The latest coronavirus update
Christmas at the Castle canceled
Due to the pandemic, Castle in the Clouds has canceled Christmas at the Castle this year. “Our Christmas event is one of our largest programs of the year,” said Executive Director Charles Clark. “It normally features tours of the Lucknow mansion decorated by local businesses and designers, an artisan fair, children’s activities, and lunch in the Carriage House." They are currently investigating alternative community programming to take the place of this event. Christmas at the Castle is expected to return next year Nov. 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28, 2021. For more information, visit castleintheclouds.org.
22nd Annual Marine Corps Ball canceled
LACONIA — The Lakes Region Detachment of the Marine Corps League has canceled the 22nd Annual Gathering of Marines, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7. It has been tentatively re-scheduled for Nov. 13, 2021, at Laconia Country Club.
Gilford Town Clerk to accept ballots on Labor Day
The Gilford Town Clerk’s Office, 47 Cherry Valley Road, will be open on Monday, Sept. 7, 3-5 p.m., to accept absentee ballots only.
Ashland town yard sale canceled
The Community Council of Ashland unanimously decided to cancel the 2020 Ashland Town Wide Yard Sale because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The yard sale has been held in September, usually on the third Saturday, for the past 13 years.
Laconia Harley-Davidson will host vendors for Motorcycle Week
Laconia Harley-Davidson will have vendors on site during the 97th annual Laconia Motorcycle Week, Aug. 22-30. Food and beer will be available for purchase, and there will be demonstrations and self-guided rides. Vendors will be there 9 a.m.-7 p.m. throughout the week at the Meredith dealership. The store will be closely abiding by safety guidelines of the state and local governments.
LRGH Auxiliary cancels fall craft fair
The LRGH Auxiliary has canceled the 19th Annual Fall Craft Fair scheduled for October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made in the best interests of exhibitors, volunteers, and shoppers. Plans are underway for the 2021 LRGH Auxiliary Fall Craft Fair.
Calvary Assembly of God will host annual yard sale
The Calvary Assembly of God annual church yard sale will be held on Saturday, July 18, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 100 Academy St. in Laconia. Donations are welcome. With questions, call Jessica at 603-387-4908.
Gilmanton Thrift Shop now open Saturdays
The Gilmanton Thrift Shop is now open on Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. A $5 bag sale will continue through the month of July. Face masks and social distancing are required. Donations of clothing will be limited to one bag per visit. The food pantry continues by appointment only. Parking is available at the Harvest Bible Church, Route 140 in Gilmanton Iron Works.
Drive-through mobile food pantry on July 10
The New Hampshire Food Bank and volunteers from the New Hampshire Army National Guard 3643rd Brigade Support Battalion will host a drive-thru, mobile food pantry Friday, July 10, at 1 p.m., at Laconia Middle School, 150 McGrath St.
Bingo returns to American Legion Post 1
American Legion Post 1, located on 849 North Main St. in Laconia, will open its doors for Bingo today, Thursday, July 9. Face masks will be required and players are asked to socially distance. Soda and water will be available, but no food will be available. Doors open at 4 p.m., and the games will start at 6:30 p.m. With questions, call 603-524-9728.
Gilford Old Home Days canceled
The Gilford Board of Selectmen voted to cancel the 2020 Old Home Day celebration, including parade and fireworks, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 29. The decision was made at a meeting June 24, based on the recommendation of the Old Home Day Committee.
Gilmanton library to open July 1
The Gilmanton Corner Public Town Library will reopen Wednesday, July 1, and will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 3-5 p.m. Patrons are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing. Materials offered include books for adults, children and young adults, DVDs, and audio books.
Nichols Library now accepting materials returns
In a first step toward resuming services, The Nichols Library in Center Harbor is now accepting returns of materials out before the library’s closing in March. Materials can be left in the library’s drop box, which will be checked several times weekly, and sequestered before being put back in circulation. Book donations are not accepted at this time. The town librarian and board of trustees are discussing procedures for no-contact service.
The library has teamed up with Bayswater Books to support reading while the library is closed. Browse the wish list on Bayswater’s website, order a book, receive it in the mail, then donate it to the library after reading. Suggestions for wish list books are welcome. Wish list books can be left in the drop box with a note indicating the item is from Bayswater Books for the library.
Online resources include Kanopy, NH Downloadable books and Hoopla Digital. Also available is an interview with local author Carl Hanson, who talks about the writing process, his sources of inspiration, and his novel "Destiny," available as a free download by visiting Smashwords.com, and a link to a production of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.
For access to online resources and more information, visit centerharborlibrary.org.
ACE Academies grounded
WinnAero's Aviation Career Education Academies, held annually at the Laconia Airport, have been canceled, as the close contact in an aircraft as well as classroom requirements cannot be achieved with social distancing. Students who pre-registered will be mailed a STEM education goodies box with activities.
Planning for sessions for elementary, middle and high school-aged youth for next year is underway. “The cornerstone of our ACE learning experience is to maximize the hands-on aspect for the students, supplemented with meaningful field trips to aerospace industry sites. With social distancing, classes reduced to fewer students and possible problems attracting guest speakers and demonstration experts, plus trying to coordinate industry visitations, we felt we would not be able to provide the full and robust schedule of activities that have marked ACE Academies since we began,” said Karen Mitchell, WinnAero president. WinnAero Education Director Dan Caron notified all parents of registered students of the cancellation, and issued tuition refunds. For more information, visit winnaero.org.
