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Plan to reconfigure part of Veterans Square on City Council agenda on Monday

LACONIA — Planning Director Shanna Saunders will present a plan to reconfigure the west end of Veteran's Square to the City Council when it meets Monday night.

The plan evolved from a plan to open Beacon Street East and Beacon Street West to two-way traffic and improve the intersections around the loop prepared by TEC, Inc. of Lawrence, Massachusetts, which the council soundly rejected. When the First Congregational Church of Laconia embarked on a capital improvement project the opportunity arose to revisit the reconfiguration of the intersection where Veteran's Square joins Pleasant Street.

As proposed the plan would convert the intersection of Pleasant with Veteran's Square and Beacon Street West into a simple four-way junction by eliminating the circle that enables west bound traffic through Veteran's Square to reverse direction by rounding. In place of the circle, the curb in front of the First Congregational Church would relocated between 60 feet and 40 feet forward into Veteran's Square but there would still be three lanes — two west bound and one east bound.

The five angled parking spaces in front of the First Congregational Church would be relocated at the new curb. The driveway between the First Congregational Church and the Evangelical Baptist Church, which is being converted to the restaurant, would be expanded to a handicap-access turnaround and four angled parking spaces in front of the Evangelical Baptist Church would be retained. Likewise, the six parking spaces on the north side of Veteran's Square, alongside the railroad station, would remain.

The pavement and sidewalk would be removed from the area between the new and existing curb and sidewalk, which would become a landscaped sublawn, bordered by the relocated curb on Veteran's Square and an extended curb on Pleasant Street. The memorial and flagpole would be relocated from the circle to the sublawn, to which benches would be added.

Other than the change to the flow of traffic through Veteran's Square the traffic pattern would remain the same. Traffic entering Veteran's Square from Pleasant Street could turn right on to Beacon Street West, which would remain one-way, left into Veteran's Square or proceed down Pleasant Street, which would also remain one-way. The plan does not include traffic signals at the reconfigured intersection.

Saunders has been discussing the plan with property owners and business operators in and around Veteran's Square for several months.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 08:26

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Search of Moultonborough home led to arrests for alleged pot farming

MOULTONBOROUGH — The former director of Food Services at Inter-Lakes Regional School District has been charged with one count of manufacturing a controlled drug — marijuana — and one count of possession of marijuana.

Police Chief Leonard Weatherbee said Joseph A. Cyr, 49, his wife Shirley Cyr, 40, and his brother Jason R. Cyr, 43, all of 14 Hanson Mill Road turned themselves into Moultonborogh Police yesterday. All are free on personal recognizance bail.

They all face one count each of manufacturing a controlled drug and possession of a controlled drug.

When contacted last week, Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormand said Joseph Cyr was no longer employed in the Inter-Lakes District. The school district subcontracts its food service to Cafe Services.

Weatherbee said the manufacturing operation was discovered by Meredith Police while they were in the process of executing a search warrant at the Byr's home. They were looking for money allegedly stolen by Shirley Cyr from a Meredith couple while she was providing home-based health care.

When Meredith Police saw the marijuana, they notified the Moultonborough Police, who obtained a separate search warrant for the home.

Weatherbee said a number of items were seized by Moultonborough Police, including some plant material.

All three have pending court dates in the 3rd Circuit Court, Ossipee Division next month said Weatherbee.

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 February 2014 01:24

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Alton man accused of threatening to kill his family

ALTON — A former Suncook Valley Road man was ordered to stay out of Alton yesterday morning after violating a bail condition that ordered him not to return to his former place of residence.

Gregory Packard, 47, is charged with one new count of breach of bail for being at his old house Wednesday. Police found him when they went to serve a subpoena at the home.

According to affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, Packard was charged with two felony level counts criminal threatening and one felony level count of falsifying physical evidence after he allegedly waved a gun around his home and threatened to kill everyone in it on January 20.

Packard's step-daughter called the police, who responded. Affidavits said he walked out to the cruiser and denied having a gun.

During interviews with people in the house, one woman said she knew the gun didn't have a clip or magazine in it and that Packard had been drinking so she wasn't too worried. She refused to provide a written statement.

