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The Boys of Summer: 1964 Laconia Little League State Champs Hold Reunion

GILFORD — Members of the 1964 Laconia Little League All-Stars, the only state Little League championship team ever from the Lake City, held a 50th reunion Saturday at the Pheasant Ridge Country Club.

''It was a magic summer,'' recalled Jeff Noyes of Laconia, who organized the event which brought together nine of the 16 players from the championship team, two of whom came all the way from Utah for the reunion.

Copies of newspaper stories from that year were assembled by Jim Noucas, who played second base on the team and is now an attorney in Portsmouth, and presented in a commemorative booklet form to the players, many of whom had their memories refreshed as they read through the clippings and looked at old pictures.

''It was an unforgettable experience, something we'll always cherish,'' said Noucas, who reminisced in his introduction to the booklet about that idyllic summer and those who played key roles in shaping the championship team.

''Every morning Tony Demers (known as Mr. Little League for his part in building the Laconia Little League'' came down to Opechee Park and set up Iron Mike. We hit as long as we wanted to. Our coaches, Jim Royal and Ray Simoneau, worked every day. And, every evening we returned to Opechee Park for practice after they finished work. In between, we spent the day at the beach. It never felt like work. It was always fun. As a result we developed a camaraderie that was the key to our continued baseball success at Memorial Junior High School (undefeated) and Laconia High School (best record in Class L). We always enjoyed the game and one another.''

Among those who showed of the reunion were Jim Dunlap and Tim Lahey, the aces of the pitching staff, which allowed only two runs in the four tournament games, Noyes, Noucas, Dave Wadsworth, who was the catcher; Geoff Chillingworth, shortstop; Keith Karnan, outfielder; Don Fecteau, outfielder; and Jim O'Neil, another outfielder who is now the presiding judge in Belknap County Superior Court.

Also taking part were Jim Royal Jr., representing his late dad, Jim Sr., who was manager of the team and a Laconia City Councilman, and Bobby Simoneau, representing his dad, Ray, who was the team's coach.

Other members of the team unable to make it to the reunion included Kerry Persons, Gary Cartier, Roger Goupil, Tom Rock and Ted Landroche. Two of the members of the team, Jim Stitt and Bob Lakeman, died of cancer, Stitt in 1998 and Lakeman in 2011. His father Ray Lakeman, who was a Little League coach in 1964 and later served as member of the Laconia City Council, also attended the reunion.

Laconia's march to the title opened with a 13-0 victory over Franklin at Opechee Park on a Friday night in which Dunlap pitched a one-hitter, striking out 11, while Chillingworth homered and doubled, Persons had three hits and Rock and Wadsworth both had a pair of hits.

The following day Lahey pitched a no-hitter, which was preserved by a leaping catch of a line drive by Karnan at third base, as Laconia downed Littleton 8-0 at Opechee Park.

The next Saturday Laconia journeyed to Somersworth where it was the Jummy Dunlap show, as he homered twice, a three-run shot in the first and two-run homer in the third, driving in five of Laconia's six runs in a 6-2 victory over Portsmouth in which he also pitched and recorded 12 strikeouts.

That brought it down to the state final in Manchester as Tim Lahey pitched a six-hit shutout and Laconia beat Manchester Central 2-0.

Laconia's runs came in the second when Chillingworth reached on a fielder's choice and moved to third on singles by Haley and Rock, scoring when Lakeman drew a bases-loaded walk, and in the third, when Dunlap hit a solo homer.

The Laconia Little Leaguers got a rousing welcome when they returned to Laconia Saturday afternoon where they were greeted by the Lakes Regionaires Drum and Bugle Corps and given a police escort through the city to Opechee Park.

They later went on t play in the New England Regionals at Grappone Field in Concord, where they played before 2,200 fans and beat Waterville, Maine, 4-2, behind Dunlap, who stuck out 15, and went on to play Smithfield, R.I., in Atlantic Division finale, losing 6-1.

