News & Analysis: Notes
Keene: Whatman PLC, the London-based owner of biotechnology firm Schleicher & Schuell, is closing the Keene company’s doors, eliminating or moving its 76 high-tech jobs after 52 years in Keene. Whatman, which bought Schleicher & Schuell Dec. 1, said it will be moving factory operations to the company’s factory in Sanford, Maine, and marketing, sales and administrative work will move to Florham Park, N.J. Boston: The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency says New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts should be allowed to enforce state restrictions on fees and expiration dates for retail gift cards issued through national banks. In a letter, the office backs a key element in the legal battle by the attorneys general of the three states to protect the rights of consumers who buy the cards — such as the Simon Visa Giftcard — which can be used in more locations than traditional gift cards, but they often carry tougher restrictions and higher fees if they’re not quickly redeemed. Concord: Michael Buckley, head of the Legislature’s budget office, told House members that the state faces a $233 million budget deficit in the next two years. The biggest force behind the deficit, Buckley said, is a steep reduction in the amount of federal health funds. Alstead: Bascom Maple Farms, a seventh-generation maple producer and family farm, has acquired Brattleboro, Vt.-based Vermont Gold, including the brand name and manufacturing facility, which specializes in specialty maple confections. Bascom also announced the establishment of Bascom Family Farms, a new branded products company that will service customers of its Brown Family Farms, Coombs Family Farms and Vermont Gold brands. Manchester: Associated Grocers of New England, which recently broke ground for a new site in Pembroke, has sold its nearly 19 acres on Gold Street for $9.1 million. Some 15.1 acres was sold to a Boston firm, GFI Gold Street LLC, for $7 million. An adjoining 3.62-acre parcel was sold to 835 Gold St. Realty LLC for $2.1 million. Unity: The town’s temporary ordinance blocking construction of a proposed 546-unit retirement community has been upheld by Sullivan County Superior Court. The town last August adopted an interim growth management ordinance putting a moratorium on major property subdivisions until voters could discuss and decide whether to adopt a permanent zoning ordinance at the March town meeting. Concord: The New Hampshire Business Resource Center has received top honors from the Northeastern Economic Developers Association for its 2004 advertising campaign. The campaign, created by ad agency Glen Group of North Conway, was named “Best of Class” in the group’s 2004 Literature and Promotions Competition. the Business Resource Center also received five other awards including “Superior,” “Excellent” and “Merit” for its use of resources to promote New Hampshire as a place to locate and grow a prosperous business. Concord: Sanford Wallace, the former Barrington man who calls himself the “Spam King,” has agreed to stop infecting and taking over computers with advertising programs. According to an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, Wallace and his companies, SmartBot.net Inc. and Seismic Entertainment Productions Inc. of Rochester, must stop electronic advertising until the commission’s lawsuit against him is resolved. Under the agreement, Wallace can only send his on-line ads to people who visit his Web site. U.S. District Judge Joseph DiClerico had issued a temporary restraining order against Wallace. Concord: Beginning Feb. 1, employers covered by Part 1904 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act must post the OSHA 300A Form (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). This form must remain posted through April 20 each year. The data used to complete the OSHA 300A Form comes from the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, OSHA Form 300. For assistance in proper recording, refer to OSHA record-keeping guidelines at osha.gov or contact your worker compensation insurance loss control representative. Concord: The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce is currently seeking nominations for the New Hampshire Athena Award, which will be presented April 14 at the Holiday Inn in Concord. The award will be presented to an exceptional individual who has achieved excellence in her/his business or profession, has served the community in a meaningful way and has helped women reach their full leadership potential. Nomination forms are available through the chamber, 224-2508, or visiting concordchamber.com. New London: The New London-Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce has changed its name to the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce in a move that officials say emphasizes its regional reach. The chamber has more than 180 members from 19 towns in and around the Lake Sunapee region. Since forming in 2000, the organization has received nearly $45,000 in grant money from the state to promote tourism to the region.