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Commissioners sign off on new deal with police officer's union

LACONIA — The Police Commissioners on Monday unanimously agreed to the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement with the Laconia Police Association after discussions in what are commonly referred to as a "non-meeting".

Details of the contract will not be made available to the public until after it is ratified by the union membership. LPA President Jeff Wholly said yesterday the 23 employees covered by the contract have a meeting scheduled for June 11.

Should the contract be ratified by a majority of the LPA membership, it will be forward to the Laconia City Council for funding approval.

The Laconia Police Associate is now operating under a two-year contract that was approved by the City Council on June 25, 2012 and that expires on July 1 of this year.

In a recent meeting, the police commission approved three years of wage increases and insurance benefit changes for it's non-union employees. At the time, Commission Chair Warren Clement said it was consistent with what the commission would like to see in the LPA contract.

The non-union pay scales include cost-of-living raises starting at 2 percent in 2014 and gradually increasing by 0.25 percent through 2016.

Other changes included the elimination of a more expensive insurance plan which will mean higher out-of-pocket expenses for employees, including an increase in the percentage each employee will contribute to premiums.
Although Wholly declined to comment on the proposed contract, he said negotiations with management and the city were amicable.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 12:22

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Northfield woman dies in freak golf cart accident

NORTHFIELD — A Gifford Drive woman died Monday afternoon after the golf cart in which she was riding struck her front porch crushing her between porch and the cart.

Police said Sherry Isabelle, 57, was letting her 5-year-old grandchild drive the golf cart around her yard when the child lost control and hit the porch around 3:30 p.m. The front of the cart hit a porch footing and caused the porch to ride up on to the front of the cart.

The 5-year-old was taken to the hospital for evaluation but appeared unharmed while a 3-year-old child riding in the back seat of the cart was uninjured.

It appears as though the three had been driving around the front lawn said police.

Police said the 3-year-old somehow alerted a neighbor who called 9-1-1 and was able to get Isabelle off of the golf cart so he could begin administering CPR.

Firefighters and police arrived moments later but were unable to revive Isabelle and she was pronounced dead at the scene, likely from internal injuries said police.

Police are asking people to take all precautions when driving off-road vehicles including golf carts and remembers that there are risks and dangers associated with them.

Northfield Police continue to investigate but said no charges will be filed.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 12:16

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Internet blog names Laconia 2nd most exciting city in N.H.

LACONIA — According to Movoto Real Estate Blog, the city is the second most exciting city in New Hampshire, trailing only Portsmouth and finishing eight spots ahead of Nashua, which ranked last in the top 10.

Movoto claims that it applies algorithms to calculate its rankings and "researches criteria no one has dared touch before us." Altogether cities and towns were ranked by eight criteria — night life, music venues, parks, fast food ("the fewer the better'), restaurants, percentage of young people, population density and theaters, festivals and galleries. Each criterion was scored on a scale of 1 to 15 then averaged.

Laconia scored second in night life, with the Funky Monkey given a mention as a popular dance spot. Although 18 to 34 year olds amount to less than a fifth of the population, the team at Movoto concluded that "this slightly more mature population really knows how to party. And even with the older crowd pretty much ruling this place," they continued, "there's still room for Funspot, where you can play tons of video games, bowl, and get some tasty pizza, too." Of course, Motorcycle Week also boosted the city's score.

However, when Movoto ranked the best places to live in New Hampshire, Laconia tied with Rochester at 20th.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 01:28

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School board incumbents running again; filing opens today

LACONIA — The sign up period for School Board elections begins today and Ward 4 incumbent and current board Chair Chris Guilmett said yesterday he will be running for a fourth term.

The other seat up for election this year is in Ward 5 and incumbent and board Vice Chair Stacie Sirois said yesterday she will also be running for what could be her third term.

Any other residents of Wards 4 or 5 should go to the Office of the City Clerk and sign up for the election before Friday June 13 at 5 p.m. The cost is $2.

Election Day is November 4 and the primary is September 9. School Board races are non-partisan, meaning the candidates are not officially affiliated with any specific political party.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 01:25

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