Lahey said he still remembers the finale against Manchester Central and how the game could have gotten out of hand in the first inning.

''Their first batter got on and the next guy bunted down the third base line. I got to it but fumbled it and then picked it up and threw as hard as I could to first base. Bobby Lakeman caught it down by his foot and we got the batter out. If he had reached we would have been in real trouble because they were a team that could really bunt well. That set the tone for the rest of the game,'' said Lahey, who said that he was pitching out of trouble for most of the game.

Chillingworth and Karnan both came all the way from Utah for the reunion. Karnan, whose father, Roy, was also a Little League coach, was one of three Karnans who would become Laconia High School catchers and is a ski instructor at the world class Deer Valley Ski Area in Heber City, Utah.

Chillingworth, a financial adviser with Merrill Lynch in Salt Lake City, said it was Jeff Noyes, recently retired from a law enforcement career with the Laconia Police Department and the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council, who deserves credit for putting together the reunion.

Chillingworth's wife, Laurie, who is a banker, said it was ''pretty cool'' to see all the people gathered for the reunion.

''I love it when Geoff tells me stories about the 1964 season. He remembers everything and when he talks about it becomes so animated. You can see what a wonderful memory it is for him,'' she says.

Among the mementoes brought to the reunion was a 1964 state championship jacket that Noyes still has, although he's never worn it.

''I had a growth spurt and by the time we got the jackets that winter it was too small for me,'' he explained


Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 12:26

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Senior vice president Ellen Wolff retires from LRGHealthcare

LACONIA — A week after the retirement of Tom Clairmont as president and chief executive officer of LRGHealthcare, a second senior executive, Ellen Wolff, senior vice president of strategic support and development, has retired after 37 years with the corporation.

Wolff's place among the seven members of the senior leadership team, was taken by Marge Kerns, who became vice president of clinical support services in 2013.

Wolff joined Lakes Region General Hospital in 1977, a year before she received diploma in nursing from Cheshire Hospital School of Nursing in Keene. After graduating from the College for Lifelong Learning with a degree in health care management in 2000, Wolff earned her master's degree in health care administration from New England College in Henniker in 2005. Wolff held a number of positions overseeing patient care as well as clinical and surgical services before becoming chief nursing officer and senior vice president of patient care services.

Wolff chaired the board of directors of Hillside Surgical Center, an affiliate of LRGHealthcare, ASC, LLC. She is a member of the Massage School Advisory Board at Lakes Region Community College and a member of the Genesis Behavioral Health/LRGHealthcare Collaborative. In 2013 Genesis honored her with the Helen Holbrok Leadership and Service Award in recognition of her contributions to enhancing services for the mentally ill. Wolff served on the Behavioral Health Committee of the New Hampshire Hospital Association.

Kerns became a staff pharmacist at LRGHealthcare in 1992 and was promoted to director of pharmacy services in 1995. As co-director of Medical Safety she shared responsibility for developing and maintaining safe systems throughout LRGHealthcare. She assumed the additional responsibility of director of Hematology/Oncology in 2012.

Kerns received her Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island and began her career in hospital pharmacy and administration in the Philadelphia area. She has written and spoken about pharmaceutical and safety issues and serves on the New Hampshire Commission on Healthcare Quality.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 01:03

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Sanbornton man charged with shooting son in legs

SANBORNTON — A Steele Hill Road man is being held on $100,000 cash-only bail after allegedly shooting his biological 36-year-old son in the legs as many as six times during an argument in his driveway Sunday night.

Lloyd Steven Barnard, 61, of 228 Steele Hill Road, has been charged with one count of attempted second-degree homicide and one count of first-degree assault.

The victim has been identified as Colter Kuss of Laconia Road in Belmont. Police said he was being treated at Lakes Region General Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Although the case remains under active investigation by the State Police Major Crimes Division, Sanbornton Police Chief Steve Hankard said yesterday that Barnard and Kuss had been in some kind of an argument or fight prior to the shooting.

