County should see increased reimbursements with addition of record-keeping equipment


LACONIA — Record keeping should become easier at the Belknap County Nursing Home as the county has approved the purchase of a dozen kiosks for medical staff to use.

Belknap County Commissioners Wednesday morning approved a request from Belknap County Nursing Home Interim Administrator Bob Hemenway to waive the county's competitive bidding process and award a $19,152 contract for purchase of dozen kiosks for the nursing home to CareWorx.

The change is designed to stem what Hemenway has estimated is a $185,420 yearly loss in Medicaid income due to lack of adequate documentation of services provided for residents.
He has said that most of the seven county nursing homes in the state which have been using an electronic medical records program have turned their situations around and are receiving increased reimbursements.

The kiosks are a key element in implementing an electronic medical records system for the county home and will be paid for with $20,000 in funds set aside from last year's capital improvements budget.
Commissioners were told by County Administrator Debra Shackett that action was imperative as the CareWorx quote for the project, which had been extended by the firm in order to allow the county to finalize its 2016 budget, would expire at the end of the day.
Hemenway said he recommended CareWorx because it has a good working relationship with PointClickCare, which provides software currently used by the nursing home, because its wall mounting system is superior to that of other bidders, and because it has a 24/7 help desk and provides a two-year extended warranty.
Commissioners also approved spending $16,000 for additional hardware for the project, $5,500 with PointClickCare for a server for the system, $5,000 with Mainstay Technologies for a 48-port switch and $5,500 with Northeast Electrical Solutions for wiring. Only $8,850 has been budgeted for that hardware and commissioners will seek to transfer $7,150 from the professional management services line in this year's budget to cover the additional expense.
The commission also approved using $12,440 to cover software costs for the new system.
Hemenway said the new system will be phased in over the next several months and that he doesn't anticipate it being fully functional until the end of the year.

Local man accused of robbery, burglary in 2014 readies for trial


LACONIA — A Belknap County Superior Court Judge has ordered the County Attorney's Office to tell the court how many people will be granted immunity from prosecution so they can testify in the case of former local man who allegedly robbed a Harvard Street house with a gun in June of 2014.

Tyler Twombly, 31, was indicted by a grand jury for two counts of burglary, one count of conspiracy to commit robbery and one count of robbery.

Twombly came before the court on Monday for a "Richards" hearing, in which one of the potential witnesses to the crime asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination.

Belknap County Assistant Attorney Roni Karnis said she couldn't verify if the witness had been offered immunity and said there could be as many as five or six more people who could be offered immunity for their testimony at Twombly's trial. The judge wants all this information before the end of business on Friday.

The state alleges that Twombly and another man entered a home at 54 Harvard St. and "used force against another in the course of the robbery by striking or shooting (the victim) in the back of the head with the firearm and (the victim) was aware of the force.

News accounts at the time said the two were wearing bandanas over their faces and that Twombly allegedly stole some "controlled drugs" from one of the people in the house. Police were notified at 3:25 a.m. on June 25 and said one man from the home was taken to the hospital with some kind of superficial head wound, though at the time they could only confirm a gun had been fired.

Twombly is scheduled for a final pretrial hearing on March 30 and jury selection is scheduled for April 11. Twombley is represented by attorney Mark Sisti.

Inter-Lakes chooses principals for I-L Elementary and Sandwich Central schools

MEREDITH — Two new principals were named by the Inter-Lakes School Board Wednesday.

Jennifer Wrath was chosen as principal of Inter-Lakes Elementary School, and Jeremy Hillger will be the next principal at Sandwich Central School.

• Wrath is a 15-year veteran educator who began her career in 2001 at Bow Memorial School. She then moved in 2008 to Thornton Central School as a language arts teacher and curriculum coordinator. She has also served as a school board member and school board chairman of the Ashland School District.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in childhood studies at Plymouth State College and her master of science degree in curriculum and instruction and K-8 principal at Plymouth State University.

Wrath is one of two finalists forwarded to the Inter-Lakes School Board by the principal search committee. The board interviewed both candidates Monday then unanimously endorsed Wrath to be the new educational leader at Inter-Lakes Elementary School.

Inter-Lakes Elementary School in Meredith has 349 students in grades pre-K to 4 in 17 classrooms.

Wrath will begin the transition to the new position through the rest of this year and officially begin as principal on July 1.

• Hillger is an 18-year veteran educator who has been teaching 6th grade at Sandwich Central School since 2011. He began his career in 1998 at the Strong Wings Adventure School in Nantucket, Massachsetts. He moved in 1999 to the Lakes Region to begin his career in the Inter-Lakes School District at the Inter-Lakes Middle Tier.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in childhood studies at Plymouth State College and is currently finishing his master's of education in educational leadership at Southern New Hampshire University.

Hillger was the sole nominee of the principal search committee and was enthusiastically endorsed by the Inter-Lakes School Board to be the new educational leader at Sandwich Central School. The school has 79 students in kindergarten through sixth grade in four multi-age classrooms.

Hillger will begin transitioning to his new position through the rest of this year and will officially begin as principal on July 1.

– Ginger Kozlowski