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Sanbornton's Jane Goss retires after 26 years in clerk-tax collector office

SANBORNTON — For 26 years Town Clerk-Tax Collector Jane Goss has been the smiling face who greets town residents as they entered town hall for assistance with everything from car registrations to death certificates.

Now close to her 65th birthday, Goss has decided its time to retire — leaving the Town Clerk-Tax Collector Office in what she described last week as the capable hands of her assistant Marla Davis.

For Goss the journey from being Ann Inguemundsen's assistant that began in 1988 to where she is now has been a long and pleasurable one — peppered with some very short learning curves.

"When I started we were hand-writing all posting of bills," she said laughing as she pointed to all the computer equipment in the tiny two-roof office. "We would hand-write it in an old book."

Goss said she worked as Inguemundsen's assistant for almost seven years before she fell ill and passed away in the middle of their transition to computers.

"I learned them from the bottom up," she said, noting that when she first came to Sanbornton, the two women took the car registration money for the town but sent all of the state taxes and license plate work to Tilton.

"Now we do everything," she said.

"And the voting machines. I just love the voting machines," Goss said noting how they used to have to hand count all of the ballots and during presidential elections the count could take hours after the polls closed.

Goss said one of the most enjoyable things she ever did as Town Clerk-Tax Collector was to join the Sant Bani School students with the Sanbornton Central School students and hold a mock election.

"We went through the whole procedure," she said, saying the children got to register, choose a party if they wanted, and cast their votes just like their parents were going to do in a few days.

She said that rules surrounding children's privacy changed quite a few years ago and she hasn't been able to host her mock elections for the last two presidential cycles.

One of Goss's proudest moments was when she was recently recognized by federal, state, and local law enforcement for her role in breaking up an illegal car export business being operated in part out of Sanbornton. Just last week, she received a second commendation from State Sen. Jeanie Forrester.

Goss has also had some recently life changes that helped her confirm her decision to retire.

Her daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer and was recently told she had passed her one-year cancer-free mark.

Since the diagnosis, Goss and other members of her family have begun dedicating a large portion of their life to fund-raising for cancer research. Goss is participating in a 5K race this weekend in Concord as well as an upcoming Relay for Life.

Last year she walked in the 60-mile Susan G. Komen three-day race in Boston and is planning on walking in the same race in Philadelphia next year.

"My husband and I walk all the time," she said.

Goss also said her husband Larry is now retired and is looking forward to traveling with him. She said they don't have any major plans to go anywhere but said there was a weekend at a beach in Rhode Island where they will go after this year's town election.

When asked what she would miss the most, without hesitation she said the residents and the town employees.

"They've kept me in office for 26 years and its been my pleasure to help them," she said. "I've always been told that if you bend over backwards to help people, they will repay you with kindness."

"Life is good," she said.


CAPTION: (Goss) Sanbornton Town Clerk-Tax Collector Jane Goss in her office about one week beforeretirement. Goss has been Town Clerk-Tax Collector for 19 years and was the assistant for seven years previous to that. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 11:42

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Heroin antidote saves Belmont man but now he's under arrest

BELMONT — A local man is charged with one count of possession of heroin after emergency responders went to a home on Middle Route yesterday at 8:47 a.m. and found him unresponsive and suffering from breathing difficulties.

Patrick Stitt, 40, shares the home with his elderly mother and his girlfriend.

Emergency responders learned Stitt may have overdosed on heroin and administered NARCAN, which immediately reversed the effects of the heroin. Stitt was able to walk to the ambulance.

While he was being transported, police were able to gather enough evidence to charge  him with possession of the narcotic drug.

When police went to Lakes Region General Hospital to arrest him, they said they were "surprised" to learn he had left on his own and was last seen walking away from the emergency room.

Sgt. Adam Hawkins found Stitt walking along Rte. 107 and arrested him without incident. He is being held in lieu of $2,000 cash bail and is schedule to appear in the 4th Circuit Court Laconia Division this morning.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 11:37

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Laconia man said to have threatened girlfriend with an axe

LACONIA — A Merrimac Street man was ordered held on $5,000 cash-only bail for allegedly threatening his girlfriend with an ax during an argument early Tuesday morning.

William E. Fort, 30, appeared in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday and entered no pleas to one count of felony criminal threatening and one felony count of second-degree assault.

He pleaded not guilty to one count of simple assault for allegedly biting her nose.

Police affidavits said they were called to Merrimac Street at 3:05 a.m. by the victim who said Fort had allegedly pinned her to the floor with his legs to the point where she had trouble breathing and then bit her nose.

Police said he also picked up an ax and said, "I'll jut use it to take off your head."

Affidavits said the argument was precipitated when Fort awoke from sleeping, left the bedroom and urinated in the living room.

Judge Jim Carroll also ordered Fort to not possess any dangerous weapons, not to drink any alcohol or consume any drugs and to stay away from the victim and Merrimac Street should he post bail.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 01:26

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LHS renovation project can be expanded because of savings in sprinkler project

LACONIA – The School Board got some good news last night when it learned that part of the sprinkler installation project at the High School would cost less than anticipated and the savings would allow for additional circulation and ventilation in some interior classrooms.

As part of the initial engineering for a $1.8-million QZAB, or Qualified Zone Academy (interest-free) Bond project, the school thought the glass in the main entry way would have to be removed and retrofitted with fire-safe glass or a wall.

The retrofit of fire-safe windows would have cost at least $100,000.

This area is where the old Huot Technical Center was added to the eastern building of the high school. The former outside wall became an inside wall with windows that open into the foyer for some air.

Business Administrator Ed Emond said after reviewing state fire code with the local fire department and the N.H. State Fire Marshal, the district learned the foyer needs only to be a "smoke-free" barrier and not a fire barrier. He said the cost would be a few thousand dollars as opposed to the six-figures the district had anticipated.

Emond said the savings will be redirected toward adding some ventilation and air circulation to the class rooms in the same area that do not have windows that open to the outside.

The QZAB project will add sprinklers to the High School, improve the air-handling and circulation within the buildings, install air conditioning in the gymnasium and repair the air conditioning in the auditorium.

The School Board also voted unanimously to have the city issue the bond in the aggregate principal amount of $1,828,000 and sell it to Bank of New Hampshire at the price of par, with the length of the term to be 25 years.

In other school board news, Superintendent Terri Forsten said that kindergarten registration opened one week ago and so far 116 children have registered for the 2014-2015 school year.

She said the district plans on having eight full-day kindergarten classes next year instead of the nine they have now.

She anticipates 2014-2015 enrollment will be around 150 to 160 kindergarteners. This year there are 173 kindergarteners.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 01:22

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