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Mass. man accused of sexual assault at New Hampton campground

NEW HAMPTON — A Massachusetts man was ordered held on $5,000 cash only bail in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday after allegedly sexually assaulting two girls during a camping trip to  Yogi Bears' Jellystone Park.

Police Chief Merritt "Doug" Salmon said yesterday police were called to the campground around 10:50 p.m. on Friday by the girls' father.

He said police interviewed everyone involved and determined there was enough probable cause to arrest Irving Small, 69, 14B Meetinghouse Lane in Hanson, Mass. The alleged victims are from neighboring Whitman, Mass., and Small knows the family.

Hanson and Whitman are neighboring communities south of Brockton, Mass., in the southeastern portion of the state.

In court yesterday, New Hampton Police Sgt. Monica Cunningham testified that she separately interviewed both girls, who are in their early teens, as well as other members of the family. She said the disclosure of the alleged assault initially came from the girls' older sister who reported it to her father.

The father called New Hampton Police.

Salmon said Small faces two separate felony counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault — each offers a different theory of the case — and one felony count of indecent exposure.

Salmon said the case centers around alleged activity over the past week but said his department is also working very closely with Massachusetts police and community resources in both states.

Judge Jim Carroll ordered Small to sign a waiver of extradition and to stay away from the family and the communities in which they live.

As of 10 p.m., Small had not posted bail. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Aug. 27.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 02:19

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Belmont to hold off on decision to stop maintaining a portion of Jefferson Road

BELMONT — Selectmen voted unanimously last night to continue servicing what they consider to be the private portion of Jefferson Road and all of Lakeside Drive until Oct. 20, 2014.

With about 60 people packed into the Corner Meeting House, the board told residents to research their property records to see if there is any proof the town was responsible for the portion of Jefferson Road west of the railroad tracks.

"It just doesn't make a lot of sense," said one woman whose family has owned property for years and has had town sewer since the 1980s. "We don't want to get an attorney but we certainly will."

Last night's public hearing was really to discuss declaring Bayview Road and Wakeman Road emergency access roads, but most who came were residents of the west portion of Jefferson Road who also want an emergency declaration. As a result of the decision to wait, there will be no change in services until October 2014 although selectmen had initially planned to stop services much sooner.

Many who spoke at last night's public hearing said not maintaining or plowing that portion of road should fall under the same emergency clause as Bayview and Wakeman Roads because not maintaining them will create a safety hazard.

One man said his home burned down in 2006 and, had it not been raining or had there been too much snow for firefighters to access the area, it's possible that many of the other homes would have burned as well.

Many also reminded selectmen they have town sewer and pay fairly high property taxes.

The town is undertaking a road inventory to gradually determine the legal status of all the roads in Belmont. The inventory began in 2009 and, according to state law, it is illegal for a municipality to spend money or resources maintaining private roads.

The standard for a public road is set by state law and states a road must have been prescriptively used or used without the permission of the owner since 1948 in order to be "grandfathered." The only other way a road can be public is if the town builds it, if it is part of a designated subdivision, or if the road is brought up to a minimum standard and the town votes to accept it as a public road.

The east portion of Jefferson Road from Tucker Shore Road to the railroad tracks was built by the town in 1937 and will continue to be a public road. The westerly section, said Land Use Technician Rick Ball, "is not that clear-cut."

The earliest record regarding plowing and regular maintenance of Jefferson Road west is in 1973 when the Board of Selectmen told the former road agent to plow it.

Selectman Chair Ron Cormier told the crowd that the town is not trying to take something away from them but must definitively prove the west portion of Jefferson Road is public in order to legally continue plowing it. He encouraged them to check their deeds and bring any available information to the town for review.

Selectmen said last night that as a result of road inventory, the town has stopped maintaining other private roads in Belmont.

Cormier said the westerly portion of Jefferson Road — or Jefferson Loop — is not the only private road to lose services, but it is one of the private roads in town that has the most homes and residents.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 03:40

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Local man gets court order to protect him from cyber stalker

LACONIA — An area man has apparently become the target of extreme cyber stalking and has petitioned and received an order of protection from the Belknap County Superior Court against his stalker.

