Verani Realty Supports Altrusa's Festival of Trees

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty's (Verani) Lakes Region offices recently decorated and donated a tree for Altrusa International of Meredith's 22nd Annual Festival of Trees. Their theme was a "A Verani Smurf Christmas," and all proceeds from the event were donated to local families in need. From left are Connie Van Dam, agent; Ron Burton, agent; Kath Blake, regional manager; Maureen Sanborn, agent; and Kathy Bagley, agent. (Courtesy photo)

Squam Lakes Association offers bird identification hike

HOLDERNESS — The Squam Lakes Association will hold a bird identification hike on Dec. 19 from 8 to 10 a.m. The public is invited to learn about common wintering bird species frequently found around Squam Lake. As part of the SLA Adventure Ecology program series, Lakes Region Conservation Corps AmeriCorps member Maggie Upham will start the day teaching participants about the importance of birds, bird calls, and tricks to help recognize birds by sight. Participants will then take a guided tour around the SLA Campus to put their knowledge to the test recording the birds they see.

Identifying birds by sight and sound is a wonderful and fun skill to have. Birds are important because they help us better understand our environment. Birds do it all: they pollinate plants, disperse seeds, control pests, provide food, and are integral parts of the food chain. For example, pileated woodpeckers provide habitat for many species. They are excavators and the nest holes they leave behind become homes for various cavity nesters such as owls and even small mammals.

By the end of the program, participants will be familiar with six local wintering birds that can be found around the area and know their distinguishing characteristics. After the tour, participants will come back inside for tea and coffee to warm up and discuss the birds we saw and go over their calls one last time to ensure that everyone leaves a confident birder. Participants should bring their binoculars and dress appropriately for winter weather.

For more information, or to sign up for this Adventure Ecology Program, visit the SLA website (squamlakes.org) or call 603-968-7336. The SLA offers other Adventure Ecology programs throughout the winter. The Adventure Ecology programs are presented by the LRCC AmeriCorps crew members spending the winter on squam performing important conservation work in support of the association’s mission.

State seeks applicants for forest ranger careers

CONCORD — Are you looking for new career opportunities within New Hampshire state government? Have you ever wondered if a challenging career in the field of forest protection would interest you? Do you enjoy spending time in nature and appreciate the vast natural resources available in our state? If so, then you may have the right stuff to become a New Hampshire Forest Ranger.

The state Division of Forests and Lands, Forest Protection Bureau has nine ranger districts in the state, and is actively seeking applicants for three vacant Forest Ranger positions. The positions are currently located in three geographic regions of the state including; Grafton County, Cheshire/Sullivan Counties, and Rockingham County. Forest Rangers cover large areas with many responsibilities and must be highly motivated. Applicants must be 21 years of age, have a criminal conviction free record and possess an associate’s degree from an accredited college. They must also have two years of experience in forestry, fire science, criminal justice or have a record of full time active military service with an honorable discharge. Successful candidates must satisfactorily complete the preparatory training program with the state Police Standards and Training Council to achieve certification as a full time police officer.

New Hampshire Forest Rangers have a diverse list of responsibilities which range from timber harvest law enforcement, forest health, wildfire prevention and detection, firefighter training and education, wildfire incident management and suppression as well as enforcement of laws and rules governing open burning. Forest Rangers investigate and prosecute violation and misdemeanor offenses in the circuit courts and present felony cases to County Attorneys for subsequent prosecution.

“Being a New Hampshire Forest Ranger is possibly one of the most challenging and rewarding professions in state government” stated Steven Sherman, Chief of the Forest Protection Bureau. “We are looking for some good candidates to join our Forest Ranger team to help protect the valuable natural resources of our state.”

Prospective candidates should visit https://das.nh.gov/hr/ and select “Job Opportunities,” then click on “External Job Postings” and select the Forest Ranger position to download the comprehensive job description. Individuals seeking additional information may contact the Forest Protection Bureau at 603-271-2214.

The New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands protects and promotes the value provided by trees and forests. For more information about the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands and the work of the Forest Protection Bureau visit www.nhdfl.org or call 602-271-2214.

New England Wolves and Gagnon family start toy drive

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LACONIA — The New England Wolves and the Gagnon family of Laconia have begun the “MAX Toy Drive 2017,” to benefit Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic.
It started on Dec. 5 and will continuing through Dec. 21. Donations in the form of toys and holiday gifts will be accepted in the name of Max Gagnon to benefit Dana-Farber's Jimmy Fund Clinic. Since he was diagnosed almost two years ago, Max Gagnon has been receiving treatment at the Boston Children’s Hospital and Jimmy Fund Clinic to combat leukemia ALL type B, a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). Maxwell Gagnon was diagnosed with ALL in the summer of 2016 and rushed to the emergency room at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he stayed for 43 days. His treatment is expected to last two years.

“Max has become part of the New England Wolves family,” said GM/Head Coach Andrew Trimble. “ The boys on our teams
have met and interacted with Max both this year and last year, as he want to provide any and all support we can during his treatment.”
All donations will be accepted in a large receptacle in the lobby of the Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia, 468 Province Road, labelled “The MAX Toy Drive.” Any monetary donations can be accepted in the form of a check made payable to “The Jimmy
Fund” and accepted in the Wolves office within the Merrill Fay Arena.