Occidental Gypsy group at Pitman's tonight

LACONIA — Pitman's Freight House will host Occidental Gypsy tonight at 8 p.m. Admission is $15 and Pitman's is a BYOB venue.

Nationally recognized Occidental Gypsy plays a dynamic, multi-genre mix of original vocal and instrumental pieces along with many notable covers like a "gypsyfied" take of Michael Jackson's Thriller. The Boston Globe has named them a "Best Bet for Weekend Entertainment," and musician David Bromberg said of the group, "great singing, fantastic guitar and violin work, with high energy originals that leave the crowd crazy. An awesome band."

A typical Occidental Gypsy concert consists of a mix of original pieces, traditional gypsy jazz from 1930s and '40s icon Django Reinhardt, and covers of songs from other genres — the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson's "Thriller," the theme song from the Harry Potter movies — but with a gypsy jazz spin.

Eli Bishop – violin, Jonathan Hurley – vocals & rhythm guitar, Jeff Feldman- bass, Erick Cifuentes – percussion and Brett Feldman – lead guitar. www.pitmansfreightroom.com

Bestselling author at Gilford Public Library on August 7

GILFORD — Gilford Public Library will hold New York Times bestselling author William Martin for a special presentation on President Abraham Lincoln on Thursday, August 7 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. 

William Martin is the author of ten novels, a PBS documentary, book reviews, magazine articles, and a cult-classic horror movie, too. Since the success of his first novel, Back Bay, he has been following the lives of the great and anonymous in American history, taking readers from the Pilgrims to 9/​11.

He was the 2005 recipient of the prestigious New England Book Award, given to an author "whose body of work stands as a significant contribution to the culture of the region. During the library presentation, titled Lincoln and Liberty Too, Martin will lead viewers on a journey into the past to meet Lincoln, the people he knew, and the city he lived in as president. He will also discuss his latest novel, The Lincoln Letter – a fast-paced read that follows treasure hunters on their search for Abraham Lincoln's personal diary.

Norton receives NH Psychiatry Society Leadership Award

TILTON — A Lakes Region man who, for years as worked on behalf of those affected by mental illness and has been a leader in suicide prevention efforts in the Granite State, has been awarded the 2014 Leadership Award by the New Hampshire Psychiatric Society.

Ken Norton of Tilton received the award during the society's recent annual meeting at the New London Country Club.

Dr. Mary Brunette of Concord also received a Leadership Award.

Norton serves as the Executive Director of NAMI NH, the New Hampshire chapter of the National Alliance On Mental Illness, which provides statewide support, education and advocacy to improve the lives of all people affected by mental illness , severe emotional disorders and suicide www.naminhorg.

Presenting the award was Dr. Alex de Nesnera, Associate Medical Director of New Hampshire Hospital, associate professor of psychiatry at Giesel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and treasurer of the New Hampshire Psychiatric Society. Noting he had the opportunity to work closely with Norton in a variety of settings over the past 25 years, de Nesnera described how their collaboration began when Norton was the liaison from Genesis Behavioral Health in Laconia to the New Hampshire Hospital where he assisted individuals from the Lakes Region with discharge from the hospital and return to the community. De Nesnera stated that Norton's devotion to his clients was unsurpassed, he was calm and forthright in dealing with complicated situations and his outstanding efforts minimized individuals stay in the restrictive hospital setting and resulted in safe and timely return to their homes and community.

While serving on the Board of Directors of NAMI NH, de Nesnera observed Norton lead the development of NAMI NH's Connect Suicide Prevention program www.theconnectprogram.org, earning designation as a national best practice that has gone on to provide training in thirty five state, three countries and to over twenty tribal nations. Norton's suicide prevention efforts with the New Hampshire National Guard led to him providing briefings at the Pentagon and training for the Department of Defense, and Veterans Administration and to Congressional testimony identifying Connect as a model program for the military for reducing risk and promoting healing after a suicide death.

Norton wrote legislation that formally established the NH Suicide Prevention Council, as well legislation creating a Suicide Fatality Review Committee which has now been replicated in several other states. He was appointed by Governor Hassan to serve on the Medicaid Care Management Commission and serves on the NH Children's Behavioral Health Collaborative steering committee. Norton serves on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255) Steering Committee and has served on numerous other statewide and national committees and workgroups including having been on the steering committee for revising the national media recommendations for safely reporting on suicide www.reportingonsuicide.org

De Nesnera noted that Norton has devoted his life to improving the lives of people who are disenfranchised and alone, his credibility in the mental health field has resulted in him presenting locally, nationally and internationally on issues related to mental health, and he is especially known for his integrity, work ethic and kindness

Norton is married to Lauren Noether. He serves on the Board of the Winnipesaukee River Trail Association and is active with Friends of the Winnipesaukee River.

Meredith Village Savings Bank Fund Grants $5000 to Pemi Youth Center to Support After School Program

PLYMOUTH — Pemi Youth Center was chosen as one of thirteen non-profit agencies across the greater Lakes Region to receive a grant from the Meredith Village Savings Bank Charitable Fund in 2014. The Center will use the $5,000 grant to support their After School Program, which provides a safe, supervised, after school environment that engages youth in educational and enrichment activities to support academic and social development.

All services at the Pemi Youth Center are provided at no cost to youth or their families. Staff and volunteers provide positive role models and mentors for attendees and lead them in a variety of after school activities including: academic support, mentoring, creative arts, recreational activities, cooking, empowerment groups, drug and alcohol prevention, a science program, community service opportunities, college planning assistance, and much more. In addition to these activities, the group prepares a healthy meal daily and 90% of participants eat dinner each week night at the Center.

"This program provides young people, who may otherwise be heading to an empty home, a safe and supportive place to come make new friends, gain positive role models and participate in fun and educational activities that help them build confidence and expand their interests," said Jessica Dutille, Executive Director for Pemi Youth Center. "We are so appreciative of the generous support from local businesses, like Meredith Village Savings Bank, who help us to continue to provide this after school resource to the youth in our area."

Established in 1999, the Pemi Youth Center provides a safe and welcoming environment where youth can gather after school, on weekends, and during school vacations and can participate in programming that allows them to develop their abilities, talents and interests and makes them feel that they are a valued member of their community. The team at the center is dedicated to engaging youth through adult and peer mentoring, creative arts initiatives, social and recreational interaction, and opportunities for community service. For more information, visit www.pemiyouthcenter.org.

MVSB established the Meredith Village Savings Bank Fund in 1997 under the leadership of John Starrett who was then president and CEO of the Bank. Since then, 248 grants totaling more than $971,992 have been awarded to a wide range of environmental, social, educational, and historic projects throughout the Greater Lakes Region and Plymouth areas. Over the years, the Fund has supported literacy programs, after-school programs, environmental monitoring and education, restoration of historic structures, organizations that provide support for individuals and families in challenging circumstances, and equipment that helps save lives. The deadline for consideration for the 2014 grant cycle is October 15, 2014. Applications are available on the Bank's website (www.mvsb.com) and at all MVSB offices.