LACONIA — My Turn, Inc., which has set high school dropouts and unemployed young adults on paths to successful careers for almost three decades, has begun offering its services in Belknap County.
Allison Joseph, director of programs in New Hampshire, said yesterday that the organization was awarded a federal grant under the Workforce Investment Act to extend its programming to the Lakes Region.
My Turn is currently seeking some 25 youths between the ages of 16 and 21 for its inaugural program beginning in the fall. Joseph said that the organization provides educational and employment training aimed at helping young people acquire the credentials and skills to secure stable employment and achieve self-sufficiency.
"We work with a wide range of kids," Joseph said, "from those who graduated from high school with high honors to others who may be homeless, pregnant or parenting." Most have encountered obstacles to either continuing their education or finding gainful employment. The program, she said, provides academic and vocational training along with exploration of educational and employment opportunities with the goal of preparing young men and women to pursue careers.
Joseph said that My Turn works with youths for 30 hours a week, tailoring its services to the needs and abilities of the individual. My Turn pays for classes enabling dropouts to earn their GED and works closely with businesses to provide opportunities for job shadowing and internships. "Adult mentoring and hands-on learning are big parts of the program," Joseph said.
While some of those in the program may be financially independent, she said that My Turn will place others in part-time jobs as well as provide support services like transportation costs and interview outfits as required. For a year after youths leave the program, My Turn follows them to assist with job placement and provide academic support.
Joseph, who started in-school and out-of-school programs for My Turn in Manchester and Nashua, said Laconia was chosen because its profile, with relatively high rates of poverty, dropouts and unemployment, among young people, fit the mission of the organization of serving "the forgotten half." She said that the program has gotten off to a faster start than usual, noting that both the Belknap Economic Development Council (BEDC) and Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce welcomed the initiative.
Carmen Lorentz, executive director of BEDC, said that MY Turn will complement workforce development initiatives already underway in the region, particularly the "200 by 2010" project begun by the Lakes Region United Way in 2010, which matches students with employers in school-to-work programs.
Since My Turn began as the "Massachusetts Youth Teenage Unemployment Reduction Network" (My Turn) with a school-to-work program at Brockton High School in 1984 has helped more than 22,000 young men and women further their education and embark on careers.
My Turn will operate from offices at the Lakes Region Boys and Girls Club on North Main Street. For more information visit www.my-turn.org or contact Allison Joseph at (603) 321-3416 or Mariah Hoffman at (603) 275-0203.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 02:50
County Attorney drops reckless conduct charges against woman who fired 3 shots during police standoff as part of plea deal
LACONIA — A woman who county prosecutors had accused of firing three shots at police during a SWAT team standoff in Belmont in 2010 was not, in the end, prosecuted for three felony counts of reckless conduct.
As part of the negotiated plea arrangement, Diamond Morrill, now 23, of Gilford pleaded no contest but was found guilty by Judge Kenneth McHugh of one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child by firing a loaded weapon while the child was in the house and one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest for refusing to come out of the 672 Union Road home on September 3, 2010.
In separate offenses not related to to Belmont standoff but consolidated as part of a "global resolution," Morrill pleaded guilty to one felony count of selling drug to an undercover police officer in Gilford, and two felony counts of possession of controlled drugs in Laconia.
For resisting arrest Morrill was sentenced to serve 12 months in the Belknap County House of Corrections with 6 months suspended. She was credited with 180 days of pretrial confinement and was placed on probation for 2 years.
For endangering the welfare of a child, she was sentenced to 12 months with six months suspended in the House of Corrections to be served consecutively to the resisting arrest sentence.
Any portion of the suspended sentences can be brought forward within three years.
For sales of a controlled drug, she was sentenced to 12 months in the House of Correction and credited with 365 days of pretrial confinement. She was fined $500 plus administrative costs — all suspended — and ordered to reimburse the N.H. Narcotics Investigation Unit with $105.
