Fall Fun in the Lakes Region

GILFORD — It's the time of year when you can have a lot of fun getting lost out in a corn field at either of two local farms which are again hosting visitors at their mazes.
At Beans and Greens on Rt. 1-B in Gilford, the yearly corn maze has become a very popular activity for visitors of all ages.
The first corn maze at the farm was designed by Alex Howe as part of a math project when he was an eighth grader in 2002. When the cornstalks are a few feet high Alex starts designing the maze, making graphs of the entire cornfield on draft paper in order to create his master maze. Workers at the farm then help him remove cornstalks, creating paths and dead ends throughout the field.
When September arrives the corn has grown to more than 10 feet in height and the fields are opened to visitors, who can expect to spend up to an hour finding their way through the maze. Workers from the farm act as "corn cops" to help walkers with directions, which may or may not lead to the right way out, and are on hand to guide those who become hopelessly lost.
The Beans & Greens Farm corn maze is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is also open Friday and Saturday nights for those seeking extra heart thumping thrills and challenges (reservations are required for the night visitors) Day rates: $7 for adults, $5 for children 12 or under. Night rates are $7 for children 12 or under and $9 for all others. Call 603-293-2853 for reservations.
The corn maze at Moulton Farm in Meredith started back in 2000 with a small piece of land across the street from their farm stand.
Rob Stephens, retail manager, was thinking of fun and unique ways to offer fall visitors an experience they would not forget. He came up with the corn maze idea and over the years the designs have grown more complex, to the delight of many visitors.
According to the Moulton's Farm Stand website, when the corn is between eight to 12 inches tall, the paths are cut out using a trimmer and following a giant graph paper map very carefully.
The paths are then compacted and the rocks are removed in order to make the terrain as safe as possible for travelers. As the corn grows, leaves are stripped off the stalks that line the paths to make it easier to see and safer to travel. The corn in the maze can grow up to 15 feet tall.
Prices for the 2015 maze are $7 for adults and children 7 or older and $5 for children 6 and under. Included with admission is access to both a full size maze and a maze designed for very young children, a maze trivia game, and a treat after completing the trivia game. The last admission to the maze is one hour before the farm closes.
Leaf peepers who want to take in fall foliage at its peak have a choice of land or water routes. The Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad in Meredith offers two hour excursions at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. while one-hour excursions are available from Weirs at 11 a.m., noon, 1, 2 and 3 p.m. with a choice of a one-hour or two-hour round trip.
There's also a scenic round-trip excursion passing lakes and crossing over Ashland Summit, with views of rivers and water falls which includes a hot buffet luncheon at the Common Man Inn & Restaurant located in Plymouth. The excursion departs Meredith at 11 a.m.
Lake Winnipesaukee cruises are available from Weirs Beach on Saturday and Sunday. The 230-foot-long M/S Mt. Washington has been booked during the day Saturday but cruises will be available on either of the smaller vessels, the Sophie C .and Doris E. There will be a Rock and Roll and Remember Sunset dinner cruise Saturday night starting at 5 p.m. Sunday cruises aboard the Mount will be held at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
In Meredith the 4th annual Zombie Walk from Prescott Park to Main Street gets underway at 4:30 p.m. followed by a Monster Mash dance at the Community Park which runs until 9 p.m.
The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness will be hosting the Halloween Hoot 'N Howl on Saturday night from 6 to 8:30 p.m. 40-minute guided tours along a newly designed trail depart every ten minutes from 6 to 7:30 p.m. After each tour guests are invited to warm up with Halloween games and tasty treats. Guests are encouraged to come in costume and dress suitably for outdoor weather.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling the Science Center at 603-968-7194. Cost is $8 for members and $11 for non-members.
A Vintage Car Show will be held at Canterbury Shaker Village today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Presented in partnership with the White Mountain Region Chapter of the Model A Ford Club of America, the show is free with regular admission.
On Sunday Moulton Farm in Meredith will hold an outdoor Farm Brunch Buffet from 9 a.m. to noon. The buffet will include seasonal fruit, baked goods, egg and breakfast meat dishes prepared by the farm's kitchen and bakery staff. The buffet costs $14.99 plus tax per person with a special price of $9.99 plus tax for children 10 and under.
There will be a jazz brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lakehouse located inside Church Landing at Mill Falls at the Lake in Meredith.

