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WOW Trail Fundraiser at Patrick's Pub & Eatery

LACONIA — The WOW Trail is in a final push to raise funds to build Phase 2 of the trail later this year, and Patrick's Pub & Eatery in Gilford is inviting the public to their "High 5 for the WOW Trail" fundraiser to help make this happen.
"Visit us at Patrick's this month and donate $5 to the WOW Trail and we'll give you $5 Off on your next visit" explains Allan Beetle, co-owner of Patrick's and president of the WOW Trail. "And as a thank you for your support you'll have the chance to win some really great prizes from our WOW Trail sponsors." Sponsors supporting this effort include InnSeasons Resorts, Piche's Ski & Sport, Laconia Athletic & Swim Club, MC Cycle & Sport and the Woodstock Station.
The 1.3 mile WOW Trail runs from Elm Street in Lakeport to Downtown Laconia at North Main Street, mostly along the active state-owned railroad corridor. Phase 2 of the planned 9 mile rail trail will extend to the Belmont town line, where it will connect with the proposed first section of the Belmont trail making a contiguous 4 ½ mile recreation trail. Ultimately, the 9 mile WOW Trail will be part of a 25 mile Franklin to Meredith rail trail corridor.
"We're delighted with the activity out on the first phase" says Beetle. "Trail counts show over 40,000 users a year on the first section, and this will only increase as the trail grows to include more connection points. With 4 ½ miles of trail, this begins to get more interesting. But the real impact will be when we connect up to the Weirs and then on to Meredith, offering trail users retail, lodging, public beaches, residential areas and outstanding scenic vistas. That's when we will see the maximum economic impact we are working towards".
An Economic Impact Study prepared by the Belknap Economic Development Council estimates that a completed WOW Trail would generate 152,000 users each year, with 38,000 of those users coming from out of area generating net new spending of $1.8 million annually. Nationwide, rail trails demonstrably improve quality of life, encourage healthier lifestyles, provide a safe place for active commuting and generate significant economic impact to the communities they serve.
The community is invited to visit Patrick's during the month of April and donate $5 to the WOW Trail and in return, get a $5 Off coupon for a return visit. Patrick's hosts Team Trivia Monday's at 7 p.m.; Family Night (kids ½ priced meals with games and prizes) every Tuesday night and live music Wednesday thru Saturday night.
Patrick's, located at the junctions of Rt 11 and Rt11B in Gilford, is about to celebrate their 20th year in operation under Jeff and Allan Beetle. They have twice been recognized as the NH winner of the Good Neighbor Award by the National Restaurant Association in part for their work and support of the WOW Trail.
For more information about Patrick's entertainment schedule or specials, visit www.patrickspub.com or for the WOW Trail, visit www.wowtrail.org.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 09:13

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NH Charitable Foundation announces new regional advisory board members

CONCORD — The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has appointed 21 new members to its regional advisory boards.

The Foundation's eight regional advisory boards — Capital, Lakes, Manchester, Monadnock, Nashua, North Country, Piscataqua and Upper Valley — are comprised of local members who monitor the needs of their communities to inform Foundation grant-making programs and provide guidance and counsel to staff and the board of directors on local and statewide issues.

Each regional advisory board member serves a three-year term. Current membership across the eight regional advisory boards totals 106.

New members in the Lakes Region include Cynthia A. Hemeon-Plessner of Laconia, the vice president of marketing at the Meredith Village Savings Bank; Jeff Kantar of Alton, a financial advisor and planner with Northwestern Mutual and Carol Gerken of Meredith, a principal of Wingate Enterprises Consulting.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 09:06

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CASA of NH enrolls 12 new child advocates into training program

 LACONIA — CASA of NH is pleased to announce that twelve new volunteers have recently completed the pre-service training necessary to be an advocate for children who have been abused in our communities. They have received comprehensive training and are assigned a volunteer supervisor so they always have someone to turn to as they get to know the child they are assigned to and represent the child's best interests, complete court reports and show up to hearing approximately every three months until the child is able to have a safe and permanent home.

