Fishing derby for kids returns to Milford

MILFORD – The annual Police Department Fishing Derby will return to Railroad Pond next weekend, and without any of the legal or aquatic fuss that accompanied last year’s edition.

The Derby, held in honor of former Milford High School football star Michael McBriarty, who died of leukemia at age 33, will take place next Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Milford kids age 14 and younger get a chance to win a prize by landing a trout or two from Railroad Pond, a small body of water next to the Oval.

Last year’s derby almost didn’t happen, however, because in 2002 some not-so-sporting sportsmen showed up early and caught most of the trout that had been stocked three days earlier by the state Fish and Game Department, leaving few for the kids.

Selectmen’s attempt to outlaw fishing in the pond for three days before the derby, however, ran afoul of the fact that it’s hard for localities to override state laws about fishing – a situation designed to create uniform game laws throughout New Hampshire.

What eventually happened is that Fish and Game stocked the pond the night before the derby. This isn’t ideal because the fish don’t have time to acclimatize and spread out, meaning some parts of the pond were fish-free, but it did thwart the bad guys.

“Everybody seems like they had a great time,” said Police Chief Fred Douglas. “(Stocking) will be done at the last minute.”

The event is for Milford children only, to limit crowds. Even so, more than 200 children commonly show up.

Prizes will be given for various categories, but this is much more a fun event than a competition.

Hard at work at Benson’s

HUDSON – Scout Michael Shearer planned on being busy today cleaning at Benson’s.

The 16-year-old high school sophomore was scheduled to complete the second phase of his Eagle Scout project, clearing an overgrown path at Benson’s. The walkway, which is about 325 feet, links a parking lot with the inside of Benson’s.

As part of the project, Shearer trimmed bushes and cleared trees. He also planned on putting down stone dust to prevent erosion.

To successfully complete the Eagle Scout project, Shearer had to write a plan, get it approved by the Benson’s Committee and the Boy Scouts. The Board of Selectmen also had to give the work a green light. Once the work is done, he’ll have to do a write-up on the work.

Fifth-graders graduate from DARE program

AMHERST – About 180-fifth graders graduated from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program Friday. Essay winners from each class were honored at the ceremony.

The 10-week DARE program teaches children about the dangers of drug abuse and violence, and helps children learn how to make positive choices and resist peer pressure.

Certified DARE instructor, Sgt. James Brace, taught the course with assistance from the school’s student resource officer, Mike Knox.

The program is in its 14th year at the Amherst Middle School.

The community sponsors that helped cover the cost of the program this year are Wal-Mart, the Amherst Junior Women’s Club, J. Beaner’s Coffee House, J&J Party & Janitorial Supplies and McDonald’s.

Staff writers David Brooks and Lynn Tryba contributed to this report.