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Boys' alleged recess head injury results in lawsuit against Shaker Schools

BELMONT — The mother of a boy who attended Belmont Middle School in the spring of 2012 has filed suit against the Shaker Regional School District claiming the school ignored head injuries to her son sustained during recess.

According to a lawsuit file in the Belknap County Superior Court, the boy was playing football during recess when one of his classmates allegedly tripped him while he was running full speed with the ball.

Although he appeared to have recovered from the fall, when he tacked the classmate who recovered the fumble, the classmate flipped him over his shoulder and "body slammed" him to the ground.

The complaint said that none of the staff at the school district reported any incident.

In addition, the plaintiff (who is the boy's mother) said her son didn't return to his class but "was eventually discovered wandering the halls still in a disoriented state."

He was taken to the nurses officer and spent 50 minutes under the nurses supervision until his mother came to the school to get him.

His mother said she immediately took him to Lakes Region General Hospital where physicians determined he may have a concussion.

The complaints said the boy didn't recognize his mother or his step-father and continued to act disoriented in his own home. The boy had previously suffered from migraines but they had been under control until this incident.

The boy and his mother are claiming the Shaker District was negligent in that the school breached a special duty it has to him to ensure his physical and emotional health.

The boy and his mother are asking for an unnamed amount of money for medial bills and future compensatory damages.

In reply, Shaker Regional attorney said the boy continued to play football after being tripped but is without sufficient information about the alleged "body slam."

Shakers attorneys said the school nurse followed the protocols regarding potential head injuries to "the extent and symptomology exhibited at the time."

The defense also says the boy was not missing from class and that's why there's no recorded absence.

The school admits the nurse is an employee of the district but denies a head trauma was diagnosed at the time that would have mandated the summoning of an ambulance.

The school district is also claiming an affirmative defense saying that, subject to discovery, the injuries to the boy were not caused by the school district and should be barred from recovery.

The school also said the boy's previous health is unexplored and they reserve the right to explore any pre-existing conditions the boy may have had.

The school is also claiming that this suit should be considered in relation to any medical bills that may have been paid by any insurance.

The school district has also file a motion to dismiss the case that has not been answer as of yesterday by the complainant.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 12:25

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Gilford residents will meet new police chief on June 2

GILFORD — Recently hired Police Chief Anthony J. Bean Burpee will be sworn in at the town offices at 6 p.m. on June 2.

Following the swearing in, Town Administrator Scott Dunn said there will be a meet-and-greet session for the general public at 7 p.m.

Bean Burpee, who is a lieutenant with the Kennebunk Police Department, was vetted by a citizens review panel and two selectmen before being offered the job as the town's police chief.

Among his other duties Bean Burpee will oversee the construction of the $1.2 million Gilford Police Department expansion that has already encountered a minor speed bump when federal officials required the rear of the building be moved in four feet.

The reduction is because the back of the building came too close to the 500-year flood plane for the nearby Gunstock Brook.

According to Town Administrator Scott Dunn, there is $169,000 in federal money in the project that will be used to construct an emergency operations/community room and if the town is to use the grant, then the federal guidelines regarding flood planes must be satisfied.

Dunn said the design has gone back to the architects who will likely shift things around to make the building four feet shorter. He think the changes can be easily accommodated.

"We'll loose a foot here and a foot there," Dunn said. "That kind of thing."

He said the architects will identify those areas. Dunn also said that architects have completed borings of the rock where the expansion will sit.'

"They found some ledge but they expected that," he said.

Dunn said he hopes the bid specifications will be completed by July 1.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 12:19

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Lakes Region Community College awards 173 degrees

LACONIA — The 45th Annual Commencement Ceremony was held for Lakes Region Community College (LRCC)  graduates on May 17 at Bank of N.H. Pavilion at Meadowbrook Musical Arts Center in Gilford. One hundred seventy students graduated from LRCC in 23 academic programs with 173 degrees.

Presiding over LRCC's Commencement ceremony was President Dr. Scott Kalicki, who served as vice president of Student Affairs at Southern New Hampshire University prior to taking the top position at LRCC.

The Student of the Year Award was presented to Kimberly Johnson of Meredith, president of Phi Beta Lambda, LRCC's professional business organization for college students interested in careers in the business world. The Student of the Year Award is based on a vote of the faculty and staff.

Liberal Arts student, Kimberly Amerson of Hillsboro was the class valedictorian. She had the highest grade point average for the graduating class in her LRCC studies.
The Chancellor's Award of Teaching Excellence went to Kathleen Kenney of Concord. The Chancellor's Award for Service Excellence was given to Penelope Garrett of Mirror Lake.

