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Delays at Messer & Lyford

LACONIA — Traffic on Messer Street will be slowed and detoured for the next three weeks while works proceeds on a natural gas main on the east side of the street, where it crosses the railroad tracks at the foot of Lyford Street.

North and south bound traffic will be reduced to one lane and controlled by temporary signals and flagging personnel. At night and on weekends eastbound traffic on Lyford Street will be routed north on Belknap Street then east on Oak Street to rejoin Messer Street.

R.H. White Construction Company, Inc. of Bow is performing the work for LIberty Utilities.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:11

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Sheriff endorses Innis

LACONIA — Beknap County Sheriff Craig Wiggin yesterday threw his support behind Dan Innis of Portsmouth, who is vying with Frank Guinta of Manchester for the Republican nomination in the First Congressional District.

In a prepared statement Wiggin said that that Innis "will be a strong supporter of New Hampshire's law enforcement community". "Dan understands the importance of our core values," he continued, "excellence in service, professional integrity, working with a collaborative approach and accountability to the public."

Wigging said yesterday that after meeting with Innis several times he was impressed by his intellect, experience and attitude. "He is very bright and what he doesn't know he is eager to learn," Wiggin said, "and he has a handle on our concerns as law enforcement officers. I think he is best guy for the job and I'm pleased to endorse him."

Primary election day in New Hampshire is Tuesday, Sept. 9.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:10

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Police say accident likely caused by distraction

BELMONT — Police said distracted driving likely led to a two-car accident at midday yesterday near the intersection of Routes 106 and 140, in front of D & D Market and Dunkin' Donuts.

Police said it appears Christopher Sargent, 21, of Laconia was headed north in his Subaru and crossed into the southbound lane hitting a Volkswagen driven by Ryder Grant.

The impact caused a tire and a rim to break away from the Volkswagen and strike a 2014 Kia sedan that was in the parking lot of D & D market.

No one was seriously injured but the Subaru and the Volkwagen were heavily damaged and needed to be towed.

After interviews with both drivers, police ruled out alcohol or speed but determined Sargent had momentarily taken his eyes off the road to adjust his radio and had crossed into the other lane.

He was cited for negligent driving and is scheduled to appear in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division on September 4.

Belmont Police want people to know that anyone who drives a vehicle negligently on a public roadway in New Hampshire that endangers or is likely to endanger any people and property can be cited for a violation and fined between $250 and $500 for the first offense and up to $1,000 for the second offense.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:07

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New director takes over troubled Newfound after-school program

by Thomas P. Caldwell

BRISTOL — Autumn Fabricant, the new director of the Newfound Area School District's Project Promise, is enthusiastic about the grant-funded after-school program that will be operating on a tighter budget and stricter oversight as a result of problems in previous years.
Project Promise operates on two grants from the N.H. Department of Education, one for the New Hampton Community School which is in its fourth year of a five-year grant; and the other, in year one of its third five-year grant, covering the remaining schools except for the Bridgewater-Hebron Village School. Superintendent Stacy Buckley, who joined the district last year, discovered that, although the BHVS did not qualify for grant funds, money from the grants had been used for the after-school program at that school for the past 11 years and now the Department of Education is asking for reimbursement.
In a presentation to the Newfound Area School Board on June 26, Buckley noted that there is no sustainability plan for either program, and funding for the large grant has decreased, resulting in expenditures exceeding revenue. In order to bring costs in line, Buckley has proposed reducing staff hours to eliminate overtime and benefits. She arranged with the Tapply-Thompson Community Center in Bristol to operate a Friday program for students so the district could operate its program just four days a week, although the district will be paying a stipend to the TTCC.
Meanwhile, the district has encumbered $144,976 from the unexpended fund balance for the 2013-2014 fiscal year for the reimbursement to Project Promise for the spending at the Bridgewater-Hebron Village School.
At the school board's Aug. 11 meeting, Fabricant introduced herself and said she has been working to rebrand the program so it is seen as more than just child care. She said she took part in a focus group to determine what people wanted out of the program and they identified several goals, including that it be purposeful in enrichment, engaging, active, and that it reinforce academics. A personal goal, she said, is to see that there is a youth voice at all levels.
Another important aspect of the program is to determine how the community can be involved.
Addressing the superintendent's concerns about sustainability, Fabricant noted that parents will pay a higher fee than last year — $8 per day instead of $5 — although there is a sliding scale to accommodate those who qualify for free or reduced school lunches.
Fabricant also is working on staffing to see that it is sufficient to meet the program needs. She said there will be a site coordinator at each school, plus one other staff member present for four days a week to provide continuity.
Buckley noted that they have been studying best practices for obtaining volunteers or low-cost staff members by tapping into colleges and work-study programs. School Board Chair Ruby Hill of Danbury also suggested recruiting those interested in sports and recreation which she said would fill a component that has been lacking in the after-school program.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:03

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