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Hatch to run for Meredith /Gilford House seat

MEREDITH — Mike Hatch yesterday announced that he will seek the Republican nomination for one of the four seats in the New Hampshire House of Representatives representing Meredith and Gilford.

Hatch said that "recent events in the (Belknap) County Convention have convinced me that it's time to run for office myself."

In a letter to The Daily Sun last month Hatch wrote that he would not call Rep. Colette Worsman (R-Mredith), who chairs the convention a "dictator, but Russia's Mr. Putin could learn a lot from her" and in a subsequent letter likened the performance of the convention to the Red Sox of 2012.

A lifelong resident of Meredith, Hatch served in the United States Navy as a corpsman and worked in the construction industry until breaking his heels in an accident. He worked for the postal service in Center Harbor and as a custodian at Inter-Lakes Elementary School. He has belonged to American Legion Post No. 33 for the past 46 years and served as its commander. An avid outdoorsman, he has hunted and fished since he was a young boy and believes strongly in safeguarding the natural beauty and resources of New Hampshire.

Describing himself as a fiscal conservative and champion of the Second Amendment, he has volunteered in a number political campaigns, but never run for office himself. "I can write all the letters I want, but I decided it's time to try and show them how to run things better," he said. " I want to go to Concord to bring common sense to local politics," he continued. "The taxpayers of Gilford and Meredith deserve to have leadership who will lead with integrity and get things done .I it's time want to bring common sense to local politics," he said. "I am a plain talking guy and I mean to talk plain in Concord."

The four seats in the district are currently held by Reps. Worsman, Bob Greemore and Herb Vadney, all of Meredith, and Democrat Lisa DiMartino of Gilford.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 12:51

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Body of Northfield man found in Bristol river

CONCORD — The search for Aaron Hoyt, 32, of Northfield, concluded on MOnday when searchers found his body in the Smith River about a half mile below Profile Falls in Bristol. He was discovered about 9:30 a.m. by conservation officers patrolling in boats.

The search for Hoyt began a week ago on the evening of April 14, when he disappeared into fast-moving water following a leap into the icy Smith River. New Hampshire Fish and Game officials suspended the search midweek, as rapidly rising water from spring runoff made conditions unsafe for searchers.

By the weekend, with water levels receding, Fish and Game resumed the search all day on Saturday and Sunday, utilizing Fish and Game Conservation Officers and New England K-9 Search and Rescue teams. On Monday the Bristol Police Department also assisted.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 12:46

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Jury selection for Lafond trial is June 9

LACONIA — The trial of Amy Lafond on charges that her reckless and negligent driving caused the death of one teenage girl and severely injured another on Messer Street a year ago, is scheduled to begin with jury selection on June 9, following a hearing on pending motions in the case on May 14.

Justice James D. O'Neill, III has said that once the trial begins it will proceed uninterrupted to its conclusion. The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Earlier this month attorney Mark Sisti, who represents Lafond, for the second time asked the Belknap County Superior Court to delay her trial, explaining that three eyewitnesses — all juveniles — had come forward with additional information, which he would need time to review. Belknap County Attorney Melissa C. Guldbrandsen told the court that both the prosecution and defense should have time interview the witnesses and did not object to the request to continue.

Lafond, 53, is charged with manslaughter and two counts of negligent homicide arising from an incident on April 19 when she allegedly drove into two teenage girls on Messer Street, killing Lilyanna Johnson and seriously injuring Allyssa Miner. She is also charged with several drug offenses and traffic violations. She remains in the Belknap County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail.
Last week Sisti filed a motion to suppress the results of tests conducted on blood drawn from Lafond at Lakes Region General Hospital shortly after the incident. He claimed that the officer seeking her consent to the blood draw failed to inform her that the results could be used against her in a criminal prosecution and argued that her consent was not given "knowingly." At the same time, he contended that the results of a second blood draw, which state law requires of drivers involved in accidents leading to serious injury of death if there is probable cause that they caused the collision, must also be suppressed because the officer found no probable cause to believe Lafond was impaired.

Meanwhile, Guldbrandsen has indicated that she will move to introduce a video simulation of the incident prepared by the Belknap Regional Accident Investigation Team into evidence.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 12:43

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Provision of Obamacare causing 'heartburn' at Gunstock

GILFORD — Greg Goddard, general manager of Gunstock Mountain Resort, said yesterday that provisions of the Affordable Care Act are "problematic for businesses with seasonal workforces" and "have prompted us to have very difficult conversations about how to address them."

Goddard explained that the health care law requires firms to provide health insurances to employees who work 30 or more hours a week or more than 120 days a year. Since both the winter season, which runs from around Thanksgiving to Easter, and the summer season, which runs from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, stretch beyond 120 days, he said that the law would require Gunstock to offer health insurance to between 10 and 12 part-time employees in addition to its 40 full-time employees.

Goddard said that Gunstock provides its full-time employees with "a very attractive comprehensive benefits package," but find it "problematic" to increase enrollment by between a quarter and a third. "It is disappointing that we're having very difficult conversations about how to address this situation," he remarked, describing the issue as "an unintended consequence of the act."

Noting that any number of seasonal businesses are wrestling with the problem, Goddard said that he has been speaking with other resorts, insurance carriers and healthcare providers and hopes to learn more when he attends the annual meeting of the National Ski Area Association in Savannah, Georgia.

Goddard discounted a report in the New Hampshire Union Leader that he is considering shortening both the winter and summer season to get below the 120-day threshold. He acknowledged that he said that was one possible option, but said his remark was taken out of context. He said that while shortening seasons and raising prices were possible, both were "far down on my list" and repeated that "this discussion is a source of real heartburn and we haven't found the good solution yet."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 12:36

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