'Smokey's' fire danger rating signs stolen in Belmont

BELMONT — For a reason no one can fathom, someone stole the changeable signs that get posted in front of the fire station to report the fire danger on any particular day.

Lt. Ryan Brown said the signs were all stored inside the Smokey Bear sign at the end of the BFD driveway. Each day the danger of forest fires is rated from low to extreme.

He said one went missing about two days ago and the rest of them disappeared  Thursday night into Friday morning, sometime after 11:30 p.m. and before 6:15 a.m.

Brown said each rating had two signs — meaning two that say "low", two that say "medium" all the way up through "extreme". All totaled, there are 10 individual sign pieces.

At first, he said, he and the other supervisors thought it was a pranks pulled on them by one of the call firefighters or members of the duty crew.

"We interviewed the usual pranksters," he said, noting that none of them knew anything about the thefts.

He said the Belmont Police have been notified but all the fire department really wants is to get their signs returned.

Brown said the signs must be ordered through the N.H. Division of Forestry and are made especially for the state for redistribution to individual fire departments.

"All Smokey want is to inform people about the fire danger," Brown said.

He is also asking that if any parents see any of the signs in their childrens' rooms to return them to the department.

"That's really all we want," he said.


CAPTION: Smokey Bear in Belmont is missing his warning signs. The message board on the left is asking for them to be returned so Smokey can continue his warnings. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

Gilmanton town administrator to leave post

GILMANTON — Town Administrator Arthur Capello will be leaving Gilmanton in the end of July to assume the same position in his home town of Farmington.

Capello has been with the town for two years and saw it through the sprinkler pipe leak that shut down town hall in the Academy Building for three months earlier this year.

Capello was a selectman in Farmington but was defeated in his most recent bid for re-election.

Shaker community in midst of 3-days devoted to determining 'vision'

BELMONT — A three-day event being facilitated here by education author Bea McGarvey started yesterday afternoon with an introduction to the parents, students, teachers, school board members, administrators and community members from N.H. Commissioner of Education Virgina Berry.

According to McGarvey, the author of "Inevitable: Mass Customized Learning" is in Belmont to help facilitate developing the vision the Shaker Regional School District has for the future.

Pointing to the individual artworks on each table she noted that "all kids have stuff like that in them, but a good teacher really draws them out."

McGarvey said the participants will be doing the work. She is only there as a facilitator.

"They'll come up with a mission that defines their core values that included measurable outcomes for the students, " she said.

The visioning sessions have been planned for months and will continue through today at the Belmont High School.


CUTLINE: Shaker Regional School Board Vice Chair Bob Reed, Belmont High School senior Jen Hamilton, and McGarvey sit at a table decorated by students with paper sneakers, Behind them stand Maria Dreyer and N.H Education Commissioner Virginia Berry. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)