Laconia resident, Frieda Yueh added, "The training was in incredible and our class was phenomenal. So fun and informative and funny! We loved it and look forward to the next experiences.''

"The training program was an amazing experience. I am so impressed with this organization and am energized to become a contributing member," said Peter Bixby of Laconia.

Their efforts in conjunction with the existing volunteers at CASA of NH save the State of NH approximately 3.5 million dollars a year. Volunteer advocates meet with the child they are assigned to work with monthly, attend periodic court hearings and speak with the various adults involved with the child.

Statistically, young people who have a CASA have far better outcomes than those who do not and get into a safe and permanent home faster than those without a CASA volunteer advocate. CASA of NH is working diligently to recruit, screen, train and support enough advocates to serve every child, but because of the demand they are only able to take on 82% of the abuse / neglect cases throughout the state.

Due to the critical need for more advocates in the Lakes Region, trainings are scheduled in the next few months in Plymouth, Manchester and throughout the state. If you are interested in becoming a CASA volunteer or exploring various ways you can support CASA of NH, contact Jen Buteau at 536-1663 or visit www.casanh.org .

Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 09:02

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Take Down Birdfeeders to avoid contact with bears

CONCORD —  While it may look more like mid-January rather than late March across the New Hampshire landscape, don't be fooled. Spring is here. The late March sun is strong and snow will soon start to melt fast. As the days become warmer, bears will start to get active and it is time to put the birdfeeders away until late fall. Some homeowners have already reported seeing bears at birdfeeders in different areas across the state. To help prevent bear visits, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department recommends taking down birdfeeders from April 1 to December 1.

The Fish and Game Department urges the New Hampshire public to be proactive and take action now to prevent attracting a bear to their home. Do not wait for a bear to get the birdfeeder and then respond. Doing so encourages foraging behavior by bears near residences. A single food reward will cause the bear to return and continue to search the area for food.

While bear/human conflicts during 2013 (527 complaints) were below the long-term average (695 per year), 2012 was a challenging year resulting in a record total of over 1,100 statewide complaints, according to Fish and Game Bear Biologist Andrew Timmins. Nearly 10% of the bear complaints during 2012 involved bears at bird feeders. Additionally, another 40% of the complaints were the direct result of bears raiding unsecured garbage at homes and businesses. "These two common food attractants accounted for half of the total bear-human conflicts in that year and could have been easily avoided by removing or securing common food attractants around the yard," said Timmins.

"The rate of bear/human conflicts that will occur this spring and summer is unknown and difficult to predict. Bears went to den in good shape due to generally abundant foods (i.e., beechnuts, apples, mountain ash berries, and choke cherries) last fall. However, it has been a long denning season and bears have depleted considerable body fat," said Timmins. "When bears emerge, they will be hungry and food will be limited until spring green-up occurs. We are hoping homeowners will be vigilant and remove/secure attractants so as not to entice bears and create nuisance behavior."

Black oil sunflower seeds are simply too high a quality of food (high in fat and protein) for bears to ignore. Natural bear foods during spring and summer are generally high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fat. As a result, birdseed is high on the menu. If bears have previously acquired sunflower seeds at your home, they will be back looking for more. The best way to prevent attracting bears is to remove birdfeeders until December 1 and secure other household food attractants.

Homeowners should take action to reduce the chances of a bear visiting their home. Avoid encounters with bears by taking a few simple precautions:

* Stop all bird feeding by April 1.
* Clean up any spilled birdseed and dispose of it in the trash.
* Secure all garbage in airtight containers inside a garage or adequate storage area, and put garbage out on the morning of pickup, not the night before. If using a dumpster, inform your dumpster company that you need a dumpster with metal locking tops and doors that are inaccessible to bears and other wildlife.
* Avoid putting meat or other food scraps in your compost pile.
* Don't leave pet food dishes outside overnight.
* Clean and store outdoor grills after each use.
* Finally, never feed bears!

These steps will help to ensure that your backyard does not become attractive to bears and other wildlife, which is important because it prevents property damage by bears and because it keeps bears from becoming nuisance animals.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 08:54

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