PSU faculty petitions to form union

PLYMOUTH —  Tenured and tenure-track faculty at Plymouth State University filed a petition Wednesday with the New Hampshire Public Employee Labor Relations Board to form a collective bargaining chapter with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Included with the petition were union authorization cards from a majority of the tenured and tenure-track faculty members at Plymouth State, greatly exceeding the minimum that is required to call for a union election under New Hampshire labor law.

Plymouth State University – AAUP, the group of faculty members leading the union drive, asserts that a faculty union will help create a more collaborative relationship with the PSU administration by establishing a collective bargaining agreement that outlines fair and clear processes. Rebecca Noel, an Associate Professor of History at PSU, is hopeful that a faculty union will create "an environment built on transparency, communication and shared decision-making, with respect for the needs of university students, faculty and staff." Gary McCool, an Associate Professor in the Lamson Library & Learning Commons at PSU, believes that "the entire university community benefits when faculty are empowered to help ensure the quality of education at PSU by having fairly negotiated, legally binding policies and conditions of employment."
There are roughly 170 tenured and tenure-track faculty currently working at Plymouth State University who would be eligible to vote in a union election. Plymouth State University is one of four public universities that make up the University System of New Hampshire. Should PSU faculty vote in favor of unionization, they would be following in the footsteps of their unionized colleagues at the University of New Hampshire and Keene State College. The tenured and tenure-track faculty at UNH, along with the full-time non-tenure-track faculty at UNH, are both unionized with the American Association of University Professors. The Plymouth State University – AAUP expects that an election will be scheduled this spring.

Laconia arrests one more in drug sweep, Northfield grabs two

LACONIA — City police arrested one of the people they couldn't find during the drug sweep conducted Wednesday morning after a patrol officer spotted him near the Laconia Community Center.

Police said Christopher Hodges, 40, of 54 Adams St. was wanted on four separate warrants: one for conspiracy to sell a controlled drug, one for sales of a controlled drug, and two warrants issued in November 2015 for two separate counts of breach of bail.

Hodges allegedly tried to run from police when they went to apprehend him and faces additional charges of resisting arrest, falsifying physical evidence and possession of controlled drugs.

He is being held on $10,000 cash-only bail.

Northfield Police have arrested two of the other people who were wanted by Laconia Police for drug sales. Krystal Sanborn and Phay Pheuychandauong were arrested yesterday.

— Gail Ober

Head-on crash closes Route 3 in Holderness

HOLDERNESS — Two people were seriously injured in a head-on car crash at 12:50 p.m. Thursday on Route 3 near the Squam Lakes Association building.

Fire Chief Eleanor Mardin said that the man, who was driving a mid-sized Toyota sedan, suffered serious life-threatening injuries. She said a DHART helicopter came to the scene and landed on the soccer field at Camp Deerwood but the man ended up being transported by Plymouth ambulance to Speare Memorial Hospital.

Mardin said the woman, who was driving a Nissan SUV, was taken by Stewart's Ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital and was stable at the last report.

She said rescue crews from Holderness, Plymouth and Center Harbor needed three extrication devices to remove the two victims from their cars.

She said Route 3 was closed for four hours and traffic was rerouted over Shepard Hill Road. The New Hampshire State Police Accident Reconstruction Team investigated the crash while area police closed off the road.

– Gail Ober