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Two local high schools receive science grants

ALTON — Some students in Northern New England received a surprise this holiday season, as they learned that their class was one of eight winners in S. W. Cole Engineering, Inc.'s third annual Dig Into Science contest held during the latter portion of 2013.

The company made surprise presentations to schools across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Announced in September, the contest asked students in first through 12th grade to create a video in which they interviewed a person who worked in one of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. The prize for each winning class received a $1,000 stipend to attend a science, engineering or math-related field trip.

After choosing the winning videos from a pool of approximately 50 entries, S. W. Cole worked with the principal of each school to make the announcements in front of the winning class as well as other students in the school. This year's winners are: Ann Smith's Fifth Grade Math Class at Matthew Thornton School, Londonderry, Vicky Sweezy's AP Biology Class at Prospect Mountain High School, Alton, Bailey Bergeron's Period Six Class at Dover Middle School, Dover, David McDonald's Block 3 STEM Class at Belmont High School in Belmont. Three additional schools in Maine and one school in Vermont were awarded the prize as well.

Teachers and students alike noted the benefits of participating in the contest. Zach Mayo, one of the students in the winning class at Prospect Mountain High School in Alton, explained how entering the contest helped him learn about a topic he may not have had the opportunity to study otherwise. His class interviewed an intern at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services about milfoil, a type of invasive species that has affected some lakes in the region. "I didn't know how bad the problem was, especially in Lake Winnipesaukee, until we started researching it," said Mayo.

Zach's teacher, Vicky Sweezy, hoped that the experience has given Zach and his classmates knowledge that they will use after they graduate. "Making this video was a great learning experience that's preparing them for things they are going to encounter in the working world, and college," said Sweezy.

"We were pleased with the response and quite impressed with the enthusiasm, creativity and hard work that all the students put into their videos," said Bob Chaput, P.E., Senior Vice President at S. W. Cole Engineering, Inc. S. W. Cole Engineering, Inc.'s President, Paul Kohler, P.E., explained that the firm has a long tradition of promoting the engineering and science professions.

"Our founder, Stephen Cole, P.E., has always encouraged our employees to be involved in professional organizations," he said. "The company has a 34-year history of hiring engineering and science students, part time and seasonally, to gain practical experience, and many of them are still with us. Our hope is that this contest encourages students to consider the engineering and science professions."

Last Updated on Friday, 03 January 2014 12:15

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Keep the Heat On volunteers highly motivated (563)

PLYMOUTH — Keep the Heat On Committee Chair Martha Richards explains her involvement with the annual event, which will be held this year starting at 5 p.m. on January 15, at Plymouth State University's Prospect Hall, as follows;

"For 9 years I've had the privilege of guiding this fabulous committee as we work as a team to make this event the major success that it has been in raising over $200,000. I continue to be amazed and so gratified by the total community effort from all areas to be sure we raise a lot of money in a fun way to go to PACC and their fuel fund. The generosity of many;  from the sponsors, to the restaurants, to the auction donors; is overwhelming. It is my favorite group with whom I have worked in my many years of volunteering--one can see the local needs being met right away."

Plymouth Area Community Closet (PACC) has helped over 500 families to heat their homes over the past eight years, with the number growing each year. The average amount of assistance has increased from $300 to $500. In New Hampshire this year, the average price of a gallon of fuel oil is $3.80, and propane costs $3.33. That means that it costs nearly $2,000 to fill a 500-gallon tank, a sum that is out of the reach of many families who already struggle to make ends meet.
Another committee member offered her motives for volunteering:
"Last winter, a friend of mine called, knowing I worked for the KTHO committee. She works at Plymouth Elementary School, and explained to me that she was very concerned about two children who were hesitant to return home that night. The temperature had dropped that week--to the kind of cold that can create fatigue of the soul--and the family had no fuel to heat their home. The girls knew they would be in a cold and drafty trailer all weekend. I was so happy to be able to put my friend in touch with Plymouth Area Community Closet, who paid for the family's oil tank to be filled that evening. The girls were warm. Experiences like this bring home the reality of real poverty, and the need for us to help where we can."

Similar motives are behind the restaurants' donations to the KTHO buffet dinner, they all have a sincere desire to give back to the communities that have supported them over the years.
From the start in 2006, KTHO's loyal supporters have been Annie's Overflow, Biederman's, Cafe Monte Alto, Chase Street Market, the Common Man Family, the Country Cow, George's Seafood & BBQ Center, the Lucky Dog, the Mad River Tavern, Main Street Station, Mandarin Taste & Fugaky, Plymouth Regional High School Culinary students, Six Burner Bistro, the Sunset Grill, Tony's Italian Grill, Thai Smile, and Walter's Basin. And on hand from day one to help with everything from serving to supplies have been Plymouth State University's Sodexo and the PRHS National Honor Society.

Newer to Plymouth, and giving to KTHO since they've opened are Burrito Me and Manny's Downtown Pizza. All new for 2014 are Dot's Bread and Butter, the Coyote Grill, Remington's, and the Green House.

Tickets are on sale now at Chase Street Market for $35 each, and are limited again this year. Call Veronica Barbadoro at 536-7207 or Doug Grant at 536-5823 to reserve tables. Keep the Heat On is organized and sponsored by the Plymouth Area Democrats partnered with PACC.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 January 2014 12:00

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Pemi Fish and Game Club's Biathlon Program Open to all ages

HOLDERNESS — The Pemi Fish and Game Club, located at 295 BeedeRoad in Holderness, continues the biathlon program which enjoys an enthusiastic following of participants who combine shooting with skiing, snowshoeing, running, walking, wheelchairing, and mountain biking as the season and abilities dictate.
Persons of all ages and abilities are urged to give this sport a try. Coaches are available and all will fit in, ages 5 to 70's and beyond.
Rifles are available. Courtesy of an NRA Foundation grant there are six Savage MII FVT target rifles and two Kimber M83 rifles. Rifles must be iron-sighted bolt action .22's and the ammo should be subsonic.
The upcoming Winter Biathlon dates are Saturdays, January 18, February 15, and March 8. Nordic cross country skiing or snowshoeing are choices of locomotion. The winter events are dependent on adequate snow cover; check the club website for the latest announcements.  Registration will be at the clubhouse starting at 8:30 a.m. with relays for all classes starting between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. A second relay will be held if registration numbers warrant such. The match fee is $15 for one relay and $25 for both. Advance registration is not required.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 January 2014 10:06

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Arthur James Dance Band at Pitman's on January 11

LACONIA — Pitman's Freight Room will host Dance Night featuring the Arthur James Dance Band on Saturday, January 11 at 8 p.m.

Admission is $12 and Pitman's is a BYOB venue.

Arthur James became a fixture of the New England blues scene in the 80's. From 1990 to the present James has become the John Mayall of NH. He has shared the stage at festivals and clubs with a who's who of the New England blues world. Some past band mates have gone on to play with Roomful of Blues. Recently James is the winner of two Granite State Blues Challenges. The Band will perform Blues and R&B Dance favorites.

Band memers include Arthur James guitar and vocals, Matt Sambito, bass and Johann Haas on drums. For tickets or information call 527-0043 or 494-3334 www.pitmansfreightroom.com

Last Updated on Friday, 03 January 2014 10:04

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