Alcohol fund rally planned at state Capitol


LACONIA — Legislation passed in 2000 called for 5 percent of the gross profits from alcohol sales to be placed in a fund to fight drug and alcohol problems in New Hampshire, but this fund has not been operating as intended.

In every year but one since establishing the fund, either the governor or the Legislature has not fully implemented the 5 percent formula, advocates for full funding said at a recent Stand Up Laconia meeting in the Huot Career and Technical Center.

Kate Frey, vice president of New Futures, which advocates for treatment and prevention efforts to fight drug abuse and alcoholism, elaborated on the funding situation Monday.

Currently, 1.7 percent of the gross profits from alcohol sales goes into the fund. The House budget, to be voted on Wednesday, calls for a continuation of this percentage. Funding it at the full 5 percent level would provide an additional $10 million, she said.

The organization plans a rally Thursday at the state Capitol to urge full funding as the budget process continues and the Senate considers spending levels. Also to be pushed at the rally will be full-day kindergarten and quality affordable child care.

"A fully funded alcohol fund would allow us to broaden our approach with prevention," she said. "Recovery housing is also a huge issue in this state."

She said this money doesn't come with the kind of strings that are attached to federal funds, and so can be used for more innovative approaches to preventing and treating substance abuse.

Spelling Bee to challenge LHS students Thursday

LACONIA — In partnership with "Got Lunch! Laconia" program, the English Department of Laconia High School will host the second annual Team Spelling Bee on Thursday, April 6, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Teams of four — a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior — will have 30 seconds to spell words chosen from the school's vocabulary program and presented by a team of official announcers — Tara Madison from WLNH, Karen Bassett of Wayfarer Coffee Roasters, Gregory Packard of Burrito Me and Brian Burn of Hannaford Supermarket. Four dozen students will be competing for prizes donated by a number of local businesses.

The price of admission is an unopened jar of peanut butter or jelly that will be added to hundreds of other jars collected by all five schools in the district and donated to the "GotLunch! Laconia!" program. The Hannaford Supermarket in Gilford will match the donations from the schools.

Tate Aldrich, New Hampshire's reigning Teacher of the Year who chairs the English Department, said that "the spelling bee offers a unique opportunity to celebrate the academic success of our student and contribute to the well being of our community.

Woman arrested after crash at WOW Trail

A Laconia woman has been charged with driving while intoxicated after a crash early Sunday morning.
Megan Long, 20, of Laconia was arrested after Laconia Police found that a car had crashed through the metal fencing along the newly added section WOW Trail, in the area of 77 New Salem St. at 2:05 a.m. The vehicle was left on the rail road tracks with substantial damage. Long had left the scene, but was located a short distance away. Because she left, she was also charged with conduct after an accident.
This case remains under investigation. Anyone with information on this accident is encouraged to contact Officer Carlson of the Laconia Police Department.