Franklin, LRGHealthcare mark 5 years of collaborative Drug Task Force

FRANKLIN — A partnership between LRGHealthcare and the Franklin Mayor's Drug Task Force was recently celebrated for five years of collaboration on drug and alcohol prevention efforts in the Franklin community.

In 2009, Franklin Mayor Ken Merrifield brought together a group of stakeholders and citizens in Franklin to focus attention on a growing problem, drug and alcohol abuse. It had been recently publicized that more N.H. citizens were dying of drug overdoses than automobile accidents. This was the call to action, and LRGHealthcare volunteered to share in the work of a community wide prevention effort that has become known as the Franklin Mayor's Drug Task Force.

This community coalition is comprised of volunteers from all sectors of the community from business to schools, faith based organizations, fraternal and civic groups, healthcare, and more and they are focused on building a strong coalition and reducing substance misuse. A federal Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grant was acquired in 2010 to help support the work of the new coalition and benefitted the community for five years. Recently, the coalition applied for a second DFC grant to hopefully be awarded to support another five years of work.

Grant funds aside, organizations such as LRGHealthcare are stepping up to support this community effort. Melissa Lee, community health educator with LRGHealthcare has served as chairperson for the Task Force since its inception and supports the coalition with leadership, education and outreach, and implementation of community prevention strategies. Dr. Paul Racicot, an Emergency Department physician with LRGHealthcare, has also been an important link to learning about trends in the local emergency scene as well as a regional expert who has brought education to the coalition and community on substance misuse and treatment. These examples are just a sampling of the many collaborative efforts between the two organizations helping to prevent substance misuse in the Three Rivers community.

For more information, please contact the Education Department at Franklin Regional Hospital at 934-2060 ext. 8369, or visit and click on "Drug Task Force".

Quartet from Concord Music School performing at Taylor Community April 12

LACONIA — The next program in the Taylor Community Music Series, sponsored by Bank of New Hampshire, is scheduled for Sunday, April 12 at 3 p.m. in Taylor's Woodside Building, 435 Union Ave. The event, which is free and open to the public, is generously being sponsored by Saundra and Nixon Bicknell.

The concert features a piano quartet from Concord Community Music School comprised of pianist Abigail Charbeneau; violinist Bozena O'Brien; cellist Gary Hodges and Rodger Ellsworth, viola. These professional and talented performers will play compositions by Loeillet de Gant and Brahms.

Taylor Community is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community whose mission is to provide the highest quality retirement living options to support the independence, health and dignity of community residents. Visit, or call 524-5600 for more information.

Cantin Chevrolet supports Gilford Cal Ripken league

LACONIA — In the spirit of community collaboration and teamwork taught through youth sports, Cantin Chevrolet Inc.  is supporting the Gilford Cal Ripken League through the Chevy Youth Baseball Program. This sponsorship will include both monetary and equipment donations during the 2015 youth baseball season.

Over the course of the season, Cantin will donate equipment to the league which may include: equipment bags, baseballs, softballs, catcher's gear, batting helmets, ball buckets, umpire's equipment, coach's kits, break away bases, bat racks, batting tees and first aid kits.

"We are looking forward to a great season with Gilford Cal Ripken League that will be filled with exciting games and an enhanced experience for the teams through the equipment and cash donations" said Tom Cantin of Cantin Chevrolet.

The 2015 program will provide assistance to approximately 300 organizations in the Northeastern region and Chevrolet dealers will contribute over $450,000 in monetary and equipment donations.

Plymouth State grad student wins fellowship to study Connecticut River watershed

PLYMOUTH – A Plymouth State University graduate student is spending the next two years studying the Connecticut River watershed after winning a prominent national fellowship. Jonathon Loos received the American Rivers' Anthony A. Lapham River Conservation Fellowship which supports a professional development opportunity for conservation advocacy. Loos is a graduate student in Plymouth State University's Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy program, coordinated by the Center for the Environment. Loos' research will focus on improving local and regional management of floodplain ecosystems.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to have been selected for the Lapham Fellowship and to be able to apply my research to river management and conservation," said Loos. "I'm also eager to engage with American Rivers on the policy process in our nation's capital."

Loos' work is part of a project focused on "Understanding and Valuing Watershed Ecosystem Services in New Hampshire" that is being led by his advisor, Assistant Professor and Ecological Economist Shannon Rogers . Rogers' work is part of NH EPSCoR's statewide "Ecosystems and Society" project funded by the National Science Foundation.

"Jonathon is an excellent student, and I look forward building upon his research success and leveraging the stakeholder connections we have made to further conservation efforts in this region and beyond," noted Rogers. "We are both grateful for the support of PSU, the Center for the Environment and NH EPSCoR in allowing us to build capacity to pursue nationally recognized engaged scholarship."

While at American Rivers, Loos will work on identifying priority areas of wetlands, floodplain forests and intact riparian systems that provide water regulation and flood mitigation services. In addition, an understanding of the environmental values, perceptions of ecosystem services and land management objectives of stakeholder groups will be developed through a process of focus groups, workshops and survey techniques. Loos hopes this work will improve land management and conservation initiatives addressing regional water regulation and hazard mitigating ecosystem services.

"It is exciting to have Jonathon's work as a student carry on at a national organization. Our students develop research projects that are meaningful to the region and Jonathon's success is a wonderful example of this," noted June Hammond Rowan '11EdD, associate director of the Center for the Environment and coordinator of the Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy program.

The Lapham Fellowship Program develops the next generation of conservation leaders, and generates research products that directly support the mission and goals of American Rivers. The fellowship honors the memory of Anthony A. Lapham, who served for many years on the board of American Rivers, including as its chairman.