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County will see $64,000 savings if new contract wins approval

LACONIA — Unionized employees of the Belknap County House of Corrections have voted unanimously to approve a proposed two-year contract with the county which will provide them with their first pay raise in four years.
Belknap County Commission Chairman David DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) said that all 21 members of the Belknap County Corrections Officer Union this week voted for the contract, which has been negotiated in recent weeks by union representatives and the commissioners.
DeVoy said that the contract, if approved by the Belknap County Delegation, will save the county $64,000 in health insurance costs over the next two years.
The contract provides a 1.4 percent pay raise in each of the two years as well as step increases, which could increase total compensation by 4.4 percent each year for eligible workers.
It also provided for health insurance changes from an HMO plan to a "site of service" plan. DeVoy said that change will save the county $3,000 per employee, even though the county will pick up the entire cost of the health insurance premiums. Currently employees pay 5 to 6.5 percent of the premiums for the HMO plan.
There is also an incentive bonus of $1,000 in the first year for employees who make the switch to the site of service plan, which provides for $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000 deductibles on single, two-person and family plans.
DeVoy said that he has contacted Belknap County Delegation Chairman Frank Tilton (R-Laconia) about the contract, which needs approval from the delegation before it can take effect, and asked him to set up a meeting of the delegation at which the contract can be voted on.
The proposed contract is similar to the collective bargaining agreement between Teamsters Local 633 and the county which was approved by a 10-5 vote by the County Delegation last August.
DeVoy said that contract talks will be held next week with the new union representing the Belknap County Sheriff's Department. On Monday employees of the department voted unanimously to switch from the State Employees Association to the Teamsters Union.

Man trying to aid motorist struck in Tilton, now recovering


TILTON — A good Samaritan who who struck by an oncoming vehicle while hastening to the aid of stranded motorist has been released from hospital and is recovering at home.

The accident occurred at the traffic signal on US Route 3 directly across from the AutoServ dealership on March 10. When the driver of a Chrysler sedan stalled at the light in the eastbound turning lane, several men from the dealership crossed the street to assist him by pushing his car clear of the intersection.

Among them was Larry Holdsworth, one of several retired New Hampshire State Troopers employed by AutoServ. As Holdsworth ran toward the median strip, he was struck by a red vintage Jeep traveling eastbound.

Chris Miller, a fellow salesman who witnessed the accident, said the driver of the Jeep "never stopped or braked." He said that he has a lasting image of Holdsworth being hit, his shoes in the air, his head hitting the hood of the Jeep and his body skidding in the roadway.

Police Chief Bob Cormier said that Corporal Steve Henry of the Tilton Police Department was in his cruiser directly behind the stalled Chrysler. Immediately, he rushed to Holdsworth's aid, immobilizing his head and neck and stanching the bleeding from cuts to his leg and head, and calling for Tilton-Northfield Fire & EMS.

Holdsworth was transported to Concord Hospital, where he was treated for a broken neck, broken collar bone and lacerations to his leg and head that required some 200 stitches. Cormier said that when he visited Holdsworth in the hospital soon after the accident, Holdsworth told him that Henry saved him from more serious injury, even death, by immobilizing him as he tried to regain his feet.

Cormier said that after investigating the accident, police decided against filing charges. He explained that the driver of the Jeep was not exceeding the speed limit or running a traffic signal while Holdsworth was not crossing the street with a signal or in a crosswalk. He said that Holdsworth told him that he saw the Jeep, but expected it to make a left turn into Sherwood Drive and Northway Bank across the street.

"It was just a very unfortunate accident," Cormier said.

Gilmanton man held on $10K for threatening officers with a knife


LACONIA — A man who allegedly threatened to stab two police officers during a well-being check at his home in Gilmanton Tuesday is being held on $10,000 cash-only bail after appearing by video in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division.

Judge Jim Carroll said that if Donald Reed, 64, of 230 Crystal Lake Road can get entry into a secure mental health facility, his bail can be reduced to personal recognizance.

Affidavits said Sgt. Casey Brennan responded to a call to the victim's home at 10:52 a.m. after being told by his wife that he may be suicidal.

Brennan said he saw Reed through the window but he refused to answer the door. Minutes later, Chief Matt Currier arrived but, despite several attempts, Reed wouldn't answer the door.

After speaking with family members on the phone, the police called two members of the Gilmanton Fire Department to breach the back door so both officers could enter. Reed allegedly walked toward them with a steak knife over his head pointed at them. Brennan and Currier retreated to the porch and and called for the Belknap Regional Special Operations Group.

About 30 seconds later, Reed reappeared on the porch, approached them with the knife and allegedly begged them to kill him. When they didn't, he allegedly stabbed himself in the stomach repeatedly with the knife and retreated into the house.

After their arrival, Special Operations members surrounded the house. When Reed still refused to exit, they fired three tear gas canisters into it, but Reed didn't leave.

Family members who had telephone contact with Reed told the police that he was hiding in the upstairs bathroom. At 2:03 p.m., police zapped him with a Taser and took him into custody. He was taken by ambulance to Lakes Regional General Hospital for treatment of his self-inflicted stab wounds.

Police closed off the area for the four hours they were there and told people who were home to stay inside with their doors locked.

Reed faces four felony charges of criminal threatening with a weapon and two misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest.