More than half Laconia’s students count on school meals, many for 3 squares a day

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — If, as Ludwig Feuerbach, the 19th century German philosopher, declared, "Man is what he eats," then the students of the Laconia schools are getting a head start from the Laconia School Food Service.

Tim Goossens, director of Food Service, told the School Board this week that the nutritional value of lunches served in the five schools exceeds the standards prescribed by federal government. The Food Service operates five programs, beginning with breakfast and including lunch, after-school snacks and supper for at-risk students. In addition, pupils at the three elementary schools enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables every day. In the summer, the Food Service partners with the Belknap-Merrimack County Community Action Program to offer a food program. The service was the first in the state and remains one of three in the state to offer supper to at-risk students.

Goossens said the district joins with 47 others in a buying group representing 80,000 students, which spares "tens of thousands of dollars" in costs each year.

Goossens said that in the 2015-2016 school year the Food Service served 95,000 breakfasts, 234,000 lunches, 23,500 snacks and 16,200 after-school suppers. The content of all meals and snacks complied with the dietary and nutritional guidelines set by by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. He said that complying with standards poses a challenge, to which his staff has risen. Altogether, the staff of the Food Service has worked in the Laconia School District for 188 years, with Tess Seymour of Woodland Heights Elementary School the most senior with 38 years of experience, closely followed by Verna Peck of Pleasant Street School with 37 years of service.

Goossens said that 62 percent of students in the district qualify for free or reduced lunch. At Woodland Heights Elementary School 73 percent of pupils are eligible, at Elm Street elementary School 62 percent, at Laconia High School 58 percent, at Laconia Middle School 55 percent and at Pleasant Street Elementary School 53 percent.

Shaker seeks help with super’t search

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

BELMONT — The Shaker Regional School District is seeking individuals from Belmont and Canterbury to serve on a superintendent's search committee.

The goal of the committee is to select the best leader for the school district whose job will start on July 1, 2017.

District Business Administrator Debbie Thompson ask that those who would like to serve, to send a letter of interest to the SAU office no later than Aug. 20 at 3 p.m. Letters should be addressed to Thompson.

Those who are interested, said Thompson, must be available for the first committee meeting that will be held on Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. at the Shaker Regional SAU offices on 58 School St.

Members are expected to be available for four to five night meetings and possibly Saturday morning meetings to conduct first round interviews with potential candidates.

This school year, the District is being managed by interim Superintendent Michael Tursi who was selected by the school board in the wake of former Superintendent Maria Dreyer's retirement.

Motorcyclist crashes on Dutile Road in Belmont, sustains head injuries

BELMONT — Police are investigating the cause of a motorcycle crash that occurred at 5:04 a.m. Wednesday on Dutile Road that caused severe head injuries to 44-year-old Tilton man.
Lt. Rich Mann said the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet at the time and his head struck the pavement. Police said he was unconscious and unable to tell police what happened. 

He said the crash was reported to police by an area resident who heard it happen.
The man, whom police are not yet identifying, was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital and then taken by helicopter to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.
Mann said the Belknap Regional Accident Investigation Team was called to assist with determining the cause of the crash.
He said they have ruled out speed and alcohol and are investigating the theory that an animal may have run out into the road.
Police ask that anyone with any information or who may have seen or heard the crash to call Belmont Police at 267-8350.

– Gail Ober

08-18 motorcycle crash