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90th Bike Week in the Black

 WLACONIA — The 90th running of Motorcycle Week again returned a profit for the city as revenues of $164,007 topped expenses of $138,774 to yield a balance of $25,232.

Since the rally was removed from the general fund budget and the special revenue fund was established in the 2006-2007 municipal budget, revenues from licensing, rentals, fees and concessions have totaled $1,247,518, which, less expenses of $1,111,378, leaves a current balance of $136,139.

Expenses include not only the costs incurred from managing the annual rally, consisting primarily of police and emergency services, but also capital purchases funded with proceeds from the special revenue fund. These include police cruisers, fire apparatus and defibrillators.

This year the cost of hosting the rally was less than the $160,950 budgeted. The expense of out-of-town police and overtime for local officers amounted to $76,329, compared to the $105,000 budgeted. On the other hand, at $17,455 the cost of trash collection was twice the $8,700 budgeted and a number of lesser expenses also exceeded projections.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 03:21

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Belmont High School Class of 1961 Holds Reunion

BELMONT — There were only 16 members of the Class of 1961 at Belmont High School and during Saturday's Old Home Day celebration 14 of them showed up at the Main Street home of Janice Strople Sawyer for a class reunion.
It was the first time in 52 years, ever since high school graduation night, that some of the former classmates had seen each other said Sawyer, who said that she got the idea for the reunion last winter.
''It was a January project to get me through the cold weather,'' said Sawyer. ''I kept running into some of the members of the class at Market Basket and thought that it might be a good idea for all of us to get together. Well, eight months later, we did and it was a really fun gathering.''
She said that remarkably all 16 members of the graduating class are still alive and that the reunion also included members of the class who dropped out or moved away before graduation, as well as one of their teachers, Madeline Tickess, 93, who today lives in Franklin.
Sawyer said that she lived in the Main Street home where the reunion was held with her parents, Harold and Sylvia Strople, who managed the Taylor Home in Laconia for many years, starting in 1951 and moved back there from Gilmanton several years ago.
She said that those making long trips for the reunion included Norma Getgen Alexander, who drove all the way from Williamsport, Pa., and Mary Jane Binette, who came up from Kentucky.
Sawyer said that John Walker, who lives in Montana, wasn't able to attend the reunion but had paid a visit to Belmont in May.
Thirteen of the classmates posed for a picture during the parade and another Roberta St. Jean, who lives in Florida, arrived before Old Home Day festivities were over.

 

CAPTION, photo #3

 

Belmont High School Class of 1961 held a reunion on Belmont Old Home Day at the home of Janice Strople Sawyer on Main Street. Shown are, back row, left to right: Lorraine Bickford Hancock, Noel Kenyon, Bob Hamel, Linda Gilbert Dalton, Claudia Sharps Goyette, Fred Firth; front row: left to right: Carol Young Marden, Mary Jane Binette, Norma Getgen Alexander, Sandy Clairmont Clark, Sharon Stickney Johnson, Janice Strople Sawyer, Carole Wareing Morin (Ed Engler photo)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 03:20

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Belmont woman arrested for dealing crack out of Laconia hotel

LACONIA – Police arrested a Belmont woman at the Landmark Inn yesterday afternoon after learning she was allegedly selling drugs from there.

According to a media release, Valene Colby, of 58 Concord St. had rented Room 413 at the downtown Laconia hotel.

Police entered the room and allegedly found several pipes consistent with crack smoking as well as brillo (used in the end of a pipe as a screen) and empty baggies. There was loose crack cocaine on the bed stand, police said.

Inside Colby's purse, said police, was a small change bag that contained 17 individually packaged bags of crack cocaine and three additional pipes with what appeared to be crack cocaine residue.

Police also confiscated several needles and a small amount of marijuana.

Colby is being held on $10,000 cash-only bail until her appearance in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division today.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 01:30

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At City Council, Laconia firefighters discuss overtime, MRI report and morale

LACONIA — Fire Chief Ken Erickson told the City Council last night that soon after receiving a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant of $642,028 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and adding four firefighters, overtime hours during the July dropped by 16 percent.

However, Erickson cautioned that since the Laconia Professional Firefighters entered a new collective bargaining agreement, compensation has increased. "The amount of overtime has fallen, but the cost of overtime has risen," he said. At the same time, time lost to injuries also decreased. Erickson said there were 357 calls for service in July, nearly half of them back-to-back, but with the additional personnel firefighters recalled to duty only once, compared to 16 times during the same period a year ago.

Captain Kirk Beattie offered the council an outline of the steps the department has taken in response to the recommendations of Municipal Resources Inc. of Meredith, which presented its report on on its report on the department's organization and operations in March. He stressed that the firefighters themselves have taken "ownership" of the report and have begun to address its recommendations.

Beattie said that one of the most important initiatives is the reassessment of the department's core mission, in particular the future of the dive team. "This is one of the big issues," he said. Standard operating procedures are in the process of being rewritten, personnel are being trained to perform routine fire inspections and the Health and Safety Committee has been revived under the direction of Deputy Chief Deb Pendergast. With nine firefighters with fewer than two years and 16 with fewer than five years with the department, the training regimen has been strengthened under the supervision of shift officers, Beattie said.

Beattie acknowledged that the report questioned morale in the department, especially when negotiations with the city over a new collective bargaining agreement were at impasse. "Morale," he said, "is subjective" while conceding that morale improved with the ratification of the new contract. At the same time, he emphasized that the department averaged only four sick days a year per firefighter, which he took to signal good morale. "If morale wasn't good, they wouldn't be coming to work every day and doing a good job," Beattie said.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 03:04

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