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Belmont Middle School students will get separate grades in each class for subject mastery & behavior

BELMONT — Although parents of middle-schoolers will still see a letter grade for academic performance, behavior and effort will, going forward, be reflected in a separate grade for each class, school administrators said this week.

Administrators said that each letter grade for academic material will reflect a student's mastery of the subject matter.

For example, said Superintendent Maria Dreyer, say a third grader doesn't understand multiplication and most of his or her other classmates do. Dreyer said two components will be examined — if the student genuinely doesn't understand the concept, or if the student has behavioral issues that are inhibiting his or her mastery of multiplication.

"We take this kid by kid," she said.

She said for the student who is struggling with the concept, there will be remedial education and a reassessment once the child has demonstrated that he or she has completed the necessary formative assignments — like homework and quizzes — to gain mastery of the subject matter.

She said each student will also be graded on behavior by every teacher. Those behaviors are responsibility, work completion, participation, and respect.

Dreyer believes a grade for each student regarding behavior from each teacher will give the district insight into both the child and the teachers teaching the child.

She said the old grading system combined both behavior and subject mastery, making it difficult for a parent to understand if their child wasn't learning the subject material, or if he or she didn't want to learn the subject material, or just wasn't trying.

Dreyer said separating the two will make it easier for the teachers to work with parents to assist their children in subject mastery.

Report cards will be issued for each trimester.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 01:42

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Gunstock matched 2-13 summer revenues without Tough Mudder but wants event back

LACONIA — Gunstock General Manager Gregg Goddard told members of the Belknap County Convention last night that the county-owned recreational facility hopes to bring the Tough Mudder competition back next year.
Goddard said that abut 16,000 people attended the first Tough Mudder event hosted by Gunstock last summer but a conflict with the second NASCAR race being held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this month caused the event to be moved to Berwick, Maine.
Goddard explained that the event requires parking for 5,700 cars and that Gunstock only has space or 2,000.
''Last year they used the New Hampshire Motor Speedway lot for parking and had 105 school buses bring the competitors here. But this year the event coincided with the start of the September race week and the speedway decided that they didn't want to get involved in having their parking spaces used by simultaneously for another event,'' said Goddard.
He said that Gunstock would have earned $75,000 for hosting the event as well as money from concessions and that he is hoping that an agreement can be reached with Tough Mudder organizers on scheduling an event which will not conflict with either Gunstock's schedule of that of the Speedway.
Tough Mudder is an endurance event series in which participants attempt 10–12-mile-long military-style obstacle courses. Designed and created by British Special Forces to test mental as well as physical strength, obstacles often play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights.
The first Tough Mudder challenge was held in the United States in 2010. To date, more than 1.3 million people worldwide have participated in Tough Mudder events.
Goddard said that despite the loss of the Tough Mudder event and the Lakeside Living Expo that Gunstock's summer revenues were dead even with last year.
He said that for the second year in a row Gunstock had record revenues, topping the $11 million mark, which included $2.5 million in summer sales and attracting 182,595 skiers, an increase of 12,000 over the previous winter.
The convention unanimously approved Goddard's request for a $650,000 revenue anticipation note, which he said was down $100,000 from last year's request. He said the note would be used to fund November and December operations and would be repaid from skiing receipts in February.
The convention also approved by a unanimous vote the nomination of Bob Durfee, current Gunstock Area Commission chairman, to another five-year term. Durfee was the only candidate.
Earlier the convention's executive committee met to review county spending from this year's budget. Chairman Frank Tilton and County Convention Chairman Colette Worsman said they were not pleased that Belknap County Commissioners were not at the meeting to answer questions about the budget.
Tilton said that there were several line items in the budget for which spending had exceeded the amount appropriated and questioned the authority of the commissioners to encumber funds without receiving approval from the executive committee.
Belknap County Superior Court Justice James D. O'Neill III recently issued an injunction prohibiting the commission from transferring funds within the budget without approval of the executive committee. The commissioners have filed a motion asking for that decision to be reconsidered.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 01:36

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State admits to affidavit errors but asks judge to reconsider pot grow ruling

SUPERIOR COURT — N.H. Asst. Attorney General James Vara tried for a second bite at the apple yesterday after a Belknap County Superior Cout judge ruled last month to suppress all of his key evidence in the case against a Governor's Island man who was arrested for manufacturing marijuana in his rented Gilford home.

Arguing before Judge James O'Neill, Vara said he wanted the judge to reconsider his decision to toss three key piece of evidence against Corey LaPlante including the statement that LaPlante's landlord allegedly made to Det. Kirk Hart of the N.H. State Attorney Drug Task Force about her smelling fresh marijuana in the home.

Vara also wanted O'Neill to reconsider the electricity-use evidence cited, which he described as being incorrectly referenced in the police affidavit filed in support of a search warrant, and the terminology used by Hart in his affidavit describing the location of some black lights found in the 15 Blueberry Hill Road house during a police raid in October of 2013.

