Thursday December 20, 2012

Rutland comes up short on blood drive record

RUTLAND (AP) -- The city of Rutland has come just short of breaking an American Red Cross blood drive donation record.

Organizers said the unofficial tally after the Gift-of-Life Marathon blood drive Tuesday was 1,951. They said that was 18 points short. The city of Manchester, N.H., holds the national record of 1,968.

Organizer Steve Costello said he was proud of the numbers, whether a record was broken or not.

Vt. veterans home facing stronger oversight

BENNINGTON (AP) -- The Vermont Veterans home is under increased scrutiny following the threat of losing federal funding this year.

The state Division of Licensing and Protection says the home will undergo more frequent inspections and additional oversight "due to its history of noncompliance with quality of care and safety requirements."

The home faced decertification and loss of the Medicare provider agreement in September because of issues identified during several inspections beginning in March.

The home had to correct at least three deficiencies, including an alleged assault of a resident by a nurse.

Residents smelled gas weeks before Barre leak caught

BARRE (AP) -- The City Council in Barre has learned that residents smelled gas for three weeks before a petroleum leak at a local gas station was discovered.

The North End Deli mart lost 3,000 gallons of petroleum due to a mechanical failure at the pump.

The state Agency of Natural Resources is following up with neighbors and local businesses to determine just how far the leak spread.

The state has yet to determine if any wrongdoing occurred in this incident.

N.H. hunting
numbers released

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Officials say preliminary numbers show it was a successful year for many New Hampshire hunters.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says an estimated 11,590 deer were killed, a 4 percent increase over last year’s final number and the highest amount since 2007.

Kent Gustafson, a deer biologist with the state, said that last year’s mild winter helped the deer population and the number of deer killed has increased for a second year in a row.

Hunters also took 806 black bears this fall, beating the previous record of 803 bears killed in 2003.

Officials say turkey hunters also fared well, taking a total of 1,024 turkeys, a 60 percent jump over last year’s combined fall seasons.

Lower health care costs on N.H. biz group’s list

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Reducing health care costs for employers, a friendlier tax structure and economic growth are the public policy priorities for New Hampshire’s Business and Industry Association next year.

The association recently released its 2013-2014 priorities, which also include strengthening and improving the state’s research and development tax credit, advocating for policies that lower energy costs and supporting workforce development initiatives

BIA President Jim Roche said the group’s focus will be on policies and initiatives that encourage New Hampshire businesses to expand and hire more workers, and on businesses elsewhere to expand into or relocate to New Hampshire.

Report: N.H. has successfully developed wind energy

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- An environmental group has released a report saying New Hampshire’s current power generation from wind energy prevents as much global warming pollution as taking 9,000 cars off the road each year.

With that in mind, members of Environment New Hampshire are asking Congress to extend critical federal incentives for wind power -- the renewable energy production tax credit and the offshore wind investment tax credit -- before they expire at the end of the year.

The report says if wind development continues at a pace comparable to that of recent years through 2016, New Hampshire would reduce global warming pollution by as much as taking 24,000 cars off the road and would save enough water to meet the needs of 1,700 residents.