Main Street Bridge wins award

09-05 downtown Main Street intersection

The reconstruction of the Main Street Bridge in downton Laconia  has earned Dubois & King Inc. an Engineering Excellence Award from the American Consulting Engineers Council, which recognizes projects that “epitomize quality, innovation, value and client satisfaction.” Bob Durfee of the Laconia office of Dubois & King, who oversaw the project, accepted the award on behalf of his team. He told the City Council that the project was undertaken and completed in two construction seasons with minimal effects on the flow of traffic as 10,000 vehicles per day passed through city each day. The reconstructed has a projected lifespan of 75 years and the project was completed for $200,000 less than the approximately $3.3 million projected. (Courtesy photo)

 

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Shots fired in Gilford

GILFORD — A Gilford man has been arrested after a report of gunshots fired from a motorcycle in the area of 108 Young Road Monday.

09-27 Ryan Thurston

Ryan E. Thurston, 35, was apprehended by police a short time after the report in Gilford and taken into custody without incident.

Police determined that Thurston was an "involved participant" and had fled on a motorcycle. A second unknown vehicle was also involved in the incident.  The circumstances are being investigated.

Thurston was charged with reckless conduct involving a firearm, a Class B felony, and is being held on $20,000 cash bail. He will be arraigned Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at Belknap County Superior Court.

Gilford police ask that anyone with information call them at 527-4737.

– Ginger Kozlowski

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Gilford arrests up, one more officer needed

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — Citing steep increases in the number of arrests, the Police Department has requested to add a full-time officer to its ranks in the 2017 town budget.

Currently the department has 18 full-time officers. However, Lt. Kris Kelley noted that frequently the department is operating with with 16 or 17, as officers may be ill, injured, in court or undergoing training. In 2014 both the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee unanimously agreed to hire an additional officer, the first added to department since 2003, in response to increased calls for service, felony investigations and arrests.

Since then, Kelley said that calls for service have remained stable at around 21,000, but the nature of calls has changed, leading to a significant rise in the number of arrests. There were 529 arrests in 2014, 629 in 2015 and more than 835 so far this year, representing an increase of 57 percent with another quarter of this year remaining.

By comparison, Belmont, with 18 officers, has reported 325 arrests; Meredith, with 14 officers, has reported 178 arrests; and Alton, with 16 officers, has reported 145 arrests. Gilford has made 46 arrests for each officer while Belmont has made 18, Meredith 13 and Alton 9.

"We are definitely struggling to keep up with the activity," Kelley said. "We are just very, very busy."

Kelley traced a significant share of the increase in arrests to the prevalence of drug use, which spawns associated criminal activity like burglary and theft. At the same time, he suggested that attendance at both the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion and Gunstock Mountain Resort has grown, remarking that "where there are more people, there are more problems."

Kelley said Town Administrator Scott Dunn and the Board of Selectmen have indicated their unwillingness to fund the request, which remains to be referred to the Budget Committee.

"We're trying to create some awareness," he said, adding that residents have come to expect prompt and effective service from their police.

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