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At annual meeting, New Hampshire Electric Co-op reflects on its 75 year history

PLYMOUTH — On the occasion of its 75th Annual Meeting of Members, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) took a look back at its pioneering past and a look forward to a challenging future with major changes in store for the regional energy industry.

"This cooperative was founded on the principle of people working together to achieve a common goal," said NHEC President/CEO Fred Anderson. "It is because of all the people who have come before us that we have achieved the goal of putting the power in your hands. They are the ones for whom we are grateful today."

Founded in 1939, NHEC was incorporated by a group of farmers and rural residents who, with help from the New Hampshire State Grange and the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), sought to bring the benefits of electricity to areas of the state that were unserved by the private utilities of the day. From its first stretch of electric line that served a few dozen families in towns surrounding Lempster, NHEC grew steadily over the years to serve 83,000 homes and businesses in 115 New Hampshire communities.

As part of the 75th anniversary, the Co-op unveiled a copy of a newly-released book that chronicles the company's history. Titled "Putting the Power In Your Hands: The First 75 Years of New Hampshire Electric Cooperative," the book is a thoroughly researched account of the challenges and successes the cooperative has experienced in lighting up the New Hampshire countryside for the past seven decades. Members also enjoyed dinner catered by Sodexo Catering and a post-meeting raffle.

A number of dignitaries sent congratulatory messages on the occasion of the Co-op's 75th anniversary, including U.S. Congresswoman Annie Kuster, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who recorded a video that was played to the annual meeting attendees.

Two people with long associations with NHEC were honored for their contributions to the Cooperative. Former NHEC Director Gail Paine of Intervale was recognized by a Board of Directors resolution named her Director Emeritus, acknowledging her 30 years as a member of the NHEC Board and 19 years as the NHEC representative on the Board of Directors of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Also recognized was Clint Hutchins, NHEC Manager of Member Solutions & Marketing. Hutchins, who plans to retire in July after a 44-year career at NHEC, was awarded the Carol A. Tracey Customer Service Award. Presented by the Northeast Public Power Association (NEPPA), the award recognizes employees of NEPPA member utilities who deliver outstanding service to their consumers.

Company officials also announced the results of the election for three open seats on the NHEC Board of Directors. Three incumbents won re-election to seats on the Board. Returning to the Board for three-year terms are Joan Aubrey of Jackson, Harry Viens of Center Harbor and Bruce Wiggett of Plymouth. Members also voted 5,772 to 670 to approve a minor amendment to the NHEC Bylaws.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 June 2014 07:14

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O'Reilly Auto Parts is Presenting Sponsor for Rotary Club Car Show

LACONIA — The Lakes Region Rotary Club is  pleased to announce that O'Reilly Auto Parts has signed off as the Presenting Sponsor of the Second Annual Lakes Region Rotary Car Show, to be held Saturday, July 26 at Weirs Beach Lobster Pound.

All are welcome to attend this family-friendly event, which will take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (rain date same and place time but on Sunday the 27th). The entry fee is just $5 and children 16 and younger are free. Proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Laconia and several other Lakes Region area charities.

Vintage and classic cars wanted. This event is a great opportunity for enthusiasts to showcase their one-of-a-kind cars, all for a great local cause. Registration forms are available at www.lakesregionrotary.org/carshow. Awards will be presented to "Best in Show" and "People's Choice" among others.

The 2013 Lakes Region Rotary Car Show raised over $10,000 for local charities and welcomed more than 150 vehicles and nearly 1,000 spectators. To learn about the vendor and sponsorship opportunities contact the Lakes Region Rotary at 603-556-8969 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Lakes Region Rotary Club is a local chapter of Rotary International and undertakes a number of charitable and service-oriented projects and events each year to benefit both local and international causes.

For more information on the Lakes Region Rotary, or to learn about becoming a member visit: www.lakesregionrotary.org.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 June 2014 07:10

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‘Check Twice’ sticker creator to be honored

LACONIA – Ever wonder where all those yellow "Check Twice – Save a Life, MOTORCYCLES are EVERYWHERE" bumper stickers and signs came from?

