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Hill rejects Franklin peace offering; focusing on Newfound

By Thomas P. Caldwell

HILL — Rather than putting the ongoing negotiations with the Newfound Area School District on hold in order to explore a potentially better tuition deal with Franklin, members of the Hill School Board on Wednesday decided to stay the course and let voters decide on March 18 whether they want to send Hill students to Newfound schools next year, or remain with Franklin.
The Franklin School Board had asked Hill to consider engaging in an AREA review board, expressing its willingness to revise the tuition formula contained in the current Authorized Regional Enrollment Area agreement between the two school districts. By changing the tuition calculator, Franklin said it could save Hill taxpayers more than $100,000 a year in tuition costs.
Franklin also argued that there is no reason to dissolve a long-term relationship over short-term disagreements. Many Hill residents, however, have long felt disenfranchised with Franklin and last March voted to look into the feasibility of ending its more than 50-year relationship with Franklin and instead pursue a tuition agreement with another school district.
Last month, after receiving tuition proposals from Newfound, Winnisquam, and Franklin, the Hill board chose to work with Newfound on a long-term tuition agreement for its students in grades 7 through 12. At that time, Newfound's proposal was in the middle range, at $839,917. Winnisquam offered a lower figure, $712,918, while Franklin's was the highest, at $864,847.32.
Meeting on Jan. 6, the Franklin School Board decided to try and renegotiate the AREA agreement to incorporate Newfound's tuition calculator. Doing so would bring the tuition figure down to $736,181.75.
Because agreeing to Franklin's proposal would mean suspending its current negotiations with Newfound and engaging in a review board with Franklin, the Hill board rejected the offer.. The budget process is underway and the school warrant needs to be finalized for a Feb. 11 hearing. If it were to participate in an AREA review board, Hill would likely be unable to have everything in place in time.
"We promised to bring a plan to the town and we decided to continue on that path," said Hill Chair Shelly Henry.
During budget discussions Wednesday night, Henry told the budget committee, "There's no guarantee that Franklin's offer would hold when we got into the whole process."

Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 01:51

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Very unlikely Laconia Police officers will be administering heroin antidote anytime soon

LACONIA — After learning yesterday that Gov. Maggie Hassan and N.H. Department of Safety Commissioner John Barthelmes will present draft rules for licensing the use of NARCAN for police officer, Police Chief Chris Adam said city police will not be administering the drug in the foreseeable future.

NARCAN is a drug that is used for emergency treatment of heroin or other opioid overdoses.

Adams made it statements yesterday at the Police Commission meeting when he updated the commission on the state's proposed protocol guidelines.

"We wouldn't do it. . .  and we have a full-time fire department who get there before or within seconds of police," said Adams.

He said he could see where police using NARCAN in rural communities without full time fire departments could benefit the community but that is not the case in Laconia.

Adams told commissioners he spoke briefly with Fire Chief Ken Erickson after getting the news and will be meeting at length with him on the subject in the future

Last year, Laconia had 10 fatal opiate-driven overdoses, said Adams. He added that Erickson told him that between 40 and 50 units of NARCAN were administered by emergency responders in 2014 and Erickson estimated the department saved about 10 lives that way.

NARCAN (naloxone) has been around for a number of years and used to require an injection with a needle to administer. The drug recently became available in a nasal spray form making it easier for non-medical professionals to administer.

In her press release, Hassan said, "The rising rate of heroin and opioid overdoses is one of the most pressing public health and safety challenges facing our state."

In September of 2014, Hassan created a strategic task force and tasked it with addressing the increasing numbers of people who were dead or dying from opiate abuse. The task force was chaired by Barthelmes.

The recommendations of the strategic task force were submitted to the Emergency Medical and Trauma Services Coordinating Board yesterday for review. The final rules will be presented to the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 01:47

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Chamber re-names Ambassador Award for Elaine Blinn

