City schools to finish year in the black after fund transfer


LACONIA — To help the school district to finish in the black at the end of this school year, the School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to ask the City Council to release $180,000 from the Special Education Trust, at the recommendation of the Budget and Personnel Committee.

According to Business Administrator Ed Emond, there is about $187,000 in the fund, which was established to offset sudden spikes in the demand for special education services that couldn't be foreseen during the budget planning stages.

As it stands right now, the School District is about $500,000 short for the current school year that ends on June 30, largely because of special education overruns.

Superintendent Dr. Phil McCormack said the district has been on a soft spending freeze since early November and a hard spending freeze since Christmas. He said essentials are being purchased and salaries are being paid, but other items are treated on an individual basis.

In addition, Emond said there is $100,000 in this year's budget that should have been transferred into the Special Education trust fund that was not. He said two $25,000 funds – one for a building study and one for contingency – have not been spent.

He said the $180,000 currently in the Special Education Trust, plus the $100,000 never transferred to that fund, plus the $50,000 in the building study and contingency funds, and adding in the money from the items not purchased due to the spending freeze should keep the district afloat financially. He said there will be no money to transfer into various trust accounts at the end of the year.

Emond and McCormack told the committee that in the end of May and beginning of June they will re-evaluate the financial picture. Should there be any financial flexibility, they will use that money to pre-purchase some supplies and perform some maintenance repairs to alleviate the constraints on next year's budget.

Gilford police break up party, arrest seven teens at house

GILFORD — Police interrupted what was likely to be an under-aged drinking party Saturday at 9:10 a.m. on Dockum Shore Road after getting a call from a workman who didn't recognize any of the cars in the driveway.

Lt. Kris Kelley said police called the homeowner, who also didn't recognize the cars and gave them permission to enter.

Kelley said Nicholas R. Burke, 18, 48 Flagg Road of Gonic is charged with one count of criminal trespass, one count of facilitation an underaged drug or alcohol party, and one count of unlawful possession of alcohol.

Jacob Walters, 18, of 24 Joseph Drive in Gonic is charged with criminal trespass and unlawful possession of alcohol.

Kelley said there were a total of seven youths, both boys and girls, in the house who were between the ages of 16 and 18. The juveniles were charged with unlawful possession of alcohol.

Kelley said he's not sure if police came too late for a party on Friday or were early for a party on Saturday but said it appeared the youths were planning on spending Saturday night there.

He said it appears one of the young people is an ex-acquaintance of the child of the homeowners.

– Gail Ober



Laconia police bring games and friendship to local kids


LACONIA — The Police Department yesterday kicked off its Police Athletic League, a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region that will bring officers to the club every Wednesday afternoon to play games and share activities with the kids.

The program kicked off not only figuratively but literally as officers Kyle Jepsen and Bryan Moynihan each led a team of 10 or so in an indoor soccer match played with abundant enthusiasm, if sparse finesse. Police Chief Chris Adams accompanied another group of kids on several turns around the Smith Track at Opechee Park. Other officers, including Capt. Matt Canfield and Sgt. Gary Hubbard mingled, answering a host of questions from children curious about the life and work of police officers.

Adams, who serves on the advisory board of the club, said the initiative was begun last year, but has now become more formal. "We have a set schedule," he said, "with different officers coming to the club every Wednesday for at least an hour."

He explained that "the goal of the program is to establish sound relationships with children and adolescents in a comfortable, informal setting where they are secure and happy."

Adams said that the program also provides an opportunity for officers to form relationships and gain insights that will enhance their effectiveness in the community.

"And," he said, "it's a diversion from patrolling the streets and writing reports. It's a win-win for both sides."

04-21 Laconia PD PALS

Flanked by Kalley, Bella and Tonya (from left), Police Chief Chris Adams enjoyed a promenade around the Smith Track at Opechee Park on a sunny afternoon as the Police Department opened the Police Athletic League in partnership with Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region. (Michael Kitch photo/Laconia Daily Sun)