4 near-fatal overdoses in city over the weekend

LACONIA – There have been four non-fatal overdoses of opiates in the city since last Friday, Police Chief Chris Adams confirmed yesterday.

The Laconia Fire Department successfully used NARCAN – an inhalation-delivered version of Naloxone which almost immediately reverses the effects of opiates.

Laconia has seen an alarming number of opiate overdoses – both fatal and non-fatal, and has taken extraordinary steps to combat the problem.

In the 2014-2015 city budget, the City Council appropriated an additional $50,000 to the Police Department which appointed a drug czar whose sole job is to coordinate educational and enforcement programs with other communities, the courts, the schools, and the various agencies who are addressing drug problems.

Adams said the City Council will be evaluating the program for renewal as part of the 2015-16 budget and he said he will be asking for a full-time position for the drug coordinating officer.

One of the agencies addressing the problem head-on is StandUp Laconia – a not-for-profit program begun by some private citizens who want to help with the city's drug abuse problem. The group is meeting tonight from 5 until 6:30 p.m. at the Laconia Middle School. The meeting is open to anyone who is interested in taking a stand against alcohol and drug abuse.

In addition, there is an intensive recovery program created last year by 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division Judge Jim Carroll for admitted addicts who want to get and stay drug-free. Recovery Court in Belknap County is an all-volunteer effort by local mental health and counseling agencies, the court, the Public Defenders Office, the Laconia City Prosecutor, the Belknap County Department of Restorative Justice, the Department of Corrections and the Belknap County arm of the N.H. Division of Probation and Parole.

Last month, two people made it through the program and graduated. Both have agreed to stay with the program as mentors.


Alleged Barnstead child rapist to serve at least 20 years

LACONIA — A Barnstead man who has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault of his step niece and nephew over a 7-year period 20 years ago told Judge O'Neill of the Belknap County Superior Court yesterday he would accept a negotiated plea deal of two consecutive 10 to 20 years sentences.

On January 2, Kenneth Day, 67, a Barnstead native, agreed to serve the sentences but wanted to be able to apply for parole after serving 16-years of the stand-committed time.

Although his defense team and Belknap County Deputy Prosecutor Carley Ahern had agreed on Day's being able to apply for parole after 16 years, after hearing statements from the victims who don't want him to be able to be paroled after 16 years, Judge James O'Neill wouldn't accept the sentence. In an unusual statement from O'Neill, he said at the time that he would accept the sentence but only if Day agreed to serve the entire 20 years before he could be released. Day will be 87 years-old when he is released.

In what was slated to be a pre-trial conference yesterday, O'Neill said he would accept Day's plea but only after all of the victims were given the opportunity to be in court. Yesterday, five people came to the hearing but at least one of his victims was unable to be there.

Day is charged with luring the two children who were 6-years-old at the time into a bus he lived in on the children's parent's property in Barnstead with soda and cookies – two things the children weren't allowed to eat.

He began sexually assaulting them and the assaults continued until they were 13 years-old.

The two walked into the Barnstead Police station last year and told their stories to police, triggering an investigation that revealed there was at least one additional female victim. The assaults on the two children who went to police occurred almost 20 years ago but were brought within the statute of limitations for adults reporting sexual assaults that happened to them as children.

Through his attorney, Day said yesterday that he would accept the 20 years right away but wanted to delay sentencing until February 2 so he could mentally prepare for state prison. Day is currently being held on $150,000 cash only bail in the Belknap County House of Corrections.

Day also faces similar charges in Merrimack County and could face additional jail time.

O'Neill set next Monday at 9 a.m. as the time he would accept Day's plea so the state would have enough time to contact all of the victims to see if they wanted to be present.

Titeflex to add 47,000 sq. ft. to Lexington Dr. facility

LACONIA — Titeflex Aerospace is expanding its facility at 93 Lexington Drive, enabling the firm to consolidate its operations, double its manufacturing space and create room for future growth.

Titeflex, which manufactures flexible hose and rigid tubing for a variety of applications in the aerospace industry, currently occupies 431,000 square feet on a 9.9 acre lot, but rents space in an adjacent building as well as a parking lot. The new addition will add 46,994 square feet to the north end of the facility. Beyond the addition, a 37,000 square-foot lot will provide on-site parking for 123 vehicles.

Project manager Brandon Prudhomme said that the addition will enable the firm to bring all its operations under one roof as well as reduce its production costs. "We're looking to do a lot of positive things at once," he remarked, adding that with LED and natural lighting energy costs will be trimmed and by recycling all its water discharge will be cut to zero. Prudhomme said that with the additional space and lower costs Titeflex will position itself to increase output and add employment in the future.

The parking area will be surfaced with porous pavement, the first large commercial application of the technology in the city. A filtering media directly beneath the surface will cleanse the water of contaminants before it reaches the groundwater and a network of under drains will disperse rising water during heavy rainfall to prevent flooding. The Conservation Commission applauded the firm for its investment in protecting the environment.

Prudhomme said that the project will be presented to the Planning Board when it meets in February.


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