For each of the drug possession charges, Morrill was sentenced to 2-4 years in the New Hamsphire State Prison — all of which is suspended. Those charges can be brought forward within seven years of Monday's sentencing.
It took nearly three years for the case to be resolved because a judge had previously ruled Morrill was mentally incapable of understanding the charges or in assisting her attorney in her own defense.
She has been in treatment and yesterday told Judge McHugh she was feeling fine, was taking her prescribed medications, and understood what was happening in the court room.
Morrill was one of three adults who were in the Union Road home when the U.S. Marshals Office, New Hampshire Division went to the home with a warrant to arrest Chris Kelly who was staying with his girlfriend, now wife, Alisha Morgan.
Morgan came out of the house to see what was happening while Kelly and Morrill stayed inside with Morgan's daughter who was sleeping at the time. Kelly and Morrill refused to leave the house and the Belknap County Special Operations Group was called.
Members of the Belknap County Special Operations Group surrounded the house for what ended up being a seven-hour standoff. Around 3 a.m. three shots came from the home — each narrowly missing three of the police officers who had surrounded the home.
Around 6 a.m. Kelly came out of the house with Morgan's daughter and police used a N.H. State Police robot to search the house. Morrill, according to arrest affidavits, was found sleeping in a back bedroom with a handgun within her reach as she slept on the mattress.
In November of 2011, a Belknap County jury found Kelly guilty of resisting arrest after a three day trial. He was sentenced to serve one year in the N.H. State prison. Prior to jury deliberations, Judge James O'Neill refused to allow other felony charges against Kelly to go forward, ruling Belknap County Prosecutor Melissa Guldbrandsen had not presented enough evidence to let a jury decide if he was guilty of criminal restraint and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Assistant Deputy County Attorney Carley Ahern prosecuted Morrill. Atty. Ted Barnes represented her.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 02:39
MEREDITH — Peter Miller has spent much of his life delving into the complexities of human nature.
As a psychologist Miller has both taught the subject as well as counseled people struggling to come to grips with emotional turmoil. Now, Miller brings his insights about the psyche to bear in the just-released "So Fade the Lovely," a mystery set in a fictitious Lakes Region town in the 1960s.
The book's main plot revolves around a family's attempt to learn the fate of a 14-year-old girl who disappeared in a blizzard. Her family hires a psychotherapist to do a psychological post-mortem. Did the girl become disoriented in the blizzard and fall through the ice on Lake Wonalancet? Or did she commit suicide, as some of the writings later found in her dresser would seem to suggest?
"So Fade the Lovely" is based on seven months of journal entries written by Jason Matthews, the psychotherapist hired by Nicole Murdoch's family, and the mystery's protagonist.
"I did borrow extensively from myself (in creating Matthews' character)," Miller says with a grin. "He's somewhat lacking in self-confidence in romantic relationships. Music is terribly important to him. And he's a knowledgeable hiker." But Jason's Matthews is not Miller's alter ego. "He is not hearing impaired, a huge difference. (And) he is nearly a decade older, thus his formative years occurred during the Great Depression and World War II," notes Miller.
While "So Fade the Lovely" marks Miller's debut as a mystery writer, he has one other book out and another one is in the works. Last year he published "Seven Canterbury Tales, Retold" a series of short stories or novellas inspired by the Geoffrey Chaucer classic. Miller's current project is writing a biography of the 19th century Quaker, Jane Durgin. What makes Durgin, who lived in Sandwich, such a compelling figure, says Miller, is that she defied many of the norms of her time, both in terms of her religion as well as her gender.
Like Thomas Edison's definition of genius, Miller's authorship of "So Fades the Lovely" has been 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. The idea for the story had been "percolating in my imagination" for a number of years. In 2008 he took about a year to write the draft. Once the draft was finished he put it aside for a while. He then took a fresh look at it "to see if it would pass muster." He then revised the story and had it ready to be published this past March or April.
