The Apple Project - Program finds Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple, the Spitzenburg, growing in NH (546+2pics).


SANDWICH — More than 40 people showed up at Range View Farm here last Saturday and brought with them over 150 different types of apples as part of the Sandwich Apple Project, which has a goal of finding and preserving lost heirloom apples.
Martha Carlson, who along with her husband, Rudy, hosted the gathering, said that Ben Watson of Francestown, author of Cider, Hard and Sweet, helped people identify the apples by shape, color, taste, texture and even fragrance. Watson also brought along samples of 10 different heirloom varieties.
One heirloom apple which was brought to Saturday's event by Eleanor Jenkins of Eaton was tentatively identified as Spitzenburg, which was Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple. An aromatic apple with a sweet, spicy taste, the Spitzenburg was the ancestor of the Jonathan, which is the ancestor of today's popular Idared variety.
Carlson said that another one of the apples which was brought in and sampled was identified by Watson as most likely being a Smokehouse, a variety first identified in Pennsylvania in 1837. The local Smokehouse apple came from a twisted old tree on Image Hill, a historic dance hall in the Lower Corners. The tree, which is giving away to heart rot, still produces crisp red and tasty apples each fall, which Carlson says make great pies.
The tree was first brought to the attention of the town by Maggie Constantine and is one of nine old, unidentified apple trees whose twigs were grafted onto rootstock trees earlier this year after Constantine invited the Sandwich Agricultural Commission to take cuttings from the Image Hill tree.
The grafting session was the first step in the Agricultural Commission 's Sandwich Apple Project, which seeks to identify and preserve heirloom varieties which at one time flourished on farms throughout the town.
Carlson said she and her husband were assisted by in organizing Saturday's event by John Pries, a former information technology professional and entrepreneur, who last year left behind his corporate life in Boston and moved into a hill-side home on a dirt road in town and discovered an ancient orchard full of several varieties of apples unlike anything seen in the supermarket.
"Some of them are spectacular," Pries said. He was inspired to learn more about them and joined the town's agricultural commission, where he and Carlson created the Sandwich Apple Project.
Carlson said another variety which was identified was a Snow Drift crabapple, a small yellow apple with a red blush. She said that crabapples were frequently planted in orchards featuring other varieties in order to attract bees and other pollinators.
She said another heirloom apple, a very large red sauce apple that grows in veterinarian Julie Dolan's North Sandwich orchard, is also one of great interest.
Apples that were brought to the workshop were passed around for sampling, and many were pressed into cider. Late in the coming winter, scions will be cut from the trees that produced the preferred apples, and in April they'll be grafted onto root stock.


Jean Robichaud and Rudy Carlson make cider at Range View Farm in Sandwich. (Courtesy/Martha Carlson)


Ben Watson examines an apple found by Anne Hackl which she brought to the Sandwich Agricultural Committee's Apple Project Saturday at Range View Farm in Sandwich. (Courtesy/Martha Carlson)

Paroled or not? - Data entry error could throw out charge for man caught with gun


LACONIA — A computer entry error on the part of the New Hampshire Department of Corrections may be the reason the evidence in two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm will never be heard by a jury.

Steven Moy, 29, of or formerly of 398 Elm St. in Laconia, claims the discovery of two guns found by his parole officer should not be used against him because he has since learned his parole had already ended when they were found.

According to pleadings in the Belknap County Superior Court, Moy, who thought he was on parole, admitted to his parole office in April 2016 that he had used methamphetamine. His punishment was to go to jail for seven days but local corrections authorities arranged for him to go to a recovery home for those days.

Moy was told by his parole officer to report to him by 3 p.m. on the date of his scheduled entry into recovery but Moy never showed. When the parole officer went to Moy's home, he found Moy and decided to detain him again in the local jail. When the parole officer examined Moy's phone, he found a picture of a handgun in it.

The next day, April 22, Moy was questioned by his parole officer about the gun and eventually told him where it could be found. The parole officer returned to Moy's home and found a gun where he had said it would be, but realized immediately it was not the same gun as the one pictured in the cell phone.

The parole officer went to see Moy again and learned the location of another gun, which was the one in the picture, and recovered it from Moy's residence.

In all three cases, the parole officer was accompanied by a deputy sheriff for safety reasons.

Moy argues that because of the incorrect entry regarding his sentences for previous crimes, he and his lawyer learned his parole should have ended in early 2016 and not in 2017.

Both Moy and his parole officer were unaware of this until after the discovery of the guns.

Moy's legal argument is that the search of his cell phone without a warrant was unlawful and that he was never read his Miranda or Fifth Amendment rights by the parole officer or the accompanying sheriff's deputies. He said that because he was not on parole, the parole officer had no authority over him and that any police search would have had to include the above warnings and included probable cause to get a search warrant to protect his rights against unlawful search and seizure.

Moy was indicted for two counts of being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon one of which was reported stolen. The indictments indicate Moy knew or should have known it was stolen and he is also facing one count of receiving stolen property.

The state argues that the weapons should be allowed to be presented to a jury because the mistake in the sentence entry and the subsequent confusion over parole could not and was not know by the parole officer who acted in good faith.

The state went on to give multiple examples of cases where the "good faith exception" was applied to the discovery of evidence that was still allowed to be presented at trial.

The court has yet to issue a ruling.

Police look for fugitive man for 10 years, find him now a woman


LACONIA — A person who had been running from local police for 10 years is being held on $3,500 cash-only bail after returning to the state on Tuesday.


Kelly Olson, 30, formerly of Orange Court in Laconia, was arrested on Jan. 17, 2006, for two counts of attempted robbery.

In 2011, Olson's case was turned over to the New Hampshire Joint Fugitive Task Force that sought the public's help in finding her. At the time, the sheriff's department had some information that Olson, who presented herself as a man at that time, was working in the adult movie industry in New York.

Perkins said that for most of the time the task force and the sheriff's department were looking for her, that they thought was looking for a man whose most recent photograph was of blond male with a haircut resembling a longish crewcut.

Through affidavits obtained from both the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division and the Belknap County Superior Court, police allege that Olson tried to steal a carton of cigarettes from a woman who was at 103 Blueberry Lane. Olson allegedly threatened the victim with what the victim thought was a gun.

Olson was released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail and was later indicted by a Belknap County grand jury for the crimes but never showed up for any scheduled court dates.

Belknap County Chief Deputy David Perkins said Wednesday that he was notified by police in Manhattan earlier this week that Olson was in their custody.

Sheriff's deputies drove to Manhattan on Tuesday to bring Olson back to Laconia, said Perkins.

Perkins said he has no idea what Olson was doing in Manhattan or how she came to be in the custody of the New York Police Department.