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BHS teacher gets OK to organize student trip to D.C.

BELMONT — The Shaker Regional School Board this week gave Social Studies teacher Mike Foley permission to organize a student trip to Washington D.C. as part of the Close Up Washington D.C. experience.

Foley said he would look at enrolling 10 students, preferably juniors but maybe a few sophomores, into the week-long program that would give the students an opportunity to experience the nation's capital in an organized manner that includes a visit to national memorials, a mock Congress workshop, and a meeting with New Hampshire's lawmakers. The trip also includes a visit to the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian, and Arlington National Cemetery.

The trip is organized by Close Up which is a non-profit organization that meshes the teaching portion of the trip with the common core and each state's social studies needs.

Foley told the board he would like for the Shaker trip to be in the spring of 2015. He said it would cost about $1,700 per student and that interested students will hold fundraisers and other event to raise money.

"This is a program I've wanted to do for a long time," Foley said.

He said he would not include seniors in this trip because they have their own class trips to plan,

Foley told the board he would start with 10 students and if the program proved to be very popular, he could look to expand it in the future.

In other Shaker Regional news, the board adopted a update version of the public participation rules for school board meetings.

The new policy is very similar to the former policy but includes language that empowers the chair to terminate a person's speech if it becomes obscene, libelous, defamatory, or violent.

All Shaker School Board meeting are open the public with the exception of those provisions under the Right to Know Law, like personnel, legal and union contract discussions, that allow a board to meet in private.

Policy Committee Chair Jill Lavallee said the Shaker policy is much less restrictive than that recommended by the N.H. School Board Association.

"We want people to be able to come to meetings and offer their input," she said.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 July 2014 12:40

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Belmont wants DOT to deal with giant pothole at key intersection

BELMONT — State Senator Andrew Hosmer (D-Laconia) will be meeting with selectmen at 3:30 p.m. Monday to review the intersection at Rte. 140 and Main Street.

Hosmer set the appointment after he appeared at his regularly scheduled update with selectmen last Monday and learned this particular section of Rte. 140 has declined to the point where it has become dangerous.

Although it runs through Belmont Village, it is a state highway and the town cannot repair any potholes or replace the intersection.

Police Chief Mark Lewandoski told the senator that during the heavy rains the area saw two weeks ago, a nearly two-foot deep pot hole developed in the center of the intersection after the cold patch washed away.

He said a hole that size poses a real risk to motorists — especially motorcycles traveling after dark.

The N.H. Department of Transportation fixed the pot hole with cold patch but Lewandoski and selectmen fear the next time the area sees any heavy rains, it will wash away again and get even bigger.

As of yesterday, the circular cold patch measures about eight to 10 feet in diameter and appears to be intact.

Selectboard Chair Ruth Mooney told Hosmer that the town has repeatedly reached out to the Department of Transportation for a more permanent repair to the intersection but hasn't gotten any positive news.

She said that since the town has spent so much money on the village revitalization project so that the village has such a nice fresh look, she feels the state should make some effort to find and fund a permanent fix for the very busy intersection.

Hosmer agreed. He told them he travels that section of Rte. 3 regularly on his way to work in Tilton and has noticed how bad it is at times.

Although he made no promises, he did say that he would meet with the board and inspect the intersection with them.


CUTLINE:(Route 140 intersection) Traffic backs up at the intersection of Rte. 140 and Main Street in Belmont yesterday. In the lower part of the picture is the cold patch that officials claim is a temporary fix for a significant traffic hazard and they would like to state to come up with a more permanent solution. (Laconia Daily Sun Photo/Gail Ober)

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 July 2014 12:36

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Improvise is key word as downtown deals with Friday morning power outage

LACONIA — Downtown, along with the northernmost stretch of Union Avenue, lost power for much of the morning yesterday when a transformer at the sub-station on Messer Street caught fire around 9:50 a.m.

City Manager Scott Myers said that Public Service Company of New Hampshire counted 897 customers, most of them in the area bounded by Beacon Street East and Beacon Street West, were without power until it was restored around noon. Myers noted that because the outage arose from an isolated local problem, unlike a storm affecting a wider area, PSNH was able to address the situation and restore power relatively quickly.

