City police arrest two men wanted for unarmed robbery

LACONIA — Both men who allegedly robbed a man in his Batchelder Street home Tuesday night have been apprehended by Laconia Police.

Laconia Police affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division said Joshua Pike, 29, who told the court today that his address would be 231 Old Lake Shore Road in Gilford, punched his male victim in the face numerous times and stole about $700 to $800 and a pocket knife from him in the process.

Pike is charged with one count of unarmed robbery. He also faces a felony charge for possession of methamphetamine from Meredith where police arrested him on Jan. 26. He is being held on $10,000 cash-only bail.

In making his cash bail argument, Laconia Prosecutor Jim Sawyer said Pike has a lengthy criminal record that includes burglary and robbery convictions, assault convictions and two convictions for bringing contraband in to jails and prisons.

Laconia Police said they arrested Farris, 24, no address given, was arrested in the late morning on Thursday at the Laconia Public Library. He is charged with one count of unarmed robbery and is scheduled to appear in court Friday morning.

Affidavits said the victim was able to identify Pike and Damon Farris, 24 and police made contact with Pike and his girlfriend shortly thereafter. Pike has $160 on him and his girlfriend had the black pocket knife telling police Pike gave it to her. Police said Pike seemed shocked that she had the knife.

A second officer made contact with Farris that evening at the Dunkin Donuts of South Main Street. As employee told the officer that just before he walked in the shop, Farris said he needed to use the bathroom.

The officer found $202 in the rest room trash can.

– Gail Ober

Laconia Police seek help in solving Batchelder St. robbery

LACONIA – Police are seeking the public's help in solving a robbery on Batchelder Street just after 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Officials said that a man at 72 Batchelder St. was robbed by two men while in his home. Police said the two robbers took cash from the victim and fled on foot.

Anyone who knows anything about this or who was in the area Tuesday night is encouraged to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Greater Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.

Jail work soon - County looks to break ground on corrections center in late May


LACONIA — Belknap County Commission Chairman David DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) said he expects that ground will be broken in late May for a community corrections center.
Commissioners on Wednesday approved a contract with Bauen Construction of Meredith as construction manager for the project, which calls for construction of an 18,000-square-foot, 64-bed community corrections facility as well as repairs and renovations to the existing county jail.
DeVoy said that agreement calls for a guaranteed not-to-exceed maximum price but that number won't be determined for about six weeks.
"We need the final blueprints for the project from the architect before that can be finalized," said DeVoy, who said that recent discussions with Bauen have indicated that number will be $7.3 million and possibly $7.2 million.
The architectural plans are being developed by Sheer, McCrystal, Palson Architecture Inc. of Concord.
DeVoy said that all phases of the construction are being put out for bid, from site work to building construction and electrical-mechanical, and that bids will be sought in April with contracts awarded in May and construction getting underway the last week of May. Plans call for the project, including renovations, to be completed in September of 2017.
'We're looking to have the building raised and buttoned up with a with a roof on it by the end of the year so interior work can continue during, the Belknap County Delegation unanimously approved an $8 million bond for building the community corrections center and renovation of parts of the current county jail, which will have 60 beds.
The community corrections center will feature a rigorous regimen of substance abuse, mental health and educational programs and services, which Corrections Superintendent Keith Gray said the county currently lacks.
DeVoy said the commissioners have looked at using the $700,000 or $800,000 left in the bond issue to repair the roof of the Belknap County Nursing Home and adjacent Belknap County complex, which has been estimated to cost $550,000 for a metal roof and $750,000 for a shingled roof
Using the bond funds would require that the Belknap County Delegation repurpose the bond issue to include the roof project. DeVoy said that since the commission won't know for certain how much of that money will be available until later this year, he tried to convince the delegation to use $605,000 from the county's fund balance for the roof project rather than using it to reduce taxes.
The delegation declined to go along with that proposal when it finalized the county budget Tuesday night, which DeVoy said will likely raise the cost of the roof project. He was hoping for savings from having the contractor who does the roof project for the corrections center also taking on the nursing home roof project at the same time and not having to mobilize on the site twice.