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Gilford deliberative session will be held tonight

GILFORD — The deliberative session of Town Meeting postponed due to yesterday's snow storm will be held in the High School auditorium tonight at 7 p.m.

The annual meeting is part one of the two-part SB-2 process; voters will go to the polls on March 11 to vote on the warrant articles and to elect town officials.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 01:43

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Man & woman involved in Monday crash in Bristol facing variety of charges

BRISTOL — Two people were taken to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center for critical injuries after the Dodge Durango Jason Brown was driving crashed head-on into a backhoe on Summer Street at 3:30 p.m. Monday.

A N.H. Department of Transportation backhoe operator was taken to the hospital, treated for minor in juries and released.

Police Lt. Kris Bean said Brown, 29, and his passenger, Cheryl Brown, 26 both of 140 School St. face a number of charges stemming from the crash.

Bean said Jason Brown will likely be charged with driving after being deemed a habitual offender and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He said a gun was found in the back seat of the Durango.

He said Cheryl Brown will likely be charged with criminal liability for the conduct of another because the car belongs to her and she has a valid drivers license, and for filing a false report to police.

Bean said she allegedly told police after she woke from surgery in Lebanon that she was the one driving the car.

Bean also said Jason Brown had been arrested by Tilton Police on January 24 and was charged with one count of driving after being deemed a habitual offender, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of possession of drugs.

Bean said police have applied for a search warrant for the Durango. He also said police have reason to believe Jason Brown was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and that may have contributed to the crash.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 01:39

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Commissioners see lawmakers' interest in county grant process as 'power grab'

LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioners called an attempt by the County Convention to assert authority over the process of obtaining federal and state grants ''a power grab'' and defended the current policy used by the county in its public accounting of how grants which are obtained outside of the county budget process are accounted for.
''It's a matter of control, a power grab,'' Commissioner Steven Nadeau (R-Meredith) said, pointing out that there might be a lot of ''lost opportunities'' for the county to obtain grants which are currently sought after the county budget has been adopted if the convention puts a cumbersome process in place.
The County Convention on Tuesday discussed requiring that the county seek approval from the convention before applying for grants and require that the funds must be first be appropriated by the convention before they can be spent.
A concern over grant funds not being included in the county budget was raised last week by Rep. Frank Tilton (R-Laconia), chairman of the Executive Committee of the convention, who said that a $297,3000 grant which was received last summer by the Belknap County Sheriff's Department wasn't included in the 2013 budget summary nor referenced in the proposed 2014 budget. He said that the funds need to be appropriated by the county in order for it to be able to track all of its expenditures.
During last week's discussion, Belknap County Sheriff Craig Wiggin said that it has never been his experience that a pass-through grant needed to be appropriated by the County Convention.
But at Monday night's convention meeting Curt Magee of Sanbornton reminded the convention of a statute (RSA 24:21-a) that provides that "all moneys to be appropriated by the county must be stipulated in the budget on a 'gross' basis, showing revenues from all sources, including grants, gifts, bequests and bond issues, as offsetting revenues to appropriations affected."
County Administrator Debra Shackett said since it is impossible to forecast what grants will be received at the time the budget is prepared and approved that if grants must be included in the budget it would require a supplemental appropriation each time a grant was received.
She said that the grant policy which was developed by commissioners and mirrors those used by other counties, will be explained to convention members in a written opinion by the county's auditors.
Shackett also reported to the commissioners Wednesday morning that she had attended a committee meeting in the New Hampshire House Tuesday at which two of the three bills submitted by Belknap County legislators in the ongoing dispute over line item budget authority were rejected while another had been amended.
She said that one of the legislators on the committee had said it was not the role of the convention to have line item control over the budget as proposed in the bills and suggested that if the supporters of the bills wanted that much control they should run for county commissioner.
In other business County Treasurer Michael Muzzey told commissioners that the most recent cash flow projection shows the county will run out of cash in March, as is typical, and recommended that the commissioners seek a $10 million tax anticipation loan.
Commissioners voted to accept the recommendation and plan to schedule a meeting with the County Convention's Executive Committee next week.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 01:27

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Hemingway has had wide variety of business interests in just 10 years

BRISTOL — The same day Andrew Hemingway became the first and so far the only Republican candidate for governor, the University of New Hampshire Survey Center reported that eight of 10 voters have never heard of him — so he has some work to do.
Hemingway, 31, describes himself as an "entrepreneur," but is best known in political circles, where he served as chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire and ran unsuccessfully for the chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party.
Born and raised in Plymouth, Hemingway said yesterday that he attended Calvary Christian School and upon graduation enrolled at Ambassador Baptist College in Lattimore, North Carolina, which was founded by the evangelist Ron Comfort in 1989 with the mission of preparing men and women spiritually and academically for the ministry.

Hemingway said that he did not graduate, but while at college started his first business, a window washing company, which he sold his interest in to his partner.

Hemingway married and joined the financial services department of a large insurance firm, rising to the position of sales manager in six months before returning to New Hampshire to assist his father-in-law with his dry cleaning business in Derry and janitorial service in Bristol.

Then, in 2006 he opened Hemingway Insurance Services, selling agricultural policies among other lines, which he said led him to appreciate the role of farming in the New Hampshire economy. Although the trade name remains registered, the business never filed an annual report with the New Hampshire Secretary of State.

Not long afterward, Hemingway launched the first of several digital projects, Online Sports Coaching, LLC, which offered web-based videos to train parents and volunteers in coaching youth soccer. After selling elements of the business but retaining sole ownership, he began applying technology to politics with Digital Acumen, a political communications enterprise, which enabled Hemingway to enlist six of the 2012 Republican presidential candidates in the first Twitter debate. Most recently Hemingway debuted Grassloot, an on-line platform to support the fundraising campaigns of political and nonprofit organizations.
Hemingway served on the Budget Committee in Bristol from 2007 to 2010, the last two years as chairman, when he says the budget was reduced by 30 percent and the property tax rate dropped to its lowest level in 40 years.

As chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus he contributed to the electoral success of the GOP in 2010, when the party won commanding majorities in both houses of the New Hampshire Legislature, which included members who shared Hemingway's libertarian values. In 2012 he was less successful as the state director of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign.
Hemingway told The Daily Sun he expects he will need to raise about $1.5 million to mount a competitive gubernatorial campaign against incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan. He indicated that he has the personal resources to support the effort, adding "I'll be contributing heavily to the campaign as we need it."

At the same time, he said, the role of independent groups in funding candidates would be a significant variable in the upcoming election season.
Hemingway and his wife Katie and daughter Morgan, six, and son Connor, four, live in Bristol. They attend the Hill Village Baptist Church where he is superintendent of the Sunday School.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 03:07

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