Property owners vote against wind project

FERDINAND (AP) -- Property owners in five unincorporated towns and gores have voted against an industrial wind project on Seneca Mountain in the Northeast Kingdom town of Ferdinand.

Ballots were mailed to the property owners, including five in Canada, in November and had to be postmarked by mid-December.

The tally announced Monday night was 171 votes against the 20-turbine project, 107 for it, and four abstentions, Vermont Public Radio (http://bit.ly/1akq0fI) reported. The votes were counted during a meeting of the board of governors of the Unified Towns and Gores of Essex County.

Project manager John Soininen, of Eolian Renewable Energy of Portsmouth, N.H., which proposed the project, said he was disappointed in the outcome.

"For now we recognize that there are local concerns and in the end we hope that there is a viable project that can achieve local support and bring myriad benefits of wind energy to Ferdinand and the UTG," he said.

The Vermont Public Service Board has the final say on the project.

Opponents hope any plan to erect wind towers on Seneca Mountain is dead. Valerie Desmarais, a co-founder of "Save Our Senecas," said if there is another proposal her group and two others would lobby fiercely against it.

"Well, we’re here to protect the mountain," she said.

Mass.


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delegation hails $75M in aid to fishermen

BOSTON (AP) -- The Massachusetts congressional delegation is hailing a decision to include $75 million in fisheries disaster aid in the 2014 fiscal year federal spending bill.

Northeast fishermen had become eligible for federal aid in 2012 after a national fishery disaster was declared due to the unexpectedly slow recovery of stocks of bottom-dwelling groundfish, such as cod and flounder.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said the disaster assistance will provide much-needed relief to local fishermen.

The Massachusetts Democrat said that while the aid won’t erase the hardships facing the industry, it will provide help to fishing communities dealing with catch share cuts.

Rep. John Tierney also hailed the decision to halt efforts to close the Gloucester-based Northeast Regional Office. He said the decision will save jobs and maintain a critical link between the industry and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NH police surround Hampton Falls home

HAMPTON FALLS, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire police say a SWAT team is surrounding a Hampton Falls home and is attempting to make contact with two suspects inside.

Police say they were called to assist police in Amesbury, Mass., about an ongoing investigation. The two suspects fled police and barricaded themselves inside a home on Lafayette Road.

Police say a section of Route 1 between Route 84 and the Seabrook town line has been closed out of concern for public safety.

Officials did not discuss the nature of the ongoing investigation involving the pair.

NY peak’s name changed to honor War of 1812 hero

LEWIS, N.Y. (AP) -- The federal government has approved a New York historian’s request to change the name of an Adirondack mountain back to that of a hero in a battle fought two centuries ago on Lake Champlain.

The Press-Republican of Plattsburgh reports (that the U.S. Board of Geographic Names last month officially changed the name of Slip Mountain to MacDonough Mountain.

The 3,300-foot mountain is in the Essex County town of Lewis, 110 miles north of Albany.

It was originally named for Commodore Thomas MacDonough, commander of the victorious American fleet at the Battle of Plattsburgh in September 1814. The name was changed for an unspecified reason to Slip Mountain by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1953.

Retired Plattsburgh city historian James Bailey successfully petitioned the government to change the name back.