Around the Towns: Nashua – Amherst – Merrimack – Milford – Hudson

Hall says she has support for Senate

Longtime state representative Betty Hall says she has collected more than enough signatures to get on November’s ballot as an independent in her run for state Senate.

Hall said Friday she has collected 1,200 signatures, 450 more than the number needed to get her name on the ballot. They must be certified by the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office before her candidacy is official.

Hall is seeking the District 12 Senate seat vacated by Nashua Democrat David Gottesman. The district includes Nashua wards 1,2,5, and 9, as well as Hollis, Brookline, and Mason.

The Brookline resident has served in the state House of Representatives since 1980, beginning as a Republican and four years later switching over to the Democratic party. Locally, Hall was chairman of the Brookline Finance Committee for 15 years, served on the school board for nine years, and had one, three-year term on the board of selectmen.

She ran a tote bag manufacturing company with her husband for 50 years, but sold it in 2002. Hall has said she has no plans to “ever retire.”

If she qualifies to run for the ballot , she will be challenging Democrat Peggy Gilmour and Republican Paul LaFlamme.

E. coli levels in rivers have improved

E. coli bacteria levels in the Souhegan and Merrimack Rivers have improved greatly, according to tests done Tuesday Aug. 5 by the Souhegan Watershed Association and Lower Merrimack River Local Advisory Committee. The heavy rainstorms of recent weeks had abated somewhat prior to the testing, which probably accounted for the drop.

On the Souhegan, E. coli levels were below the acceptable level, 88, from the headwaters as far as the center of Milford and remained moderate clear to the Merrimack River. Dissolved oxygen levels, important for fish health, were also very good as they have been so far this summer.

The Merrimack River was worse than the Souhegan this week, a departure from the usual – probably because of the extremely high flows caused both by frequent rains and the raising of water levels by the dam at Lowell, Mass.

Only two sites of the 10 that were tested met the standard.

One of the monitors noted an increase in trash and litter left near the Swing Bridge in Milford. Other monitors noted that fishermen were still out early morning in spite of the high flows on the rivers.

Volunteers collect all the samples and perform the field tests along both rivers every other Tuesday morning during the summer. This is the 13th year that volunteers have been collecting data on both rivers.

The next test will be performed on August 19. New volunteers are always welcomed to contact karenmattor

Alvirne students placed in theater

A group of Alvirne High School students placed fifth in a national competition of technical theater skills at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln this summer.The five-member team came in fifth among 20 teams in the Tech Challenge at the 2008 International Thespian Festival in June, according to a press release from the Educational Theatre Association.