Conservation officers responded to an accident in Jericho Mountain State Park on the evening of July 20. At approximately 7:20 p.m. Daniel Carreiro, 20, of Scarborough Maine was operating an ATV on Vista Twista Trail in Jericho Mountain State Park in Berlin.
While making a right turn on a downhill slope he lost control of his ATV and went over the bars of the machine. The ATV flipped over and impacted Carreiro in the process.
With the help of the New Hampshire Trails Bureau, Berlin Fire Department and Berlin Police Department, Berlin EMS was able to navigate close to the segment of trail where the accident took place. Carreiro was subsequently transported to Androscoggin Valley Hospital for treatment.
The accident remains under investigation however Fish and Game officials want to remind ATV riders to use extra caution operating on uneven terrain.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 21:25
Written by Barbara Tetreault
An ATV rider operating with a suspended license was caught in Stewartstown this weekend.
At approximately 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 19, Conservation Officers from the NH Fish and Game Department, along with officers from Pittsburg Police Department and US Border Patrol, responded to a report of a "frantic" 911 call on Piper Hill Road.
NH State Police, Troop F dispatch had received the 911 call from a female stating that her husband had walked down their 800-foot driveway to address illegal ATV activity, and a short time later was heard shouting for help, and he had not returned to the residence.
At the time of the call, the nearest Trooper was covering a motor vehicle accident in Jefferson.
Three Conservation Officers, including K-9 handler Robert Mancini and his certified police K-9, Ruger, began response toward the scene from Pittsburg, along with officers from Pittsburg Police Department and US Border Patrol.
Upon arrival at the scene, it was determined that a landowner had confronted an ATV operating illegally at the end of his driveway. During this contact, the landowner asked the male driver for his identification and detected evidence that the operator had been drinking. As the landowner attempted to retrieve the key from the machine, the operator dismounted the ATV and fled the scene on foot into the woods.
Mancini was able to quickly deploy his certified tracking dog, Ruger, from the location where the suspect entered the woods. Ruger followed the track for approximately 500 feet, where the suspect had paralleled the roadway within the woodline. The scent trail was lost shortly thereafter, in close proximity to Piper Hill Road.
During the search for the operator, a car operated by the owner of the ATV drove up to the scene. Further interviews and investigation revealed the suspect ATV operator to be Tylor M. Rancloes, 19, of Merrimack, and former resident of Colebrook.
Rancloes' driver's license was subsequently determined to have been revoked, stemming from an underage DWI conviction in the Colebrook District Division of the NH Circuit Court in 2013.
Arrest warrants are pending against Rancloes for the charges of operating an ATV with a suspended/revoked license, operating an unregistered ATV and operating an ATV on a closed public way.
Conservation officers seized the involved ATV, a 2012 CanAm Outlander 800, and it will remain impounded until disposition by the court.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 21:22
Written by Barbara Tetreault
BERLIN – The city is once again engaged in a legal battle with Paul K. Croteau, this time charging he is illegally operating a junkyard at 236 Jericho Road.
The city charges Croteau is storing junk vehicles and machinery at the site and operating a motor vehicle repair facility in violation of the zoning ordinance and without site plan review approval. The suit also alleges Croteau is operating a junkyard without a license or certificate of approval and is using the property for "storing and keeping, or storing and selling, trading or otherwise transferring old or scrap copper, brass, rope, rags, batteries, paper, trash, rubber debris, waste, or junked, dismantled, or wrecked motor vehicles, or parts thereof, iron, steel, or other old or scrap ferrous or nonferrous material."
The city is asking Coos Superior Court to issue both a preliminary and permanent injunction, ordering Croteau to remove all junk within 30 days. In its complaint, the city is requesting the court travel to Berlin and view the Croteau property on Jericho Road. The city said it "feels a judicial view is the most expeditious manner to take evidence and determine the foundation of Berlin's complaint and allegations." The city is also asking the court to fine Croteau and to reimburse Berlin for legal costs in pursuing action
The Jericho Road property is split between two zoning district – rural residential and general business. The complaint states neither zones allow for the uses Croteau is making of the site.
The city alleges Croteau has more that one vehicle on the property that does not have a valid inspection sticker in violation of state statute. The city also charges Croteau uses motor vehicles and trailers to store goods and materials for longer than 90 days.
