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Training to become a guardian ad litem for abused children to be held May 16

PLYMOUTH — CASA of NH, a non-profit organization whose volunteers advocate for abused and neglected children in the NH courts, needs additional volunteers throughout the state. There is a strong contingency of current volunteer advocates that work out of the Laconia court, but not enough to keep up with the incidence of juvenile abuse and neglect cases. To address this need, applications are being taken for a pre-service training that will begin in the area on May 16.

Training will most likely take place at the CASA office located at Whole Village in Plymouth ,although there is always the possibility of switching it to Laconia if more people are from that area. The first day of training will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is an adult who has been accepted into the CASA program and has completed the pre-service training. "Our CASAs are everyday heroes who are making a meaningful and positive difference for the most vulnerable young people in our communities. Our volunteer advocates come from various backgrounds and experiences. They do not need any experience in law or social work; just a willingness to make a difference, an open mind and ability to be objective. The training is very thorough and then continuing education and support is available after the CASA accepts a case," says North Country Training & Recruitment Coordinator Jen Buteau.

CASAs are appointed by the court to independently monitor and report on abused children. They write reports with their recommendations for court hearings. Additionally, they really get to know the child or youth by meeting with them at least monthly and also talking to the various people in their lives. The volunteer advocate is expected to continue to work in this role until the child is in a safe and permanent home. While that length of time varies greatly, on average the cases are lasting approximately 22 months.

To become a CASA, one must be at least 21 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Each potential volunteer must complete and application, pass various background checks and go through a comprehensive interview to ensure it is a good fit for both the volunteer and for the organization. On average, volunteers donate ten hours a month related to their child advocate role. Some of this time is meeting with the children while the balance of it may be talking to the various adults in the child's life, reading or writing reports, brainstorming with their supervisor about resources and recommendations, researching or other case related activities.

Those interested in becoming a CASA volunteer or exploring various ways you can support CASA of NH, contact Jen Buteau at 536-1663, email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.casanh.org .

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 06:04

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NH insurance commissioner hosts lakes region public listening session

MEREDITH — New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny will host a listening session in the Lakes Region in May to solicit feedback from residents on health insurance issues.

"We are here to serve the residents of New Hampshire, and we hope these public listening sessions will provide an opportunity for them to connect with us and let us know how we can better help them," Commissioner Sevigny said. "The feedback will be used to help guide the Insurance Department as it works to improve the information and services offered to health insurance consumers in the state."

The public information session will be held on May 21 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Inter-Lakes High School Community Auditorium, 1 Laker Lane, Meredith.

To RSVP, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The session will be an opportunity for the Insurance Department to hear from the public. Commissioner Sevigny will discuss health insurance regulation -- including what the Department does for the public -- and will answer related questions.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department's mission is to promote and protect the public good by ensuring the existence of a safe and competitive insurance marketplace through the development and enforcement of the insurance laws of the State of New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.nh.gov/insurance.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 06:02

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Gaslight village receives $478,880 grant to connect to municipal wastewater system

TILTON — The NH Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) has approved Community Development Block Grant awards to eight New Hampshire municipalities and counties totaling nearly $3.1 million. The funds will go toward projects developing affordable housing, public works, and upgrading failing infrastructure which benefit nearly 2,600 low- and moderate-income residents in the Granite State.

A $478,880 grant was made to the Town of Tilton on behalf of the Gaslight Village Cooperative to replace existing septic systems by connecting to the municipal wastewater system. Additional work will be conducted to improve drainage to the manufactured home park. The project will also demolish a dilapidated building on site which poses a health and safety hazard to residents.

"I am proud to say that this community was awarded a Community Development Block Grant from the Community Development Finance Authority," said Senator Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith). "This grant will allow the Gaslight Village to make many necessary infrastructure improvements, including connecting to the municipal sewer system and demolishing an unsafe structure. The CDFA is a great resource that provides the means for improvements that would otherwise go unresolved and I am thankful that they have extended their support to the Gaslight Village Cooperative in the Town of Tilton."

Other projects approved by CDFA's Community Development Advisory Board are:

· The City of Berlin will receive $500,000 in CDBG funds on behalf of Affordable Housing, Education and Development, Inc. (AHEAD) for energy improvements at Northern Lights Senior Housing. The scope of work includes installing a new wood pellet boiler, replacing one section of roofing, energy efficiency improvements, and fire alarm upgrades for the 63 unit facility.

· A $255,000 grant to the City of Keene on behalf of Keene Housing Authority for the rehabilitation of the men's emergency shelter, which served 108 people last year. The proposed improvements include upgrades to electrical and fire alarm systems, a new roof, and general carpentry and plumbing repairs throughout the facility.

· On behalf of the Somersworth Housing Authority, a $500,000 grant to the City of Somersworth to implement energy improvements at the Albert J. Nadeau Homes affordable housing development. Among the work will be the implementation of natural gas heat and hot water boilers as well as new baseboard heating. Without the upgrades, energy costs will eventually make the 17-unit property too expensive to maintain.

· Merrimack County will receive $300,000 on behalf of Second Start to replace the roof and make masonry repairs on their main building in Concord. CDBG funds will be used to replace the leaky roof, make mortar repairs to the exterior façade, complete some exterior painting, and add some insulation to the building that provides services such as adult education, transitional employment training, and a drug and alcohol prevention program for teens.

· To make energy repairs to the Old Graded School Building, the Town of Warner will receive at $20,600 grant. The repurposed building houses several community programs including a food pantry, Head Start, and a pre-school. Annual energy costs for the facility exceed $15,000 and planned upgrades will help reduce overhead.

· The proposed Suncook Senior Center will receive $500,000 through a grant to the Town of Allenstown. The center, to be run by the Belknap-Merrimack Community Action Program, will be an addition on to the soon-to-be-built Suncook Boys & Girls Club. The project will allow for Meals on Wheels operations and a handicapped accessible wellness facility for local seniors.

· A grant of $500,000 to Hillsborough County for The Granite YMCA's plan to build a Center for Youth and Teen Leadership addition to their facility in Goffstown. The new, approximately 4,112 square foot addition will provide after school services for about 1,300 area children, the majority of who come from families earning low-or-moderate income.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 05:59

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Laconia Hospital painting from 1971 donated to LRGH

LACONIA — When Laconia native Patty Paquette recently cleaned out her attic, she came across an important part of local history—an oil painting of the former Laconia Hospital, now Lakes Region General Hospital.

The painting was created by Paquette's mother in 1971, while studying under accomplished Gilford artist Loran Percy. Percy passed away in 2002, but his reputation as an artist lives on with many of his murals in the Laconia Post Office, Gunstock, Piche's and homes throughout New England.

Paquette graduated from the Laconia School of Nursing in 1955, and celebrated a forty year career in nursing; most of it spent working at Lakes Region General Hospital. "I felt the painting needed to be somewhere where it could be seen and appreciated," Paquette said. "It is my great pleasure to share this small part of Laconia's history with the entire community."

LRGHealthcare is a not-for-profit healthcare charitable trust representing Lakes Region General Hospital, Franklin Regional Hospital, and affiliated medical providers. LRGHealthcare's mission is to provide quality, compassionate care and to strengthen the well-being of our community.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 08:53

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