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Kimball Castle owner says he'll build a fence

GILFORD — The owner of Kimball Castle has agreed to build a security fence around the condemned landmark, according to the town administrator.

Scott Dunn said he spoke with owner David Jodoin after last Wednesday's public forum and learned that his short-term plan is to move forward with the fence.

Last year, the town building inspector condemned the castle and ordered it to be either demolished or fenced in for public safety. Since then, the selectmen have agreed to three extensions of the "make safe" order. A final deadline has been set for April 30.

The town's role is that of trustee of the property which includes the building and about 280 acres of land on Lockes Mountain. When Charlotte Kimball died she left it all in a trust for the express purpose of creating and maintaining a wildlife refuge and stipulated that it could not be used for commercial purposes. In 1990, the town carved out 20 acres and got the state Attorney General and a Belknap County judge to agree that the best way to maintain Kimball's wishes for a wildlife sanctuary was to sell a 20-acre portion of the land that included the castle to a private consortium with the proceeds of the sale to go into the Kimball Forest Wildlife Fund.

Jodoin is the principal owner of Kimball Properties LLC. He was the last remaining partner of a consortium of people who purchased the property in the 1990s with the intent of using the castle as a restaurant and a bed-and-breakfast.

Last year, Jodoin approached the selectmen for permission to change the contract by removing the restaurant stipulation and sell the property as a single-family residence.

Both Dunn and Selectmen's Chair John O'Brien have said Jodoin has a buyer waiting in the wings, but declined to identify him or her.

O'Brien said yesterday that right now he won't support changing Kimball Castle LLC.'s contract with the town.

"I'd like to see the fence get built or have the castle torn down and give it some time to see what various people can come up in terms of buying the property," he said.

"I'm not going to change the contract just so he can sell the property," O'Brien said.

Many of those who spoke at last week's forum also said they didn't support selling the property to a single land owner for another home. Most supported fencing in the castle and allowing it to decay on its own.

Virtually all agreed the castle itself was beyond repair.

Dunn said yesterday that should selectmen ever agree to change the restrictive covenants included in the current contract, the proposed changes would have to be approved the N.H. Attorney General, the N.H. Division of Charitable Trusts and the Belknap County Superior Court.

He said that Jodoin has assured him that by April 30 he will have built a fence or make a demonstrable effort to so. Failing that, he will be fined daily.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 12:11

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Hale family sells Waukewan Golf Club to Alton couple

