Saturday, August 11, 2012

NC Man Missing in Rumney, NH; Found walking 240 miles from home

UPDATE: Aug 11, 2012
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MARION, N.C. - A man who went missing in July near Stinson Lake in Rumney has been found by authorities in his home state of North Carolina.

Hugh Armstrong, 72, was located at about 1 a.m. walking along the road in Marion, North Carolina, about 240 miles west of his hometown in Clayton, N.C. Armstrong was confused and wasn’t sure where he was going, but overall, he was in good physical health, said police.

Armstrong’s son-in-law, Craig Black, says a deputy found information on Armstrong in a missing person database and identified him. Black said he was shocked when he got the news. It appear Armstrong made his way to North Carolina by walking and hitchhiking, said authorities. Armstrong’s family has been contacted, and they’re making arrangements to bring him home.

 Happy Ending!

UPDATE: 7/30/2012
RUMNEY — The largest search effort in the state this year for a missing person has concluded after five days with no sign of a North Carolina man. Hugh Armstrong, 72, visiting with 11 members of his family for a week's vacation near Stinson Lake, went out for an early morning walk Wednesday and has not been seen since.

Armstrong, who grew up on a farm and spent a career in business, is not known to have any physical or mental health problems and is considered a strong walker. But he is not familiar with the locale or its rugged terrain.

He was wearing sneakers, eyeglasses, a white baseball hat, shorts and a T-shirt when he left the family's rental unit at Hawthorne Village. He had no cell phone, food or water with him. Family members said he went out with a plan to walk the 5.2 miles around the mountain lake and return home by 9 a.m.

Hugh Armstrong
By 12:30 p.m. that day, after driving the dirt roads surrounding the lake and not locating him, searchers were called. By Saturday, more than 90 volunteers responded to the call and joined line search teams, said Fish and Game Lt. Jim Kneeland, who is in charge of the search. Others brought food to a American Red Cross relief station set up at the White Mountain Ranch on the northern shore of the lake, while others who lived in the area took to the woods behind their homes to search for some sign of the man.

Kneeland said the volunteer efforts were complemented by the largest professional effort by far this year, more than 20 conservation officers, the State Police Special Emergency Response Team with dogs and a helicopter, the Army National Guard helicopters and organized volunteers, including New England K-9 Search and Rescue, Pemi Valley Search and Rescue and local fire departments.

Bill Taffe, who heads up Emergency Medical Services for the town of Rumney, was manning the ambulance after several days of line searching. He said he has never seen such a large and lengthy search for a missing person in the town. “It's anybody's guess” where Armstrong is, he said. “There's lots and lots of theories.” But Kneeland said by now, he would have expected Armstrong to “pop out” of the woods somewhere if he was able, though he conceded “these are big woods.” The effort began with hasty teams and bloodhounds then proceeded to grid searches near the Hawthorne Village and spread out along the edge of the road down toward the lake and up above the lake. 

As each day went on, the teams went further afield with teams focusing on river drainage above and below the lake, surrounded by steep hills. On Sunday the focus was Mead Pond, above Stinson Lake, with five line search teams out in the woods. Saturday the focus was in the area of Stinson Mountain, a two-mile hike from the trailhead, while others searched toward Ellsworth on and off a number of roads. “This is our last big day,” said Kneeland Sunday, noting there would be no requests for volunteers on Monday. He said he would give helicopter crews, who have been hampered by low cloud cover, a few places to look in the next few days. The weather has been primarily in the 70s and 60s, with some heavy rain showers. 

Asked if he thinks Armstrong is out there, Kneeland looked up above the lake and said, “I think I do.” He said that the family has been briefed daily of what is going on and what the plan for the coming day is. They were informed Saturday night that the search was concluding Sunday.

“They took it well. They really do appreciate the locals that have jumped in to line search and helped in any way they could,” Kneeland said. He said when there is spare time, conservation officers will continue to search the area for Armstrong. He still remained hopeful. “It might be what it takes is a good samaritan out in the woods” to find Armstrong. Those who believe they may have seen Armstrong are asked to call 846-3333.

