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Berwick, Maine ice fisherman wins 36th Annual Great Rotary Derby

MEREDITH — Rodney Rondeau, a carpenter from Berwick, Maine, who has been fishing in the Great Meredith Rotary Fishing Derby for 20 years, was the winner of the $15,000 first-place prize in the 36th annual derby with a 4.46 pound rainbow trout that he landed around 12:30 Sunday afternoon on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Rondeau was less-than-specific on the exact spot where he landed his winning fish, venturing only that it was from the Wolfeboro area.

He said that over the years he's placed some of his catches on the leader board for small prizes but that this year's catch was the best he's ever pulled through the ice in the derby.

Second-place prize of $5,000 went to James Lizotte of Dunbarton, who landed a 4.8 pound rainbow trout on Saturday, the largest Rainbow landed over the weekend.

Third prize of $3,000 went to Gerald Miller of Bristol, who landed a 1.88 pound yellow perch on Sunday.

The names of the winners were drawn for the third straight year by Gov. Maggie Hassan, who said that she enjoys the festive atmosphere of the derby and learns new things about ice fishing by visiting with people in the bob houses on Meredith Bay.

Largest fish landed over the weekend was a 13.83 lake trout that Don Savage of Tilton brought in on Saturday.

Derby Chairman Craig Wiggin, who is the Belknap County Sheriff, said that the whole weekend was a major success with entries estimated at over 5,000 and lots of large fish being put on the leader board.

In its 36 years the Derby has raised nearly $1.8 million for the Meredith Rotary Club's civic projects and scholarships.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 February 2015 01:05

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Man who set stolen Volvo on fire to serve 1 1/2 to 6 years in prison

LACONIA — A former Tilton man who was charged by police in Laconia for receiving stolen property (a Volvo C70), resisting arrest and disobeying a police officer pleaded guilty last week in the Belknap County Superior Court.

Corey Cromwell, 26, also pleaded guilty to one court of arson, lodged by Gilford Police, for burning the car he allegedly stole shortly after he encountered Laconia Police and ran from them.

Cromwell was first spotted during the morning of September 28 by Belmont Police who found him behind the wheel of a car that was out of gas. The officer checked Cromwell's drivers license, which was valid, and the car plates came back okay so he let a friend of Cromwell's come to his assistance with some fuel.

When the Belmont officer returned to the station and investigated further, he learned that the license plate belonged to a different car and sent out alerts to keep a look out for Cromwell and the car.

A Laconia Police sergeant saw the car near Sacred Heart Church on Gilford Avenue shortly after hearing the alert and tried to stop Cromwell who fled from the scene at a high rate of speed. Because of the high speeds, the sergeant chose not to pursue him.

A few hours after that, Gilford Fire Chief Steve Carrier was hiking when he saw fire coming from the woods in Gilford and notified his department.

Police and Fire responded and learned it was the same car reported earlier by Belmont and Laconia. Cromwell was no where to be found and the car was destroyed.

On October 13, Tilton Police detained Cromwell when one of his friends was caught shoplifting at Walmart. Although Cromwell had no involvement in the shoplifting, police held him on Laconia's outstanding warrants.

Cromwell was sentenced to serve 1 1/2 to 6 years for the arson charge, 1 1/2 to 6 years for the receiving stolen property — to be served consecutively — and two suspended six month suspended sentences for disobeying an order and resisting arrest.

He was credited with 112 days of pretrial confinement.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 February 2015 01:53

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City's Zoning Task Force alarmed by misinformation about medical pot dispensaries

LACONIA — Members of the city's Zoning Task Force say that there is a lot of misinformation being circulated regarding a proposed ordinance to regulate the location of a medical marijuana dispensary in the city.
''I've seen blogs with a lot of misinformation. It's very misleading. We're not trying to attract marijuana businesses,'' city Planner Shanna Saunders told members of the task force when they met Thursday morning at City Hall.
She said that the city actually has no say on whether a dispensary will be located in the city and that the proposed ordinance needs to be moved quickly before a state approved facilities become grandfathered.
''People should be happy we're doing this. We're not trying to attract a dispensary. We're trying to allow people of the city to decide where it should be located,'' said Planning Board Chairman Warren Hutchins, a member of the task force.
He said that it would be important for Saunders to give a presentation at the start of public hearing by the Planning Board and Zoning Task Force on the proposed ordinance on Wednesday, Feb. 11 at City Hall which begins at 6:30 p.m. in order to dispel misconceptions by pointing out that there is no application for a dispensary coming before the city.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to operate Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) in four geographic zones, one of which consists of Belknap, Strafford and Rockingham counties in accordance with a statute authorizing the use of the drug to treat a specified number of medical conditions. Each ATC would be licensed to dispense and cultivate marijuana, as well as process the plant into edible products. With the support of DHHS, legislation (Senate Bill 22) has been introduced that would enable each licensed dispensary, with the approval of the department, to operate one satellite facility, which could only dispense, not cultivate or process, marijuana.
DHHS has issued 70 pages of rules regulating the ownership and operation of the facilities, but where and when such a facility could operate are questions for the city to address.
Saunders has suggested that rather than propose different regulations for dispensing, cultivating and processing, that the same regulation apply to all three.
She recommended that ATCs be confined to the Industrial Park, Industrial and Airport Industrial districts and prohibited elsewhere. The Industrial Park District refers to the O'Shea Industrial Park on Lexington Drive. There are three Industrial Districts in downtown, two beyond the south end and another near the north end of Union Avenue. The Airport Industrial District lies east of White Oaks Road and borders the Gilford town line. ATCs would be prohibited in residential districts and within 1,000 feet of schools, daycare centers and places of worship. The dispensaries would be allowed to operate between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Eric Borrin of DHHS said that the department received 14 applications to operate ATCs before the period for responding to the request for proposals closed last week. He said that at least one application has been received for each of the four geographic areas, but declined to specify how many applications were submitted for each area. The RFP prescribes that the applications — and the identity of the applicants — will remain confidential until 10 days after the successful applicants have been notified.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 February 2015 01:38