The suit states Berlin Code Enforcement Officer Joseph Martin notified Croteau in writing on March 28 that his use of the site violated city ordinances and state statutes and he was given 30 days to abate the violations. The suit charges Croteau has not corrected the violations.
The city is seeking a daily fine of $275 for the first offense and $550 for subsequent offenses from the March 28 date of notice. If the city is forced to clean up the site, it asks the court to order restitution from Croteau.
The suit notes this is the third time the city has sought legal action against Croteau. In 2005, Berlin went to Superior Court over what it charged was an illegal junkyard Croteau was operating at 236 Jericho Road. After years of litigation, the city said the owner of the property evicted Croteau and the zoning violations were rectified.
Four years ago the city filed suit in Berlin District Court over zoning violations at Croteau's residence at 6 Francis Street. Eventually, Croteau and the city reached a stipulated judgment calling for removal of the violations.
The latest case is scheduled to be heard in Coos Superior Court next month.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 21:13
By Sarah Kinney
Since its discovery in 2006, white nose syndrome has killed an estimated 5.7 to 6.7 million bats in North America, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
At Wednesdays with a Ranger at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center on July 16, Rebecca Peterman of the White Mountain National Forest and Mike Uffenbeck, a seasonal researcher tracking bats, explained how bats in the Northeast have been affected by white nose syndrome.
White nose syndrome is a fungus (geomyces destructans) that burrows into the bats' tissue on hairless places, like the nose and wings. For bats that get white nose syndrome, mortality rate is over 90 percent, said Peterman.
The fungus affects hibernating bats. Over half of North America's 47 bat species hibernate.
Healthy bats usually wake from hibernation every two weeks to clean themselves for an hour or two before returning to hibernation.
White nose syndrome dehydrates the bat, causing it to wake up more frequently (every 2 – 3 days) to find water. Going in and out of hibernation that frequently burns more fat, which is why Peterman said that most of the bats that die of the fungus are emaciated.
The fungus also only thrives in lower temperatures, Peterman said.
There are eight types of bats in New Hampshire and all are insectivores, and insects are not plentiful in the winter.
At this time, there are no vaccines for the fungal treatment and since the fungus goes into the tissue, typical topical fungal treatments can be toxic.
The fungus can travel from bat to bat transmission, but it doesn't need a host. White nose syndrome was discovered in New York and spread to surrounding areas, but in 2008-2009 it jumped to the Virginia area, presumably traveling on a person's clothes or gear.
The death rate is so high that the bats could be extinct in 12 years. Uffenbeck said the rates are similar among different species. The effects are deeper than just losing bats.
Bat guano is used a a food source for cave dwelling organisms - without it they could die too, affecting cave ecology.
Bats also eat large quantities of insects, especially mosquitoes. A brown bat can eat over 1000 mosquitoes an hour. That equates to 1,045 tons of mosquitoes not eaten because of the bats who died of white nose syndrome, Peterman said.
More mosquitoes means there could be a higher likelihood of blood-borne diseases like EEE, malaria, and West Nile virus.
The Northern Long-eared bat is pending a decision to be added to the endangered species list. If this happens, there will be fewer areas and more restrictions on timber harvest in the White Mountain National Forest to protect their habitats.
There is a shimmer of hope. European bats have been found with a similar fungus, but are not suffering the same mortality rates from it. Research is being done to see what genetic difference could be used to help heal the North American bats.
The Forest Service is also taking more precautions. Materials that might have come in contact with the fungus can be decontaminated with bleach. Some caves have been closed to climbers and other caves screen visitors' equipment to avoid contamination.
The government has allocated $11 million to U.S. Fish and Game for research and there are several outreach campaigns.
Locally they are monitoring the bat population doing driving surveys. Uffenbeck said they were close to finding the location of a cave on Mt. Washington.
Bats use echolocation to fly and hunt for food, but the calls are beyond the audible range for people. Uffenbeck uses bat detectors, which are essentially a specialized microphone to pick up the sounds that can be graphed on a smartphone. Different bat species have different call sonograms.
Peterman's suggestions for what people can do to help are to first leave bats alone and if they are in an unwanted place to call a qualified person to remove the bat. She suggested people consider building bat houses. People can also participate in exit counts to help monitor population numbers. They should also limit the use of insecticides.
For more information, Peterman suggested whitenosesyndrome.org.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 21:09
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