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Inter-Lakes Board Approves $226,924 in Transfers from Fund Balance

MEREDITH — The Inter-Lakes School Board last night approved the transfer of $226,924 from its fund balance for several projects it deems as key priorities, including $68,000 for 118 new interior door locks which will enable doors to be locked from inside without the use of a key.
Trish Temporino, school district business administrator, said the that the new locks will address a security concern as well as comply with fire codes. The doors will also be able to be unlocked from the inside without a key.
Also approved by the board was another security related item, $21,394 for new radios with a repeater system for use in extreme emergencies which will enable both the police and fire departments to monitor communications within the school during those incidents.
Temporino said the plan had originally called for installation of more security cameras at the district's schools but it was decided that the new communications system had a higher priority.
The board also approved $65,000 for unanticipated special education placements, $37,000 for an update to the science lab, $19,000 for a underground pipe for the oil tank at Inter-Lakes High School, $10,530 for additional police coverage on Rte. 25 in front of the high school and $6,000 for human services and culinary tech tuition at Huot Center in Laconia.
Temporino explained that prior to the transfers the anticipated fund balance was approximately $476,924, the result of excess revenues of $108,477 and unexpended funds of $368,447.
The transfers will reduce the fund balance to $250,000 and the district intends to place $30,000 into an existing playground expendable trust, leaving $220,000 to be used to reduce the tax assessment for 2013.
The board also learned that it will be receiving additional funds from the Local Government Center in the form of credits for future health insurance premiums, which will reduce the amount the district will need to raise in the future.
Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond said that the district chose to take the funds as credits because it if had taken cash it would not have been able to reimburse current teachers and retirees out of those funds.
Temporino said that the district received a $111,000 credit for 2011, of which $17,000 in credits of which went to employees and retirees and $94,000 to the school district. Next month it will receive a $275,000 credit with $240,000 going to the district and credits amounting $35,000 to teachers and retirees.
The board spent nearly an hour discussing a proposal by Sandwich Central School Principal John Hansen to use an on-line Spanish teaching program from Middlebury College's Language School at Sandwich Central School.
Hansen said that over the last five years he has hired three different Spanish teachers for the one-day a week Spanish classes for grades 1-6 at the school and has not yet been able to find a Spanish teacher for this school year.
Board member Carol Baggaley said that she would like to have parents and board members see a demonstration of the program before signing on to it.
Several parents from Sandwich expressed reservations about learning Spanish through a computer, rather than from a person, and Hansen said that he hoped to have Inter-Lakes High School Spanish students visit the school to assist in instruction.
He planned to arrange a session at which the material can be previewed in the near future.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 03:30

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80s Tribute Band Rubix Kube at Laconia High School Friday Night

LACONIA — Billed as ''the Galaxy's Most Original '80s Tribute Band'', Rubix Kube will be at Laconia High School Friday night at 8 p.m. to present a free Putnam Fund concert.
The group is led by a by a male and female dynamic duo of karma chameleons, able to transform in the-blink-of-an-eye into the voice and character of any 1980s icon.
Cherie Martorana, frontwoman for the group, hails from Reading. Mass., and is the fourth in a clan of six kids. She credits her sister, Susan, for turning her on to music at a young age, when she gave Cherie her first vinyl Pat Benatar record.
At first an untapped "shower" singer, Cherie embarked on a successful career as a board game developer /puzzle book author until 2006. When she took her mom's "It's never too late advice" she then moved to New York City where her career as a professional performer took flight.
Cherie's first gig as a singer was doing back-ups for the legendary "World Famous Live Rock & Roll Karaoke Band" at Arlene's Grocery, where she was dubbed "Cherie-oke," The Rock 'n' Roll She-Devil. Soon after, Rubix Kube was formed and Cherie quickly moved up the ranks to frontwoman. On the side, she is also a back-up vocalist for The Little Death, an original Rock & Blues band featuring the Grammy-nominated artist MOBY and vocal powerhouse Laura Dawn.
Frontman Scott Lovelady is just a small-town boy, yet born and raised in the not-so-tiny town of Manhattan, N.Y. The son of a master puppeteer who worked on "The Muppets," Scott was destined to a life of grand performance and theatrics. He made his stage debut at the tender age of 6 months as Baby Snow White and later went on to model for Capezio and Sears.
A matrix of careers in puppeteering, animatronics, medieval armory, sound design, songwriting, and acting followed. Yet it was singing that became his calling, when in the 1990s he began fronting the infamous NYC rock band Fat Bastid. Stints also in Legion of Decency and Silverboy garnered him chops and notoriety in the music scene.
When the seeds were planted for Rubix Kube, Scott was an obvious choice for lead male vocalist with his wide range and diversity of styles and tones. His uncanny ability to simulate a multitude of 80s stars in voice, dress and body movement, along with a high-energy, quirky stage presence make him a perfect fit in The Galaxy's Most Original Eighties Tribute Band.
Their supporting sidekicks, including Steve Brown of the million-selling Rock band TRIXTER and David Z from The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, John LaSpina on drums, who has shared the stage with former/current members of Twisted Sister, Billy Joel, and Dave Chappelle's backing band, and Mike Pieck on Keyboards/Keytar, an MIT grad who moved to NYC and quickly became part of downtown's most high energy backing bands, including The Material Boys, The Vanities, and The Full Muscular Band.
Admission to the concert is free for all ages with the first to arrive the first to be seated.

