Members of Colebrook and Beecher Falls fire departments are on the ground while Jeremy Crawford of CFD is on the ladder, fighting the fire that gutted Norman Tallmage’s house on Route 102 in Lemington Saturday morning. Nobody was home at the time and the fire is believed to be electrical in nature. (Jake Mardin photo)

Electrical Problem with Light Fixture Blamed for Lemington House Fire

By Jake Mardin

The two-story home of Norman Tallmage on Route 102 in Lemington was heavily damaged by fire on Saturday morning. According to Colebrook fire chief Brett Brooks, the house is still standing but it was gutted on the inside. “He’ll be able to get some stuff out of it, but not a lot,” the chief said.

The department was called at 10 a.m. to the house, about a mile north of the Colebrook bridge, and responded with the tanker, engine and Quint ladder truck to vent the roof. The Beecher Falls Volunteer Fire Department responded with an engine and a tanker, and there were about 25 firefighters on scene between the two departments. The Stratford Hollow Fire Department traveled north to cover Colebrook’s station.

Upon arrival, firefighters saw heavy smoke coming out of the south-facing roof vent and flames on the first floor. Chief Brooks said the department was looking to knock the fire down and salvage anything they could for Mr. Tallmage. “He had a lot of books and he will be able to get some of them,” Chief Brooks said. “We tried to cover stuff with plastic. It was one of those typical old farmhouses with tin ceilings, so it just retained the heat.”

?Chief Brooks said Mr. Tallmage had gone out for breakfast and no one was home when the fire broke out. Firefighters were on scene until around 1 p.m., and after being called back for a rekindle at 5 p.m. they remained for about an hour.

He said firefighters saw Mr. Tallmage’s cat run outside when they went into the basement. The cat hid under the porch until the department was getting ready to leave, and eventually went to Mr. Tallmage.

Chief Brooks at first thought the fire may have originated with the house’s combination oil and wood boiler. However, yesterday the chief said further investigation revealed that the cause was electrical, and originated with the light fixture in an upstairs bathroom. The fire marshal was called, but did not visit the scene because the fire was not considered suspicious, Chief Brooks said. He said Mr. Tallmage stayed at the Colebrook Country Club on Saturday night.

(Issue of January 21, 2015)


Richard Davis moves past the Engineers’ Sam Pushee during Colebrook’s 56-55, come-from-behind win at home over Woodsville on Monday. Davis had a big night, finishing with 15 points and 13 rebounds. (Jake Mardin photo)

Colebrook Residents’ Input Sought on Main Street Project, Precinct Boundary

By Jake Mardin

Colebrook town officials will address the bond proposal for the Main Street rehabilitation project and a petition to change the fire precinct boundary, both on Monday evening, January 26. The board will discuss the fire precinct matter during its regular meeting at 5 p.m., and the bond issue will be the subject of a public hearing at 7 p.m., both taking place at the town hall.

At the public hearing on the bond issue, the town will take public input into the wording and dollar amount of the proposed warrant article for the $6.5 million project. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering a $2,647,040 loan and a $2,125,000 grant, which would go toward the water and sewer portion of the project, while the remaining $1.8 million will be for the road and other items. The town has $800,000 on hand that can be used for the project, and it has applied for an $800,000 Transportation Alternative Program grant.

CMA Engineers will be at the public hearing, its representatives have made presentations at two public informational meetings at the Tillotson Center. The town is planning an overhaul of Main Street from South Main Street to the bottom of Cooper Hill. Work would include the replacement of the water and sewer lines, some of which are over 100 years old and are leaking significantly, and enhancing the street’s appearance while addressing traffic and pedestrian safety issues.

Proposed changes to the Colebrook Village Fire Precinct boundary will be addressed during the selectmen’s meeting, prior to the public hearing. Voters within the precinct submitted a petition to the selectmen to revise the boundary lines. Most of the properties that would be added to the precinct are in the northern part of town, in the area where new wells were installed near Piper Hill Road. The last time the precinct saw its boundary change was in 1979.

(Issue of January 21, 2015)


Colebrook’s Megan Hamel works under the basket against Woodsville’s Lottie Page during the Mohawks’ 57-45 home victory on Monday night. (Jake Mardin photo)

New Hampshire School Boards Association Elects Colebrook Board Member John Falconer as President

By Rob Maxwell

John Falconer of Colebrook has been elected president of the New Hampshire School Board Association, and was sworn in at the association’s annual meeting on January 10 in Concord. Mr. Falconer will serve a one-year term of office, and noted that to his knowledge, he will be the first NHSBA president from the North Country.

