Harvesting every last bit, ‘gleaners’ gather thousands of pounds of food

LACONIA – From juicy pears and tart apples harvested from local orchards and back yards, to blue potatoes and cabbage from local farms, the Lakes Regions' gleaning haul this year provided a big boost to local food pantries and church food donations.
Gleaning is the act of gathering excess and unharvested fruit and vegetables from trees and fields for redistribution to local schools, agencies, soup kitchens and food pantries.
"We've been building our base for two years, and this year we were able to gather quite a bit of food for and with the help of our local clients," said Lisa Morin of the Belknap County Conservation District.
New Hampshire Gleans, according to New Hampshire Farm to School Program, is a statewide network that works to increase the availability of fresh and local produce for distribution to local food pantries, soup kitchens, community suppers and schools.
It is supported by the University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute and Morin said they harvested 300 pounds of food in 2013, 2,000 pounds of food in 2014 and about the same amount this year with additional growers wanting to participate in upcoming years.
One of the people who contributed was Ward 5 City Councilor Bob Hamel.
He said Morin's office is at the Belknap County Court House and he occasionally works as a court security officer there.
Hamel said he was telling some people, including Morin, about his pear tree and how it was full of fruit and he and his wife had eaten or canned about all of the pears they could stand.
"I didn't know what to do with them," he said, noting they were Bosc pears that were big and juicy.
He said Morin, one of her associates who was hired by the program to assist with gleaning, and he used his stepladder and picked about 100 pounds of pears.
Morin said the gleaning goals for the future include expanding their network of farmers and commercial growers, encourage a "grow a row" for home farmers for donation to the program, use the Belknap County Community Gardens to grow food for donations, and to partner with the UNH Cooperative and the Belknap County House of Corrections to produce more food.
Morin said they harvested or gleaned blueberries from KREBS Farm in Sanbornton, blueberries from Green Acre Farm in New Hampton, pears from Hamel, tomatoes from Ward 6 City Councilor Armand Bolduc, pears from Gilford resident Tom Sullivan, apples from Belmont resident Linda Frawley, a variety of vegetables from Picnic Rock Farm, apples from Belmont resident Donna Hepp, vegetables from Woodland Heights Elementary School, and onions and red potatoes from the Opechee Park House raised bed gardens.
The recipients of the food that was redistributed were the Vineyard Church Soup Kitchen and and Food Pantry, The Congregational Church Food Pantry in Tilton, the Second Baptist Church in Sanbornton, and the New Hampshire Food Bank in Manchester.

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Former Lakeview Center in Belmont sued over charges of rape by patient

LACONIA – A Merrimack man has filed suit in the Belknap County Superior Court against the former Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center at the Meadows facility on 57 Horne Road in Belmont, saying his late wife was sexually assaulted there by another resident.

The suit says that on April 28, 2014, the man's wife, who had previously been hospitalized at Elliot Hospital in Manchester, was found in her room with her pajama bottoms on backward and pulled down to her ankles. She told the nurse that she had been raped.

The victim's obituary in The Union Leader said she was 50 and died on June 8, 2014, from complications of ALS – Lou Gehrig's Disease – and dementia.

According to the suit, the victim was taken to the home in Belmont on April 25, 2014, and her medical records accompanied her, detailing that she often engaged in greeting men with some movements that could be interpreted as sexual advances.

Her treatment plan, said her late husband in the complaint, called for one-to-one care and an educational program on the appropriate means of sexual expression and behavior.

The suit claims she was assaulted by the male resident, who allegedly had a proclivity to being "sexually opportunistic" after meeting him for the first time earlier that day. Her husband claims that despite the staff being aware of the proclivities of both his wife and the other resident, they were both placed on the same floor.

On the night of the assault, the suit claims there were three staff members there – one for each floor and a nurse who floated between floors. It contends that the staff member who took over at 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 had a responsibility to do laundry and the victim's room wasn't visible from the laundry room.

Sometime in the early morning hours she was allegedly raped.

The assault was reported by the then director to the state Bureau of Development Services and an investigation conducted pursuant to state regulations determined that the victim's rights were violated.

The suit asks for an unknown amount of damages for negligence and loss of consortium as the victim allegedly became fearful of all men including her husband, who, following the assault, was unable to visit her, hold her hand or comfort her.
Lakeview has since sold the Belmont facility to a different company that's in the same business, and last December, Gov. Maggie Hassan ordered that no further placements be made there or in their Effingham facility.

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Gunstock shoots for Dec. 4 opening

GILFORD — "We're still shooting to open on Friday, Dec. 4," said Greg Goddard, general manager of Gunstock Mountain Resort. "We'll open the first day we're able,"

"We've made a fair amount of snow already," Goddard remarked. "We started last Sunday night and made snow Monday and Tuesday and at least got something then shut down when it turned warm. We've been through this before," he continued, explaining "that's why we've invested so much in our snowmaking capacity. We never plan on the natural stuff."

Goddard said that with colder temperatures forecast this weekend, snowmaking will resume Sunday with an eye to having some trails open by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, a half-dozen ski areas — Bretton Woods, Cranmore Mountain, Loon Mountan, Waterville Valley, Wildcat Mountain and Mount Sunapee — had some trails open during the Thanksgiving holiday.

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