Franklin trio - one with Gilford ties - arrested after foiled attempt to break into state police impound

CONCORD – Three Franklin residents turned themselves in to Franklin Police after a Bow Police officer foiled their attempt to retrieve property from a car that had been towed to a New Hampshire State Police compound after a traffic stop in the I-93 where police found evidence that there may be drugs in the car.

Erik Parker, 44, is charged with criminal solicitation for encouraging others to break into the compound, conspiracy to falsify physical evidence, attempt to falsify physical evidence and conspiracy to hinder apprehension or prosecution.

Alfred Morin, 31, is charged with attempt to falsify physical evidence, conspiracy to falsify physical evidence and conspiracy to hinder apprehension and conspiracy to hinder apprehension or prosecution.

Morin is also wanted on an outstanding felony warrant in Gilford for theft by unauthorized taking or unlawful transfer-theft of a motor vehicle. Gilford Detective Sgt. Chris Jacques said the charges stem from an incident in 2015 when Morin allegedly sold someone a Chevy Camaro that he didn't own.

Melinda Hanks, 51, is charged with one count on conspiracy to falsify physical evidence and conspiracy to hinder apprehension or prosecution.

Police allege Morin was found near the fence with a two-way radio and a full-faced winter hat. Parker was the driver of the car that was towed during the earlier traffic stop and Hick was the driver of the car used to take the trio to Bow.

A state police supervisor said yesterday morning that police had not yet searched the car and were in the process of applying for a search warrant.

Sanders sets high bar in campaign

LACONIA — "It's not about electing s president," Bernie Sanders, who continues to run neck-and-neck with Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, told a crowd of more than 150 voters at the Weirs Community Center Monday. "It's about making a political revolution."

Sanders opened by riffing on the two fundamental themes of his campaign — the "rigged economy" and "political oligarchy." The middle class, he said, "has been disappearing for the past 40 years as despite rising productivity, Americans are working longer hours and earning less money.

"Your grandchildren will have a lower standard of living than your children," he continued, "when one-tenth of the wealthiest one percent own as much the bottom 90 percent."

Offering what he called "a very radical idea" with feigned overstatement, he suggested "creating an economy that works for all of us."

"Why," he asked, "are the Republican candidates talking about everything but what's happening to the middle class?" then answered his question by pointing to "the corrupt campaign finance system." Repeating that a small, affluent elite "already owned the economy," he charged that the United States Supreme Court "gave it the opportunity to buy the government as well." When wealthy individuals like casino owner Sheldon Adelson play host to candidates to pick their favorite, Sanders claimed "that's not democracy. That's oligarchy." He said that relatively few wealthy donors, he described as "right-wing extremists," are spending $900 million to "overturn everything government has done since the 1930s to help the middle class." To loud applause, he called for public financing of elections.

The greatness of a country, Sanders said, is measured by how well it cares for its most vulnerable people. He said that America has the highest rate of childhood poverty and youth unemployment among comparable industrial democracies. Likewise, he said that "we should be be doing a lot better for our senior citizens." by expanding Social Security benefits. By raising the cap on taxable income on the most affluent 1.5 percent, Sanders said that the solvency of the system could be ensured for 50 years and monthly benefits increase by $65. He favors raising the minimum wage, dismissing the freedom of employers as "about me paying you three bucks an hour."

On foreign policy, Sanders chided the Republicans for talking "tough" about intervening in the Middle East, but reminded his listeners "it won't be their kids, it will be your kids who will go to war." Insisting ISIS must be destroyed, he said the United States "cannot and should not do it alone" and called for a coalition of major powers and Muslim states.

Asked how to overcome the deep division in the country, Sanders replied that in site of the passions aroused by issues like abortions rights, gay marriage and gun control, "on major issue after major issue, we are much closer together than people think." He referred specifically to economic inequality, campaign finance infrastructure investment, excessive incarceration and climate change as issues on which polls indicate a majority of Americans agree. "There's a lot of common ground," he said.

Seldom has a candidate grounded a presidential campaign on such a stark critique of the economic and political order. By way of introducing Sanders, Lew Henry of Gilmanton Iron Works remarked, "We may never again get a chance like this to change the rotten political system in this great country of ours."

And by seeking not only to win the presidency but also to spark a revolution, Sanders has set a very high bar.

Laconia Water Works proposes higher rate, about $40 extra per year

LACONIA — The Laconia Water Works seeks to raise its consumption rate by 40 cents, from $1.45 to $1.85, per hundred cubic feet (hcf) and will hold a public hearing on the proposed increase at the Water Treatment Plant at 117 Stark St., beginning at 6 p.m. on Jan. 13.

For a family of four using 25 hcf, or 18,700 gallons, per quarter, the proposed increase would add $40 to the annual water bill. which would rise from $225 to $265, which translates to 73 cents a day or $0.003 per gallon.

Seth Nuttelman, superintendent of the Laconia Water Works, said Tuesday that the increase, the first since the consumption rate was raised 30 cents in January 2012, is necessary because reflects operating and maintenance costs have risen steadily while the volume of water sold has fallen. He said that during the past 15 years the volume of water billed has diminished by an average of 1.5 percent a year with the installation of more efficient appliances. Measures to conserve water by reducing usage, Nuttelman said, have more than offset the addition of new customers.

Meanwhile, Nuttelman said that the department expects to undertake significant improvements to its infrastructure in the near future, including investments of $500,000 at Lakeside Avenue at The Weirs, $200,000 at Holman Street and $250,000 at Old North Main Street.

Nuttelman said the the Board of Water Commissioners propose to raise only the consumption rate, leaving the base rate of $20 per quarter unchanged. He noted that in 2015 the Laconia Water Works charged the fifth lowest rate among the 104 water systems in the state according to the Water Rate Survey by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and with the projected increase would bill the 13th lowest rate.