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Belmont teachers disciplined

Sources say teachers were drinking at BHS after play


BELMONT — On Monday, May 1, four teachers will return to Belmont High School after being placed on administrative leave, Shaker Regional School District Superintendent Michael Tursi reported this week, but school officials have declined to shed light on the incident that led to their discipline.
The circumstances of the teachers' discipline has been a closely guarded secret by administrative officials in the school district, but multiple sources indicated that the teachers were caught drinking alcohol at the high school during a private celebration after the Belmont High School drama department's production of "Footloose — The Musical."
Two independent sources confirmed the incident and named the teachers, but The Laconia Daily Sun was not able to confirm the teachers' identities and so decided not to publish the names.
The incident allegedly occurred in late March, as the musical reached its final performance.
On April 5, when asked about the discipline, Superintendent Michael Tursi said it was a personnel issue and would not be discussed. Earlier this month, high school principal David Williams also declined to comment on the incident. Brian McNabb, who has served as negotiations chairperson for the teachers' union, the Shaker Regional Education Association, did not respond to an emailed request for comment. Multiple attempts to contact the teachers who were placed on administrative leave were unsuccessful.
But on Monday, April 24, Tursi published a bulletin labeled "Teachers" on the Belmont High School online bulletin board, at http://bhsbulletin.blogspot.com/2017/04/teachers.html.
"Dear Shaker Regional Families and Staff," the bulletin reads, "As many of you are well aware and some of you maybe not as much, four high school teachers have been out on administrative leave for the past several weeks. There have been many rumors surrounding this. I do know that many of you have expressed your frustration in the lack of information from me and/or others regarding this matter. This frustration is felt by all involved. Please know that we have specific laws and policies that we must follow when it comes to sharing information regarding personnel matters. It is my obligation to follow these laws and policies in protecting the confidentiality of our employees. The School Board also has specific laws, policies and procedures that they must follow when determining the outcome of such personnel matters when these matters are brought to their level."
The bulletin continued, "At this point, with the School Board's involvement, the four teachers will be returning to BHS on Monday, May 1st. I know that this decision will prompt a wide range of emotions. Please be assured that I will do my best to lead us through this range of emotions as we move forward from this matter. It is always my goal to make sure we do not lose sight of the great things that are happening in our schools and community, even when we are experiencing trying times. I am confident that we, together, will be able to focus on the bright side and bounce back when we encounter obstacles such as this. My hope is that we never lose sight of the fact that Shaker is a great place to live, learn, work and play."
On Friday, Tursi did not return a call seeking comment about the bulletin announcement.
BHS Drama was scheduled to present "Footloose — The Musical" in the Belmont High School cafeteria Thursday through Saturday, March 23, 24 and 25. The March 24 performance was canceled due to bad weather, and a matinee was scheduled to replace that Friday's performance.
According to two anonymous sources, on the evening after the last theater production, four faculty members stayed in the music department and consumed alcohol.

"When the night custodian was sweeping that hallway, she heard the noise, saw what was happening and recorded them on her phone," one of the sources reported.

When contacted, Belmont Police reported that the incident is a school matter and deferred questions to school district administrators.

Countdown to launch

04-29 Fays boat being launched

A 40-foot-long Carver luxury yacht is launched at Fay’s Boatyard in Gilford, which is busy putting 900 boats into the water in preparation for the boating season. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Lakes Region boat yards gear up for busiest part of the season


