Woman escapes during jail transport in Laconia

LACONIA — Police are searching for a prisoner who escaped while being transported to the county jail yesterday.

A report from the United States Marshal’s – N.H. Joint Fugitive Task Force said Tamara Ipock, 35, escaped from the back seat of a deputy sheriff’s cruiser while being taken from the Merrimack County jail to the Belknap County jail. The report said she reached through a bar in the window and opened the door of the cruiser from the outside, escaping at the intersection of Court Street and Union Avenue.

Police said she is not considered violent and there is no danger to the public. Ipock was facing charges for possession of narcotics.

She is described as being 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing 120 pounds. She has blue eyes and brown hair.  Ipock has several identifiable tattoos, including; on her right ankle – four leaf clover; left ankle – flower and moon; right upper arm – butterfly; and neck – zodiac symbol.

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Tamara Ipock, contact Special Deputy U.S. Marshal, Stephen Colcord. Colcord can be reached at 603-225-1632; or anonymously by clicking on this link: https://app.citizenobserver.com/tips/new?alert_group_id=274, or anonymously text the word NHTIP followed by any information to the phone number TIP411. If this is an urgent call, dial your local police or 911.

06 23 Tamara Ipock

Tamara Ipock


  • Written by Tom Caldwell
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Icon in decline

Opechee Indian carving Karen Bobotas

The 32-year-old sculpture at Opechee Park is named Keewakwa Abenaki Keenabeh, which translates to “Giant Indian – The Defiant One.” The log from which New Hampshire’s Whispering Giant is carved from is a native 36-foot red oak tree weighing approximately 24,000 pounds.  (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Rot, insects threaten 32-year-old sculpture at Opechee Park


LACONIA — At Opechee Park on Wednesday, there was a clear backward lean to the 36-foot red oak sculpture of the face and headdress of a Native American man.

Rot and insects have damaged the 32-year-old work of art, called Keewakwa Abenaki Keenabeh, which translates to “Giant Indian – The Defiant One.”

A couple of exterior sections have fallen into disrepair, but the main problem is inside, where deterioration is causing the 12-ton piece of New Hampshire wood to lean back on interior supports. The city has put a fence behind the statue as a precaution to keep people away.

Kevin Dunleavy, Laconia's director of Recreation and Facilities, said contributions are being sought to make repairs. If nothing is done, it could eventually fall or have to be removed.

“The city of Laconia is seeking assistance from the greater Laconia and state of New Hampshire community,” he said.

“The sculpture has been plagued by interior decay through the years and repairs are necessary to keep this iconic tribute standing for many more years.”

Peter Wolf Toth, the artist who created the sculpture, has volunteered to supervise repairs, which would include hollowing out the back of the statue, installing more interior supports and replacing rotten material with wood-colored fiberglass.

He has done similar statues in every state as part of his “Whispering Giants” series, and has had to make such repairs elsewhere.

Toth fled his native Hungary as a child. He has said he views his art work as a gift to America in return for the gift of freedom he received from this country. A sculpture he created in Hawaii in 1988 allowed him to complete his goal of placing one in each of the 50 states.

Dunleavy said repair costs and related expenses are projected at $7,000. The city is also seeking donations in the form of fiberglass work, scaffolding, boom lifts and other miscellaneous supplies.

Dunleavy can be reached at 603-524-5046 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To help out, contributions can be made out to the City of Laconia and either dropped off at the Laconia Community Center or mailed to Laconia Parks and Recreation, Native American Sculpture Fundraiser, 306 Union Avenue, Laconia, NH 03246.

Opechee Indian carving 2 Karen Bobotas

The statue at Opechee Park is clearly leaning back too far, so the city has put a fence around it to keep people away until it can be repaired. (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

  • Written by Rick Green
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DPW plans repairs for Union Ave., Court St.

 06 22 rough road

A pickup nears a section of deteriorated road on Union Avenue near Elm Street on Wednesday. A $5 million program has been proposed to make major repairs on Court Street and Union Avenue, two of Laconia’s busiest roads. (Photo by Rick Green, Laconia Daily Sun)


LACONIA — A total of $5 million in road work would be done on Union Avenue and Court Street under a proposal by the city’s Public Works Department.
Bond financing would pay for the construction.
Public Works Director Wes Anderson said Wednesday that, if approved by the City Council, design work for the Court Street project would be done this year, with construction next year.
Ultimately, Court Street would be improved from its intersection with Main Street to the Belmont town line.
Design work on Union Avenue from its intersection with Main Street to Gilford Avenue and from its intersection with Elm Street to Stark Street would be done next year, with construction starting in 2019.
Anderson said these arterial roads are among the busiest in the city, and truck traffic adds to the stress. They are in need of reconstruction and extensive drainage work. The roads have very rough surfaces and are prone to collecting standing water.
Once the work is completed, motorists should notice a smoother ride, and there will be less wear and tear on vehicles.
“Portions of these roads are broken up, pot-holed and settled,” Anderson said. “We get complaints from both residents and the council. Our main arterials take some of the hardest beatings.”
The city has an annual road repair program of $1.5 million a year. That program would continue while bond funds pay to improve Union Avenue and Court Street.
However, interest on the bonds would ultimately reduce money available for the annual program unless other sources of funding are identified.
City Councilor Henry Lipman said such other sources could include state infrastructure funds or one-time money from city property sales.
Another possibility that could be studied for certain areas would be tax increment financing. This is a mechanism that allows municipalities to fund infrastructure improvements in a given district by borrowing money and paying off the debt with increased property tax revenue fostered by those improvements.
“Good quality roads are part of something every taxpayer uses,” Lipman said. “Good roads are important for facilitating commerce and creating an attractive place to make an investment.”
He said that in recent years, there has been an enhanced effort to improve roads that had deteriorated. This effort will accelerate if the city’s annual $1.5 million roads program is enhanced by $2.5 million in bond funds each of the next two fiscal years.
“We would be spending at least $4 million on road improvements each of the next two years as we try to get caught up on roads,” he said.


  • Written by Rick Green
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