Sam’s Club Teacher of the Year

submitted by Ralph Caster

Front row: Anthony Brunet, Kayla Torres, Teacher of the Year Katie LeLievre, Brad Lyman, Christian Gannino, Bailey Dietrich and Sam’s Club community liaison Tom Cavanaugh. Back row: Sue Nadeau, Ciara Paul, Katie Orme, Vann Chamberlain and Sam’s Club General Manager Steve Flaherty

Now and then a truly great teacher comes along.  You know, the teacher that throughout one’s life is never forgotten.  This past Monday Katie LeLievre was the recipient of the annual Sam’s Club “Teacher of the Year Award.”  Katie is a seventh grade Language Arts teacher at the Hudson Memorial Middle School and is truly that teacher who not only is a great educator, but develops a special relationship with her students because of her generous and genuine interest in their well being.

Mr. Steve Flaherty and Mr. Tom Cavanaugh from Sam’s Club visited Mrs. LeLievre’s third period classroom just as class was beginning to surprise her with the award, a $1,000 check for Hudson Memorial Middle School, a gift certificate especially for her, and a celebration cake which everyone including her class enjoyed.  Principal Sue Nadeau, Assistant Principal Vincent Pagan, and Assistant Principal Keith Bowen attended the event, along with several others who enjoy working directly with Mrs. LeLievre.

Katie LeLievre is a longtime resident of Hudson with her husband David.  She presently has three children in Hudson schools — Kassidy, Katie’s youngest, attends seventh grade at Hudson Memorial; her daughter Kameo and son Korey both attend Alvirne; her oldest son Keith graduated from Alvirne.  The family attends St. Kathryn Church in Hudson.  Katie is a “Soccer Mom,” “Baseball Mom” and whatever other kind of Mom it takes to support her children.

The people of Hudson, the Hudson Memorial Middle School, the Hudson School Board, and SAU 81 should be extremely proud to have Katie teaching our kids.  She is a very special talent and is deserving of being given this special recognition.

Sam’s Club’s annual “Teacher of the Year Award” shows their interest not only in the community in which they do business, but also for our valuable teachers and our children.  This award demonstrates their community involvement.

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Open Doors Christian Fellowship Harvest Festival

submitted by Bernice Clemons

Monica Gagne helps Samantha Gallagher with a bracelet.

It couldn’t have been a more perfect day to go to a Harvest Festival.  The leaves put on a show as they danced in the wind all around Open Doors Christian Fellowship (the church located directly across from Passaconway Golf Course on Route 3A).  On this windy October day, it wasn’t just the leaves dancing.  The enthusiasm was contagious as kids and adults were given the old-fashioned down-home treatment that communities were used to years ago. 

For those suffering from the “bail-out blues” this was the place to be, because you could leave your change at home, as most everything was free.  Free all-natural ice cream topped with dripping chocolate, crushed nuts and sprinkles, was just a beginning.  There was free freshly grilled hotdogs, freshly ground flavored coffee, freshly popped popcorn.  Free crafts included jewelry making, knitting, cookie decorating and puppet making.  Three bouncy houses, and to every child’s delight, they too were free.  Free video games, free blood pressure and sugar screenings, and the list went on.  

From left: Deb Wilcox, Andrea Gonzalez, Maggie Gallagher, and Alison Ricford show off many of the pies in the tasting contest.

Local artist Mary Ellen Brown of Litchfield showed samples of her work in watercolor, oils and photography.  Her marvelous talent captured your emotions with each one of her pieces.  

A delightful new addition from last year’s festival was the pie contest, which was met with great success.  Lots of pies were entered from Litchfield and surrounding towns as four judges painstakingly critiqued each pie from appearance, consistency, to taste – 12 categories in all.  They appeared to have done their job well, because while they were judging the pies inside, the crowds sampled and voted on the same pies outside.  The judges and crowd agreed on all three places, and so congratulations and great cheers, along with trophies and prizes, went to a Litchfield local, Alison Rochford, for her apple pie.  Second place went to Tristan and Jaden Evarts of Londonderry for their sweet potato pie, and third place went to Alec Clemons, also of Litchfield, for his coconut cream pie.

As I meandered through the festival I couldn’t help but notice a mother holding her two-year-old daughter’s hand.  Her tiny wrist gently tied with the thin red ribbon from her balloon.  The two stood in front of a backdrop of light blue skies scattered with white puffed clouds.  An American flag was painted on the little girl’s soft cheek, as she licked her oversized caramel-covered apple with her candy-coated lips.  In that moment, as the wind gently lifted her lightly curled blond hair, I thought, this is what community is supposed to be.  So, “thumbs up” to Open Doors Christian Fellowship for making community happen.  (For more information about the church log on to 

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Citizens Panel Assembled for Hudson Police Chief Interviews

by Gina M. Votour

As the yearend retirement of Hudson Police Chief Richard Gendron draws closer, the Board of Selectmen has diligently continued the efforts to fill the vital position.

