NARCAN saves man’s life on Hill Street

LACONIA — Police said yesterday a 39-year-old man came close to dying of an apparent opiate overdose while lying in the snow on Hill Street.

Capt. Matt Canfield said the victim was in a car with three others when he began having difficulties and stopped breathing.

Canfield said the man's friends had removed him from the car and were administering CPR when police and fire rescue arrived.

He said the man was treated with NARCAN - an opioid antidote - and transported the Lakes Region General Hospital.




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Storms stress city’s winter maintenance budget

LACONIA — With major storms on the first two weekends of February, City Manager Scott Myers said yesterday that "we're close, if not on the edge, of what we've allocated for winter maintenance."

By the end of January, the Department of Public Works (DPW) had spent $343,930, or 85 percent, of the $406,000 appropriated for winter maintenance, leaving a balance of $62,069. So far this winter DPW has spent $43,440 in November, $170,066 in December and $130,424 in January.

Myers said that the cost of the two storms in February have yet to be tallied, but anticipated that because the first extended into the weekend and the second occurred on a weekend, both would be costly.

For the moment, the city is short on salt as well as money, Myers said. He explained there is plenty of road salt at the Granite State Mineral depot at Portsmouth Harbor, but the frequency of heavy snowfall has led to a shortage of trucks to deliver it. He said that many of the trucks that would be delivering salt are busy hauling snow.

Myers assured residents that the DPW will continue to plow and treat the city streets through the winter and said there would be sufficient funds in the budget to address any overage in winter maintenance expenses.

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Restorative Justice Program to Relocate to County Complex (493)

LACONIA — Belknap County's Restorative Justice Program will move from the Belknap County Courthouse to the administrative wing of the Belknap County complex in the near future.

The program, which has four part-time employees, serves youthful offenders (minors) as well as adult and juvenile diversion and bail supervision offenders, occupies about 1,500 square feet of space in the courthouse. It currently supervises 61 participants and utilizes space in probate court for a classroom.

Under a plan proposed by Belknap County Corrections Superintendent Dan Ward, Restorative Justice Program Director Brian Loanes, Facilities Manager Dustin Muzzey and County Administrator Debra Shackett, the program would occupy space in the commissioner's wing of the county complex, including the facilities manager's office, the three county commissioner's offices and Conference Room 2, which would be used as a classroom.

The plan, proposed by Ward, sees the wing continuing as a mixed-use space that would allow access by the public to Conference Room 1, which is used for voting, commission and county convention meetings and public hearings, as well as other county departments for meetings and training.

Ward said that by using the access point entrance to the nursing home adequate levels of security would be maintained by using the ''buzz-in'' system and that both restorative justice staff and community corrections officers would be able to use an office located across from the rest room for participant check in.

The offices currently used by the commissioners would be vacated and reassigned for the case manager's use and could be used by the restorative justice staff during the day and community corrections officers at night. It is suggested that the commissioner's offices could be relocated to the support wing where there is an empty office and a conference room as well as other offices. Muzzey would be relocated to the support wing of the nursing home and would share an office with maintenance officer John Gilson.

As part of the changes, which could be completed by March 1, a door would be reinstalled past the public restrooms, which would limit access to the support services area. The door and the cost of relocating telephone and internet extensions and intranet access are the only costs associated with the move.

Both Ward and Loanes spoke highly of the new location, noting that it would allow them to work more closely together to complement what they currently do within the criminal justice system and eliminate duplication of services.

''We both deal with pre-trial confinement and community service and this will help community corrections getting out into the field,'' said Ward.

Loanes said he would be glad to work with Ward in either an independent position or being in the chain of command for community corrections.

Commissioner Hunter Taylor said he didn't think that such a change would be necessary. ''We should leave well enough alone.''

''I'm all for it. I don't need an office,'' said Commissioner Dave DeVoy.

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Gilford selectmen to hear synthetic drug ban tonight

GILFORD — Selectmen are expected to hear at a meeting tonight the police department's plan to make synthetic drugs illegal in Gilford.

The proposed ordinance, if passed by selectmen, will bring Gilford in line with existing federal law and with proposed legislation that is before the N.H. Legislature but has yet to be passed.

"This ordinance will serve to educate the public that these forms of dangerous synthetic drugs are not allowed in the town of Gilford, whether they are already considered scheduled controlled drugs or they are analogs, which can be considered just as illegal," said Detective Sergeant Christopher Jacques last week while he was explaining his recommendations.

For the purposes of the ordinance, Jacques said using the word "analog" is to continue the illegality of synthetic drugs that are chemically altered to avoid being mentioned in the Federal Drug Act. He said the state law, if it passes, will do the same thing.

Jacques identified two types of synthetic drugs that are growing in popularity within the state and in the town of Gilford – cathinones, commonly referred to as bath salts, and phenethylamines, a term which includes synthetic compounds like LSD and MDMA (ecstasy).

Synthetic cathinones are Schedule 1 drugs according to the Federal Drug Act as are mescaline, cannabis and their synthetic copycats.

One tool to identify and fight the use of these drugs is with a NarcoTest that can be purchased by police department for use as a preliminary identifiers. Jacques said the NarcoPouchs or NarcoTests are expensive but can give immediate results as opposed to waiting up to ten months for the state lab to produce an official analysis.

Jacques said the department is seeing use of synthetic drugs, often sold over the counter and labeled as not for human consumption, in children as young as 14.

"These were never intended for human consumption," he said.

"There's no control for these," he said. "(People) don't know what they're really getting."

He said police and other emergency responders have seen upwards of a dozen bad reactions to these drugs including paranoia, violent behavior, rapid heart rate and a death in one case.

The Gilford Selectmen meet at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall and Jacques encouraged anyone – especially parents of young people – to attend the presentation to learn more about the proposed ordinance and the danger these drugs present to consumers.

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