"...I've got the time,  was Austin Prusik's oft-repeated line as the less-than-swift Detective Swift in the Colebrook Academy Players' whodunit comedy "Next Victim, Please," performed April 9 and 10 at the Tillotson Center. In the background are Kiahna Smith as Clifford, Kensley Hammond as Higgins, Madison Mercer as the Colonel, and Shawn Kenney as Lawrence. (Karen Ladd photo)

State Hearing on Cos Wind Farm Recessed after Objections Raised

By Jake Mardin

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee recessed its public hearing in Littleton last Monday, after counsel for the public objected to a request to amend the Certificate of Site and Facility for the wind farm in Dixville and Millsfield.

Granite Reliable Power is seeking to remove a 12-foot limitation on access road widths that would allow transportation of equipment up to service the turbines. According to the company, a bearing failure on a turbine on Mt. Kelsey had required crane components to be brought to the site. GRP states widening the roads is necessary to enable periodic maintenance of the turbines.

Public counsel Peter Roth, Senior Assistant Attorney General with the Environmental Protection Bureau, filed his objection on March 27, stating that Mt. Kelsey is or was an important habitat for several species, including some that are threatened or endangered. "Changing the conditions that were imposed to protect that habitat and promote its recovery from the intrusion by the project should not be allowed by the committee without a compelling show of evidence that the changes will not further harm the environment," he wrote.

He also questioned why one incident would "require a wholesale rollback of the condition," and said alternatives to widening the road permanently should also be presented. Mr. Roth also said that in 2009 he did not oppose approval of the High Elevation Mitigation Settlement Agree-ment (HEMSA) because he felt the terms "were minimally adequate," and added, "There is nothing in the certificate that prevents GRP from restoring the road revegetation or from revegetating other areas not covered by the original HEMSA."

In its response, Granite Reliable Power states that the amendment changes only one phrase of the HEMSA "and leaves the other 99 percent of [it] untouched." It also states that "the amendment will better mitigate the project's environmental effects while allowing for important turbine maintenance to occur with minimal environmental disruption," and that it is important "to expedite replanting to give seedlings maximum opportunity to grow."

GRP argues that "today hindsight has established that the project's turbines require greater and more frequent maintenance than originally thought, and so in light of this reality, Granite, AMC and N.H. Fish and Game have amended the agreement to 'better mitigate potential adverse environmental impacts.' Granite can continue to revegetate each time its cranes are required to traverse the Mt. Kelsey access road, but this amendment proposes to implement better environmental practices which better serve the public interest."

District 3 Cos County Commissioner Rick Samson filed a motion requesting intervener status. He requested that the hearing be recessed because it was held in Littleton, outside of the county where the park is situated. He also protested that the hearing was not advertised in the vicinity of the facility, and that the commissioners, county planning board and business administrator were not notified of the application or the meeting.

Mr. Samson said on Thursday that he asked the other two commissioners if he should change his status to represent for the entire county, which they approved. As of press time, no date or location had been set for another meeting

(Issue of April 16, 2014)


Colebrook Recreation Director Melissa Shaw positions dioramas in the window of Hicks Hardware Store on Monday, April 14, in the department's first-ever "Peep Show" contest. Created with Peeps candy and imagination, the dioramas will be displayed for a week of voting before the awarding of prizes, including the "Colebrook Peepables Award." Ballots may be obtained at the town hall, or by e-mail to Mrs. Shaw at colebrookrecreation@gmail.com. (Alan Farnsworth photo)

Chamber to Host April 23 Program on ATV Opportunities

The North Country Chamber of Commerce is organizing an informational presentation about Ride the Wilds to be held at the Colebrook Country Club next Wednesday, April 23. This free event is open to the public and will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. with light hors d'oeurves provided by the Country Club.

Cos County business owners are encouraged to attend, to see how to take advantage of this economic initiative. North Country OHRV Coalition president Harry Brown will provide updates on the trail system, and marketing task force director Corrine Rober will share how targeted marketing and catering to the ATV crowd can help boost one's business for the upcoming tourism season.

Local success stories will be shared, as well. The trails are slated to open for Memorial Day weekend, depending on conditions. More information about Ride the Wilds can be found on-line at www.nhgrand.com, and the Chamber of Commerce may be reached at 603-237-8939.

(Issue of April 16, 2014)


It was a crazed week in Colebrook thirty years ago, when serial killer Christopher Wilder was shot and killed at the Getty Station on Main Street. Oddly enough, that same week someone stole cash from a teller at the Farmers & Traders Bank which ordinarily would have been pretty big news, but became a mere side note.

N.H. Fish & Game Warns about Polar Plunge Danger

The N.H. Fish and Game Department has issued an urgent warning about the potential danger associated with a statewide, social media-driven craze enticing teens to jump into frigid, icy waters.

Responding to the "Polar Plunge" dare, young people are jumping--dressed only in summer swimwear and without life vests--into frigid New Hampshire lakes and ponds, and into fast-flowing rivers and streams coursing with snow melt. An insidious aspect of the trend is that participating youth must dare five other young people to take part, creating a fast-growing phenomenon with enormous potential for tragic outcomes.

Recent information received by the Fish and Game Department indicated that yesterday, April 14, a large number of North Country youth had made plans to jump into the raging Connecticut River. Right now, the river is boiling with fast, high water from the spring snow melt, with chunks of ice and debris coursing past.

Members of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Dive Team, who are responsible for drowning recovery operations in the state, are very concerned about the unsanctioned Polar Plunge activities. "We are strongly urging youth not to participate, and we are asking families and community members to stay alert," said Conservation Officer and dive team member Glenn Lucas. "The potential for life-threatening incidents to occur, because of the Polar Plunge trend, is huge."

CO Lucas noted that even when ice is not visible on top of the water, there can be ice below that can easily cause a slip into dangerous, fast-moving water. In one recent incident recorded on Facebook, two New Hampshire teenage girls jumped into Garland Brook in Lancaster, slipped on the ice and were nearly swept into the current without life jackets.

According to the N.H. Marine Patrol, immersion in cold water can quickly render even a good swimmer helpless within minutes. Even short amounts of time exposed to the rigors of frigid water can exacerbate hypothermic effects. Hypothermia is an abnormally low body temperature, often caused by prolonged exposure to cold.

Symptoms of hypothermia can include shivering, a lack of fine or gross motor skills, slurred speech, stumbling, confusion, poor decision making, drowsiness or low energy, apathy, loss of consciousness, weak pulse and/or shallow breathing. Those suffering from the effects of hypothermia may not be aware this is taking place. A person experiencing hypothermia while in the water is at a greater risk of injury or drowning.

(Editor's note: Local teens and young adults here in our area have been participating in this activity, so parents, please check your kids' Facebook posts, ask them if they or their friends are doing this, and make sure they see this article and understand the danger.)

(Issue of April 16, 2014)



The News & Sentinel
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Colebrook, NH 03576