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Convention Executive Committee can't meet for lack of quorum

LACONIA — A meeting of the Belknap County Convention's Executive Committee scheduled for Tuesday afternoon was cancelled due to lack of a quorum.
Committee Chairman Frank Tilton (R-Laconia) and members Don Flanders (R-Laconia) and Robert Greemore (R-Meredith) were the only members of the seven-member committee present. Absent were Guy Comtois (R-Barnstead), Herb Vadney (R-Meredith), Jane Cormier (R-Alton), and Colette Worsman (R-Meredith).
Tilton said that the meeting had originally been scheduled to take up a request from the Belknap County Commissioners for a $10,500 budget transfer to the corrections department but the request had been withdrawn by the commissioners, who wrote a letter to the committee in which it said a decision had been made to use the county's contingency account to make up the shortfall.
The committee took no action on the request at its October 22 meeting.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 December 2013 03:28

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Gilford cop pushes burning car away from gas pump

GILFORD — A quick-thinking police officer was able push a burning car away from a fuel pump at the Gilford Mobil Mart Monday morning.

Police and fire fighters were called to the store at 8:07 a.m. for a reported car fire. The first person to arrive was Officer Kevin Baron, who saw a car at the gas pumps smoking with flames coming from the underside.

He used the push bar on his cruiser to push the smoking car into a nearby parking lot. He and Officer Curtis Mailloux engaged the fire extinguishers from their cruisers but were unable to put out the fire.

Deputy Fire Chief Brad Ober said fire crews had to pry open the hood of the car to extinguish the blaze. He said police were able to push the car from under the gas station canopy and that action prevented the fire suppression system from deploying.

Ober said heat triggers the suppression system and the fire hadn't gotten that hot yet. He also said it's quite messy when one of those systems deploys.

The car was a total loss but no one was injured.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 01:57

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Newfound superintendent advises no need for SAU 4 board

By Thomas P. Caldwell
BRISTOL — Ever since School Administrative Unit 4 broke off from SAU 2 to form its own, single-district supervisory unit, members of the Newfound Area School Board also have served on an SAU 4 Board. Superintendent Stacy Buckley on Monday informed members that state statutes do not require separate boards for single-district SAUs and she said Newfound could eliminate the SAU 4 Board before the March School District Meeting.
State RSA 194-C:3 states, "Single district school administrative units shall be considered the same as a single school district and shall be exempt from meeting the requirements of this chapter, except that they shall provide superintendent services pursuant to RSA 194-C:4."
Currently, the SAU 4 Board, which chooses its officers separately from the Newfound Area School Board but comprises the same membership, hires the superintendent and oversees the central office budget. The Newfound Area School Board oversees the school district operations with oversight of the buildings and grounds, also preparing the district's operational budget. That budget includes the SAU 4 budget.
Most SAUs govern multiple school districts with a central office budget that is apportioned among the member school districts. Each of the school districts appoints board members to serve on the SAU Board.
Superintendent Buckley said that having two boards with the same members approving the same budgets is a needless duplication.
The discussion came up as the superintendent reviewed the central office budget at an SAU meeting taking place prior to the Newfound Area School Board meeting. Buckley pointed out that the budget they were reviewing had already been approved as part of the Newfound District budget.
"You can revoke your policy and have the SAU managed by the Newfound School Board," Buckley said, suggesting that the board take the matter to the policy committee for review.
SAU 4 Board Chair Vincent Paul Migliore of Bridgewater, who also serves as chair of the Newfound Area School Board, said that board also could handle it by suspending its policy in perpetuity, but he warned that making any change would affect a number of other board policies.
"I would like to think about this for a while," he said. "We would have to change all policies referencing the SAU 4 Board."
Vice-Chair Ruby Hill of Danbury moved that the board send the matter of disbanding the SAU 4 Board to the policy committee for review and a recommendation.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 01:55

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8th graders building-site plan project wows Gilford School Board

GILFORD — There are some eight graders at the Middle School who just may be future planners.

As part of a three-month long project-based learning class, three of science teacher Nancy Allen's students — Gabby Podmore, Kaya Beland, and Jenna Galligan — have created a site plan for a real home building project in North Carolina.

As part of the project, the girls had to learn about permeable verses impermeable surfaces (or how the ground absorbs or repels water), what kinds of trees, shrubs and grasses are native to their spot in North Carolina, and how to rescale an engineering diagram to build a to-scale 3D replica of the proposed building site and it environs.

Last week they presented their project to the School Board, which was completely overwhelmed by the complexity of the task and the ability of the girls — working with some community partners like Town Planner John Ayer and Selectman Kevin Hayes (a civil engineer) — to create a sophisticated building site plan.

Allen told the School Board that the purpose of project-based learning was to integrate various skills into one project. In this exercise, the students were teamed in threes and randomly given a building project.

The job at hand, was to research the applicable zoning laws for that community — teaching reading for comprehension and government — to include calculating the measurements steep slopes — using math and trigonometry — and to rescale the project — again using math and engineering. Each project had to incorporate a landscape plan that required the students to know enough forestry and geology to know soil types, plant types, wetlands, and enough meteorology to understand weather patterns for storm water runoff and ground covers.

While determining where the house would go on the empty lot, the teams had to research fire codes.

At one point, because of the zoning laws, setback requirements and curb cuts, team Podmore-Beland-Galligan told the board they had to turn their house to face a different direction from the plans they were originally presented.

"Once we figured out where to build it, we had to design a silt fence," said one while another explained how they had to calculate the number of plants and trees they could remove and had to plant to stay within the requirements.

"Every area we cleared we had to add trees," said one.

Allen said all of the teams were making a final presentation to a mock Planning Board comprised of teachers and administrators.

She said one of the best things was how invested the students became in their plans. Allen said the students would walk down the halls talking about their projects.

Hayes said he sat in on four or five of the presentations last Friday as a judge.

"I was amazed at how the teacher was able to integrate reading, writing, presentations and technology into their projects," Hayes said, noting each team had a "techie" who created a PowerPoint presentation.

He said he was also impressed with the way Allen was able to sustain interest in the projects throughout the three-month project time.

Hayes said the students came away with an understanding of the task and how each piece of the puzzle was derived.

"They understood why and that's important," he said.

 

CAPTION (Gilford 8th grade project) Gabby Podmore, Kaya Beland, Jenna Galligan show their to-scale model of their building project to the Gilford School Board assigned as part of their project-based learning class. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 01:50

Hits: 598

 
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