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Moultonborough Police K-9, Rony, Retires After Nearly 9 Years on the Job

 
MOULTONBOROUGH — It hasn't been a "ruff" life for Moultonborough Police Department K-9 Rony, but even after nearly nine years of service, he was still up-and-ready when his last day on the job came on May 30.

The 11-year-old German Shepard was born in the Czech Republic, flown to the United States and trained by Castle K-9 when he was 1 year old. Rony was then brought to the Moultonborough Police Department and first paired with Officer James O'Brien. When Officer O'Brien left the department, Rony was paired with Detective Stephen Kessler, and they have been inseparable ever since.

Kessler, who has been a member of the department since 1995, really took to his partner, and that is why Rony will be living with Kessler and his family in retirement.

"Rony has served the citizens of Moultonborough well and deserves to spend his remaining years in peace, with his handler and partner, Detective Stephen Kessler and the Kessler family," said Moultonborough Police Chief Leonard J. Wetherbee Jr.

The Moultonborough PD has decided not to train another K-9 at this time, and will retrofit the K-9 cruiser to become a part of the uniform fleet.

Rony was a multi-purpose K-9, able to track and apprehend suspects, detect narcotics, and conduct routine patrol. Kessler recalls many incidents when he and Rony were responsible for tracking down suspects after they had fled their vehicles, as well as a time when they located a suspect barricaded inside the closet of a house, leading to his arrest.

"Rony is very intelligent and he's very social, with both people and other dogs," said Kessler, who yells commands to Rony in the dog's native Czechoslovakian. "He's a very loyal companion. I'd rather work with him than most humans!"

The two officers were even part of two Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams – Belknap County Special Operations SWAT and Central New Hampshire Special Operations SWAT.

Now that Rony is retired, it doesn't mean he's slowed down. According to Kessler, who received official ownership of Rony from the town, Rony still has lots of energy, especially now that he's not using any for work.

"He's 11 years old but you wouldn't know it," said Kessler. "Rony loved coming in to work. Not having him with me 24/7 every day is kind of different. I absolutely miss him when I'm at work, but now that he's retired he's just got to hang out and be a normal dog."

 

Last Updated on Friday, 20 June 2014 09:25

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Squam Science Center hosting Coyote Day

HOLDERNESS — Squam Lakes Natural Science Center will hold a day all about coyotes on Saturday, June 28. Various activities and programs will be offered throughout the day running from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The coyote, cousin to dogs, wolves, and foxes, was first seen in New Hampshire in 1944 and has spread across the state from the northernmost reaches down to the seacoast. Coyotes are currently common throughout the state and typically live for 4 to 5 years in the wild. They are intelligent and opportunistic hunters, eating a variety of animals, and sometimes working together to hunt. They are animals who adapt quickly to new situations, taking advantage of changes in their habitat.

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center has two resident coyotes. A male coyote is on exhibit in the new Coyote Exhibit on the live animal exhibit trail. A female coyote is used exclusively for programs to educate the public about the species.

There will be various activities offered throughout the day including coyote crafts for children from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Science Center will also hold special Up Close to Animals presentations featuring the female coyote at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Coyote games will be held from 2-3 p.m. Visitors can join in an all-day scavenger hunt to win a coyote prize. Science Center volunteers will be on-hand at the Coyote Exhibit to answer questions.

In addition to the many activities, Chris Schadler from Project Coyote, will present "Becoming Wolf: The Eastern Coyote in New England." Project Coyote is a North American coalition of wildlife scientists, educators, predator-friendly ranchers, and community leaders that works to promote compassionate conservation and coexistence between people and wildlife. Project Coyote works specifically to change negative attitudes toward coyotes, wolves, and other native carnivores by educating the public about these animals. Chris will speak at 1 p.m. on Coyote Day and be available to answer questions about coyotes.

Admission is $17 for adults, $14 for seniors age 65 and over, and $12 for youth ages 3 to 15. Members and children 2 and under receive free trail admission. More information including a full schedule of events can be found at www.nhnature.org.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 June 2014 09:20

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PSU’s Smith receives teaching award

PLYMOUTH — New England artist and educator Kathi Smith of Center Harbor has been selected by students, alumni and colleagues as the 2014 Distinguished Teaching Lecturer at Plymouth State University.

This annual award recognizes excellence in teaching by a PSU teaching lecturer. Recipients demonstrate qualities such as comprehensive knowledge of subject, ability to stimulate student thinking, understanding and interest in learning, respect and value for students as individuals, ability to create a safe classroom environment in which all may participate comfortably, passion for teaching and inspiration for students to achieve at their highest abilities inside and outside of the classroom.

Smith says, "I believe in, care about and know my students. The core of my teaching philosophy is to nurture meaningful relationships with students by listening to and guiding them with empathy and trust, and understanding that every day is an opportunity to grow. I ask that like me, they come to the classroom with open minds to listen, speak and relate to others in an honest and authentic way. I share my stories, experiences in the field, and some of my own challenges in my art practice to remind them that we are all human, and striving to do our best."

Students and colleagues alike respond enthusiastically to her art and to her teaching, describing Smith as talented, thoughtful, genuine and kind-hearted. One colleague called her the personification of excellence in her role as artist and teacher. "She is incredibly talented in studio art, but that is matched by her ability to reach students. They respond to her respectfully and enthusiastically. She sets the bar high; consequently they learn at a professional level," a former PSU colleague wrote.

"Kathi Smith is a dedicated and caring teacher evidenced by the nominations from her students and colleagues," says Julie Bernier, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. "We are fortunate to have Kathi among our teaching lecturers and I'm so pleased that she was chosen by her colleagues as this year's recipient."

Smith's reputation and career are growing rapidly. Over the past three years she has participated in many regional and national exhibitions and four prestigious residencies. She received a full fellowship supported by the Joan Mitchell Foundation to the Vermont Studio Center, and has been a fellow and artist-in residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut, and the Heliker-LaHotan Foundation in Maine. This summer she will participate in a seven-week artist residence in Brittany, France, sponsored by the Maryland Institute College of Art.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 20 June 2014 07:05

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Gilmanton Old Home Day to host Art Show

GILMANTON — Gilmanton Old Home Day will have its' 116th annual celebration on Saturday, August 9 at the Smith Meeting House.

One of the highlights of the day's festivities is an Art Show. Our area is fortunate to have many talented artists and this is an opportunity for them to share their works with the many attendees. The art show includes painting, mixed media, digital art, sculpture, pottery and photography. The artists can display their pieces both for sale and not for sale. Ribbons will be awarded to: Best in show, Peoples Favorite and also 1st and 2nd place in all the individual media areas. Therefore, no matter if an artist is an amateur or a professional they are invited to participate in this important show. Registration deadline for artwork is August 6. Artists do not have to live in Gilmanton to show their work, all area artists are invited.

Additional activities include the annual Bean Hole supper, Puppet Theater, visiting vendor booths and all the other activities.

For more information or to register for the Art Show contact the committee coordinator; Betty Mitchell at mitchbet@metrocast or 387-1807. 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 June 2014 10:33

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