Stay safe and save this holiday season


MANCHESTER — With the holiday season upon us, neighborhoods are starting to twinkle with festive light displays.

Fortunately, enjoying those seasonal lights doesn't have to break the bank. Eversource is reminding customers about some effective ways to get in the holiday spirit while saving energy and money, and staying safe.

"Before stringing holiday lights throughout the house, or putting the blow-up snowman on the front lawn, it's best to go through a quick safety checklist," said Eversource Vice President of Safety Bob Coates. "It's important to inspect all lighted decorations, particularly older ones, for broken or cracked sockets; frayed or bare wires; or any loose connections. Also, be sure the lights you're putting outside are labeled for outdoor use, always look up and stay away from all power lines when decorating outdoors. Never raise ladders or extend objects anywhere near cables and equipment."

The company also offers ways to help customers better manager their energy this holiday season.

If it's time to replace older decorations, Eversource's energy efficiency experts suggest LED lights which offer many benefits over traditional incandescent lighting.

LED strings generally last much longer than traditional bulbs and longer strings of them can be safely run from the same power source.

In addition to a longer lifespan, LEDs offer significant cost savings. A string of standard incandescent mini lights uses around 40 watts while a comparable string of LEDs typically uses just 4.8 watts, which can make a big difference over the course of the season. For example, three strings of incandescent mini lights, on for 150 hours, will cost about $3, while three strings of LEDs, on for 150 hours, will cost about 40 cents.

Eversource also offers these holiday tips to help customers stay safe and save money, while protecting our planet:

• Never run extension cords under rugs or coil them tightly around themselves, which can cause them to overheat.

• Use a programmable timer for lights to ensure they aren't accidentally left on.

• Check extension cords for wear, and plug outdoor lights and decorations into GFCI outlets.

• Use advanced power strips where possible for all holiday lighting to eliminate standby energy loss.

• Turn off room lights when the tree is lit to save energy while creating a festive atmosphere.


Northeast Credit Union participates in Gifts from the Heart

BERLIN — Northeast Credit Union is once again participating in the Gifts from the Heart program in partnership with Androscoggin Valley Home Care Services. The anonymous gift-giving tradition was developed to help spread holiday cheer to the elderly, homebound or disabled in Berlin, Gorham and the surrounding communities.

Those interested in participating can visit the credit union’s Berlin or Gorham branch and choose an ornament from the tree in the lobby. The ornament will describe a gift suggestion specifically for a community member that receives care through Androscoggin Valley Home Care Services. Gifts can be wrapped with the ornament attached and dropped back off to either branch. Gifts will be received through Tuesday, Dec. 19.

“We are so thankful for Northeast Credit Union and their members’ participation in this holiday tradition,” said Pauline Tibbetts of Androscoggin Valley Home Care Services. “It is a wonderful opportunity for those who want to help our community, and we truly appreciate their involvement.”

Northeast Credit Union Branch Locations are located at 730 Main St., in Berlin and 355 Main St., in Gorham.


RE/MAX donates to Holy Family Parish's building project 2017

REMAX donates to Holy FamilyRealtors with RE/Max Northern Edge Realty in Berlin recently donated $500 to Holy Family Parish's Building Project 2017. On hand to receive the donation was Father Kyle. This project will add all new equipment in the choir loft, including a new sound system, high end microphones, sound monitors, new piano, repair to the electric organ and more. Front (from left): Carl Mercier, Chris Lunn, Jennifer Stewart and Father Kyle. Back: Wayne Micucci, Matt Martel, Steve Grone, and Mark Danoski. Missing from the photo: Brent Bouchard and Lucie Remillard.

DMV changes the way a driver license number is assigned

CONCORD — The N.H. Division of Motor Vehicles transitioned to a new computer system on Oct. 11.

A new security feature implemented with the new system includes a change to the way a driver's license number, now called a credential identifier, is assigned.

The upgraded system now issues New Hampshire driver licenses with three letters and eight randomly assigned digits for a total of 11 characters. This is a change from the current 10-digit driver license numbers in use today, which were based on a person’s name and birth date.

“The DMV is pleased to provide this additional layer of privacy and security for its customers,” said DMV Director Elizabeth Bielecki.

The change to the three-letter and eight-digit identifier impacts all New Hampshire driver licenses issued on or after Oct. 11. Current licenses will remain valid until their scheduled renewal. This change completes the updating of the design of the New Hampshire driver and non-driver identification cards.

Veteran Town Hall Meeting In White River Junction

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center will host a Community and Veteran Town Hall event on Dec. 15, from 1 to 2 p.m.

The event will be on the White River Junction VA campus (163 Veterans Drive, White River Junction, Vt.) in Research Building 44. The meeting is a chance for veterans, family members, and other beneficiaries to ask questions and provide feedback to the White River Junction VA leadership team.

White River Junction VA also welcomes input from Congressional stakeholders, veteran service organizations, non-governmental organizations, community partners and the general public.

This town hall meeting is part of a nationwide VA effort improve communication with and hear directly from veterans nationwide.

A press release from the White River Junction VA Medical Center’s leadership announcing the events said "as we seek continual improvement, it is critical that we continue to listen and learn directly from those who utilize our services."