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Weekly Hands Across the Table dinner back at St. Andre Bessette Parish for a month

LACONIA — Hands Across the Table will be hosting their free Tuesday night meal at the Saint Andre Bessette Parish Hall on Gilford Avenue tonight and will continue to host their weekly meals there until the first week of March.
Doors open at 4 p.m. with the meal served at 5 p.m. The third annual HATT Soupathon and Silent Service Auction will be held Sunday, Feb. 9 from 5-7 p.m. at St. Andre Bessette Parish Hall.
The move was made necessary by the return of the Saint James Preschool to the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region after temporarily being housed at the Lakes Region Child Care Services Early Learning Center on Normandin Square.
The upstairs area used as dining facility at the Boys and Girls Club will be used by the preschool until repairs are completed to its downstairs classrooms.
Gayle Sullivan, St. James preschool director, said that the preschool has been housed at Normandin Square for a month and moved back because the space it had been using is needed so that furniture can be moved around during a recarpeting project at the Lakes Region Child Care Services facility.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 02:15

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Belmont had three way race for selectmen

BELMONT — Incumbent Selectman Ron Cormier has two opponents in the upcoming selectman's race.

Former Town Administrator Donald McLelland Sr. and former Selectman George Condodemetraky are running against Cormier for the one open seat on the board. Voting in March 11.

McLelland and Condodemetraky have both run for selectman in the past.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 02:11

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Board sends $13.9M budget to Meredith voters

MEREDITH — Following a public hearing yesterday the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to recommend a town budget that would appropriate $13,902,674 in 2014, which represents an increase of $275,005, or two-percent.

With revenues from sources other than property taxes virtually flat for the sixth consecutive year, the amount to be raised by property taxes would be $8,352,424, which represents an increase in the town portion of the tax rate of 25 cents, or 5.5 percent, from $4.55 to $4.80.

The selectmen applied $1,250,000 from the town's undesignated fund balance to supplement revenues and offset property taxes.

Town Manager Phil Warren said that once again "fiscal restraint" was the overriding theme of the budget, which includes no new positions or job reclassifications and neither expands nor reduces programs and services. However, the budget funds a "salary adjustment" of 1.25-percent and a 2.5-percent upon a successful performance review.

At a workshop yesterday the Selectboard reversed its earlier decision to withhold funding to install copper gutters at the library after learning that the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage awarded the town a grant of $70,000 for the project. Other capital investments include funds to purchase to pickup trucks, a police cruiser, rescue van, a crane truck and a chipper along with applying $100,000 to an expendable trust fund for equipment for the Department of Public Works.

When the floor was opened to the public, David Sticht expressed concern about the growth in the Parks and Recreation budget, which he said has risen from $788,766 in 2006, when it included the first annual bond payment of $254,000 for the construction of the Community Center to over $1-million in 2007 and nearly $1-million again in 2014.

"The costs are going up and up and up," Sticht said, recalling that when the Community Center was built revenues from programming were expected to defray operating costs. "Something is wrong somewhere," he continued. "This sure isn't what we were promised in 2004.

Selectman Peter Brothers said that "the numbers by themselves don't mean that much," explaining that there was a strong commitment to the department, the building and its programs in the community. He said that the selectmen have looked for ways to increase revenues, which were at $149,055 in 2013, and control costs. The center, he noted "is close to being overused." While acknowledging Parks and Recreation is a significant cost center, Brothers remarked "I don't see it in quite the same way as you do."

"I agree with both," gegan Selectman Herb Vadney, "but I think Mr. Sticht makes a very good point." He suggested undertaking a cost-benefit analysis of the Community Center, stressing that school enrollments have declined "substantially."

Warren said that when the Community Center was planned and constructed the projected operating costs were "not as accurate as they should have been."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 02:09

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Heroin arrest in Belmont quickly follows release for meth possession in Manchester

BELMONT – A local man who police charged with possession of heroin last Tuesday at 9:15 p.m., five hours after he had just been released on personal recognizance bail after being arrested for methamphetamine possession in Manchester earlier.

Aaron Rae, 24, of 26 Lincoln Street in Laconia is also charged with one count of resisting arrest, one count of falsifying evidence and one count of breach of bail.

According to affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division Rae was a passenger in car on January 27 that police noticed had stopped at the Irving Station/Circle K on Route 106. The officer said it was unusual because the car stopped at the store but no one got out of it.

Police said the officer smelled marijuana and saw a pill bottle in the door without the white prescription label on it when he approached the car. He told the three occupants to put their hands where he could see them, Rae looked like he was trying to hide something between the seat and the console. He repeatedly disobeyed the officers request that he keep his hands on the dashboard.

Once the driver was out of the car, police said Rae was told to get out of the car. When he did, the officer saw a plastic baggie sticking out from where the console meets the seat.

When he asked Rae what was in the baggie, Rae allegedly said he didn't know. The officer said he tried to move Rae to the outside quarter panel, Rae kept trying to get back near the seat. He described Rae as "tense."

As the officer went to put Rae's hands behind his back, he allegedly started to resist, getting one hand away. When his other hand came free, affidavits said Rae nearly stuck the officer in the face.

While the two were struggling, Rae broke free and began to run. The officer called for assistance and chased Rae, who allegedly ran down the drive way of a neighboring house.

Eventually Rae crossed Route 140 into the Broken Yolk restaurant parking lot and ran behind the dumpsters with the officer in pursuit. Rae fell and the officer was able to get him in handcuffs.

Police got permission from the car's owner to search it and found a black bag inside the passenger door which was the area that Rae had tried to keep the police from looking.

In the black bag they found a smaller bag with four packages of heroin. Police also found four hypodermic needles in the door along with the paperwork from the Manchester Police detailing Rae's arrest and release earlier in the day for possession of methamphetamine.

Police also found a machete in the car.

The driver of the car, who is from New Hampton, was charged with possession of drugs and released on personal recognizance bail.

Rae is in the Belknap County House of Corrections being held on $2,500 cash-only bail.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 03:06

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