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Scout builds lakeside oasis along WOW Trail

LACONIA — When Danny Iacopucci of Belmont wondered what project he could undertake to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, he called Kevin Dunleavy, director of Parks and Recreation, to ask about the prospect of enhancing the Winnipesaukee-Opechee-Winnisquam (WOW) Trail.

This summer, Iacopucci, together with his fellow Boy Scouts from Troop 366 from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the generosity of more than a dozen local businesses, completed a picnic area featuring a pair of tables, trio of redbud trees and perennial garden overlooking Lake Opechee.

Dunleavy said that he selected the site, a reclaimed and grassed stretch between the trail and the lake north of the New England Yard, a storage area for the Department of Public Works, and west of Dutile & Sons Oil Company.

Iacopucci, who oversaw the project from start to finish, said that stiffest challenge was soliciting the contributions and marshaling the resources to bring the vision to fruition. Altogether almost 150 hours were invested in the undertaking, he estimated.

Swain Landscaping and Construction prepared the site. Peal Pusher's Farm, Maggy D's Garden Center, Appletree Nursery and Osborne's Agway provided the flowering perennials and hardy shrubs arrayed in the framed garden. Timothy M. Hayes Landscaping assisted in selecting and planting the trees. Eased Edges donated a picnic table and, with lumber from Boulia-Gorrell. The scouts built another table to the same design. Engraving, Awards & Gifts, Entelechy, Inc., Melcher & Prescott Insurance and Patrick's Pub all donated to the project.

Dunleavy said that he was pleased to work with Iacopucci and delighted with the results of his project, which he is confident will be enjoyed by all hose who walk, run and ride on the WOW Trail for years to come. He said that the brush lining the shorefront will be cleared to offer a view of the lake from the picnic area.

A senior at Belmont High School, where he is a high honors student, Iacopucci intends to serve a two-year mission for his church before entering college to pursue a degree incorporating his passion and talent for music.

 

CAPTION: Danny Iacopucci of Belmont initiated and supervised construction of this perennial garden and picnic area along the WOW Trail with help from fellow Boy Scouts from Troop 366 and contributions from local businesses. The high honors student at Belmont High School undertook the project as a step to becoming an Eagle Scout. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch)

Last Updated on Friday, 03 October 2014 12:27

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Defense in heroin case doesn't want reporters to hear tape recorded evidence

LACONIA — The defense attorney representing a Belmont man who is charged with allegedly selling the heroin that killed one of his friends has asked a Belknap County judge to close the courtroom during two suppression of evidence hearings.

In a motion filed yesterday, defense attorney Wade Harwood said he is seeking to suppress, or eliminate from evidence, statements made by his client Jonathan Woodbury to a Laconia Police detective who assisted Belmont Police with the investigation.

The decision the judge must make is whether or not the statements made by Woodbury were made voluntarily. Suppression hearings are part of the pretrial work done by attorneys before the actual trial.

Woodbury is charged with selling or providing heroin and/or fentanyl to Michael Chamberlain on February 4 at the Woodbury home on Arlene Drive in Belmont. Chamberlain died there of an overdose.

Harwood's fear is that if the information contained in the recording of the entire interview is played in an open courtroom and the judge determines the interview will not be heard by a jury, that newspapers will report on the the information anyway and it could negatively impact Woodbury's right to a fair and unbiased jury.

"This is because there is a real risk if inadmissible evidence is publicized pretrial it may never be altogether kept from potential jurors," Harwood wrote.

The motion was apparently triggered during the beginning of Laconia Det. Chris Noyes's testimony on Tuesday when, after answering a few preliminary questions from Belknap County Prosecutor Carley Ahern, Harwood asked to speak to the judge privately.

A reporter from The Daily Sun was at the hearing, along with a reporter from The Citizen, and four members of the general public. Harwood indicted in his motion he thought two of them were members of Michael Chamberlain's family.

Harwood said that under the constitution, "the press does not have a unique First Amendment right of access (to criminal proceedings) beyond that held by the general public."

"If the statements are widely reported, it will not be possible to unring the bell if the court ultimately rules that the statements are involuntary," he said.

In the course of Woodbury's court case, four motions have been filed by Harwood on behalf of Woodbury relative to suppression issues and this is routine for criminal cases. None of the four motions were filed under seal — or not for public view — and on September 10 The Daily Sun reported about their content.

Two of the motions are to suppress evidence taken from a phone allegedly belonging to Woodbury and those were heard aloud in Superior Court Tuesday.

Harwood argued that Noyes seized a phone in Woodbury's possession four days after Chamberlain's arrest without his permission. He also argues the affidavit filed by Belmont police to search the contents didn't connect the phone to Woodbury.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 October 2014 12:07

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Crack cocaine seized with aid of search warrant

LACONIA — Police seized what they are calling a significant amount of crack cocaine and cash while executing a search warrant at 25 Grove St yesterday morning.

Bountham Sonthikoummane, 52, of 25 Grove St. Apt. 1 is charged with possession of controlled drugs with intent to distribute and Onella Nguan, 37, also of 25 Grove St. Apt. 1 is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled drugs.

Both are scheduled to appear in the Fourth Circuit Court, Laconia Division this afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

Police said the case in still being investigated and ask that anyone with any information to call the Laconia Police Department at 524-5252 or the Greater Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 October 2014 12:03

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Inter-Lakes schools to offer parents choice of all-day (Meredith) or half-day (Sandwich) kindergarten

MEREDITH — The Inter-Lakes School Board has voted unanimously to introduce all-day kindergarten at Inter-Lakes Elementary School in the 2015-2016 school year while continuing to offer half-day kindergarten at Sandwich Central School for children throughout the district, which consists of Meredith, Center Harbor and Sandwich.

The decision followed the recommendation of a committee convened in March to study the issue after parents and residents expressed interest in the prospect.

School Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond said that research indicates that children attending all-day kindergarten outperform their peers who attend for half-a-day in the first and second grades, but the difference narrows and disappears in the third grade. However, she stressed that evidence is overwhelming that all-day kindergarten, especially what she called "the rich language environment it provides", enables children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds to compete successfully. Studies also indicate, she said, that children of all backgrounds attending all-day kindergarten scored higher on social, emotional and behavioral measures than those who attend half-day kindergarten.

Adding full-day kindergarten will require an additional full-time teacher and a para educator at estimated costs of $96,700 and $27,000 respectively along with approximately $15,000 worth of furniture, equipment and supplies for a total cost of $138,700. Ormond emphasized that "this is a rough estimate", but added that she expected the cost to be be very close to the estimate.

Ormond projected about 60 children to enroll in all-day kindergarten and said they would be divided into three evenly numbered classes. As of October 1 this year the district reported that 72 children in kindergarten and 27 in pre-school.

Ormond said that projections are challenging in part because the board chose to offer the option of half-day kindergarten at Sandwich Central School to all parents in the district. At public meetings a number of parents spoke in support of providing a choice between all-day and half-day kindergarten. Moreover, Ormond said that the half-day kindergarten is an integral element of the multi-age classroom model at Sandwich Central School.

Ormond said that goals would be incorporated into the kindergarten regimen. "all education, beginning with kindergarten, is influenced by the high expectations of 21st Century learning," she noted. She explained that at Inter-Lakes all learning is prefaced with "yet" as in "you will learn that, but not yet. "Kindergarten is our yet," she continued. "It is a growth mindset starting with five year olds." .

Last Updated on Friday, 03 October 2014 11:53

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