Merrimack Patch has it's first full year in the books and what a year it's been! We re-elected President Barack Obama to another four years, and hey, the Mayan apocalypse didn't happen, so congratulations, we're all still here.
From the opening of the Merrimack Premium Outlets to another Halloween storm that cut power to thousands for days, there's been no shortage of news in town. We've seen businesses and residents in the community doing wonderful things to support their neighbors and communities as far away as Haiti. There's been business growth, and sadly a few closures.
There have been exciting moments in sports with the boys varsity basketball state championship, the baseball team playing, but unfortunately losing their state championship, and the Merrimack Cardinals Midget Cheerleaders win at nationals earlier this month. Another Rock'n Ribfest was written into the books, as was a continually-growing Merrimack Fall Festival and Business Expo, and the midway returned to town on the Fourth of July after a short hiatus.
Join us as we count down some of the top stories of the year between today and Dec. 30. Thank you for making this a wonderful year. Enjoy the final days of 2012, we can't wait to see what 2013 has in store!
2. The Year of the Election
Until December, not a month went by in 2012 that New Hampshire wasn't preparing for an election. Starting in January with the primary, April with Town Meeting, September's state primary and the general election in November a whole lot of voting went on in Merrimack.
In January, Merrimack voted in line with the state in choosing a Republican candidate for president in Mitt Romney. They would again choose Romney in the general election but would not match the state or the country in the decision to re-elect president Barack Obama for four more years.
Also in November, President wasn't the only place Merrimack split from the winners. Frank Guinta, R-Manchester, won the vote in Merrimack, but District 1 overall choose to send Carol Shea-Porter, R-Rochester, back to Washington.
Locally, Dan Dwyer R-Merrimack, lost a bid to the Senate to Sen. President Peter Bragdon, R-Milford, in the State Primary for a newly-created Senate District that includes Merrimack, Amherst, Milford and Wilton.
But it wasn't all just about who was elected and how many voters turned out when it came to elections in Merrimack this year. From the NH Presidential Primary in January to the general election in November, Merrimack went from three, to two, to one polling locations. In September, that single polling site was at James Mastricola Upper Elementary School, but yet another change would come before November, with the much larger voter population heading to Merrimack High School for the final election of the year.
While the polling went smoothly on the inside, traffic problems plagued the voters attempting to get to the building during peak hours. Compounded by a larger than ever number of voters who arrived before the polls even opened, Moderator Lynn Christensen has told both the Town Council and the School Board that parking and better signage are both things they plan on working at at Merrimack High School, the largest polling place in the country, by the time the next election comes through there in Nov. 2014.
Catch up on our other stories of the year:
3. Sandy Strikes the East Coast
4. Burgeoning Business in Merrimack
5. Recall on Tainted Steroids has Far Reaching Effects
6. Teacher Awarded for Leadership in Science
7. Building a Sense of Community
8. Gone too soon
9. Jehovah's Witnesses Get OK to Build