They're Back in School

Waiting for the bus in South Hudson on Tuesday morning were, from left, Owen Harmon, third grader, Michael Dowling, second grader, Kyle Harmon on the bus for the first time heading to first grade with Riley Peaslee, also a first grader, and Haley Peaslee, third grader.  All were headed to Nottingham West Elementary.

Fundraiser for Annie’s Cats

Ryann Williams had an idea to raise money for her grandmother’s friend who operates Annie’s Cat, a ‘forever-care home’ for unwanted cats.  Alison Griego joined Ryann to help with the event.  The young ladies worked with American Pets of Hudson to sell baked goods to help finance the home.

Kathy Miller (Ryann’s grandmother), Ann Joudy (owner of Annie’s Cats), Alison Griego, Angela Williams (Ryann’s mom), Ryann Williams

School Staff Trained in Suicide Prevention

Litchfield school staff, including the superintendent and several administrators, recently completed a Connect Youth Suicide Prevention training conducted by NAMI NH (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and funded by the Department of Education Safe and Drug-Free Schools grant.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for New Hampshire youth between the ages of 10 and 24, and the Connect Project works with communities to reduce the risk of youth suicide by teaching how to recognize youth at risk and how to connect them to community resources.

Everyone plays a part in suicide prevention.  The Litchfield schools are now working with the Connect Project to conduct a Train-the-Trainer session on September 22, 28, and 29 for the Litchfield community.  The project involves bringing schools, law enforcement, EMS, healthcare professionals, mental health providers, social service agencies, clergy, and community members together to work in suicide prevention.  Over 2,000 people from across the state of NH have been trained in Connect Suicide Prevention.  While the training focuses on youth suicide, the skills learned apply to all ages.

For more information, please contact Elin Pelland, social worker in the Litchfield School District, at 546-0300, x2264 or at

For more information on the Connect Project and suicide prevention efforts in New Hampshire, go to

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Found in Litchfield

by Lynne Ober

It wasn’t a matter of if, but when, and the when is now.  It is again the season for mosquito-borne diseases, and Litchfield has had a positive test, and positive steps are being taken.

Litchfield Board of Selectmen Chairman Frank Byron reminded the public that this was not an emergency, but rather a time to be even more vigilant, by saying, “Wear protective clothing and use insect repellant.  Check your property for standing water.”  Byron also urged residents to check for old tires on their land, check their gutters and remove any debris gathered in the gutters, and to check standing water in any pots or buckets.

Al [Alfred] Raccio, former selectman and chairman of the Litchfield Mosquito District, said, “The town proactively budgets for a control program to address situations like this one.  We have a strong partnership with the school and are in constant communication with them.”

Barrier spraying will begin soon.  According to Raccio, residents will know before spraying begins.  Superintendent Dr. Elaine Cutler said that she would keep parents notified and urged parents who have not yet given an e-mail address to the school district to do so.

Byron characterized barrier spraying as spraying with a garden sprinkler.  He explained that the town would spray a “barrier” around public gathering places, such as parks and fields.  He also said that he’d talked with Dr. Cutler and a barrier at the school fields would be sprayed as well.

The barrier spraying will be coordinated by Municipal Pest Services, the town contractor of the program.  According to Raccio, plans are underway but not finalized.

“We are carefully coordinating with the school district and school board.  Notification about application dates and locations will be made in advance of any spraying.”

Raccio confirmed that recreation areas and fields would be areas of focus for the spraying.  He echoed Byron’s concerns that residents should remove any standing water from their property.

“Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water.  Following heavy rain, homeowners and businesses should empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers, and any other item with any standing water.”

Raccio also said that residents should try to limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.

Cutler said that she would work with coaches and athletic team practices will have earlier end times.

Raccio noted that residents should wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks when outdoors.

“Always use insect repellant containing DEET on uncovered skin and clothing,” he said. 

If you have an outdoor water bowl for a pet, be sure to change that water daily.

Although Byron called an emergency selectmen’s meeting to approve and submit a press release and FAQ sheet, that meeting could not be called to order because there was no quorum.  Instead, he, Selectman George Lambert, and Raccio discussed the issues during a televised presentation and came to a consensus for next steps.

Fire Chief Thomas Schofield volunteered his department to deliver the notification and FAQ sheets to residents in the direct areas of the positive tests.  Additionally, John Brunelle said he would place both documents onto the town websites.

Raccio said that anyone with questions can call him at 320-6743.

Selectman Offers Swine Flu Outlook

by Gina M. Votour

With all the hype surrounding the H1N1, or swine flu, virus, it is sometimes difficult to separate fact from fiction.  In an effort to educate municipalities throughout the state on these issues, an audio web cast conference call through the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) occurred on Thursday, August 27.  During this time, emergency management directives were given to public safety officials, such as police and fire chiefs, along with local government members.

Hudson Board of Selectmen Chairman Roger Coutu came away from the web cast session with a positive outlook.

“I can assure you that the Town of Hudson is as prepared as it can be with the information that we have to deal with an epidemic, should one occur,” he announced to his fellow board members during their September 1 meeting.

According to current DHHS bulletins, “an investigation and response effort surrounding the outbreak of swine flu is ongoing on the national level, and here in New Hampshire DHHS will keep the public updated with information as it becomes available because this is a constantly changing situation.”

The DHHS website lists common swine flu symptoms to include the following: fever over 100 degrees, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, chills, headaches, body aches, and fatigue.  DHHS has emphasized that the sickness is spread from person to person, not through pork products.  The department has also offered suggestions for what one can do to avoid catching or spreading the virus.

Coutu also revealed that vaccines may potentially be available by October 31, with emergency personnel being given high priority for inoculation since they deal firsthand with infected persons.  DHHS has named additional priority groups from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to include pregnant women, people 6 months to 24 years, and those with chronic medical conditions.

“There is nothing to panic about, ladies and gentlemen,” Coutu stated in closing, but urged anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms to see a physician right away.

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