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LHS graduation date to be firmed up April 7

LACONIA — With seniors at Laconia High School reportedly concerned about the date of graduation, school Superintendent Terri Forsten said yesterday that "we're following the same process we've followed for years. We wait until the the snow stops flying, determine how many days we need to make up, consider our options and set a date."

Students expecting to graduate on Saturday, June 6 fear that to compensate for school days lost to foul weather the ceremony may be held a week later on June 13.

Forsten said that school closed for three days because of snow storms this winter, noting that a state of emergency was declared on one of those days, reducing the number to be made up to two. In addition, she said there were several late starts to be taken into account. She explained that in the past 30 minutes were added to the end of the school day and seniors took classes or performed community services on Saturdays. "We have a number of options," she remarked.

"This year there has been a bit of clutter," Forsten observed. "There are a few processes we need to go through," she continued, stressing that "no decision has been made"

Forsten anticipated that the School Board will weigh the issue when it meets on Tuesday, April 7. "That is within our normal time frame," she insisted.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 12:09

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Hanson will again chair Inter-Lakes School Board

MEREDITH — In a brief reorganization meeting this week, the Inter-lakes School Board unanimously re-elected incumbents Richard Hanson of Center Harbor, who has served on the board since 1998, as chairman, Lisa Merrill of Meredith as vice-chairman and Sally Whalen of Center Harbor as secretary.

The board amended its policy on fundraising by students to prohibit "door-to-door" fundraising. Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond explained that the safety of students was the uppermost concern prompting the change of policy. Proposals to amend the student dress code and the process of appointing an interim or new principal in the event of either an unforeseen or anticipated vacancy were tabled pending further consideration.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 11:50

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No charges will be filed in aftermath of pedestrian death in Laconia crosswalk

LACONIA — Police will not be pressing any criminal charges against a Belmont woman who stuck and killed a man in a wheel chair while he was crossing South Main Street in a designated crosswalk area last June.

The final police investigation that was reviewed by The Daily Sun said Claire Haynes struck John Guiffrida at 2:45 p.m. on June 7 as he was attempting to cross the street after shopping at Vista Foods. She was headed northbound and the weather was clear.

During their investigation, city police used the services of the Belknap Regional Accident Reconstruction Team — a group of police officers specially trained in motor vehicle crashed and their causes — for their investigation.

About 15 interviews with witnesses were completed and a video tape of the crash was obtained from a security camera owned by the nearby Meredith Village Savings Bank branch office

Police said Haynes stopped immediately after the crash and got out of her van. She stayed on the scene and cooperated with police — allowing herself to be taken to Lakes Region General Hospital where she voluntarily submitted to tests to determine in she had consumed anything that may have affected her ability to drive. She had not, said police.

After reviewing all of the information, local police determined that Guiffrida's death was tragic but Haynes role in it didn't rise to the level of criminal behavior.

"We would have to prove in a court of law that she was either reckless or negligent and there is not enough evidence for that," said Lt. Richard Simmons.

Simmons noted that Haynes was not speeding, was not distracted by a cellular phone or any other device and was not impaired by any drugs and alcohol.

Simmons added that since Guiffrida's death, the police have recommended frequent painting of the heavily used cross walk by the Department of Public Works and the addition of a "pedestrian crossing" sign that can be used when there is no snow on the ground — both of which were used last summer. He expects both will be used this summer as well.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 11:47

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Governor nominates Laconia man for high DOT job

CONCORD — Governor Maggie Hassan yesterday nominated William Cass of Laconia for the position of assistant commissioner of the Department of Transportation (DOT). He will succeed Jeff Brillhart, who will retire next month.

A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Cass joined the DOT as a civil engineer in the Bureau of Highway Design in 1986. He worked for most of his first 15 years with the department and in 2001 became chief project manager in the project development division of the DOT. He was the project manager for the reconstruction of I-93 between Salem and Manchester. Since 2007 Cass has been director of project development, managing the eight bureaus within the division, which together employ 360 people, have an annual operating budget of $35-million and pursue an annual construction program with a value of more than $175 million.

Cass said yesterday that the assistant commissioner also carries the title "chief engineer," but he expected that with Patrick McKenna of Gilford serving as acting commissioner he would be representing the department in a variety of capacities.

Cass said that he moved to Laconia from Belmont about 15 years ago. He was a religious education teacher, Eucharistic Minister and Lector at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Lakeport and chairman of the board at Holy Trinity School from 1998 to 2003. He also coached a number of youth athletic teams in the city. And he served on the Master Plan Steering Committee from 2005 to 2007.

"Representative Frank Tilton (R-Laconia), a former director of public works in the city and a member of the House Public Works and Highways Committee, described Cass as "an excellent choice. He's been on the hot seat many times in the last three or four years," he continued, " and has always given good, informed, reasonable answers and been easy to deal with."

Cass said that he anticipates the Governor and Executive Council will vote on his nomination at their next regularly scheduled meeting on April 7.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 11:42

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