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State trooper, veteran, settles discrimination suit

By BEA LEWIS, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN

TAMWORTH — A gay woman who spent 20 years in the ranks of the New Hampshire State Police has settled her employment discrimination suit that claimed she was repeatedly passed over for promotion based on her gender and sexual orientation.

Under the terms of the agreement, Carrie Nolet of Chocorua will be offered part-time temporary employment with State Police. She will work twice a month for a six-month period as a Program Specialist III, focusing on policy review and development in the areas of training, recruitment, promotion, peer to peer, and women in leadership.

She will also be reimbursed the $750 cost of filing her federal lawsuit. The state will additionally pick up the tab for mediation totaling $2,880.

Under the terms of the agreement released under a Right-to-Know request, signed by Nolet and Assistant Commissioner Robert Quinn, neither side admits liability or wrongdoing, and both have agreed to drop all claims against each other.

Not until 1982, after a voluntary consent decree was reached due to intervention by the U.S. Department of Justice, did the New Hampshire Department of Safety, Division of State Police began recruiting and admitted women to its ranks.

Nolet, who became the first female trooper in New Hampshire to attend the FBI Academy, had alleged in her suit filed in U.S. District Court in Concord, that the culture was rife with pervasive incidents of gender bias and sexual harassment.

The state denied that Nolet was treated differently when, as a result of her promotion to lieutenant, she was required to report to Concord daily, resulting in an 11-hour day for which she was paid for just eight.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Rebecca Woodard Ross, said the promotion shifted Nolet from the collective bargaining agreement that covers troopers to the contract for the State Employees Association, which has different provisions for travel. Nolet's travel mandate was the same as other troopers who rose to the rank of lieutenant, she said.

In 2003, Nolet was deployed to a combat zone in Iraq as Alpha Company Commander of the 368th Combat Heavy Engineer Battalion. She also served in Kuwait and directly commanded 135 soldiers. In 2004, she returned from wartime deployment and resumed her job as Detective Sergeant at Troop E, whose patrol area includes Carroll and Belknap Counties.

Representing herself, without benefit of a lawyer, Nolet had sought a retroactive promotion to Field Area Captain and an court order restraining state police from future unlawful discriminatory conduct and practices. She also asked that her retirement benefits be recalculated to reflect the rank of captain, and had sought unspecified economic damages, including back pay.

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Gilford High School changes student trip from France to Montreal

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — Due to the concerns of some of the parents, the planned French club trip to France has been changed to one that will take the students to Quebec and Montreal in Canada.

According to members of the joint Gilford/Gilmanton School Board meeting held Monday, the trip to France was in its planning stages at the end of last year when the city of Paris was victim to a number of terrorist attacks.

Some of the parents had expressed concerns to school administrators about travel to Europe, said Superintendent Kirk Beitler, so World Languages teacher Louise Jaqusch changed the French trip from France to French-speaking Quebec Province instead.

Jaqusch said 24 students have signed up for the trip, which is four fewer than those who had expressed interest in the France trip.

The students will spend two days in Quebec City and two days in Montreal, and will go on walking tours of the historic sections of both.

Other area schools districts planning overseas trips are going to Europe.

Shaker Regional School District Superintendent Michael Tursi said the French trip scheduled for April vacation in 2017 will go to France, as will the trip being planned for the same time by the Laconia High School.

Laconia High School Principal David Bartlett said the School Board's only concern was that trip planners choose a reputable company whose focus is on the safety and security of the students on the trip.

Inter-Lakes High School Principal Patti Murphy said there are no overseas language trips planned for this school year.

Pumpkin delivery at Elm Street School

 

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Calise Houle, owner of Happy Cow Ice Cream Shop and an alumnus of Elm Street School, delivered 25 pumpkins she bought at Home Depot, plus another 10 that the hardware store added at no cost, to her alma mater on Wednesday morning. Houle's was the third delivery of pumpkins to the school that day. Meredith Village Savings Bank, CBH Landscaping Contractors, Lowe's and many individual community members also gave pumpkins to the school so that there would be enough for each student at the school to carve one for the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 22. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)

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