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Union Ave. construction info meeting today

LACONIA — The stretch of Union Avenue between Gilford Avenue and Messer Street is scheduled to be reconstructed this spring and summer. The project will include the replacement of water mains, gas lines, storm drains and sewer pipes.

Work will proceed in two phases bracketed around Motorcycle Week.. The first phase from Messer Street to Walker Street is expected to be completed between April and Memorial Day and the second phase from Walker Street to Gilford Avenue between July and October.

A public meeting for residents and businesses in the vicinity of the scheduled road works will be held today, Wednesday, March 26 at the Community Center beginning at 4:30 p.m. where the scope of the project and the measures to ease its impact will be explained.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 01:39

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Pair of Gale Ave. residents arrested on drug charges

LACONIA — After what police describe as an investigation lasting eight months, a man and woman were arrested on drug charges around 2 p.m. yesterday at a home on Gale Avenue.

Roger R. Perkins, 31, of 209 Edgewood Road, Methuen, Massachusetts and 23 Gale Avenue, Laconia was charged with two counts of possession of a narcotic drug with intent to distribute. He refused bail and will be arraigned in the Fourth Circuit Court—Laconia Divisionb this morning.

Windyann M. Plunkett, 30, also of 23 Gale Avenue was charged with one count of possession of a controlled drug. She was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail and will be arraigned in Fourth Circuit Court—Laconia Division on May 8.

Police said that the investigation remains ongoing and ask anyone with information that could assist officers with their inquiries to contact the Laconia Police Department at 524-5252 or call the Greater Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 01:37

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Zoning Task Force fine tunning regulation of electronic signs

LACONIA — After meeting on Monday, the Zoning Task Force will recommend an amendment to the zoning ordinance regulating electronic signage to the Planning Board when it meets next week.

The task force proposes distinguishing between two types of "electronic message center" (EMC) — "static" and "dynamic." Static electronic signs are those on which neither the copy nor pictures change during the message while their dynamic counterparts appear to move or change as they present a stream of images or words that fly in, fade out, rotate and scroll across the face of the sign.

Neither type of electronic sign would be permitted in the six residential districts. Where they are permitted the dimensions and heights of signs must conform to those of freestanding signs in the specific district.

The task force recommends that so-called EMC-dynamic display signs be confined to the commercial resort district, which includes The Weirs, and permitted there only by special exception. Joe Driscoll, an attorney and member of the task force whose family owns and operates an inn and cottages at The Weirs, said as that these signs have increased in number in the absence of regulation during the past decade residents and businesses have asked for tighter regulation.

"They don't want Las Vegas in Laconia," remarked Larry Guild, who serves on both the task force and the Planning Board.

EMC-static display signs would be excluded from the downtown riverfront district but permitted in the commercial resort district and permitted by special exception in the professional, business central, business central/industrial. commercial, industrial park, industrial and airport industrial districts.

After some discussion the task force agreed to recommend that the display, whether images or words, on EMC-static display signs not change more frequently than every five minutes. Planning Director Shanna Saunders stressed that rapidly changing messages and imagery distracted motorists.

Warren Hutchins, who chairs the Planning Board, said that the challenge in drafting the ordinance is to strike an appropriate balance between protecting the safety of the public and promoting the growth of business.

Noting that the city of Concord prohibits both types of electronic signage, Suzanne Perley, who chairs the task force and serves on the Zoning Board of Adjustment, said "I think we should allow them, but also protect the city." She added that no other municipality has such a detailed sign ordinance.

Saunders said that the Planning Board, after considering the recommendations of the task force next week, will schedule a public hearing on the proposed ordinance in May. Once the Planning Board approves the wording of the ordinance it will present its recommendation to the City Council for adoption.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 01:33

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Alleged armed robber held on $100k bail

LACONIA — The man who allegedly robbed an acquaintance at gunpoint Sunday afternoon was ordered held on $100,000 cash-only bail after appearing in circuit court yesterday afternoon.

Joshua A. McNeil, 31, whose most recent address is given as 239 Winter St. in Brockton, Mass., turned himself into police Monday night.

Police affidavits filed with the court said McNeil told them that he used a BB gun and that he admitted to the arresting officer that he was a heroin addict who had considered getting the police to kill him.

Police said McNeil had gotten a ride from two people he knew slightly but had allegedly pulled a gun near Vista Foods on South Main Street and ordered the passenger out of the car. He told the driver to turn onto Joliet Street where he tried to rob him.

The driver told police in his report that when McNeil realized he didn't have any money, he hit him in the head with the gun.

Both the driver and his passenger were able to pick McNeil out of a line up.

McNeil was represented by Public Defender John Bresaw who reserved the right to argue bail at a future date.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 01:28

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