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Sheriff wants officers regularly patrolling Gunstock on weekends

GILFORD — A recent increase in the number of weekend calls at the Gunstock Mountain Resort has prompted Belknap County Sheriff Craig Wiggin to call for weekend patrols at the county-owned recreation area.
''Gunstock has kept us busy this summer, and there's a need for an increased presence on weekends,'' Wiggin told Belknap County Commissioners when they met Wednesday morning.
He said that during the annual SoulFest event, which drew thousands to the resort last week, his department responded to 45 calls.
Wiggin said that there was also an increase in calls on other weekends in the campground area and that some of those calls were for domestic violence situations and fights, as well as assaults. There were also a number of responses for lost children.
''It is in our best interest to have a detail there every weekend,'' Wiggin told the commissioners, pointing out that the it is actually less costly to patrol the area on weekends than to pay the cost of call-outs for each incident the department responds to.
Wiggin said that he was looking to have a conversation with Gregg Goddard, Gunstock's general manager, about the situation and to try and work out some arrangement which would allow his department to have working space at Gunstock.
County Commissioner Steven Nedeau of Meredith, who worked as an officer with the Sheriff's Department, observed that at one time the department regularly patrolled Gunstock on weekends.
''We used to have people burning picnic tables back then,'' said Nedeau.
County Administrator Debra Shackett observed that the large number of calls were also a function of increased activity at Gunstock during the summer months, which is good for the area's economy, but also has an impact on law enforcement and emergency responses by the Gilford Fire Department.
Commissioners also heard an update on the Belknap County Nursing Home from Mat Logue, home administrator, who told them that revenues and admissions were up over last year due in large part to short term stays for physical, occupational and speech therapy.
In the first six months of the year there were 46 admissions compared to 12 in the same period last year with 43 discharges this year compared to 10 last year. Last year there was only one admission from Lakes Region General Hospital but this year there have been 23 from the hospital, mostly for short-term stays.
The Belknap County Convention earlier this year approved a $200,000 supplemental appropriation for the nursing home to continue to provide the skilled nursing care which is reimbursed by Medicare at 14 percent above costs and is expected to generate an additional $200,000 net gain in nursing home revenue over the next year.
Logue said that as of yesterday all of the beds at the home were occupied and that the average for the year to date is seven empty beds a day.
He said that the nursing home expenses are currently $200,000 under what was budgeted for this time and that the nursing department is working to fill several vacancies.
Commissioners also approved the transfer of funds into three budget line items which will exceed the amount budgeted for them:
— $4,500 for the Belknap County Convention, for legal costs and meeting costs;
— $5,500 for the Finance Department to cover increased health insurance costs;
— $10,500 for Department of Corrections salary account.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 August 2013 01:49

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3 vehicle crash by Winnipesaukee overlook takes 1 life

GILFORD — A three-car accident on Route 11 in front of the scenic area overlooking the Broads of Lake Winnipesaukee took the life of a woman who was driving one of the cars yesterday at 11:55 a.m.

Four other people were taken by ambulances from Gilford and Laconia to Lakes Region General Hospital for what fire officials describe as non life-threatening injuries.

Det. Sgt. Chris Jacques, who is also a member of the Belknap Regional Accident Investigation Team that investigated the crash, said police are not releasing any details at this time until family members can be notified and the reconstruction is complete.

According to Gilford Fire Chief Steve Carrier, there were three people in a silver Toyota sedan, one person in a dark colored sedan and one person in a dark SUV involved. He said the female driver of the Toyota was killed and a "toddler" from her car was one of those taken to the hospital.

He said the silver car was the most seriously damaged. Carrier said the child was in a car seat that appeared to be properly installed and he said he "believes it significantly reduced the (child's) injuries."

He said the two other people in the silver sedan and the driver of one of the other vehicle needed to be extricated. The other driver was able to get out of his car.

Two young men who were visiting a friend who lives off Scenic Drive said they walked up through the woods and up the hill to the rest area to see what happened. They said the occupants of the home heard the crash.

"The silver car looked like a crushed beer car," said one of the men. He said they didn't see any people except police and rescue workers near the cars.

They said the silver car was in the center of the road and from their vantage point, they were only able to see the Toyota and the dark sedan. The SUV was further west and was in the scenic pull off area.

In yesterday's crash, police said they don't think speed, alcohol or drugs were a factor.

The road was closed from noon until just 7:18 p.m. while BRAIT and Gilford Police investigated. Carrier said there was quite a bit of oil from the crash that needed to be absorbed before the road was reopened.

