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Former home of Music Festival vandalized

CENTER HARBOR — Police are seeking assistance from the public in identifying two individuals who vandalized the property at 52 Symphony Lane, which most recently housed the New Hampshire Music Festival.

According to Police Chief Mark Chase, evidence collected at the scene indicates that two persons broke into the main house and an outbuilding and caused damage to both estimated at approximately $10,000. The break-in and vandalism occurred between Tuesday, August 12 and Thursday, August 14.

The owner of the property has offered a reward of $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact the Center Harbor Police Department at 253-9756. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 November 2014 01:33

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Rago asks for recount of Senate 7 votes

LACONIA — Kathleen Lauer-Rago of Franklin, the Republican candidate for the New Hampshire Senate in District 7 whose challenge to incumbent Democrat Andrew Hosmer fell 132 votes short, yesterday requested a recount.

"I've had so many people call me and tell me I should ask for a recount, I feel it is my duty," Lauer-Rago said Thursday.

Hosmer polled 9,543 votes to the 9,411 cast for Lauer-Rago. Another 24 ballots recorded write-in votes. Hosmer's margin of victory represents less than 1 percent of the total of 18,978 votes cast. If 67 votes changed hands in Lauer-Rago's favor, the outcome of the election would be reversed.

Hosmer was the only Democrat elected in Belknap County in Tuesday's election. Of the three municipalities in the county in District 7, Hosmer carried two — Laconia by 89 votes and Gilford by 5 votes — while Lauer Rago won Belmont by 219 votes.

Requests for recounts must be filed with the New Hampshire Secretary of State by the close of business on the Friday after the election. The recount process would begin on the first Wednesday after the election at a site in Concord determined by the Secretary of State.

State law entitles any candidate to request a recount if the difference between the winner and loser is less than 20-percent. However, the candidate requesting the recount must pay a fee, which rises as difference increases. If the difference is less than 1 percent the fee is $50, but doubles if the difference is between 1 and 2 percent and doubles again if the the difference is between 2 and 3 percent. If the difference is more than 3 percent, the fee is $200 plus costs set by the Secretary of State.

District 7 consists of the cities of Laconia and Franklin and towns of Andover, Belmont, Boscawen, Canterbury Gilford, Northfield, Salisbury and Webster.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 November 2014 01:31

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Meredith 3/25 panel opts for series of 3 roundabouts

MEREDITH — The Advisory Committee of local stakeholders working with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) to improve the flow of traffic through the center of town yesterday unanimously decided to recommend construction of three roundabouts along the U.S. Route 3/N.H. Route 25 corridor through the center of town.

The roundabouts would be built at the junctions of U.S. Route 3 and Lake Street, U.S. Route 3 and N.H. Route 25 and U.S. Route 25 and Pleasant Street. All three would be single-lane roundabout to minimize the impact on surrounding private properties. However, the critical roundabout at the junction of U.S. Route 3 and N.H. Route 25 would have two right-hand turning lanes to hasten the flow of northbound traffic eastbound toward Center Harbor.

The Advisory Committee, which will report its recommendations to the Board of Selectmen in January, has been meeting each month since March. In the course of studying any number of plans the committee found that those projected to most hasten the flow traffic also had most adverse impact on downtown properties.

Gene McCarthy of MacFarland Johnson, Inc., the project manager, said that the preferred alternative of three roundabouts, with the two turn lanes at U.S. Route 3 and N.H. Route 25, would noticeably improve the flow of eastbound summer traffic, which peaks on Friday nights, and, at the same time, ease congestion arising from southbound traffic on n.H. Route 25, which peaks on Sunday afternoons and evenings. Taken together the three roundabouts will slow traffic through town, enhancing the safety of pedestrians. And the roundabout at Pleasant Street will improve access and egress to the businesses along N.H. Route 25.

Rusty McLear said the plan represents an opportunity to significantly improve the appearance of the center of town. U.S. Route 3 will be divided by a landscaped, tree-lined median eight to twelve feet wide and the roundabouts themselves offer opportunities for plantings.

McCarthy estimated the construction cost of the project, excluding design, engineering and purchase of right-of-way, at approximately $5 million, which closely matched the funds DOT has allocated to it.

John Edgar, Community Development director, stressed that the project should not be delayed or shelved for want of a small amount of funding.

Lou Kahn, a selectmen who chairs the Advisory Committee, said that funding for the project should not be drawn from the property taxpayers of Meredith. "This is a great thing for the feds and the state to do," he remarked.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 November 2014 01:25

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GOP sweeps all 18 Belknap County House seats

LACONIA — Republican candidates won all 18 House seats in Belknap County Tuesday, sweeping to victory by ousting five incumbent Democrats.
It was the second sweep by the Republicans in the last four years. They accomplished the same feat in the 2010 mid-term election.
In Belknap County District 1 (New Hampton, Center Harbor) incumbent Democrat Ruth Gulick carried New Hampton 473-443 but lost Center Harbor 295-215 to Republican Valerie Fraser, who emerged as a 738-688 winner.
In District 2 (Gilford, Meredith) Republicans Russ Dumais (3,438), George Hurt (3,300), incumbent Herb Vadney (3,236) and Glen Aldrich (3,083) were elected. Leading vote getter for the Democrats was incumbent Lisa DiMartino (2,776) followed by Nancy Frost (2,316), Sandy Mucci (2,192) and Dorothy Piquado (2,025).
In District 3, (Laconia) Republican incumbents Don Flanders (2,818), Frank Tilton (2,748) and Robert Luther (2,547) were joined by newcomer Peter Spanos (2,576). Incumbent Democrat Dave Huot (2,442) was the top votegetter for the Democrats, followed by Kate Miller (1,934), Tom Dawson (1,873) and Mo Baxley (1,825).
In District 4 (Sanbornton, Tilton) Republican newcomer Brian Gallagher (1,279) led all candidates followed by Dennis Fields (1,198) who was elected to his 15th term in the House. Incumbent Democrat Ian Raymond polled 1,103 votes and Jane Allen had 1,042.
In District 5 (Alton, Gilmanton) Republicans David Russell (3,339) and Peter Varney (3,335) defeated Deborah Chase (1,340) and Hammond Brown (1,053).
In District 6 (Belmont) newcomer Shari Lebreche (1,314) led all vote getters followed by incumbent Mike Sylvia (1,217). Democrats Ron Cormier polled 922 and George Condodematraky 610.
In District 7 (Barnstead) incumbent Republican Guy Comtois (933) defeated challenger Bruce Marriott (733).
In District 8 (Alton, Barnstead and Gilmanton) Republican Raymond Howard (2,954) defeated Independent Peter Bolster (2,025).
In District 9 (Laconia, Belmont) Republican Robert Fisher (3,775) defeated incumbent Democrat Beth Arsenault (3,499).

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 November 2014 12:52

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