CONCORD, N.H. – N.H. Fish and Game Department Law Enforcement staff are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a lost person, Hugh Armstrong, age 72, of Clayton, North Carolina. Armstrong was last seen leaving for a walk from Hawthorne Village in Rumney, N.H., at about 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, and was supposed to have returned by 9:00 a.m. Armstrong was reportedly planning to walk around Stinson Lake via Cross Road and Doe Town Road. It is unknown how long he has been in Rumney, or whether he is familiar with the area. Armstrong is 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds. He has brown-gray hair, gray eyes, and wears glasses. He is thought to be wearing a white Red Sox hat, a red or blue t-shirt, and shorts. Anyone who has seen Armstrong is asked to call State Police Troop F at (603) 846-3333.

Fish and Game Conservation Officers, New Hampshire State Police, Rumney Fire Dept., and other search and rescue organizations are participating in the search for Armstrong.

State Police Lt. Todd Landry said Hugh Armstrong of Clayton, N.C., is here with his family visiting Stinson Lake on vacation and went out for "a short walk," abut 6:30 a.m. Landry said Armstrong had no health issues and was planning to walk from Hawthorne Village along the edge of the lake.

Twelve hours later, Landry said the search for Armstrong continues and includes the New England K-9 Search and Rescue on the ground, the NH State Police helicopter in the air, state Fish and Game officials, and local fire and police.

He said that at night helicopters in the air would be able to use infrared radar - which picks up the heat of a person's body - but only once it became dark.

Update 7/27/2012:About 60 searchers are looking for Armstrong, including New Hampshire Fish and Game conservation officers, state police, local fire department personnel and two canine search teams. The American Red Cross is on hand providing food and comfort to the searchers.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

US Debt Calculator


August 9, 2012      ($15,913,503,729,106)

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The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $3.98 billion per day since September 28, 2007!

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Yellowstone National Park needs your help!

NPCA - Park Action
Click Here to Send Your Comments!(This link will take you to the National Park Service's Planning, Environment & Public Comment website.) 
Take Action
Dear Reader,

Once again, Yellowstone National Park needs your help. Do you have a couple of minutes to speak up for a quiet and clean Yellowstone in winter?(Please see the instructions below for submitting your comments.)

The National Park Service drafted a new winter use management plan after learning earlier this year that snowmobiles made for the park are becoming noisier and dirtier. Yet the plan would allow up to 480 snowmobiles a day, more than twice the average number experienced the past few years! This would take Yellowstone back to snowmobile levels not seen for a decade. Learn more here.

The plan also proposes to continue using high explosives in critical wolverine and lynx habitat to maintain winter access over avalanche-prone Sylvan Pass. The park’s avalanche control program costs $125,000, and last winter it benefited only 60 visitors entering the park’s east entrance.

While some aspects of the new plan are admirable – notably strong new Best Available Technology standards for both snowcoaches and snowmobiles – the National Park Service is seriously off-course in its latest plan.

Take Action: Tell Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk that you would like the Park Service to emphasize snowcoach access, not expand snowmobile use, and uphold its duty to facilitate enjoyment that minimizes degradation of Yellowstone.

Here's how you do it...

Step 1: Go to The Park Service is only accepting online comments at this website. In order for your comment to count, you must carefully follow the Park Service's form.

Step 2: Please personalize your comments by copying and pasting the talking points below into the Park Service web form, taking the opportunity to add any personal observations or stories.

Step 3: Once you have completed all of the required/necessary fields on the form, make sure you click "Submit" at the bottom of the form.

Talking Points/Sample Message
Dear Superintendent Wenk:
I am writing to comment on your proposed winter use management plan for Yellowstone National Park. I support a plan that provides the best protection for Yellowstone’s resources while accommodating enjoyment of the park’s unparalleled winter environment.

