GILFORD — A Laconia woman who was a passenger in a car being driven by a person accused of driving while intoxicated is being held on $2,000 cash bail on a charge of being a fugitive from justice.
Police affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division said Melissa Bossier, 39, formerly of Albuquerque, New Mexico but now of 735 Main Street in Laconia was indicted in the "Land of Enchantment" on December 9, 2013 for one count of identity theft, and two counts of forgery.
She had been freed on cash or surety bond of $5,000 and the warrant said New Mexico authorities would extradite her from anywhere.
Once learning this, police arrested Bossier.
While doing a physical inventory of the car before it was towed, police found a broken glass pipe inside a black purse.
While Bossier was in the booking room at the Gilford Police Department, she allegedly admitted that the glass pipe was used for smoking methamphetamine and was charged with one count of possession of the banned drug.
In an additional Gilford arrest over the weekend, police charged Shelley Anderson, 33, of 8 Cumberland Road #24 with theft by unauthorized taking for allegedly selling an $1,800 television to three guys for $150.
According to police affidavits, Anderson had been staying at the home of a friend but the two had a falling out and the male who had rented the television from Rent-A-Center had left the home temporarily while she found another place to live.
While he was gone, she allegedly took the television to a Laconia pawn shop whose owner declined to buy it from her. The pawn shop owner said he saw her sell it to three men who were outside his shop.
The pawn shop owner reported to police that he got a phone message the next day from Anderson who, he said, seemed upset. He told police he had already gotten a phone call from the manager of the Laconia Rent-A-Center, who was also looking for the television.
Around the same time, Gilford Police got an e-mail from a Laconia Police Officer who said a Gilmanton man had spoken to her about a stolen Rent-A-Center television so she passed it on to Gilford. He admitted to taking Anderson to the pawn shop but said he didn't know the television wasn't hers.
The Gilmanton man also said he saw her sell the television to the three men but said he didn't know who they were.
Judge Jim Carroll told Anderson that he would release her on personal recognizance bail for the theft but was going to hold her on $250 cash bail for violating his previous order that she refrain from all alcohol.
Gilford police said when they went to arrest her for the theft of the television, she had been drinking, however she didn't appear to be drunk.
He told her he was disappointed in her and said she needed to start making some efforts at getting sober and responsible.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 12:39
LACONIA — Almost 22 acres of Lake Opechee — 16.55 acres at the northeast corner and 5.25 acres below the Lakeport Dam — will be treated with a chemical herbicide to control the growth and spread of invasive milfoil. Weather and conditions permitting, the treatment will be undertaken on Tuesday, July 15.
Aquatic Control Technology of Sutton, Massachusetts, the same firm that has treated the lake in recent years, will apply the herbicide as well as deploy divers to harvest remaining plants by hand.
Altogether, the treatment is projected to cost $22,435, of which the the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services will contribute 40 percent, or $8.974. The remainder of the cost will be shared evenly between the city and Lake Opechee Preservation Association, with each contributing $7,702.50.
For the 24 hours following the treatment there will be no swimming within 200 feet of the treated areas. The lake water should not be used for drinking or irrigation until further notice. This restriction applies to intakes within 1,200 feet and wells within 50 feet of the treated areas.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 12:34
MEREDITH — After several years of wrangling with the Board of Trustees of the Public Library, the Board of Selectmen yesterday agreed to present the trustees with a memorandum of understanding designed to clarify the relationship and delineate the responsibilities of the town and the library.
Tension between the selectmen and trustees has arisen against the background of a state statute that vests library trustees with a measure of autonomy, particularly over compensating employees. Among the powers and duties specified by RSA 202-A:11, the trustees shall "appoint a librarian . . . and, in consultation with the librarian, all other employees of the library and determine their compensation and other terms of employment unless, in the cities, other provision is made in the city charter or ordinances."
In 2012, the trustees reclassified an existing position and jumped it by three pay grades, raising the hourly wage of the incumbent by 19 percent. Town Manager Phil Warren acknowledged the statutory authority of the trustees, but reminded them that the town's personnel policy authorizes the selectmen to amend the "salary plan" on the recommendation of the town manager. He also that in approaching the budget, the selectmen had agreed "no new positions and no reclassifications."