Shepherd’s Hut Market offers home delivery
Shepherd’s Hut Market owner Joyce Keyser is rethinking her business plan for the farm stand. She is offering home delivery of fresh vegetables, meat and eggs, as well as other items like maple products.
Home delivery as well as farm pick up will be available. Keyser will send a weekly email with available items, including vegetables, eggs, lamb, and other items the store carries. She will deliver to Gilford and Laconia two days each week. Shepherd’s Hut Market will be open three days for shopping, pick-up, or take-out orders.
To sign up for delivery, call 603-393-4696 or email email@example.com.
Central NH VNA cancels house tour
For the past 32 years, the home and garden tour has been held in Wolfeboro to benefit Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice on the second Wednesday in July. Due to COVID-19 and out of an abundance of caution, the decision was made to cancel this year’s tour.
Connect with Meredith history online
Meredith Historical Society has cancelled all activities until it is safe to gather again. In the meantime, the board of directors has been using technology to meet remotely and plan for the long-term success of the organization. To stay in touch with Meredith’s past, find the historical society’s Facebook page, where historical images are frequently displayed.
A new, interactive website has recently gone live, available by visiting meredithhistoricalsocietynh.org. The site has a timeline of local and state events from 1622 to present day, as well as history of the properties owned by the organization. To learn more, call 603-279-1190.
Gilford recreation facilities remain closed
The Gilford Parks and Recreation Department, in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, has closed the following facilities until further notice: all playground and swing structures; the basketball and tennis courts and the bandstand at the village field; as well as all playground and swing structures and the basketball court at the town beach. Residents are asked to practice social distancing while using other areas of the parks. For further information, call the office at 603-527-4722.
Gilford to honor Memorial Day with wreath ceremony
The Gilford Board of Selectmen have canceled the 2020 Memorial Day Parade due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, in keeping with the orders of the governor and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
In lieu of an official ceremony, the Board of Selectmen will honor fallen war heroes by laying wreaths at the town's World War I & II Memorial on Potter Hill Road at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 25. This will be followed by another wreath-laying at the Armed Forces Memorial in Pinegrove Cemetery. Prayers and the playing of taps will be part of the observances. The public is invited to attend, and requested to follow social distancing protocols.
Veterans campground tour canceled
The annual tour of the New Hampshire Veterans Association at Weirs Beach, scheduled for Saturday, May 16, has been canceled due to COVID-19.
Cosponsored by the NHVA and the Laconia Historical and Museum Society, the walk through the grounds and buildings of the historic site provided the public to see the site, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The annual tour is expected to resume in May 2021. For further information, call 603-387-4079, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Memorial weekend craft festival canceled
The Memorial Weekend Craft Festival in Meredith, for the past 28 years, has been an unofficial opening event for the summer season in the Lakes Region. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Castleberry Fairs will not host the Memorial Weekend Craft Festival this year.
Gunstock Hillclimb canceled
Gunstock Mountain Resort and Ridge Runners Promotions have canceled the Gunstock Hillclimb, scheduled for Wednesday of Laconia Motorcycle Week 2020.
Event organizers are looking forward and already planning the 2021 event. Gunstock will reach out to everyone with camping reservations. With camping questions, email email@example.com.
Laconia bicycle exchange opens today
The Laconia Area Bicycle Exchange will open for the season today, Saturday, April 18, for their seventh year. Visit their Facebook page or visit www.labe.bike for available listings.
Shop hours will be Tuesdays, 4-5:30 p.m., and Thursdays and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The exchange is looking for volunteers to repair and condition bicycles, either in the shop or at home. The group is also looking for a small, portable canopy that can be used outside on rainy or sunny days. To help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or text 603-630-7571.
Gilford Planning Board cancels Monday work session
The Gilford Planning Board meets the first and third Monday of each month. The board has canceled the work session meeting scheduled for Monday, April 20, at Gilford Town Hall, 47 Cherry Valley Road, at 7 p.m. For more information, contact 603-527-4727.
NH Bar examinations rescheduled to September
According to the State Supreme Court, due to public health concerns raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Hampshire bar examination originally scheduled for July will now be administered Sept. 9-10. Additionally, the Office of Bar Admissions has extended the deadline for applications at the office to May 15. Mail applications to the Office of Bar Admissions in accordance with procedures available by visiting courts.state.nh.us/nhbar/index.htm.
Belknap Mill to host virtual wedding open house
The historic Belknap Mill in Laconia recently completed a three-month restoration and renovation of the third floor Rose Chertok Gallery where most wedding receptions they host take place.
A video presentation of a planned Wedding Open House is in the works to give a virtual tour of the renovated venue space, the Riverside Gallery on the first floor, and the Power House. Additionally, the video will feature the adjacent Rotary Park where outdoor ceremonies take place. Discounted rental rates are available through Dec. 31.
