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Gilford & Belmont middle school math teams shine at regional competition

PLYMOUTH — Following their first and second place finishes in the MATHCOUNTS regional competition earlier, teams from Gilford Middle School and Belmont Middle School competed for the state title over the weekend at Plymouth State University.

In addition, the first four individuals in the regional tournament — Connor Leggett of Gilford, Grace Shaw of Belmont, Chris Weimann of Gilford and Thomas Bastis pof Laconia — will vie for individual honors.today

Begun in 1983, MATHCOUNTS is a competitive program designed to encourage and reward achievement in mathematics by middle school students.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 12:28

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Laconia residents asked to take Budget Survey that details where their tax dollars are spent

LACONIA — As he wrestles with constructing the 2014-2015 city budget, City Manager Scott Myers has invited residents to lend a hand by offering their opinions about how their tax dollars should be spent.

Although the City Council holds a number of meetings with department heads as well as a public hearing on the budget, relatively few people are able to spend their evenings at City Hall. While the public is always welcome when the council tackles the budget, what Myers calls the Budget Survey provides residents an opportunity to express their views and state their priorities early in the process of preparing the budget.

The survey is posted on the city's website — www.city.laconia.nh.us — as well as at the City Clerk's office, Laconia Public Library and Community Center. It asks residents to score the importance of 10 municipal departments and services on a six-point scale, with 1 the highest priority and 6 the lowest, and to indicate whether the city is spending too little, too much or just enough on each. The survey period lasts through the end of the month.

The results of the survey will be posted on the city's website and published in its newsletter, "Laconia Links."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 12:25

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E.M. Heath pays for Center Harbor 'cop cards'

CENTER HARBOR — The owners of E.M. Heath, Inc. have donated "Cop Cards" to the Police Department as part of a community effort to facilitate the relationship the police have with the local youths in town.

The cards, have a picture, a biography and a personal message from each of the officers and the administrator.

Sgt. Scott Weiss said the children in town love them and often send letters to the department asking for them.

He said the police will put together packages with patches and other small police tokens along with the cards and send them back to the children.

E.M. Heath Manager Dave Petell said the company likes giving back to the community and really appreciates all of the work the police do for the youths in town. He said he sees a lot of children especially during the summer because E.M. Heath's businesses are so close to the beach and the basketball courts.

CUTLINE (Center Harbor Cop Cards) E.M. Heath, Inc. manager Dave Petell and Center Harbor Police Sgt. Scott Weiss show off the new "cop cards" the company purchased for the police department. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 12:17

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Year-Round Library survives Gilmanton referendum by 17 votes

GILMANTON — In what Town Clerk Debra Cornett described as a record turnout for a local election, 1,002 (41 percent) of 2,426 registered voters came to the polls on Tuesday.

And while residents voted overwhelming to support the Fire Department's warrant article for having four full-time firefighters, the voting population remains divided over funding the Gilmanton Year-Round Library which will get its money this year after the ayes beats the nays by 17 votes.

Although 500 people said they wanted the library to get $52,500 to fund its operating costs for 2014, 483 did not — meaning that there is no clear mandate whether or not the town should continue in the future to support it.

Steve McCormack, a retired Marine and former employee of the State Employees Association, beat James Barnes for the one open seat on the Selectboard by a margin of 489 to 393.

In his election interviews and at the recently candidates night, McCormack didn't have a set opinion about the library and said he would need to do more research.

McCormack distinctly supported the Fire Department's petitioned warrant article request to have four full-time firefighters and said the Board of Selectmen should let the fire chief run his own department. The voters agreed, with 662 voting for Article 30 and 300 voting against it.

Selectmen have said they would listen to the will of the voters but until the new board meets, no final decisions have been made.

The petitioned warrant article is advisory only. By state law, the selectmen are the town's governing body and can spend the money appropriated as they see fit as long as they don't spend more than the voters allowed them to raise.

In this case, selectmen said they are looking to save taxpayers between $20,000 and $30,000 annually.

On the Gilmanton School side, incumbent Michael Hatch and former school board member Frank Weeks were elected to the two open positions. Weeks got 526 votes, Hatch got 477 votes and 396 for challenger David Strang.

The same voters overwhelming voted down the School District's request to add a two classroom modular unit to the school that would be leased for three years at a total cost of $133,661. The district wanted the modular unit to ease crowding at the school because of growing enrollments. The vote was 325 for it and 605 against.

Voters also rejected the Budget Committee's proposed budget of $9,681,555, opting for the default budget of $9,577,468. The vote was 424 for the budget as presented and 491 against it.

The two petitioned warrants articles — one that would have imposed a tax cap and one that would have eliminated the School District High School Expendable Trust Fund used to pay tuition to Gilford High School in in the event high school students move to town and there is no money in the budget for tuition — failed by large margins.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 03:21

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