Alleged prowler caught in Belmont

BELMONT — A Dock Shore man who allegedly entered an unlocked garage of one Forest Drive home and walked around a different home was arrested at 3 a.m. Monday morning after an alert off-duty police officer who lives on the street filed a report with local police.

Joseph Mazzitelli, 44, was initially charged with one count of burglary and two counts of criminal trespass; however, the charge of burglary was withdrawn during his video court appearance in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division said Lt. Richard Mann yesterday. He was released on personal recognizance bail.

Mann said police determined Mazzitelli had allegedly prowled around each home by following his footprints in the recently fallen snow. He said the off-duty officer, who doesn't work for Belmont, encountered him and Belmont officers took over when they responded.

He said each home was occupied at the time.

Belmont Police strongly suggest that people without power garage door openers lock them before turning in for the evening.

Alleged Gilford kidnapper indicted by grand jury

LACONIA — A Belknap County grand jury has indicted a Gilford man who allegedly kidnapped his estranged girlfriend, held her in handcuffs and threatened her with a gun.

Belknap County Prosecutor Melissa Guldbrandsen said yesterday that Russell Holliday, 56, whose last known address was 2644 Lakeshore Road was indicted for two counts of kidnapping – one for allegedly restraining a woman in the closet with handcuffs and one for allegedly restraining her near the bed with handcuffs.

Holliday was also indicted for one count of felony reckless conduct with a handgun, one count of felony criminal threatening with a handgun, one count of being a felon in possession of a weapon, one felony count of attempted aggravated felonious sexual assault, and two misdemeanor counts of simple assault.

According to police affidavits, the woman was held in her home for about 16 hours. She was able to gradually deescalate the situation, get the handgun away from Holliday, and finally leave the home, ostensibly to have a cigarette, and make her way in his car to the Gilford Police Department.

Guldbrandsen said his arraignment in the Belknap County Superior Court has not be set but she expect it to be before the end of next week.

Ski jumping is back at Gunstock Mountain Resort

GILFORD — If there's one thing you learn today, Lisa Kling wants it to be this: ski jumping is back at Gunstock.

Ski jumping put Gilford on the map before there was a Gunstock Mountain Resort. As Carol Lee Anderson accounts in "The history of Gunstock: Skiing in the Belknap Mountains," the Eastern Amateur Ski Association, working with local ski clubs, concluded that Mount Rowe, the lesser neighbor to Gunstock Mountain. In 1935, plans for a ski jump at Mount Rowe, as well as an access road, ski trails and a toboggan run were approved for funding by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of the federal Works Progress Administration, designed to help pull the country out of the Great Depression. The Eastern Ski Championships were held at the 60-meter Mount Rowe jump on Feb. 28, 1937. A cross-country event was also held that weekend. At the time, the ski trails, Nordic skiing, toboggan runs and ski jumps were known as the Belknap Mountains Recreation Area.

The 60-meter jump at Mount Rowe became known as among the best in the eastern United States. Since the construction of the large jump, smaller jumps were added – a 40 meter and a 25 meter, all with towers to give skiers a swift head start down the slope. However, age and disrepair has rendered those towers unsafe.

The jumps now fall under the purview of Gunstock Mountain Resort, which has allowed the Gunstock Mountain Historic Preservation Society to oversee their rehabilitation.

"We want to rebuild all of them," said Achim Steinbrueck, president of the society. It's easier said than done, though, as the work required to get all the jumps functional again will cost the better part of $2 million. That estimate includes not only the reconstruction of the towers, but also a re-engineering of the slopes where skiers land, new snow-making equipment and the relocation of camping sites that were installed since the larger of the jumps were last used.

Though there's a want for funds, there's a wealth of passion for the jumps. Through volunteer labor and organization, notably from Kathleen and Matt Doyle of the Andover Outing Club, and Gunstock Nordic Association's Lisa Kling, two smaller jumps are now back in play. For beginners, they have built the "pimple" jump, which will send skiers about 7 meters before landing. Intermediates can also try flying off the 18-meter jump, which doesn't require the use of a tower.

Their labors were rewarded earlier this month, on Jan. 6, when Gunstock hosted a jumping event, and nearly 50 high school athletes showed up to compete. Another meet will be held this weekend featuring local club athletes; watch the Daily Sun's calendar of events for scheduling details.

Kling said the sport of ski jumping is open to any young athlete who has at least a little experience with alpine skiing. Those who would like to learn more about trying out the sport can learn more by visiting gunstocknordic.com.

"We're trying to get exposure for jumping again," said Kling, while she was shoveling snow around the jumps, to prepare the base snow layer in advance of a coming snow storm.

"Hopefully, with the ski jump in operation, we're going to bring it out to the public that we are here, we are jumping again," said Steinbrueck.

"That's what we're trying to do, get [the jumps] rebuilt and not let the tradition die," Kling said.

 

CAPTION for GUNSTOCK SKI JUMP in 01 January:

Lisa Kling, of Gunstock Nordic Association, packs snow around the beginner "pimple" ski jump on Mount Rowe in Gilford, part of the Gunstock Mountain Resort complex. Two of the jumps are now in operation, and will host athletes this weekend. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)

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