Laconia woman died in Belmont crash

BELMONT — The woman who died in a single-car accident on Hurricane Road Monday night has been identified as Angela Chubbuck of Laconia.

Chubbuck was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lt. Rich Mann said Chubbuck was a passenger in her own car when the driver, identified as Peter Colson of Church Street in Laconia, apparently lost control of the car and it rolled over.

There were three others in the car and the four survivors were taken to area hospitals for treatment of non life-threatening injuries. Mann said two were taken to Concord Hospital because crews didn't want to overwhelm the emergency room crews.

Mann said the Belknap Regional Accident Investigation Team is studying the crash and it could be a while before detectives and the team determines what caused it. He said Colson was cooperative with police and voluntarily submitted to a blood alcohol test that showed "no measurable amount of alcohol in his system."

The crash happened at 8:16 p.m. and Mann said Hurricane Road was closed until 1 a.m.

Anyone who may have information about the crash or who may have witnessed it is asked to call Det. Eliza Gustafson at the Belmont Police Department at 267-8350.

Belmont has concerns about DOT's plans for locating fuel depot just off Rte. 106

BELMONT — The Board of Selectmen expressed some concern on Monday night when Ronald Grandmaison of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) presented the agency's plan to build a fueling station for state and municipal vehicles at the junction of Rte. 106 and Brown Hill Road.

Grandmaison said that the project is part of DOT's effort to replace underground storage tanks at its fueling facilities to comply with the requirements set by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES). He said that 30 tanks at 19 locations remain to be addressed before the deadline in 2017. The proposed station, on a 1.4-acre lot owned by the state, would eliminate two diesel facilities and the station for gas and diesel on Lily Pond Road in Gilford.

The plan, which Grandmaison described as "conceptual", would provide access to the pumping station from both Route 106 and Brown Hill Road. However, Grandmaison said it has yet to be determined whether vehicles would be entering, leaving or both from either Route 106 or Brown Hill Road. He projected there would be approximately 4,700 transactions a year at the facility and noted that there is not a significant history of accidents at the intersection.

However, Jon Pike said that "this is a challenging intersection," particularly since the shoulder originally intended for this stretch of Route 106 has not been constructed. He noted that Lincare, the medical oxygen supplier that operates from the adjacent lot to the north, generates relatively little traffic and then primarily in the morning and evening when delivery trucks leave and return. Vehicles using the fueling facility would be coming and going at all times of the day. He recommended improving the intersection to ensure proper sight lines as part of the project.

Grandmaison indicated that the department would consider appropriate improvements to the intersection and assured the Selectboard that the final plan will be presented to the Planning Board, though its approval is not required.

NOTE: Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin told the board that 92 of 236 households slated to have their water meters replaced have not responded to correspondence asking them to arrange times for installation. She suggested sending a letter by certified mail to the remaining households, offering them a reasonable amount of time to reply and explaining if they fail to reply, their water service will be shut off. The selectmen agreed to the approach Beaudin reocmmended. Beaudin said that in setting the deadlines, the weather would be taken into account to spare residents unnecessary hardship.

Federal government gives Golden View 5 stars for nursing home care; county home rates 4

LACONIA — The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees the two programs pursued in partnership with the states, has introduced a new system of rating nursing homes designed to enable consumers, families and caregivers to make comparisons when choosing a long-term care facility.

The new scoring system represents a raising of the bar that left 61 percent of the U.S. 15,000 nursing homes with lower ratings and only 34, 2.3 percent, with higher ratings than before. The rating apply only to those nursing homes caring for residents enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid.

CMS has rated 76 nursing homes in New Hampshire, including seven county nursing homes. The Belknap County Nursing home was awarded an overall score of four stars as well as four stars for health inspection, staffing and quality measures. The nursing homes in Hillsborough and Sullivan counties also rated four stars while those in Coos, Grafton and Merrimack received five stars. The Rockingham County Nursing Home trailed the field with three stars.

The Belknap County Nursing Home fared well in comparison with private facilities in the Lakes Region. Golden View Hralth Care Center was the only private facility in the region to rate five stars. Laconia Center on Bluebrry Lane in Laconia and Mountain Ridge Center in Franklin, both operated by Genesis Healthcare, each received four stars. The Saint Francis Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on Court Street in Laconia rated three stars and the Wolfeboro Bay Center in Wolfeboro just two stars.

The five-star rating system assigns each nursing home between one and five stars, with five stars signifying quality much above average and one star signifying quality much below average. There is an overall rating for each nursing home and separate ratings based on health inspections, staffing levels and quality measures.

The health inspection rating draws on information collected at the nursing homes by trained inspectors during the past three years, with the most findings weighted more heavily than the earlier findings. Inspectors follow a defined process designed to determine the extent to which a nursing home has met the minimum quality requirements set by Medicare and Medicaid. More than 180,000 on-site reviews are used in the scoring process.

The staffing rating applies data indicating the number of hours of care provided to each resident each day by the nursing staff and takes into account differences in the levels of care required by the residents of different facilities.

The quality measures is comprised of 11 different physical and clinical measures that indicate how well nursing homes are caring for their residents. More than 12-million assessments of the conditions in nursing homes are incorporated in the rating.



LRPA's 3 channels will go dark for cable TV subscribers in 13 townships

LACONIA — Lakes Region Public Access television will withhold its signal from a baker's dozen of towns in the Lakes Region that declined its offer to join the consortium and contribute to its operating budget.

Chan Eddy of Gilford, president of the Board of Directors of LRPA, said yesterday that Alexandria, Alton, Barnstead, Bridgewater, Bristol, Deerfield, Gilmanton, Hebron, New Hampton, Northfield, Pittsfield, Sanbornton and Tilton will go dark on March 20. Only Alton had been a paying member of LRPA. The other towns did not provide programming to the public access channels, but received the signal via MetroCast channels 24, 25 and 26.

Eddy explained that LRPA adopted a new business model in response to the new cable franchise agreement negotiated with MetroCast by a consortium of municipalities, which left the station scrambling to fund its operations. Traditionally, LRPA received an annual $30,000 grant from MetroCast and contributions from municipalities belonging to the consortium that negotiated the original cable franchise agreement with MetroCast. Those contributions were intended to come from the franchise fees MetroCast pays communities, based on the number of subscribers. The new cable franchise agreement eliminated the grant from MetroCast and enabled municipalities to produce their own programming.

The new business plan, which is akin to the models of public radio and television, calls for soliciting contributions from municipalities as well as sponsorships from businesses in the region. Eddy said that contributions have been received from the city of Laconia and four townships — Belmont, Gilford, Meredith and Northwood.