As a result of that raid, police seized 12 pounds of marijuana, hashish and $34,000 in cash from the home.

LaPlante's attorney Mark Sisti had successfully argued in August that there were at least five "material misrepresentations" in the police affidavit filed in support of the search.

During the August suppression hearing, LaPlante's landlord, Jennifer Truman, testified that she told Hart there was a "skunky" smell in the house. Hart's affidavits reflected that she told him there was a smell of marijuana in the house.

Vara argued yesterday that the information about LaPlante's high electric bill came from a second detective working the case and that "she" was also a woman. He admitted the affidavit was grammatically flawed when Hart used the pronoun "she" but that Hart never meant to imply that Truman gave him the information about the power bill but rather he got it from a second female detective.

In addition, Vara said when Hart wrote that the attic was "equipped" with black lights he meant that there were black lights in the attic. Truman testified under oath in August that she saw black lights stacked on a shelf in the attic but they were not hooked up to anything.

Vara asked to put both Hart and fellow Det. Holly Dube on the stand to clarify the wording in the affidavit but Sisti objected to new evidence at this time and Judge O'Neill agreed.

In response, Sisti said the additional information provided by Vara didn't matter. He said when issuing the search warrant, Judge Jim Carroll was lied to by the police because the application said Truman smelled marijuana in the house when she testified she didn't, that the judge was operating under the impression that there were operating black lights in the attic when there weren't, and that Truman had given police information about the electrical usage when she didn't.

Sisti said it was unfair to Circuit Court Judge Carroll, who issued the warrant, who was trying to sift through facts offered only by law enforcement.

"As to reckless misrepresentation, I suggest we look up the word out-and-out lie," Sisti said, adding the wording off the affidavit was designed to influence Judge Carroll into issuing a search warrant he never would have issued had he known what Truman said to Hart.

He said the entire case against his client was predicated on either lies by law enforcement or perjury by Truman — and the state has not alleged that Truman perjured herself.

"This is a very rare occasion where a couple of lies and embellishments are used to influence a judge," said Sisti, adding he had never has a case with so many misrepresentations and omissions.

He also restated that he had to jump through enormous legal hoops just to get Truman to New Hampshire to be deposed and to testify.

Vara retorted that it was "very insulting and distasteful" for Sisti to call Hart a liar. "It's not what happened here," he said.

Sisti closed by restating that either Truman or Hart is a liar and that Hart added the statement that Truman said she smelled marijuana in LaPlante's home so he could get into the house.

O'Neill said he would take the motion to reconsider his suppression order under consideration.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 01:05

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Andover man faces bunch of charges after Gilford Police chase that eneded in Laconia cemetery

CIRCUIT COURT — An Andover man was ordered held on $5,000 cash or corporate surety after appearing in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday after his arrest in the Bayside Cemetery in Laconia Friday night.

According to Gilford Police and affidavits obtained from the court, officials said a patrol officer was on routine patrol in Lowe's Home Improvement parking lot just before 9 p.m. when the manager flagged him down and told him a man, later identified as Adam Scarsilloni, 29, of 43 Salisbury Highway, had allegedly just removed some items from the store without paying

The officer saw a man fitting the description given by the manager driving by him and noticed his Volkswagen had a headlight missing.

When the officer went to stop the car, he said Scarsilloni "accelerated at a high rate of speed" and drove through the parking lot.

The officer continued to follow him and allegedly observed him make a number of traffic infractions that could have endangered the safety of the general public.

Scarsilloni managed to cross Lake Shore Road and got out of his vehicle in Shaw's Supermarket parking lot and ran across Rte. 3 into Bayside Cemetery.

The officer followed and deployed his electric-stun gun, which hit Scarsilloni's sweatshirt and had no effect.

The officer was able to catch him and the two allegedly began fighting. Scarsilloni was subdued by a second Gilford officer, also armed with a Taser.

Police said they observed some of the items the Lowe's manager reported stolen in plain view and the car was towed to the Gilford Police Department. A supervisor said yesterday that police were waiting for a warrant to search the car.

According to affidavits, police said Scarsilloni has a lengthy criminal record in both New Hampshire and Florida and was allegedly identified by his non-active Florida driver's license. His criminal record in New Hampshire runs from 2003 until 2010 and includes theft, possession of drugs, criminal conduct for another and at least two probation or default of bail violations.

N.H. affidavits said his criminal record in Florida is from 2011 until 2014 and includes delivery or possession of opium, possession, and grand theft of less than $5,000.

In Friday's arrest, Scarsilloni is charged with one count of resisting arrest, one count of disobeying a police officer, one count of operating without a valid drivers license, one count of reckless operation — a violation, and two violations for failing to stop at a red light and a stop sign.

Police said he is being investigation for his alleged role in the Lowe's incident.

Judge Jim Carroll ordered that he not enter Lowe's, refrain from the use of alcohol or drugs and not leave the state. As of 4 p.m. yesterday, Scarsilloni was still incarcerated.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 01:00

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