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Paul Normandin Remembered for People Skills, Political Savvy (542)

LACONIA — Attorney Paul L. Normandin, who died yesterday at his summer camp on Lake Winnisquam at the age of 83, is remembered by his friends and colleagues as a distinguished attorney with unparalleled people skills who excelled at solving problems and running political campaigns.

"He was very skilled and was in great demand for his advice on how to handle issues in a campaign and nuts-and-bolts things like where to campaign door-to-door,'' recalls state Rep. David Huot, a Laconia Democrat, whose father, J. Oliva Huot, was a Laconia mayor and later a U.S. Congressman.

Huot said that Normandin campaigned for John F. Kennedy in 1960 and was a delegate to the Democratic convention in Los Angeles which nominated Kennedy.

''He was on the City Council around the time my dad was Mayor and a close friend to the family,'' said Huot, who said Normandin was one of the key players in Democratic politics in New Hampshire during the 1960s, an era of great success for Democrats which saw former Laconia mayors leading the way.

Among them were Tom McIntyre, elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962, Huot's father, elected to Congress in 1964, Bernie Boutin, who ran Kennedy's New Hampshire campaign and became head of the General Services Administration in the Kennedy administration, and Hugh Bownes, Democratic National Committee member in 1964 who later became a federal judge.

Laconia City Councilor David Bownes said that some of his fondest memories as a youngster were of the Democratic Party gatherings attended by his father, Normandin, Ollie Huot and Bernie Boutin.

''I have a picture from when I was around 10 years old of my dad, myself and Paul at a baked bean supper at the old Opechee Park Clubhouse. Paul was a charming kind man who was a great friend to me and my family.''

Normandin graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1952 and joined the Normandin, Cheney and O'Neil, law firm, which his father F.E. Normandin, had started in 1914, in 1955 after graduating from Boston University Law School.

He served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire from 1961 to 1965 and also served two terms in the state Legislature.

''He was a mentor to me.'' said Bob Dietz, an attorney with Normandin, Cheney and O'Neil, who described Normandin as ''skilled as an attorney, but also skilled as a human being. You could always count on him to do the right thing.''

Carroll Stafford, former president of Laconia Savings Bank (now the Bank of New Hampshire), said that Normandin ''was a great guy and a very knowledgeable person. He was chairman of the board of directors when I was president and we worked together for 25 years.''
''He was also a good politician, well-liked by everybody and just a great person.'' said Stafford.

Normandin, who retired recently, had an active trial practice for many years and later focused his practice on the areas of probate, estate planning, real estate law, business planning and banking.

He was also president of the Laconia Historical and Museum Society, a member of the Laconia Fire Commission, served as a member of the Gunstock Area Commission for 11 years and was a recipient of the Laconia Chamber of Commerce coveted Jim Irwin Community Recognition Service Award.

His obituary can be found on Page 18.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 12:43

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Police report two cases of synthetic marijuana overdose

LACONIA – Police and ambulance crews have twice been called to assist people who have smoked "spice" -- or synthetic marijuana -- in the past few days.

A supervisor said both calls came on Tuesday night and both involved women. He said one woman reported hallucinations and another was sickened by the substance commonly sold as incense.

He said neither person had any of the substances on them and no arrests were made.

"I know both were sick enough to call for emergency medical assistance," he said.

Police want residents to understand that smoking spice or incense is dangerous to a persons health and is illegal.


Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 01:25

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Boat, trailer stolen from Laconia marina last week

LACONIA – Police are investigating the theft of a white-hulled speed boat and a trailer from Lakeport Landing Marina last week.

Police said the boat was reported stolen to them on Saturday, and video surveillance footage obtained from the marina showed a late-model white Toyota Tundra with a tonneau cover and no front plate towing away the boat and its trailer last Thursday night at 10:59. Two men were in the truck.

Police said there was a black canvas tarp covering the boat and the trailer had no registration plate.

Police described the boat as a black 2007 27-foot Donzi with a white hull equipped with a 425hp engine.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Greater Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 01:09

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Cat path to get speed bumps - seelctmen to hold public hearing on making it one way

GILFORD – Selectmen have voted to add two sets of portable speed bumps to the flatter portions of Cat Path and work on an ordinance to make the short road one-way only.

Once a one-way ordinance is drafted the selectmen will have a public hearing.

Selectmen also decided Wednesday night to put a directional sign along Route 11B in the Henderson Road right-of-way that directs traffic to Gunstock Mountain Resort to travel to the intersection of Routes 11B and 11A so visitors will not take Cat Path as a shortcut.

Cat Path, which was originally a private road that for years led to two homes, runs between Route 11B and Route 11A or Cherry Valley Road. Since the advent of global positioning systems, traffic is often directed to take Cat Path as the way to get to Gunstock, as opposed to going to the intersection of the two highways about a quarter mile down the road.

GPS also tells people leaving Gunstock to make the right-hand turn to return to Route 11B via Cat Path. To accomplish this, traffic must come to a near stop on what is a sharp downhill left-bending curve on Route 11A.

Last year, selectmen posted the road for local traffic only and long-time resident Sue Leach said tractor-trailer traffic has been reduced some, but not completely eliminated.

Leach said automobile traffic, much of which is not from New Hampshire, has not abated. She said speeding is a constant problem, along with people sliding on ice at a particularly steep portion of the road and skidding into her neighbor's mailbox.

Selectmen Chair John O'Brien's preferred solution has been to add a "no-right-turn" sign before Cat Path on Route 11A but the N.H. Department of Transportation will not allow the sign to be in its right-of-way.


Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 01:04

Hits: 198

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