Castle in the Clouds delays season opening
Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough has been following the developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has delayed their season opening. According to Executive Director Charles Clark, they do not anticipate starting tours, food service, or educational programming until July 1. The Castle will continue to monitor guidance from local, state, and national experts, and hopes to be able to offer modified or limited activities before that date.
The team has been developing free, online Castle experiences. These include video tours, digital versions of recent exhibits, a blog, and family-friendly activities. For more information, visit castleintheclouds.org.
Mailing and shipping without leaving home
No one needs to go to the post office to use many U.S. Postal Service products and services. Many tasks can be done from home, with or without a computer. To purchase stamps, visit usps.com. USPS will deliver the stamps. Anyone without a computer can ask their post office or carrier to deliver a Stamps by Mail order form, which can be completed and put in the mailbox with a check.
To send a package or order free Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express boxes and other supplies, visit usps.com. Also available is Click-N-Ship, which allows customers to print mailing labels with appropriate postage from a home computer. Free pick-up can be scheduled as well.
Gilford Historic District and Heritage Commission meeting canceled
The Gilford Historic District and Heritage Commission, which meets on the second Tuesday of each month, has canceled the meeting scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m. No applications were submitted. With questions, call the department of planning and land use at 603-527-4727.
Social distancing from mail carriers
U.S. Postal Service employees are following the social distancing precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials. People should not approach carriers to accept delivery, and let the carrier leave the mailbox before collecting mail. Children should not approach a postal vehicle or carrier.
If a delivery requires a signature, carriers will knock on the door rather than using the bell. They will maintain a safe distance, and ask for the resident's name instead of asking for a signature on their mobile device. The carrier will leave the mail in a safe place for retrieval.
Temple B’nai Israel postpones events
Temple B’nai Israel’s We Care Committee has decided to postpone the May 23 Five O’Clock Shadow concert to Saturday, May 29, 2021. The fundraiser will support Bridge House. In addition, the temple has decided to reschedule the New Hampshire Jewish Food Festival from Sunday, July 12, to Sunday, Aug. 16.
The Oct. 24 concert benefitting Meredith Altrusa and featuring John Davidson is schedule to be held as planned. Visit tbinh.org for updates and information.
Marine Patrol changes public counter practices
Boat registration renewals and annual mooring permits are still being processed by New Hampshire State Police-Marine Patrol Unit at Marine Patrol Headquarters. Effective April 8, transactions requiring counter service will be available by appointment only by calling 603-227-2102. All boat and mooring registrations and renewals will remain available through the mail or the use of a drop box located at the main entrance to the Marine Patrol Headquarters Building, NH State Police-Marine Patrol, 31 Dock Road, Gilford, NH 03249. For instructions for the use of the drop box, visit www.marinepatrol.nh.gov.
Miles for Smiles 5k canceled
Lakes Region Community Services has canceled their Miles for Smiles 5k Run and Walk for the first time in 10 years. The 5k was scheduled for May 30.
Presenting sponsor for the event is Dr. R. Thomas Finn Jr. & Dr. Kiirsten H. Finn of Finn & Finn Beautiful Smiles. Other sponsors are Speare Memorial Hospital, Lakes Region Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Center, Northeast Delta Dental, Winnisquam Dental, Well Sense Health Plan, Mondovi Dental, DeTolla Dental, and Circle Dental.
To support LRCS’s Dental Fund or to support for the current crisis, visit lrcs.org.
Great Waters postpones concerts to 2021
Great Waters has moved their entire concert season to 2021. All 2020 tickets and season passes will be honored in 2021. All gifts pledged and received are restricted for their original purpose and held in escrow. As new acts are added, announcements will be available by visiting greatwaters.org. Call 603-491-9545 with questions.
NH welcome centers temporarily closed
The New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs and New Hampshire Department of Transportation decided to temporarily close facilities at all 12 rest areas and welcome centers, beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 5. BEA employees who support these locations will transition duties to support other essential state services during this time.
“We recognize that New Hampshire’s rest areas and welcome centers are a valuable resource for visitors and are confident that they can access amenities located outside of the buildings on a temporary self-service basis while staff transition work duties to support other essential state services,” said BEA Commissioner Taylor Caswell.
All of the rest areas are equipped with portable toilets. The facilities are cleaned and serviced on a regular basis. Granite State Hospitality operates the restroom facilities located in Hooksett along Interstate 93 so those will remain open.
Mental health centers offer services during crisis
The New Hampshire Community Behavioral Health Association's 10 member Community Mental Health Centers with 40 locations throughout the state are working to shift services and supports to reflect recommended extended isolation based on the Center for Disease Control guidelines. As the number of cases of COVID-19 increases, so does the associated anxiety.
Local community mental health centers, including Lakes Region Mental Health, are open and working to meet the needs of clients and anyone who needs mental health assistance.
While walk-ins are not accepted, there are other options. For information about Telehealth, telephone supports and online and video platforms, contact Lakes Region Mental Health at 603-524-1100 or visit lrmhc.org.
Nichols Library shifts to online access
Nichols Library will be suspending due dates for all loaned materials. Patrons who have items checked out are asked to hold onto them for now. Patrons can take advantage of online services.
