Volunteers assist Berlin homeowner

BERLIN — “Now Is the Time” is the theme of this year’s USDA National Homeownership Month. For Steve Landry and his family of Berlin, June 28, proved to be just the right time to be a homeowner.
In celebration of homeownership month, representatives from USDA Rural Development; Tri-County CAP; the city of Berlin; HUD; the Neighborhood Reinvestment Committee; Sherwin Williams; Better Buildings NH; and Central Paving along with Roland Berthuime and crew; Dan McCosh, McCosh Light Trucking; Pat Arnold, Arnold Drywall; contractors Shawn Mackillop and David Cordwell of Lancaster gathered to assist with needed repairs on the Landry home. A total of twenty-eight volunteers appeared with tools in hand to paint the front porch, insulate the basement, install a new sump pump, fix the wiring, do a little plumbing, clean-out the garage, complete the finish work on the all season room, plant a garden and mow the lawn.
USDA Rural Development State Director, Molly Lambert, commented, “What could be more important to the happiness and health of a family than a safe, comfortable and affordable place to call home? USDA is so proud to be a partner with families and individuals like the Landrys throughout New Hampshire to make the dream of homeownership a reality.”
Steve and his family were presented with an American Flag to mark this celebration of National Homeownership Month. Federal, state and local representatives joined the volunteers during the ceremony.
“The participation today truly reflects the spirit of cooperation and support for one another in our community,” stated Linda White, city of Berlin Housing coordinator. “So many homeowners in Berlin have been impacted by mill closings, under-employment and aging homes. This is such a wonderful, hardworking family. The Neighborhood Revitalization Program is so pleased to participate with TCCAP and Rural Development on this great project.”
Owning a home is the American Dream. For more than 60 years, USDA has helped rural residents realize this dream through guaranteed and direct loans. USDA Rural Development has funds available now through the Single Family Housing Direct Loan program to help low-income rural families become homeowners.  Interested parties should contact the nearest USDA Rural Development office. A list of these offices is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/NHVTStateContacts.html .
Since taking office, President Obama’s Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council – chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – the president is committed to using federal resources more efficiently to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $165 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas.

White Mountains Community College's 2012 summer STEM - Health Career Camp ends in a blast

BERLIN -- White Mountains Community College and the North Country Health Consortium have just concluded their third annual STEM-Health Camp, a week-long camp at WMCC, designed for students entering grades six through eight. STEM-Health Camp introduces campers to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and Hhalth professions through hands-on, project-based activities.
Campers started the week by building Lego robotic arms. During a visit to Androscoggin Valley Hospital, they put on scrubs for a tour of the operating room and Claudette Morneau, education director at AVH, demonstrated on a willing "camper" how to prepare a patient for an EKG and interpret its readout. At AVH, campers also practiced using an AED and giving injections to oranges. In a "Discovering Computer Hardware" activity, campers disassembled and then reassembled computers. The campers also learned how handheld GPS unites works, and then used them to locate a geo-cache. In other activities, the campers investigated a "crime scene" to learn about forensic science, used a dental simulator, participated in several wilderness first-aid role-playing scenarios, and were introduced to veterinary medicine, where they examined a very patient therapy dog as well as practiced suturing a stuffed bear. Camp concluded with rocket building, a rocket launch, and a family lunch.
The WMCC STEM-Health camp is an outreach program supported by the New Hampshire Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NH EPSCoR), the New Hampshire Space Grant Consortium, the Northern New Hampshire Area Health Education Center, The Community Colleges of New Hampshire Foundation, and the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

Voice of the Martyrs presentation this Sunday at Community Bible Church

BERLIN -- The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. VOM was founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned 14 years in Communist Romania for his faith in Christ. His wife, Sabina, was imprisoned for three years. In the 1960s, Richard, Sabina, and their son, Mihai, were ransomed out of Romania and came to the United States. Through their travels, the Wurmbrands spread the message of the atrocities that Christians face in restricted nations, while establishing a network of offices dedicated to assisting the persecuted church. The Voice of the Martyrs continues in this mission around the world today through the following main purposes based on Hebrews 13:3: Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
There will be sessions at 10 and 11 a.m. at Community Bible Church on Sunday, July 15.  Both session times will be broken into two groups, children through grade six, and grade seven through adults. The public is invited to this great opportunity to become aware of what many Christians are facing worldwide for standing up for their faith, and knowing how we can help. Community Bible Church is located at 595 Sullivan Street in Berlin. If you have any questions, please call 752-4315.
The main purposes include helping Christians who are or have been, persecuted for their involvement in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. VOM provides medical assistance, food, clothing, and other forms of aid. Secondly, showing love by supporting Christians who are willing to invite their fellow men, even their persecutors, to Jesus Christ through faithful deeds of love in a hostile environment. VOM supplies Bibles, literature, radios, and other evangelistic tools. They also seek to encourage persecuted Christians by giving their testimony a voice, informing Christians in the USA to know how to help. VOM believes that the lives and the testimony of persecuted Christians is a vital part of the fellowship of all believers and will challenge and strengthen the faith of Christians everywhere.
Representing the Voice of the Martyrs and the Persecuted Church will be Hugh and Donna Smith. For several years they have traveled extensively across the country, bringing the victorious message of faithfulness of those facing persecution in many areas of the world. Hugh and Donna come uniquely qualified for this venture serving in various aspects of ministry and being involved in many mission trips, including trips to Columbia, Vietnam, and China with the Voice of the Martyrs.


Roundtable on Umbagog Natioanl Wildlife Refuge Thursday night

BERLIN -- A facilitated roundtable discussion on the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge will take place on Thursday, July 12, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at White Mountains Community College. Discussed will be national and local views of land acquisition and realty.

Making presentations will be Scott Kahan, regional chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System; Joe McCauley, chief of the Division of Realty for the Northeast Region, and Umbagog Refuge Manager Paul Casey.

J.T. Horn of the Trust for Public Lands will also outline the Androscoggin Headwaters Project.

The roundtable will allow for public questions and discussions.

White Mountains Community College President Katharine Eneguess will facilitate the roundtable.



Berlin Federal Prison Job Fair is July 17

BERLIN -- The Northern NH Talent Team, The New Hampshire Employment Security, and White Mountains Community College are offering a Berlin Federal Prison job fair on Tuesday, July 17, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the NH Works Berlin office located at 151 Pleasant Street.
“Now is the time if you are interested in working for the Bureau of Prisons," said Mark Belanger, New Hampshire Employment Security manager, “These are great paying careers with 20 year law enforcement pensions! High-level officials from the Bureau of Prisons - FCI Berlin, will be on hand to discuss "doing your career justice and offering advice". If you are interested in a position with the Bureau of Prisons, come take advantage of their expertise.