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K-9 'Vito" now officially part of Belmont Police force

BELMONT — Police K-9 Officer "Vito" was officially "pinned" yesterday in a ceremony attended by many members of the Police Department and about 25 community members.

Many of the people attending were from Great Brook Village — a senior retirement community off Route 140 that presented the police department with a check for $1,500 for maintaining a police dog program.

"Vito" and his handler, K-9 Officer Evan Boulanger, first met last year at Castle K9 in Pennsylvania, after the department agreed to start a K-9 program. He said he and Vito clicked and have been a team since.

Boulanger started the program, pitched to voters at a public hearing, and got great financial and emotional support from the community.

After a training program for drug detection and apprehension techniques, where they finished top in their class, Vito began working with the department.

To date, he and Boulanger have helped find a suicidal woman, assisted the Tilton Police with a shoplifting case at Walmart, and assisted in a drug bust in Belmont.

Police Chief Mark Lewandoski said as part of his training, other officers would hide small amounts of drugs in the Corner Meeting house and Vito was able to detect all of them each time.

As part of yesterday's ceremony, Vito was sworn in by Town Clerk Cynthia DeRoy and given his badge by Boulanger.


CUTLINE: (Vito) K9 Patrol Officer Evan Boulanger and Vito share a knowing glance at Vito's official swearing in ceremony at the Corner Meeting House yesterday. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 01:06

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Alton Police charge Gilmanton man with burglarizing unoccupied home

ALTON — A Gilmanton man was ordered held on $1,500 cash-only bail in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday after his arrest for allegedly burglarizing an unoccupied home in the early morning hours of December 30, 2014.

Brandon Prue, 32, of 6 Old Town Road is charged with one count of burglary, two counts of criminal trespass and one count of theft.

Police affidavits filed with the court said at 4:22 a.m. dispatch at the Belknap County Sheriff's Department sent Alton Police to 1349 Mt. Major Highway for a possible burglary in progress.

The officer saw flashlights moving around in the home and an open front door. Brue and a female came out of the house and told the officer they were there at the request of the owner, who wanted the home boarded up.

When the officer asked why it was so important to secure the house at 4:22 a.m. the woman disregarded his question and said they were checking to see if anyone was inside.

In a separate incident on January 1, dispatch advised police that a man had reported a burglary in progress at the same house. Two officers headed for the house but were advised a vehicle had left the property and was headed east on Mt. Major Highway. Dispatch said it was a 2002 Toyota Tacoma and gave police the plate number.

Police checked the highway and some side roads but were unable to find the truck. The male caller said he followed the truck that he said began making "S" turns on the highway and traveling at speeds of nearly 80 miles per hour.

The caller said a male got out of the passenger side and started to approach his car. After an encounter with the caller, he reported to police that there was something big and red in the rear of the pickup and the truck was loaded with stuff.

Police contacted the owner of the house who said he didn't give permission to anyone to be in the home. After police told him what the caller saw in the back of the truck, the home owners told them that it was probable his tool box that had been in the front yard.

On January 26, police interviewed a second man who said that Prue had asked him for a ride to his own place so he could show him the toolbox that he claimed was his.

Prue was arrested at the Belknap County House of Corrections where he has been since an earlier arrest for a probation violation.

Judge Jim Carroll ordered Prue held on $1,000 cash for the burglary, $500 in cash for the three misdemeanors. Prue was also held on $1,000 cash for the probation violation.

Police said yesterday that the investigation is continuing and additional charges could be forthcoming.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 01:01

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Belmont still looking for candidates for March vote

BELMONT — Incumbent Selectman Ruth Mooney is running for a second term. To date she is unopposed.

As of yesterday afternoon, incumbent Dave Dunham is seeking election to the Planning Board and John Froumy is seeking re-election to the board.

There are four openings on the Budget Committee and so far only Mark Roberts has signed up for re-election. Other incumbent are Vice Chair Ward Peterson, Tina Fleming, and Tonyel Mitchell-Berry who said last month that she likely would not seek a fourth term because of professional commitments.

Sharon Dunham is seeking a term as Library Trustee.

The town is still looking for candidates for the cemetery trustee, and for two people for the Zoning Board of Adjustments. The filing period for March town elections closes on Friday afternoon.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 January 2015 03:01

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Josh Bartlett making bid for Selectboard in Moultonborough

MOULTONBOROUGH — With the decision of chairman Jon Tolman and vice-chairman Joel Mudgett not to seek re-election, voters will fill two open seats on the Board of Selectmen in March.

Josh Bartlett, who currently serves as chairman of the Planning Board, was the first candidate to file for election. A resident of the town since 1978, he has been a trustee of the library and is a member of the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) Committee and the Village Vision Committee. Bartlett chairs the trustees of the Moultonborough United Methodist Church and has also chaired its Building Committee through two major projects.

In announcing his candidacy, Bartlett said that his "two guiding principles will be transparency in your government and assuring that the rules are the same for everyone."

In 2013, Bartlett, together with his colleague Judy Ryerson, overcame an effort initiated by Town Administrator Carter Terenzini to remove them from the Planning Board when, after a dramatic public hearing, the Board of Selectmen unanimously rejected a motion to dismiss Bartlett and to abandon proceedings against Ryerson. The charges arose when the two changed their votes, enabling the Planning Board to approve after-the-fact construction of an observation tower on Red Hill, which was built without the requisite permits. To approve the project, the board was required to find that it satisfied 11 criteria.  Two of the 11 criteria failed when the board split evenly — three-to-three — with Bartlett abstaining and Ryerson voting no. However, neither believed it was the best interest of the town to require the structure be dismantled. Ryerson changed her "no" to "yes," breaking the stalemate,  and Bartlett offered a motion to grant the CUP, which carried five-to-two.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 January 2015 02:58

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