Gilford FIRST needs help - Robotics team must raise $7,000 by next week for trip to regional games


GILFORD — After topping the field and reaching the semifinals in two district competitions the Gilford Screaming Eagles, a robotics team, is looking further afield to the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics New England Regional Championship in Hartford, Connecticut, where victory would earn them a place in the World Championship in St. Louis.
To get there, the team is hoping to raise $7,000 by April 13.
The competition sees teams involved in a six-week project in which they build a robot from a kit which is provided for them and requires them to use their math, science, technology and engineering skills to design and program the robot to perform certain tasks which are required as part of the competitions.
This year's game, FIRST Stronghold, is played by two alliances of three teams each. Alliances compete against each other to breach their opponents' defenses, known as outer works, and capture their tower. They score points by crossing elements of their opponents' outer works, scoring boulders in their opponents' tower goals, and surrounding and scaling their opponents' tower.
Brad Parker, who described himself as the foreman of the team, said yesterday that "The L'il Sweeper," the team's robot that dodges barriers and overcomes obstacles on its way to tossing a ball into a goal, is primed to compete. But, he added, designing and building the robot and meeting the registration fees and traveling expenses required to succeed in competition has all but exhausted the team's resources. This year, he said, the team has spent approximately $23,000. He expected the team would need to raise $7,000 to compete in Hartford between April 13 and 16 and another $18,000 by April 24 if it qualifies to compete in St. Louis at the world championship.
The team is one of 3,000 from around the world with an estimated 78,000 students involved in the FIRST Robotics competition, which was launched in 1989 by New Hampshire inventor and technological innovator Dean Kamen, with an eye to inspiring students to explore science and technology as future careers.
Those wishing to help the team can send a check to Gilford High School Robotics Team, 88 Alvah Wilson Road, Gilford, NH 03249, or visit

04-06 Gilford FIRST team

Some of Gilford’s FIRST team players celebrate their regional win. At top are Joe Bonnell and Mike Andrews, the drive team coach; kneeling are drivers Tim Rice and Connor Craigie. (Courtesy Photo)

Altrusa Club’s Taste of the Lakes Region draws more than 300 to fundraiser

04-06 Altrusa Taste 3Apr16238098

Debbie and Norman Johnson enjoy dishes from area restaurants at the 26th annual Altrusa Taste of the Lakes Region at Church Landing on Sunday evening.  (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)



MEREDITH — More than 300 people attended the 26th Annual Taste of the Lakes Region, held on Sunday at Church Landing in Meredith.

"It was great. Everyone that was there, I didn't hear one negative thing," said Nancy LeRoy, a member of Altrusa Club of Laconia. The event, which invites local restaurants and food companies to bring a sampling of their signature creations, serves as the prime fundraiser for Laconia Altrusa.

About 20 restaurants participated in this year's Taste, and while LeRoy wasn't able to sample everything, items that stood out to her included the shepherd's pie served by the Holy Grail of the Lakes, and the bread pudding brought by Hector's Fine Food & Spirits.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the club's service projects. Altrusa of Laconia offers four scholarships for women: one for a recent Laconia High School graduate, and others designed for adult women who are furthering their education ins business, education or health.

The club also promotes literacy through various avenues. Recent projects include providing bookshelves and books for the HealthFirst office in Laconia, and providing baby book packages for new mothers at LRGH.

LeRoy said she was grateful to all who had a hand in the Taste of the Lakes Region.

"We thank the community and the restaurants, if it wasn't for the restaurants and the people who buy the tickets, we wouldn't be able to do what we do."


Gilford man indicted for raping girlfriend; toddler allegedly was in room at the time


LACONIA — A Belknap County grand jury has indicted a Gilford man on two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault or forcible rape.

Carroll R. Thompson, 44, formerly of 2652 Lake Shore Road, stands accused of two counts holding down his former girlfriend while in their home and physically forced her to have sex with him on Jan. 20.

According to affidavits and testimony at Thompson's bail hearing, the woman told police that she and her daughter were preparing to move to a different location when the attack happened. She said she tried twice to call the 911 but the call didn't go through.

She also told police the alleged assault took place while her 3-year-old child was in the room. When police arrived, they took the child to a neighbor's home, who told them they heard noises consistent with what she said happened.

Affidavits said the woman told police that she and Thompson had been methamphetamine users but that she had stopped around Christmas of 2015 while Thompson was allegedly still using the drug.

According to the website at the Belknap County House of Corrections, Thompson is being held on $60,000 cash-only bail.