Tri-County Transit’s Berlin-Gorham Flex Route temporary route change

BERLIN — Due to the upcoming Hutchins Street road work due to begin on April 18, the Berlin-Gorham Flex Route will be temporarily altering its route. Instead of using Hutchins Street after leaving the AG Resource Building stop, the Flex Route will travel back towards Main Street in Berlin using Mason Street, then traveling up Riverside Drive turning right on 12th Street. The bus will then proceed to Brookside Park depending on construction and continue on to the regular Androscoggin Valley Hospital stop. Passengers are encouraged to check with the driver or a dispatcher by calling (603) 752-1741 to check on the route deviation.

Citizens Bank invites nonprofits to apply for financial literacy funding

As part of its ongoing commitment to give people the confidence and tools they need to budget, save, invest and be fiscally healthy, Citizens Bank is now accepting applications from nonprofits for crucial financial literacy services that help consumers manage their money better.

From Dec. 12, through Jan. 20, organizations throughout the bank’s 11-state footprint – New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio and Michigan – are invited to submit an application for funding as part of the bank’s Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money financial literacy initiative. Eligible financial literacy activities include:

• Basics of banking and asset building
• Budgeting
• Homeownership counseling
• Foreclosure prevention
• Credit management and repair programs
• Financial management for small businesses

In 2016, Citizens awarded 77 nonprofit organizations more than $1.35 million in contributions through Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money. The program also leveraged the financial expertise of Citizens’ bankers, included volunteer outreach by Citizens colleagues and a social media public service campaign that shared financial tips on Facebook and Twitter.

To be considered for funding, eligible nonprofits in the communities served by Citizens Bank should submit an online application by Jan. 20. Recipients will be announced in March 2017. For more information on nonprofit programs and services that may qualify for funding, or how to submit an application,

WREN expands focus on supporting North Country food and farm enterprises

BERLIN — Interest in locally produced food and agritoursim is soaring nationally—and so are visitors to the region. Over six million people visit the White Mountain National Forest annually. In response to these trends and the growth in members representing the local food and farm cluster, the Women's Rural Entrepreneurial Network is expanding their focus on supporting these enterprises. WREN already hosts farmers’ markets in Bethlehem and Berlin and sell value-added products in the stores, so expanding the program is a natural fit.

With support that includes the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation, N.H. Charitable Foundation, USDA Rural Development, and Wholesome Wave; WREN will be offering one-on-one coaching to farms and businesses, increasing access to fresh food for families, and participating in the development of the regional food system. This winter, WREN will host webinars in season extension, farm food safety, accessing new markets, and diversifying a farm operation.

The goal is simply to improve lives and livelihoods by helping farms and local food businesses grow and access new markets, such as tourists. Other benefits to this region include better diets for residents, preservation of farmland, job creation, and more dollars circulating in the local economy.
Some opportunities already exist, such as the farmers’ markets around the region and the Littleton Coop. WREN is part of a group that is exploring providing locally grown food to hospitals. WREN helps farms evaluate new opportunities and bring them cutting edge technologies, resources, and market research. The University of New Hampshire is studying best practices for growing spinach in tunnels, for example. This type of research addresses the North Country challenge of a short growing season and lack of winter availability of produce. According to Home Grown, a study by the N.H. Department of Agriculture, residents only produce six percent of the food in the state. There’s lots of room for additional production.

Food-related businesses and farms can contact Food and Farm Program Manager David White to receive one-on-one business assistance, learn about educational opportunities, or sign up for WREN’s informative monthly newsletter. White can be reached at (603) 869-9736 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Berlin City donates $22,000 to eleven North Country schools

Berlin City Auto Group has donated almost half a million dollars to local schools in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

GORHAM - Berlin City Auto Group announced the grant recipients of its employee-driven Drive for Education program in a ceremony at Berlin City Auto Group in Gorham on Dec. 14. The forward-thinking campaign gave donations totaling $33,240 to sixteen Maine schools, $22,000 to eleven New Hampshire schools and $26,709 to twenty-three local Vermont schools. In total, the grant program has enabled the organization to donate $487,120 to schools across New England since its inception in fall 2011.

In New Hampshire, the Drive for Education program assisted Berlin High, Groveton High, Josiah Bartlett Elementary, Berlin Middle, Gorham Middle, Stark Village, Stratford Public School, Errol Consolidate, Brown Elementary and Hillside Elementary.

"This program continues to be a huge success in just five short years. We have been able to help local schools succeed with much needed funding for infrastructure, equipment, and curriculum improvements. We are looking forward to ceremonies in all three states," said Yegor Malinovskii, market president of Berlin City Auto Group.

Berlin City Auto Group has eight dealerships throughout New England. For each vehicle sold, a portion of the sale is put into the Drive for Education program.

Berlin City Drive For EducationBerlin City Drive For Education donated $22,000 to 11 New Hampshire schools. (RITA DUBE PHOTO)