CENTER HARBOR — An 18-hole golf club which has become an institution in the Lakes Region through the Hale family's involvement with the local community for over 50 years has changed hands.
Waukewan Golf Club, which was opened to the public by Dr. Melvyn Hale as a nine-hole golf course in 1958, has been sold by the Hale family to Tim and Jill Noe of Alton, who say that the Hale family's involvement with the golf club will continue in the person of general manager Craig Hale.
The 271-acre club, which features a 5,828 yard par 72 course, had been listed for sale for $1,450,00 and its purchase by the Noe family was announced Friday by the buyer's real estate broker, Tom Drouin of Roche Realty of Meredith.
Located in the heart of the Lakes Region, the property is surrounded by several mountain ranges and borders a wildlife sanctuary. It includes a main house with office space, living accommodations, an attached pro shop, restaurant and snack bar with seating for 120. In addition there is a post-and-beam function barn with a huge fieldstone fireplace, large dance floor with seating for 200, a bar and a large maintenance barn.
Drouin said that the Noes have vacationed in the Lakes Region for over 60 years, are excited about the prospect of owning and operating the golf club.
''Having played the course occasionally since my youth, the fondest golf memories I have are those of enjoying an early morning round at Waukewan with my grandfather, dad, uncles and close neighbors as a young kid," said Tim Noe. "I am reminded of those memories every time I stand on the first tee looking out to to the Sandwich Mountain Range. These bonds and good times just stay with you for life.''
Tim and Jill have three children, Sarah, Daniel and Samantha, and two grandchildren, Allie and Noah. Jill's dad was the past president of the Whitinsville Golf Club, a nine-hole course in Whitinsville, MA., once rated as one of the top 9-hole courses in the U.S.
Noe said that he and his wife are looking to maintain the current mangers and staffing so that members will see familiar faces as the new season opens. ''We will be performing an assessment of the course conditions and developing a set of priorities with general manager Crag Hale. The result will be short and long term goals for course maintenance, improvements and growth. In addition we to the golf course improvements we hope to expand the use the post-and-beam function barn, create a more extensive menu offering and create more opportunity for winter recreation at the facility.''
Jill Noe said ''our family is honored to continue the family tradition that the Waukewan Golf Club carries. We know this golf course has been enjoyed by thousands of Lakes Region residents and tourists for many years and our intentions are to build upon those experiences and hopefully continue the legacy the Hales have created.''
Drouin said that the property was originally owned by the Dane family and operated as a gentleman's farm where Clydesdale and Belgian horses were raised. It was purchased on December 15, 1948 by Dr. Hale for $14,000. The purchase included the buildings along with 250 acres of land. At the time of purchase the buildings were painted white. Dr. Hale repainted the buildings red and named the property "Almagra Farm". After some renovations to the houses, Dr. Hale moved his veterinary practice and family from Wolfeboro to Almagra Farm.
Almagra Farm was a true working farm. The Hale's grew their own vegetables, hayed the fields, and raised various types of animals including: pigeons, chickens, hogs, horses, sheep, and cattle. The farm also included a dog kennel with one long term boarder of 5 years.
His medical practice also included treating household pets, horses, sheep, and almost anything brought to him. He even occasionally removed scent glands from skunks. People kept skunks as house pets and litter box trained them similar to cats.
Around 1955, Dr. Hale purchased a bulldozer and tractor and began to rough out a nine hole golf course. He spent three years clearing wooded land, moving rocks, shaping tees, fairways and greens. In 1958 nine golf holes opened to the public.
In 1963 Dr. Hale closed his medical practice and turned his full attention to the course. "Waukewan" was chosen as the name because Dr. Hale felt people were familiar with that name due to the nearby lake. In the late 60s, Dexter and Allan, Dr. Hale's sons, joined their father and together completed the next nine holes. This finished the transformation of Almagra Farm to Waukewan Golf Club.
The club has become one of the favorites in the Lakes Region and the Hale family maintained close ties with the surrounding communities, including hosting numerous charity tournaments as well as the Meredith Altrusa Club's popular Christmas tree decorating event for local clubs and businesses.
The property was listed by Anthony Avrutine and Mike LaPierre of RE/MAX Bayside's Commercial Division.

Waukewan Golf Club has been sold by the Hale family to Tim and Jill Noe of Alton. (Roger Amsden/ for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 April 2014 12:59

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Andover man charged with stalking Laconia woman

LACONIA — An Andover man was released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail for allegedly stalking a city woman he had been ordered to stay away from.

Police said Wayne McDonald also allegedly violated a court order issued on March 13 that he stay at least 100 yards from the woman and not make any contact with her.

Police said the victim told them she was driving down Union Avenue around 1:20 p.m. yesterday when she saw McDonald sitting in the parking lot of John's Road Beef.

She told police that McDonald yelled at her to pull over but she continued driving toward her home but called him to find out what he was doing. She said he asked her to stop so they could talk.

The woman said she drove home and saw McDonald driving by her apartment building where he began revving his engine.

She called the police to report it.

Judge Jim Carroll ordered him to stay away from the woman and have no contact with her by any means including electronic communications.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 April 2014 12:48

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Man charged with Belmont burglary-turned-violent has chance for reduced bail

LACONIA — After a brief bail hearing earlier this week, Judge Jim Carroll ruled that the Franklin man who allegedly burglarized an elderly couple's home in Belmont and cut the male victim hand while trying to escape can be freed on reduced bail if he gains admission to an out-patient drug treatment program.

Robert Martel wept as Judge Jim Carroll ordered that his $100,000 cash-only bail could be altered to $50,000 cash or corporate surety should he get entry into a program like Horizons that provides intense drug therapy.

His public defender had argued that Martel was not a flight risk and didn't pose any threat to the community. He said the most his client could raise was $1,000.

Belmont Prosecutor Dave Estes disagreed with any reduction of Martel's bail.

Martel has been charged with a level A felony of burglary because he allegedly pushed the elderly homeowner who returned and found Martel in his house.

Martel allegedly stole the man's car and fled, leading multiple police agencies on a chase that ended with his arrest on Interstate 93.

Police reports indicate some of the victims' jewelry was recovered in the stolen car.

Should Martel gain acceptance into a program and post the requisite bond, he is required to live in Franklin, to not drink or do any illegal drugs, not to go south of the intersection of Route 106 and Route 140 in Belmont so that he stays away from the victim and their home.

The male victim sustained a cut on one of his hands and police said he was not seriously injured.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 April 2014 12:45

Hits: 363

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