Fair attendance may have topped 35,000

SANDWICH — Warm and sunny weather brought out another large crowd for the third and final day of the 105th annual Sandwich Fair Monday.
Fair President Dan Peaslee said that the fair drew 11,500 people on Saturday despite cool weather and 14,500 showed up on Sunday, when the weather improved.
''There was even a good turnout Friday night when the midway was open for rides. A lot of high school students came out despite the rain,'' said Peaslee.
He said that there was another good turnout Monday and that he expected that total attendance for the three days would be 35,000 or better.
Among the more popular new events at the fair this year was a pickup truck pulling competition Monday which saw more than 500 spectators watching.
Also new this year was men's keg toss competition which was held in the same field as the popular women's skillet toss. Men were tasked with seeing how far they could toss a 22-pound beer keg.
Also new was a Lego competition held at the Smith Exhibit Hall which featured members of Lego Cubs from the Sandwich and Moultonborough libraries.
The fair attracted livestock exhibitors from all over the state, including Alex Zintel of Weare, a member of the Sugar Hill 4-H Club, who brought her 15-month old Pinzgauer, a breed of Austrian cattle, to the show. Zintel said that she has taken ''Shiloh'' to 11 fairs this year and that she has won numerous ribbons.
Dottie Bell of Waterford, Maine, brought her American Milking Devon oxen Dillon and Eddie to the fair, where they competed in an ox cart competition.
Drawing ''oohs'' and ''ahs'' from the crowd were a team of giant Swiss oxen from Ox-K Farm in Gilford, who have a combined weight of over 5,200 pounds and were led through the ox cart course by owner Ron Salanitro.
James Rines of Ossipee and his wife, Brooke, were among those impressed by the sheer size of the oxen. Rines, who runs White Mountain Survey and Engineering and is the former chairman of the Kingswood Regional School Board, said that he and his wife never miss the Sandwich Fair.
''We've been here some years when it was snowing but this day is really nice, a great day to be at the fair,'' said Brooke Rines.
Nathan Chellis, also of Ossipee, brought his tree-year-old son Jacob to the fair and took him around to all of the animal displays. ''He really likes the animals, like these goats, but his favorite thing here is the slide. It's hard to get him off from it.'' said Chellis.
Greeting visitors the Sandwich Historical Society booth was life-long Sandwich resident Joan Cook, 79, who was also selling copies of the book she wrote about Sandwich Fair in 2011 ''Sandwich Fair through the Years".
Cook who was raised in Center Sandwich at the intersection of Bean Road and Rte. 113, says that she can remember when the fair was spread out over the central part of the town rather than concentrated in the fairgrounds.
She and her husband, Wilbur, 86, and their family were honored during the 100th anniversary fair in 2010 in which they rode in the Center Sandwich Concord coach in the Grand Parade.
She said that she was motivated to write a book about the fair's history with the thought that the memories so dear to her heart would be lost to future generations.
''I kept thinking if someone doesn't wrote this down it could be gone,'' says Cook.

with pix slugged Sandfair

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Joan Cook, lifelong resident of Sandwich, holds a copy of her book abut the history of the Sandwich Fair which was published in 2011. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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A men's keg toss with a 22-pound beer keg was a new event at this year's Sandwich Fair. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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Ron Salanitro of Ox-K Farm in Gilford walks his Swiss oxen Jake and Max back into the Oxen Barn at the Sandwich Fair. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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A stilt walker makes his way past dancers in the Stage Area at Sandwich Fair. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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Dancers do their version of the 1960s Twist at the Stage Area at he Sandwich Fair to the music of Annie and the Orphans. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

City Elementary Schools will send out new Report Cards

LACONIA — Elementary school students will be bringing home new report cards next month which will reflect shared standards across all of the schools and provide parents with more information about their child's progress in mastering each area of learning.
Gail Bourn, the school district's academic coordinator for teaching and learning, told the Laconia School Board Tuesday night that the new report cards are based on Common Core standards and have been developed over the last year by school district committee which included teachers and school administrators.
She explained that it marks the first change in report card standards for city schools since 2003 and brings together all of the information in one system which can be accessed by music, art and phys ed teachers as well as classroom teachers, making it easier to compile information and maintain standards.
Tara Beauchemin, principal of the Elm Street School, said that parents were surveyed to help identify what they wanted to see in new report cards.
Bourn said that the template for the new report cards is almost completed and that meetings will be scheduled with parents of elementary school students the last week of October, just before grades close, to explain the report card changes.
Board member Malcolm Murray wondered how long it will take teachers to do the report cards and Bourn said that it will take no longer than the old report cards.
She also noted that the standards based system used to measure student progress will also make it easier for teachers to identify when students are having problems and some form of intervention is needed.
Christine Gingeralla, director of the Project Extra program, reported on the project's summer program, which she served 444 students in Grades K to 8 in a four-week program.
Beth Vachon, assistant director of the Project Extra program, and Sarah Downing, special education director at Elm Street School, said that the STEM-based summer programs helped students develop a better understanding of science and technology and were very popular with the students.
Interim School Superintendent Phil Mcormack said that having a program like Project Extra is something which sets Laconia apart from other school districts in the state and provides ''a type of intervention that will make a difference'' by providing additional learning time for students.

Fuse box fire spreads through multi-family home on Messer Street

LACONIA — A rapid, efficient response by Laconia firefighters, assisted by crews from Gilford, Belmont, Tilton-Northfield, Meredith ,Sanbornton and Franklin, limited damage to a multi-family residence at 121 Messer Street, next door to Uniformly Yours, from a fire that started in the basement at about 3 p.m. and quickly climbed through the walls to all three upper stories. Firefighters had the scene under control in about 45 minutes.

Deputy Fire Chief Kirk Beattie said that Lieutenant Jay Ellingson and his crew from Central Station arrived to find fire in the basement and smoke on the upper floors. They quelled the fire in the basement, which apparently arose from the electrical panel. Told there were people inside, firefighters entered the building to find fire rising in the space between the exterior and interior walls characteristic of balloon framing. Beattie said there was fire in the walls, floors and ceilings on all three floors. Crews from several departments worked throughout the building, stripping the walls to find the fire and extinguish it. Two firefighters atop the aerial on Ladder One cut the roof, but as the fire below was contained found no need to open it.

Beattie credited the prompt arrival of companies from Laconia, including nine off-duty firefighters completing a paramedic class, Gilford and Belmont with preventing the fire from spreading further.

There are five units in the building, two on the ground floor and first and one on the third floor, with some eight adult residents, none of whom were injured. Most occupants found alternative housing, but the Red Cross and Laconia Police were seeking homes for two adults. Firefighters removed a caged ferret from the building, but a resident said that the whereabouts of a second ferret were unknown.

Beattie estimated the value of the damage to the building at approximately $50,000 and placed an equal value on the contents lost or damaged in the fire. The cause of of the fire remains under investigation.