The victim said he has moved from the area for professional reasons and that he met his alleged stalker on an internet site.

"We continued to chat about a business opportunity for a week or two but the conversation turned flirtatious and then spiraled out of control quickly," the plaintiff wrote.

The Daily Sun checked the Website and it appears to be one that sells self-created artwork that tailors to families. The Website is registered in Australia according to GoDaddy, an online Website registration company.

His filing said that for the past six or seven months he has been begging her to stop contacting him but she has done everything she can to stay in touch, including calling him from 75 to 100 different phone numbers between 750 and 1,250 times.

The victim said she has also sent him text messages and contacted a number of his friends and family by alleged hacking into his phone and stealing his electronic contacts.

He said she even contacted him by cell phone while he was in the Belknap County Court House waiting to appear in court.

He said the woman has made several attempts to use Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Amazon and other social media Websites to reach him and has set up duplicate Facebook accounts under the names of his friends and family to lure him in.

"When I block one, she just creates another," he wrote.

"She's crazy," he said.

He said she hired someone to take a picture of his father's gravestone and sent it to him. He said she has also fabricated airline tickets that showed she would be flying into to Boston "just to scare him and his family."

He said the woman has somehow been able to call him from numbers that show up on his caller ID as the Belknap County Sheriff's Office or some of his family members. The Sheriff's Department confirmed last week they are investigating the stalking as a possible criminal act. The victim said federal authorities have also been contacted.

In her response, the defendant said she met the alleged victim in mid-December of 2012 through her job on a Internet site and that he will occasionally tell her he cannot continue to have contact with (her), but re-engages her within a short period of time.

She denies stalking him and has accused him of abusing the court system.

The alleged victim's wife filed a separate restraining order saying the woman had contacted her as well on June 16 and had sent her a racy photograph that the couple's young son had accidentally seen while playing a game on her cell phone.

"(She) has told me several times that (she) sees herself as above the law and no matter what I do, nothing will ever stick or make her stop because she will always figure a way around it," wrote the alleged victim's wife.

On August 13, Judge James O'Neill held a hearing and continued the restraining order. The defendant didn't appear but filed a motion for a continuance, which was granted, and a motion to appear by telephone because she said she is pregnant and cannot fly, which was denied.

A date for the final hearing for the restraining order is scheduled for September.

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 August 2013 03:06

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Digital or Dark for the Weirs Drive-In, which is in contest for free projector

LACONIA — With digital projection fast replacing conventional film, the Weirs Drive-In Theater, one of four of its kind remaining in New Hampshire, may soon face the choice of going digital or going dark.

"Without digital we would have to close," said Pat Baldi, owner of the venerable venue, "but it's a big expense." With digital projectors costing approximately $75,000 apiece, Baldi estimates an investment of $300,000 will be required to light the four screens at The Weirs. "That is a lot of money when we have have just a ten-week season," she said.

To defray a share of the cost, Baldi has enrolled in "Project Drive-In," a competition sponsored by American Honda Motor Company. Honda has invited people to visit the website www.ProjectDriveIn.com, where they can vote for their favorite drive-in theater as well as pledge to contribute to the national "Save the Drive-in Fund" at the Weirs Drive-In Theater. Each of the five most popular drive-in theaters will receive a digital projector from Honda.

"Any help we can get will make this more affordable," Baldi said. She said that her grandson has mounted a campaign on the theater's Facebook page, reminding everyone they can vote on-line — ProjectDriveIn.com/vote_41 — or by text — VOTE41 to 444999 — every day until the polls close on September 9.

Built in 1949, the Weirs Drive-In Theater is one of only 368 remaining of some 4,000 that operated in 1950s according to the United Drive-In Theater Owners Association. Of those that remain, about 140 have converted to digital projection. More than 90-percent of cinemas have made the change.

The three other drive-in theaters in New Hampshire are the Milford Drive-In in Milford, Northfield Drive-In in Hinsdale and Northern Nights Drive-In in Lancaster.

"We are the biggest drive-in in the state," said Baldi. "We don't want to close and we're looking at all our options."

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 August 2013 03:06

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