* The Draft SEIS shows conclusively that a transition to a snowcoach-only winter transportation system maximizes protection of air quality, soundscapes, and wildlife while providing the most reliable and accessible visitor experience.
* The proposed best available technology vehicle standards are an important improvement, and should be required as soon as possible, not delayed for another five years.
* The proposal to allow up to 480 snowmobiles many days during the winter is a significant regression back to an era of disturbances to wildlife and substantial problems with noise and air pollution.
* The requirement for professionally guided snowmobile tours has been crucial to reducing harassment of wildlife and violations of park rules and should not be abandoned when snowmobile use is allowed.
* The use of artillery shelling for avalanche control on Sylvan Pass is inappropriate. Worker safety, impacts on wildlife, and the cost of hundreds or even thousands of dollars per visitor is unconscionable when many critical needs in Yellowstone are going unmet.
* Your proposal to reduce the park’s top speed limit in winter to 35 miles an hour and in the most sensitive wildlife corridors to 25 miles an hour is a good idea. Thank you for doing this.
*Additional, personal comments.

We are grateful to you for taking a moment to add your voice in support of making Yellowstone National Park’s winters as clean and quiet as possible. Thank you.



Patricia Dowd
Yellowstone Program Manager

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Sunday River invests $1M in snow-making guns

NEWRY — Adding to one of the largest snow-making systems in New England, Sunday River announced Monday it would invest another $1 million in new snow guns this year.

Touting its commitment to snow-making, a press kit the resort issued this week included a pair of "Snowball's" — rubberized dog toys that look like snowballs and are made by the Portland-based Planet Dog.

"Last winter happened," read a card accompanying the snowballs. Despite a dismal year for natural snow the resort said it had its "second best financial year ever," in 2011-2012.

"We've built an unmatched snow-making arsenal that we're not afraid to use to its fullest potential," the release stated.

Since 2007, Sunday River's parent company, Boyne Resorts, which also operates Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley, has invested more than $40 million at its two Maine resorts, mainly in new ski lifts and snow-making.

At Sunday River the commitment to not only have an immense snow-making system but a willingness to use it has paid off, said Dana Bullen, the resort's president and general manager.
<a href="">Snowball's</a><img src="" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
“Snow-making is certainly the difference between a bad season and a good season, which is exactly what we saw last winter,” Bullen said. “Anyone can make snow. Last year’s success came down to us choosing to make snow when other resorts couldn’t or wouldn’t.”

Average natural snowfall was off by 65 inches — from 165 to just over 100 inches — Bullen said.

"Snow-making is an essential part of our DNA," Darcy Morse, the resort's director of communication, said Tuesday.

Maine's three largest ski areas — Sugarloaf, Sunday River and Saddleback — all made late-spring snow-making pushes firing up their systems to make snow in late March.

But Sunday River was able to pick up extra business from resorts in Vermont that were unable to stay open after heavy rains from a hurricane struck that state. The resort also served as a substitute training and competition resort for a large number of high school, college and other alpine racers.

Adding 300 new, highly-efficient snow guns, to the resorts most popular trails will also save energy allowing the resort to make more snow with less compressed air, which means lower electricity costs. Investments in more efficient snow-making also allowed both Sunday River and Sugarloaf to qualify for Efficiency Maine grants of $300,000 each, according to Morse.

Sunday River, like all ski resorts in Maine, is hoping for a better natural snow year in 2012-13, Morse said, but if that doesn't happen they will be even better prepared to combat that.

For the last five years, Sunday River has opened for Halloween, the earliest of any resort in New England and is looking to do that again this year, Morse said.

"We're always optimistic, " Morse said. " Our reputation for making snow and having a dependable product precedes us. Last year was a definite and clear illustration that we can do it and we will do it again and of course, we hope Mother Nature visits us more often this year as well."