Rubix Kube will perform Friday night at Laconia High School in a Putnam Fund sponsored free concert. (Courtesy photo)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 03:20

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Municipal primary election: Engler tops poll by 3 to 1 margin

LACONIA — After finishing one-two in the three-way mayoral primary election race yesterday, Ed Engler and Kaileif Mitchell will square off the general election on Nov. 12. Engler topped the field field with 349 votes, while Mitchell came in second with 103 votes. Bob Luther trailed with 78 votes.

In the only other contested primary race, David Bownes and Richard Beaudoin will compete for the City Council seat in Ward 2, while Mark Templeton, in his first bid for office, was eliminated. Bownes polled 39 votes, Beaudoin 20 votes and Templeton 14, as a mere 73 of of the ward's 1,446 registered voters cast ballots for city councilor.

"I, like everyone else today, was disappointed by the low turnout," Engler said. "Everyone I spoke with questioned the value of the primary election and no one thought it was a good idea."

"I want to thank Bob Luther for his many years of service as a city councilor and his continued representation of the city in the New Hampshire House of Representatives," Engler continued. "I am looking forward to the campaign this fall and to some joint appearances with Mr. Mitchell in the coming weeks."

"Obviously I am encouraged to get nearly two-thirds of the vote," he said. "Very encouraged and grateful to all those who supported my candidacy."

Mitchell, a teaching assistant at Spaulding Youth Center, said, "The numbers show I have a lot of work to do, but I'm still excited. My goal was not to finish third, and I'm right where I want to be." Although he cautioned against reading too much into the low turnout, he said, "Mr. Engler is still 66-percent better (off) than I am. I need to keep getting out there and letting people know my message."

Engler, the president of the Laconia Daily Sun, carried five of the six wards by comfortable margins. He carried Ward 3, where he resides, with 91 of the 122 votes cast and captured 72 of 94 votes cast in Ward 1 while polling more than half the vote in Wards 2, 4 and 6. Mitchell ran strongest in Ward 5, where only 47 ballots were cast — the fewest of any ward — narrowing Engler's margin to six votes, 22 to 16.

Only 548 of the 9,619 registered voters, or 6 percent, in the city cast ballots. Curiously the most votes were cast in an uncontested primary in Ward 6, where both incumbent Armand Bolduc, bidding for his 16th consecutive term on the council, and challenger Tony Felch, who lost his first bid to oust Bolduc in 2011, are both well known among voters. Together they polled 124 votes of the 126 ballots, four more than the 122 cast in Ward 3. Bolduc topped Felch by 84 to 40.

"I've got work to do," Felch said. "Signs will up in October and I'll be going door-to-door, getting name recognition."

"You can't sit around and do nothing," said Bolduc. "I'll be getting out and talking to people, putting up signs."

Incumbent city councilors Ava Doyle in Ward 1, Henry Lipman in Ward 3, Brenda Baer in Ward 4 and Bob Hamel in Ward 5 all are unopposed.

In the eight primary elections between 1997 and 2011 voter turnout has ranged from a high of 18 percent in 2001 to a low of 3 percent in 2011, with the average being 9 percent. The cost of this year's primary election was approximately $10,000, or $18.25 per vote.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 03:19

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Diesel leak quickly contained at Belmont Elementary School yesterday

BELMONT — Fire and Shaker Regional School District officials said a diesel leak from a school bus temporarily created a hazardous situation at the elementary school at 12:52 p.m. yesterday

According to Lt. Fred Greene and Superintendent Maria Dreyer, the spill came from a broken fuel line on a school bus, but fire officials were able to contain the fuel before any of it ran into the storm drains.

Dreyer said none of the children were in any danger, and the hazardous material drills that the school, the Fire Department and the Police Department routinely practice really paid off yesterday.

"The fire department was very supportive and the state (Department of Environmental Services) was right there," Dreyer said, adding the police directed traffic.

She said the spill was completely contained by fire officials.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 02:09

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