Oxbow budget passed on first attempt

BRADFORD—The Oxbow Unified Union School District budget for the 2021-2022 school year was approved on the first try last week.
On April 13 in Australian ballot voting, 243 people, or 59%, in Bradford and Newbury approved the $17,171,968 budget. There were 166 votes, or 41%, against the budget.
The 409 votes cast were fewer than the number of votes cast in the four rounds of voting required to pass the 2020-2021 budget. That $16,780,183 budget was approved on Jan. 13 after a pandemic-induced delay and subsequent voter revolts.

What to expect on Green Up Day

It’s almost May 1, which means it’s almost Green Up Day—that tradition when Vermonters grab a big bag and fill it with trash collected from roadways, waterways, and around communities throughout the state.
Green Up Vermont relies on the help of volunteers and town coordinators to help pick up trash—and the evidence speaks for its success. Kate Alberghini, executive director of Green Up Vermont, said 14,000 volunteers participated statewide last year, picking up 241 tons of trash and 900 discarded tires.

Few details after Woodsville raid

WOODSVILLE—Local and federal law enforcement officers raided a residence on 42 Railroad Street in Woodsville on April 7, but have thus far disclosed only scant details about the episode.
According to witnesses, police were on scene for a few hours. A Journal Opinion staff member saw several uniformed officers on scene in the afternoon with a number of cruisers parked near the property not far from Central Street, the village’s main artery.
In response to a reporter’s inquiry, Haverhill Police Department issued a press release indicating a property search authorized by a warrant was carried out at approximately 2 p.m. in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies as part of a “renewed cooperative strategy to combat crime.”

Tractor Supply asks for building permit

BRADFORD—A commercial real estate developer has formally submitted an application to build a Tractor Supply store in Bradford.
Matthew Darling of New England Retail Properties submitted an application for building and zoning permits last week. The proposed store would be located on a hayfield off of Route 5 on the Lower Plain. The parcel is located just north of Bradford Evangelical Free Church and across from Lake Morey Road.
According to the application, the proposed 150-by-120 building is a single story. It is 21 feet in height except for a 30-foot entrance gable. There are over 80 parking spaces currently planned for the site.

Summer camps adapt for new normal

WENTWORTH—Antsy youngsters, deprived of camp last summer, are counting the days.
With spring’s arrival, interest in summer camp has escalated and parents have been making plans, some as early as January.
For camps such as Pemigewassett on Lower Baker Pond in Wentworth and Moosilauke on Upper Baker Pond in Orford, the pandemic-induced shutdown in 2020 was the first time they did not open their doors since they were founded over 100 years ago.
While many New Hampshire camps completely closed last year, others had limited openings for family camping which allowed them to enjoy the outdoors at a distance from others. And even as the camps aim to reopen this year, COVID-19 safety measures will reduce capacity for all of them.

Board wants hearing on ATVs in Mtn. Lakes

HAVERHILL—Town officials have set a public hearing for next month on a proposal to open town roads in Mountain Lakes to ATV and UTV use.
The hearing comes as a petition from Mountain Lakes after voters there approved an article on the 2021 annual meeting warrant authorizing the request. On March 27, Mountain Lakes residents voted 42-39 at their district meeting to petition town officials to open all roads in Mountain Lakes to ATV and UTV use.
Mountain Lakes resident Dave Long participated in Monday’s meeting to advocate on behalf of the article. Board members had very little debate on the substance of the request, only indicating a public hearing was needed on the petition.

Rash of car thefts rile Bradford

BRADFORD—More than half a dozen cars have been reported stolen in the Bradford area since March 25.
The car thefts and several related break-ins have riled community members and frustrated investigators. An arrest warrant has been issued for a 30-year-old man who faces charges in both Vermont and New Hampshire, but there may be at least two other suspects being sought in the investigation.
All the cars and trucks taken over the last two weeks have been recovered, although numerous valuables remain missing.

Haverhill lines up new police chief

HAVERHILL—David Appleby, a 22-year veteran of the New Hampshire State Police, has been hired as the new chief of police in Haverhill.
Haverhill Town Manager Brigitte Codling made the announcement last week, just a few days after telling selectmen that she was negotiating contract details with a final candidate.
“Appleby has been selected following an in-depth search and interview process,” Codling stated in the announcement. “He was selected based on his extensive law enforcement experience and education that focused on leadership and criminal justice.”

Oxbow district vote set for next week

BRADFORD—The Oxbow Unified Union School District annual meeting is April 13 with Bradford and Newbury residents voting by Australian ballot.
The OUUSD Board had the second of two informational meetings via Zoom on April 5 featuring presentations from all building principals outlining various coordinated programs, student numbers and other statistics.
Polls will be open on April 13 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters can also request an absentee ballot from their town clerk.

What’s next for Covered Bridges?

NEWBURY—Now that public forums on plans for a privately run juvenile detention facility in Newbury are finished, what’s next?
And as one resident asked the state, “What can the community of Newbury do to stop you?”
Sean Brown, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Families and Children, which will oversee the Covered Bridges Treatment Center, seemed determined last week to push ahead despite local concerns around safety, traffic, and emergency response capacity.
At the start of the community consultation process, he said the state wanted to secure community support before moving forward. In an interview last week, Brown suggested that box had been checked.