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Loon Preservation Center made 20 rescues this year

MOULTONBOROUGH — On Monday, December 8, an iced-in loon was rescued on Martin Meadow Pond in Lancaster, New Hampshire. Loons can require close to a quarter mile of open water to take flight, but this loon was trapped in a 3-foot patch of open water. LPC Senior Biologist John Cooley carefully edged a small Jon-boat across the ice toward the loon until he was close enough to capture it with a landing net.

Once they were both safely back on shore, Cooley transported the loon to Meadow Pond Animal Hospital in Moultonborough for an x-ray which revealed fragments of non-lead fishing tackle in the loon's stomach. However, an in-house blood test showed the loon had an elevated blood lead concentration that was below the threshold for lethal toxicity, indicating that the loon had apparently passed a lead object before it could receive a lethal dose of lead. Although LPC has documented a few cases in which a loon has likely passed a lead object, this is a very unusual circumstance, as one of the toxic effects of lead poisoning is to shut down a loon's digestive system. Unless the lead tackle is passed almost immediately, as apparently occurred in this case, even the smallest lead sinker or lead-headed jig will kill a loon in two to four weeks. Given that this loon's lead levels were sub-lethal, it was decided to transfer it to wildlife rehabilitators in Maine and attempt treatment.

The staff from Avian Haven in Freedom, Maine, used an innovative procedure to flush the tackle out of the loon.

Later that afternoon the loon was swimming in one of their pools and, by the following day, it was eating on its own. The fish being fed to the loon were dosed with a special medication to help absorb lead from its bloodstream. This unusual treatment was possible since the loon apparently passed the lead object quickly before receiving a lethal dose of lead, but the sub-lethal effects of lead poisoning likely impaired its ability to leave the pond prior to ice-in. As of December 18, the loon is continuing to do well and will hopefully be released very soon.

This loon was banded as an adult in 2000 on Martin Meadow Pond and has fledged an average of one chick per year since then. Given that loons usually start breeding at 6 or 7 years old, this male is probably at least 20 years old. This is a very impressive statistic and LPC staff hope to watch him again on the pond next year.

From April through December, LPC responds to many phone calls and reports of loons in distress, including entangled, stranded or iced-in loons. This year staff responded to twenty loon rescues in the field and dozens of phone calls or emails as well. A loon rescue can be hazardous work and Cooley cautions against volunteers trying it on their own. LPC would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the Martin Meadow Pond volunteers who kept a close eye on this loon a few weeks prior to the rescue, Meadow Pond Animal Hospital, and rehabilitators Kappy Sprenger and Avian Haven for their part in working to save this loon.

The Loon Preservation Committee (www.loon.org) monitors loons throughout the state as part of its mission to restore and maintain a healthy population of loons in New Hampshire; to monitor the health and productivity of loon populations as sentinels of environmental quality; and to promote a greater understanding of loons and the natural world.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 December 2014 12:19

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Mid-State Health Center part of broadening availability of dental services

CONCORD — New Hampshire residents now have access to nearly 20 clinics with dental services around the state with the addition of two new locations in Littleton and Bristol.

Ammonoosuc Health Center in Littleton began seeing dental patients on December 8. The ACHS Dental & Oral Health Center is offering several services including exams, X-rays, cleanings, sealants, fillings and stainless steel crowns. They also offer prosthetics and oral surgery (simple extractions). Most insurances are accepted and a sliding-fee scale payment schedule is available.

Mid-State Health Center began offering dental services at their Bristol location at the end of November. Cleanings, sealants and some restorative services are among their offerings.

"With the addition of dental services at these two health centers, New Hampshire residents have access to nearly 20 different locations, including the Lakes Region and the North Country," said Jim Williamson, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Dental Society. "Their efforts will help us further our mission of providing high quality, affordable dental care to all New Hampshire residents at every age."

While many of these clinics accept various forms of insurance, uninsured patients may qualify for reduced rates based on a sliding fee scale.

The New Hampshire Dental Society has charted improvements in oral health care in the state through their More to Smile About report, noting significant strides made since 2010. In 2012, New Hampshire received an "A" grade on a Pew Charitable Trust report regarding dental sealants for children. However, a recent Department of Health and Human Services report cited some concerns about the oral health needs of seniors in the state.

"We will continue to work toward the goals in our More to Smile About report which include supporting current public and private partnerships to improve access and utilization of oral health care services," said Williamson.

