FRANCONIA, NOTCH, (AP) – Tourists and New Hampshire natives can again drive to Franconia Notch and view the noble profile of the Old Man of the Mountain.

This Monday, twin viewfinders will be unveiled to mark the one-year anniversary of the crumbling of the famous rock formation.

One viewfinder will show the cliffside above Profile Lake as it looks today. The second viewfinder will show the cliff with a superimposed image of the Old Man, who is believed to have perched there for 10,000 years.

Teenager found; now faces charges

NORTHWOOD, N.H. (AP) -A 14-year-old Northwood boy who police thought was lost in the woods now faces criminal charges.

Police and firefighters searched a wooded area for several hours in heavy rains for the boy, but instead found him intoxicated and trespassing in a stranger’s home when they began knocking on doors.

Authorities say the boy told them he lived there and gave them a false name.

Ads say governor takes undue credit

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – According to state Democrats, Gov. Craig Benson is unfairly taking credit for two national studies that name New Hampshire the healthiest and most livable state in the nation.

With election season in full swing, a spokeswoman for the state Republican committee credited Benson’s leadership for netting the state the titles.

But Democratic Party spokeswoman Pam Walsh said Benson’s cuts to education, health care for children and seniors and economic development is risking the state’s future for short-term political gain.

Benson ran an ad in The Union-Leader last weekend telling voters that, together, they could make the most livable and healthiest state even better.

A spokesman for the governor denied Benson was taking credit for the rankings.

Tobacco Hike


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – A New Hampshire House committee is backing a temporary 12-cents-per pack tobacco tax hike.

The increase could raise an estimated $30 million for schools.

The House Ways and Means committee voted on Tuesday to recommend the hike, which sponsors say is needed to balance the state’s education fund.

The money is meant to recoup losses from a Senate bill that would cause 116 communities to lose state aid for school funding.

If the proposal passes both houses, the current 52 cents-a-pack tax would go to 64 cents in July. A year later it would be reduced to 58 cents; that rate would remain until July 2007, when the tax would revert to the original 52 cents.

AP-ES-04-28-04 0911EDT

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