Man charged with threatening to kill firefighters

LACONIA — A man who allegedly threatened to kill several city firefighters will stand trial in 4th Circuit Division Laconia District Court on November 16 on a Class A misdemeanor charge charge of criminal threatening.
According to a police affidavit filed with the court, Ernest Thompson II , 31, of 47 Strafford St., is alleged to have threatened to murder firefighters who had administered Narcan, a medication designed to counteract opiate overdoses, to his girlfriend at his apartment on Sept. 16. She later died.
The affidavit says that the threats were reported to police by the Fire Department, which had received a call at 5:06 p.m. Sunday from a local businessman who reported that his secretary had heard threats from Thompson when she had stopped by his residence on Saturday, October 10 to offer her condolences to Thompson over the death of his friend.
According to the affidavit, Officer Kevin Shortt interviewed the woman who had stopped at Thompson's residence and she told him that Thompson walked up to her car and said ''the paramedics killed his girlfriend by giving her Narcan,'' and that he had a .357 firearm and would find members of the Fire Department that were there that day and kill them because they had killed her, saying ''everyone who was at his house was going to pay''
She said that Thompson kept repeating the threat and said that he was going to shoot them and that after he did it he was going to leave for West Virginia.
Several members of the department were specifically mentioned as targets, including Assistant Chief Kirk Beattie according to the affidavit.
Thompson was arrested Sunday on the criminal threatening charge and also arrested for possession of meth, a Class B felony, and will face a probable cause hearing on that charge in 4th Circuit Division Laconia District Court on October 29 at 8:30 a.m.
He was arraigned on both charges in District Court on Tuesday and released on $5,000 personal recognizance bail on the criminal threatening charge and $1,000 cash bail on the drug charge. He was ordered to have no contact with the woman who reported the threats to her employer and to remain away from the employer's business as well as to refrain from going near the Laconia Fire Department's central station at 848 North Main Street. He was also prohibited from possessing a firearm or other destructive devices.

Ohio Governor John Kasich wants Americans to live lives 'bigger than themselves'

LACONIA — Running near the back of the pack with poll numbers mired in single digits, Ohio Governor John Kasich kick started his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in New Hampshire this week by naming a leadership team topped by former senators John E. Sununu of New Hampshire and Trent Lott of Mississippi one day and unveiling an ambitious fiscal and economic plan the next.

In between he stopped at The Laconia Daily Sun on Wednesday where, after demonstrating the mechanics of his golf swing and hustling a cup of coffee, he spoke about his candidacy and fielded questions about how he would address the challenges of a threatening world and sluggish economy.

Kasich who served nine terms in the House of Representatives, all of them on the Armed Services Committee and a third of them as chairman of the Budget Committee, and is serving his second term as governor, said his executive experience as governor prepared him for the presidency. "I can do this," he declared. It'll be hard. But, I can do this."

Kasich, who has called the Republican Party "my vehicle, not my master," dismissed the dissension in the ranks of the GOP, particularly the turmoil that has left the speakership of the House in limbo. "I don't worry about the party," he said. "As president I can pull it together with an aggressive agenda."

That agenda includes what Kasich called an "assertive" foreign policy suited to "the leader of the world with a military presence second to none. We must say what we mean and mean what we say," he said." He stressed the importance of bringing the western powers together and favored the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a means of cultivating friends and partners in Asia.

In the Middle East, Kasich said that the Obama Administration erred in failing to arm the rebellion seeking to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. He favors establishing no-fly zones to delineate sanctuaries in Syria, where the end game should be to remove Assad. At the same time, he said that American "boots on the ground", as one element of a coalition of Arab and European states, will be required to eliminate the threat to the Middle East posed by Isis. Finally, Kasich insisted the United States "must never go back on Israel" and said a closer relationship with Turkey would contribute to greater stability in the region.

Kasich said he is "wary" of both Russia and China. Putin he called "a bully," adding that "Russia is not a force for good in the Middle East." The United States, he said, should be assisting the Ukraine, including shipments of weapons, in maintaining their independence against the rebellion supported by Russia. Likewise, Kasich said that America should respond to China's sponsorship of cyber attacks on American governmental institutions and private corporations and encroachments in the South China Sea.

Firmly rejecting the notion that the weak recovery and slow growth following the 2008-2009 recession represents a "new normal," he outlined the plan he announced yesterday, claiming it would increase the rate of economic growth to around four-percent and balance the federal budget in eight years.

The plan includes lowering the top individual income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 28 percent, capping the rate of the capital gains tax at 15-percent, reducing the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, eliminating the estate tax altogether and doubling the research and development tax credit for small businesses. The earned income tax credit,a refund to working people with meager and modest incomes, would be increased by 10 percent.

Kasich proposed bundling federal funding for education, transportation, job training and Medicaid into grants to the states, which would be authorized to administer these programs. Spending on both Medicare and Medicaid would be cut and increases in discretionary spending on other federal programs, except for defense, would be frozen for eight years. Meanwhile, Kasich intends to increase defense spending by 17 percent, or $102 billion, between 2017 and 2025.

Acknowledging that lower taxes would add to the budget deficit in the early years, Kasich claims that reductions in federal spending and greater economic growth will offset foregone revenue and balance the budget.

As the interview drew to a close Kasich remarked he had not touched on an important problem — "our broken families and broken communities." Asked if they sprang from economic roots, he replied "to a degree", then added somewhat wistfully that "we need to live lives bigger than ourselves, to be responsible to our spouses, our children and our neighbors."