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Owner of 'Killed In Action' bracelet identified

MOULTONBOROUGH — A Kingston man and retired Marine who is looking for the owner of a Killed In Action bracelet found on Braun Bay said Friday he has found the owner.

Craig Montoni said that it was a friend of his who found the bracelet and, because of his own service in the U.S. Marine Corps and in Iraq, he decided to help locate the owner by reaching out to local media. He said he acted as the middleman and now the owner and his friend are in touch with each other.

"I know it's not a piece of jewelry to someone," said Montoni who said he wears two bracelets of people killed in action and never takes them off. "These bracelets mean something to the people who wear them."

Montoni said he had been contacted by someone who he said sounded "ecstatic" that the bracelet had been found. 

The bracelet was dedicated to the memory of Cpl. William I. Salazar who died on Oct. 15, 2004 in Iraq. According to the fallen heroes memorial website, Salazar died of injuries he sustained in El Anbar Province. He was from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Gilford hires Waring to be finance director

GILFORD — Former Belknap County finance director Glen Waring has been hired as the town's new finance director.

Waring is currently employed as the business administrator for a Mascenic Regional School District in Greenville, where he has been employed for about 15 months.

Waring holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from New Hampshire College and is a Gilmanton resident. He will earn $84,000 annually.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn said Waring was chosen from a pool of 25 candidates and was the unanimous choice of the selection committee that consisted of Selectman Richard Grenier, Laconia Finance Director Donna Woodaman and himself.

"This was a very strong candidate pool and we interviewed seven very qualified candidates," said Dunn.

He said selectmen met last Friday in a posted non-public session and authorized him to make Waring an offer.

Waring replaces Geoff Ruggles who left last month for a similar position in Bow. His first day is Sept. 19.

Waring is currently running for the Republican nomination for Belknap County commissioner in District 2, which includes the townships of Barnstead, Belmont, Gilmanton and Tilton. Primary election day is Sept. 13.

Land Trust officially opens 32-unit River's Edge apartment building

LACONIA — The Laconia Area Community Land Trust yesterday celebrated what Jason Hicks, president of the board of directors, called it "crowning achievement," with a ribbon cutting and open house at River's Edge, the permanently affordable downtown apartment building on the bank of the Winnipesaukee River.

More than 60 people, city officials and civic leaders, filled the conference room at River's Edge for the ceremony.

River's Edge includes 32 fully accessible apartments, 12 one-bedroom and 20 two-bedroom units, leased at permanently affordable rents. Moreover, the building will house a day care facility for infants aged between six weeks and 18 months operated by Lakes Region Childcare Services on weekdays from 6:30 a.m. until 5 :30 p.m. in the building.

The three-story building overlooks the river just above the Avery Dam, offering views of the two most venerable landmarks in the city — City Hall and the Busiel Mill — and enjoys 700 feet of riverbank lined by a stretch of the downtown river walk.

River's Edge displaces a commercial building last occupied by the F.W.Webb Company, a wholesaler of plumbing and hearing supplies.

Mayor Ed Engler noted that after the a private developer abandoned plans to redevelop the site, the Planning Department turned to the Laconia Area Community Land Trust. In 2004 the trust developed Millview, an apartment complex of 18 units, on another vacant industrial property, removing tons of contaminated soil in the process. At River's Edge, Engler said, 300 tons of contaminated soil posing a threat to the river was excavated and removed.

For 20 years, Engler said, the trust has been a "valuable partner of the city" and compiled "a glorious history of turning something that wasn't into something that is."

Dean Christon, executive director of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, described River's Edge as "a special project" that not only added to the stock of affordable housing but also repurposed a vacant space. He said that because of the site, on a steep slope, laden with ledge and beset by environmental issues, "this has been a very challenging project that required creativity and tenacity."

Paul Weech, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America, a congressionally chartered nonprofit corporation that supports 247 organizations like the Laconia Area Community Land Trust throughout the country, said simply that the trust "stands out among the 247."

The most moving tribute to the trust was paid by Erin Weller, a single mother seeking a home who entered its transitional housing program then rented an apartment. She recalled that with the financial literacy and homebuyer education programs offered by the trust, she overcame her financial troubles, purchased a care and is about to buy a home. "My daughter is an amazing little girl," she said, "because we have a place to call home."

Linda Harvey, executive director of Laconia Area Community Land Trust, honored the late George Hickey of Sanbornton, the architect who designed River's Edge, along with many of the other projects. Hickey passed away suddenly in February, 2015, before what he designed with pen and paper was turned to brick and mortar.

Since the Lacona Area Community Land Trust began 20 years ago it has developed 277 affordable rental apartments, invested more than $68 million and paid nearly $3 million in property taxes in the Lakes Region. 

 

CAPTION: Jason Hicks, president of the Board of Directors of the Laconia Area Community Land Trust, cutting the ribbon at River's Edge on Friday. From left are Ryan Barton of Mainstay Tehnologies, vice-president of the trust; Andy Saavedra of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Land Trust board chair Jason Hicks; Mayor Ed Engler; Dean Christon, executive director of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority; Hunter Taylor, Belknap County Commissioner; Paul Weech, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America; and Erin Weller, a tenant and director of the Land Trust.

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