Meredith liquor store will remain open

MEREDITH — By reversing its decision to close its established store at Olde Provnce Commons, the New Hampshire Liquor Commission has ensured that Meredith will remain a wet town.

When the commission announced that a new liquor store would be opened in New Hampton on Rte.104 near Exit 23 on I-93, it indicated that the Meredith store would be closed. However, Joseph Mollica, chairman of the commission, said yesterday that the commission "determined that the Meredith area remained a strong market and therefore a viable home for an New Hampshire Liquor and Wine Outlet. Although Jacksn's Star Market left Olde Provnce Commons, Ocean State Job Lots opened in its place, ensuring that the plaza would remain a shopping destination.

Mollica said that the goal of the commission is to maximize the revenue from liquor and wine sales, the net profits from which contribute to state general fund. In locating stores, the commission weighs a number of factors, including annual sales, proximity to other outlets, demand in the market, traffic counts and operating costs. In 2014, record sales returned $642-million to the general fund.

The New Hampton store, which will operate in 12,000-square-feet where the Tedesch Food Shop operated, is expected to open late this year or early next.

Man accused of 'flashing' in Opechee Park going on trial for alleged jail assault

LACONIA — Jury selection in the trial of a Concord man charged with assaulting a fellow prisoner at the Belknap County House of Corrections is slated to start Nov. 2 in Belknap County Superior Curt.
Daniel King, 53, of Concord, is charged with pushing Daniel Sellars against a wall during the incident which took place on April 21.
A final re-trial conference was held in Superior Court Wednesday on the case at which a motion was granted allowing the prosecution to cross-examine a defense witness about his criminal record as a way of assessing the credibility of the witness.
King, a registered sex offender who allegedly exposed himself on September 1, 2014 to some children at Opechee Park, faces two counts of felony indecent exposure and is slated to stand trial early next year on those charges.
He was arrested in Arkansas in December of 2014 by U.S. Federal Marshals and extradited back to New Hampshire. In July King entered a guilty plea in United States District Court in Concord to failure to register as a sex offender, according Acting United States Attorney Donald Feith.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 2.
King was convicted in 1991 of aggravated felonious sexual assault against a victim under 13.

'Public' represented by 1 person at forum regarding Laconia superintendent search

LACONIA — Rows of folding chairs filled the expanse of the multipurpose room at Laconia Middle School on Wednesday night, where Ken DeBenedictis of the New England Development Council, who is conducting the search for a superintendent of schools to succeed Terri Forsten, hosted a meeting to sound members of the public.

Only one person attended — Heather Drolet, the mother of a pupil at Elm Street Elementary School who is an elementary school teacher in Corcord.

Dr. Philip McCormack is serving as interim superintendent for the current school year. It is anticipated a permanent replacement for Forsten, now the superintendent in Concord, will begin work next summer.

DeBendictis explained to Drolet that after advertising the position across the country, the next step in the selection process was to host a series of focus groups with the school administrators, school board, teaching staff and general public. The groups were asked to respond to two questions, one about what background, characteristics and experience they preferred in a superintendent and another about what tasks and initiatives they expected the superintendent to address.

The views expressed by the focus groups, DeBendictis said, would be melded into a profile, which would be matched against the qualifications of the applicants to winnow the field of candidates. He anticipated that after an initial round of interviews, between three and five candidates would be recommended to the School Board for a final round of interviews. The applications close on November 11 and DeBendictis anticipated that an appointment would be made shortly after the Christmas holidays.

"You are the voice of the community," DeBendictis told Drolet, who stressed that she favored a "progressive" superintendent, with "a willingness try outside of the box strategies, including applying technology in the classroom and offering "real world experience", such as job shadowing. In particular, she preferred a superintendent with teaching experience, who would be "a good listener" and "be pro-active rather than reactive."

Drlet also said that the superintendent should have a strong presence in the community with the ability to form partnerships with civic organizations and private businesses. She underlined the importance of engaging parents in the education of their children and the lives of their schools. Referring to the gap between "haves and have-nots", Drolet said the superintendent should strive to ensure equitable access to all learning opportunities. Finally, maintaining sound relationships between the administrative staff and classroom teachers and encouraging professional development is the responsibility of the superintendent.

DeBendictis told Drolet that if 75 people had attended the focus group he would have expected to hear all of the points she made and commended her for speaking on behalf of the community.