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School board told high school renovations will be complete by start of school on August 26

LACONIA — School Distirct Business Administrator Ed Emond told the board last night that the High School's $1.8-million renovation project will be mostly completed by the time students return on August 26.

He also said that the teachers and the librarian will have access to their classrooms and to the media center when they return to school for three days next week, although they make have to work around a few small inconveniences.

The federal Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) program provided the school with zero-interest money that is being used to air condition the auditorium, add a sprinkler system and to improve the old, upper-floor science labs that were made available after the recent Huot Technical Center renovation. Some lighting and ceiling work was also done..

Board member Joe Cormier said the lighting and the dropped ceilings in the main hallway have not only made the area brighter but have made it much quieter as well.

"It's a lot less echoey," he said.

One issue that high school teachers, students and administrators will have to contend with is traffic congestion caused by the reconstruction of Union Avenue.

Emond said the city's road construction project will not be finished by the time school opens but said the contractor said that work won't be as disruptive once school starts as it has been this summer.

He also said that the circular turn-around off Union Ave. used by the school buses will still have piles of earth on it so arrangements will need to be made with the bus company for an alternate route.

He noted that the pipes that are in the west parking lot will be gone so he doesn't anticipate any parking problems.

Emond also said he has been working with Busby Construction to ease congestion and construction during the morning drop off times and the afternoon pickup times.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 01:04

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In Laconia, Shea-Porter makes pitch for preserving Social Security & Medicare

LACONIA — Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter told a gathering of residents of Taylor Home Tuesday morning that she knows from her own experience how important Social Security and Medicare programs are to those receiving benefits and said that she will work to preserve and strengthen those programs.
''In Laconia everyone knows how much we need these programs but in Washington that's not so much the case,'' Shea-Porter told the audience, maintaining that many who want to cut Social Security or turn Medicare into a voucher program are well off and don't need the programs.
Her remarks came at an event sponsored by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare at which she was presented with dozens of petitions collected by New Hampshire members of the group opposing cuts in those programs.
Shea-Porter said that in her family Social Security benefits had helped provide for care for a grandmother with early onset dementia and a great uncle who had suffered a stroke and that her father, who had saved for his retirement, saw those funds wiped out by three major diseases within a decade and had to rely on Social Security and Medicaid for the rest of his life.
''My father praised those programs in the last part of his life even though he had been against Medicare when it first was started,'' she said.
She also praised the Affordable Care Act for bringing health insurance to millions who had never before had coverage and said that even though she favored a Medicare for All program she was pleased with the progress being made in extending coverage and reducing the projected increases in health care costs.
She stressed that the Medicare for All program she would like to see is different from another proposed by a Democratic congressman and would preserve the independence of medical providers by allowing them to contract with Medicare rather than being sold to the government.
Shea-Porter said that she is co-sponsoring legislation which would give credits to caregivers for up to five family service years for those taking care of children or elderly or disabled family members in the formula used to calculate Social Security benefits. She also supports other changes which would improve survivor benefits which would help prevent widows and widowers from falling into poverty after their spouse dies.
When asked how New Hampshire should cope with demographic changes which have been described as a ''silver tsunami'' and seen a major increase in the state's elderly population. Shea-Porter pointed out that young people are having a hard time, as well and said that passing an increase in the minimum wage might help keep more of them in the state.
She said that she would like to see tax law changes which would keep American companies from moving their headquarters overseas to reduce their tax burden and said she was pleased by the recent decision of Walgreen's to remain in the country.
''We have to shut off escape routes for the corporations. There are a lot of things we could do'' she said, pointing out that a lot of the largest corporations pay no taxes at all.
Shea-Porter said that it would ultimately be up to the American voters to decide the future of the Social Security and Medicare programs and said there stark differences between the political parties with the Democrats wanting to strengthen and preserve them while Republicans have supported the Paul Ryan budget plan which would change Medicare to a voucher program and result in reductions in Social Security benefits.
Also speaking at the meeting was Steve Richardson, public affairs specialist with Social Security's regional office in Boston, who said that 58 million Americans currently receive benefits from the program, 34 million of whom are retirees.
He said that fraud is a major problem for retirees and cautioned cautioned those present not to reveal their personal information.
''After Hurricane Sandy there were people getting calls from people who claimed they were with Social Security telling them that banks had suffered a power outage and asking them for personal information which would allow their social security cheeks to be deposited. Don't ever give your number to those people. Remember that if it's Social Security calling that we already know your number.''


Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter talks with Mendon and Betty McDonald at the Taylor Home Tuesday morning where she discussed steps she supports to strengthen Social Security and Medicaid programs. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)


Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 01:01

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Horace has his hat

LACONIA – Horace has found his hat.

Or more precisely, a woman from Laconia did while she and her brother were walking along Parade Road a few days after Bike Week with a metal detector.

Horace Joyner of Rocky Mount, N.C., was attending this year's Motorcycle Week when he crashed his red, white and blue Harley-Davidson Trike while on his way from Weirs Beach to his hotel in Tilton.

Joyner was taken to LRGH and then flown to Boston with head injuries.

All of his possessions were recovered at the scene by his friends and city police – except for one very special hat.

Last Friday, Joyner told the Daily Sun the history of his hat. The next day the woman who found it called him.

According to Joyner, a different woman read the article in the Sun and called the woman who she knew had found a hat resembling the one he had described.

He said when the two spoke on the phone, he described a (Dale) Earnhardt #3 patch he had put on top of it and she confirmed for him that it was his hat. The patch was not included in the story.

Joyner said the woman who found the hat took it home and put it in a bag. She told him that a number of people had tried to buy the hat from her but she told them she had a feeling that the had was very special to somebody.

"She actually had me crying," said Joyner, speaking yesterday about the phone call he got from her. "That hat sure has a lot of memories."

Joyner said he told her that he was offering a reward for the hat, but the woman declined to accept it.

"I'm going to send her something anyway," he said. "She's made me so happy there's no words to express it."

CAPTION: Horace Joyner wears his special hat while attending Motorcycle Week. He said the parrot belonged to someone he met in the Weirs who allowed him to take a picture of himself with the bird on his shoulder.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 01:22

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Affidavits released in Tilton aggravated rape case

TILTON – Arrest affidavits released from the 6th Circuit Court (Franklin Division) state a Meredith man recently indicted for 13 counts of raping a child was a close family friend.

The documents released yesterday said Mark Thurber, 42, of 118 Chase Road had allegedly been assaulting the girl since she was 6 years old.

Affidavits, taken during an interview with the Greater Lakes Region Child Advocacy Center, said the child described in detail some of the things Thurber allegedly did to her.

She said the first assault occurred while she was at his cabin in Meredith in 1999.

The child told police the assaults continued, sometimes on a daily basis, during 2008 and 2009 when Thurber allegedly lived with her family in Tilton.

She told the detective that he would sleep on the floor of her bedroom, but would eventually climb into her bed and assault her.

Affidavits said the victim's parents confirmed that Thurber frequently stayed at their home and they also recalled that he would stay in her room. The parents allegedly said they recalled him finding him in her bed on more than one occasion.

The affidavits, as prepared by a Tilton Police detective, said there are many more details about the alleged rapes not included in the initial affidavit and police only included enough information to justify Thurber's arrest and detention for one count of pattern aggravated felonious sexual assault.

A Belknap County grand jury indicted Thurber last month for six counts of felony pattern aggravated felonious sexual assault and seven counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault.

Thurber is being held in the Belknap County House of Corrections on $50,000 cash-only bail.

Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2014 11:59

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