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Belknap delegation breaks 12 to 5 against legalizing pot

CONCORD — When the New Hampshire House of Representatives reversed itself yesterday by scuttling the bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana it passed in January, a majority of the Belknap County delegation voted kill the bill.

In January, the House rejected the recommendation of its Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee by passing House Bill 492 by a mere eight votes — 170 to 162. Then the county delegation split evenly with seven members in favor and seven against with four absent. Since the bill would have taxed retail sales of marijuana it was referred to Ways and Means Committee, which by a vote of 14 to 5 recommended against it.

Yesterday the House followed the recommendation of its committee by rejecting the bill by a vote of 192 to 140 to reject the bill as the county delegation divided 12 to 5 against legalization.

The five county representatives voting against the motion to kill House Bill 492 yesterday were Republicans Bob Greemore and Herb Vadney of Meredith and Michael Sylvia of Belmont, all of whom backed the bill in January, and Democrats Beth Arsenault of Laconia and Ruth Gulick of New Hampton. In January Gulick supported the bill and Arsenault did not vote.

The bipartisan majority of the delegation opposing the bill consisted of nine Republicans — Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Jane Cormier and Stephen Holmes of Alton, Dennis Fields of Sanbornton, Charles Fink of Belmont, Bob Luther and Frank Tilton of Laconia and Colette Worsman of Meredith — three Democrats — Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, David Huot of Laconia and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton. Republican Don Flanders of Laconia was absent and did not vote.

Apart from Burchell, Comtois and Fink, who voted for the bill in January but against it yesterday, the other members of the county delegation voted consistently.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 March 2014 01:12

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County Reps Reject Common Core

CONCORD — The Belknap County Delegation divided along party lines when the New Hampshire House of Representatives  rejected one bill to impede and another to thwart the introduction of the Common Core educational standards in the public schools.

House Bill 1239 would direct the State Board of Education to prepare a fiscal analysis of the program and hold five public hearings before implementing the Common Core standards, while House Bill 1508 would simply terminate the program altogether.

Last week, the House rejected HB-1239 by a vote of 182 to 124 and HB-1508 by a vote of 210 to 138. However, a majority of the county delegation backed both bills. The delegation split 11 to 6 in favor of HB-1239 and 12 to 5 in favor of HB-1503.

The five Democrats on the county delegation — Reps. Beth Arsenault and David Huot of Laconia, Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, Ruth Gulick of New Hampton and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — voted against both bills and were joined on HB-1239 by Republican Dennis Fields. However, Fields joined the other Republican delegation members in voting for HB1508.

All the other Republicans voted for both bills — Reps. Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Jane Cormier and Stephen Holmes of Alton, Charles Fink and Michael Sylvia of Belmont, Bob Greemore, Herb Vadney and Colette Worsman of Meredith, and Bob Luther and Frank Tilton of Laconia. Republican Don Flanders of Laconia was absent and did not vote.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 12:53

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Man says he was robbed of $250 coat in downtown Laconia

LACONIA — City police are investigating a "strong arm" robbery reported to them at 11:53 a.m. yesterday.

Capt. Matthew Canfield said a few young men were walking on Church Street from Busy Corner toward the Post Office and one of them was carrying his coat.

They reported that a beige Chevy Cobalt being driven by a woman stopped and a man got out of the passenger seat and accosted the guy with the coat.

Police said the victim reported that the man pushed him a few times, hit him once, and stole a Nautica jacket that he said was valued at $250.

Canfield said the victim was familiar with his assailant and police continue to investigate.

In other police news, Canfield said an empty school bus rear-ended a Dodge Caravan in front of Young's Auto on South Main Street yesterday.

He said the Caravan was pushed into a small fat-bed truck. Canfield said no one was injured however the Caravan was likely a total loss.

Traffic was rerouted through the area until the Caravan could be removed.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 01:58

Hits: 155

Northfield woman agrees she owes federal government $204,037 in taxes

CONCORD— Judith Kravitz, 65, of Northfield, a well known figure in transformational breathing circles, has pleaded guilty to four counts of income tax evasion in United States District Court.

Kravitz, who failed to file income tax returns between 2007 and 2010, entered a plea agreement, agreeing that she owes $204,037 in back taxes. The plea agreement stipulates that she will propose a schedule for paying the delinquent taxes, along with penalties and interest, prior to sentencing.

Tax evasion, a felony, carries a fine of not more than $100,000 ($500,000 for a corporation) or imprisonment for not more than five years or both. However, the United States Attorney, Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service have all recommended that Kravitz be placed on probation.

According to the IRS, Kravitz formed several corporations — The Breath Foundation, Synergistic Breath Foundation and Transformational Breath Foundation — in New Hampshire and Maine as well as the Transformational Breath Family Trust. After opening bank accounts for each, Kravitz shuffled the receipts of her income into these accounts to conceal her earning. In 2010 Kravitz rented a U-Haul storage unit in the name of her deceased mother, where financial records were kept.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 01:45

Hits: 786

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