Regional Roundtable Looks
at Business Environment

Jim Roche, president of the Business and Industry Association (BIA) of New Hampshire, heard three themes from a recent study: the consistency and predictability of the business environment is a challenge; the labor pool of science, technology, math and engineering workers is too small; and New Hampshire is expensive for business.

“We have high health care costs, high energy costs, a high Business Enterprise Tax,” he said.

Roche was the keynote speaker at a Regional Roundtable of business and education leaders sponsored by the Greater Derry/Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and Colliers International. Chamber members packed the Town Council meeting room at the Derry Municipal Center to hear Roche’s perspective, and then listened to a panel of experts discuss it, at a breakfast meeting this past Friday.

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Donations Come in for
School Lunch Payments

A little tough love and a cheese sandwich are helping the Derry Cooperative School District whittle away at its outstanding School Lunch accounts.

Business Manager Jane Simard gave an update on the lunch program’s efforts to stay solvent at the April 8 School Board meeting.

Last month, the board had adopted a policy of no longer allowing children in the Kindergarten-Grade 8 school district to charge school lunches once they had an outstanding balance of more than $20. Instead of a full lunch, children who arrive at the cash register without money will be given an “alternate lunch” of cheese sandwich and fruit, and their account will be charged $1. Simard and the board agreed that no child should go away hungry, but that something should be done about the outstanding balances.

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Local Towns Try to Cope
as Panhandling Increases

Derry and Londonderry police are responding to an influx of panhandlers in the area, within the limits of what the law allows them to do.

An increasing number of people asking for money, many with cardboard signs, has been observed in the Hood Commons area of Derry. Derry Police Capt. Vern Thomas said this demographic has increased over the past three years. But until someone complains, there is little the force can do about it.

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