Belknap politicians get high ratings from Americans For Prosperity

LACONIA — Americans for Prosperity — New Hampshire, the local chapter of the conservative political advocacy group founded and funded by David and Charles Koch, yesterday announced its scorecard for the 2015 session of the New Hampshire Legislature.

Of the 18 members of the House of Representatives elected in Belknap County — all of them Republicans — 14 earned grades of "A" and "A+" for their votes on 13 bills chosen to measure their commitment to "economic freedom." These bills included repealing the increase in the gas tax, scuttling the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, requiring a three-fifths majority to raise taxes or fees, introducing a right-to-work law and raising the minimum wage.

Representatives Glen Aldrich and Russ Dumais of Gilford, Ray Howard of Alton, Peter Spanos of Laconia and Herb Vadney of Meredith earned perfect scores and grades of "A+."

Representatives Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Valerie Fraser of New Hampton, Brian Gallagher of Sanbornton, Sheri LeBreche and Mike Sylvia of Belmont, Bob Luther and Robert Fisher of Laconia, Dave Russell of Gilmanton and Peter Varney of Alton received grades of "A."

Representative Don Flanders of Laconia was awrded the lowest grade, a "D," while Deniis Fields of Sanbornton and George Hurt of Gilford received "Cs," and Frank Tilton of Laconia scored "B."

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Laconia's deputy fire chief finishes third in Concord City Council election

CONCORD — Shawn Riley, Deputy Chief of the Laconia Fire Department, finished third in the field of five seeking two at-large seats on the Concord City Council in last week's municipal election.

In his second bid for elective office, Riley polled 1,248 votes, but trailed two well known incumbents, Steve Shurtleff,, the Democratic leader in the New Hampshire House of Representatives who topped the poll with 2,425 votes, and Mark Coen with 1,960 votes.

Riley said that on election night he was disappointed with the result, but recognized he was running against tough competition. He said he took some solace in recalling that some years ago he topped Shurtleff when the two ran unsuccessful write-in campaigns for a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representative. He said that if one of the other two at-large seats on the Concord City Council is open in two years time, he will consider making a bid for it.

"I learned a lot through this process," Riley said. "Although I sincerely wish I was part of it; I can honestly say the city of Concord is in good hands with its newly elected city council."

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Two injured on Roller Coaster Road

LACONIA — A car traveling westbound on Roller Coaster Road yesterday morning crossed the double yellow line, struck a mailbox and collided with boulders, injuring the female driver and her male passenger.

According to police, Tracie Fitzpatrick was driving a 2005 Toyota when the accident occurred on a relatively straight stretch of shortly after 8 a.m. near Footes Pond and 222 Roller Coaster Road. Fitzpatrick suffered serious injuries and was flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center by helicopter. Her passenger, Douglas Poirier was also injured, but declined treatment.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation and anyone with information should contact Officer Bryan Moynihan at the Laconia Police Department, 524-5257.

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