Hankard said neighbors and the people who own the home all reported gunshots at 9:13 p.m., bringing police from Sanbornton, Belmont, Tilton and the Belknap County Sheriff's Department.

Barnard apparently rents a room from homeowners Daniel and Lisa Lance.

He said police recovered two handguns from the home – a .22 caliber handgun and a .45 caliber handgun. Both had been fired, and police believe Kuss was struck by bullets fired from both guns.

Hankard said it appears the shooting took place in the driveway. However, Barnard retreated inside his home. He surrendered without incident when police arrived.

The chief said it appeared Barnard had been drinking, but declined to say whether he was intoxicated.

During his video appearance in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday, observers noticed Barnard had some kind of head scrapes or abrasions on his forehead.

He was treated by ambulance personnel at the scene before being taken into custody.

Sanbornton Police Prosecutor Kevin McIntosh asked for $100,000 cash bail saying Barnard should be considered a danger to the public and a possible fight risk. He said Barnard has one conviction for simple assault and a parole/probation violation in 2005 – both from Merrimack County.

A Department of Corrections spokesperson said yesterday records show that Barnard was on some kind of supervision, but was released from oversight on May 25, 2005. He said records didn't show that he had ever been incarcerated in the State Prison and said it could have been bail supervision as opposed to probation or parole.

McIntosh said Barnard has no solid ties to New Hampshire and owns no property in the state.

Public Defender Justin Littlefield asked for personal recognizance bail. He said there is a potential self-defense argument and Barnard has injuries to his head and face.

Littlefield said Barnard is very sick, has one non-functioning lung, and a degenerative disc disease. He said Barnard was scheduled for some kind of throat or lung cancer screening today.

He also said Barnard can continue to stay with the Lances on Steele Hill Road and is not a flight risk. He said he has been there for about two years.

Littlefield said Barnard's criminal record is negligible for a man his age and he would be willing to abide by any bail conditions. He said all of Barnard's weapons have been taken from him.

McIntosh rebutted Littlefield by emphasizing that Barnard allegedly shot Kuss multiple times and if he were to be released, there was nothing stopping him from obtaining another firearm.

McIntosh said there was no need to order Barnard to stay away from the Lances, although he agreed that Barnard should be ordered to have no contact whatsoever with Kuss.

Attempts to reach the Lances were unsuccessful. 

Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2014 11:43

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Clerk Still Seeking Volunteers in Ward 5

LACONIA — Less than two weeks after finding herself without a single official to work the voting station in Ward 5 at the primary election on Sept. 9, City Clerk Mary Reynolds said yesterday that some people have offered to serve, but she still hoping for more volunteers.

Reynolds said that a moderator, ward clerk, three selectmen and three ballot clerks is the bare minimum required to conduct an election. She explained that the moderator, ward clerk and three selectmen must be at the polling station throughout the day, from 6:30 a.m. until the votes are counted and ballots sealed around 8 p.m. The ballot clerks, on the other hand, may work shorter shifts, and while at least three are necessary, the more there are, the fewer hours they need to work.

The moderator is responsible for the conduct of the election and oversees the work of the other officials at the polls. The ward clerk supervises the ballot clerks, who check the eligibility of voters coming to the polls, during the day and tabulate the results of the election after the polls closes. The three selectmen set up the polling station the evening before election day and assist whenever and wherever they are needed at the direction of the moderator while the polls are open. The ballot clerks, who must include at least one registered Republican and one registered Democrat, check the name, address and photographic identification of voters as they enter the polling station.

All election officials are compensated and provided with lunch, dinner and refreshment. The moderator and ward clerk are paid $7.50 per hour and all others $7.25 per hour. Reynolds further emphasized that volunteers will be thoroughly trained to fulfill the responsibilities of their positions and follow the procedures of the election. Anyone interested in volunteering for any of the positions in Ward 5 should contact the City Clerk at 527-1265 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 12:32

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