CONCORD — A horse in Belmont has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV), the N.H. Department of Health & Human Services announced late Wednesday. This finding necessitates, the agency said, increasing the risk level in Belmont from "Remote" to "High."
Towns surrounding Belmont, including Northfield, Tilton, Sanbornton, Laconia, Gilford, Gilmanton and Canterbury will be raised to "Moderate Risk."
"Though parts of the state saw frost last night, we are not through with the mosquito season yet," said Dr. José Montero, Public Health Director at DHHS. "There are still mosquitoes around and we are urging residents to continue to take precautions against mosquito bites including using a repellent."
So far this season New Hampshire's Public Health Lab has tested 5,174 batches of mosquitoes. Of those, 14 have tested positive for WNV and 20 tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). One person was also diagnosed with WNV, and three other horses were found positive for EEE earlier in the season.
Symptoms of WNV disease often appear 4 to 10 days after being bitten. If you or someone you know is experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever and headache, contact your local medical provider.
Questions about EEE and WNV can be answered by calling the toll free EEE/West Nile Virus information line at 1-866-273-6453. You can also find extensive information about both diseases online at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/arboviral/index.htm.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 October 2013 02:53
TILTON — The Franklin Savings Bank Fund for Community Advancement honored nine local organizations who are working to make a difference in their communities at an awards gathering held at the Greenside Restaurant at Lochmere Country Club Tuesday evening.
Jeff Savage, bank president and CEO said that Fund for Community Advancement was formed with a one million dollar investment in 1997 to provide support for substantial projects by non-profit groups that significantly enhance the lives of people in the communities that make up the primary market area of the bank.
He said that fund has been established as a fund within the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and that the Fund Committee is comprised of members of both the bank's trustees and management. Savage said the fund has distributed 146 grants totaling $753,000 in 32 different rounds of grants and distributed over $34,000 in its most recent round.
Savage thanked Rob Steady, bank treasurer, for serving as chairman of the fund since its inception and introduced Mary ''Meg'' Miller, new fund chairman, who said that the grant process is streamlined to meet the needs of groups seeking assistance and doesn't require that they hire a grant writer.
Ron Magoon, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said that the fund has contributed to the quality of life on central New Hampshire, helping make it a great place to live and to work.
He announced the award recipients who included:
American Red Cross of New Hampshire, represented by Alice Walton, development coordinator.
Central N.H. Special Operations Unit, represented by John Duval, Concord Police Chief.
The Circle Program, Kathy Kearns, executive director.
Gordon-Nash Library, Cathy Vincvic, library director.
N.H. Food Bank of N.H. Catholic Charities, Melanie Gosselin, executive director of the Food Bank.
N.H. Special Olympics, Mary Conroy, president and CEO.
Town of Tilton Senior Center, Selectman Pat Consentino, co-founder.
Veterans Memorial Recreation Area, Michael 'Mike' Mullavey.
Youth Assistance Program, Dawn Shimberg, director.
CAPTION: cut slugged FSB
Jeff Savage, president and CEO of Franklin Savings Bank, watches as Ron Magoon, executive vice president and chief operating officer, displays art work presented to the bank by the Circle Program, one of the non-profit organizations awarded a grant by the bank's Fund for Community Advancement. Presenting the art work were Paula Ferenac and Kathy Kearns of the Circle Program. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 03:18
LACONIA — After closing the gas station at the corner of South Main Street and Garfield Street, Jeff Pierson, president of Foley Oil Company, said yesterday that he is working with the Department of Environmental Services (DES) to prepare the property for redevelopment.
Contrary to a recent report in The Citizen, Pierson said that there are no failed underground fuel tanks on the site. He explained that in 1993 the existing tanks were replaced in anticipation of stiffer regulations that became effective in 1998. The double-wall tanks, approved and authorized by DES, were equipped with monitoring system that operated 24 hours a day seven days a week and sounded an alarm if the outer wall was breached by groundwater or the inner wall by fuel.
"In 20 years we never had a leak," Pierson said. "We have always been in compliance and to this day there is nothing wrong with the tanks in the ground."
