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Front Page News

Gov. Sununu with Smokey Bear and N.H. Forest Protection personnel. Picture Courtesy of Governor Sununu’s Facebook Page

 

Governor Chris Sununu has proclaimed April 18-24 “Wildfire Awareness Week,” part of an effort to raise the level of public consciousness about the dangers of wildfire and its impact not only on New Hampshire’s forested landscape, but also the potential impact to homes, personal property and the state’s wide variety of recreational opportunities.

Unlike other parts of the country that experience their annual increase in wildfire activity in the summer and fall, spring is wildfire season in the northeastern portion of the United States, when dry grasses, leaves and pinecones, along with fallen twigs and branches, serve as potential fuel for a wildfire.

Limited precipitation received within the past week has not significantly improved the ongoing drought conditions in New Hampshire. More than 57 percent of the state is now experiencing moderate drought conditions and the remainder of the state is classified as abnormally dry.

The heightened concern for wildfires will continue until adequate precipitation is received allowing new leaves and green vegetation to emerge.

“As we transition from winter to spring, it’s important that everyone be aware that their change in activities may alter the causes of wildfires, but not the risk,” said Capt. Douglas Miner from the N.H. Forest Protection Bureau. “Being vigilant about what we are doing outdoors – whether disposing of ash from a woodstove, having that first cookout of the season or doing something else that involves combustion – and practicing strong wildfire prevention behavior can have an enormous impact on all of us.”

Ninety percent of wildfires in New Hampshire are caused by human behavior. While brush fires and campfires are common causes, other sources include improper disposal of smoking materials, overheated engines and sparks emitted from machinery.

“New Hampshire’s forests experienced a significant increase in visitors in 2020, and overall that’s great for our health and our economy,” said Patrick Hackley, director of the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands. “Unfortunately, not everyone understands how their actions might start a wildfire and cause damage to our landscape. This proclamation serves to highlight the importance of wildfire prevention awareness.”

The state’s Forest Protection Bureau, part of the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands, is responsible for protecting 4.5 million acres of both public and private New Hampshire forestlands from the threat of wildland fire and crimes against the forest resource. This is accomplished by forest rangers, fire patrolmen, fire tower personnel and support staff as well as the forest fire wardens and deputy wardens serving in each community.

From 2016-2020, New Hampshire experienced an average of 119 wildfires impacting 276 acres annually.

The N.H. Forest Protection Bureau is part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ Division of Forests and Lands, which protects and promotes the value provided by trees, forests and natural communities. For more information about the Division of Forests and Lands and the work of its Forest Protection Bureau, visit nh.gov/nhdfl or call 603-271-2214.

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Today on the Morning Show, Roy was joined by Mandy McDonald of End 68 Hours of Hunger. She told us all about this MASSIVE School Food Drive that has been assembled by the faculty, staff, and students of SAU 9 and SAU 13. The school district’s have been collecting specific types of food for the cause and depending on where your student goes they can donate food as well. The Food Drive ends on Friday, April 23rd. Listen below for the interview and make sure to check out the school list!

 

For more information on End 68 Hours of Hunger go to END68HOURSOFHUNGER.ORG

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A New Name for the North Conway Public Library

by Gino Devaney on April 16, 2021

The North Conway Public Library has officially been renamed after Lyman Pope in recognition of his generous donation to the expansion project. Shown admiring the new signage is from left Lyman Pope, Sharon Wroblewski, Capital Campaign Chair, and Andrea Masters, Library Director.

 

NORTH CONWAY, NH – It’s been an exciting year for the North Conway Public Library. The expansion and renovation project, which doubled the size of the library and brought systems up to code, while adding much needed space for library services to meet community needs, was completed in 2020.

While the library is open, with limited hours due to COVID, the capital campaign is ongoing. “We have approximately $350,000 still to raise”, said Andrea Masters, Library Director. “We were so fortunate to receive funding from Lyman for the construction but rising costs during this phase of the project increased our budget needs significantly and we continue to seek grant funding, as well as community support to reach our goal.”

In 2018, the Board of Directors set a goal to renovate and expand the iconic North Conway Public Library after a very generous donation by Lyman Pope, a loyal patron of the library since the 1950’s. He said he saw the need for expansion there and was happy to be in a position to help that cause, as well as to support a library where dogs are welcome. “And this location is excellent. It’s right downtown and people have walking access to it,” Pope said.

“Lyman was instrumental in the development of plans for the expansion – a strong voice from the very beginning of planning through the construction phase” said Board President, Neill Osgood. “As with the early gifts from Mr. Whitaker and Dr. Schouler, one of the Valley’s own set the stage for the library’s future. We thank our friend, Mr. Lyman Pope, for his vision and courageous advances for the betterment of our community and future of our beloved library. We also thank our wonderful patrons and the many community members who have donated to our fund, as well.”

Known for his support of animal shelters, this is Pope’s first library donation and his first project here in his Mount Washington Valley home. The reasons are simple, he said. He cares about dogs that have been mistreated and he cares about libraries.

“Lyman loves books and libraries, and dogs”, said Andrea Masters, Library Director. “He is particularly fond of German shepherds, and as part of the building project, he commissioned a bronze statue of a shepherd that sits proudly by the new entrance in honor of war dogs that have served the American military during wartime.”

The library plans a grand opening celebration sometime in 2021 and looks forward to welcoming the community to the Pope Memorial Library, the newly renamed library announced by the board of directors at their annual meeting in March.

Mr. Pope donated $3 million to the building project and will donate $2 million to the endowment once the name change is officially recorded, all signage completed, and a new walkway built from Main Street to the new entrance of the building in the back.

