Roadwork Continues on Rockingham Road in Derry

Construction zones wil be near Clam Haven and the Fairways.

Derry Public works announced that road work will continue through November, 2014 on Rockingham Road in Derry. Motorists were advised that they may experience intermittent delays Monday through Friday 7 AM to 5 PM. Uniformed police and flaggers will guide traffic through the work zone.

This week, September 15 through September 19, the following work is planned to take place:

  • Drilling and blasting on east shoulder of Route 28, just south of Clam Haven.
  • Clean up and loam/seed in multiple area including easement to Fairways.
  • Installation of gravel shoulder on Rockingham Road.

Please contact the Department of Public Works office at 432-6144 if there are any questions or concerns.

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EEE Found in Londonderry Mosquito Batch

The Town of Londonderry Health Division announced that a batch of mosquitoes collected in Londonderry has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). The mosquito species, Culiseta melanura, is the primary vector of EEE and mainly bites birds but will occasionally, although rarely, bite mammals including humans.

The news of mosquitoes carrying EEE in Londonderry is not unexpected at this time of year. The Town of Londonderry wants to reassure the residents that they are monitoring the situation closely. They will continue with weekly mosquito trapping and testing throughout the Town to ensure they stay on top of this. Mosquito breeding sites are monitored regularly and treated as needed. Residents should use utmost caution regarding exposure to mosquitoes. Given the continued low risk to the public and the Old Home Celebrations this past weekend, the Town will be conducting a spray of the area beginning this week. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to utilize the precautionary measures outlined below.

EEE is transmitted through the bite of an infected moquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. There is no risk for people being around horses. If a mosquito bites a horse or a human, it cannot transmit the disease to another human. The risk of contracting the infection is low. If illness does occur, it happens within 4 to 10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. If someone is experiencing flu-like symptoms including fever and headache, they should contact their local medical provider.

The Town would like to remind the residents of Londonderry to continue to take steps to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes and to eliminate standing water on their property. With all the recent rain, it is imperative that mosquito breeding areas are eliminated to help reduce the risk.

You can protect yourself and your family with a few simple steps:

  • Reduce outdoor activity between 3 PM and 8 AM.
  • Use mosquito repellent containing DEET or Picaridin.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants.
  • Check around your home for standing water and remove it.
  • Ensure window and door screens fit properly so that mosquitoes cannot enter your home.

The risk of contracting EEE or West Nile Virus does not end until two hard frosts. In this part of the State that may not occur until after Halloween. There is still a significant amount of time before that happens. Residents must take personal precautions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.

If you need more information about mosquitoes, EEE or West Nile Virus contact Dragon Mosquito Control at 734-4144 or email info(at)dragonmosquito.com.

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NH Campground Owner Issued Warning Over Bear Problem

As a result of perennial bear/human conflicts, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has issued a written warning to Joseph Paradis, owner of Moose Hillock Campground in Warren, N.H., to address the campground’s garbage storage polices.

Moose Hillock Campground, which also owns and operates a similar facility in Lake George, New York, is a 90-acre campground that abuts the White Mountain National Forest. As is true for all New Hampshire campgrounds, the proper storage of garbage and other food attractants is essential to minimizing conflicts with bears.

“The situation at Moose Hillock has been particularly challenging for the past 14 years, primarily because previous recommendations have not been followed,” said Fish and Game Bear Biologist Andrew Timmins. “The primary attractant at the campground is open dumpsters that bears readily climb into for food. Additionally, unsecured coolers and food at campsites are targeted by bears. Once bears make a habit of foraging in the campground, they become conditioned to human presence and are difficult to scare away. These issues generally start with the open dumpsters and expand to bears raiding campsites.”

Bear activity at Moose Hillock has reached a record level this summer, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by the public. Large groups of campers gather daily at the dumpster area to watch multiple bears rummage in the dumpsters. Furthermore, bears are routinely raiding campsites to panhandle and steal food.