Although the Selectboard ultimately acquiesced, Selectman Peter Brothers told the trustees that "there are times when it is very convenient for the library to be part of the town and there are other times when it is not" and cautioned them to "carefully consider decisions at at odds with the town's policies."
The issue is addressed by the memorandum of understanding, which provides "in order for the town to be able to defend and uphold various legal, personnel and liability matters, it is necessary that all employees and departments, including the Library, follow all town ordinances, policies (including the Personnel Policy) and Administrative Regulations."
Yesterday Brothers emphasized the importance the personnel issue, noting that all employees of both the town and library must be treated consistently. He suggested a arranging a meeting with the trustees "to hammer out our major differences."
The other major component of the memorandum of understanding would recognize that the library is a town building and provide for the town to administer and manage its day to day "maintenance and operation." Currently the trustees employ what Warren described as "a very part-time person" who does some maintenance and light cleaning but also draw on town resources and secure independent vendors for more demanding tasks.
Warren said that cost, likely including the conversion of a part-time employee to full-time with benefits, would be incorporated into the town budget. Brothers stressed the importance of identifying and calculating the costs, but said "this is a positive adjustment."
From the audience, Karen Sticht said that the trustees have been unwilling to disclose the balances and terms of their various endowments, appearing to suggest that they could operate the library with less cost to the town. She asked the selectmen if they had considered giving the trustees the library building and saying "here's some money, now go work on some grants."
Brothers explained that the trustees were bound by the terms of their endowments to spend only the income from investments, not the principal. He also said that the trustees have been urged to seek alternative sources of revenue, especially grants.
Dismissing the suggestion that the library could be left to its own devices, Selectman Lou Kahn explained "the town can tax. The library can't. We're bound to them and they're bound to us."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 12:30
LACONIA — Although the courts recommend that as many as nine of 10 inmates at the Belknap County Jail undergo treatment for substance abuse, the capacity of the Department of Corrections to provide help has shrunk.
Superintendent Dan Ward said that the county contracts with Horizons Counseling Center, Inc. of Gilford, which offers the ADAPT (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment) program. "We have capacity and funding for 12 places," he said, "and the program is always full with a waiting list."
Jacqui Abikoff, executive director of Horizons, said that the program began in 1991 with a federal grant administered by the New Hampshire Department of Justice. Then, she explained, "we worked in cohorts of 24. Everyone started the 12-week program at the same time and finished together."
However, since the federal funding was reduced abut 10 years ago, the capacity of the program has been halved and its structure has been changed. Abikoff said that now inmates are required to complete the 12 modules of the program, but in no particular order. For example, an inmate might being with the sixth week of the program and finish with the fifth week.
Abikoff stressed that the county does not contribute to the cost of programming, which is defrayed primarily by federal funds. At the same time, she said that Horizons contracts with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Services (DHHS) to provide substance abuse treatment for indigents and is able to apportion some personnel costs incurred at the jail to that contract. "Inmates meet the standard of indigence," she remarked.
The federal funding not only limits not only the capacity but also the scope of programming. Abikoff said that funds can only be applied to services for sentenced inmates, emphasizing that they are only assessed by qualified clinicians after being sentenced. She said that the recommendation that an inmate be counseled or treated is initially a bargain struck between the prosecuting and defense attorneys and sanctioned by the judge.
"The court may recommend either the ADAPT program or a residential program, but neither may be appropriate for the individual inmate," Abikoff said. Although their have been efforts to enable clinicians to assess inmates prior to sentencing, she said that the resources required are not available.
Furthermore, Abikoff noted that since funding is restricted to sentenced inmates who are not assessed before sentencing, services cannot be provided to those incarcerated pending trial. An inmate may spend months incarcerated before receiving a one year sentence, then find that with time-served there is insufficient time remaining on the sentence to complete the treatment program. By assessing inmates pending trial, Abikoff said that their condition, together with other risk factors, could be determined, enabling some to be released under close supervision to undergo treatment, which would ease the upward pressure on the jail population.
Underlining the the value of substance abuse programs, Abikoff said that more than half the inmates who complete the ADAPT program continue with counseling and treatment following their release.
"It works," she said, adding that unfortunately while New Hampshire ranks among the top states in the incidence of substance, it ranks among the bottom 10 states in the capacity for treatment.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 12:27