Free concussion screenings offered in Belmont Tuesday

03-25 Brooke MillsBrooke Mills



BELMONT — Brooke Mills was reaching for a ball just as a boy kicked at it during a game in a physical education class three years ago.

His foot landed on her head, knocking Mills out and giving her a concussion.

Mills, 17, who is Miss Weirs Beach, is now on a mission to raise awareness about the dangers of concussion and the need for better diagnosis and treatment for this injury.

On Tuesday, free concussion screenings and a discussion about the injury will be given in Belmont, and Mills is encouraging people to attend.

Scott Krauchunas, an optometrist, will hold the initial screenings from 6 to 7 p.m. at InFocus Eyecare, 320 Daniel Webster Highway, Belmont, followed by a discussion about concussions and a question-and-answer period. The screenings will look for altered eye movements associated with concussion.

Mills said she still suffers from concussion symptoms, including headaches, memory loss and sensitivity to light. She graduated from Concord High School last year. She raises awareness about concussion through her blog _ _ and gives speeches on the topic.

Other symptoms of concussion include depression and sensitivity to movement.

"Nine out of 10 people can't correctly define a concussion," she said. "I try to speak to parents, so they can recognize concussion in themselves or in their children.

"I also tell children it's an invisible injury and not to bully others who may have had concussions. Teens who suffer concussion are three times more likely to suffer depression."

Krauchunas, who also holds a doctorate in psychology, said there are therapies that can assist people who have suffered concussions. It's also important that people stay away from contact sports during recuperation.

Thanks, Chief!

03-24 Chief Adams cake


Leaders of Stand Up Laconia presented Laconia Police Chief Christopher Adams with a cake and a photograph on Thursday night at the Huot Career and Technical Center to recognize his six years of work with the organization, which works to prevent drug abuse. Adams has announced his retirement effective May 1 after a 23-year career with the police department. He said drug abuse continues to be a significant problem, although use of heroin and fentanyl has increased, while misuse of prescription pain killers has shown declines. He also said there has been a growing awareness of the need and effectiveness of treatment for people suffering from addiction to drugs. (Rick Green/Laconia Daily Sun)



After spring arrives, cold, wet weather persists in Lakes Region


LACONIA — In like a lion and out like ... a lion? The month of March has been cold, and the forecast for this weekend hasn't given residents reason to expect a change.

The National Weather Service predicts a chance of rain and snow by early afternoon and again in the evening Saturday, with highs in the low 40s.

"It has been quite a cold month," said National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Hawley, who predicted that March will end up below normal for temperatures.

For the month of March so far, Concord hovered 4.4 degrees below normal. On Monday, March 20, the first day of spring, the average temperature in Concord was 32 degrees, 2 degrees below normal. Two days earlier, the average temperature of 21 degrees was 13 degrees below normal, the weather service reported.

As of March 24, Laconia reported 19.4 inches of snow, Concord logged 15.9 inches of snow, Meredith reported 12.2 inches of snow and East Sandwich reported 16.1 inches of snow for the month, Hawley said.

February was 5.8 degrees above normal for temperatures in Concord, but snowfall was heavy across the region, with 26 inches of snow reported in Laconia, 30 inches of snow in Meredith, 33 inches of snow in Epping, 41.9 inches of snow in Sandwich, 41.5 inches of snow in North Hampton and 35.4 inches of snow in Tamworth, Hawley said.

In the forecast for April 1 through April 14, "we're looking at normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation. It will more than likely be rain or a mix," Hawley said. But he added, "You can't rule out snow."

Across the United States, the winter was mild, with near-record warm temperatures in many regions of the country, according to the federal National Centers for Environmental Information.

"The average winter (December 2016-February 2017) temperature across the contiguous U.S. was 35.9 degrees F, 3.7 degrees above average, making it the sixth warmest winter on record," the center reported. In February, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 41.2 degrees, 7.3 degrees above the 20th-century average, making it the second warmest February in the 123-year period of record, the center reported.