Plymouth snowboarder named to U.S. Olympic Rookie Team

By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

WATERVILLE VALLEY — Plymouth resident and Waterville Valley Academy alum Nora Healey is an aspiring Olympic snowboarder and U.S. team hopeful. This week, she's come that much closer to achieving her dreams by being named to the U.S. Snowboarding Rookie Team.
"Nora isn't just a great athlete, but a great person and a wonderful role model for others," said Robert Sampson, headmaster of Waterville Valley Academy, the snowsports academy where Nora has been training every winter for the past five years.
"It has been an amazing five years with Nora Healey," said Tim McLaughlin, Waterville Valley Black and Blue Trail Smashers Snowboard Program director. "When she first came to the Waterville Valley Academy, she was 12 years old. We knew then that Nora was going somewhere in snowboarding. She rode with conviction at such a young age that it was easy for us to mold her fundamentals and help her become the snowboarder that she is today."
This has been an amazing season for Healey. She had multiple World Cup starts, two first place finishes on the Revolution Tour, earning her the title Overall Female Revolution Tour Champion. She was invited to her second Junior World Championships in Seiser Alm, Italy, where she earned a bronze medal in Slope Style and a silver medal in Big Air. And now she's been invited to join the U.S. Rookie team.
"This is an exclamation point on her season and we could not be more proud of her. She has been a great role model for our young snowboard athletes. We wish her the best of luck as she moves to Utah next year. I can't wait to see what the future brings for Nora" said McLaughlin.
She will be coached by rookie coach Dave Reynolds, and will have full access to the Olympic Training Facility in Park City, Utah, which includes personal trainers, physical therapy, nutritionists and a chef.
Healey begins her journey this summer by attending a camp in Mt. Hood. From there, she will travel with the B and Rookie teams until the season begins. Once the season starts, she will compete in World Cups, the Grand Prix in Mammoth and more Revolution Tour stops.
Currently, Healey is working out a schedule with her accepted college, Westminster College. Westminster works closely with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Teams so students can pursue their studies while training with the team.
With all that in her future, it is safe to say that Nora is extremely excited about the road ahead.
"The moment that I saw, on my cell phone, that the U.S. Snowboarding Team coach was calling me, I started to freak out!" she said. "I tried to keep my cool throughout the phone call. It is such an amazing opportunity to have and I can't wait get started."
Healey said she wants to thank her coaches and the faculty at Waterville Valley Academy for all their help and guidance to reach her goals. She also continues to thank family, friends and community members in Plymouth and all the surrounding areas in New Hampshire for all their support.
"I would like to thank everyone who helped me get to this point. Without out all of the support I have gotten over the years, I wouldn't be where I am today." she says.
Nora's mother, Karen Healey, said, "None of this would have been possible without the support and guidance from USASA coaches and directors, WVBBTS and Waterville Valley coaches and faculty, Waterville Valley Resort, and all the family, friends and community members of the Plymouth, and surrounding New Hampshire areas."
She says Nora will have to continue to raise funds to cover travel and lodging expenses. Nora says she plans to get a summer job as in previous years to help with costs, but despite the financial concern, her sights are still set on the 2018 Olympics and beyond.
This is an exciting time for the Healeys. Nora's sister, Colleen, also competes on the World Cup circuit. This year, she made it to the World Cup finals in Spain for U.S. Boarder cross. Coleen, also a Waterville Valley Academy alum, has been working to make the team as well.
"It's so amazing to have two sisters both on the World Cup circuit for U.S. Snowboarding. Nora and Colleen know how lucky they are to receive enough support to help them with travel to all these new international events. We are truly blessed," said Karen Healey.

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Nora Healey of Plymouth at the podium after winning on the Revolution Tour. She has been named to the U.S. Snowboarding Rookie Team. (Courtesy photo)

 

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Vandals cause thousands in damage in Gilford

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — Police are investigating a weekend vandalism spree that cost home and property owners thousands of dollars in damage.

Police Chief Anthony Bean Burpee said that at least eight of the strikes were reported to police beginning at 7 a.m. and continued through most of the day, while police drove around and discovered many more.

Most significantly, Bean Burpee said the vandals shattered some of the windows on heavy equipment owned by Busby Construction on Potter Hill Road. Numerous mailboxes were either spray painted or removed from their spots and run over by a vehicle. He said there was some serious damage done near Ellacoya State Park and into parts of Alton and Laconia.

He said police first noticed the vandalism themselves when Detective Sgt. Eric Bredbury was responding early Sunday morning to assist the police with a search for a missing man and noticed various incidents as he was driving down Cherry Valley Road toward the police station.

It was shortly after that that the phone calls started coming in to police. Bean Burpee said they have done a number of interviews and ask that any one who was a victim or who has any information to call 527-4737.

Bow WOW Fest to benefit Humane Society will be May 7

By ADAM DRAPCHO, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA —  Now in its sixth year, the annual Bow WOW Fest will be held on Saturday, May 7, and this year will benefit the New Hampshire Humane Society.

"We're just thrilled to be partnered with a group that's already in place," said Marylee Gorham, executive director of the Laconia-based animal shelter that serves towns throughout the region.

The Bow WOW Fest, since its inception, invites dogs and the people who love them to gather at Lakeport Square, at the intersection of Elm Street and Union Avenue, for a stroll down and back on the WOW Trail. Registration for the event is $10, with all proceeds benefiting the Humane Society. To pre-register, available through April 29, go to nhhumane.org. Registration will also be available the morning of the event, from 8:45 to 10 a.m.

"You don't have to have a dog to come," added Molly Lounsbury, marketing and development assistant for the Humane Society. She also encouraged dog owners to attend solo if their pooch is problematic around other dogs. "It's OK to leave your dog at home," she said.

The event is organized by a committee that includes representatives from the Humane Society, officials from the City of Laconia, as well as other community members. Last year, about 200 people attended; and 100 dogs, representing a wide range of breeds and mixes. Ann Saltmarsh, of Laconia DPW, said she hopes to see at least that many this year.

"The more the merrier," she said.

A blessing of the pets will be held at 10 a.m. From 10:15 to 11, there will be a police K-9 demonstration as well as a puppy bowl, featuring puppies that are available for adoption at the Humane Society. At 11:30, judges will name the winners of the pet costume contest.

"The costumes are always really fun to see," said Gorham.

The walk down the WOW Trail will commence at noon. When walkers make their return to Lakeport Square, they will find hot dog and popcorn vendors ready to serve lunch.

 

 

Ann Saltmarsh and Amy Reardon from the Laconia DPW join NH Humane Society representatives Molly Lounsbury and Marylee Gorham in front of the Lake Opechee Inn. The Bow WOW Fest will be held on May 7 this year, and will benefit the Humane Society. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)

CAPTION:

Ann Saltmarsh and Amy Reardon from the Laconia DPW join New Hampshire Humane Society representatives Molly Lounsbury and Marylee Gorham in front of the Lake Opechee Inn. The Bow WOW Fest will be held on May 7 this year, and will benefit the Humane Society. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)