Instructor of the Year was LRCC English Professor  Arthur Deleault of Manchester, voted on by the students. Deleault has been voted Instructor of the Year more times than any other faculty member at the college.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 12:11

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A 'Local' celebrity chef for New Hampshire Restaurant Week

LACONIA — As a six-year-old, Kevin Halligan was asking for cooking utensils, at 13 he was working in a commercial kitchen, by 17 was the line cook at local restaurant and this week he is a "celebrity chef," one of eight from all corners of the state chosen by the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association to mark the third annual Restaurant Week.

"It's been cool," said Halligan, who throughout the week has offered a three- course, prix-fixe menu at the Local Eatery in Veterans Square, alongside the diverse 10 entrees on the regular menu, which changes every two weeks. "It's given me an opportunity to bring something different to the area," he said.

The chefs were selected for their contributions to the culinary community.

"I'm definitely simplistic," Hallingan remarked. "Usually there are not more than five ingredients in a dish. Simple food done well let's the ingredients shine."

Halligan gathers his ingredients from nearby farms while raising his own pork and collecting his own eggs. "I think I bought two bags of mixed greens during the winter," he conceded. P.T. Farm in Haverhill provides beef, Ramblin' Ewe in Gilford lamb, and Bonnie Brae Farms in Plymouth venison. "We're serving oysters from Great Bay five hours after they're brought ashore," he said, "and I'm working with the community supported fishery in Portsmouth to get whatever — hake, pollock, monkfish."

Halligan uses the entire animal, from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail and everything inside. "A little while ago we had ravioli with braised lamb neck, short ribs and some other stuff that was delicious," he said. From innards he makes pates and liverwurst and has been known to serve tongue as an entree.

Beans & Greens Farm in Gilford serves as a cornucopia of fresh vegetables and home to Halligan's pigs. He draws on foragers for fiddleheads and ramps in the springtime and gardeners for produce in the summer. Last year he bought a ton of potatoes, half of it from the Grafton County Jail. All the fruit and berries are picked at local orchards and farms. "New Hampshire peaches are the best," he said. "I wouldn't serve a Georgia peach."

Halligan tailors his menus around the seasons, serving what nature produces in its prime. With asparagus, along with Brussels sprout among his favorites, coming into season, he said he will be serving lots of it soon. At the same time, by freezing and preserving, he is able to serve homegrown produce throughout the year.

Altogether, Halligan partners with more than three dozen local suppliers, including wineries, distilleries and brewers. Nothing served at the Local Eatery has traveled more than 138 miles to the diner's plate.

For Restaurant Week, Halligan is offering a first course of braised beef cheek crostini with carmelized spring onions, blue cream sauce and chives, oysters gratinee with pernod cream, tomato and parmesan and oat cakes with goat cheese, red onion jam and spinach. The second course features cucumbers, tomatos, olives, feta, greens and a quail egg, or beef tartar with caper mustard dressing and house chips, or fiddlehead tempura with baby carrots, ginger soy dip and hot chili sauce. Finally, there is pekito crusted pollock with lobster rissoto, baby kale, bacon and gouda sauce, or pork chop with red onion jam, potato latke and apple parsnip puree, or mushroom cakes with brown rice, red onion and spinach.

Both Halligan and his wife Gillian grew up in Laconia, where they worked in restaurants from a young age. Gillian's grandfather built the Christmas Island Steak House nearly 50 years ago and it has remained in the family for three generations. Kevin was schooled at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, and returned to cook at Christmas Island before the couple purchased the Village Bakery in 2007.

Two years ago, obsessed with becoming the first chef to open a restaurant offering dishes fashioned of local ingredients, Halligan opened the Local Eatery. "This is what I like," he said, noting it is "only a step away from the bakery." The venture has met his expectations. "We have 35 seats and we'll turn the place over three times on Fridays and Saturdays and serve 70 to 80 people on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Halligan was not the only chef from the Lakes Region to enjoy celebrity status this week. As corporate chef of T-Bones and Cactus Jack's, Nicole Barreira, who has been in the business since the age of 14, plans and develops all seasonal and specialty menus for the restaurants. Roland von Gunten, born and raised in Switzerland,is director of culinary operations for the Common Man family of restaurants, which he joined in 2007 after making his mark with the Alpine Resort Hotels in Switzerland and the Swiss Hotal Lafayette in Boston.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 12:08

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