said it appears the stairs were the original ones put in place when the church was built in 1908-09.
"Those granite stairs were set on top of stone masonry supports," said Ross.
He said it does not appear much fill was placed between the stone supports.
HEB produced six to eight options for repairing the stairs for review by Stanton and the diocese of Manchester. The project was put out to bid and the bid was awarded to S. D. Szetela LLC of Glen.
Ross said the decision was not to reconstruct the full width of the current stairs. Instead, the best of the original granite steps will be selected and re-installed in what was the middle third of the existing stairs. Reducing the area of stairs will avoid the need to purchase additional granite and save on future maintenance.
On each side of the stairs, there will be planters although the planting will wait until next year. Ross said at the bottom, the stairs will flare out to the sidewalk.
The steps will be set in concrete and the space between will be filled with crushed stone. Ross said that will create a solid base and the steps should not move in the future. Ross said HEB worked with a landscape architect to develop a design that will blend in with the church's architecture.
"It's going to look different but we're trying to keep as much of our history as we can," said Rev. Stanton.
The cost of the project, which was not released, is being covered by a bequest donated by Paul E. Becotte and money donated by the Cedar Pond Association. Stanton explained that when the association closed its chapel at Cedar Pond and sold the land, it donated the money to the parish because St. Anne had conducted worship services at the chapel. In the spring, Rev. Stanton said the parish plans to hold a dedication service and install a plaque recognizing the two gifts that paid for the reconstruction.
For the next couple of weeks, Rev. Stanton said parishioners are asked to use the two side doors to access church for services.
Earlier this week, Rev. Stanton said an open house held to celebrate the completion of a renovation project at Holy Family Church in Gorham. He said the interior of the lower hall was renovated with a new tile floor and ceiling tiles installed. The hall was painted. Outside, new rain gutters and drain system installed outside.
The work started in July with volunteers doing the demolition and painting. Lee Corrigan did the drainage work and Brian King repaired the paving. S& J Gutters installed the new gutters. Caron Building Center installed the tile floor. The paint was purchased at Sherwin Williams and the tile and supplies at Caron Building.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 22:43

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