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Warren Bailey installed as new president of Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce

MEREDITH — Veteran Lakes Region radio personality and WLNH Children's Auction founder Warren Bailey took over as the new president of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce board of directors at the chamber's annual meeting and awards luncheon held at Church Landing here yesterday.
Bailey, who works for Comcast Spotlight, hailed the Lakes Region as ''the most generous and and caring community on earth'' and said that the chamber will remain a vital part of the economic development efforts in the area.
He succeeds Christine Harris of Meredith Village Savings Bank, who said that in the last year the Chamber has had 64 new businesses join, held 18 Business After Hour events and six educational seminars. It also took part in six ribbon cutting events for member businesses, sponsored five large events providing marketing and sponsorship opportunities and sponsored a trip to China in which 40 people took part.
She said that the work of 20 volunteer board members, 30 Chamber Ambassadors and numerous other volunteers helped make the chamber a driving force for economic growth over the last year.
Lindsay Cota-Robles, of the Bank of New Hampshire was elected first vice chairman; Bob Strang of Mill Falls at the Lake, second vice chairman; Penny Raby of Malone, Dirubbo & Company, treasurer; and Ginger DuBois of New Hampshire Employment Security, secretary.
Golden Trowel awards for outstanding renovations were presented to the Water Street Cafe in Laconia; 405 Pub and Grill, Laconia; Woodlands Tavern, Alton; Central Gold Realty, Franklin; Lawson, Persson, Weldon-Francke PA, Laconia; the Belknap Mill, Laconia; Wicwas Grange Hall, Meredith.
Golden Hammer awards for new construction were presented to the Bank of NH Pavilion at Meadowbrook, a $3 million project which increased seating capacity to 8,300; Crosspoint Associates of Meredith, which redeveloped the Hannaford Brothers Supermarket; Lakes Region Community College, Laconia, which opened a new 24,000-square-foot health and science building, the Huot Technical Center/Laconia School District, which completed a 32,000-square-foot addition and renovations as well as a new athletic field as part of a $16.8 million project; and the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, which opened a new 194 seat main stage theater as part of a $5 million project at the former Anna Lee Doll campus in Meredith.
Environmental awards went to the Lakes Region Party & Gifts, which underwent a $50,000 renovation to improve energy efficiency; and Laconia Country Club which made a major investment in landscaping.

Warren Bailey, new president of the board of directors of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, presents Christine Harris, outgoing president, with a bouquet of flowers. (Roger Amsden photo/The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Friday, 17 January 2014 02:48

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Boothby outspending Kenney by 4 to 1

CONCORD — With just five days until the Republican primary for the Executive Council seat in District 1 Christopher Boothby has outspent Joe Kenney of Wakefield, his closest rival for the nomination by a margin of four to one.

According to financial reports filed with the New Hampshire Secretary of State this week, between January 2 and January 15, Boothby collected $10,010, bringing his total receipts to $53,805, while spending $31,579 to raise his total expenditures to $39,959 and leave him with a balance of $13,846. .

During the same period Kenney raised $20,850, $20,000 of which came from his own pocket. Initially Kenney lent his campaign $10,000, received $8,200 in in-kind contributions and raised $1,860 in cash. With the second loan and $850 in cash donations, he has collected $40,910, including in-kind contributions and spent $10,071. His balance of $30,839 more than matches his loans to the campaign.

Mark Aldrich of Lebanon, the third Republican in the race raised $550 and spent $560, which with his prior expenditures of $85 left him with a deficit of $95.

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, January 21. The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Michael Cryans of Lebanon, a Grafton County Commissioner, in the general election on March 11.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 January 2014 02:40

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Force used during only 2.5% of arrests made by Laconia police

LACONIA — City police reported a 2013 decrease in the percentage of times they needed to use force during an arrest in the annual update to the Police Commission yesterday.

Capt. Bill Clary said the of the 1,377 arrests made by police last year, police used force in 36 incidents, or 2.5 percent of the time. In some of the those incidents, multiple police officers filed a use of force report, meaning multiple officer were there and used force.

In Laconia, a use of force is defined as anytime an officer displays his or her weapons, deploys any of his or her weapons, or puts their hands on an individual in order to make an arrest. With the exceptions of shooting an animal, he said there were no firearms discharges.

Clary credits the department becoming certified by the Commission on Law Enforcement Accreditation for providing educational tools to reduce the number of use of force incidents in the department.

He said the historical average is about 3 percent.

During the review process, one report resulted in an Initial Personnel Complaint which was investigated internally and conduct was determined not to be improper.

In addition, Clary said an internal "early warning system" triggered one investigation when an officer had five displays of his or her weapons. He said two officers last year hit the five displays level. One had 11 reported uses and one had six reported uses. No other officers had more than four.

Clary also reported that over last year, five officers were suspended, one received a letter of reprimand and one report of unsatisfactory performance was investigated and found to be unfounded.

The five suspensions were one each for a violation of request for assistance, one for unsatisfactory performance, one for use of department equipment, one for courtesy, and one for violations of the rules.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 January 2014 02:29

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Proposed Shaker budget up just half percent

BELMONT — The Shaker Regional School Board approved a $21-million budget proposal Tuesday night that represents a 0.55 percent increase for school year 2014-2015.

The final proposed amount is $21,071,598, which is up $114,589 from the $20,957,009 that was approved by district voters last year.

The amount to be raised by taxes in Belmont is projected at $8,552,487, or 0.06 percent — up from this year's budget of $8,547,108. In Canterbury, the amount to be raised by taxes in school year 2024-2015 is projected at $245,362,196 up 10 percent from this school year.

In 2014-15, Belmont taxpayers will pay for 74.8 percent of budget while Canterbury will pay 25.2 percent.

School District Business Administrator Deb Thompson said the reason Belmont's percentage of the amount to be raised by taxes fell and Canterbury's rose is because of equalized property value changes — or that portion of the contribution formula that takes into account the total value of the property in both towns.

Belmont's total valuation is expected to drop, lessening the amount of total valuation they its contribution to to the district for 2015. Conversely, Canterbury's total valuation is expected to increase. The net decrease to Belmont taxpayers is $142,000.

About 80 percent of the students enrolled in district schools are from Belmont.

These shifts in percentages also change the way the state apportions it's statewide property tax distributions.

Thompson said proposed budget includes $160,000 for curriculum and incorporates an effective net increase of 11.2 percent for health insurance premiums.

One way the district was able to save some money next year was the announced retirement of six retirement-eligible teachers this year. Thompson anticipates those position will be filled by teachers who are not in the top rungs of the pay-scale ladder.

This year's budget is also the first budget since the bond for the high school has been retired.

There are no capital projects included in this year's proposed budget and the only warrant article to date is for $50,000 of any budget surplus from next year to be moved into the School Facilities and Expendable Trust Fund.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 January 2014 02:25

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