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

West Nile Virus Discovered in Salem NH

Salem Patch

Dave has shared the following article from Salem Patch:
C596bca27d9bffdc08e2c59d01ad81b3 DHHS: West Nile Virus Discovered in Salem
A total of 18 batches of mosquitoes tested positive in three towns, including Salem....
West Nile Virus tests in Salem, test positive.
Visit for more local news, reviews, and info.
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Copyright © 2012 Patch. All Rights Reserved.

By N.H. Department of Health and Human Services

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is announcing that 18 batches of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) recently from the towns of Manchester, Nashua, and Salem.

Anyone with questions about WNV/EEE can call 1-866-273-6453
 between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Other information about EEE and West Nile virus are available on the DHHS website at and on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

N.H. law makes state parks free for military

CONCORD, N.H. — Members of the military can now enjoy free admission to New Hampshire state parks thanks to a new law inspired by a Marine mom from Salisbury.

Mary Thayer pushed lawmakers to change the law after her son, Master Gunnery Sgt. Richard Thayer, visited her last summer. They were surprised to learn that while state park admission is free for some members of the New Hampshire National Guard, the offer did not extend to all military personnel.

That is no longer the case — the new law specifies that any member of the military can visit state parks for free. At a bill signing ceremony Monday, Mary Thayer thanked lawmakers and cried when she explained that her son is in North Carolina, preparing for his fifth deployment.

Monday, August 6, 2012

NASA's Curiosity lands successfully on mars and shoots photo's

the Mars Rover including the 7 minutes of terror that NASA had no communication with the rover. Everything went without a hitch, and the rover even sent back a couple of photo's just after landing.

Curiosity landing on mars 8/6/2012. This video is the last 11:30 of the landing of
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Injured Hiker assisted off Old Bridle Path in NH

FRANCONIA NOTCH, N.H. -- A Westford man who fell and injured his leg while hiking in Franconia Notch Saturday afternoon was helped from the trail by a rescue team, but officials say he was well-prepared for his hike.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department was notified about 3:40 p.m. that Jay Enis, of Westford, fell and injured his leg while hiking on the Old Bridle Path Trail in Franconia Notch. Old Bridle Path is typically used to access the Greenleaf on the way up to Mount Lafayette. The trails on and around this ridge have been a frequent rescue area this year due to various reasons

Members of the Appalachian Mountain Club were helping Enis descend the trail under his own power, but conservation officers from New Hampshire Fish and Game and the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team started up the trail to assist.

Members of the rescue team found Enis about 4:15 p.m., about 2 1/2 miles from the trailhead. They provided first-aid and put a splint on Enis' leg. Everyone made it back to the trailhead by 8:05 p.m.

Despite the injury, Enis was able to slowly complete the hike with some assistance.

"Mr. Enis and the other member of his hiking party were prepared and had all the necessary clothing and equipment for a summer day hike," the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said in a press release.

The agency encourages all hikers to visit www. for a list of recommended hiking equipment. The trails on and around this ridge have been a frequent rescue area this year due to various reasons, but the common theme in most of the rescues in the area have been due to the lack of preparedness.

Hikers who get in trouble while hiking unprepared can be forced to pay for their rescue.

Old Bridle Path (Red)

Stranded hikers at blame for lack of preparation and late departure

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire Fish and Game officials are blaming a late departure and lack of preparedness for the late night rescue of four hikers from Mount Major in Alton.

The hikers, all from Somersworth, included two adults and two children. Officials say they did not begin their hike up the 1,786-foot mountain until 4 p.m. Sunday and were wearing light clothing and carrying one small light. Darkness fell during their descent.

The hiking party called 911 at 9:17 p.m. Fish and Game officials and members of the Alton Fire Department rushed to reach the hikers as storms were moving into the area. The hikers were escorted down the mountain and reached the trailhead at 11:25 p.m. Sunday.

Officials say hikers must be prepared with emergency clothing and gear.

Prepare for your hike:

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hands across New Hampshire

On Sept. 1, New Hampshire residents will be participating in an event called "Hands Across New Hampshire." This is a peaceful, family-friendly protest of the proposed Northern Pass and Trailbreaker projects.