The Nichols Book Cafe will have a video meet-up today, Thursday, April 2, at 3 p.m. The group will get together informally to talk about what each person has been reading.
The library will host a video session with local author Carl Hansen, who will talk about his eco-thriller 'Destiny' on Tuesday April 7, at 3 p.m. To download a free copy of the novel, visit Smashwords.com. For details on both virtual events, or to download eBooks, audiobooks, movies, music, and television shows from Overdrive and Hoopla, visit centerharborlibrary.org. For library card help, email email@example.com.
NHDOT makes changes in toll collections
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation is making changes in toll collection operations effective March 30. Lanes for cash customers moved to an “exact change toll fare only” standard. In addition, due to reduced traffic, toll plaza cash lanes will be staffed 5 a.m.-9 p.m. only. If a customer does not have the exact toll fare, they may pay within seven days by visiting ezpassnh.com or calling 877-643-9727. After seven days, an invoice will be mailed to the vehicle owner.
From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., plazas will operate as all electronic tolling, no cash collection. Customers should pay within seven days by visiting ezpassnh.com or calling 877-643-9727. Invoices can also be paid in person at a walk-in center in Concord, Portsmouth, or Nashua, Monday and Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, visit ezpassnh.com or call 877-643-9727.
White Mountain National Forest shuts down recreation sites
White Mountain National Forest has shut down several recreation sites and toilet facilities as of March 26. Visitors should call Forest Headquarters and the Pemigewasset Ranger District at 603-536-6100, Saco Ranger Station at 603-447-5448, or Androscoggin Ranger Station at 603-466-2713, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, for prompt service. Visitors should plan to use the restroom before arriving.
Locally in the Pemigewasset Ranger District, Rumney Rocks Day Use Climbing Area is shut down, including toilet facilities. Toilet facilities are shut down at Crawford Connector Trailhead, Ammonoosuc Ravine Trailhead, Beaver Brook Trailhead in Kinsman Notch, Livermore South Trailhead, Lincoln Woods Trailhead, Welch-Dickey Trailhead, and Discovery Trail Interpretive Site.
Tilton School moves to virtual learning
As many schools have done recently, Tilton School moved to a virtual learning environment. The school started remote learning March 26. The school is actively trying to keep students engaged in the community both academically and socially through social media. For more information, visit tiltonschool.org.
The Franklin Historical Society meeting scheduled for April 2, has been canceled. A notice regarding the meeting on the first Thursday in May will be forthcoming. For updates, visit franklinnhhistoricalsociety.org.
For the health and safety of employees and clients, LRCS is practicing social distancing recommendations. LRCS is still open for regular office hours, and a large portion of staff is working remotely. Currently, the Laconia office is open, but the Plymouth office is closed.
Laconia Public Works available by email, phone
To protect public works employees, the City of Laconia asks residents to use email, phone calls, and the city’s website to minimize contact.
The solid waste schedule for the year is on the city’s website. Copies will be mailed upon request. Public works will mail recycling decals to city residents upon request. Blank seasonal weight limit permits are on the city’s website, and may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plumbing, driveway, sidewalk, and excavation permits still need to completed at public works.
Social Security offices offer phone, online services only
All local Social Security offices are closed to the public for in-person service. Secure and convenient online services remain available by visiting socialsecurity.gov. Local offices will also continue to provide critical services over the phone.
Visit socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices to apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits, check the status of an application or appeal, request a replacement Social Security card, and print a benefit verification letter. Frequently Asked Questions are available by visiting socialsecurity.gov/ask.
Anyone with an in-office appointment scheduled will receive a call to handle the appointment over the phone. If a hearing is scheduled, the office will call to discuss alternatives for continuing the hearing, including a telephonic hearing. The call may come from a private number and not from a U.S. Government phone. Employees will not ask for any form of payment.
If the Social Security business cannot be completed online, call 800-772-1213, or TTY 800-325-0778. A list of automated telephone services is available by visiting socialsecurity.gov/agency/contact/phone.html.
Lakes Region Symphony postpones season
The Lakes Region Symphony Orchestra is postponing the remainder of the spring 2020 season. Featured soloists have agreed to perform next season. Performances will be postponed until 2021.
Ticket holders should keep their March and May 2020 tickets for use next season. Lists for will call tickets purchased online will be kept for next season. Ticket holders should keep email order confirmations.
For more information, visit LRSO.org.
NH State Library closed to the public, suspends inter-library loans
Due to the current State of Emergency directives in New Hampshire regarding COVID-19, the New Hampshire State Library is closed to the public through April 3, and statewide inter-library loans are suspended. The library will remain operational, providing remote services. Library services are available by phone at 603-271-2144, email and online by visiting nh.gov/nhsl.
Items due back at the library should be kept by the borrower for now. Requests to renew materials can be made by calling 603-271-2616.
Van deliveries from the state library to participating libraries throughout New Hampshire will cease, and all online inter-library loan activities are shut down.
Tanger Outlets now closed
Following the order of Gov. Chris Sununu for all non-essential retail establishments to close, Tanger Outlets Tilton asked their tenants to comply with that order effective March 27. The outlets will also maintain minimum basic operations and security presence. The mall expects to reopen May 4. For more details, visit tangeroutlets.com.
