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Kids get day off after small Sandwich School fire

SANDWICH — Sandwich Central School was evacuated and pupils dismissed early on Friday morning when an electrical fire that broke out in the art room filled the building with smoke.

Fire Chief Louis Brunelle said that the class was firing ceramics in the kiln when the plug melted and the outlet caught fire. The principal, John Hansen, doused the flames with a fire extinguisher and the fire did not reach beyond the outlet. However, the chief said that smoke spread throughout much of the building and the chemical residue from the fire extinguisher was strewn in the hallways.

Brunelle said that pupils walked across Quimby Field to the Wentworth Library and dismissed for the day. The school building was opened to adults between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to collect pupils' belongings and the school will resume normal operations on Tuesday, January 20.

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 January 2015 01:49

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Belmont Police investigating 4 home burglaries

BELMONT — Police are investigating four home burglaries that have occurred since the new year.

One of the burglaries was reported on January 3 on Brown Hill Road and another was reported on January 13 on Hunter Court. Two were reported on January 15 on Circle Drive and Meadow Lane.

Police said they have reason to believe that at the Circle Drive home, the perpetrator(s) came from the Route 140 area near the entrance to Pine Gardens Trailer Park.

Sgt. Steve Akerstrom said in one case a television was stolen and in other cases cash and/or jewelry was stolen. He said all of the burglaries were at occupied homes whose owners were not home when entry was made.

Although the most recent three burglaries were reported to police between 8 and 9:15 p.m., he said police do not know what time the burglaries occurred except for the Circle Drive one that happened between 6 and 7:30 p.m.

Police are asking that anyone with any information call the Belmont Police Department at 267-8351. Police are also asking residents to report any unusual motor vehicle and/or pedestrian traffic immediately to them.

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 January 2015 01:44

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N.H. Rebellion marchers reach Laconia on Sunday

CONCORD — From January 11 to 21, hundreds of reform-minded citizens are braving the elements to walk across New Hampshire in a frigid "New Hampshire Rebellion" against money in politics. Walkers from across New Hampshire and neighboring states will participate in four simultaneous NH Rebellion marches covering more than 300 miles from Portsmouth, Nashua, Keene, and Dixville Notch to Concord, NH.

The Dixville Notch marchers will go through Laconia on Sunday. Harvard Prof. Lawrence Lessig will make a presentation and lead a discussion at Lakes Region Community College at 4:30 p.m.

On January 21st, the fifth anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the marches will converge on the Statehouse in Concord for a major rally declaring to the 2016 presidential candidates that New Hampshire voters are "Not for Sale."

"We are deeply concerned that elections are being bought and paid for by a handful of private interests looking out for themselves — not the American people," said Daniel Weeks, executive director of Open Democracy in Concord. "As the first-in-the-nation primary state, we are putting the presidential candidates on notice that N.H. voters are sick and tired of outside interests spending millions to influence our elections. We're walking across N.H. to demand the next president commit to reforming this corrupt system on day one."

Wearing orange vests and carrying "Rebellion" signs, the walkers are logging between 8 and 20 miles per day through winter weather that is projected to stay below freezing for much of the March. They are sleeping in churches, homestays, and motels.

Throughout the 10-day march, the walkers are holding multiple community outreach events around the state to educate their fellow citizens about the nation's campaign finance system and alternatives for reform. Aided by a newly developed web app, QuestionR.org, they are urging citizens to ask every presidential candidate who comes to New Hampshire what specific reforms they will advance to lessen the influence of private money in politics.

"The growth of this movement in New Hampshire shows that people across the state from every political background are taking a stand to stop systemic corruption in politics," said Jeff McLean, director of the NH Rebellion. "The demand on candidates to spend the majority of their time raising money from narrow interests increases polarization and leads to the dysfunction of Congress and its historically low level of public approval. It is time we take on this root issue."

Founded by scholar-activist Prof.Lessig, the NH Rebellion march is inspired by the "rebellion clause" of the New Hampshire Constitution, which calls on citizens "to reform the old or establish a new government" when laws serve a privileged few rather than "the common benefit, protection, and security of the whole community."

Professor Lessig and other marchers are seeking to continue the work of the late New Hampshire reformer Doris "Granny D" Haddock, whose historic cross-country walk for campaign finance reform at the age of 90 helped spark a citizens movement to pass the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.

"The New Hampshire Rebellion cuts across party lines to champion fundamental reforms that are needed to save our state and our country," added former Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway, a member of the NH Rebellion. "It is time for New Hampshire citizens to rise up with one voice and demand clean elections, ethical fundraising, and a reversal of what big money and partisan politics have wrought on our democracy."

NH Rebellion is part of Open Democracy, the Concord-based nonpartisan reform organization founded by Granny D. To learn more about the NH Rebellion, please visit: www.nhrebellion.org. To register for the walk please visit: walk.nhrebellion.org. To see details about the planned events, visit You can also follow us on Twitter @nhrebellion and on Facebook at: facebook.com/nhrebellion.

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 January 2015 01:41

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Boys & Girls Club receives anonymous $25k donation

LACONIA — The Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region announced Friday that it has received a $25,000 unrestricted gift to operations from an anonymous donor.

According to board president Walt Flinn, the gift was completely unanticipated. "It came out of the blue — a wonderful surprise to start the new year. We are very grateful," he commented.

The donation will support staff, programs and scholarships at the Boys & Girls Club, which serves 50 elementary and middle school students per week at its new facility on North Main Street.

"This gift will provide mentoring, leadership development, homework assistance, sports and recreation, healthy snacks, art instruction and a whole lot more during the time of day when kids are most at risk," stated Executive Director Chris Emond. "Because of donors like this, every kid has a chance to do great things after school, no matter what their family's financial circumstances might be. It will make a big impact."

The gift comes shortly after the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region announced an intention to merge with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Concord in order to streamline operations and strengthen programming. Preparations for the merger are still underway, Emond confirmed.

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 January 2015 01:25

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