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Town grants Weirs Road restaurant a live entertainment permit but acts must be limited to 2 people to avoid 'nightclub' designation

GILFORD — Selectmen on Wednesday gave Junior's Crush House restaurant and bar full approval to provide live entertainment, with the caveat that the size of the band be limited to two musicians.

After a discussion with owner Bart Congialose, selectmen also approved a conditional outdoor live entertainment license with the same restriction of no more than two musicians.

"It wouldn't be large scale," Congialose said. "It's to give customers more of a reason to come to my business."

Junior's Crush House is a restaurant and lounge that opened this summer and features drinks made with crushed ice and American-style cuisine. It is on 40 Weirs Road (Rte. 11-B) and was opened in a building that had been unused for more than a decade.

As part of their conditions, selectmen restricted the size of the band to two members instead of the three-member band Congialose had requested.

When he asked why, Fire Chief Steve Carrier said because the law, enacted in the wake of The Station nightclub fire in Providence, Rhode Island in 2003, requires any restaurant or nightclub that seats 100 or more people to have a sprinkler system. One of the things that define nightclubs, said Carrier, is the size of the band.

Congialose also wanted an outside entertainment license and selectmen initially balked, telling him that the most-often made complaints from residents regarding nearly every other live entertainment venue in Gilford was noise.

After Congialose told selectmen the patio area was surrounded on three sides by at least a six-foot wooden fence and is located behind his building, which would block much of the noise from reaching the street.

He also told them his building permit includes outside food service.

Chair Kevin Hayes asked Congialose what time frame he was considering for outside entertainment, to which he replied he would like Thursdays through Sundays. Congialose added that outside entertainment "wouldn't be a big deal" and that he just wants to give people an additional reason to come to his restaurant.

When asked, Congialose said he hadn't even considered a disk jockey because he didn't want to attract a lot of kids who would want to dance.

Hayes suggested giving him a conditional outdoor permit until the end of October and allowing him to have outside music on Fridays and Saturdays only until 11 p.m.

"Whatever happens in the next few months will determine what happens in the future," Hayes said.

"This is huge," said Selectman Gus Benavides.

"You can make this work but be thoughtful, thoughtful thoughtful thoughtful," he added.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 01:51

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PSU confirms coed who died at Boston nightclub was sophomore from Derry

BOSTON — Boston homicide detectives are investigating the death of Brittany Flannigan, 19, a sophomore at Plymouth State University who died from an apparent drug overdose after a concert at the House of Blues early Wednesday morning.

Police dispatched to the club on Lansdowne Street at 12:45 a.m. found Flannigan, along with a man, 20, and woman, 24, who have yet to be identified suffering from apparent drug overdoses. All three were taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where Flannigan was soon pronounced dead. Both the man and woman were listed in stable condition yesterday. According to police the three were not known to one another.

Although police withheld the names of the victims, Bruce Lyndes, a spokesman for Plymouth State University, said that Flannigan's family confirmed her passing. In a formal statement, the university extended "condolences to the family and friends and friends of Brittany Flannigan. Brittany," the statement continued, "was a familiar figure on campus and her presence will be missed by all who knew her and loved her."

A native of Derry, Flannigan graduated with honors in 2012 from Pinkerton Academy where she belonged to the JLU (Just Like Us) Club, whose members worked with people with disabilities. In a prepared statement, Mary Anderson, the headmaster described her as a "popular, academically solid student" whose untimely "death is tragic and heartbreaking."

Initially police referred to "an unknown substance," but subsequently Robert Merner, commander of the drug control unit, told the Boston Globe that the three had likely taken "Molly," also known as "Mandy," the street name for MDMA, the powdered or crystalline form of "ecstasy". A spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney said that confirmation is awaiting the results of toxicology tests expected in two weeks.

Ecstasy, in vogue during the heyday of "raves" in the 1980s and 1990s and recently rebranded as "Molly," is associated with the electronic dance music performed at the House of Blues on Tuesday night.

Taken to excess , the effects may include convulsions, strokes, respiratory distress and cardiac dysfunction. Last month, during the Paradiso Dance Music Festival in Quincy, Washington the emergency department of the local hospital treated more than 40 concertgoers, many suffering and one who died from the effects of what physicians said was a cocktail of "Molly" laced with cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine.

(Compiled from press reports)

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 01:40

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Group determined to save Gale School says building is sound

BELMONT — A recent report commissioned and paid for by the Save our Gale School Committee says an inspector found the now empty building to be very solid.

Diane Marden said inspector Alex Azodi P.W.E. of Omega Structural Engineers in Newberry, N.H. wrote that, with the exception of the brick foundation, the now empty building "appears to be in a structurally sound condition."

"The wood walls and posts supporting the floor and roof framing and plumb or very near plumb and do not show any visible signs of structural overstress or movement," she quoted Azodi as saying.

She said Azodi also wrote that the "bell tower is straight and there wasn't any perceptible lean in any direction."

Marden, Conservation Commission Chair Ken Knowlton and former School Board Chair Pret Tuthill are members of the privately formed and funded committee that's planning on making a presentation for saving the building to the Shaker Regional School Board on September 10.

The group is being tight-lipped about the contents of its presentation, which will be also be made, more-or-less simultaneously, to an unnamed agency or individual that could assist the school district in preserving and reusing the former school. Beyond that, Marden said people would have to be patient about learning details of their ideas.

Discussions surrounding the Gale School resurfaced when town officials formed a Belmont Property Assessment Committee and tasked it with inspecting and assessing the condition of every town-owned building.

Although the Gale School belongs to the Shaker Regional School District and not the town, a few members of the committee did a quick walk-around, looking mostly at its foundation.

In his presentation to the Selectboard in July, building Inspector Steve Paquin said he didn't think the old school was restorable and noted the problems with the foundation. He said in his opinion if the building was relocated from its perch behind the Belmont Middle School, as has been discussed for a number of years, it would likely fall down.

He also noted the building was too big to be relocated in one piece in that the telephone wires were too low and the roads were likely too narrow.

On August 16, the N.H. Division of Historical Resources weighed in and informed the town and the school district that, in their opinion, the Gale School is historically and architecturally significant and is part of what they call the Belmont Factory Historic District that includes the Library, the Corner Meeting House, The Belmont Mill, and the bandstand.

Marden said on the night Knowlton and Tuthill make their presentation to the School Board, she will be making a similar presentation to the as yet undivulged entity or person that could make restoration feasible.

The Gale School was built in 1894 and was later named for the same Laconia banker — Napoleon B. Gale — whose name is one the city's public library. His will instructed that $10,000 of his estate was to be donated to the Town of Belmont. Gale represented Belmont in the state Legislature in 1868-69.

By the mid 1950s, the school was being used only for administrative office space and its rooms were further relegated to use only for cold storage when the new elementary school opened in 1985.

Donations to the Save our Gale School Committee can be made at Franklin Savings Bank, P.O Box 339, Franklin, NH 03235. More information about the Gale School can be found at belmontnh.homestead.com

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 01:35

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Cyclist badly injured by fall on Tilton roadway

TILTON — A local man riding a bicycle suffered what appeared to be a serious injury when he struck an obstacle and fell into the road on Willow Street. behind Walmart, around 6 p.m. yesterday.

Captain Sean Valovani of the Tilton-Northfield Fire Department said that the man was unconscious and unresponsive when emergency personnel arrived on the scene. He was transported to the emergency room at Franklin Regional Hospital and a helicopter was dispatched to take him to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. Valovani said that the helicopter had not yet lifted off when he left the hospital.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 01:58

Hits: 386

 
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