Lightning strike destroys building

LACONIA (AP) – Water and fire caused problems in the Lakes Region. While communities dealt with flash flooding, Laconia firefighters battled flames at a building struck by lightning Thursday night. A storage building containing hay bales and equipment at the Petal Pushers nursery was destroyed.

No one was hurt.

$1m grant going to mill for biomass boiler

CONCORD (AP) – The state is funneling $1 million in federal grant money to the Gorham Paper Mill in northern New Hampshire, hoping to help it cut fuel costs and stay in business. Gov. John Lynch and the Executive Council approved sending the Community Development grant to a North Country lending agency, which will loan it to the mill. Plant manager Willis Blevins said the mill burns 9 million gallons of oil a year, mostly in the paper-making process. Oil prices have tripled in two years, preventing the plant from making a profit and threatening its future. The Executive Council held a special meeting on Thursday to vote on the request so the boiler could be installed before winter.