The New England Boat Museum is postponing their spring opening reception and rescheduling their annual Ice Out Dinner & Auction to Friday, June 19. The Ice Out dinner was originally scheduled for April 17.
Gilford Parks & Rec suspends programs through May 3
The Gilford Parks and Recreation Department has canceled all programs scheduled through May 3, as they try to limit group gatherings in response to the novel coronavirus. For more information, call the parks and recreation office at 603-527-4722.
Hobo & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad to close
The Hobo & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad, in accordance with the order from the State of New Hampshire and Gov. Chris Sununu to slow the spread of COVID-19, will be closed through Monday, May 4. For more information, contact Paul Giblin at 603-745-2135, ext. 13 or email@example.com.
UNH extends enrollment deadline
The University of New Hampshire has extended the enrollment and housing deadline for prospective students until June 1.
The university is unable to host in-person events on campus for admitted students, and so a variety of virtual experiences are being offered for admitted students and their parents. Visit admissions.unh.edu/admitted-students/virtual to learn more.
Grab and go breakfast and lunch from Inter-Lakes
Inter-Lakes School District is providing grab and go breakfast and lunch on a daily basis for students, available for all families at no cost. Daily deliveries will take place between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. at bus stops and if needed at front doors. Community volunteers and staff will be riding bus routes to assist with daily delivery. The Got Lunch! Program is providing two Hannaford vouchers per week per family for groceries.
Families may sign up by calling their child's school.
Town of Meredith open for virtual business
The Town of Meredith is open for business with a few adjustments. The town hall and annex will be closed to the public with employees working inside. Most transactions can be conducted online, or by email. Some transactions will require an appointment for in person service. The Public Works department office is closed to the public. The community center and public library remain closed. Operations at the police, fire and emergency medical services will continue as usual. Residents should contact these departments by email by visiting meredithnh.org. In case of emergency, dial 911.
Both fire stations are closed to the public. Fire permits are available online. The transfer station will remain open, but the store will be closed. Anyone visiting a town facility should practice social distancing as recommended by the CDC by standing at least 6 feet away from others, frequent hand washing and cough hygiene.
Tanger Outlets modifies hours
Tanger Outlets has modified business hours at its U.S. centers, including in Tilton, effective immediately.
Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Sunday. Individual retailer store hours may vary. Shoppers should contact specific brands or check websites prior to planning a visit. For more information, call 800-4TANGER or visit tangeroutlets.com.
AARP Foundation suspends tax-aide services
To protect volunteers and taxpayers, AARP Foundation is suspending tax-aide services until further notice. For updates about the status of the 49 sites in New Hampshire, call 888-227-7669.
State Police-Marine Patrol public information meetings canceled
State Police-Marine Patrol public information meetings scheduled in Moultonborough and Gilford have been canceled until further notice.
New Hampshire Jewish Film Fest postponed
The New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival scheduled through March 29 has been postponed. The Jewish Federation of New Hampshire will share updates at nhjewishfilmfestival.com.
The Federation will honor previously purchased tickets at the rescheduled festival. Alternatively, refunds can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Hampshire Destination Imagination has cancelled the remainder of their competition season which included tournaments in Amherst, Swanzey and Goffstown. Many teams started their challenge solutions in October.
Town of Alton takes safety precautions
The Town of Alton has closed government buildings to the public, closed recreational facilities, and educated town employees on symptoms of COVID-19. All employees are being monitored for signs of illness including daily temperature checks, some employees are transitioned to working from home. The town has increased daily cleaning and disinfecting, and increased the amount of personal protective equipment for first responders.
Essential services such as police, fire and emergency services, water, trash disposal, and the maintenance of infrastructure will continue. Other functions within town government are running remotely or by phone.
With questions about COVID-19, call 211, or visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, the DHHS website at nh.gov/covid19, or the HSEM website at nh.gov/safety/divisions/hsem/index.html.
To report a suspected case of COVID-19, via exposure or travel, call the DPHS at 603-271-4496 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or 603-271-5300 after hours. Callers should expect to leave a message with an operator or a voice mail, and expect a return call within a few hours.
For local assistance, call Alton Police at 603-875-0757, Alton Fire and Rescue at 603-875-0222, or Alton Town Offices at 603-875-2113.
White Mountain National Forest offering virtual services
The White Mountain National Forest is implementing virtual services to protect the health and safety of employees and members of the public. Though the office has gone virtual, WMNF remains open and operational. For information, call Forest Headquarters at 603-536- 6100, Saco Ranger Station at 603-447-5448, or Androscoggin Ranger Station at 603-466-2713, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
These actions have been taken to limit large gatherings and promote social distancing. Visitors are encouraged to contact their local forest or ranger district for the latest office hours and availability by visiting fs.usda.gov/whitemountain. Visitors to National Forests are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For tips on preventing illnesses like the novel coronavirus, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html.
Opechee Garden Club postpones exhibit
The Opechee Garden Club has postponed their 2020 Art in Bloom exhibit. The event will be rescheduled.
