Dog on the run after hoax call is back safe with her owners


LACONIA — Schnitzel, the dog who fled his home during the March 4 "swatting" on Cleveland Place returned home early Monday morning.
Animal Control Officer Michelle King said the missing female German shepherd returned home at 4 a.m. after spending three days on the loose after members of the Belknap Regional Special Operations Group inadvertently let her out of the house.
The group, along with the Laconia Police Department, went into Eric Charbonneau's home with his permission after getting what ended up being a hoax call reporting that a woman was in the home and a man had a gun to her head.
As it turned out, said police, Charbonneau was at work, his girlfriend was out of the state and only Schnitzel was in the single-family home.
Lt. Dave Perkins of the Belknap County Sheriff's Department and commander of the BRSOG, or SWAT, team said they were told the dog was in the home but that she was very friendly.
Perkins said that when they went in, Schnitzel was not aggressive but rather had her tail between her legs indicating fear.
He said the team tried to stop Schnitzel from leaving the home but she wriggled around them. Perkins said she stuck around in the immediate area for about 45 minutes but wouldn't come to any members of the team who had to first make sure nobody was in there, and secondly worry about the dog.
"I guess there were too many of us and we were all dressed kind of funny," said Perkins, referencing the physical demeanor of the team and its entry into the home. He said that if he was the dog or even a human being put in that position, he would be equally terrified.
In an effort to find the dog, the Laconia Police almost immediately posted a picture of Schnitzel on its Facebook page.
According to website Granite State Dog Recovery, Schnitzel was trapped by the someone in November 2015 who reported her capture to the agency. Charbonneau and his girlfriend adopted her after no one came forward to claim her.
King said Charbonneau sent a message of thanks to all the people in the community who reached out to him and his girlfriend through the Internet personally and who helped look for Schnitzel.
Laconia Police continue to investigate the hoax call and ask that if anyone has any information to call 524-5252 or 524-1717.

Gilford FIRST team wins district championship


Gilford's Drive Team with the winning banner - left to right top: Joe Bonnell, Drive team Coach Mike Andrews; Bottom Left to right : Tim Rice, Connor Craigie. (Courtesy Photo)

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A few of our team members that brought the competition ball, signed by every team member and Mentor, to Brad Parker upon their return to town Sunday night after Parker had to leave the competition early Sunday morning due to coming down with the flu and missing the actual win. Parker is the team's production manager) From left are Parker, Connor Craigie, Joe Bonnell and Logan Essaf. (Courtesy Photo)



GILFORD — The Gilford Screaming Eagles, with alliance partners, TJ (Squared) from Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and The Robotics Team from Dublin, N.H., won the Granite State FIRST Robotics competition held over the weekend in Windham.
The team pulled off a real underdog victory by outscoring 31 other exceptional teams according to Jackie Drever, one of the team's mentors.
''It came down to the final seconds on Sunday," said Drever, who said that the team also received the 2016 Granite State Entrepreneurship Award, sponsored Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers for their community outreach and fund raising strategies.
"It was quite a weekend and a real team effort. Each member of our team had their own assignment and deserves equal credit for our success. Everything fell into place for us over the weekend," said Connor Craigie, a junior who worked with a computer-assisted design program to help design the robot, and was strategist and co-driver over the weekend.
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.
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.
"We worked well with the other teams. We attacked with the TJ Squared team and sent Dublin back on defense until we needed their help late in the game to scale the walls," said Craigie.
He said that the Golden Eagles and their partners played 12 rounds in Saturday's qualifying round and won six of their seven matches on Sunday.
In the finals they met an alliance composed of the Cruising Crusaders from Manchester, Air Strike from Newport, Rhode Island, and the Duct Tape Dragons from Portland, Maine.
"We were ahead 98-93, and after the buzzer beeped, the scoreboard read 98-98. But the tally was still going on and we gained five points and when that flashed on the scoreboard our entire team erupted. It was a great win," said Craigie.
The team is preparing for it's next event, the UNH District Competition, March 25-26. The victory over the weekend means that they have already qualified for a spot at the New England FIRST New England District Championship, to be held April 13-16 at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. The world championship will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, from April 27 to 30.
The team is one of 3,000 from around the world with an estimated 78,000 students involved in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology 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.

