CORRECTION: On Tuesday, July 23 a story in The Daily Sun mistakenly reported that the City Council approved an expenditure of $382,500 from the downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District Fund for improvements to the "Gateway Plaza" at the Main Street bridge over the Winnipesaukee River. In fact, the council approved an expenditure of not more than $300,000 for the project, which includes $15,000 for demolition and site preparation and $67,500 for the installation of electricity, water and drainage to support lighting and landscaping.
Last Updated on Saturday, 27 July 2013 01:39
TUFTONBORO — Ron Guilmette, a retired 65-year old Lt. Colonel from the Massachusetts State Police, and his nephew, 22-year-old Jay Leccese, last week completed a two-summer effort of kayaking from Cow Island to all 253 islands in Lake Winnipesaukee.
''It took us eight different trips, including some during last fall's foliage season, to get to all of the islands. I don't know if anyone has ever done that before,'' said Guilmette, who lives in Salisbury Beach, Mass., less than a mile from the New Hampshire border.
Guilmette says that he has been a frequent visitor to Lake Winnipesaukee ever since his sister, Judy Leccese, built a summer camp on Cow Island in 2007.
''I started coming up and kayaking on weekends and we'd kayak around to 15 or 20 islands. But that got old after a while. We wanted to see the other islands and the buildings on them, so last summer Jay and I decided to try and visit every island on the lake.'' says Guilmette.
He and his nephew broke the lake into eight sections, using Bizer maps , and started their quest last summer, completing five of the eight legs.
Long-distance kayaking is nothing new to Guilmette, who grew up in Lawrence, Mass., and at the age of 10 would bicycle from Lawrence to Andover, Mass., with his friends to rent kayaks for 25 cents per hour on the Shawsheen River in the Ballardvale section of Andover.
He also has done a lot ocean kayaking, having kayaked out to Isle of Shoals on four different occasions from Rye Harbor and once directly from Salisbury Beach (14 miles one way) . He has also kayaked in the cold ocean water at Bar Harbor, Maine, where he hired a guide to lead him along the rocky coast.
Guilmette was with the Massachusetts State Police for 32 years and served as chief of police at Merrimack College after retiring. He also teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
His nephew is following in his uncle's footsteps in the law enforcement field and is a graduate of Merrimack College and works as a police dispatcher there.
Guilmette says that he's looking to do a lot of kayaking in the coming weeks, especially to places like nearby Ragged Island, where there are high bush blueberries in abundance which can be harvested by hand without ever leaving his kayak.
He's also planning to stop by at the Fisherman's Coop in Seabrook on his way north and pick up eight lobsters, which are currently selling for $3.99 a pound, for a lobster cookout for the family when he next arrives at Cow Island.
Ron Guilmette, a retired Lt. Colonel from the Massachusetts State Police, is shown off Indian Island in Meredith Bay. He and his nephew, Jay Leccese, recently completed kayaking to all of the 253 islands in Lake Winnipesaukee. (Courtesy photo)
Last Updated on Saturday, 27 July 2013 01:36
CENTER HARBOR — An investigation found that the brakes failed on the Chevrolet Avalanche that struck the building at 24 Plymouth Street housing Dewey's Ice Cream Parlor and Cafe on Wednesday afternoon.
The driver, Joshua Nungesser, 19, of 159 Old Center Harbor Road, Meredith, was traveling toward the center of town on Coe Hill Road when he discovered his brakes had failed and he could not slow his vehicle. He proceeded along Main Street then, apparently intending to avoid encountering traffic on Route 25-B and Route 25, sought to turn left on to Plymouth Street, where the uphill grade would have slowed his vehicle. But, he failed to make the corner, first hitting a utility pole, which snapped in two, and then the building before coming to rest on the porch.
Nungesser, who was alone in the vehicle, was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital with what Police Chief Mark Chase described as non-life threatening injuries.
Kendra Bickford, one of two employees at the ice cream parlor, when the accident occurred, told WMUR-TV that they saw the Avalanche coming down Main Street at a high speed heard the "screeching wheels" and saw the truck crash into the shop. She said that as the windows shattered, showering the shop with broken glass, her workmate jumped under the counter and a customer in the doorway fell down. The employees and customer escaped injury.
Chase said that the Avalanche appeared to be a total loss. Fire Chief Leon Manville said that damage to the two-story building was confined to the ice cream parlor and a second business and eight apartments were not significantly affected.
Last Updated on Saturday, 27 July 2013 01:22
FRANKLIN — Franklin Regional Hospital will become the second hospital in New Hampshire to provide acute psychiatric care when it opens a 10 bed unit in October following the decision this week of the Health Services Planning and Review Board to approve the proposal by LRGHealthcare, which operates the hospital.
Ellen Wolff, chief nursing officer and senior vice-president of patient care services at LRGHealthcare, said that the decision is the culmination of efforts by the company to bring in-patient psychiatric services to the region that began in 2007, but were twice shelved for want of adequate resources. The ultimate success of the initiative, she said, stemmed from the inclusion of $5-million for the project in the $28-million appropriated to improve mental health services in the biennial budget, which was proposed by Governor Maggie Hassan and endorsed by the Legislature.
"We were asked and we were willing," Wolff said, explaining how the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) chose to place the unit at Franklin Regional Hospital.
The unit will be a "designated receiving facility" (DRF), the only type of institution that can accept patients committed against their will other than New Hampshire (state) Hospital in Concord. Elliot Hospital, which operates an eight-bed unit in Manchester is the only other DRF in the state.
Wolff said that the psychiatric unit will operate in space formerly occupied by the obstetrics unit, which will be retrofitted at a cost of $780,000. She said that no major structural renovations will be required, but the unit will be fitted and equipped with security features, accessible bathrooms and special furniture. Since patients admitted involuntarily are entitled to a hearing within 72 hours of admission, the unit will include a courtroom.
The unit will be staffed by the equivalent of 24 or 25 full-time employees, including security personnel round-the-clock. Genesis Behavioral Health, the regional mental health agency headquartered in Laconia and serving Belknap County and southern Grafton County, will provide support services as necessary.
Wolff explained that the unit is intended to ease the pressure of what she called "pysch boarders," patients requiring immediate care housed in hospital emergency rooms awaiting admission to New Hampshire Hospital, where there are just 130 beds for adults and children. She said that earlier this year more than 30 such patients were in hospital emergency departments and in June 10 of the 17 beds at Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia were occupied by patients requiring psychiatric care. At the same time, Wolff said that psychiatric units in hospitals enable patients to remain closer to their families and communities.
Since 1990, the number of beds at New Hampshire Hospital has shrunk from 316 to 130 while the number of beds for psychiatric patients in community hospitals has dwindled from 236 to 150. Six hospitals have closed their psychiatric units. The number of beds for involuntary admission has dropped even more sharply, from 101 in 1998 to 18 with the opening of the unit at Franklin Regional Hospital.
"We are excited," said Wolff, adding that "our goal is for this program to become a model for other community hospitals.
Meanwhile, the biennial state budget also included funding for an Acute Psychiatric Residential Treatment Program (APTRTP) housed in a 16-bed facility at a location to be selected by the Division of Behavioral Health of DHHS, which is expected to issue requests-for-proposals this fall. Maggie Pritchard, executive director of Genesis Behavioral Health, has indicated that her agency intends to apply to operate the program at its property on Church Street in Laconia.
Last Updated on Saturday, 27 July 2013 01:18
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