Police recover items stolen from Sanbornton home, two arrested

SANBORNTON — Police arrested two people after finding them in possession of what were allegedly items stolen from a home on April 1.

Jamie Judkins, 42, was charged with burglary, a Class A felony, and Tristdonna Copp, 36, was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, a Class A felony. Both live at 125 Renihan Meadows, Lebanon.

Police were called to 307 Calif Hill Road to take a report of items stolen, including a television and BluRay player. An officer had checked on the property the previous night due to an alarm activation. After checking with Franklin police, it was discovered that one of their officers had stopped a vehicle after midnight that night that appeared to contain the missing items. After comparisons with evidence found at the scene, warrants were issued for the two.

Most of the stolen items were recovered. Judkins was released on $25,000 personal recognizance bail, with a date set for May 9 at Franklin District Court. Copp was releeased on $5,000 personal recognizance bail, also with a date set for May 9 at Franklin District Court. 

Delegation OKs contract for corrections officers

LACONIA — After twice failing to muster a quorum, the Belknap County Delegation, with 12 of its 17 members present, on Friday unanimously approved the collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the Belknap County Commissioners and the State Employees Association on behalf of the Belknap County Corrections Officers Union, which unanimously endorsed the contract last month.

The two-year agreement includes a cost-of-living adjustment of 1.4 percent in each year, the first wage increase for the officers in four years, as well as step increases, which could raise total compensation by 4.4 percent each for eligible employees.

With the agreement the health insurance provided to employees will change from an HMO plan to a site-of-service plan, which is projected to reduce the cost of the benefit by $3,000 per employee, sparing the county some $64,000 in health insurance costs during the next two years.

Employees currently contribute between 5 percent and 6.5 percent of the cost of premiums for the HMO plan. The site-of service plan includes deductibles of $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000 on the single person, two-person and family plans. Although the county will pay the entire premium for the "site of service" plan, its share of the cost of insuring the 21 employees is projected to decrease from $440,393 to $386,166 in the first year and from $453,849 to $375,521 in the second year.

The agreement resembles the contract reached with the Teamsters Local 633 representing 23 managerial and administrative employees, which the delegation approved last August.

Time off from jail - County considers allowing prisoners to earn furloughs (273)


LACONIA — Keith Gray, Superintendent of the Belknap County Department of Corrections, may offer inmates furloughs to spend holidays with their families in an effort to encourage them to improve their performance while working in the county complex, especially the kitchen.

Gray, together with Carolee Sliker, the dietary manager, told the Belknap County Commissioners this week that while women work well in the laundry, men in the kitchen have been a recurrent source of problems.

Inmates working in the kitchen and laundry earn $3 per day, paid in the form of a credit they can apply while incarcerated and redeemed for cash if they have a balance when they are released. Last year, inmates altogether earned $2,808.

County Administrator Debra Shackett said that despite the compensation, the performance of inmates working in the kitchen has not significantly improved, but remains a source of persistent problems.

In the laundry, three inmates work alongside three employees. But, in the kitchen one employee oversees and supervises the work of three or four inmates. Sliker said that "It's lots of small petty stuff," but has also led to broken dishes and damaged equipment. As a result, she noted there has been a constant turnover and frequent retraining of inmates, which places undue demands and pressures on the kitchen personnel who must manage them.

When Gray suggested discontinuing payment to inmates working in the kitchen, Commissioner David DeVoy, who chairs the commission, stressed the importance of rewarding good behavior. Gray said that furloughs, particularly for significant holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, have proved effective incentives in other correctional facilities and indicated he would consider introducing a program at the county jail.