After being read his rights, police questioned him again about the gun and Packard said that a friend had given it to him but he didn't want it in the house so he threw it outside.

Two officers located the magazine in the home and a third officer found the gun in a row of snow-covered bushes. Police said it was laying with the stock sticking out of the snow as if it had been quickly tossed there.

Police confirmed the gun was unloaded and confiscated it. A court issued an order saying he was not allowed to return to the property or go near the occupants of the home.

By being there Wednesday night, Packard allegedly violated the terms of that order.

Judge Jim Carroll ordered Packard to live in Pinardville, a "census designated area" area along the Piscataquog River in Goffstown. Packard is also ordered to seek alcohol counseling.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 02:29

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Republican Joe Kenney says he just wants to help people solve problems

LACONIA — "I want to do the job that Ray Burton made famous," Joe Kenney of Wakefield, the Republican candidate for the Executive Council in District 1, said recently. "No one can fill the shoes of Ray Burton," he continued, "but I have the time, energy and experience to do the job, to carve out my own brand of leadership."

Describing himself as "a Ronald Reagan conservative, more conservative than Ray Burton," Kenney, who has served in the Marine Corps for 34 years and will retire as a colonel, insisted during an interview at The Daily Sun that the election of an executive councilor "should not be about ideological differences." He said that during his 14 years as a legislator — eight in the House and six in the Senate — "I never asked are you a Republican or Democrat? I asked what is your problem and how can we solve it together?"

While a selectman in Wakefield, Kenney said he also served as welfare officer for more than two years, routinely addressing the challenges of those in need. At the same time, he provided support, he asked the recipients where the money came from and reminded them to thank a property taxpayer. He explained that he sought to instill a sense of "civic responsibility" in return for the support the community provided. He said that his concern for senior citizens contributed to the establishment of the Greater Wakefield Resource Center.

Kenney said he especially proud of a granite bench bearing his name at a dental clinic in Tamworth, recalling his efforts to ensure access to oral hygiene and dental care for those of meager and modest means. Likewise, he backed the mid-wives in their campaign to secure third-party reimbursement for home deliveries from insurance carriers, adding that they reduced the cost from $12,000 to $4,000 and "never lost a child."

Turning to mental health, Kenney said "we've lost our way and I don't know what happened," adding that his family has been directly affected by the lack of access to quality services. He said that in the 1980s the state's mental health system was a model for the country, but since then funding has diminished. "The state needs to step up and increase funding for mental health services," he said.

Reflecting on the significance of social services, earlier in the day,  Kenney told the Laconia Rotary Club, "sometimes Republicans need to be more compassionate about these issues."

Kenney said that the most important problem facing the state — and especially District 1, which covers the northernmost 70-percent of it — is "jobs, jobs and jobs. There are not enough quality jobs." As a consequence, he continued, young people are leaving the state and not returning. "We must give young people an opportunity to work," he remarked.

Better marketing of the state's comparative advantages — low taxes, good schools, natural environment and quality of life — Kenney thought, would attract employers. But, he also acknowledged the need for improved infrastructure, particularly roads and bridges. He suggested that communities could use "crowd funding," soliciting investment on-line, to fund local projects while sparing property taxpayers.

Kenney said that but for his experience in the Legislature he would not have run for Executive Council in what he called "a unique election," noting that the winner will serve for nine months before facing re-election. He stressed that he already has relationships with many of the leaders in District 1, who he met as a lawmaker, as well as with officials throughout the departments and agencies of state government.

Since the campaign began, Kenney said he has collected some 20 issues from those he hopes will be his constituents. "I can hit the ground running," he said, "and not need on-the-job training."

A staunch opponent of both Northern Pass electricity transmission project and so-called wind farms along the state's ridgelines, Kenney said Granite Staters need to protect their natural resources because "it's what makes New Hampshire unique". Asked about the relatively high price of electricity in New Hampshire and what could be done instead to bring it down, the candidate first answered, "it is what it is". He then added that another reactor (besides Seabrook) would help and expressed general support for nuclear energy.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 02:14

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