County Home administrator put on paid leave while commission appeals reinstatement verdict

LACONIA — The Belknap County Commission has placed Nursing Home Administrator Mathew Logue on administrative leave, with pay, pending the outcome of an appeal of the decision last week of the county's personnel committee, consisting of the officers of the Belknap County Convention, to reinstate him after the commission terminated his employment for cause.

Last month, the commission terminated Logue for willful insubordination, lack of cooperation and inability to perform his duties in a timely manner, claiming that he was "untruthful and unreliable'' in dealing with county officials. Logue appealed his termination to the personnel committee, composed of Representatives Colette Worsman (R-Meredith), who chairs the convention, Robert Greemore (R-Meredith), the vice-chairman, and Richard Burchell (R-Gilmanton, the clerk. The committee held a day-long public hearing, at which attorney Mark Broth of Drummond Woodsun of Manchester presented the case against Logue and Logue spoke in own defense.

Several days later, the committee voted unanimously to reinstate Logue, after finding his refutation of the charges against him to be "credible and persuasive''.

The decision of the committee was met with disdain by a number of employees of the nursing home, more than 40 of whom signed a petition requesting that Logue not be reinstated.

The commission's first step in the appeal process will be to ask the personnel committee to rehear the case. Should the committee decline to grant a rehearing or reaffirm their original decision, the commission could then appeal for relief to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

In the meantime, Charlotte Flanagan, who served as interim administrator of the nursing home following Logue's termination, returned to the position yesterday.

Hunt for Laconia man ends with very sad news

LACONIA — The search for a 33-year-old local man who went missing on October 8 ended tragically yesterday when police and members of the N.H. Department of Fish and Game found his body in some woods near his home on Mechanic Street.

Police said Kalem Beane's death is not viewed as suspicious.

Beane's family and his friends had just held a candlelight vigil for him in Rotary Park Wednesday night and had spent days trying to locate him. Officials from Fish and Game were brought in Wednesday to assist local police with the search.

An autopsy was scheduled for yesterday.

Lost classmates remembered at new LMS memorial

LACONIA — Parents, teachers, policemen and firefighters gathered yesterday at a quiet, corner of the Laconia Middle School campus, as a fresh breeze stirred the water of Lake Opechee and a bright sun highlighted the colors of autumn foliage, to consecrate what Chris Ennis, the principal, called "a place of reflection and solace " in remembrance of young lives taken too soon.
A polished granite bench inscribed "in memory of our classmates" faces a crescent shaped flower garden bed, graced with four stones, each bearing the name of a student and an accompanying message. Robbie Mills is assured "I will rememeber you." Craig Shumway is "classmate and friend." Jason Charland "still lives in our hearts." And for Lilyanna Johnson "it's always sunny above the clouds."
Ennis said that the memorial will "remain for years to come and help us stay connected to these students" as well as other students of Laconia Middle School lost over the years.
Eric Johnson, then the principal of the middle and now the principal at Woodland Heights Elementary School, confessed he found himself at a loss for words, but instead offered the lines of "A Young Life Cut Short" by an unknown poet. "Do not judge a song by its duration, Nor by the number of its notes," implores the poet. "Judge it by the way it touches and lifts the soul, Sometimes those unfinished are among the most beautiful," the poet counsels, "And when something has enriched your life, And when it's melody lingers on in your heart," the poet asks "Is it unfinished? Or is it endless?"
The memorial was inspired by the tragic death of Lilyanna Johnson at the hands of a reckless driver in April, 2013. Johnson credited Jeff Derynioski, a landscaper, Mark Padula, a contractor, Sunday Dearborn and Deb Williams, together with a host of donors,with the erection of the memorial.


CAPTION: Chris Ennis (left), principal of Laconia Middle School, and Eric Johnson (right), his predecessor who is now principal of Woodland Heights Elementary School, spoke to mark the consecration of a memorial in remembrance of middle school students who lost their lives  before living them to the full. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch)

WEEKEND: Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in very personal for many participants; 47 teams & 355 walkers already signed up Sunday's event in Laconia

LACONIA — The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative is hosting a 3.5 mile non-competitive fundraising walk, with a five mile option, on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m.. The walk will begin at Opechee Park in Laconia, and will help the society do the most for people with breast cancer today to end the disease tomorrow.
Making Strides walks in nearly 300 communities nationwide, help to raise $60 million dollars for the American Cancer Society each year to save lives. The dollars raised fund groundbreaking research to find, prevent, treat, and cure breast cancer; ensure access to mammograms for women who need them; and provide free resources and support to the one in two newly diagnosed women who turn to the society for help and support, including transportation and lodging during treatment.
As of Friday there were 47 teams and 355 participants registered to take part in Sunday's event at Opechee and more than $34,195 had already been raised by participants.
Top fundraiser at that point was Diane Skilling of The Di'Namics with $1,905, followed by Vicki Fournier of the Big or Small, Save Them All team with $1,220 and Terri Higgins, also of The Di'Namics, with $1,210.
The Di'Namics led all fundraising teams as of Friday morning with $4,890, followed by the Moultonborough Women's Club with $4,463.64 and the Gilford Volleyball Team with $3,365.34.
Skilling says The 'Di'Namics Team was formed in 2004 by her sisters when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer.
''It is hard to believe it's been 10 years. I am doing great in that regard, although I had a little 'hiccup/recurrence' in 2006. I am happy to continue raising money to continue the fight to, hopefully, eradicate this disease that does not discriminate,'' says Skilling, who is in her 60s and says that her goal, and that of many other participants, is to ''celebrate more birthdays.''
She says her treatments included both chemotherapy and radiation and urges all women to be diligent in getting mammograms every year.
''Our small team of 10 now has five breast cancer survivors. Sunday's event is our opportunity to honor breast cancer survivors, remember people we have lost, and help raise funds for groundbreaking research, information and services for people fighting breast cancer, and mammograms for women who need them,'' says .
Vicki Fournier of the Big or Small, Save them All team, is also a breast cancer survivor and comes from a family with a history of breast cancer.
''My mom died of breast cancer in April 2001. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2012. I have the triple crown: ER, PR & HER2. I have finished treatments and am cancer free. This was the biggest battle of my life and if it wasn't for my in-laws, cousin (Karen) and many friends I do not think I would have made it though. Thank you all for your love, words of encouragement and support'' says Fournier.
She says that Making Strides not only provides an opportunity to join the community to fight back against breast cancer, but it is also a way to inspire hope by raising funds and awareness to help those facing the disease.
''That's why I'm walking, for my mom, me and every woman out there, Get your mammograms, do your self exams. Early detection saves lives,'' says Fournier.
"Making Strides Against Breast Cancer unites us to walk together as the most powerful force to end breast cancer," said Erinn Drouin, American Cancer Society staff partner for the Greater Lakes Region "The progress we are making is remarkable, but we need volunteers to help us finish the fight."
Drouin says that today one of every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer reaches out to the American Cancer Society for help and support. The donations raised by the teams will help more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors celebrate another birthday this year.
''Saving lives from breast cancer starts one team, one walker, and one dollar at a time. We know that the American Cancer Society is the leader in the fight to end breast cancer. We know that supporting them will ensure that if you need someone to talk to anytime of the day or night, they'll be there. If your friend is losing her hair from chemo, your mother needs a ride to treatment, or a loved one needs a place to stay when treatment is far from home, they will be there to help,'' says Drouin.