Service of Meditation and Healing canceled this month
Kathy Smith is canceling this month’s service of meditation and healing usually held at Hope Ministries in Gilford. She is exploring ways to have the service virtually next month if needed. For more information, contact Health Touch Spiritual Ministry at email@example.com or 603-524-1330.
The New Hampshire Women, Infants, and Children program of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, in light of recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention around social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, has received authorization from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct all appointments by phone.
Individuals can apply for assistance by contacting their local WIC office. Visit signupwic.com to find the closest office. All appointment types, including certifications and follow up appointments, can be completed by phone. Residents who have a scheduled WIC appointment should expect a phone call from their local office.
E-ZPass walk-in centers changing hours
E-ZPass Walk-In Centers located in Concord, Portsmouth and Nashua reduced their hours to only Monday and Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., effective March 23, until further notice.
All non-cash transactions can be completed by calling 877-643-9727, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., or visiting ezpassnh.com.
To learn more, visit girlscoutsgwm.org/en/about-girl-scouts/girl-scouts-covid-19.html. For more on how parents can cope, visit girlscouts.org.
Effective immediately, per order of the fire chief, the Gilford Fire-Rescue Facility is closed to on-site, non-emergency business until further notice. This includes burn permits, station tours, donations, mechanical permits, general visits, car seat inspections, and deliveries.
As always, emergency services and response remain available by dialing 911.
The Gilford Public Library is closed to the public effective March 19, until at least April 6 to prevent the spread of pandemic COVID-19. Librarians will provide new digital services like Facebook Live Storytime, offer reference information, assist with circulation of digital materials, and provide quality information resources. Call the library at 603-524-6042, text 603-367-0264, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit gilfordlibrary.org, and follow the library on social media.
NH Housing operations and hours
New Hampshire Housing is operating during business hours of 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. To reduce exposure to COVID-19, most employees are working remotely. Offices are closed to visitors and guests except under very limited circumstances until further notice.
Eversource takes steps to help customers with payments
Eversource is reassuring customers the company is prepared to continue providing reliable energy. The company has suspended all customer disconnections for non-payment, waived late payment charges, is now offering a special, flexible payment plan for any past due bills, as well as additional energy-saving tips to help reduce energy use while people are spending more time at home.
In addition, Hannaford is shortening its general operating hours starting Saturday, March 21, to provide additional time to clean, stock shelves and give associates time to rest. The new daily hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Boys & Girls Club and NH Food Bank to provide free dinners to go in Laconia
The Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region, in partnership with the New Hampshire Food Bank, invites club members, their families and members of the public to pick up a free, hot meal at the Boys & Girls Club, 876 N. Main St., in Laconia. Dinner will be served take-out style Monday-Friday, 4-6 p.m., starting Monday, March 23. Email Jim Holmes at email@example.com with questions.
Bristol Town Office closed to public
The Town Office at 5 School St. will be closed to the public beginning Monday, March 23, until further notice. The town will operate a virtual town office, as most transactions for residents can be done online or arranged via phone, email, or drop box. Town office employees will be working both remotely and on-site.
With the exception of the Planning Board meeting on Wednesday, March 25, all town board and committee meetings in March will be cancelled and more information will be forthcoming about meetings in April and beyond. For more information, visit townofbristolnh.org.
NH DMV transitions to phone and online service
The New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles transitioned to phone and online services March 19, and limited appointment-only services starting Monday, March 23, in Concord, Dover, Manchester, Newport, and Twin Mountain. Call 603-227-4000 to schedule an appointment. Customers may take advantage of the DMV’s online services, including online driver license renewal, ID renewals, and online ticket pay by visiting nh.gov/dmv.
All driver license road exams are canceled until Friday, April 3. NH DMV 20-day plates as well as NH authorized dealer 20-day plates, issued on or after Feb. 26, have been given an automatic extension through April 30. NH DMV non-commercial driver licenses and non-driver identification cards that are expired or set to expire March 1-April 30 are eligible for a 6-month extension by calling 603-227-4020, or visiting www.nh.gov/dmv.
NH DHHS District Offices open for telephone, online applications
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Family Assistance today announced that in order to protect the health and safety of customers and staff, all district office buildings will be closed for client-facing activities until further notice.
People in need of assistance may apply for benefits by visiting nheasy.nh.gov and will be scheduled for a phone interview in order to complete their benefits application.
Sanbornton Town Office announces changes
The Sanbornton Board of Selectmen and the Town Clerk and Tax Collector are implementing changes immediately at the town office. All tax payments, registration renewals, and dog licenses will be done by mail. Residents should call for any service requiring face-to-face interaction like new vehicle registrations, vital records, marriage licenses, planning or assessing issues. They will be by appointment only. The door to the office will be locked, and anyone with a scheduled appointment should ring the bell.
All public meetings, including boards and committees, will be held as a teleconference. Only household trash and recycling will be accepted for the duration of the state of emergency, and separation of recycling is temporarily suspended. Summer hours of Thursday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., will begin Thursday, March 26. For a full list of changes and restrictions, visit sanborntonnh.org.