The NHSBA is represented by each of the state’s 156 school boards and Mr. Falconer says the organization serves, “to provide educational opportunities to board members in areas such as negotiation skills, budget development and dealing constructively with school administrators.” John added that the NHSBA also “employs an individual who advocates for the association’s interests with the legislature and keeps track of legislative affairs that affect local educational decision making such as funding and mandates.”

John has served on the Colebrook school board since 1984 with one brief respite, and during that time, he served as chairman of both the Colebrook and SAU 7 boards. He is also well known for his years of membership in the Kiwanis Club of Colebrook, of which he has been president and served as Lt. Governor of the district.

“It will be valuable to be able to listen to others and to voice my own opinions about what’s going on in Concord and in the North Country,” he said. John noted that he will attend five meetings in Concord along with some training sessions during his term of office, which will be scheduled so as not to conflict with his activities on the Colebrook board.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to have been elected to this position after having enjoyed my 30-plus years on the Colebrook board,” he said. Information about the NHSBA may be obtained from executive director Ted Comstock at 603-228-2061, or on-line at

(Issue of January 21, 2015)


Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital board chairman Greg Placy presented Melanie Paquette, lead health information clerk, with the Annual Directors’ Award during the hospital’s annual meeting, held at the Dancing Bear Pub in Colebrook on Thursday evening. (Jake Mardin photo)

Music, Food, Games & Fireworks at Colebrook Winter Carnival, Jan. 30-31

The Colebrook Kiwanis Winter Carnival promises fun for all ages, celebrating the North Country’s longest season with indoor and outdoor activities on Friday and Saturday, January 30 and 31.

Events get underway on Friday, January 30, with the Colebrook Ski-Bees Game Dinner, 5 p.m. at the Colebrook Country Club; more information is available at 603-237-5566. Events then move to the Tillotson Center on Carriage Lane in Colebrook for a 7 p.m. concert featuring one of New England’s top old-timey groups, The Don Roy Ensemble from Maine, and local favorites The Fireside Fiddlers. Tickets cost $15 and are sold separately at the door for this show, which is sponsored by the Great North Woods Committee for the Arts ( The Kiwanis will be on hand selling TV raffle tickets and Winter Carnival buttons.

Saturday opens with a pancake breakfast at The Colebrook Country Club from 7 to 10 a.m. Proceeds will benefit the Heritage Tour for area middle school students. Tickets cost $10 per plate and the menu includes two pancakes, home fries, choice of meat (bacon or sausage), juice and coffee. The Kiwanis Club will also offer food concessions all day starting at 10 a.m.

Saturday events continue at The Colebrook Country Club with the annual Cardboard Box Derby at 9 a.m. for kids ages 5-18, offering prizes for First Finisher, Best Box and Best Wipeout in three age groups, 5-7 years, 8-11 years, and 12 and up.

The annual Peter Goudreau Memorial Snow Bocce Tournament also starts at 9 a.m. Pre-registration forms are available from Butch Ladd at The News and Sentinel office on Bridge Street, and he may be reached at 603-237-5501 for more information.

Other activities at the Country Club include a 1 p.m. cribbage tournament sponsored by the Cribbage Cohorts and the downhill canoe race at 3 p.m., offering a $100 cash prize for the winning canoe (three to a team).

The Kiwanis will draw the winning ticket at 3 p.m. for its raffle of a 46-inch Samsung HD “Smart” TV. Tickets cost $2 each or $5 for a book of six, and may be purchased in advance at LaPerle’s IGA in Colebrook on January 21, at Lin-Jo Creations, and during the Winter Carnival events. The winner of the 50/50 raffle to benefit Response to Sexual and Domestic Violence will also be drawn at 4 p.m. A big fireworks display, provided by Northern Tire, will wrap up the Country Club events at 6:30 p.m.

The North Country Community Recreation Center, found off of Lynch Road in Colebrook, will also host events on Saturday the 31st: free horse-drawn sleigh rides with Dick Brady’s team from 10 a.m. to noon; dogsled rides with Ben Morehouse from 12 noon-2:30 p.m.; sliding at 10 a.m.; a Fat Bike Demo; snow bocce lessons for children; and free skating (skates available at Rec Center) aside from hockey team practice from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Food concessions will be available at the Rec Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

(Issue of January 21, 2015)



The News & Sentinel
6 Bridge Street, PO Box 39
Colebrook, NH 03576