03-0Gilford High FIRST Robotics Team 1831, The Screaming Eagles, work with technicians to resolve communication issues during District Competition, in Windham. From right to left, Driver Tim Rice, Lead Mentor Mike Andrews, Design Lead Connor Craigie, and FIRST Robotics volunteers. (Courtesy photo)
Gilford High FIRST Robotics Team 1831, The Screaming Eagles, work with technicians to resolve communication issues during District Competition, in Windham. From right to left, Driver Tim Rice, Lead Mentor Mike Andrews, Design Lead Connor Craigie, and FIRST Robotics volunteers. (Courtesy photo)

The Greatest Season Ever- Gilford caps perfect campaign with a Division III championship win over rival Laconia

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The Gilford Golden Eagles girls basketball team exults in their victory over Laconia for the Division II championship Saturday. The team was undefeated, despite a tough fight from the Laconia Sachems. (Harry Kozlowski Photos/for The Laconia Daily Sun)


By HARRY KOZLOWSKI, Special to the Laconia Daily Sun

MANCHESTER – Perfection was achieved on the hardwood court of a packed Southern New Hampshire University field house Saturday. But it didn't come easy for the victors.

The Gilford girls' basketball team withstood a relentless effort from their rivals, the Laconia Sachems, to pull out a 42-38 win and earn their second state title, their first since 2009. The win was also redemption for their loss to Conant of Jaffrey in last year's final.

"It's the first in school history to go completely undefeated. When I tell the kids that later on, they'll realize that there's only one first, and it's them," said Golden Eagles coach Rick Forge.

"When you win 25 games, 18 in the regular season, three holiday tournament games, and four in the playoffs, it's special," said Forge.

It was still anyone's contest until the final minute. The game was tied at 38-38 with 1:13 to play when the Sachem's Helen Tautkus scored her 15th point of the game on a layup.

On the next possession Gilford's Jordan Dean, who missed her first six shot attempts, scored her only points of the game when she nailed a jumper with 57 seconds to play to put the Golden Eagles up 40-38.

On the following possession, Tautkus missed on a jumper. Kaily Nute of Laconia got the rebound, but Gilford's Madison Harris stole the ball back. With time running down, Calyce Swormstedt fouled Stevie Orton with 15 seconds to play. Orton made both key free throws to clinch the victory.

"We gave them everything we've had. That's how it is every time we've played," said Forge about the game, which was the eighth straight Eagles win over the Sachem in the past two years. "Both teams played well. We made one more play than they did."

A crowd of just under 1,200 made the drive down from the Lakes Region to fill the stands. One side was a sea of red while the other was all blue. Both sides made plenty of noise.

"When you have two school that are so close together, you can't ask for anything better. What a rivalry!" said Forge.

The fans were treated to game that featured nine lead changes. Laconia jumped out to an an early 9-2 lead but Gilford stormed back to go ahead 22-17 in the second. It was a tight battle the rest of the way.

Sachems coach Jeff Greeley pointed to foul shooting as a big reason for his team falling short.

"You can't win championships shooting 7-for-17 from the free throw line," said Greeley. Gilford was a little better hitting 6 of 11 from the charity stripe.

The big difference in shooting came on field goals. The Sachems shot just 26 percent and made only 3 three-point shots on 18 attempts. Gilford shot 40 percent from the field and made 4 of 9 from three.

"I'm proud of my girls the way the battled. We've come a long way the last four years, turning around from a 1-17 program to a state finals appearance," said Greeley, who held his infant daughter, Eva, after the game while he spoke with reporters.

Stevie Orton and Brooke Beaudet both led the Golden Eagles with 11 points. Cassidy Bartlett had 7. Orton also led with 9 rebounds.

For Laconia Helen Tautkus scored 15 and picked up 7 rebounds to lead her team, but hit only one free throw in seven tries. Natalie Compton scored 9 and Kailey Nute added 8.

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The Gilford Golden Eagles celebrate their win. (Harry Kozlowski photos/for The Laconia Daily Sun.)
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Gilford’s Stevie Orton drives to the basket against Kaily Nute of Laconia. Her basket put the Golden Eagles uo 18-17 at 4:33 in the second quarter. Gilford completed a perfect 22-0 season with a tight 42-38 win in the NHIAA Division III girls’ basketball final at SNHU Saturday. (Harry Kozlowski photos/for The Laconia Daily Sun.)