Northern Pass, the proposed 180-mile overhead transmission project through New Hampshire, is slated to bring electricity from Hydro Quebec to the southern New England market.

More than 30 towns along the proposed route of Northern Pass have voted in opposition to the project. Opposition to Northern Pass includes the fact that large hydro-electricity is not designated green or renewable in New Hampshire, it contributes to global climate change, cancer concerns of living or working near overhead HVAC power lines, lost property values, and a for-profit corporation intruding into the White Mountain National Forest.

Trailbreaker is a proposal to bring tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, through an existing underground pipeline that runs from the Canadian border through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine where it will be offloaded in Portland to foreign markets. Opposition to Trailbreaker is based on the fact that mining tar sands oil is toxic to the environment and contributes to global warming.

Also the pipeline which will be used was never intended to transport such corrosive and abrasive oil and could result in spills in some of the most ecologically-sensitive areas of New England.

Thus far the following New Hampshire towns are participating in Hands Across New Hampshire: Colebrook, Lancaster, Littleton, Concord, Easton, Campton, Thornton, Sugar Hill, Franconia, Holderness/Plymouth.

For times and locations, or to start your own group, please contact


Solar Products: The Crowded Mind - Store

Gaze into the stars satisfy your "Curiosity"

Product Details
Orion SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

Orion SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
From Orion


Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Ships from and sold by Orion Telescopes & Binoculars

Average customer review: 
(14 customer reviews)

Product Description

Orion(r) SkyQuest(TM) XT Classic Dobsonians It's no wonder customers heap 5-star ratings on these gentle giants. For not only do their jumbo-sized optics and uncomplicated design bring a "new level of joy to simple observing," raved Astronomy magazine, but they're also the most affordable quality Dobs on the market. SkyQuest XT Classics aren't just good bang for the buck, they're a supernova of telescope value! XT Classics give you the deep-space thrills without the deep-pocket frills. We've kept them lean and mean to keep their prices low for tight budgets. But rest assured, they come fully equipped for adventure, whether you're a beginning stargazer or are graduating to a more capable instrument. All Classics feature an expertly figured parabolic mirror housed in an enameled steel optical tube. The tube rides on a stable Dobsonian base that allows easy point-and-view navigation and has a convenient carrying handle. A 2" Crayford focuser (XT6 has 1.25" rack and pinion focuser), EZ Finder II aiming device, 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece (1.25"), and quick-collimation cap are all standard equipment. Setup takes only a minute, leaving the rest of the evening to marvel at the planets, the Moon, and a myriad of deep-sky treasures. Enjoy the fantastic views â?" and savings! One-year limited warranty.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #3726 in Camera & Photo
  • Brand: Orion
  • Model: XT10_


  • The Orion SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian is a big 10" aperture reflector telescope with a small price tag
  • Gobbles up light for great views of deep-sky objects such as nebulas, galaxies, star clusters,
  • Simple "point-and-view" Dobsonian design reflector telescope is easy and fun to use for the whole family
  • Stable Dobsonian telescope base and Orion CorrecTension friction optimization system
  • Includes precise 2" Crayford focuser, 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece,
  • EZ Finder II reflex sight, collimation cap, dust caps, and Starry Night software
  • It keeps reflector optical tube perfectly balanced in any position
  • And close-up views of more nearby targets like the Moon and planets

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
122 of 122 people found the following review helpful.
5I've Reviewed the XT6 & XT8, Might as Well review this one also.
By R. Kirkham
That's right, I own an Orion XT6, XT8, and XT10. I use them for leading seminars. I seem to buy a new one each year. So far I have always kept the previous one. I can probably compare them as well as anyone. They are all sitting side by side in my shed. For the purpose of this review I will compare the XT8 & XT10.

Larger aperture. Yes, it makes a big difference. It was worth the money to take a step up in size. Some views that were beyond the grasp of my 6, and only located with my 8, are now easy to see in my 10.

