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Tilton police investigating chocolate store robbery

TILTON — Police are actively investigating Tuesday's robbery of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Store in the Tanger Outlet Center.

Police chief Robert Cormier said a white male between the ages of 25 and 30 entered the store at 7:35 p.m. had the clerk open the register and he removed an unknown amount of cash. No one was injured.

The alleged robber was described as being about 5-feet 8-inches tall and wearing a ball cap, a gray hooded sweatshirt, and light blue jeans. Police said he had a beard.

Police responded with a K-9 and conducted a search of the area but were unable to find the robber.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Tilton Police at 603-286-4442 or the TIP Crime Line at 855-286-6565.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 03:06

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5 local lawmakers get 'A' grades from N.H. Business & Industry Association

CONCORD — Both state senators from the Lakes Region — Republican Jeanie Forrester of Meredith and Democrat Andrew Hosmer of Laconia — were named "Champions of Business" by the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association (BIA) for their voting record in the 2013 legislative session. But, only three of the 18 state representatives from Belknap County earned the title.

Forrester and Hosmer posted identical scores of 89 percent while differing on just two of the nine "pro business" votes tracked by the BIA. Hosmer voted against and Forrester voted for a bill to convene a committee to study privatizing the prison system, which the BIA favored, while Forrester voted for and Hosmer voted against a bill to establish a moratorium on new generation and transmission facilities pending the outcome of a study, which the BIA opposed.

Among the 13 Republican representatives in the county delegation, Frank Tilton of Laconia posted a perfect score of 100 percent and was joined by Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, with 88 percent, and Don Flanders of Laconia, with 86 percent, as a "Champion of Business."

Five other Republicans — Dennis Fields of Sanbornton, Bob Greemore, Herb Vadney and Colette Worsman of Meredith and Mike Sylvia of Belmont scored 75 percent. They were followed by Stephen Holmes and Jane Cormier of Alton, both with 71 percent. Bob Luther of Laconia and Guy Comtois scored 67 percent while Chuck Fink of Belmont, scored 57 percent, the lowest score among the Republican members.

Three of the five Democrats in the county delegation — Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, David Huot of Laconia and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — scored 63 percent while Ruth Gulick of New Hampton scored 50 percent and Beth Arsenault of Laconia 40 percent.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 03:00

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Boy Scout storage shed burglarized at Holy Trinity School

LACONIA — Police are investigating an apparent burglary and vandalism at the Boy Scouts of America storage hut that is in the parking lot behind the Holy Trinity School on Church Street.

Police said they were called to the shed at 9:05 a.m. Tuesday after two of the troop's adult advisers found the building had been entered.

Lt. Richard Simmons said whoever broke into the building fired off the fire extinguisher and stole some snacks and juice boxes.

He said the Boy Scouts also reported an aluminum ladder was taken.

If anyone has any information they are asked to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Greater Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 02:57

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Forrester working with HHS to curb EBT abuse

CONCORD — State Senator Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith), who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, has introduced legislation to specify what the cash assistance benefit included on electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards may be used for, at the recommendation of the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services.

Last year Forrester successfully sponsored legislation to align state law with federal law by prohibiting the use of EBT cards at liquor stores and off-premise licensees selling beer and wine, gambling establishments and adult entertainment venues. However, an audit released by the Office of the Legislative Budget Assistant last month concluded that "these restrictions will likely be largely ineffective and difficult to enforce."

The auditors found that while DHHS could monitor where EBT cards are used there are no means of monitoring what they are used to purchase. Moreover, cash withdrawals at automated teller machines represent 78-percent of the $23-million in EBT transactions, further hindering the agency's ability to ensure that cash assistance is used for the purposes for which it is intended. While the federal government funds the food stamp (SNAP) allowance that is also included on EBT cards, the state funds the cash assistance program.

"That's the challenge and that's the frustration," Forrester said. "There's no tracking system. No way to audit." She that after meetings with local welfare directors and Terry Smith of the Division of Family Assistance at DHHS, she believes that most recipients of cash assistance do not abuse it.

Nevertheless, Forrester accepted the recommendations of the auditors that the Legislature more clearly define the purpose of cash assistance and DHHS promulgate rules restricting the use of cash assistance to them. She said that the new legislation prohibits the purchase of particular products and services like alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets and tattoos that are not essential to subsistence. Following the recommendation of the auditors she expected the restrictions would also apply to those receiving cash assistance by electronic funds transfer (EFT).

Currently the penalties for abusing EBT cards are the loss of the right to use the card for two pay periods for the first offense, four for the second and six for the third and subsequent offenses. Conceding that enforcement will pose a challenge, she said that along with a more aggressive education campaign some consideration will be given to stiffer penalties.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 02:53

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