“Recently, the Department has received many complaints from members of the public who have become upset and uncomfortable staying at this facility,” said Col. Martin Garabedian, head of N.H. Fish and Game Law Enforcement. “The situation at the campground has become a public safety issue for campers and cannot be tolerated any further.”

Staff from Fish and Game and USDA Wildlife Services have routinely responded to conflicts at Moose Hillock since 2000. The issues have always been the same (open dumpsters), and the recommendations to the campground have always focused on the need to secure the dumpsters with metal tops or an inaccessible barrier fence (e.g., electric fence). Large quantities of bear education materials have been dropped off at the campground in an effort to educate both campground staff and the camping public on how to camp in bear country. Houndsman have been routinely used to chase bears from the campground with dogs to alleviate conflicts. Bears, including a sow with four cubs and single adult male, have been moved from the campground in recent years, in an effort to help the campground alleviate conflicts.

“These efforts have essentially failed, and will continue to fail, because the dumpsters remain open to bears,” said Timmins. “The only long-term solution is to stop the bears from easily accessing foods in the campground, which includes a primary focus on bear-proofing the dumpsters.”

A N.H. Fish and Game Department Administrative Rule (Fis 310.01) states that “no person shall use, place, provide, give, expose, deposit, scatter or distribute any material that results in attracting black bears, after being noticed by the executive director or his designee to cease the activity, because the activity might result in injury to a person, damage to property or create a public nuisance.” Based on this rule, on August 1, 2014, the N.H. Fish and Game Department issued a written warning to Joseph Paradis of the Moose Hillock campground and gave him two weeks to get metal-topped dumpsters (to secure the campground’s dumpsters in a way that is inaccessible to bears).

Staff from N.H. Fish and Game and USDA Wildlife Services have worked successfully with many New Hampshire campgrounds to resolve bear issues. Nearly all these campgrounds now have dumpsters that contain metal tops and doors that can be locked, thereby making them inaccessible to bears. Once the food is shut off, bears move on, and keeping New Hampshire’s wildlife wild benefits everyone.

“This approach has worked because these campgrounds have been willing to make necessary changes. Moose Hillock campground has been different. They have been resistant to changing their approach to garbage storage and have ignored previous recommendations,” said Timmins. “Campgrounds can be ‘bear-proofed,’ but it requires a working, cooperative partnership between the campground and the management agency to be successful.”

For more information on preventing conflicts with black bears, click here.

If you have questions about bear-related problems, you can get advice by calling a toll-free number coordinated jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department: 1-888-749-2327 (1-888-SHY-BEAR).

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Sketch Released, Police Seek Assistance in Abigail Hernandez Case

This is the sketch police have released in the Abigail Hernandez case. Click for a large image.

Attorney General Joseph A. Foster, Conway Police Chief Edward Wagner, New Hampshire State Police Colonel Robert Quinn and FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent in Charge William Scott O’Donnell announce that they are seeking information regarding the identity of the man depicted in the attached sketch. Law enforcement authorities have been provided information from Abigail Hernandez that the man depicted in the sketch drove her away on October 9, 2013, between 2:20 and 3:00 pm. At the time, the man was driving a navy blue pick-up truck on North South Road in Conway, north of the rotary. Abigail described the man as having darkish skin, dark brown eyes, black stubble facial hair, and a large build, who was slightly overweight and slightly taller than she was (5’4”).

While the investigation remains on-going, law enforcement authorities are still attempting to ascertain and confirm information as to whether this man or any others who may have been involved with Abigail’s disappearance took her against her will, enticed her away, detained her or concealed her whereabouts for the last nine months. As law enforcement authorities have maintained throughout this investigation, Abigail was 14 years old at the time of her disappearance and had no known means to facilitate her disappearance on her own or provide herself with food, shelter and other necessities over the past nine months. It is a felony for any person to take, (or cause to) entice away, detain or conceal any child under the age of 18 who is unrelated by blood. Should the investigation reveal evidence that a crime was committed, in regard to any aspect of this investigation, then all appropriate charges will be brought.

