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Ford test drives on Thursday raise funds for Laconia High School

LACONIA — Irwin Automotive is bringing Ford Motor Company's Drive 4 UR School program to the Laconia community in an effort to raise up to $6,000 for Laconia High School. For every person who takes the wheel and test-drives a new Ford vehicle Thursday, September 26th at Laconia High School from 3-7pm, Irwin will donate $20 to Laconia High School. The funds will be used to help contribute to the new Athletic Field.

Since the start of Ford's Drive 4 UR School program in 2007, more than $16 million in donations have been generated for high schools nationwide. "We know funding for school programs is hard to come by, and we want to do our part to help make sure these programs remain available," said Chris Irwin, Vice President of the Irwin Automotive Group. "We're excited to raise money for a new athletic field for the students of Laconia High School."

The event will feature various Ford vehicles, from the fuel efficient Fusion to the electric C-Max. The Irwin Ford friendly staff will be on site and available to answer any questions and provide additional information about each vehicle available for test-drive.

Participants must be 18 or older and have a valid driver's license. There is a limit of one test-drive per household. All test-drives will last approximately 7-10 minutes.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 10:57

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Merrimack River Atlantic Salmon Restoration Effort Winds Down, Shad Now Targeted

 CONCORD — A hopeful era drew to a close on September 5, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that, facing federal budget cuts and stubbornly low annual returns of sea-run Atlantic salmon, it will end its investment in the more than 30-year-long Atlantic salmon restoration in the Merrimack River watershed.

Things had looked promising as recently as 2011, when more than 400 Atlantic salmon made their way to the Essex Dam Fish Lift in Lawrence, Mass. But in 2012, just 137 sea-run salmon returned, and this year, as of July 10, 2013, only 22 returning salmon had been observed.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ended its Atlantic salmon restoration in the Connecticut River in 2012. In both the Connecticut and Merrimack rivers, salmon returns have been limited because of poor ocean survival, in-river habitat degradation, and dams that impede migration.

"We would prefer to continue the program, but the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department cannot take on the costs associated with a salmon hatchery operation," said Glenn Normandeau, Executive Director of the N.H. Fish and Game Department. He noted that the US Fish and Wildlife Service will continue to focus on restoration of Atlantic salmon in the Saco and other Gulf of Maine rivers, the last remaining wild Atlantic salmon in the country.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has worked cooperatively with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service, and the U.S. Forest Service to raise and stock Atlantic salmon for the Merrimack River at two hatcheries: Nashua National Fish Hatchery in New Hampshire, and North Attleboro National Fish Hatchery in Massachusetts.

"This was a hard decision, but the science tells us that there is little chance that we will successfully restore Atlantic salmon to the Merrimack," said Wendi Weber, the Service's Northeast Regional Director. "While the science is driving our decision, our declining budgets hastened it. We need to prioritize. With the lack of success, we need to shift our scarce resources to priority restoration efforts where we can make a difference."

The Merrimack River Policy Committee and the Service will look to the Merrimack River Technical Committee to develop a plan for what happens next, including plans for stocking the last of the Merrimack salmon remaining at the two hatcheries, and options for continued Atlantic salmon monitoring in the river.

Though the Atlantic salmon program is winding down, work on other anadromous fish species, those that migrate between fresh and salt waters, will continue in New Hampshire. "We're going to continue work to improve habitat and upstream fish passage for migratory fish species such as American eels, shad and river herring, and these efforts will improve conditions for any migrating Atlantic salmon that may return to the Merrimack after all these years of stocking," said Normandeau.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has already begun to shift resources toward higher priority restoration efforts, such as American shad. Both Nashua and North Attleboro National Fish Hatcheries raise shad that are stocked in rivers from New Hampshire to Rhode Island.

"Shad numbers are up considerably and offer some real potential for angling success going forward," said Normandeau. As of July 10, more than 37,000 shad had passed the Essex Dam Fish Lift and headed up the Merrimack River.


Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 10:55

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Streetcar Company working on 'Wait Until Dark' for Nov. performances

LACONIA — The cast and crew of The Streetcar Company's upcoming presentation of Frederick Knott's Wait Until Dark are hard at work preparing for the show's November opening. The suspense-thriller, familiar to most from the 1967 movie starring Audrey Hepburn, will be presented at Laconia High School Friday through Sunday, November 1st to the 3rd.

After well attended auditions in August, director Rick Morten has assembled a cast of veterans and newcomers that include Nerrishia Bodwell as Suzy Hendrix, Rodney Martell as Mike Salman, Rick Kincaid as Sgt. Carlino, Brendan Berube as Harry Roat Jr., Ray Feola as Sam Hendrix and Sophia Joyal as Gloria.

Producer Jenn Schillinger is working with the production staff to fine tune the behind the scenes arrangements that help pull the show together. Some of those heading up the various positions include Frank Stetson, assistant director/stage manager, Peter Ayer, organizing props, Erin Fitzmaurice, house manager and Nerrishia Bodwell, costumes.

There is still help needed in several capacities and anyone interested in helping is encouraged to contact the producer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 10:51

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Interlakes Theatre Sponsors 'Where's Solomon' Contest

MEREDITH — Your favorite childhood search game is back and with a twist in the Interlakes Theatre's "Where's Solomon?" contest.

Solomon Kee is a Meredith favorite and will be returning as Sammy Davis, Jr. in his one-man show, "I'm Just Here to Make the World Taste Good", October 5-6.

The Interlakes Theatre is moving a cardboard cutout of Solomon around Meredith and surrounding towns.

"He will be in a new location every day until October 3 ", says Interlakes Summer Theatre Producer, Nancy Barry. "For hints on where to find Solomon, go to our Facebook page (Interlakes Theatre), or call the box office for your hint at 1-888-245-6374. When you find him, call the box office. We will be tracking your calls. The person who accumulates the most Solomon sightings will be invited to brunch with Solomon Kee and Nancy Barry on Sunday October 6.

Tickets are still available for the shows on October 5 at 7:30 p.m. and October 6 at 3 p.m. All tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling the box office phone at 1-888-245-6374 or online at www.interlakestheatre.com



Where's Solomon? (Courtesy photo)

Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 10:43

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