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Supreme Court orders city to reimburse Gammon for court costs, without Social Security number

CONCORD — The New Hampshire Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the city of Laconia must pay the legal costs incurred by Dave Gammon, who petitioned the Belknap County Superior Court to order a recount of the 2013 municipal primary election result in Ward 5, without requiring him to complete and submit a federal W-9 form.

Gammon, who with his wife and another voter wrote in the name of Tom Tardif for city council, challenged the result, which failed to record the votes, and ultimately petitioned the Belknap County Superior Court to order a recount. The city did not object, the recount was held and Gammon was vindicated.

However, no agreement was reached on Gammon's right to recover costs. At a separate hearing, at which the city was not represented, Justice Larry Smukler awarded Gammons costs amounting to $280.76. The city agreed to reimburse Gammon's costs, but asked the court to require him to submit an IRS W-9 form to comply with its internal accounting policies. The court granted the city's request, but Gammon balked, claiming he should not be required to report the award of costs to the Internal Revenue Service, and appealed to the Supreme Court.

The city requires a W-9 form of all individuals to whom it makes payments of any amount as part of its record keeping and internal control processes. The form has no bearing on whether or not a payment represents taxable income. It includes a taxpayer's name, address and Social Security number (or company tax identification number) and asks taxpayers if they are subject to backup withholding, usually because their information fails to match that on file with IRS or they owe back taxes and are subject to mandatory withholding.

In her order Chief Justice Linda Dalianis noted that Superior Court Civil Rule 45 prescribes that the prevailing party shall be allowed costs, "unless the court otherwise directs" and held that according to "the express language of the rule, certain costs, including court fees and fees for service of process , are allowable to the prevailing party as a matter of right. Regardless of whether the city's internal control requires that payees of court-ordered provide W-9 forms," she continued, "nothing is Rule 45 purports to obligate the prevailing party to comply with a defendant's internal accounting policies to be entitled to an award of costs."

Last Updated on Monday, 20 October 2014 11:14

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Newfound board reaches agreement wiht teachers' union

by Thomas P. Caldwell

BRISTOL — The Newfound Area School Board on Oct. 14 ratified the negotiated collective bargaining agreement with the Newfound Area Teachers Association, which already had approved the new, three-year contract. Although both sides have ratified the agreement, they are not releasing the details until after they meet on Monday to actually sign off on the document.
Vincent Paul Migliore of Bridgewater, vice-chair of the school board, said the agreement represented "a fair give and take on both sides, and it's long overdue".
The new contract comes in the wake of the school district's rejection during the March school district meeting of the last agreement the two sides had negotiated. School board member Jeff Levesque of Groton is urging members of the community to get behind the new agreement.
While the two sides are forbidden to offer specifics on the negotiated agreement until it is signed, Don Franklin of Hebron did say the teachers had made concessions on the health insurance front.

Last Updated on Saturday, 18 October 2014 12:29

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Belmont man accused on head-butting woman

CIRCUIT COURT — A Belmont man was ordered held on $1,000 cash-only bail yesterday after allegedly head-butting a woman during a domestic disturbance Thursday.

Gregory Potter, 32, of Greenleaf Court is also charged with driving after revocation and breach of bail.

According to complaints and police affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, the owner of the Potter's apartment went to the Belmont Police Department at 8:31 a.m. Thursday to report the victim sent him text messages saying Potter was "destroying the apartment and damaging her property."

Two police officers went to the apartment and found Potter still there. When the victim spoke privately with police, she told them he had head-butted her, thrown things at her and that she was afraid of him.

Police charged him with simple assault and took him from the apartment.

Once at the police station, police learned he was on bail after being arrested for driving after revocation on October 9. His license was suspended in 2011 for driving while intoxicated.

Belmont's prosecutor asked for the $1,000 bail saying that Potter has 16 previous arrests including two bail jumping charges and a felony reckless conduct charge in Gilford in 2011 that involved the same woman.

Potter's attorney argued that he was not a flight risk and could live with a relative in Meredith. She also told Judge Jim Carroll that that he had a good job as a machinist and there were no alcohol or drugs involved in the most recent allegation.

"Does that make it better or worse," Carroll asked.

When she replied "better" Carroll said he thought it made it worse.

Last Updated on Saturday, 18 October 2014 12:23

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Inter-Lakes earns another NHIAA Sportsmanship Award

MEREDITH — For the second time in three years, Inter-Lakes High School has been named the Sportsmanship Award winner for NHIAA Division III high schools.
The banner, which will be displayed on the wall of the Inter-Lakes High School gym, just below the banner which the school was awarded for the 2011-12 school year, was unveiled at a school assembly Friday morning at which it was also announced that Inter-Lakes had won the Division III Hoops for Hunger award for raising the most money for local food banks at high school basketball games.
I-LHS Principal Patti Kennelly credited athletic director Jeff Cloos, now in his fourth year with the school, for helping create the atmosphere which made the awards possible.
''I've been principal here for 18 years and in the first 14 years we never won this award. Now we've won it for the second time in three years. It's a big deal,'' said Kennelly.
Cloos said that his goal when he became athletic director was to involve the athletes, coaches, fans and the community in an effort to achieve a balance between good sportsmanship and being competitive and said that goal was certainly achieved in the 2013-14 school year in a number of sports, including football, girls soccer, cross-country, Nordic skiing, baseball and track and field.
''We're the second smallest school in Division III and winning this honor while competing at a high level takes a positive fan base,'' said Cloos.
Jeff Collins, new executive director of the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association and former Portsmouth High School principal, was on hand to congratulate the school. ''The sportsmanship banner is voted on by your peers and reflects what you do every time you put on your jersey,'' said Collins. Coaches in every sport are given a form to rate every opponent they face throughout the year, assigning whether the team had positive, neutral or negative sportsmanship. Point totals are tallied each season, with schools in each sport being ranked and then combined with the rest of the programs to come up with a composite seasonal ranking.
Collins said ''everyone can take pride in this,'' and singled out Principal Kennelly for praise, noting that she had bought a cake for the whole school to share as part of the celebration.
Christina Gribben, guidance department director, said that the school has taken part in Hoops for Hunger program for the past three years, collecting money at all boys and girls basketball games, including junior varsity games, for the last three years.
Last year the school raised $973.44 which was distributed between the Meredith and Center Harbor food pantries.
''We hope to break $1,000 this year,'' said Gribben, who later announced that a special fund at the school was donating $75 to the St. Baldric's foundation for children's cancer research.

Last Updated on Saturday, 18 October 2014 12:17

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