GILFORD — It's the busy time of year for the boating business in the Lakes Region as area boat yards and marinas work at a hectic pace to put boats in the lake to keep up with the desire of their customers to enjoy as much time on the water as they can.
At Fay's Boatyard in Gilford workers are putting 15 to 20 boats a day into Lake Winnipesaukee according to Jeff Fay, who says that the yard is responsible for about 900 boats, including nearly 300 sailboats, and is straight out these days.
"We handle a lot of sailboats and we're the only place on the lake that has a full rigging crew that can get them ready for the season," says Fay.
He says that the 275 boat slips at the marina are just about filled and that he's looking to a good season now that the Big Lake is ice free as of April 17.
"The rain has set us back a little, but we're moving along pretty good now and want to make sure we get in as many boats as we can and keep people happy" said Fay.
He said that his crew of 20 is being supplemented by newcomers like Justin Gargano from Providence, Rhode Island, whose parents own a summer home in the area and who is in his first year at Fay's.
Gargano was helping prep a new boat which had just been brought over from Fay's nearby boat sales site for launching just as a boat transporter from Miles Marine arrived, bringing a 40-foot-long luxury Carver yacht for launching.
Mike Miles said that he stores about 200 boats a year at his two locations n Lily Pond Road and is used to hauling large boats up and down the East Coast year round.
"The biggest one I ever hauled was a 60-footer that I took from Gilford to Providence, R.I, a few years ago. These big boats are like floating houses," said Miles. He says his family has been in the boat hauling business for over 35 years.
Watching as Miles backed the boat trailer down to the launching ramp was Bob Fay, former operator of the Lakeport dam, which controls the level of Lake Winnipesaukee. Fay, who is not related to the family which owns the boat yard, is a part-time seasonal employee.
"I just can't stay away from the water. I need something to keep myself busy," said Fay, who retired from his position with the state's Department of Environmental Services several years ago after more than 35 years of helping manage dams in the Lakes Region.
Jeff Fay, who has taken a more active role in running the boatyard since his father, Merrill Fay, turned major responsibilities over to him five years ago, says that both his son, Steven, and daughter, Lillian, work at the boatyard, making them the fourth generation of the Fay family to work there.
He says that Steven, 21, who is a business management major at Southern New Hampshire University, works part-time year round and takes on more work during the summer months.
"He's teaching me the ropes," says Steven, who also spends a lot of time scuba diving with his father as they search the lake for sunken boats and the old engines which powered them.
Fay's Boatyard was started in 1944 by Wilbur Fay, who operated an ice delivery service to islands in the lake and also delivered groceries from a store on Bear Island. He bought the ice house in Smith Cove in the early 1940s and later started the boat yard, which was taken over by his son Merrill after Wilbur died in 1959.

04-29 Jeff and Steven Fay

Jeff Fay of Fay's Boatyard in Gilford with his 21-year-old son, Steven, who is the fourth generation of Fays to work at the boatyard, which was started by Wilbur Fay in 1944. (Courtesy photo)

 04-29 Fay sailboat

A sailboat is moved at Fay's Boatyard in Gilford, which handles nearly 300 sailboats a year and is the only marine business in the Lakes Region with a full crew of riggers. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)





Canfield is sworn in

Laconia Police Dept. welcomes new chief


LACONIA — Matthew Canfield was sworn in as police chief Friday, and promised to continue the work of his predecessor in fostering community engagement and fighting the problem of drug abuse.
He succeeds Chris Adams, who is retiring after 23 years with the force.
“Chief Adams has not only brought this department into the forefront of modern policing, but has created and instituted programs such as the PET (prevention, enforcement, treatment) program to address the opioid crisis through non-traditional means,” Canfield said during the ceremony in Pitman’s Freight Room.
Canfield, 42, became interested in police work as a student at Inter-Lakes High School in Meredith.
He attended a part-time police academy as a high school senior, and began working as a part-time police officer at age 18 while attending college.
He was so young that Investigator Nick Houhoulis of the Liquor Commission recruited him to act as an undercover police officer in alcohol stings.
Canfield praised the department and its leaders, past and present.
“I am proud to say that the officers and employees of the Laconia Police Department are among the best of the best, who are caring individuals poised and ready to continue this pursuit of excellence in policing, and I am confident that they will do so with empathy, indness and compassion,” he said.

Canfield, a Laconia resident, will earn about $100,000 yearly as chief.  
After his speech, he elaborated on his thoughts about the best way to fight the opioid abuse, which has reached crisis proportions, including old drugs like heroin, and newer ones like fentanyl, and now carfentanil.
“I would certainly look at doing drug education in the schools,” he said. “We need to get to people before they ever have the opportunity to try drugs.
“Once someone is on drugs, it’s very hard to cure them, or heal them. So let’s work hard on putting a lot of resources into preventing drug use before they even have a chance to start.”
The ceremony included three other promotions.
Allan Graton, who has been with the department since 1997, was promoted to captain. He has been a field training officer, motorcycle officer, driving instructor and accident reconstructionist.
Mike Finogle, who has served with the department since 1999, was promoted to lieutenant. He has served as a watch commander and served 12 years as a K9 handler and drug recognition expert. He has also served in the U.S. Army as a military police officer.
Gary Allen, who has been a police officer since 2005, was promoted to sergeant. Allen, who joined the department in 2010, was previously a patrol officer and drug recognition expert as well as a field training officer.

04-29 Canfield pinning

Matt Canfield is pinned by his father, John Canfield, as he is sworn in as Laconia police chief at Pitman’s Freight Room on Friday. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)