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Community College enrollment up 19% this summer

LACONIA — While summer enrollment increased throughout the Community College System of New Hampshire by four-percent, Lakes Region Community College posted growth fivefold greater than the average for the seven institutions.

This summer 413 students enrolled at LRCC compared to 346 a year ago, a difference of 19 percent. Max Brown, spokesman for the college, said that increase in credit hours was even greater, rising from 1,922 in 2013 to 2,405 in 2014, an increase of  25 percent.

Brown said that the first decrease in tuition in recent memory contributed to the growing enrollment. Earlier this year, Ross Gittell, chancellor of the system, announced that after freezing tuition in four of the last eight years, tuition would be trimmed 5 percent to $200 per credit.

Brown anticipated robust enrollment in the fall as well, noting that numbers in the advanced manufacturing program are set to more than triple from five to 17 while enrollment in the culinary arts will rise from 83 to 91.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 01:53

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Got Literacy teams with Got Lunch! Laconia to keep kids reading over the summer

LACONIA — "I thought we ought to feed the mind as well as as the belly," said Jane Hewitt, a volunteer for the Got Lunch! program and co-founder of Got Literacy. She paired the two organizations and, with a grant from the Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF), brought entertainment and books to the Lakes Region Boys and Girls Club this week.

Dozens of youngsters, some in their mothers' arms, were treated to dramatic storytelling by Simon Brooks of New London, whose animated rendition of the traditional tale of "Goldilocks" evoked peels of giggles. Brooks, who grew up in England, turned to storytelling after working in telecommunications. He said listening to stories introduces children to realms beyond their experience, which they can explore through reading.

Hewitt said that CLiF, founded in 1998 and headquartered in Waterbury Center, Vermont, provided a "Summer Reading" grant to underwrite a stock of new books for the children to take with them after the program. The grants are intended to offset the so-called "summer slide," or decline of literacy among schoolchildren who do not read during their vacation. Research indicates that children who read throughout the year become increasingly literate.

In the 16 years since CLiF began its six literacy programs have reached more than 150,000 low-income young readers in Vermont and New Hampshire and distributed more than $3-million worth of books.

After the storytelling, Gail Drucker, the childrens' librarian at the Laconia Public Library, encouraged the children and their parents to seize the opportunities offered by the institution. In particular, she explained that by reading books and recording the titles children could earn a prize at the the library each and every week.

Books suited for children from infants to adolescents were arranged by age on different tables around the room. The program closed with an invitation to the children to browse the selections, read a few pages and choose two books for themselves. "You can take them home, put them on your bookshelf and write your name in them," Drucker said. Toddlers and teenagers alike left clutching books.

Meanwhile, Got Literacy has piggybacked on the Got Lunch! program by adding crossword puzzles, word games and books to childrens' lunch bags, distributed each Monday during the school vacation season. Hewitt said that with so many alternatives to reading, promoting literacy is a challenge, but one worth pursuing. "You hope to inspire readers for life," she said.

CAPTION: Storyteller Simon Brooks regaled toddlers and teenagers with tales of magic at the Lakes Region Boys and Girls Club this week while Got Literacy, in partnership with the Children's Literacy Foundation, sent the children home with books. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).  


Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 01:46

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Barnstead man fined $6,220 for hunting at night

CONCORD — A Barnstead man is one of two people convicted recently for multiple counts of hunting at night, said a media statement from the Dept. of Fish and Game.

Police said that on October 22, 2013, they set up a deer decoy in the town of Northwood that was shot by James Blaisdell using a cross-bow from a motor vehicle at 1 a.m.

Once the cross bow hit its intended target, the driver of the car, Dana Martin of Pittsfield, sped off leading conservation officers on a four-town chase.

Once the two were at the Pittsfield Police station, interviews led officers to believe the two had been involved in a second night-hunting incident on September 12, 2013.

Both men were found guilty of one class A misdemeanor, two Class B misdemeanors and a violation.

Each is ordered to pay $6,220 in fines and preform 20 hours of community service. The hunting privileges in New Hampshire are suspended for five years.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 01:35

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Laconia police predict spike in shoplifting arrests because much of new 'super' Walmart store is in city

LACONIA — Police Chief Chris Adams told the Laconia Police Commission yesterday that the city could see a spike in retail theft reports when the new "super" Walmart store opens on Lake Shore Road.

He explained that about 90 percent of the enlarged and newly configured store is in Laconia so city police will be responding to most of the calls for shoplifting.

In its old configuration, most of the Walmart was just over the line in Gilford.

Adams said the company has a good loss prevention team so he expects calls to the store will be on the increase.

To date, he said Laconia Police have responded one to three times daily to Walmart.

City Prosecutor Jim Sawyer said the only way Gilford will respond is if someone exits through the lawn and garden section, which is still in Gilford.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 12:49

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