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Unexpected/unpredictable expenses said driving up county's public safety budget

LACONIA — Belknap County Corrections Superintendent Dan Ward last week provided a classic example of how unanticipated events can drive up spending at the county jail.
While explaining details of his budget to the Belknap County Convention's Public Safety Subcommittee, Ward pointed out how  the inability of one person being held at jail to post $100 bail resulted in a $5,000 hospital bill for the county.

'She was being held in protective custody on $100 bail,and couldn't be released because she was intoxicated. She then thought she was having a heart attack and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital where she was taken to the emergency room. It wasn't a heart attack but the bill was for $13,000, which the hospital discounted to $ 5,000.'' said Ward.
Ward said that mental health spending for inmates needing those services accounts for around $45,000 a year while medications which are supplied by the county for those in custody requires about $4,000 a month — but those numbers are unknowable at the start of the budget year and can only be estimated at that time based on past experience.
Belknap County Sheriff Craig Wiggin said that he has the same kind of expenses facing his department with involuntary admissions to the State (mental) Hospital, which he said require his department to take as many as 300 people there a year, many in the middle of the night, which can require off duty officers to be called in.
Rep. Frank Tilton (R-Laconia) advised both department heads that they might want to look at their budget estimates closely as he is calling for the elimination of a $100,000 contingency line in the county budget ''which the county commissioners can do what they want with'' and creation of a contingency fund which the county convention would have more control over.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 02:40

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Robbie Mills 8 Ball Tourney brings in $3,600; Brulotte is champ

LACONIA — The 7th Annual Robbie Mills Memorial 8 Ball Tournament held Saturday at the Funky Monkey in downtown Laconia raised over $3,600 for the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region and the WLNH Children's Auction.
Winner of the tournament was Tim Brulotte, who won every match during the day, while Don LeBlanc was the runner-up. Buddy Diltz placed third and Stan Brallier was fourth.
The tournament, which was started seven years ago by Mike Baron of Baron's Billiards as a benefit for the Boys and Girls Club, attracted 56 entries.
Baron was joined by Tony Felch, John Rich and Brenda Ferland of the Deja Vu Pub Mania Team, in running the event this year. The team raised over $20,000 for last year's Children's Auction and half of this year's proceeds from the Robbie Mills Tournament will go to the auction.
''We had a good tournament with lots of enthusiastic players and are looking to make it even bigger next year,'' said Baron, who along with Felch thanked all of the sponsors, including MetroCast, which donated $1,000.


CAPTION: slugged poolmills

Winners in the 7th Annual Robbie Mills Memorial 8 Ball Tournament, which was held Saturday at the Funky Monkey in downtown Laconia,  included, left to right, Don LeBlanc, second; Stan Brailler, fourth; Buddy Diltz, third, and Tim Brulotte, the winner, who won every match during the day-long tournament. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 02:37

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Going forward, only AP courese will carry extra grade weight at GHS

GILFORD – Grades in advanced placement (AP) courses will continue to carry more weight at the High School, but grades for honors courses will no longer be weighted starting in the fall of 2018, if a proposed policy is approved next month.
The Gilford School Board held a first reading of the weighted grades policy Monday. The policy returns for a second reading and likely approval at the board's March meeting.
High School Principal Peter Sawyer, who had initially proposed eliminating weighted grades entirely, presented the modified proposal at Monday's meeting.
"It's really irrelevant to colleges whether we have weighted grades," said Sawyer who sought out the opinions of several college admissions officials on the subject.
Advance placement courses provide college level curriculum and tests to students in a variety of academic subject areas, such as mathematics, science, and literature. Honors courses are more accelerated and go over more material than the standard course in a given subject.
When the issue of weighted grades was first raised at the School Board's December meeting, Vice Chairman Kurt Webber said he was concerned that eliminating weighted grade would adversely affect students' class rank, and so possibly hurt their chances to get admitted to the more competitive colleges or universities.
But Sawyer said that judging from the feedback he received from admissions counselors, colleges do not place that much weight on an applicant's class rank, and Sawyer pointed out that only about half of the high schools nationally include a class rank on a student's transcript.
"What they look at is the rigor of the class and the grades they received," Sawyer explained. "It's not the SAT scores or the class rank."
And while acknowledging that some colleges and university are much harder to get into than others, Sawyer said that college admission personnel analyze student performance in much the same way. "From SNHU (Southern New Hampshire University) to Princeton they all look at students the same."
On Monday Webber said he was happy to see that grades for advanced placement courses will continue to have more weight.
"I thank weighting AP courses makes sense," he said.
Another part of the revised grading policy Gilford High would add a "diploma of distinction" that would require earning 26 class credits, a minimum GPA of 3.5 and there would be a community service component for one-half of a credit that would require a minimum of 24 hours. In addition, a diploma with distinction would require a student earn 13.5 or more credits from honors or AP classes.
NOTE: The board endorsed a proposal from Student Council representative Bridget Eldridge to include CPR training as part of health class at the high school. Eldridge, who is doing an internship with Gilford Fire-Rescue, said that Fire Department personnel who are certified CPR instructors would give CPR training twice a semester. "There are too many people who don't know what to do (when someone has a heart attack)," said Eldridge, in explaining the need to teach the procedure which helps restore partial flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 02:23

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Weekly Hands Across the Table dinner back at St. Andre Bessette Parish for a month

LACONIA — Hands Across the Table will be hosting their free Tuesday night meal at the Saint Andre Bessette Parish Hall on Gilford Avenue tonight and will continue to host their weekly meals there until the first week of March.
Doors open at 4 p.m. with the meal served at 5 p.m. The third annual HATT Soupathon and Silent Service Auction will be held Sunday, Feb. 9 from 5-7 p.m. at St. Andre Bessette Parish Hall.
The move was made necessary by the return of the Saint James Preschool to the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region after temporarily being housed at the Lakes Region Child Care Services Early Learning Center on Normandin Square.
The upstairs area used as dining facility at the Boys and Girls Club will be used by the preschool until repairs are completed to its downstairs classrooms.
Gayle Sullivan, St. James preschool director, said that the preschool has been housed at Normandin Square for a month and moved back because the space it had been using is needed so that furniture can be moved around during a recarpeting project at the Lakes Region Child Care Services facility.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 02:15

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