Attorney General Foster said, “We are all pleased Abigail was returned safely to her family. Law enforcement officers must now obtain satisfactory answers to the questions surrounding the facts and circumstances of Abigail’s disappearance and nine month absence. The individual or individuals who were involved with her disappearance and absence will now have to face the consequences of any unlawful actions. Finding these answers and assuring the perpetrator is brought to justice will help ensure a similar act is not committed against another child.”

Because the investigation is on-going and there remain many unanswered questions regarding this case, the public is reminded to remain vigilant.

Anyone who recognizes the man depicted in the attached sketch is asked to contact the New Hampshire State Police at (603) 271-3636 or the Conway Police Department at (603) 356-5715.

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Motor Vehicle Off Roadway in Epping NH

On May 5, 2014 at approximately 0718 hours, Troopers from the New Hampshire State Police-Troop A barracks responded to a vehicle off the roadway on Route 101 eastbound in the Town of Epping, NH.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2000 GRWW Crane, being driven by Merrill Johnson, age 75, of Hooksett, NH, sustained a blowout to the right front tire, causing it to go off the right side of the roadway into the tree line. No injuries were reported.

It will be necessary to close the right travel lane on Route 101 eastbound as crews remove the vehicle.  This closure is expected to last approximately 1 hour, beginning  around 0845 hours.

Assisting the New Hampshire State Police-Troop A at the scene was the New Hampshire State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit.

This incident remains under investigation by Trooper Anthony Cattabriga.  Anyone with information pertaining to this collision is asked to contact Trooper Cattabriga, NH State Police- Troop A at (603)223-8490.

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NH Fish and Game Issues Warning About Life-Threatening Polar Plunge Activities

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department today issued an urgent warning about potential danger associated with a statewide, social media-driven craze enticing teens to jump into frigid icy waters. Responding to the “Polar Plunge” dare, young people are jumping, dressed only in summer swimwear and without life vests, into frigid New Hampshire lakes and ponds, as well as fast-flowing rivers and streams coursing with snow melt. An insidious aspect of the trend is that participating youth must dare five other youth to take part, creating a fast-growing phenomenon with enormous potential for tragic outcomes.

Recent information received by the Fish and Game Department indicated that today (April 14, 2014), a large number of North Country youth had reportedly made plans to jump into the raging Connecticut River. Right now, the Connecticut River is boiling with fast, high water from the spring snow melt, with chunks of ice and debris coursing past.

Members of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Dive Team, who are responsible for drowning recovery operations in the state, are very concerned about the unsanctioned Polar Plunge activities youth are engaging in. “We are strongly urging youth not to participate, and we are asking families and community members to stay alert,” said Conservation Officer and Fish and Game Dive Team Member Glenn Lucas. “The potential for life-threatening incidents to occur, because of the Polar Plunge trend, is huge.”

Lucas noted that even when ice is not visible on top of the water, there can be ice below that can easily cause a slip into dangerous fast-moving water. In one recent incident recorded on Facebook, two New Hampshire teenage girls jumped into Garland Brook in Lancaster, slipped on the ice and were nearly swept into the current without life jackets.

According to the N.H. Marine Patrol, immersion in cold water can quickly render even a good swimmer helpless within minutes. Even short amounts of time exposed to the rigors of frigid water can exacerbate hypothermic effects. Hypothermia is an abnormally low body temperature, often caused by prolonged exposure to cold. Symptoms of hypothermia can include shivering, a lack of fine or gross motor skills, slurred speech, stumbling, confusion, poor decision making, drowsiness or low energy, apathy, loss of consciousness, weak pulse and/or shallow breathing. Those suffering from the effects of hypothermia may not be aware this is taking place. A person experiencing hypothermia while in the water is at a greater risk of injury or drowning.

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