The New Hampshire Dental Society is the professional association of dentists in New Hampshire. With more than 800 members, the association represents more than 84 percent of the practicing dentists in the state. To find a local dentist near you, visit www.nhds.org or call (603) 225-5961.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 December 2014 12:15

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Education Theatre Collaborative children’s festival to be held on January 10

PLYMOUTH — Children in grades kindergarten through six are invited to participate in the annual Educational Theatre Collaborative (ETC) Children's Arts Festival Saturday, January 10, at Plymouth State University.

This special event offers opportunities for children to learn different aspect of the arts—music, dance, theatre, visual and language arts—while experiencing the themes of the current production, The Sound of Music.

In The Sound of Music, Captain Von Trapp takes on a new governess, Maria­—a nun too free spirited for any convent—to look after his over-disciplined children. The rebellious children first reject Maria, but learn to love her free-spirited nature as she introduces them to art, music, freedom and love. It is an engaging story with drama, intrigue, romance, comedy, history and lyrical music, set in Austria just as the German Army is taking over that country.
ETC co-producer and festival coordinator Robb Dimmick says, "ETC's Children's Arts Festival is a daylong adventure in music, dance, acting and the art of language. The Festival takes youth on a journey through the magic and possibilities of musical theatre. This year children will experience their 'favorite things,' selecting from among five workshops guided by some of the areas finest teachers and artists."
Festival hours are 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. at PSU's Silver Center for the Arts on Main Street in Plymouth. In addition to workshops, the day includes a behind-the-scenes look at the Sound of Music set, and a special performance, "Bright Copper Kettles and Warm Woolen Mittens," by the hilarious Jim Gleich.

Workshops include:

· Brown Paper Packages Tied up with Strings: Art, with Denise Plante-Renaud

· Wild Geese That Fly with the Moon on Their Wings: Dance, with Emily Mower

· Doorbells and Sleigh Bells: Music, with Kirsten Mohring

· Crisp Apple Strudels and Schnitzel with Noodles: Language Arts with Karen McLoud

· Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens: Acting with Fran Page

The Children's Arts Festival registration fee is $35 per child. Please submit one registration form for each child. Some scholarships are available. Please bring a bag lunch. Snacks will be provided.

Register in advance online at http://www.events.unh.edu/RegistrationForm.p.m? event_id=17159/ or call Pam Irish at (603) 535-2647.

Contact Robb Dimmick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

And don't forget your tickets now for The Sound of Music, January 21–25 at Plymouth State University's Silver Center for the Arts Box Office, (603) 535–2787 or (800) 779–3869. The box office is closed December 13-January 1, but tickets are available online at silver.plymouth.edu. Beginning January 2, Box Office Hours will be 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

ETC information is online at www.plymouth.edu/outreach/etc.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 December 2014 08:22

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Donations needed for Camp Resilience

GILFORD — The Patriot Resilient Leader Institute (PRLI), a local charitable organization that runs Camp Resilience for veterans and first responders, is seeking donations to conduct its third session in late January. This visit by 15 veterans and one police officer will take place January 26-29 if sufficient funds can be raised by then.

USMC veteran and PRLI Treasurer Chris Ray of Gilford pointed out that the PRLI has already run two very successful veterans visits. "Through the generosity of local people and organizations, coupled with the donations of additional supporters out of state, we have been able to conduct these first two events" said Ray. "Now we've got just five weeks to fund-raise enough money to cover the January visit and really need everyone's help" Ray added.

The January event will feature a mix of life skills training and physical activity; a formula for success learned from other veterans support groups nationwide. The veterans will enjoy ski lessons and skiing at Gunstock Mountain Resort plus an afternoon of snowshoeing and winter hiking. On the life skills side, they will learn the calming effects of yoga as a regular exercise as well as some basic cooking skills to make them more self-reliant. Other activities including water aerobics and light exercise workouts are also possibilities.

The veterans/first responder will be billeted, once again, at the Gunstock Inn. "Despite deep and very generous discounts from area merchants including the Gunstock Inn and Gunstock Mountain Resort, we still have significant costs to cover" stated PRLI founder Kurt Webber, US Army Retired. Anyone or any group wishing to make a donation to support the upcoming PRLI Camp Resilience session may donate via PayPal or credit card on the PRLI website (www.prli.us). Donations may also be sent to the PRLI account c/o Bank of New Hampshire, 62 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH 03246.

"We have seen the positive rehabilitative effect our PRLI visits can make on struggling veterans. Their personal feedback, and that of their VA counselors, attest to that" said Webber "and we're hoping to keep the momentum moving in the right direction with additional help from our friends and supporters throughout New Hampshire and beyond" The PRLI is a recognized non-profit with all donations tax deductible. The staff of the PRLI is 100% volunteers so all donations go directly to running veterans/first responders' programs.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 December 2014 08:15

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