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Tagging mars 3 more buildings

LACONIA — Police are reporting at least three more cases of vandalism or "tagging" that occurred in the overnight hours of Tuesday into Wednesday.

Capt. Matt Canfield said the word "GRIMS" was spray painted on the former Coca Cola building on Messer Street and on the Harvard Street School officel building that houses the superintendent's office.

Canfield also said one of the murals along the WOW Trail was defaced but the city is hoping it can be cleaned.

The recent spate a taggings comes about a week after seven individual instances over a few nights occurred. In those cases, the word "LAKER" was spray painted on a number of buildings.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Greater Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.


CUTLINE: (Vandalism.jpg) Vandals struck the former Coca Cola building on Messer Street sometime Tuesday night spray. ( Laconia Daily Sun Photo/Gail Ober)

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:14

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Group looking to open cold-weather homeless shelter in Laconia area this winter

LACONIA — A consortium of people led by members of N.H. Catholic Charities and the Unitarian Universalist Society Association of Congregations are looking into creating a cold-weather shelter for families somewhere in Belknap County.

Should a suitable place and some money be found, the shelter would be open in the winter months and be dry — meaning no alcohol or drugs would be allowed.

"So far we have no money and no place," said Len Campbell of Catholic Charities, who is leading the consortium.

The goal, he said, is to have a cold-weather shelter operational by October 15.

For about a year now there has been some discussion about opening a cold-weather shelter somewhere in the city that would be more temporary than the Carey House, which is operated by the Salvation Army and is more long-term transitional housing.

Some of the hurdles faced by the consortium are how to coordinate shelter services with local welfare officers, where a possible facility would go and how it would fit in with local zoning and fire ordinances, and perhaps most importantly, where to get the money and how to line up volunteers.

The plight of those who are homeless during the cold New Hampshire winters is one both public and private entities have been struggling with for years.

Right now, area welfare administrators and police departments last resource is to put homeless families in crisis into rooms at a local hotel. Increasingly, the Carey House is full and is unable to accommodate emergencies.

The money comes largely from local welfare budgets or, in the case of the Laconia Police, from the relief associations that are funded through donations and fundraisers.

Part of the consortium's research included reaching out to three areas in the state that have some kind of cold-weather shelter — Concord, Strafford County (Rochester) and Keene — and gathering information about their programs.

The Belknap County members have seemingly settled on a model similar to the one in Strafford County that provides for community services as well as temporary shelter.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:11

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EPTAM Plastics founder sells interest in company; private equity-financed transition leaves management team in place

NORTHFIELD — The management team of EPTAM Plastics, Ltd., in partnership with New Heritage Capital, LLC, an affiliate of the Heritage of Boston private equity firm, has acquired the equity interests of Dick Dearborn, the founder of the firm, and his family, who have retired from the business. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In an announcement to employees, Jeff Hollinger, president of the company, explained that the Dearborns chose to "see the company carry on in the hands of the management team that has served you over the many years." He added that "the Dearborns have been the type of owners you only dream about; honest, caring and generous, dedicated to helping make EPTAM the best place to work." With its generous benefits and collegial culture, EPTAM has regularly ranked among the best employers in the state.

EPTAM machines and fabricates plastic components to exacting specifications and fine tolerances for a variety of applications in the semiconductor, aerospace, medical, industrial and energy sectors.

Apart from affecting the transfer of ownership, which provides the Dearborns with liquidity, Hollinger stressed that the investment by Heritage represents a recapitalization of the company that positions it for future growth. "I would like to see the company double in the next five to six years," he said. "I'd like to see us operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

Heritage will own 70-percent of the stock in the company while the management team and Dearborn family have also invested in the recapitalization. Bigelow, LLC of Portsmouth, a merger and acquisitions firm, provided investment banking services to EPTAM and the Bank of New Hampshire provided the debt financing.

Heritage specializes in investing in successful, mature enterprises owned by their individual founders or founding families, often through low leveraged management buyouts. "They look for consistently profitable, well managed, growth oriented companies to take to the next level," Hollinger said.

In a prepared statement, Hali Dearborn, vice-president of corporate responsibility, said that "the Dearborn family is proud to have grown EPTAM over the course of the past three decades by continually reinvesting in the business and putting the customer's needs first. We are extremely pleased to find an investor in Heritage that understands our unique culture ," she continued, "and we believe they will be great stewards of the company for years to come."

Hollinger described the transition as "ideal", noting that the company will remain in Northfield and keep its name. Heritage, he said, is a successful firm experienced in working with manufacturers, particularly in the precision machining sector. "They take a hands -off approach," he remarked, marked by monthly meetings with management, quarterly meetings of the directors and an annual meeting. Above all, Hollinger said that Dick Dearborn will always be welcome at the company's facility whenever he wishes to come. "We all love him," he said. "he is one of those special people who always make you feel better about everything."

Dearborn began EPTAM in 1981 with just two employees working in a shop in Gilford. Today the company employs 117 people in its 60,000-square-foot facility on Rte. 140. Hollinger, who has been with the firm for 22 years — the last 10 as its president — said the company has grown at an annual compounded rate of 10 percent and has consistently posted profits.

"We're competing in a $1 billion industry and our share is 2.5 percent," he said, "which offers lots of opportunities for growth." Currently diverse industrial applications represent 30 percent of the company's business while semiconductors account for 21-percent, medical 17 percent and energy and aerospace 16-percent apiece.

With the recapitalization the firm will hire a chief operating officer, who Hollinger said will "help us get to the next level as well as be my potential successor. I won't have done my job," he continued, "unless there is someone here who can do a better job than I did."

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:07

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Swinford will seek Cormier's seat in N.H. House

BARNSTEAD — The day after State Rep. Jane Cormier announced that she is moving to Hooksett and resigning her seat, fellow Republican Elaine Swinford announced that she will run to take her place in Belknap District 8, consisting of Alton, Barnstead and Gilmanton. The district elects one member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

Swinford served two consecutive terms in the House from 2009 to 2011, when she was one of seven Republicans elected in a district consisting of Alton, Barnstead, Belmont and Gilford. She lost her seat in 2012, after the new districts were drawn, when she was beaten in the Republican primary for the lone seat in Barnstead by Guy Comtois. "I redistricted myself out a seat," she quipped, explaining that she served on the committee that redrew the House districts. Swinford served on the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, which she chaired during her second term.

Well known in Barnstead, Swinford serves as the town's welfare director as well as operates the thrift shop and food pantry when she is not tending to her three dogs — Mollie, Sadie and Bentley Four-on-the-Floor.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 12:28

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