Teamsters union approves contract with county (289)

LACONIA — Belknap County has reached an agreement on a two-year contract with employees represented by Teamsters Local 633.

The contract was approved by a 2-1 vote of the County Commissioners last week, the commissioners announced Wednesday. This week the pact was approved by a majority vote of union membership. The contract will now go the Belknap County Convention for approval of the cost items.

The agreement provides for step increases for employees, which are based on individual performance reviews, as well as a 1.4 percent cost of living increase. In return, the employees agree to move to a less expensive health insurance plan which provides an option for dental insurance.

A press release issued by the commission said the new contract ''is consistent with the Commissioners' long term goal to avoid health insurance plans that will trigger the impending "Cadillac tax" in 2018.

If approved by the County Delegation, this contract will authorize the first pay raises for any county employees since 2012.

"The (negotiating) team was instructed by the Commissioners to consider input from the County Delegation. When the Delegation turned down the cost items presented back in March the Delegation indicated that they wanted a two-year agreement rather than a three-year contract, and also wanted the contract to allow the Commissioners to change health insurance providers so long as coverage benefits remained substantially similar. Both of these goals were accomplished with this agreement.''

In March the Belknap County Convention unanimously rejected a collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Local Union 633, which would have added $25,581 to the 2015 county budget.

The three-year contract with the county's newest union, which represents 21 mid-level managers, had been approved by the previous county commissioners as one of their last acts in office in late December 2014.



Two attempted burglaries in 2 days at antique center

LACONIA – Police are investigating two attempted burglaries at the Laconia Antique Center at 601 Main St.

Store owner Charlie St. Clair said yesterday that the first attempt happened at 4:15 a.m. on Wednesday morning and the second attempt happened sometime after 2 a.m. yesterday.

In both cases, St. Clair said the attempted burglaries involved someone smashing out the window in the steel door on the Hanover Street side of the building.

"I think the first night the hole was too small," said St. Clair who said his cameras captured images of the suspect "wailing" on the door with something in his or her hand.

He said he hasn't completely finished reviewing the footage of the second attempt but knows it happened after 2 a.m. He said police are reviewing all the footage.

He said the damage to the glass in the door was greater the second time so he thinks someone or something interrupted the would-be burglar.

St. Clair said he has no idea if it was the same person who made the attempts to get into his store.

Barnstead police arrest Maine fugitive

BARNSTEAD – A Maine woman was arrested without incident Thursday after local police received word from the Jay, Maine Police Department that they had good reason to think she was driving a certain car and living in Barnstead.

Samantha Benvie, 27, of Suncook Valley Road was wanted by Jay Police for felony burglary and two misdemeanors for criminal mischief and theft by unauthorized taking. In New Hampshire she is being held on $2,500 cash-only bail and is charged with being a fugitive from justice.

Chief Joe McDowell said the burglary was reason to extradite her because it is a felony. He also said the Jay, Maine police were willing to come to the Belknap County House of Corrections.

Jay, Maine is a town of about 4,000 people about 20 miles northwest of Augusta.