Portsmouth names Cranson fire chief

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PORTSMOUTH — The Town Council voted 6-0 Monday to appoint Michael Cranson as the town's new fire chief, a move that earned applause from firefighters and others in the audience. Chief Cranson, who has served with the town Fire Department for over two decades, was named deputy chief last January and then interim chief after former chief Jeffery Lynch resigned several months ago to take the fire chief job in Medway, Mass. The town had conducted a nationwide search that yielded over 60 applications but in the end chose to stick with the man who was already on the job. Also Monday, the council appointed Matthew Helfand as tax assessor. That vote was unanimous as well (6-0 with with Hamilton absent). There was once again no resolution to the controversial Fairview Lane right-of-way question. Judy Staven moved that the lane be declared a right of way but her motion failed 3-3. Voting with Ms. Staven were  Liz Pedro and Paul Kesson; voting against were Michael Buddemeyer, James Seveney and Joseph Robicheau. The matter will be brought up again at the next council meeting. A public hearing that was to have been held concerning the Wastewater Management District was postponed.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.