Taxiarchai Church hosting 30th annual Greek Summer Festival this Saturday

LACONIA — The 30th Annual Greek Summer Festival, which will be held Saturday, July 30, at Taxiarchai Greek Orthodox Church, will feature Greek music, authentic Greek food and pastries, specialty imports and dry goods as well as a chance to win $10,000 in cash prizes in a raffle.

The festival has become a fixture of the Lakes Region summer scene and involves about 40 members of the church who are involved in preparing and serving the food, decorating the dining hall and according to long-time church member and event organizer Angie Argiropoulis.

The event gets underway at 10 a.m. with music and he opportunity to browse through the imports and dry goods with dinner being served at 11:30 a.m.

The menu includes baked lamb shank, roast leg of lamb and Greek style baked chicken dinners all served with Greek salad, rice, rolls and butter .

Also offered will be dolmathes, which are grape leaves stuffed with hamburger and rice; Greek sausage; pastitsio; baked macaroni and cheese meat pie; and spanakopita, the famous Greek spinach pie.

Pastries and desserts include baklava, koulourakia, finikia, diples and fruit bars.

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Displaying some of the Greek pastries which will be offered at the 30th annual Greek Summer Festival at Taxiarchai Greek Orthodox Church on Saturday, July 30, are Bessie Kafanelis and Mary Lou Beshta. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Shaker and Prospect approached by Pittsfield for tuition paying school students


BELMONT — A Pittsfield citizens' committee formed to study the possibilities of sending high school students to other districts has reached out to the Shaker Regional School Board and the Prospect Mountain School Board.

The letter was briefly discussed by the Shaker School Board Tuesday evening. Members requested that Superintendent Michael Tursi review the request and report back to them.

Business Administrator Debbie Thompson said Shaker doesn't have a policy of accepting tuitioned students at this time except on a case-by-case basis that usually occurs when an existing student's family moves and a student wants to finish his or her senior year at Belmont High School.

Prospect Superintendent Dr. Robert Cullison Jr. said his district also has no policy for accepting tuition-paying students except in situations similar to the Shaker Regional School District. He said he will present the Pittsfield letter to his school board during its August meeting.

According to an article published June 1 in The Concord Monitor, the Pittsfield High School Tuition Study Committee was formed by Selectman Carl Anderson and was opposed by the school board, which said it already had Superintendent Dr. John Freeman do the same research and determined it wouldn't save the town any money.

Cullison said that if enrollments continue to decline, as they have in the Lakes Region, in the medium- to long-term some school consolidation may make sense. At this time, both Shaker Regional and Prospect Mountain student populations have been fairly consistent; however, Cullison said he is seeing slight declines over time.

In other Shaker School Board business, Thompson said the district owes the Huot Technical Center $53,000 for the 70 students who attended there last year.

She said this is expected because the money reflects the shortage in state tuition reimbursements for technical schools. She said the money is reserved from any projected surplus from the recently ended school year.

In the three prior years to last year, the amount of the reimbursement shortage was $66,545 for school year 2012-13; $132,437 for 2013-14; and $126,000 in 2015-16.
Last year ,the number of students who could take classes at the Huot was limited to 70.

Tainted heroin hits Laconia


LACONIA — Police Chief Christopher Adams said Wednesday that that some recent heroin overdose victims have taken heroin/fentanyl possibly laced with synthetic cathinones, or "bath salts."

He said three or four of the 15 overdoses city first responders have handled in the last two weeks have involved bath salts and police believe one person overdosed on what was all bath salts.

"I hate to say there is a 'bad' batch of heroin because I don't want to imply there is a 'good' batch," Adams said Wednesday. "I will say there appears to be a tainted batch in the area right now."

Adams said the symptoms for bath salts are very different from those involving heroin/fentanyl and include excessive sweating and body heat, victims taking off their clothes, and victims being more combative. More importantly, he said, Narcan, the antidote for opioids, doesn't work on bath salts. Bath salts, a nickname for a synthetic drug related to cathinone, a stimulant found in the kaht plant. It should not be confused with products like Epsom salts for bathing.

He said Prevention, Education and Treatment Officer Eric Adams is responding to all of the recent calls regardless of the drug involved and is working to get victims into treatment.

"For some people, an overdose is a wake up call," said Adams, noting that they will often seek treatment right away either through Eric Adams or a different path.

"For others it takes a few times and often involves family and friend interventions as well as Eric offering his assistance," he continued.

Adams also said that for those people who are addicted to opiates and are fearful they will get some tainted heroin and want to address their addiction, should contact Eric Adams at the Laconia Police Department at 524-5252.

He said the referral will be made immediately to Eric Adams who will confidentially help them seek assistance.