Goldman succeeds Hayes at Fire Aid Center


LACONIA — After nearly four decades in the fire service, including three of them in Gilford, Jim Hayes is retiring as chief coordinator of the Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid Emergency Communication Center. Hayes will be succeeded by Jonathan Goldman of Sandown, who brings 22 years of experience in emergency communications to the position.

Since 1971, Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid has provided emergency communications 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for fire and emergency medical departments in 35 municipalities in five counties, covering an area the size of Rhode Island and housing more than 115,000 people. Hayes said that is 2016 the agency, where two dispatchers are on duty around the clock, dispatched emergency personnel to more than 26,000 incidents.

Goldman is steeped in emergency communications. He has worked for Boston MedFlight as well as the Pelham Police Department and Rockingham County Sheriff's Department and the Derry Fire Department, which provides fire and emergency medical dispatch services for five towns along with the Border Area Mutual Aid Group.

"I've worked with law enforcement, but fire and emergency medical services is my preferred discipline," he said.

Goldman currently serves as a commissioner on the New Hampshire Enhanced 911 Commission and as the emergency medical services captain with the Sandown Fire Department. He is also vice chairman of the Sandown Board of Selectmen. As there are no specific plans to expand the service area of Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid, Goldman said his highest priority will be to ensure that the agency keeps pace with the changes in communications technology.

Hayes noted that as a firefighter and fire chief he represented the customers of mutual aid while Goldman, with his background in communications, brings the perspective of a provider to the position. Moreover, with his appointment, the position of chief coordinator will become a full-time position.

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Jonathan Goldman, left, will succeed Jim Hayes, right, as chief coordinator of the Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid Emergency Communication Center. (Michael Kitch/Laconia Daily Sun)

Gunstock may pay county far less under proposal

LACONIA — A proposed memorandum of agreement between the Belknap County Delegation and the Gunstock Area Commission will reduce annual payments from the county-owned recreation area to the county from $175,000 to $100,000, but require that Gunstock also place $100,000 a year in its operating cash reserve fund.
The memo says that the purpose of the operating cash reserve fund is to reduce the need for annual revenue anticipation notes for the operation of Gunstock. The notes are usually sought in early fall and are on the order of around $750,000 to provide cash for the startup of the winter ski season.
The proposed agreement, which was presented to the delegation by Rep. Howard (R-Alton), this week, also calls for a five-year moratorium on bonding for expansion of the ski area to reduce the amount of existing bond debt that the county is liable for.
It also requires that the commission prepare a master development plan covering operations, facility and site improvements and strategic plans for Gunstock.
The Gunstock Area Commission is a five-member board appointed by the delegation. It was established by state law in 1959 to oversee the operations of Gunstock. It has no authority to take on debt and relies on the county's borrowing authority.
The proposed agreement will replace one which expired on Dec. 31, 2016, and, if adopted, will be in effect until Dec. 31, 2022.

Belmont police find heroin on man in car, make arrest

BELMONT — Residents on Ladd Hill Road spoke up when they saw suspicious activity, and it resulted in the arrest of a man for heroin possession.

On Thursday at 1:10 p.m., Belmont police were notified that there were several people in a vehicle, and since police were already on Ladd Hill Road for a medical call less than a mile away, they were able to catch up to the vehicle.

03-03 Chad HitchcockOne of the occupants, Chad Hitchcock, 33, or Woodsville, was wanted on a warrant. He was found to be in possession of narcotic drugs and drug paraphernalia, according to Belmont Police. At first Hitchcock gave the officer a false name to conceal that he was wanted by Haverhill Court. Police located nine bags of heroin, a spoon, a digital scale and a needle on Hitchcock. He was charged with a Class B felony possession of controlled narcotics and a misdemeanor charge of obstructing government administration for providing a false name and date of birth.

The other occupants of the vehicle were interviewed by police and released. Hitchcock was released personal recognizance and told to appear at Belknap County Superior Court on March 16.

The Belmont Police Department urges the community to call if there is suspicious activity, at 267-8350, or use the state hotline, 1-800-NAB-DOPE.

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Heroin and drug paraphernalia was found on Chad Hitchcock by Belmont Police Thursday. (Courtesy Belmont Police Department)