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Inter-Lakes School Board sits down for discussion with high school student council

MEREDITH — For the first time in living memory, the Inter-Lakes School Board met with representatives of the high school student body last night when they hosted a roundtable discussion with members of the Student Council.

Chairman Richard Hanson of Center Harbor explained that the board had begun reaching out to its different constituencies by holding its second meeting of the month in a different one of the three towns of the district — Meredith, Center Harbor and Sandwich. While a student, senior Robert Euler, has a non-voting seat on the board, he said that hosting the Student Council presented an opportunity to sound a broader cross-section of student opinion.

"The rules," began Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond with a smile. "We don't see this as gripe session. It's a dialogue. You can't complain about a teacher," she continued. Turning to her administrative team, she remarked "you can't complain about me. We're going to have a conversation." She reminded everyone there were pizzas, drinks and cookies, then said "tell us what's working and what's not working so well."

John Findlay, president of the Student Council and three-sport athlete, drum major and accomplished student, immediately questioned the scheduling of classes, which he said has left him with difficult choices between mathematics and Spanish while shrinking rehearsal time for the band. He was echoed by Trevor Colby, who also wanted to take more courses than fit his schedule.

Ormond reminded them that between his classes, sports and activities he probably did not reach home much before 7 p.m. and, allowing an hour to shower and eat, began his homework at 8 p.m. and did not not get to sleep much before 10:30 p.m.
Findlay agreed, noting that he knew of students who rose at 3 a.m. to complete their homework for the day.

"We can make the schedule what you want," Ormond said, but explained that in a relatively small school with declining enrollment any system of scheduling was bound to pose hard choices for curious, ambitious students. She suggested that online learning or even taking classes offered at schools in neighboring communities might expand the range of opportunities.

Ormond asked the students what could be done to bring more spirit into the school. Findlay said that there have been dances and movie nights, but suggested more activity like homecoming or winter carnival that engaged all students. Euler proposed drawing up a list and inviting the students to vote their preferences.

When it was the board's turn to question the students, Mark Billings said he wanted to assign them a "task," namely to address "texting and driving." He confessed that "we don't know the rules of the digital world as well as you do."

Colby cautioned that "scare tactics" would have little effect, but Euler disagreed. He recalled a scenario in which, unknown to the student body, two or three well-known, popular students became victims of a mock accident that interrupted the school day. He said that students were "shocked" and the effect was profound.

Howard Cunningham, vice-chairman of the board, asked if electronic devices distracted students. Findlay said that teachers permit students to use their devices to find information in class, but conceded that some students simply took the opportunity to text friends.

When the discussion closed, the students shook hands with members of the board, who along with Ormond were pleased with the outcome of the roundtable, which promises to become a staple of the board's proceedings.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 02:46

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Yet another car-bicycle collision just north of Lakeport Square

LACONIA — A bicyclist was taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries yesterday after colliding with a car on Union Avenue at 4 p.m. The accident occurred just north of Lakeport Square.

The bicyclist, identified by police as Cameron Lobo, 24, of Gilford was riding on Union Avenue when he collided with a southbound automobile that was turning left on to Harrison Street. The driver of the car was identified as Samantha Farricy, 24, of Harrison Street.

Fire Lt. Jason Bean said a Lifeline ambulance — a private ambulance company — happened to be on Union Avenue at the time and said their people kept the man still until crews from the Laconia Fire Department arrived.

The front end of the man's bicycle was damaged and the tire appeared to be bent.

This is the third bicycle-car accident in that area of Union Avenue in recent months.

Police said speed and alcohol do not appear to have been factors in the accident. Laconia Police are continuing their investigation and ask that anyone who may have information about the incident call 524-5252.


CAPTION (Bicyclist hit by car) Laconia Fire Fighters and a crew from Lifeline Ambulance tend to a bicyclist who collided with a car yesterday afternoon at the intersection of Harrison Street and Union Avenue around 5 p.m. yesterday. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)




Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 02:37

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Police say heroin found on man who ran from downtown traffic stop

LACONIA — A local man was arrested by the Belknap County Sheriff's Department yesterday afternoon and charged with two counts of possession of narcotics after he fled from a car involved in a routine traffic stop at 4 p.m.