Traffic was re-routed down Scenic Drive.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 August 2013 01:44

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Dump Run Cafe brings Gilmanton together

GILMANTON — The Dump Run Cafe, which is open every Wednesday morning in the basement of the Gilmanton Community Church (Four Corners), has become the hub of community activity ever since it opened last June.
''It's a place for people to hang out after they go to the dump on Wednesday,'' says Roger Beaudet, the self-proclaimed ''roadie'' who sets up the sound equipment for the Dump Run Gang, a dozen or so musicians who gather each week and play old time favorites like ''Wabash Cannonball'', ''Glory Train'' and ''Temperance Reel.''
Beaudet, whose wife plays autoharp with the band, says that the cafe caught on right away and has become the place to be on Wednesday mornings.
''Everybody is having a good time and it shows,'' says Beaudet, who was one of the few men who got out onto the dance floor when a square dancing session was held this week.
''There were three musicians when we started this last year. Now there are at least a dozen every week and it's like that all the time. We usually have at least 60 people here — they come from all over,'' says Pastor Chris Stevens of the Gilmanton Community Church.
He said that the cafe was started to meet a perceived need in the community for a place where people could sit down together and socialize.
''There's no community center, no coffee shop or place for people to mingle. We at the church thought 'why can't we fill that need?' and started looking for a way to do it. We were waiting for the right person to take the lead and found that person in Judy Rouleau, who was a new member of the church,'' says Stevens.
He says that Rouleau and her husband, Louis, set out to organize the cafe on the same basis as that of a town dump, where people meet and socialize every week. They chose Wednesday, because that's the day the older residents of the town make their dump run to the town transfer station, which is about a mile away from the church.
Stevens says that about half of those who show up are members of he church and half are not, which is the way it was intended.
''We see this as a community effort, not a church effort, and it's part of our social outreach to provide a place for people in the community to meet and have fun together,'' says Stevens.
Among the many volunteers helping out each week are Julie Perkins, who heads up the kitchen crew, which makes coffee, doughnuts, pastries and breakfast sandwiches; Ray Wyss, who cooks the doughnuts, and Ginny Hiltz, who for years supervised the cooking of the bean hole beans at Gilmanton's Old Home Day.
Audrey Danielson of Pittsfield, a fiddle teacher, shows up every week to play, says that she loves the atmosphere of the church hall and enjoys entertaining those who show up.
The Cafe, which is open from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., has expanded to open on the first Saturday morning of each month so that people who can't get there on weekdays can have the opportunity to experience the fun environment.
''You can feel the energy in the building when the people are here and the music is playing. Happiness is something that we need in the world today, and it makes all the people who show up here to take part in the cafe happy to be a part of it,'' says Stevens.

The Dump Run Gang plays an old time favorite ''The Wabash Cannonball'' at a gathering at the Dump Run Cafe in the basement of the Gilmanton Community Church. About 60 townspeople and guests from surrounding communities meet every Wednesday morning for music, coffee and doughnuts and socializing. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 August 2013 01:39

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Bench honoring Kevin Sanborn Connelly placed at Bond Beach, his favorite place

LACONIA — Family and friends gathered at Bond Beach Tuesday evening to dedicate a park bench in memory of Kevin Sanborn Connelly, who practically grew up on the beach and died suddenly last August at the age of 47.

Connelly's mother, Fay Sanborn Nauchbar, said that the family lived on Bell Street, just a short walk from the beach, and that Kevin had been swimming at Bond Beach since he was three years old.
''He took swimming lessons here and there was a raft out in the lake that he would swim. There were whiffle ball games and a lot of fun times here with family and friends,'' said Nauchbar.
She said that Kevin was at the beach the day before he died and called his brother, Michael, who lives in Tilton, and asked him to come over and spend some time at the beach with him.
''It was his favorite place. It almost like he's here now because he loved Bond Beach so much,'' said Nauchbar.
Connelly, a 1983 Laconia High School graduate, served in the U.S. Army and lived in Germany for 25 years before returning home to Laconia in 2010.
Taking part in the ceremony along with his mother and stepfather Carl Nauchbar of Lakeport, were his son and daughter Ian and Meagan Connelly, of Erding, Germany; his brother, Michael Connelly and wife, Melanie, of Tilton; nieces, Julia Connelly and Caitlin Connelly of Tilton; sister Beth Littlefield, and her husband, Dan, of Meredith; two nephews, Cody and Austin Littlefield, both of Meredith, and his former wife, Anne Connelly, of Erding, Germany.
Family members recalled that he was an avid Boston sports fan and enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.




Taking part in the dedication of a park bench at Bond Beach on Lake Opechee in memory of Kevin Sanborn Connelly, were, seated, Meagan Connelly, of Erding, Germany, his daughter; second row, nieces, Julia Connelly and Caitlin Connelly, both of Tilton; back row; his nephew Austin Littlefield of Meredith; his son Ian Connelly of Erding, Germany, and nephew Cody Littlefield of Meredith. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)


Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 12:58

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