Area motorcyclists will be honoring and recognizing Moultonborough resident Bob Doiron, Tuesday night June 17 during Laconia Bike Week as the "Check Twice" phase's creator, at Hector's Fine Food & Spirits in downtown Laconia, 6–9 p.m.
Over 2.5 million of the "Check Twice" stickers have been printed since Doiron first came up with the phase in 1982, while listening to the then Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles on the radio asking motorists to 'watch out' for bicycles.
"I thought," said Doiron who was one of the founders of the Modified Motorcycle Association of Massachusetts, "what about watching out for us motorcyclists? Drivers should "check twice" for motorcycles and share the roads."
That moment became a life's quest for Doiron, who retired (from his day job) in 2001 and moved from Somerville, Massachusetts to Moultonborough, aimed at reducing motorcycle accidents, injuries and deaths.
Since 1982, Doiron offered free stickers to those who sent him a self-addressed stamped return envelope, and offered 'customized' stickers for businesses and groups to market their names.
In 2002, after Doiron moved to Moultonborough, Paul W. Cote of Amesbury, MA, while volunteering as the motorcycle associating director of Government Relations, met with the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, who wanted to 'adopt' the "Check Twice" awareness message as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Motorcycle safety slogan.
"We called Bob in Moultonborough from the Registrar's office," Cote claimed, "who thought we were kidding him. I put the Registrar on the phone, they talked, and I was handed the phone. Bob told me, 'it took 20 years and me to retire to get done what you just got done,' and I could tell he was teary eyed."
Since then, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and its Motorcycle Rider Education Program have produced tens of thousands bumper stickers at cost and free to those supporting motorcycle safety and awareness. During Laconia Bike Week, electronic "Check Twice" signs will be on its highway message boards, aimed at reducing accidents with riders coming in and out of New Hampshire.
"What Bob started in 1982 has contributed to saving lives, and it is high time we recognized and honored him," claimed Cote.
In 2006, Cote with Doiron's consent, started producing yard signs and big 2' x 8' signs with the "Check Twice" message. In 2007 and 2008, a regional insurance company gave the association $29,000 for signs with their web site on the bottoms that were distributed freely to over 200 cities and towns and motorcyclists.
In 2010, Doiron was ready to retire from producing the bumper stickers, and transferred his ownership to Cote, who produces the signs, customized bumper stickers, and as Doiron started, continues offering free stickers to those sending the self-addressed return envelopes to him.
With the assistance of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association's executive director Charlie St. Clair, who serves with Cote as the two New England Road Riding delegates to the American Motorcyclists Association (AMA) Congress, Rally Patron Hector's Fine Foods & Spirits downtown Laconia location was chosen as the host site to honor and recognize Doiron for his life's work at reducing motorcycle accidents.
Cote added, "All Bob's area friends are invited to help us recognize Bob and his life's work reducing motorcycle accidents and injuries.''

Last Updated on Friday, 13 June 2014 07:01

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Meredith Altrusa Collects Items for Shipment to Zimbabwe

MEREDITH — One of the Meredith Altrusa Club's many goals is community service; helping neighbors in need when they hear of a worthy cause. This year they became aware of such a need in far off, poverty stricken Zimbabwe and immediately began their effort to help these foreign neighbors in need.
Throughout the winter months members of Meredith Altrusa have been gathering items to be boxed and shipped by container to Zimbabwe. Originally, the focus was to collect school supplies.
Connie Littlefield, who is coordinating the shipment, said, "When I have visited, there are little to no materials and teachers have to be very creative, drawing in the dirt, using the good old fashioned chalkboard with very limited chalk, etc. It is very common to have 45 to 50 children in a class, including 1st grade. I can't express how appreciative the Zim teachers are when they receive colorful and appealing books, teaching supplies, etc."
Therefore, as the Altrusa members heard of the additional needs of the people of Zimbabwe, the search for items expanded to office supplies, food, clothing, tools, and first aid materials. At Altrusa's April business meeting club members packed more than 27 boxes of various supplies to be included in the container which will be shipped in early June.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 June 2014 06:50

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