At City Hall Mary Reynolds, the city clerk, and her staff placed a table outside the building where they conducted what business could be done without computers, including dump and beach stickers, requests for vital records and voter registration. "Unfortunately we couldn't register motor vehicles or issue marriage licenses. Other personnel escorted those with business at City Hall through the darkened building or fetched the paperwork they required. "Everybody thought on their feet and got the job done," Reynolds said.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 July 2014 12:26

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Man involved in armed robbery in Tilton in 2010 may end up in prison after all

LACONIA — The Belknap County Attorney Office has asked a judge to impose a suspended sentence on a former Franklin man who was convicted of conspiracy to commit armed robbery in Tilton in 2010.

Joel Meads, 33, now of 23 Butler Ave. in Lowell, Mass. is facing a 3 1/2 to 8 year sentence in the N.H. State Prison for threatening an employee of Market Basket with a knife during a robbery that occurred in Tilton on January 15, 2010 at 10:25 p.m.

According to paperwork obtained from the Belknap County Superior Court, following a hearing to amend his sentence, held in 2013, Meads was released on parole on June 27, 2013 under the condition that he lived in a sober-living facility, pay restitution to the victim and completed a drug and alcohol evaluation.

Two years of his sentence was suspended pending his adherence to court's conditions.

Asst. County Attorney Adam Woods motion to impose the suspended sentence alleges that Meads failed to make any restitution payments, that he  tested positive for morphine while being supervised by a Massachusetts parole officer, and that he failed to successfully complete his residential program.

In addition, Meads was charged by Nashua Police on November 20, 2013 with one count of theft by unauthorized taking.

According to affidavits filed by police in Hillsborough County Circuit Court and subsequently in Belknap County Superior Court, Meads had taken a job with a company that cleans carpets.

On November 20, 2013 police responded to a Nashua home for a reported theft of jewelry. The owner of the home told police that he had stayed home from work so he could have his carpets cleaned but that he didn't maintain constant supervision of the employee.

He said the emploee, later identified by police as Meads, left his home at 2 p.m. About three hours later, the victim got a call from his assistant saying she had gotten a phone call from a Lowell pawn shop and that someone had tried to pawn a medical school graduation ring that had his name on it.

The pawn shop employee refused to pay for the ring and had refused to return it to the man who was trying to sell it. The pawn shop employee also kept the man's driver's license and told him he was notifying police. Police described him as an acquaintance of Meads.

The pawn shop employee researched the victim's name from the engraving and called his New Hampshire practice to see if the ring was legitimately being sold. After the victim was notified, the victim checked the bedroom and reported his ring and his wife's ruby and diamond bracelet and a string of pearls were also missing.

Nashua police tracked back the man's driving license and he told them that Meads had asked him to pawn the jewelry for him, telling him he would split the money.

The man told Nashua police he accompanied Meads to one pawnshop where they gave him $100 for the bracelet but refused to take the ring. Meads insisted his friend try the pawn shop across the street, the friend told police, and that it was at the second stop that the pawn shop employee confiscated his license and the ring.

The man told Nashua police that when he returned to the car without the ring, the money or his license, Meads allegedly told him to tell police he lost his license. The man also allegedly told police that Meads accused him of lying and refused to split the $100 bracelet money with him.

The victim had an appraisal for $3,650 for the bracelet. He told police his wife's pearl necklace was a gift from her grandmother and he didn't have a value for it.

Nashua police recovered the bracelet. Meads' friend told police he didn't know anything about the pearls.

After police traced the alleged theft back to Meads, they called him for an interview in December of 2013. They say he denied any involvement in the theft and became very nervous when he was asked about his friends. He left the police station.

On March 12, 2014, Nashua Police obtained a warrant for Meads's arrest.

Meads is scheduled to appear Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Belknap County Superior Court for a hearing on the motion to impose the original sentence. Parole Officer Serene Eastman also submitted notice that she would be notifying the N.H. Parole Board regarding his recent arrest.

Meads is being held in the N.H. State Prison according to the online inmate locator.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 July 2014 12:09

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