Sheriff Craig Wiggin said Joseph D. Morrissette, 23, of 205 Court Street ran from the sheriff's deputy who chased after him. The driver of the car apparently drove away.

He said Deputy Justin Blanchette caught up with Morrissette in the municipal parking lot off Main Street and Morrissette refused to obey his commands to stop.

Morrissette resisted arrest and Blanchette used pepper spray to try and subdue him. When Morrissette refused to cooperate, Blanchette zapped him with his Taser stun gun.

Police said they found heroin and cocaine in Morrissette's possession.

Morrissette is charged with one count each of possession of heroin and cocaine, one count of possession of narcotics with intent to distribute, resisting arrest, and simple assault. He is also charged with breach of bail.

During the arrest procedure, Blanchette suffered a scrape to his left knee and a small cut on his chin. Morrissette also had some scrapes to his arms.

Both men were evaluated by Laconia Fire Department personnel.

At the time of his arrest yesterday afternoon, Morrissette was free on $15,000 personal recognizance bail for an arrest on April 19.

In that incident he was stopped for allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road at 3 p.m.

When police stopped him, they noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from the car. A K-9 from Gilford was requested and police allegedly found between one and two ounces of marijuana packaged for sale as well as a significant amount of money.

Morrissette was indicted by a Belknap County grand jury for possession of marijuana with intent to sell and for possession of marijuana. The case is still pending.

He was also charged with one count of driving while intoxicated.

Wiggin said that after his arrest yesterday, Morrissette refused the services of a bail commissioner and will appear this morning for arraignment in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division. Wiggin said the sheriff's prosecutor will be requesting some amount of "high cash bail."

CAPTION:(Morrissette) Belknap County Sheriff Sgt. William Wright escorts Joseph Morrissette into the back seat of his cruiser. Morrissette is charged with possession of narcotics with intent to distribute. He was arrested by a Belknap County Sheriff's deputy yesterday afternoon on Main Street in Laconia after a routine traffic stop. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

CAPTION: (Morrissette2) Belknap County Sheriff Craig Wiggin catalogs the things taken by police from Joseph Morrissette yesterday afternoon after his arrest for possession of narcotics with intent to distribute. Inside the blue rubber glove is evidence, some of which Wiggin said will be forwarded to the N.H. Crime Lab for further testing. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 02:12

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'Bury the lines!': Mostly anti Northern Pass crowd turns out for hearing in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH — A crowd comprised largely of opponents to Northern Pass urged federal officials last night to reject the $1.6 billion electric transmission line project that would run 186 miles through the state, including parts of the picturesque and largely unspoiled North Country.
Elected officials and private citizens commented at the public hearing about the project's impact on the state's economy and scenic beauty. The 635-seat Hanaway Theater at Plymouth State University was filled almost to capacity for the first part of the hearing. But more than half left after the first hour of public input.  
State Sen. Jeb Bradley had a blunt recommendation for officials from the federal Department of Energy and other agencies. "The clear message in this (environmental impact statement) needs to be this: Bury the lines," the Wolfeboro Republican said to thunderous applause.
Many of the Northern Pass opponents who spoke last night called for the entire line to be buried, and not just 8 miles in northernmost Coos County as Northern Pass officials are now proposing.
Northern Pass supporters said the project would benefit the state's economy by bringing in jobs, creating additional tax revenues in communities through which the line would run, and would provide an environmentally acceptable way to meet growing electrical demand.
"If consumers want power when they most need it, then Northern Pass is certainly part of the answer," said state Rep. Leigh Webb of Franklin. "The demand for energy will never decrease."

There is significant support for Northern Pass in Franklin because a relay/conversion facility is planned for that community that would add considerably to the property tax base.
Two other public hearings on the project are scheduled — one this evening in Whitefield and another on Thursday evening in Colebrook.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 03:45

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