However, Pierson said that when new regulations become effective in 2015 the company would have to invest as much as $100,000 in both tanks and pumps to remain in compliance with state and federal environmental regulations. He said that since sales at the location would not warrant the expenditure he chose to close the station. "This was our choice as a company," he said.
Pierson said that the company will decommission the station by removing the tanks, along with other material tainted by petroleum products during the approximately 50 years the property has housed a gas station and repair shop. "Quite a bit of material will be removed then replaced with clean fill and paved," he said, stressing that the company will fund the work, which will be performed to standards set by DES.
Meanwhile, DES will remove contaminated materials from an area around the property, including a section of Garfield Street, where several other service stations operated in the past. The project will be financed by the New Hampshire Petroleum Reimbursement Program, which draws on four separate funds accrued from surcharges on the sale of petroleum products.
Pierson said that because Foley Oil Company enjoyed an unbroken record of compliance, DES was authorized to share in the cost of remediating the effects of past fueling operations in the vicinity of the station.
Planning Director Shanna Saunders said that Pierson first approached her about a year ago about redeveloping the property, indicating that he would prefer a use that served the neighborhood. He said that the building will be renovated so it is suitable for rent, but otherwise he has no specific plan for the property other than improving it to do justice to its prominent location.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 03:10
MEREDITH — The Inter-Lakes School District has received a refund in excess of $337,000 from the Local Government Center representing excess premiums the district paid for health insurance for its employees for 2010 and 2011, the School Board was told last night.
Assistant Superintendent Trish Temperino said that $337,318.66 was paid to the district in the form of a credit toward its $1.3 million health insurance bill for the current school year. An additional $49,792.71 will be refunded to current and former teachers and other district employees for what they paid toward the cost of their insurance.
Temperino said the amount of the refunds to employees and retiree would vary. Eligible employees still working in the Inter-Lakes District will receive their refunds in this week's pay check. Retirees and other former employees will receive their refund in a separate check.
The amount of the credit/refund is much larger than the district had originally expected. Temperino told the board that the district anticipated a credit of $94,633 for 2011 insurance premiums and had calculated that when preparing the current budget. However, in June the district was informed that there would be a credit — or so-called premium holiday — for 2010 insurance premiums as well, resulting in an additional credit to the district of $240,264.39.
The credit and refunds are being issued under the terms of a state Bureau of Securities Regulations' order that the LGC repay $53.4 million to towns and school districts overcharged by the nonprofit organization, which operates self-funded risk pools for health care coverage and workers compensation insurance.
The Bureau of Securities Regulation found the LGC violated state law by improperly collecting money and retaining unnecessary surplus funds. The organization also improperly transferred assets, subsidizing one insurance pool (workers' compensation) at the expense of another (health), the bureau said, in order to try and build a new business line.
The organization believes the large reserves kept rates stable for members and reduced long-term costs. Critics, however, said the surplus should have been returned to its members rather that used for other purposes, such as funding the start-up of a workers' compensation program.
NOTES: The board set Saturday, June 14, 2014 as the date for the Inter-Lakes High School graduation. The date coincides with the beginning of Motorcycle Week, but the traffic and noise are expected to be much less than the following Saturday when Bike Week crowds typically peak. If snowstorms delay the end of the school year, high school Principal Patti Kennelly recommended the graduation take place on Tuesday, June 17. The graduation ceremonies will take place in Prescott Park, as was the case this year. . . . . . The board approved an online program be used to teach Spanish at Sandwich Central School. Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond said that the school has had problems in recruiting and keeping qualified teachers for the part-time position. She said that school Principal John Hansen hopes to hire a part-time classroom assistant, fluent in Spanish, who would work with the students and augment the on-line instruction, which is provided by Middlebury College in Vermont. . . . . . Ormond told the board the district's official enrollment as of Oct. 1 was 1,097 students. She expected that enrollment would remain fairly constant for the next five years. The Inter-Lakes District has 189 fewer students than 10 years ago, Ormond noted. . . . . . The board set March 5 as the date for the annual School District meeting.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 02:37
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