Newport Select Board Votes on Oak Street Bridge Plan
oak street bridgeNewport Select Board voted unanimously to move forward with a non trestle bridge for the Oak Street bridge reconstruction project. During his presentation Newport’s consultant engineer Tom Marshall, Project Manager for Kleinfelder Engineering explained the cost and maintenance problems with trestle bridges.
Marshall presented five options for reconstruction of the red-flagged bridge ranging in price from $2.4 – $4.2 million dollars. The first two options would keep the trestle but would have a load limit and repairs would be needed in another 25-30 years. The third option would keep the trestle, have low maintenance, have no load limit but has a price tag of$4.2 million. The fourth and option voted on would be a low maintenance structure with a 75-year design life, be 24 foot wide and no load limit with cost being $2.66 million dollars. The final option was similar to the fourth option but would have a higher impact on the bridge site and cost $3 million. Eighty percent of the project will be paid for by federal and state grants, Newport has some funds for the project already and the rest will be bonded. Finance Director Paul Brown said he will have the figures for the bond ready in a few weeks. The project is slated for 2018.

Sharon Olds Named Hale Award Recipient
Pulitzer Prize winner and poet, Sharon Olds is the 2016 Sarah Josepha Hale Award recipient. Olds has won numerous awards for her work, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Widely anthologized, her work has also been published in a number of journals and magazines. She was New York State Poet from 1998 to 2000, and currently teaches in the graduate writing program at New York University. Olds is known for writing intensely personal, emotionally scathing poetry that graphically depicts family life as well as global political events. The Sarah Josepha Hale Award has been presented annually since 1956. The New England award is given by the trustees of the Richards Free Library, Newport, New Hampshire, in recognition of a distinguished body of work in the field of literature and letters. The award is named for Sarah Josepha Hale and honors the contribution of one of America’s most powerful women of the Nineteenth Century. Olds will accept the Award in Newport this October.

Weathersfield Fire Department Fights Flames and Sub Zero Temps
Severe cold hindered Weathersfield Fire Fighters and mutual aid crews during a fire fight in Weathersfield early Monday morning. A fire that destroyed a single home structure fire on Route 131 near Lottery Lane was reported shortly before 7:00 am. The fire escalated quickly to a 4-Alarm. No one was home at the time. The sub zero temperatures caused several fire tankers to freeze up and hindered water supply. Windsor fire fighters made a make shift wrap out of a tarp to use the exhaust heat to keep their truck from freezing. Firefighters believe the fire started near the west end of the house near the pellet stove, but the exact cause is still being investigated. Route 131 remained closed for several hours and reopen to one lane shortly after 12:30 pm.
Hartford CT Charged with Trafficking Cocaine
A Hartford CT man is charged with trafficking cocaine, after VT State Police stopped him for a traffic violation. Police say they stopped Joshua Levesque of West Hartford CT for speeding on I-91 in Rockingham late Sunday night. During the stop, Police found Levesque in possession of 9 ounces of powder cocaine and a few grams of marijuana. The street value of the recovered cocaine equals approximately $25,000. Levesque was charged with felony possession, trafficking of cocaine, and ordered held by Windham County Superior Court Judge Katherine Hayes, at the Southern State Correctional Facility for lack of $25,000 bail.