Written by Barbara Tetreault
STEWARTSTOWN - Fish and Game officers Friday night responded to Coleman State Park to a report that an OHRV was stuck in the mud on a snowmobile trail on state-managed property.
The incident occurred on primary snowmobile Corridor 5; a trail closed to wheeled OHRV use, in part because of environmental sensitivity to wetland soils and vegetation.
Upon arrival at the scene, approximately 1 mile from Diamond Pond Road, officers found several men using a come-along in attempt to free a large, 4-passenger side-by-side OHRV from a stretch of deep, black mud.
The 2015 Yamaha Viking was freed from the mud and removed from the scene. Officers subsequently charged Jeffrey Rogers, 48, of Hudson, with operating an OHRV in a wetland, operating an OHRV without written landowner permission, and operating an OHRV in a manner causing damage to property. He was issued a summons to appear in the 1st Circuit, Colebrook District Court on October 2.
Officers stated that alcohol was not a factor in this incident, and that the OHRV involved was legally registered. They added that both the operator of the machine, and his passenger were very cooperative and apologetic throughout the initial investigation.
"It is imperative for riders to be aware that many trails that are open for use by snowmobiles, are off-limits for use by OHRVs", said Fish and Game Officer Chris Egan. "When sensitive areas are frozen solid and covered by packed snow, they are far less susceptible to negative impacts due to motorized traffic."
Addressing this type of illegal OHRV operation, and the resulting environmental damage it causes, is currently a high priority for Fish and Game officers in Coos County.
"The continued success of the current Ride the Wilds OHRV trail system hinges largely upon the support of landowners; and that support can only be maintained through responsible use of both private and public lands", Egan said.
Rogers faces a possible fine of up to $1,000 and impoundment of his machine for off-trail riding and a fine of up to $10,00 for the wetlands violation.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2014 21:37
Written by Barbara Tetreault
BERLIN — The Granite United Way's annual Day of Caring received a boost this year from inmates at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility who held a run/walk/jog fundraiser at the prison Wednesday.
Approximately a third of the inmates, or 155, signed pledges, doing a total of 1,946 laps and raising $691.50 for United Way's fall campaign. The money raised by Granite United Way is used to support programs in the areas of education, income, and health.
The amount pledged may sound modest but prison Administrator of Programs Sue Young said inmates only receive 85 cents to $3 per day for work they do. From their earnings, they have to purchase their own toilettes and snacks.
"Inmates have very little pay," Young said, noting that a donation of $5 or $10 is significant when your income is $18 a month.
"In here $5 is a lot of money," stressed inmate Scott Smith.
The inmates said the fundraiser was an opportunity for them to give back to the community and show the outside world a more positive side.
Inmate Jimmie Carlton, who was helping run the event, said the fundraiser provided them with an opportunity to show that they can contribute and give back to the community.
"We just want to do the right thing. We've been takers our whole lives," he said.
Inmates Peter Barton, Scott Smith, and Anthony Masucci were part of the committee that organized the fund-raiser. Swift and Masucci did the art work and signs that graced the facility's yard.
Barton said working on the event with the entire prison helps build a sense of community within the complex. He said that experience is important because some day the inmates will go back into society.
"An event like this brings everyone together. We have to learn to live as a community," agreed Masucci.
Barton said he appreciates the support the outside community provides to the prison and inmates. Volunteers run AA meetings, hold religious services, and work with veterans within the prison.
"The community is really supporting us in many avenues," he said.
Corrections Commissioner William Wrenn congratulated the inmates for their work organizing the fund-raiser.
"This United Way fundraiser was a good example of how promoting changes in thinking helps offenders understand how they can give back to the community and impact the lives of people in a positive way," he said.
The idea for the fund-raiser came from the wellness block's charity committee. Social worker Judith Santy explained the prison has a wellness block that helps inmates with mental health issues as well as with nutrition, physical wellness, and educational programming.
Santy said the committee wanted to work on a project with the entire prison population.
"So we opened it up to everybody," she said.
One of the first to sign up was James McNeil, He said he took the poster around and persuaded another 25 inmates to sign up and donate. With a goal of walking six or seven miles, McNeil said he was pleased to help raise money for United Way.
The fundraiser also required a commitment on behalf of the prison staff with the various departments from security to administration supporting the inmate effort. There was agreement that the event would not have been possible without the efforts of Young. Smith said the logistics of the event were "unbelievable" and credited Young for making it happen.
Wrenn praised the staff "for their initiative to find new and effective ways to address the needs of the inmate population that lead to successful long-term outcomes."
Kathleen Frenette, Granite United Way — Northern Region's relationship manager, called the fundraiser "awesome".
She said the prison has a long history of helping the agency. Before it even opened, the department of corrections sponsored a 'Spend a night in the Big House' fundraiser for United Way. Inmates remodeled the United Way office in Berlin and have also provided labor for a variety of community projects including both the Berlin and Gorham town halls.
Frenette said her agency wanted to show the inmates that the community appreciates their efforts. So she solicited special treats for the participants - donations of popsicles and freezer pops from Hersey's and apples and oranges from North Country Wholesale.
The Granite United Way holds an annual Day of Caring as a kick-off to its fund-raising campaign. This year, volunteers from the Berlin Fire Department Local 1088 assisted with yard work for 95-year old Adeline Ramsey on Cates Hill in Berlin. Another team of volunteers, from Custom Services and the Community Impact committee, cleaned the area behind the Holiday Center in Berlin.
The United Way fund-raising campaign will continue through December. Donations to the campaign can be sent to Granite United Way Northern Region, PO Box 614, Berlin, 03570.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 22:40
Written by Barbara Tetreault
BERLIN – Two people have been arrested on charges of operating a methamphetamine lab at their 101 Maple Street residence.
The N.H. Attorney General's Drug Task Force said Linda Greenlay, 43, and Anthony Elwell, 40, have each been charged with one count of possession of methamphetamine and one count of manufacture of methamphetamine.
The drug task force, along federal Drug Enforcement Administration's clandestine lab team, executed a search warrant on the property on Thursday. According to court documents, the couple was located in a secured second floor bedroom. Police said a quantity of meth was found in the bedroom.
As well as the finished product, court documents said law enforcement found substances used to make the drug and several empty plastic bottles that tested positive for meth.
The affidavit said police also found bottles they believed posed a substantial threat of explosion and fire. The bottles contained suspected hazardous materials from the cooking process and were under pressure because the chemicals were reacting. The team eventually destroyed the bottles and the chemicals rendered inactive.
Greenlay was arraigned Friday morning and bail was continued at $5,000 cash or corporate surety until she obtains a lawyer. A Sept. 24 probable cause hearing was set. She is being held at the Grafton Country Jail in Haverhill. Elwell was scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon. He was being held at the Coos County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash or surety bail.
Assisting with the search were Berlin Police, Berlin EMS, N.H. Fire Marshal's office, N.H. State Police forensic police, and the State Police bomb squad.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 22:13
Written by Kirstan Lukasak
BERLIN — One hundred and forty quilts made by area quilters will be on display at the North Country Quilt Show being held next Friday and Saturday.
The show will be held at St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts in Berlin on Friday, Sept. 19 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday Sept. 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission to the show is $3.
The quilts are made by members of the Berlin Quilters Guild Material Girls and from quilters around the North Country. There will also be a small vendors mall in the lower level of St. Kieran featuring a variety of craft items. Food vendors will be located outside.
In addition to the quilts on display, the guild will be raffling off one of the quilts and nine baskets filled with goodies. Each basket has different theme complete with matching items like sewing, quilting, reading, kitchen items and Christmas.
Raffle tickets are $5 for 25 or $1 for 5 tickets. The raffle will be drawn at the end of the event, and winners do not need to be present.
Spectators will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite quilt in five different categories. Categories include; Best in Show, Kids Division, Traditional Bed Quilt, Challenge Quilt and Small Quilt Division. There is also an Antique division, but these quilts are not judged, just for viewing.
In the Challenge Quilt division each quilter is given the same half-yard of fabric and had to incorporate the fabric into the quilt.
"This one of my favorite categories. It is pretty awesome, because you can see what a half a yard can do," said Guild President Sylvia Charest.
There will be a first place prize for each division and each child who submits a quilt will also be recognized. All quilters who enter a quilt will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win something. The awards presentation will be held on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
"We want to make sure that everyone has the chance to walk away with something, even if they do not consider themselves to award winning quilters," explains Charest.
The North Country Quilt Show is held biannually, and this is the sixth show for the guild.
"It takes a long time to make a quilt, and we would not have as many on display if it was held yearly," said Charest.
The guild has been in existence for 16 years with 35 members. The guild is always looking for new members of all ages.
Over the years the guild has been committed to the community by devoting their time making charity quilts for special causes. Proceeds from the quilt show will assist is charity work and a large portion goes to St. Kieran.
The guild makes every effort to get a quilt to families who have been affected by fires. So far they have donated 20 quilts to families in need. Recently they also donated four quilts to Catholic Charities.
The guild supports other ongoing projects by making quilts for RESPONSE in Berlin and the maternity ward at Androscoggin Valley Hospital.
"When I found out that there were babies going home without a blanket, I wanted to help. Our goal is make sure that every baby leaving the hospital has a blanket," said Charest.
The guild is able to provide these services to the community through the membership fees, their quit show and donations from the community.
This year, Monique Lavertu, executive director at St. Kieran approached the guild, to have curtains made for the windows. There are thirteen large windows that need curtains, but once they are made it will have a big impact on the heating expenses.
"We were more than happy to help with their request. It is our home, so we try to help them out as much as we can," explained Charest.
Fabric for the project was donated by Michele (Bergeron) Milosh of Brown Eyed Girl Custom Curtain of Hudson. The guild purchased the additional material needed like batting and backing. Left over fabric was also used to make bags for quilt show.
Charest encourages everyone to come to the quilters show and see the many quilts.
The quilters meet weekly, and all ages are welcomed to join the guild on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Kieran in Berlin. Occasionally the group meets on Saturdays to work on special projects or have classes.
The next project day will be to work on the curtains, and in October a member from the Bethlehem guild will be coming up to teach a class.
Membership is $10 for the year. Through the generous donations from the community the membership price has remained the same and the guild has been able to continue their community service projects.
For more information about the guild or making a donation contact Sylvia Charest 752-6212 on Facebook Berlin Quilting Guild Material Girls or stop by Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. at 155 Emery Street in Berlin.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 18:26
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