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Gilmanton tax burden drops 9.4%

GILMANTON — The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration has set the 2103 property tax rate at $21.15 per $1,000, a decrease of $2.27, or 9.7-percent.

The amount to be raised by property taxes decreased by $1,047,240, from $11,142,077 to $10,094,837, a drop of 9.4-percent, while the total assessed valuation grew by $2,143,946, or 0.4-percent, from $478,403,218 to $480,547,164.

The town tax decreased from $5.74 to $4.97 and the local school tax from $13.93 to $12.36 while the state education tax increased from $2.39 to $2.43 and the county tax from $1.36 to $1.39.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 November 2013 02:07

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Tilton Police detective placed on paid leave

TILTON — Pat Consentino, who chairs the Board of Selectmen, yesterday confirmed that Corporal Matt Dawson, the highest ranking detective in the Police Department, has been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of an inquiry. She declined to comment further on the circumstances.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 November 2013 02:05

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N.H. Association of the Blind offering patrons uniquire dining experience on Monday evening

LACONIA — The Central New Hampshire Advisory Committee of the New Hampshire Association for the Blind will host a "Dinner in the Dark" at Hector's Fine Food and Spirits in downtown Laconia on Monday evening, Nov. 11.
The evening starts with hors' douerves and a cash bar from 5:30-6:30 p.m. with dinner served from 6:30-9 p.m. Tickets are $30.
Keynote speaker for the evening will be Randy Pierce, association board member, client and founder of 2020 Vision Quest. "Four More Feet," a documentary film that captures his quest to summit all 48 of New Hampshire's highest peaks in a single winter season, was released earlier this year.
This unique sensory awareness experience will take participants on a journey — all in the dark — experiencing dining as a blind person, using only the senses of taste, sound and touch. Created in Germany, "Dining in the Dark" is a one-of-a-kind concept that has been enjoyed by many people across Europe.
Diners will let their senses of taste and smell take over as they share an experience of eating in the dark with friends, family and encounter first-hand what it is like to be blind. Guests will delight in the complementary aromas that surround them as they taste the delicious textures and subtleties that captivate their palates.
To date, the organization has hosted similar events at Rudi's in Portsmouth and The Way We Cook in Manchester. Both were sold-out. All funds raised, as well as a portion of all tickets sold, will support the many critical programs and services that have helped people of central New Hampshire live full and independent lives despite their vision loss.
For more information contact Mary Chase at 603-224-4039, ext. 324 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 November 2013 02:03

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Mekkelsen gets heroin death conviction overturned, pleads guilty to lesser charge

LACONIA — A Belknap County Superior Court Judge has overturned the conviction of a former city woman who had pleaded guilty in 2012 to selling heroin with a death resulting.

Instead, Karen Mekkelsen, 38, agreed yesterday to plead guilty to conspiracy to sell heroin and accepted a 3 1/2-to 7-year sentence.

She had been sentenced to serve 10 to 15 years in the New Hampshire State Prison for Women and has already served 917 days on the now-vacated charge. She was credited with the time she served, meaning she should be free in about one year.

With 10 members of her friends and family in court to support her, Mekkelsen tearfully told Judge James O'Neill that having her original conviction negated was a "miracle" and she knows it doesn't happen very often. She the past two and one-half years, including the accusation that she sold the heroin that killed 22-year-old Ashley Denty as "one of her darkest hours."

"I want to change. I don't want to sell drugs. I don't want to be that person," she said weeping openly.

Represented by attorney Matt Lahey, Mekkelsen and Asst. Belknap County Prosecutor Carley Ahern had initially agreed on a 3-year minimum sentence however O'Neill wanted her to serve the entire minimum sentence of three an one-half years.

He questioned both lawyers as to why she should get the half year consideration.

Ahern said Mekkelson has a criminal record dating back to 2002. She said the Laconia Police were in agreement with the new charge and sentence and allowed that after Mekkelson pleaded guilty, they continued to investigate Denty's death and learned a man who lives in Plymouth posted something on his Facebook page admitting he was the one who gave Denty the injection that killed her.

Lahey said that when she was initially confronted by Laconia Police about the circumstances surrounding Denty's death, she was "completely taken aback" and she cooperated completely with them. He said she continues to cooperate with police and was willing to serve the entire 3 1/2-year sentence.

"She knows she has been given a break," Lahey said.

In 2012, Mekkelsen also pleaded guilty to a separate and distinct count of possession of heroin with intent to sell and that conviction remains unchanged.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 November 2013 01:40

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