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Rep. Tilton insists federal grant to Sheriff's Dept. needs to be appropriated before it can be spent

LACONIA — It may be seen as just a formality, but Rep. Frank Tilton (R-Laconia), says that he believes a $297,300 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security which the Belknap County Sheriff's Department is using for upgrading its communications network still must be appropriated by the Belknap County Convention.
''I never heard of one (a grant) not being in a budget,'' said Tilton at Friday afternoon's deliberations of the Belknap County Convention's Public Safety Subcommittee.
Belknap County Finance Director Glen Waring said that the grant was received by the Sheriff's Department last summer, long after this year's budget had already been approved, and that work on the communications project is still ongoing although approaching its final phases.
He said that the administration will provide an accounting to the convention for how the funds were spent.
Belknap County Sheriff Craig Wiggin said that in his experience he's ''never seen a pass-through grant which needs to be appropriated.''
He said that the department has been making regular expenditure reports to the state N.H. Safety Department in order to receive reimbursements.
But Tilton persisted in insisting that the county must vote on the grant even though it was applied for and accepted by the Belknap County Commissioners on behalf of the Sheriff's Department. He said that the appropriation was necessary in order to track all funds which go through the county.
He said that he couldn't understand ''how it is never seen as a requirement.''
Rep. Ian Raymond (D-Sanbornton) suggested that the commissioners submit a request to the convention at its next meeting for appropriating the funds and Rep. Herb Vadney (R-Meredith) said that even though there might not be a requirement for a vote that it might be a good idea to take one.

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 February 2014 02:21

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Gilford man advances mission of Boys & Girls Club by doing what he loves: teaching art

LACONIA — Whether it's an artwork or a good person, a thing of beauty is a joy forever, and for many years as a Boys and Girls Club volunteer, Ed Rushbrook has helped to produce both.

A semi-retired civil engineer who calls Gilford home, Rushbrook grew up in Pittsfield, Mass. where he attended what was then known as the Pittsfield Boys Club.

"The club did a lot for me," said Rushbrook, who was the youngest of three siblings raised in a single-parent household and who began attending the Pittsfield club at age 10.

At the club, Rushbrook climbed the ladder of responsibility, first handing out pool cues to fellow members and then serving in various positions — counselor, cook and lifeguard — at its summer camp. In 1961, Rushbrook was "Boy of the Year" at the Pittsfield club.

A graduate of Pittsfield High School, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the University of Maine, Orono, where he earned his master's degree, Rushbrook took his first art class at the Pittsfield Boys Club and was immediately smitten.

Now working and teaching others to master pastels, charcoal and pencil, Rushbrook also realized that at the club he was learning a lot more than just how to draw a pretty picture.

"The Boys and Girls Club taught me honesty, hard work and respect for your fellow man," Rushbrook said recently, "and because the club did so much for me, that's why I'm so happy to donate anything I can."

Since moving to New Hampshire in 1978, the "anything" that Rushbrook has donated has been his time, experience and insight, volunteering first as an art instructor at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Concord and later doing the same in Laconia in 2007 when the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region — which began in 1999 as the Belknap County Teen Center — became part of the Boys and Girls Club of America.

When the Lakes Region club last fall announced a $2.4 million capital campaign to acquire and transform the former St. James Episcopal Church into its first "forever home," Rushbrook promptly stepped up. To promote greater awareness of the effort, he offered personal testimonials for a publicity initiative and also donated a painting which will be auctioned at the club's upcoming Spring Fling gala.

A member of the Lakes Region Art Association, Rushbrook has also advanced the mission of the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region by simply doing what he loves: teaching art.

Every Monday afternoon, Rushbrook directs some two dozen youths in the finer points of fine art, explaining "You can do it your entire life. Art's not expensive and you'll always advance as an artist. As I tell the kids, nothing pleases a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle more than receiving a hand-made gift created by them."

While thrilled by helping his charges improve their artistic skills, Rushbrook is especially happy that he can do so under the auspices of the Boys and Girls Club.

"Without question, the Boys and Girls Club has really shaped my life and given me direction," Rushbrook summed up, "and that's why I'm so willing to help the club achieve success with kids. People need to realize how valuable the club can be in shaping kids today."

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region's capital campaign, contact the club at 528-0197 or go to www.lakeskids.org.


Cutline for courtesy photo: With her teacher Ed Rushbrook looking on proudly, Arianna, a student at Elm Street School in Laconia and also in Rushbrook's art class at the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region, poses with one of her recent creations. (Courtesy photo)

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 February 2014 02:12

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Grenier only candidate for Gilford Selectboard

GILFORD — Richard "Rags" Grenier, the former superintendent of the Belknap County Department of Corrections and member of the Budget Committee, is the lone candidate seeking to fill the seat on the Board of Selectmen left empty by the decision of Kevin Hayes, the incumbent, not to run for re-election. The 2014 filing period closed on Friday.

There are five candidates for three seats on the Budget Committee. Incumbents Kevin Roy, Sue Greene and Kevin Leandro are all seeking re-election while Skip Murphy, a former member of the committee, and J. Scott Davis, a former member of the Planning Board who currently serves as vice-chairman of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, complete the field.

Rae Mello-Andrews filed for election to a three-year term on the School Board, succeeding Paul Blandford who term expires this year.

Denise Morrissette Gonyer, the incumbent, has filed for re-election as Town Clerk/Tax Collector.

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 February 2014 01:56

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Sled Dog Derby postponed to Feb. 14-16

LACONIA — The 85th annual Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby has been postponed from next weekend until the weekend of February 14-16 due to poor snow conditions.

It marks the second straight year that the derby has been postponed. Last year it was put off twice due to the lack of snow and finally held the first weekend in March.

Race trail boss Jim Lyman said that the course needs at least another six to eight inches of snow in order for the race to be held and says that the race date may be moved permanently to mid-February.

The New England Sled Dog Club has postponed one race scheduled for the Lakes Region and cancelled another. The Hill Village Race scheduled for last weekend has been cancelled and the Tamworth race, which was first held in 1924, was postponed from January 18-19 to March 1-2.



Last Updated on Saturday, 01 February 2014 01:53

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