Gilford Town Clerk’s office to close
The Gilford Town Clerk’s office is closed to the public, effective March 19. Residents are able to process transactions including registration and dog license renewals, vital record certified copies, tax and sewer payments online. Additional services will be provided by appointment only. To contact the office, call 603-527-4713 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Atlantic Broadband closes front counter services
Atlantic Broadband has closed front counter service locations as of March 18. Customers can visit atlanticbb.com for online bill pay and technical support. To contact Atlantic Broadband, call 888-536-9600, or visit atlanticbb.com/email-us-form.
Boys & Girls Club of New Hampshire
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire closed operations and plans to reopen on Monday, April 6.
Gov. Chris Sununu issued an order to Cannon Mountain to cease operations effective at close of business March 18. “It has become clear today that large amounts of public congregation is occurring at Cannon Mountain. With the weekend quickly approaching, I have instructed Cannon management to cease operations by end of business today.”
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains has suspended all Girl Scout activities and cookie booth sales until Monday, April 13. Offices, retail stores and camp properties are now closed to visitors. As appropriate, staff will continue to provide support from offices or from home. Troop meetings, community activities, council and other related programs, property rentals, and cookie booths were suspended as of March 16.
Penny Pitou Travel
Penny Pitou Travel has postponed their Travel Show set for Saturday, March 28, at Contigiani's Event Center, to Saturday, Nov. 7.
Chamber events postponed
The Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce has postponed the March 24 Mixer at the Chase House in Meredith. The Business Breakfast event on March 31 will be rescheduled to May and the Casino Night at Patrick's is being rescheduled. Check the Chamber website for updates to the full Community Calendar. If you have an event that has changed and needs to be updated on their calendar, send them an email and they will update the information and assist with any other communications you may need.
Belknap County Sportsmen's dinner canceled
The corned beef dinner set for March 19 has been cancelled.
2020 NH Camping & RV Show Postponed
The NH Campground Owners' Association has postponed the 48th Annual New Hampshire Camping and RV Show scheduled for March 27-29 at the NH Sportsplex in Bedford, NH, until September 25-27 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Pub Mania Gift Card postponed
Pub Mania Gift Card Gala to benefit the GLR Children’s Auction has been postponed from Sunday, March 22 to Sunday, April 19 at the Beane Conference Center in Laconia. Pub Mania event notices are posted on Facebook at the “Patrick’s Pub Mania” group.
St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
The St. Vincent de Paul Society, located at 1269 Union Avenue in Laconia, 524-5470, will close the Thrift Store for a couple of weeks due to the outbreak of the Corona Virus. The St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, 528-5683, will maintain its regular hours of Monday from noon – 2 p.m. and Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. Food donations can be dropped off Monday through Saturday from 8 to 10 a.m. Monetary donations may be sent to St. Vincent de Paul, PO Box 6123, Lakeport, NH 03247
The Common Man makes changes
Additional changes have been made in The Common Man Restaurants:
- Self-serve stations including cheese, crackers, dips and bread have been removed.
- Lakehouse in Meredith and Common Man Windham Sunday Brunch Buffets are postponed until further notice. The restaurants will serve from their regular menus on Sunday starting at 11:30 a.m.
- Tilt’n Diner is temporarily removing the Saturday & Sunday brunch buffet and will serve from its regular menu.
The Mayhew Program
There will be a temporary hold on in-person visits with the boys and their families. Call Jim Nute at 603-74406131 with any questions.
Moultonborough Public Library
The Friends of the Moultonborough Public Library, with caring, respect and admiration for our members, library staff, and patrons, have cancelled the “Soup and Sweets” event scheduled for Friday, March 20. It was a difficult decision, but the healthiest for all. Stay safe.
The Squam Lakes Association's offices are closed to the general public for the remainder of March. Our staff will continue to work during this time, but we ask that you contact us via phone, 603-968-7336 or email email@example.com rather than in-person.
We will continue to maintain our trails during this time and ask that you give fellow hikers and our trail crew plenty of space when crossing paths.
Gilford Library has cancelled all programming and meeting room use until (at least) April 4. The library is open for borrowing and returning only. Curbside pickup is offered, call the library with book requests or to ask for recommendations, then drive up and call for a librarian to come out. You can find more information at gilfordlibrary.org.
Pitman's postpones upcoming shows
Pitman’s Freight Room at 94 New Salem St., Laconia, is cancelling the following shows, which will be rescheduled:
The Mallett Brothers Band: Friday, March 20; Biscuit Miller and the Mix: Saturday, March 21; Cheryl Arena Blues Band: Friday, March 27; Swing Dance with the Tall Granite Big Band: Saturday, March 28; The Blues Project with Jon Butcher: Saturday, April 4.
Taste of the Lakes Region is off
Although early ticket sales were strong, the annual Taste of the Lakes Region event has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
“Along with the rest of the world, we’re canceling,” said Nancy LeRoy, of Altrusa International of Laconia. The Taste of the Lakes Region, which would have been held for the 30th time on March 29, is the principal fundraiser for the Laconia Altrusa club. So, where does that leave Altrusa?
“Obviously, it’s a problem,” said LeRoy. Altrusa, a service organization, used the proceeds to fund scholarships and literacy promotion. Church Landing, the venue the organization reserved for the event, has agreed to refund the rental fee, which will allow the organization to fund some of its scholarships, “but at a greatly reduced rate,” LeRoy said. “Which is a shame, but what do you do?”