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Marine Patrol unveils detailed plans for new headquarters building at Glendale

GILFORD — Plans for the construction of the new headquarters of the New Hampshire Marine Patrol, which will be built on the site of the existing facility at Glendale, were unveiled this week.

Designed by Samyn-D'Elia Architects of Ashland, the 32,239-square-foot facility will be built on the 0.92-acre lot where the headquarters have stood since 1962 and on a footprint, which in order to meet setback requirements and accommodate existing infrastructure closely matches that of the original structure.
The new building will be adjoined by an abutting 1.4-acre lot, purchased by the state in December, which will provide parking for 80 vehicles.

Captain Tim Dunleavy of Marine Patrol told a small gathering at the current headquarters on Thursday nigh that the building must house the administrative and enforcement functions of the agency as well as a facility to maintain and repair its fleet. At the same time, the building must serve boat owners seeking to register their vessels and attend boater education classes.

The two-story headquarters will face the Glendale parking area. The administrative offices, including an area where boat owners can register their vessels, will occupy will be on the first floor and the enforcement personnel square feet on the second, along with a classroom, with capacity for 60 students. Taken together administration and enforcement will occupy 19,490-square-feet of the building.

The single largest spaces in the building — altogether 12,749-square-feet — are designed for the storage and repair of boats. The existing dock will be reconfigured. There will be a basin added within the building to enable officers to bring persons in custody as well as vessels to be stored or repaired directly into the building. Boats will be stored in the middle of the building and repaired on the east side of the building in space large enough to house a crane to move them about. Dunleavy noted that the building will serve as principal repair facility for the agency's entire fleet.

Along with construction of the building, the stormwater management system at the site will be improved. The site will be ringed by grassed swales and a landscaped buffer to retain stormwater from neighboring properties. Additional drainage and catch basins to capture and cleanse run-off before it reaches the lake.

"We want to be good neighbors," Dunleavy stressed, adding that every effort will be made to minimize the impact of the project on the neighborhood. He assured abutters that once the work is finished the agency would no longer need to store impounded vessels, damaged buoys and other material outdoors, which will enhance the appearance of the site.

The Legislature appropriated $9,379,313 for the project in the 2013-2015 capital budget. In addition, $1,348,000 from the Navigation Safety Fund, accrued from boat registration fees, was applied to the purchase of the abutting lot at 17 Dock Road where Glendale Marine operates.

Harvey Construction Corporation of Bedford will be the general contractor for the project. Gary Brown of the state Bureau of Public Works said he expected work to begin in June or July, after the state takes possession of the abutting property, with the demolition of the existing headquarters and the building next door and be completed within a year.

During construction Marine Patrol will operate from the building on the former Laconia State School campus that last housed the Lakes Region Community Services Council.

The existing building was originally built to store boats in the late 1950s and acquired by the state to house Marine Patrol in 1962. An assessment of the building in 2009 found that '''the building is experiencing settlement in several different directions." The main floor began subsiding after a drain was rerouted in 1990 and the soils settled, undermining the slab. An addition on the north side of the building continues to settle while sheet piles were driven in the 1980s to arrest settlement on the northwest side of the building. Settlement of the footings has caused the wood-framed addition on the second floor to slope toward the lake, hindering use of the office space.
The roofs fall short of snow-load requirements. The building is not accessible to the handicapped and is not sufficiently structurally sound to accommodate an elevator. Three different systems, burning two different fuels, heat the building. All are inefficient and have no control system. The building is without mechanical ventilation. Although meeting current needs, the electrical system cannot support an expansion. The drainage system poses a risk to water quality.

CAPTION: Designed by Samyn-D'Elia Architects of Ashland, the new headquarters of the New Hampshire Marine Patrol is expected to grace the waterfront at Glendale before the close of the 2016 boating season. (Courtesy Samyn-D'Elia Architects)

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 February 2015 01:32

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