Stronger than Sarcoma Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser, Jan. 12

GORHAM — The Gorham High School staff and student body invite you to join them for their Stronger than Sarcoma Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser on Thursday, Jan. 12, at the GMHS Cafeteria from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. All money raised will be donated to a Gorham High School freshman battling sarcoma, which is a form of bone cancer.

Tickets are just $5 per child and $10 per adult and will be on sale in the GMHS office during school hours from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. This dinner will offer a sit down meal in the cafe or take out option. Tickets need to be purchased in advanced.

There will be raffle prizes and a 50/50 drawing. Your support will be greatly appreciated. If you are unable to attend this event, but would like still to donate money, please contact the GMHS office by calling (603) 466-2776.

The Celebrity Chef class and the National Honor Society at the Gorham Middle High School have organized this event.

Applicants sought to volunteer for New Hampshire’s wildlife and forests

Applications from across the state can now apply for this year’s N.H. Coverts Project volunteer training workshop being held from May 3, through the 6, at the Barbara C. Harris Conference Center in Greenfield.

Started in 1995, the N.H. Coverts Project has trained over 500 volunteers to promote wildlife conservation and forest stewardship throughout New Hampshire. Each year, 25 conservation-minded New Hampshire residents gather with a team of natural resource professionals for a three-and-a-half day workshop, where they learn about wildlife and forest ecology, habitat management, land conservation and effective outreach.

There is a $50 registration fee, however all lodging, food and other expenses are funded by program sponsors. In exchange for the training, participants commit to at least 40 hours of volunteer work in the coming year and to motivate others to become stewards of the state's wildlife and forest resources.

A covert, pronounced “cover” with a “t”, is a thicket that provides shelter for wildlife. The term symbolizes the project’s goal of enhancing, restoring and conserving habitat of native wildlife in New Hampshire. Once trained through the Coverts Program, participants become members of a knowledgeable statewide network connected through newsletters, field trips, reunions and workshops.

“I became a Coverts Cooperator in May [2015],” says Jace Porter of Hillsborough County. “The program provides a much needed service to the state of New Hampshire, as well as an outlet for me to personally get involved in the things I love to do while giving back to my community.”

Coverts volunteers choose to give their time in a variety of ways. Some lead field walks or organize volunteer work days, while others serve on a town board or manage their own property for wildlife habitat. Volunteers come from many backgrounds and professions, but are unified by the desire to help New Hampshire’s wildlife and forests.

The N.H. Coverts Project is sponsored by UNH Cooperative Extension and N.H. Fish and Game. The program also receives support from the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands.

To apply for this year’s N.H. Coverts Project training, download and complete the 2017 N.H. Coverts Project Application at nhcoverts.org. The deadline for receiving applications is March 1. For more information, visit the project website at nhcoverts.org or contact Project Coordinator Haley Andreozzi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (603) 862-5327.

NHCoverts2016 ELordPhoto 61Volunteers participating in Coverts Project Training. (COURTESY PHOTO)

USDA investment tops $365 million in VT and NH communities in 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this week that it invested over $365 million in Vermont and New Hampshire communities in Federal Fiscal Year 2016 in housing, community and economic infrastructure through USDA Rural Development. The federal investment touched 465 communities, nearly every Vermont and New Hampshire town, and focused on increasing residents’ wellbeing by reducing poverty and investing in opportunity sectors including local food systems and renewable energy.

“These dollars translate to new opportunities for homeowners, communities, non-profit organizations and entrepreneurs,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Ted Brady. “Vermont and New Hampshire residents count on USDA Rural Development to be a partner in redeveloping their communities. We’re proud to help our rural communities seize opportunities – including investments in the local food sector and renewable energy – that help them grow stronger.”

USDA published its 2016 annual report, including a county by county list of projects in Vermont and New Hampshire. Brady said USDA Rural Development invested $149,566,057 in Vermont and $216,224,054 in New Hampshire over the past year. The Agency administers a wide range of programs that deliver support to rural communities in the form of loans, grants and guaranteed loans.

In 2016, Rural Development continued to invest in the bioeconomy of Vermont and New Hampshire – leveraging natural resources to produce renewable energy and forest-made products. A $2.5 million USDA Rural Energy for America Program loan guarantee, in partnership with Community National Bank, will enable Kingdom Pellets to build a wood pellet mill in Gilman, Vt. The plant will create 21 new local jobs, provide a market for low grade wood and produce a renewable source of heat for the projected equivalent of 6,818 homes. In 2016, USDA Rural Development invested $25,692,288 in business projects across Vermont and New Hampshire, creating or retaining 1,231 jobs.

USDA continued to be a leading source of housing assistance for more than 5,000 families last year. Senior residents of Chichester, Norman and Sharon Hansen, adapted their home so that they could safely age in place with the support of a USDA Rural Development home repair grant. The program offers low interest loans to very low income households and grants to eligible seniors, like the Hansen's, to make essential home repairs and efficiency upgrades. USDA Rural Development invested $252,987,012 in housing programs in 2016.

Towns and non-profit organizations used more than $87 million in USDA funding to build and provide essential community services in 2016, including assisted living, broadband, water and wastewater, public safety and more. The town of Charleston, Vt., will generate solar electricity to power the school and all town-owned facilities thanks in part to a $50,000 USDA Community Facility Grant. The town used the funds to help build a 456 panel solar array. The grant came as part of the Rural Economic Area Partnership Zone set-aside, a designation authored by U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy that brought an additional $6,701,706 to the Northeast Kingdom in 2016.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of $214 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. For more information visit the USDA Rural Development websites for Vermont and New Hampshire on www.rd.usda.gov.

Well Sense Health Plan and Salvation Army Donate Holiday Items to Berlin Families

This December, employees from Well Sense Health Plan donated a variety of items to two Berlin families in need through the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program. The Adopt-A-Family program is designed for volunteers to “adopt” eligible families during the holiday season and help provide those families with wish list items.
Through the Adopt-a-Family program, volunteers purchase items on the wish list for all members of the family, from clothing to toys. During the holiday season, people often donate toys and games for children, but forget that parents are also in need. The goal of the Salvation Army’s program is to provide necessities for the entire family in the winter, so that parents can continue to focus on paying regular monthly bills instead of worrying about holiday shopping.
Well Sense Health Plan adopted two families from Berlin, and purchased winter coats, boots, pajamas, everyday clothing and toys for each family, in addition to $150 in gift cards.
Well Sense Health Plan is a nonprofit managed care organization committed to providing the highest quality healthcare to underserved residents of New Hampshire. Well Sense Health Plan partners with local organizations that share the same mission to expand their reach and resources across the state to help as many individuals as possible get access to the resources and healthcare they need.

Parade of Lights winners announced

Parade of Lights winnersPictured from the left are the winners of the 2016 Parade of Lights. In second place, Roland Berthiaume and Mike Couch of ROMIK Developers; in first place, Craig Hood and Heather Marquis of Absolute PowerSports NH; and in third place, Nathan, Susanne, Natalie and Nolan Styles of Wintergreen Landscaping. "Thank you to everyone who participated all the floats and entries were wonderful," said Paula Kinney, executive coordinator at the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce. (BARBARA TETREAULT PHOTO)