LeRoy said she and her fellow Altrusans were closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus, and were holding out hope that they might be able to hold the event, which would have featured 20 local food businesses serving samples of their signature creations to about 300 people. Early ticket sales were encouraging, she said, and then the governor announced that people should refrain from holding events with more than 50 people.
“Honestly and truly, it makes sense,” said LeRoy. “We were pushing it because we wanted to do what Altrusa does, and give it all back.”
– Adam Drapcho
Patrick’s St. Patty’s meals to aid Got Lunch!
Patrick’s Pub was stocked up to serve some Saint Patrick’s Day specials, only to have coronavirus cancel the party. Instead, Gilford’s beloved restaurant and pub is taking the opportunity to help out the community.
The kitchen staff at Patrick’s will be preparing four classic Irish dishes on Tuesday: traditional boiled dinner, lamb stew, bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie. Check the facebook page, Patrick’s Pub NH, or call the restaurant at 293-0841, for details on the dishes, including price.
Since table service is now suspended, Patrick’s is offering their St. Patty’s Day specials for curb-side pick-up only. Call the restaurant between 1 and 7 p.m., place your order, then pull up in front of the door, where a staff person will bring your order out to you. Half of the ticket price will be donated to the Got Lunch! programs in Laconia and Gilford, which are working to make sure that kids home from school can still get a nutritious lunch.
– Adam Drapcho
Coffeehouse concert canceled
The “Third Friday” concert at the Andover Community Coffeehouse, scheduled for March 20, featuring Dan Weber, has been canceled.
For additional information, contact Larry Chase at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maple Weekend is off
The New Hampshire Maple Producers Association board of directors has been closely watching the effect that COVID-19 is having on local communities, the state, and neighboring states. The NHMPA board of directors has chosen to cancel New Hampshire Maple Weekend and the remainder of New Hampshire Maple Month.
New Hampshire sugar makers will still have maple syrup and maple products available. Local sugar houses can be contacted directly to see if they’re open for guests. Additionally, sugar houses may offer off-hours pick-up, sell their products online, and be willing to mail maple products directly to customers.
Each March, New Hampshire maple sugaring families look forward to welcoming folks to their sugar houses and showing off their rich maple tradition. The NHMPA is in the early stages of planning a fall New Hampshire sugar house event.
Upcoming TBI events moving online
Due to the ongoing social distancing recommendations with COVID-19, the Temple B’nai Israel Board has decided to cancel this Friday’s Plymouth Home Shabbat service at the Funk’s, and instead, take advantage of video conferencing technology to hold a “Virtual Community Shabbat Service” this Friday night March 20, at 7:30pm. Rabbi Dan and Melody will be leading the service. For those that would like to socialize ahead of time, the video conference line will be open at 7 p.m. for virtual schmoozing.
The Saturday night Adult Ed session will be held March 21 at 7 p.m. via the Zoom video conference line. Religious school on Sunday, March 22 has been cancelled following the local school cancellation policies. We will be in touch with the Religious School families.
Tanger Outlets modifies hours at Tilton location
Tanger Outlets in Tilton will begin modified business hours at its center in Tilton, effective immediately.
New hours will be 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Monday through Sunday. Individual retailer store hours may vary. Shoppers are advised to contact specific stores prior to planning their visit.
Audubon polar bear program is postponed
The program on Thursday, March 19 at 7 p.m. at the Loon Center in Moultonborough called “The Remarkable Polar Bears of Churchill, Manitoba” has been postponed in view of CDC recommendations concerning community events and COVID-19. The Lakes Region Chapter of the New Hampshire Audubon Society will present the program, by Bob Quinn, at a later date.
Although endangered, fortunately Polar Bears do not get COVID-19.
Please bear with us.
LRSO concert at Inter-Lakes postponed
The Lakes Region Symphony Orchestra is cancelling its March 28 concert at Inter-Lakes High School Auditorium. Further information will be provided as soon as it is available.
Skate park meeting is rescheduled to April
The Laconia Parks & Recreation Department is meeting about the skate park has been rescheduled to Wednesday, April 8, at 6 p.m., at the Laconia Community Center. They will be going over ideas for the park, such as, elements, materials and locations. The department is in need of skate park advice from the people who would use the area and know best.
If you have any questions, please contact the Laconia Parks & Recreation at 603-524-5046.
‘Hands’ dinners are off
Hands Across the Table will not be serving dinner for the next three weeks to protect the health of both guests, volunteers and the greater community. They hope to resume dinners on April 8.
Altrusa Club cancels March 25 dinner
The Meredith Altrusa Club has announced that they are canceling their March 25 dinner.
Belmont closing Town Hall on Wednesday
The town of Belmont has announced that the Town Hall will be closed to the public Town Hall until further notice.
“We already offer the ability to conduct many resident transactions online, including vehicle registration renewals, and the payment of taxes, water and sewer bills,” the town said in a statement. “Our Town Hall employees will be working on-site and we will continue to be at your service during normal business hours (7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday - Friday).