Two interview panels will perform candidate interviews; a citizens panel and a professional panel.

Fifteen individuals applied for seats on the citizens panel, eleven of whom appeared before the selectmen for interviews on the evening of Tuesday, October 7. 

By night’s end, the board chose for the citizens interview panel:  Keith Bowen, assistant principal for academics at Hudson Memorial School and member of the Recreation Committee; Steven Flaherty, general manager of Sam’s Club; Charles O’Donaghue, former president of the C.H.I.P.S. (Children of Hudson Interacting with Police Services) Committee and former Zoning Board member; and Michael Pitre, a Zoning Board member who recently completed the Hudson Citizens Police Academy.

These individuals will deliberate alongside Hudson School District Superintendent Randy Bell, who was chosen previously for a panel spot. 

Candidates for the citizens panel were asked what they are looking for in a police chief, what community policing means to them, and how they would rate the Hudson Police Department on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being excellent).  Candidates were also asked questions concerning, for instance, whether or not they had determined who should be the next chief.

The professional panel will consist of three law enforcement professionals, a fire chief and a municipal manager and will be assembled with the help of an outside firm, Municipal Resources, Inc. (MRI).  Hudson Fire Chief Shawn Murray will hold a seat on this panel.

Separate interviews will be conducted by each panel followed by a joint discussion at the interviews’ conclusions.  A majority vote from both panels will be forwarded to the Board of Selectmen to help in filling the position. 

The panels will serve as advisory boards, not as final selection boards, however.  Therefore, the recommendation from the panels may not necessarily be the individual ultimately hired since the selectmen will make the final decision.

At press time, the selectmen had authorized the immediate internal posting of the police chief position.  The application deadline for all candidates will be noon Friday, October 17.

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Litchfield Budget Committee Sends Mixed Message

by Lynne Ober

The Litchfield Budget Committee offered two conflicting messages during its last meeting.  One message was that it would hold on voting on all budgets for at least a month because of the town’s shaky financial situation and the other message was to spend now.

When the meeting opened Police Chief Joey O’Brion made his third appearance.  He provided a thick packet of backup materials which the budget committee did not discuss.  Chairman Brent Lemire noted that the committee would need time to digest and read the materials before any meaningful discussions could be held.

Lemire also announced that the budget committee would not vote on any additional budgets for a month.  He cited the shaky town financial situation and noted that selectmen were working to ensure that the town had enough money to pay the bills for the rest of the year.  He talked about the difficult economic situation overall. 

Then it was time for Fire Chief Thomas Schofield to present his budgets.  Schofield has three budgets – one is the fire departments, one the emergency management budget and the third is the ambulance budget, which is a one-line budget.

The backup packet began with “Chief’s Salary – No increase being requested” and continued in that vein.  Schofield said that asking for a zero increase was the “hardest thing I have ever done.”  He told the committee that he was cognizant of the current economic situation and knew that residents were having increased expenses that outpaced increased salaries. 

The on-call firefighters voted not to take pay increases.  “That was not a unanimous vote, but it was a majority vote,” said Schofield, who himself asked for no raise. 

He had to cut third-man coverage by 15 percent to ask for an increase in that item.  “I have reduced third-man coverage 15 percent from 300 hours per year down to 260 so that I would not have to ask for an increase in this line item,” said Schofield.

Schofield asked for no fuel increase and when questioned said that if the voters voted a default budget he would get no increase so he was determined to manage to that bottom line.  Schofield said the current budget allows each truck to be filled once a month.  “That’s once a month and not once a week.”

The Fire Department’s budget is less than the FY2007 budget.  At the end of the presentation Schofield was asked to bring back a detailed list of new equipment that would be purchased.  While he had presented a list, he also said there was not enough funding in that line item to make all the purchases so Lemire asked him to pinpoint what he actually would buy.

However, Lemire announced that the they could not do the other two budgets because the Budget Committee had not received selectmen’s recommended budgets and could not hear the emergency management or the ambulance budget. 

Selectman George Lambert apologized for the oversight and said it was a communication error on his part. 

When Schofield said that the Emergency Management budget was the same as this year’s budget, Lemire asked why.  Schofield explained that selectmen asked all department heads to hold on expenditures because of the town’s poor financial condition.  “So I didn’t hire the consultant to help with the emergency management plan and I did not purchase the incident command trailer that will be used by police, fire and any other unit responding to an incident in Litchfield.”

After discussion, Lemire urged him to move ahead with those purchases and at the very least to encumber the dollars so that the town didn’t have to appropriate money in that budget again, but at the same time, he asked Schofield to think about places where he could cut his current proposed budget.

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