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Citizens Bank program produced 3,000 backpacks

MANCHESTER — Citizens Bank is helping 3,000 students start the school year with new backpacks filled with school supplies through its Gear for Grades program. More than 25,500 pencils, pens, folders, notebooks, glue sticks and index cards were donated by the public in all 80 branches across New Hampshire. Gear for Grades was organized in partnership with Child and Family Services of NH, 95.7 WZID and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

According to a National Retail Federation survey, the average American family spent $688.62 in 2012 on back-to-school expenses. For low-income, at-risk or homeless families, the cost of even basic school supplies can be a burden.

"With the rising cost of school supplies, the Gear for Grades program helps to ease the financial strain parents face this time of year as they prepare to send their children back to school," said Joe Carelli, President, Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, New Hampshire. "We are proud to play a small role in contributing to the academic success of so many local children who return to the classroom ready to learn. We thank our customers and the general public who continue to support this program by donating new school supplies that make a big difference to the children who receive them. I also want to thank Child and Family Services, WZID and the Union Leader for helping make this program a great success."

The Gear for Grades program is a part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, the bank's program for contributing to the economic vitality of communities.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 September 2013 04:58

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‘Looking Back on Sanbornton Square’ for Historical Society on September 12

SANBORNTON — The Sanbornton Historical Society hosts presenters Douglas Prescott Jr. and Evelyn Auger who will lead the program "Looking Back on Sanbornton Square:1947-1955" on Thursday, September 12 at 7 p.m. at the Lane Tavern.

Prescott, now an architect as his father before him, grew up in the Lane Tavern. His father was the architect in charge of the restoration of the Lane Tavern in the 1960's. Auger, a renown local historian, antiquarian, and historical re-enactor, also grew up on Sanbornton. The program will highlight homes in the Sanbornton Square area, photos of the homes and people who lived there, and stories associated with those homes and people.

Sanbornton Historical Society programs are free and open to the public . Refreshments are provided after the program. For more information call 286-4526.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:36

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Lake Winnipesaukee Watershed Association to hold annual meeting

GILFORD — The Lake Winnipesaukee Watershed Association (LWWA) will hold their annual meeting on Wednesday, September 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the former Southern NH University Building located at 2 Airport Rd., Gilford.

Come hear the latest news on LWWA projects and programs. Lean about what the lake association is doing to protect the water quality of Lake Winnipesaukee: watershed management, water quality monitoring, our educational programs, the Floating Classroom, Summer Speaker Series, and more.

"This is a great opportunity for individuals, businesses, and other organizations to become better acquainted with the work of their local lake association. Good water quality benefits us all, and LWWA recognizes that maintaining a healthy and clean Lake Winnipesaukee cannot be achieved without the involvement and help of our neighbors, friends, members, and partners," said Patricia Tarpey, Executive Director of LWWA.

The Board of Directors encourages all members to attend the annual meeting. In addition the meeting is open to the public and all are welcome. For additional information and to register, contact please contact LWWA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (603) 581-6632.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:32

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Art Passes the Baton: Project Osprey continues to track the migration of NH Ospreys

HOLDERNESS —  Thousands of people followed the online journey of Art the Osprey last spring as he made his epic 5,000 mile journey from his winter home in Brazil to his nest along the Pemigewasset River in Bridgewater. The satellite tracking device on his back allowed researchers and the public to take a virtual journey with Art. His triumphant return to his nest and his waiting mate were a spectacular conclusion to his amazing story.

Art was tagged in May 2012 by a team led by Iain MacLeod, Executive Director of Squam Lakes Natural Science Center and Dr. Richard (Rob) Bierregaard, a distinguished visiting research professor at the Department of Biology at the University of North Carolina. Chris Martin, Raptor Biologist with NH Audubon also helped with the capture and tagging (which is carried out under strict guidelines and requires both state and federal permits). The team was able to watch Art as he raised a chick last year and then follow him to the Araguaia River in east-central Brazil where he spent his winter "vacation." After his return to Bridgewater in April, Art quickly got down to breeding once again and this year he and his mate raised three healthy chicks in their huge stick nest high atop a forty foot unused utility pole.

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center launched the project in 2011 with financial and logistical support from Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH). The project was conceived and led by MacLeod who has studied Ospreys for more than 30 years and has monitored the growing nesting population in the Lakes Region since 1997 in collaboration with NH Audubon and NH Fish and Game. In addition to PSNH support, MacLeod also gained project funding from the Jane B. Cook 1983 Charitable Trust and the Science Center's own Innovative Project Fund.

Last week MacLeod and Bierregaard managed to recapture Art and remove his transmitter. At the same time, they caught two of Art's chicks (both males) and redeployed Art's transmitter on one of them and fitted a new transmitter on the other.

"Art had given us all the data we could wish for and there was no scientific reason for him to carry the transmitter south for another migration," said MacLeod. "Everything worked out perfectly and we caught Art and his two sons within half an hour of installing the trap," added MacLeod. Art had carried the 30g (1oz) transmitter for more than 14,000 miles. Now he has passed the scientific baton to his sons. MacLeod will be able to recognize Art in the future by the unique metal leg band that was placed there when his transmitter was fitted. "I'll know next spring if he returns," said Macleod.

The chicks that received Art's old transmitter is now named Artoo and his brother is Bergen. "It turns out that we caught them just in time, as within three days of tagging, Artoo decided it was time to head south," said MacLeod. The third chick, which was not tagged, also apparently has left, as only Bergen has been seen at meal times at the nest since Friday.

Artoo left the Lakes Region on the  August 16th and spent his first night near Keene. By the end of the next day he was on the Hudson River, near Albany, New York and on the 18th continued on to western NY and almost into PA.

Art and Bergen join three other New Hampshire Ospreys that are being tracked by MacLeod. In May, the team trapped and tagged two adult males at nests in Tilton and Stratford. Those two Ospreys, named Donovan and Mackenzie, both reared families this summer and revealed much about their forging range. Donovan's nest is near the J.Jill distribution center in Tilton, but he regularly travels more than eleven miles each way to fish on the Merrimack from Franklin down to Penacook. Mackenzie would regularly travel further even than that from his nest on the Connecticut River north of Groveton all the way over to the York Pond Fish Hatchery in Berlin. Right now Mackenzie is spending most of his time on the Androscoggin River in Berlin.

In early August, the team tagged a newly fledged chick at a nest in the saltmarsh of Hampton Harbor on the seacoast. That chick - a female named Weber - is sticking close to home and has not yet started her migration.

All five birds will attempt to migrate to South America. The juveniles have a one-in-five chance of making it.

"The mortality rate for first year Ospreys is very high, more than 70%," said MacLeod. "They have to make the migration all by themselves and face many hazards along the way, including crossing the Caribbean in hurricane season. Once in South America they have to find a safe winter territory where they can spend the next 18 months before returning north in their third calendar year," added MacLeod. The adult have a better chance. They have made the journey several times and know what lies ahead of them and where they are going. The annual mortality rate for adults is less than 10%.

People can follow the journeys of Artoo, Bergen, Weber, Donovan and Mackenzie from their computer. MacLeod authors a blog which provides regular updates and maps showing where each bird is and what lies in store. The blog is at http://www.nhnature.org/programs/project_ospreytrack/

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:29

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