LACONIA — The Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce honored a key, long-time volunteer at its annual meeting held at the Margate Resort Thursday by renaming the Ambassador of the Year Award in her honor.
The award will henceforth be known as the Blinn Ambassador of the Year award in honor of Elaine Blinn, who has served 15 years as chairman of the chamber's ambassador program, which reaches out to people in the community and familiarizes them with the chamber's programs.
''There were only six ambassadors when I started. Now there are 27,'' said Blinn, who along with her husband, Harry, has been running the Belknap Point Motel in Gilford for 20 years.
She's also been busy with the chamber as a volunteer writer and photographer for the Business After Hours program.
''One of the best things we ever did was to join the chamber right after we bought the motel. It really helped us get connected to the community and meet lots of nice people,'' said Blinn.
She presented this year's Ambassador of the Year award to Donna Harris from the Bank of New Hampshire as her last official act as chairman of the ambassador program.
During the business meeting the chamber elected a new slate of officers. Lindsay Cota-Robles of the Bank of New Hampshire will replace Warren Bailey as chairman and the new first vice-chairman will be Bob Strang of Mill Falls at the Lake. Second vice chairman will be Donna Keeley of PSNH-Eversource with Penny Raby of Malone, Dirubbo and Company serving as treasurer and John Giere of Wescott Law as secretary.
New board members include Caroline Rolfe of Franklin Savings Bank, Heidi Laramie of Baron's Major Brands, Kamal Gosine of AutoServ, Sue Gaudette of Gunstock Mountain Resort and Mike Vednaz of WaLa Marketing Group.
Golden Trowel awards for outstanding building renoations included:
— The Taylor Community for the Opechee Harbor project, which cost $550,000 and provides specialized residential care for seniors with memory loss and dementia;
—The A.W. Frost Agency of Franklin, which purchased and renovated the former Northway Bank office on Central Street in Franklin;
— Hermit Woods Winery in Meredith, which relocated its boutique winery from Sanbornton to Main Street in Meredith and worked with Meredith Village Savings Bank, the Belknap Economic Development Council and other community partners to renovate an existing building;
— Rowell's Sewer and Drain of Tilton, which renovated the former P.K. Zyla's Auction House on Rte. 140 in Northfield as the company's new home;
— Binnie Media of Concord, which invested over $300,000 to renovate what was once the Laconia Police Station and make it the new home of radio stations WLNH and WEMJ as well as the news bureau of the NH1 network;
— American Eyecare/Focus Vision & Therapy Center which relocated from the Belknap Mall to a 6,000 square foot space near the Winnisquam Bridge.
Golden Hammer awards for outstanding new construction went to:
— Granite Sate Credit Union which built a new 5,500-square-foot building on Rte. 140 in Tilton just south of Exit 20;
— CruCon Cruise Outlet in Moultonborough, which opened its new 30,000-square-foot world headquarters building in Moultonborough;
— Walmart in Gilford, which expanded its 60,000-square-foot building to a 130,000-square-foot retail space;
— Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook in Gilford, which completed a number of upgrades in 2014 and expanded its capacity to 9,600 for its concerts;
— Winnisquam Marine in Belmont, which opened a new 70 by 60 foot boat showroom which is climate controlled and environmentally conscious.
Environmental Awards were presented to:
— The City of Laconia in collaboration with the Weirs Beach Community Park. A 27-acre park was opened there last October which features walking trails, a rustic playground and a 120-seat outdoor amphitheater.
— LRGH Healthcare for its new laundry facility, now located in O'Shea Industrial Park in Laconia which uses state-of-the-art washing and drying machines and has saved over one million gallons of water.

 

APTION for pix slugged weirs park

Accepting the Environmental Award at the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce's annual awards luncheon and membership meeting at the Margate Resort Thursday are Don Richards of the Weirs Community Park Association and Kevin Dunleavy, manager of the Laconia Parks and Recreation Department. The award was presented by Karmen Gifford, left, executive director of the chamber, and Mark Primeau, right, president and CEO of the Bank of New Hampshire, presenting sponsor for the event. The city was honored for its completion in October of a 27-acre park adjacent to the Weirs Community Center. (Roger Amsden/ for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 01:38

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Imagine you lived in colonial times

GILFORD — Like the colonists they are studying, Rebecca Bedard's class of fourth graders are a hardy bunch and spent yesterday morning on a walking historical field trip through colonial Gilford.

Sponsored by the Thompson-Ames Historical Society and the Gilford School District, Bedard's students spent yesterday morning learning first hand how people lived and worked.

Students visited a milliner, a wig maker, and a hatter with retired teacher Ginny French, learned about being a storekeeper, a printer, a cooper, shoemaker and tool maker from Walt Stockwell of the historical society and how to be a teacher from Kathy Lacroix, also of the historical society.

After seeing all of the demonstrations, each student has to pick a career or trade from colonial times, study it, write a paper and create a project. The projects are presented to the third graders just before February vacation.

Patrick Gandini wants his project to be about silver smithing, just like Paul Revere, although he said he liked the school teacher presentation best of all.

Kayla Gallagher, dressed naturally with a color coordinated outfit replete with matching necklace and head band wants her project to be about milliners. "I love the accessories," she said.

Camryn Marshall, an energetic girl who voluntarily answered a lot of French's questions, wants hers to be about teaching.

Everybody learned something new yesterday.

The boys in French's wig making section were shocked to learn that if they were living in the colonial era and were the sons of prominent men, they would be wearing wigs after having their heads shaved. "Eews" and "Nos" came from all of the children, but especially the boys, when they learned about that.

The girls looked shocked when they learned that if they lived in colonial times, it wouldn't be long before they were sent to live with a milliner as an apprentice, learn how to sew and make ladies hats and dresses, and not be able to live at home with their families.

All, including French when she did the research for her presentation, learned that George Washington's hair was his own and he didn't wear a wig. Everyone learned that wigs have been worn by upper the classes and royalty since ancient Egyptian times.

This was French's first time doing a demonstration for the students and she said she had a blast. A history major in college, she said she was excited to be researching specific topics and would gladly do it again.

For Walt Stockwell, any time he gets to talk history to young people is good time.
Since his retirement and relocation to New Hampshire, Stockwell has been involved in various historical societies and likes working on identifying tools from the colonial times.

The programs are coordinated by Kathy Lacroix who said the Thompson-Ames Historical Society also working on programing for other school districts for a small fee. As an example, she said a program designed for second graders is offered to students in the Paul Smith Elementary School in Franklin.

For more information, school districts are encouraged to call Kathy Lacroix of the Gilford Historical Society Education Coordinator at 524-3390.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 01:34

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