Money. There is a jump in cost. Both the 8 and 10 are powerful enough to do serious astronomy. Both are good scopes. Both should last for years. There is always a bigger scope out there for a few more dollars. One must draw the line somewhere.

Weight. In my mind the 8" is the largest of the truly inexpensive, portable dobs and the smallest of the large aperture light buckets. The 6" is a wonderful scope. I don't intend to let go of it, but I wouldn't call it a large aperture scope. The 10" is a light bucket, but I wouldn't call it easily portable. The 8" is both. I have the strength to move my 10", but noticed that I wasn't using it as much. Then I purchased a garden cart to haul it around in, and now I use it several times a week. It wasn't that I couldn't pick it up, it was just awkward and I was worried that I was going to break it.

If you have the money and don't need to lug it around a lot, get the 10". I'm glad I did.

If the cost is prohibitive or you need to move it around a lot, get the 8". All three are excellent scopes.

If you lead regular astronomy seminars and need some good quality dobs so you can create teams of three or four students per scope, get them all! That's what I did, until my wife tells me that one of them must go.

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful.
5Great Scope!
By M. Hall
I am very pleased with this telescope.
---Assembly of the base took about 15 minutes using the included tool. The tube is held to the base by two sturdy springs which makes it easy to separate and carry. The assembled scope can be carried by the handle on the base, but the scope's size makes it a bit cumbersome. The tube and base are both solidly constructed and the motion is smooth.
---The optics are wonderful. There is no color fringing and the image is sharp from edge to edge. The large aperture enables me to see a clear view of craters on the moon's shadow side, even when it is half full and daytime. A crescent moon in the evening is a great view. I've seen nebula, star clusters and galaxies. I'm no expert, but the limit of apparent magnitude so far has been around 5 or 6. I expect the view to be better in the winter when the sky isn't as hazy. (I live in the Midwest and it's summer). The included 25 mm eyepiece yields a nice wide and bright view. I use it to find objects, then switch to a 12.5 or 6 mm (from an extra Zhumell eyepiece set) if I want to look closer.
---The finder is great. Once you get it sighted in, just look through the finder and put the dot on what you want to see. It has windage and elevation dials just like on a rifle. You don't even have to put your eye in a particular place for it to work.
---I'm glad I didn't get a computerized scope. I feel my money was better spent on the large aperture instead of motorized controls and a heavy tripod. This scope is very quick to set up and makes it easy to look here and there on a whim. Tracking objects as they move is not difficult, but if you're using a 6 or 4 mm eyepiece you have to stay on it or its gone. This scope comes with software that shows what is visible from your location now or any other time, and has a searchable object database. This is one of the best buys I''ve made in a long time.

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful.
5XT10,amazing views for reasonable $
By Gary Brasell
This is the first product review I've ever written. After my first viewing session, I felt compelled to share my experience with potential purchasers of the Orion XT10. Assembly was fairly straight forward with well written instructions. This scope is great for someone new to star gazing like myself. It only took me a few minutes to find my first target, Saturn. I was amazed to not only see the rings but to also see two moons with the low magnification 25mm eyepiece supplied with the telescope. I look foward to viewing with higher powered eyepieces, I have an 15mm and 5mm on order. My only regret with this purchase is that I didn't make it sooner. This scope is awesome.

See all 14 customer reviews...

7 Minutes of Terror: Curiosity Rover's Risky Mars Landing | Video

NASA's Curiosity rover is a 1-ton robot that will make an unprecedented Mars landing on Aug. 5, 2012. See how the risky maneuver will keep rover team members in suspense for 7 fateful minutes. Credit: NASA

Curiosity, the car-size, one-ton rover is bound for arrival on Mars at 1:31 a.m., EDT on Monday, Aug. 6.

The landing will mark the beginning of a two-year prime mission to investigate one of the most intriguing places on Mars.

To view Curiosity's latest images, visit and . Raw images will appear when available at .

MARS LIVE - Watch Curiosity's Landing: