The top of Murphy Dam provided a beautiful backdrop for runners at the Canaan-Pittsburg Invitational cross-country race on Friday. Pictured are Canaan-Pittsburg's James Bissonnette and White Mountains' Andy Smith. (Jake Mardin photo)

Chamber of Commerce, Snowmobile Clubs Team Up for GoNorth SnoFest
By Jake Martin

The North Country Chamber of Commerce and four local snowmobile clubs will host the GoNorth SnoFest on March 1 and 2, with events taking place at Coleman State Park, Coleman Estates and the Swift Diamond Riders clubhouse. Formerly known as the SnoDeo hosted by the Swift Diamond Riders, this new event will welcome snowmobiling enthusiasts with free admission.

Chamber president Wayne Frizzell and board member Gail Hanson--who is also the former executive director of the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association--said they began discussing the SnoDeo and rumors that it would not be held in 2019. "It would have been a shame to lose it," Mr. Frizzell said, "so we sat there and got some ideas going, and Gail got to talking and ran with it."

Mrs. Hanson said, "We want to bring it back to a fun, family activity in the North Country. By doing that, we're going to be helping out the state by using the SDR clubhouse for a groomer rodeo that will be put on by the N.H. Bureau of Trails."

Local snowmobile clubs the Canaan Border Riders, Colebrook Ski-Bees and Pittsburg Ridge Runners will also be involved, and activities will take place in three different locations. Coleman Estates will be used for non-motorized events, and Mrs. Hanson said they are looking into activities like ice sculpture carving, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

The groomer rodeo will be held at the SDR clubhouse and will allow club members and visitors to check out the groom ing equipment that is available. Snowmobile manufacturers will have their newest sleds on display at Coleman State Park, and the clubs and Chamber are encouraging dealers to bring other motorized vehicles.

There will also be an antiques tent and antique snowmobile parade, and the public will vote for their favorite snowmobile. Food concessions will be offered at all three locations, including at the SDR clubhouse. The Ski-Bees will also run their food trailer and the Colebrook Kiwanis Club will have their food shack on site.

Admission will be free, and riders may pay $10 for a bracelet that allows as many test drives as they'd like. There will be shuttle service between locations, and both indoor and outdoor vendor space. Sponsorship opportunities are also available by contacting the Chamber office at info@chamberofthenorthcountry.com or 603-237-8939.

(Issue of October 17, 2018)


The Connecticut River Artisan Group held a reception at Fiddleheads in Colebrook on Friday to celebrate the completion of an outdoor mural recently finished by Michele Johnsen of Columbia and her son Zach. The large landscape painting can be seen in the alley between Fiddleheads and Dr. Kay's office on Main Street. (Rob Maxwell photo)

Maidstone Man Loses Home to Fire
By Jake Mardin

A fast-moving kitchen fire displaced a Maidstone man from his home last Tuesday morning.

Stratford Hollow fire chief Chuck Stinson said his department was called out to Masters Road off Hall Road for a fire at Allen Whitehead's residence shortly after 11 a.m. Chief Stinson said the fire spread quickly through the mobile home and it was already a total loss by the time the department arrived on scene.

The chief related that Mr. Whitehead told firefighters he was cooking chicken and went into the bathroom, and when he came out smoke was filling the home, and he managed to get out unharmed.

Chief Stinson said Stratford responded with both of its engines and a tanker, and the Groveton and Colebrook fire departments and Groveton Ambulance also responded to the scene. He said the department extinguished the fire and cleared the scene at around 3 p.m.

The New Hampshire-Vermont region of the American Red Cross responded to assist Mr. Whitehead, and a Gofundme page has also been set up to help him (https://www.gofundme.com/help-man-who-lost-everything).

(Issue October 17, 2018)


Brysen Hodge proudly wears a fireman's helmet and jacket during a fire Prevention Week visit to Spirit Station by Pittsburg School's K-3 students on Wednesday, October 10. (Ann Gray photo)

N.H. Supreme Court Accepts Siting Appeal from Northern Pass

By Jake Mardin

The Northern Pass battle will be heard at the state's highest court, as the Supreme Court issued an order on Friday to accept the case.

Northern Pass filed an appeal in August following the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee's decision earlier this year to deny the project's application for a Certificate of Site and Facility, which is required for a transmission line to be built in the state. In its decision, the SEC stated that the project failed to demonstrate that it "would not unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region, having given due consideration to municipal views and regional planning commissions and municipal governing bodies."

Eversource issued a statement on Friday calling the court's decision to accept the appeal "a positive step in our ongoing efforts to move this critical clean energy project forward, and we are grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate that New Hampshire siting requirements were misinterpreted and incorrectly applied in reviewing Northern Pass. With the need for new sources of clean, affordable energy in New England greater than ever, Northern Pass continues to stand alone as the most advanced project to bring low-cost, clean energy into the region."

Project opponents say they were prepared for this possibility. "At the Forest Society we've been working with our attorneys in expectation that the Supreme Court would take up Northern Pass' appeal," said VP of communications and outreach Jack Savage. "We think the SEC decision to deny a permit was the right one made for the right reasons--Northern Pass failed to meet the burden of proof. We'll be working to make sure the court has a full understanding of the issues that led to the SEC decision."

The court has not set a date on when it will hear arguments.

(Issue of October 17, 2018)



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