“We are thrilled to name our library after Lyman Pope”, said Osgood. “His gift is all the more important as the library receives no funding from the town and relies on donations and grants. Lyman’s generosity and devotion to the library and its standing in our community will endure for years to come, as will our mission to enhance the quality of life of our patrons and community, as a whole.”

For more information on the library and its capital campaign please call 603-356-2961, visit northconwaylibrary.com, or stop by during library hours Tuesday and Thursday 10am – 2 pm and Friday 12 pm – 4 pm.

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 Joan Sherman

Joan Sherman enriched the life of Mount Washington Valley through her co-ownership of radio station WMWV and her dedication to numerous arts and culture associations. She died from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease on Nov. 19, 2020, at Merri-man House in North Conway, N.H. Joanie often said that she was drawn to New Hampshire after seeing the movie, The Devil and Daniel Webster, when she was a little girl. For her, it was a dream come true to move here. Joanie loved New Hampshire’s small towns, tight-knit communities, and rural roots. Living here both nurtured and inspired her. Born on Sept. 7, 1929, in New York City, Joanie grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, and attended Northampton School for Girls in Massachusetts. After graduating, she studied at Juilliard School of Music, Barnard College, and the Peabody Music School. In 1948, she married Lawrence (Skip) Sherman. After Skip got his journalism degree at the University of Iowa in 1955, they moved their family to New England. He worked as a reporter for The Springfield Union and The Providence Journal. Meanwhile, Joanie began a career in sales, which led to her learning the radio business at WERI in Westerly, R.I. In 1959, they moved to Conway, N.H., to manage the AM radio station WBNC, which had been purchased by Joanie’s boss at WERI. A year later, they bought the station, and in 1968 they started a sister FM station, WMWV. As sales manager, Joanie immediately slashed the price of advertising, enabling any business, however big or small, to broadcast its message. She also founded the station’s long-running annual gardening contest for amateur and professional gardeners. Skip managed the news as well as the music programming, which soon displayed his signature touch: a spicy mix of jazz, country, rock and roll, and classical music. Meanwhile, the station’s doors opened to the community. Its reporters and announcers were everywhere: dog sled races, high school concerts, tennis tournaments, the Fryeburg Fair, you name it. Radio interviews introduced listeners to local historians, naturalists, musicians, and authors, and the morning weather report gave everyone a head start by rating the day up to fifty cents. “It’s a real fifty-center” became insider slang for another beautiful day in Mount Washington Valley.In 1997, Joanie and Skip sold the station and retired. Amicably divorced in 2002, they remained close friends. As a woman in broadcasting, Joanie broke new ground. One of the first women in sales, management, and ownership, she served on the board of the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters and, in 1965, was the first woman to address the Radio Advertising Bureau in New York City. Moreover, the legacy of the station she and Skip created has endured. In addition to her work in sales and broadcasting, crafts and fine art were always central to Joanie’s life. She won awards and recognition for her embroidery and for her hooked rugs and also taught crafts to community groups. In the 1990s, she studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia and at the Portland School of Art in Maine, and she took workshops in creative writing. The result was an autobiographical series of paintings and short essays. In 1992, the collection, “Dreams & Memories: Paintings and Stories,” was exhibited at the Idia Center in Intervale, N.H. Selections were featured in other exhibitions, notably the New Hampshire Historical Society’s folk art exhibition, “Traditional Roots, Con-temporary Expressions,” in 1994, and subsequently at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. The entire collection was published in 1994. An indefatigable extrovert, Joanie was devoted to her community. (As a kid, when she realized that she couldn’t meet everyone in the whole world, she burst into tears.) She served on many arts organizations including Conway’s Home Industries, the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, the Mount Washington Valley Arts Association, and Arts Jubilee. She also helped to establish Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire and worked to bring community mental health services to Carroll County. In later life, she became a member and enthusiastic supporter of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Eastern Slopes. In 2000, Joanie and Skip were the recipients of the prestigious Bob Morrell Award, bestowed by the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council for civic entrepreneurship. Joanie faced many challenges in her life. She had dyslexia and suffered from bipolar disorder with recurring depressions. However, she always described herself as a fighter and believed that we could all make the world a better place for each other. As it is for many who struggle, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was her personal anthem. Happily, in recent years she was able to sing that song a lot with friends and family. In addition to her former husband Skip Sherman, Joanie is survived by their two daughters, Sarah Sherman, married to Jamie Calderwood; and Carrie Sherman, married to Terry Whiting. Other survivors include Joanie’s grandson, Peter Calderwood; her sister, Gretchen Horton; and her brother, Ned Thanhouser. Joanie’s family would like to express their gratitude to Merriman House at Memorial Hospital in North Conway, where Joanie spent her last three and a half years. A celebration of Joanie’s life will be held when it’s safe for friends and family to gather.

The current radio station family send condolences to Skip, Sarah, Carrie and their families. This obituary, written by Sarah and Carrie, first appeared in The Conway Daily Sun on April 16, 2021.

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Local Author Mark Synnott Joins Roy Prescott to discuss “The Third Pole: Mystery, Obsession and Death on Mount Everest”

by Gino Devaney April 14, 2021 Front Page News

White Birch Books and Local Author Mark Synnott are teaming up to do an “in-person” Author Event in celebration of Mark’s new book, The Third Pole: Mystery, Obsession and Death on Mount Everest. The event will take place outside (weather permitting) at the bookstore tomorrow, Thursday, April 15th, starting at 4 p.m. All COVID protocols […]

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CASA NH is Looking for Volunteers to Speak Up for Abused Children in the Granite State – 04/06/2021

by Gino Devaney April 6, 2021 Front Page News

April is National Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention Month, making it a good time to focus on what is being done to help abused and neglected children in New Hampshire. Since 1989, CASA of NH has been training volunteers to speak up for abused and neglected children in NH’s court system. Diane Valladares is the […]

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