New England briefs

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New Hampshire GOP urges Democratic delegates to back Sanders

The New Hampshire Republican Party wants the state's Democratic superdelegates to support Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In an online petition launched Monday, the Republican Party says that even though Sanders won the state's primary last week by 22 percentage points, when the votes of the party's superdelegates are taken into account, the party's delegation appears to be split 15-15 between Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"How is this possible?" the Republican petition says. "Because Democrats have set up an undemocratic system that allows party elites called `super delegates' to single-handedly cancel out the votes of thousands of grassroots activists."

Democrats will send to the convention 32 delegates, including eight superdelegates, top Democratic officials who are free to vote as they choose. Six superdelegates are supporting Clinton.

"This NHGOP stunt reeks of desperation," said Melissa Miller, the press secretary for New Hampshire Democrats.

"New Hampshire Democrats have a long tradition of unifying behind our nominees, and we look forward to doing so and trouncing the Party of Trump up and down the ballot in November," she said, referring to Donald Trump, who won the state's Republican primary.

The Republicans use a different process for choosing delegates to their party's convention, based on the proportion of the votes candidates receive in the primary. Trump, the top vote-getter in last week's New Hampshire primary, is expected to receive 10 of the GOP's 23 delegates

"Even though we vehemently disagree with Senator Sanders on his radical socialist agenda, we stand with his supporters who want their voices to be heard," the petition said.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum gets grant to work in schools

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is going to be working with students at the Vergennes elementary and middle schools.

The museum will be working with the schools with help from a grant of $20,000 from the Vermont Community Foundation's Innovations and Collaborations program.

Museum Executive Director Mike Smiles says the project is an important first step in redefining how the museum can make a difference to students' success through what he calls a "maritime lens for learning."

Jill Strube, who directs the Vergennes schools' after-school enrichment programs, says students working with the museum will have a chance to build submersible robots out of PVC pipe, create their own documentary films, or learn chart-making skills.

USDA providing $674k to protect Lake Memphremagog

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing $674,000 to help protect and improve water quality in Lake Memphremagog, the body of water that straddles the border between the United States and Canada in northern Vermont.

The money is a portion of $720 million in grants being distributed for 84 conservation projects across the country that will help communities improve water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.

The grants are part of the second round of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program created by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Vermont is also part of a multi-state project, led by New Hampshire, which received $5.2 million to assist private forestland owners in increasing the quantity and quality of young forest habitats.

Fish and Wildlife reminding people to clean bird feeders

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is reminding bird lovers to clean bird feeders regularly to help reduce the spread of disease.

Migratory bird Biologist John Buck says it is critical to clean birdfeeders at least once a month in order to prevent a buildup of harmful pathogens.

He says bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites can spread quickly among wild birds and cause a number of diseases.

Buck recommends using a solution of one part bleach to nine parts hot water to kill bacteria. Hot water with unscented dish detergent also works well.

People should wear rubber gloves and remember to clean inside and outside surfaces. Buck says bottle brushes work well in tube feeders.

48 people rescued from stuck tram cars at ski resort

AP Photo NY122, NY123

Crews have rescued 48 people from two tram cars at a New Hampshire ski resort after it became stuck 40 feet off the ground in sub-zero temperatures.

The trams became stuck shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday at Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway in Franconia in the White Mountains. People on the trams, mostly adult skiers, reportedly felt a "jolt" before they stopped.

A Cannon Mountain spokesman said people were rappelled down to safety from the lower and upper parts of the car.

He said officials said there was a service brake issue. Crews do not believe the cold temperature was a factor.

No injuries have been reported.

Initiative seeks to help New Hampshire school nurses

School nurses in New Hampshire are getting more help to do their jobs.

The Department of Education recently announced it is increasing efforts to provide school nurses with more training, technical assistance and other resources.

The initiative is being coordinated by Nancy Wells, a nationally certified school nurse and former clinical assistant professor at the University of New Hampshire. The focus will include areas such as student wellness, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, parental education, school health policy and staff development.

Officials say school nurses juggle multiple roles in providing health care to students and staff, performing health screenings and serving as a liaison between school personnel, families, health care providers and the community.

"Being a school nurse is a challenging job," Wells said. "I am excited to support this essential service for our school communities."

The School Nursing initiative will be part of the department's Office of Student Wellness, which works with communities, school districts and individuals.

– The Associated Press


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