Hudson-Litchfield News

Astronaut Visits Hudson Business

by Len Lathrop

He’s been to space and back.  On October 13 Astronaut Colonel Rex J. Walheim of the United States Air Force stayed a little closer to home with a stop at RdF Corp. in Hudson. 

During a multimedia presentation of Colonel Walheim’s recent space adventure, he related to the RdF employees and honored guests the feeling of being in space, its affect on your body and mind.  The great photography showed his installation of a $7.5 million arm to the space station, how he attached it, and what it was like being outside the space station.

Astronaut Colonel Rex J. Walheim of the United States Air Force addresses RdF Corp. in Hudson.

The colonel applauded the RdF team for their great ongoing work on the thermo heat-sensoring device for the space program and their courage in using their resources in this endeavor versus doing simple production items.

Walheim visited RdF to recognize the manufacturer of temperature sensors as a key supplier to the space program.  RdF has supplied sensors to NASA’s manned space program including Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, and is currently supplying sensors for the Space Shuttle and Space Station programs.  RdF has been in business for 50 years.

Walheim was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force in May 1984.  In April 1985 he was assigned to Cavalier Air Force Station in Cavalier, North Dakota.  In October 1986, he was reassigned to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where he worked as a mechanical systems flight controller and was the lead operations engineer for the Space Shuttle landing gear, brakes, and emergency runway barrier.  Walheim was transferred to Headquarters Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs in August 1989.  He was selected for the flight test engineer course at USAF Test Pilot School in 1991.  Following his graduation, he was assigned to the F-16 Combined Test Force at Edwards.  In January 1996, Walheim became an instructor at USAF Test Pilot School, where he served until he began astronaut training.

During the plant tour, Walheim asked about the various products RdF makes and tried to wind a micro component that RdF manufacturers.

RdF employee Milagros Serrano shows component assembly to the colonel.

Walheim was selected by NASA in March 1996 and qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist in 1998.  He served on the STS-110, Atlantis in 2002, having logged more than 259 hours in space including more than 14 Extra Vehicular Activity Hours.  STS-110 Atlantis was the 13th Shuttle mission to visit the International Space Station.

Breakfast Raises More Than $3,000 to Help Katrina Rescue Workers

by Maureen Gillum

Amid the massive loss brought to the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina recently, who takes care of the regional safety and rescue workers also in need? 

“The local first response teams are typically the people that take on the bulk of the rescue efforts,” explained Lieutenant Dave Morin of the Hudson Fire Department.  “They’re so busy doing their jobs, often their own homes and families are the last to be helped.” 

In partnership with T-Bones Restaurant, the Hudson Fire Department banded together to assist fellow emergency service workers affected by the recent hurricanes with a fundraiser breakfast.  

Danielle Blinn assists her dad Kevin in serving breakfast.

“When the need was identified at a recent meeting, our whole department immediately wanted to help,” said Morin.  “It’s our obligation and honor to lend support to our brothers.”  

Shortly after, the firefighters stopped by during T-Bones monthly management meeting, recalled Dining Room Manager Denis Brunelle.  “We figured a collective community effort like this would be a sure home run!”  T-Bones generously supplied its restaurant facility and cooks, while Hudson Fire Department’s 58 members -- full-time and call firefighters, and explorers -- hustled to bus and wait tables.  Dunkin Donuts also generously donated all the event’s coffee, muffins, and donuts.

More than a dozen goods and services were also charitably offered by local merchants for an accompanying breakfast raffle.  Special acknowledgement and thanks go out to community raffle sponsors including Suburban Auto, Dairy Queen, T-Bones, Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire, Hudson True Value, Country Brook Farms, Dunkin Donuts, Hudson Fire Explorers, Market Basket, Wally’s Pizza, Hudson Subway and Zheng Garden.

While the Hudson Fire Explorers, ages 14 to 18, were eager to serve customers, the young firemen in training, like 14 1⁄2-year-old Mike Buxton, were reluctant to be in the newspaper.  Deputy Chief Gary Rodgers explained, “Our long-standing rule is any guy pictured in the Hudson~Litchfield News has to buy their shift lunch.” 

