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Gilmanton selectmen step back from association with Y-R Library

GILMANTON — Selectmen voted unanimously at their last meeting to withdraw the board's official representative to the Gilmanton Year-Round Library Board.

Minutes of their meeting indicate that selectmen were somewhat put off by the GYRL statements made after the appointment that an official selectman's representative was a good step toward its ultimate goal of eventually becoming an official department of the town.

Currier said that at this time it is not the will of the selectmen to begin any discussions about incorporating the Year-Round Library into the town in any official capacity.

Selectman Chair Brett Currier said the initial appointment of an official representative was to act as a steward for the $52,000 of tax dollars approved by the voters to fund some of the operations costs of the library.

Selectman Steve McCormack had been the representative but agreed that he didn't want to be a voting member on the board.

Currier said selectmen agreed that McCormack was welcome to attend the meetings as an observer and report back to the board.

He said the entire board agreed that having an official representative was too political for the board of selectmen.

Funding for the Gilmanton Year-Round Public Library has been controversial ever since the library began coming to the town for money for operating expenses. Some years a majority of voters have said "yes" and other years "no".

Many in town believe that the original deal with the town allowing the construction and opening of the Year-Round Library was that there would be no taxpayer money used to fund it.

Others believe the time has come for the town to fund the library and in March of 2014 a warrant article requesting $52,000 passed by 17 votes. A vote in March of 2013 failed by an equally small margin.


Last Updated on Saturday, 03 May 2014 12:35

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State moves to confiscate $1,500 taken from alleged pot dealer's car in Belmont

LACONIA — The Office of the Attorney General has filed a request to seize $1,560 taken from a Belmont man who was arrested on March 20 for possession of marijuana.

According to the filing, a Belmont Police officer was patrolling the Park and Ride lot on Rte. 106 when he noticed Ryan Davis, 20, of Brown Hill Road sitting alone in a gray pickup truck.

The officer approached Davis to see if everything was alright and said he noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from the truck. Davis agreed to get out of the truck and speak with the officer. He allegedly admitted to having a glass bowl of marijuana near the stick shift and a jar of marijuana in the backseat.

Davis signed a consent form and police found the pipe, a metal marijuana grinder in the front seat and a white container with pot residue in the back seat.

In a backpack were a digital scale and $1,000 in cash. An additional $560 was found in an overhead storage compartment.

After being read his rights, Davis admitted to selling marijuana in the past but said it wasn't his full-time job. He said the money in the back pack was from selling pot but the money in the overhead storage compartment was from his paycheck.

The state argues that the law allows them to seize any money that cannot be accounted for legitimately. Asst. Attorney General James Vara said all of the money was found in the proximity of illegal drugs and is therefore subject to forfeiture.

A hearing will be scheduled on the merits of Vara's argument within 90 days.

Davis is charged with one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute it.

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 May 2014 01:27

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Judge denies alleged Governor's Island marijuana grower's request to depose his landlord

LACONIA — A Belknap County Superior Court judge denied an accused pot grower's request to depose his former landlord about what she may have seen at his Governor's Island rental home and what and when she told the New Hampshire State Police about it.

Judge James O'Neill ruled Thursday that Corey LaPlante, 28, acting through his attorney Mark Sisti, had failed to meet his burden for compelling property owner Jennifer Truman to be deposed.

"Upon review, the court find a deposition of Ms. Truman is inappropriate because the defendant has failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that her deposition is necessary," he wrote.

He noted that during the motion hearings that the N.H. Assistant Attorney General James Vara has already provided Sisti with all discovery related to Truman, including her contact information and that he had made no effort to contact her.

Sisti asserts that Truman may have been acting as an agent of the police when she walked through LaPlante's home and reported what she saw to the police. His argument is that if she had previously been on the property without notifying LaPlante, then her second visit is tantamount to a warrant-less search of his client's home.

O'Neill agreed with Vara who said that any information Sisti seeks is available through other investigatory methods and a deposition is not warranted.

Truman lives in another state and Vara pointed out during the hearing that a court ordered deposition could be time consuming and expensive.

LaPlante is charged with two counts of manufacturing a controlled drug, two counts of possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute it, and one count of possession of a controlled drug.

After raiding the home in October of 2013, members of the N.H. Drug Task Force found what they described as a "significant" marijuana growing operation, marijuana, hashish, six weapons and $33,000 in cash.

LaPlante is free on bail.

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 May 2014 01:23

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Natural Science Center in Holderness has raised $3.5 million; Water Matters Pavilion is on the way

HOLDERNESS — Today is New Hampshire Day at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center and more than 1,000 visitors are expected, according to Iain MacLeod, executive director, who on Friday led a media tour of the center to showcase the changes that will greet visitors.
One of the new buildings at the center, built with lumber harvested from the 232-acre property, is a wood energy plant with a state-of-the-art boilers, each holding 2,700 gallons of water, which will produce enough heat for all of the center's buildings from 27 cords of wood which will be harvested just down Rte. 113 a mile away.
''It's going to reduce our energy footprint and significantly cut down on fossil fuel use,'' said MacLeod, who said that the current heating system, which uses oil and propane for six different furnaces, will remain in use only as backup.
MacLeod said the $480,000 wood energy plant, which went on line in early February, is part of a $4 million Nature Matters Capital Campaign, which will add another new building, a $1,250,000 Water Matters Pavilion, and replace two outdated structures, a stockade and winter bird headquarters, at a cost of $200,000, as well as provide $1,450,00 in reserve funds.
Work has started on the Water Matters Pavilion, which will feature live turtles and mink, as well as native warm water and cold water fish species, aquariums and an outdoor play area, the Adventure Playscape, which will cost $250,000. Both the pavilion and play area are scheduled for completion in 2016.
The Nature Matters campaign has already raised over $3.5 million and the board of trustees of the Science Center voted in January of this year to raise the goal to $4 million.
Visitors today will see live native New Hampshire animals including red fox, gray fox, skunk, bobcat, mountain lion, white-tailed deer, river otter, black bear, owls, hawks, and eagles in natural enclosures along the three-quarter mile live animal exhibit trail. Plus visitors will see two new exhibits: the wood energy exhibit and a live coyote exhibit which was added this winter.
There will be three special Up Close to Animals presentations: 11 a.m. (beaver), 1 p.m. (peregrine falcon), and 3 p.m.(porcupine) with discussion led by experienced naturalist educators.
The animal exhibit trail is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with the last trail admission at 3:30 p.m. on New Hampshire Day.
During summer months one of the more popular attractions on the exhibit trail is live mountain lion training on Thursdays at noon during July and August. Mountain Lion training and feeding shows off the tasks the mountain lions have learned that enable keepers to ensure the health and safety of the animals while providing an interesting sight for visitors.
The mountain lions, orphaned brother and sister, came to the Science Center from Montana in 2003 and were raised and hand fed by naturalists at the center.

One of the two mountain lions at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center walks around the enclosed exhibit area. The mountain lions have been at the center since 2003 and will be seen by hundreds of visitors at New Hampshire Day today. (Roger Amsden/ for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 May 2014 01:18

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