While "So Fades the Lovely" hinges on the efforts to unravel the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of a young girl and her family's efforts to cope with her loss, it also relates how as small town and a country struggle to come to grips with the upheavals of change and loss. The people of Dicey's Mill struggle to get back to life as normal which includes once again having fun at Lake Wonalancet, where Nicole Murdoch may have died. And Jason Matthews' journal entries include headlines and commentary on some of the major news events of the mid-1960s, notably the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement.
Sitting on a tall stool pulled up to the kitchen counter in the home Miller and his wife, Dotty Treisner, share with two very friendly golden retrievers, the author says that "So Fades the Lovely" is as much a novel as mystery.
"If the story was limited to the disappearance of the girl and the attempt to solve her disappearance it would have been much less interesting."
"If I were challenged to give a brief answer to 'What is your book about?' I would say, 'The loss of family and the quest for its recovery' – among the Murdochs, within Dicey's Mill, and in America as a whole."
Miller is scheduled to hold the first autograph-signing of "So Fade the Lovely" on Saturday, Aug. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Moulton's Farmstand off Route 25 in Meredith.
The book is available at Innisfree Bookshop, Mill Falls, Meredith; Annie's Book Stop, 1330 Union Ave., Laconia; Bayswater Books, Senter's Marketplace, Center Harbor; Meredith Center Store, Meredith Center Road, Meredith; Moulton Farm, Quarry Road, Meredith, and Sun Day's Salon and Spa, corner of Main Street and Veterans Square, Laconia. It can also be purchased through Amazon.com
Before retiring, Miller was a tenured faculty member at Plymouth State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University and previously served on Meredith's Board of Selectmen.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 02:26
GILFORD — The company that owns Kimball Castle has submitted a draft legal pleading that would have the town in its capacity as trustee of the Kimball Castle Trust ask Superior Court to alter the terms of the trust and allow the company to tear it down.
On yesterday's front page, The Daily Sun ran an incorrect story that said the town has already filed the pleading in Belknap County Superior Court and that is not the case. Rather, the Selectboard has announced it will hold a public hearing on the matter at Town Hall on August 14.
Late Monday afternoon, town officials directed an e-mail "blast" relative to the Kimball Castle to subscribers that featured an announcement of the pubic hearing. Attached were legal documents The Daily Sun mistook for papers the town had already filed with the court. Town Administrator Scott Dunn said on Tuesday, they were "draft" legal documents prepared by attorneys for Kimball Castle Properties, LLC that have been submitted to the town for review and consideration.
The draft "cy pres" pleading would have the town, as trustee, tell the court that Kimball Castle Properties, LLC would continue to provide public access to the 220 acre lot but the company should be allowed to tear the castle down because the original terms of the deed restrictions cannot be met.
Cy pres means "next to" and in law it means that this is the next closest solution because original deed restrictions as the typically apply to gifts and charitable donations cannot be met.
According to the draft pleading, the conditions of the deed restrictions of the charitable trust cannot be met because Kimball Castle Properties, LLC was never able to raise the capital needed to restore the historic structure to a restaurant and lounge. The town's building inspector has condemned the property, which has deteriorated significantly because of weather and vandalism, and ordered the owner to tear it down or install a fence surrounding it to reasonably prevent access.
The first cy pres change to the original charitable donation was made in 1999 when the court allowed the property to be sold to a private party, Historic Inns of New England, LP. The owner of Kimball Castle Properties, LLC is one of the original owners of the limited partnership.
The first change provided the money from the sale be used to maintain most of the property for wildlife observation and recreation trails.
Should the court grant the pleadings in the owner's suggested language, the area will remain open to wildlife observation, emergency access, and recreation, however it may not be subdivided and will be limited to a single family residence.
In an e-mail sent to The Daily Sun, Dunn said the selectmen, in their official capacity as trustees, have not reviewed the suggested pleading. And, to the best of his knowledge, the office of the Attorney General, Division of Charitable Trusts has not reviewed it either.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 02:15
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