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Lights On After School today to celebrate program

LACONIA — This Thursday marks Laconia's 14th year of participating in the National Lights On After School Program.

Nationwide, about 28-million children have parents who work outside the home and, were it not for the after school programming, would have no where to go where there is adult supervison. After school programs provide students with a safe and secure place through programs that being when the typical school day ends.

Project-Extra in Laconia joins the national celebration of students, parents, business leaders and adult volunteers who support after school programs for local children.

Each elementary school, said Project Extra Administrative assistant Regine Theberge, will have its own theme at their schools while the Middle School will partner with the Boys and Girls Club.

"The goal is to light up the city," Theberge said, saying all of their community partners will be displaying balloons with glow sticks that will light up in the dark.

One Hundred Seventy Five students enrolled in the School District's elementary-level summer learning programs Director Christine Gingerella told the School Board last week. Of those, 124 children were in the lower grades while 51 were in the upper elementary grades. Overall there was an average daily attendance of 135 students, or 77 percent of those enrolled.

Gingerella said this past summer's programs for the younger children was called Naturally Curious Camp and was broken down into two sections — primary and intermediate.

Every year, said Gingerella, the school district hosts summer learning programs that are designed to supplant the regular school learning curriculum. She said this year the programs were designed to link real-world experiences — both indoor and outdoor — with language, math and science. And make it fun.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 02:49

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Strong odor causes stir at Belmont's Heritage Terrace

BELMONT — Firefighters had to temporarily relocate about 20 residents of the Heritage Terrace building off Shaker Road into their community room yesterday after some bleach mixed with other chemicals mixed together and created a toxic environment.

Fire Chief Dave Parenti said the event came when a woman walked into the Fire Department at 8:30 a.m. and told firefighters she had been cleaning in her father's apartment and some chemicals mixed and she wasn't feeling very well.

Parenti said the woman was taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia for evaluation while other firefighters went to the housing complex for the disabled and elderly to evaluate the chemical vapors.

He said the smell was fairly acute on the second floor so firefighters brought all of the residents into the downstairs community room so the entire building could be ventilated.

Parenti said the toxic compound appeared to be bleach and some kind of lavender hand soap. He said the chemical reactions had stopped by the time firefighters arrived and they only had to ventilate the building and remove the bleach from the apartment.

He said he notified the N.H. HAZMAT Team and they determined the fire department personnel was able to take care of the problem.

All of the residents were back in their individual apartments at 10 a.m. and no one was injured. He said the woman's father had been staying in her home for the day while she cleaned so he wasn't effected by the fumes.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 02:46

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Young man who ran from Gilford police held on cash bail

LACONIA –— The Sheridan Street man who was apprehended after a brief foot chase with Gilford Police Tuesday was ordered held on $1,000 cash-only bail after his video appearance in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday.

Gilford police officer Kevin Baron stopped the car Austin Brue, 20, was driving on Lake Street Tuesday afternoon because it had no plates. Brue ran from police and sprinted across the Shaw's Supermarket parking lot. He was apprehended by a second Gilford officer.

He is charged with resisting arrest, disobeying an officer, and operating after his license was suspended.

In a separate matter, Brue, was also charged with unlawful possession of alcohol and for producing a driver's license that belonged to another. Those offenses allegedly occurred on September 28, in Gilford and police had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Police affidavits filed in that case said Brue was a passenger in a car being driven by another. When a Gilford detective stopped the car because it's driver was allegedly involved in a theft from Gilford Mobil Mart, Brue was in the back seat and there were open containers of alcohol. Police said Brue, who is 20, had alcohol on his breath and produced someone else's license to show he was old enough.

When the driver was back at the police station for the theft, the police said he told them Brue was really someone else. The detective said he thought he recognized Brue and later checked with some booking photos from previous encounters with him.

Using that information, police were able to get a warrant for his arrest.

Affidavits also said Brue had two additional bench warrants for his arrest on separate charges of receiving stolen property and willful concealment.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 02:31

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Committee exploring privatization of Sanbornton public works will get to work in Nov.

SANBORNTON — Five of the seven people commissioned by selectmen to form a Public Works Privatization Exploratory Committee met with the board last night and agreed to serve.

The five who were there last night are Jeff Jenkins, Curt McGee, Andy Sanborn, Fire Chief Paul Dexter, who will serve as a citizen, and Ralph Rathjen. The two members who weren't at last night's meeting are Mark Thurston, who had said he'd be late, and Bill Whalen who, according to Town Administrator Bob Veloski was unable to attend. Public Works Department Director Johnny VanTassel and Veloski, will be advisers.

Selectmen Dave Nickerson spoke initially for all three selectmen when he told the new committee the goal was to see if privatization "is a good idea or is it a bad idea."

He said the selectmen would like to see a recommendation from the committee after it finishes its work. "The good, the bad, and the ugly," Nickerson said.

When some people started taking about possible future uses for "the campus" area near old Town Hall and uses for the new DPW Building, Jenkins said he thought this committee should narrow its focus to just the immediate task at hand.

"If we get too wide, we get talking about a small committee talking about the whole town budget," Sanborn said, agreeing with Jenkins that the task must be a specific one and limited to the DPW only.

Sanborn also noted that $1 million, which is the annual operating budget of the highway portion of the Department of Public Works, is "a whole lot of money" and he feared there may be some attempts to influence the committee's work in one direction or another.

Nickerson told him that was why there would be no selectman's representative on the committee.

"That's why we wanted business people and that's why we're staying out," he said. "If it starts to get political, put a kibosh on it."

Speaking informally among themselves, the newly appointed committee members said the first thing they need to do is to create a mission statement. All agreed the first meeting would be on November 5 — a Tuesday — at 7 p.m. and they would do the organizing a scheduling at that time. The first meeting will likely be at the town offices although there are other spaces in town including a conference room at the DPW where the committee can meet if there is a conflict with the town office meeting room.

Melanie VanTassel said as a courtesy she would like to see town employees kept abreast of the committee's work because she said some of them were upset to read about the formation of the committee in Wednesday's Daily Sun.

Selectmen Karen Ober said the earliest the selectmen expect any recommendations is in 2015 and should any changes be adopted at the May 2015 Annual Town Meeting it would be 2016 before they could be implemented.

In other Sanbornton news, resident and former Selectman Evelyn Auger spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting and said she was "bothered a lot" by a story in Wednesday's Daily Sun about disharmony among selectmen. She said it occurred three weeks ago and while it was news, the board has already put it in the past.

She also took exception to having two of Selectman Karen Ober's spoken statements printed verbatim in the minutes of the meeting so that they end up in the newspaper. She also said when she was a selectman she often thought about resigning and at one point went so far at to bring a resignation letter to a meeting.

"Sanbornton has already gone through the fire 10 years ago. I know, I was in the battle and I have the scars to prove it," she said.

Sanborn took the opportunity to suggest the board put a video camera in selectman's meetings and air them on Lakes Region Public Access so they wouldn't be dependent on the newspapers to get the news to residents.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 02:28

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