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Laconia Water Works receives Flouride Quality Award for 2012 levels

LACONIA — The Laconia Water Works has received the highest honor given to public water systems by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Hampshire Division for Public Services for its management of fluoridation in 2012.

"We're on our game," Water Works Superintendent Seth Nuttleman said yesterday. ""The award is a recognition of the professionalism and attention to detail of our staff." He said that the credit lies with Floyd Dungelman, the water quality supervisor, and the 16 employees of the department for their diligence and skill.

The Fluoridation Quality Award, announced last week, celebrates public water systems for maintaining the concentration of fluoride within appropriate ranges for 12 consecutive months. Nuttleman said that there are a dozen municipal water systems in the state that fluoridate their drinking water, and the Laconia Water Works was one of only three to be recognized. He said that fluoride concentrations are randomly tested each month.

Since the introduction of fluoride to public drinking water supplies in the 1950s the incidence of tooth decay has fallen significantly, particularly among children.

Although the use of fluoride was approved by a public referendum in November, 1975, it was not added to the city's drinking water until the water treatment plant was constructed in 1989. In 2011 concern about levels of fluoridation led the United States Environmental Protection Agency  to direct those public water systems that fluoridate their drinking water to reduce the levels to 0.7 milligrams per liter, and since February 2011 the Laconia Water Works has complied with the recommended concentrations.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 March 2014 12:13

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Inmate at Belknap County Jail charged with possessing non-prescribed pills

LACONIA — An inmate at the Belknap County House of Corrections was charged Monday with once count of delivery of prohibited articles for allegedly possessing a non-prescribed drug while incarcerated.

Kaitlyn Millette 21, of 56 Arlene Drive in Belmont, became an inmate on Feb. 10 for violating the conditions of her parole or probation, according to paperwork obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, and the Belknap County Superior Court.

On Feb. 16, she and the other female inmates who are being housed in the gymnasium were relocated to the cells so officers could conduct a routine search of the gym. While she was walking down the hallway, a corrections officer allegedly saw her stop in the hall, look around, and then throw something into the trash can.

Two corrections officers said they searched the trash can and allegedly found a sandwich bag containing eight 25-milligram pills of Seroquel and two 50-milligrams pills of Seroquel.

While typically prescribed for treatment of bi-polar disorder and/or schizophrenia, a number of Websites say Seroquel can be effective for easing the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Affidavits supporting the charges said Millette told the corrections officers that she had been taking one every night because she didn't want to go through the symptoms of heroin withdrawal.

This is the second time Millette has violated her probation by using drugs while incarcerated, said officials.

Court paperwork shows that on Oct. 13, 2013, Millette committed a probation violation for testing positive for Suboxine while incarcerated for one count of theft and one count of endangering the welfare of a child on Sept. 30, 2013 while in Tilton, also a probation violation.

Her husband, Jonathan Woodbury, 31, also of 56 Arlene Drive, was indicted by a grand jury last week for allegedly bringing drugs to his wife while she was in jail on Oct. 13, 2013, by allegedly concealing them in a bottle of shampoo.

Woodbury was also indicted for allegedly stealing shampoo from Shaw's Supermarket.

He is also being held on $200,000 cash bail for allegedly providing heroin to his "best friend," Michael Chamberlain, who died at 56 Arlene Drive on Feb. 4.

Millette was ordered held on $2,000 personal recognizance bail for her most recent charge.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 01:00

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Residents of Meredith’s Maple Ridge Road form village district

MEREDITH — At the request of eight of the 10 property owners on Maple Ridge Road, the Board of Selectmen this week delineated a village district to improve and main the road and scheduled its first meeting for Monday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m.

In New Hampshire, village districts may be formed upon petition by 10 or more voters to serve a variety of purposes, including constructing, improving and maintaining roads. Village districts have the authority to raise property taxes sufficient to accomplish their designated purposes and are governed by commissioners, akin to selectmen, chosen by voters at annual meetings.

Once a petition is presented, the Board of Selectmen is bound to define the boundaries of the village district and convene a meeting of the eligible voters to vote for or against establishing it.

Maple Ridge Road, a steep, winding graveled track about a half-mile long that ends some 750 feet above the western shore of Lake Winnisquam. The subdivision was approved in 1978, but until the Maple Ridge Association was formed two years ago, there was no collective effort to budget for the maintenance of the road.

The selectmen defined the village district to include all 10 lots on Maple Ridge Road, including those owned by the two property owners who declined to sign the petition. They and anyone who purchases a lot within the district will be liable to the property tax levied by the district for the upkeep of the road.

David Desmarais told the selectboard that forming a village district, with the sole purpose of maintaining the road and authority to raise and appropriate funds, would ensure sufficient resources "year in and year out" to plow, sand, grade, gravel and ditch the road. He said that the residents understood that an improved road would enhance the value of their property, as well as benefit the town by providing safe access for emergency vehicles. Moreover, village districts qualify for federal disaster assistance administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Although Maple Ridge Road has suffered several washouts, so far it has been spared a catastrophic event.

Desmarais estimated the cost of constructing the road to town standards at $135,000.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 12:40

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Following voters’ direction, Gilmanton selectboard agrees to hire 4th F-T firefighter

GILMANTON — It's back to the future for the Fire Department after selectmen agreed to allow the fire chief to advertize for a full-time firefighter.

Once hired and trained, the firefighter will satisfy the conditions of the Warrant Article 30 passed last week that states the department must be staffed by four full-time firefighters/EMT-I, including Chief Joe Hempel.

On March 11, voters decided by a 2-1 margin that four full-time firefighters was what they wanted.

The town had been filling a spot, made vacant about five months ago when one of their full-timers was hired by the Laconia Fire Department, with part-time firefighters. Selectmen had decided that as long as the part-timers were qualified as intermediate-level EMTs it would be a way to save the town about $30,000. The decision was appealed through a petitioned warrant article and was overwhelmingly supported by voters last week.

In response to that vote, on Monday night, selectmen said that all part-time shifts must be covered by firefighters who have reach a classification of EMT-I. They said there is one part-timer who is currently covering shifts that either must return to the call rosters or gain his or her EMT-I certification before taking part-time shifts.

Town Administrator Arthur Capello said yesterday that the schedule for the Fire Department will go back to what it was before selectmen tried to force Hempel to take two shifts a week as a regular rotation firefighter.

He said the department will likely be staffed on Sunday by two qualified, part-time firefighters.

In additional Gilmanton news, selectmen voted to add an additional $3,562 to the amount of money to given as raises to town employees, and as agreed to by voters at annual town meeting.

Capello explained that the additional money is because the board wanted each town employee, with the exception of elected full-time employees, like the road agent and the town clerk, to get a net — or after-tax — raise of $750.

The $21,200 that voters supported by a vote of 652-270 gave raises of $750 annually to each employee, but was calculated on a pre-tax basis.

Selectmen also agreed by consensus to advertize for a member for the Planning Board. Current member Marty Martindale no longer lives in Gilmanton and selectmen asked him to resign.

Capello said yesterday there are a number of board and commissions that are seeking volunteers, including the Planning Board that needs one member and alternates.

In their reorganization meeting, Selectman Brett Currier is chair of the new board and will serve as selectmen's representative to the Road Committee and the Historic District Committee. Selectman Don Guarino will serve as selectmen's representative to the Planning Board and newly-elected Selectman Steve McCormack will serve as the selectmen's representative to the Budget Committee.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 12:28

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