Firefighter Kevin Blinn added, “If it’s in color or lands the front page, you have to buy your shift a full dinner!”  

Under a special lunch waiver, 15 1/2-year-old Corey Morin shared “I’ve wanted to be a firefighter ever since I was a kid -- I grew up around all the trucks and guys.”  Explorers collectively agreed they were also “proud” that firefighters often helped others. 

Overall, the Katrina breakfast on Saturday, October 15 at T-Bones Restaurant, was a big success.  “Despite the rain and a slow start, we served about 200 customers in this three-hour community breakfast and did great!” Brunelle reported.  

Holly Reed, 7, offered, “Breakfast was yummy!” while munching her chocolate donut.  Her nine-year-old sister, Hailey added, “We’re all really here to support Uncle Dave and his firefighter buddies.”  Fumbling with a plate, Firefighter Blinn owns up, with a sly smile, “Thankfully, we’re better firefighters than we are waiters!”  

Morin concluded, “We’re all pleased to have raised more than $3,000 -- all of which will assist safety and rescues workers like firefighters and police in need.”  Heartfelt thanks to all involved and many supporters alike in this uplifting and successful community effort.

Proposed Tax Rates for Litchfield

by Lynne Ober

At the recently held Litchfield School Board meeting, School board members were given a peek at the coming tax rates and the picture isn’t pretty. 

The town portion of the tax rate is expected to increase by nearly 25 percent and the school portion to increase by nearly 11 percent, and that’s before any new budgets or new warrant articles are approved in the March 2006 elections.

The figures given out are shown below:

2004 2005 Increase % Increase
Town 2.75 3.43 0.68 24.7%
County 1.69 1.70 0.01 0.6%
Local School 15.70 18.33 2.63 16.8%
State School 4.58 4.10 -0.48 -10.5%
Total Tax 24.72 27.56 2.84 11.5%
Total School 20.28 22.43 2.15 10.6%

Young Adults Rescued from Bridge in Hudson

On Monday afternoon, October 17, at approximately 3:38 p.m., Hudson Police and Fire Department personnel who were working nearby were flagged down by passers-by on the Memorial Bridge reporting that people were walking on the bridge pillars.  Captain Dave Morin of the fire department reported the incident to fire dispatch who then called a full alarm.  Twenty-eight emergency personnel responded including Nashua Fire and Rescue, Hudson Police, Hudson CB Patrol, and Nashua Police as well as two fire engines. 

Hudson Fire Lt. Timothy Kearns belays saftey equipment to from left, William Juneau, David Grover, Miguel Pauwels, and Norman Frink.

Upon arrival, companies found four young adults crawling from the center bridge abutment, back toward Hudson to the first abutment.  They were told to stop and wait for rescue crews to assist them back to the ground.  Four young adults were rescued from the first bridge abutment under the Veteran’s Bridge and treated at the scene by Hudson Fire Ambulance and released.

According to reports from personnel on the scene, the water was flowing about five knots, which is comparable to 5.8 miles per hour.  At this speed, if someone were scuba diving and facing up river, the force of the water could make the mouth regulator free flow because it would push the regulator button.  Had the individuals fallen into the river, they may not have made it to shore or could have been hit by debris in the river and incapacitated.

Hudson Police may press charges against the individuals for their behavior.

Hudson Memorial Students Raise $1,300 for Katrina Victims

by Lynne Ober

When the Hudson Memorial Student Activity Council watched the news surrounding Hurricane Katrina, they decided to do something to help.  During their lunches, students collected donations.  It’s amazing how those pennies and nickels can add up. 

Thanks to the generosity of students and staff, more than $1,300 was collected and given to the Red Cross.

Ken Mermer, who is on the American Red Cross Board of Trustees, attended a recent SAC meeting and thanked the students for their efforts.  He then posed with students who gave him the last check from their donation drive.

From left, Beth Chaisson, Taryn Lhussier, Emily Hobon, Kelly McKay, Courtney Wilcos, Amy Hernois, Jacy Pack, and Ken Mermer with the check.

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