At 26, suspect is no stranger to prison

LACONIA — Robert Shawn Audette, 26, wanted by Lacona Police on charges of criminal threatening following the siege of an apartment house at 20 Jewett Street on Wednesday, has spent the last seven years in and out of the New Hampshire State Prison after being convicted on two counts of arson in Hillsborough Superior Court North in 2008.

Police allege that Audette pointed a firearm at another man while they and others were in an apartment at 20 Jewett Street on Tuesday. The incident prompted police to cordon off the neighborhood, evacuate nearby homes and surround the building then spend much of the afternoon urging the suspect to surrender. Ultimately, a heavily armed team of the Belknap County Special Operations Group entered the building amid a cloud of tear gas only to find no one inside. But, police searching the apartment found a shotgun and several rounds of ammunition. Police believe Audette fled before reached the scene.

In 2008, Audette, then 19 and living in Hooksett, began serving two one-to-three year sentences in prison to run concurrently for setting fire to vacant buildings, while a sentence for criminal mischief was suspended.. In October 2010, he was among the first inmates paroled under a new law prescribing that prisoners be paroled nine months before their sentences expired. The Associated Press reported that his father was glad he was coming home, but believed criminals should serve their full sentences. After repeatedly violating parole and returning to prison, Audette finally completed serving his sentence while on parole in May, 2015.

While released on parole Audette was arrested a number of times in Manchester, Hooksett, Goffstown and Concord on a variety of misdemeanor charges, including criminal mischief, criminal threatening, assault, possession of drugs, resisting arrest, disobeying an officer and conduct after an accident in Manchester, Hooksett, Goffstown. In March, 2015 Audette, who gave his address as Orchard Street, Manchester, was arrested in Concord for criminal liability for the conduct of another and making a false report to law enforcement following incidents in the city the previous July.

Kristen Paul, who rents the apartment at 20 Jewett Street where the incident occurred and the shotgun was found, told WMUR-TV that she was away from her home when the alleged incident took place  Speaking on camera, she said that Audette was "my friend's friend" who had moved from Belmont and was staying at her apartment for a few days before moving into a new home. She described him as "a nice guy".

Captain Bill Clary of the Laconia Police said yesterday that officers have spoken with Audette's wife about his possible whereabouts without success. He said that the woman who came out of the building at 20 Jewett Street shortly before the team from the special operations group went in, was a visitor, not a tenant, and that she told police that she had slept through the incident without hearing the repeated calls over a bullhorn atop a Bearcat armored vehicle parked near the front door to leave the building.

Police caution the public not to approach Audette and ask anyone with information that could lead to Audette's whereabouts to call 911 or the Laconia Police Department at 524-5252.

Tired of false security alarms that bring police response, Gilford will enforce fines

GILFORD — False security and fire alarms could prove to be costly to businesses and residents in this town starting next year, as town officials move to enforce a town ordinance adopted in 2010 which provides for fines starting at $100 and rising to $500 for repeated violations.
Police Chief Anthony Bean Burpee told selectmen last night that one establishment had 23 alarms recorded in 2013 and others had 12 and 10 alarms that same year, creating unnecessary responses in which police officers activate lights and sirens to respond as quickly possible as they never know for certain whether the alarms are founded or unfounded. The responses also require a two officer response for safety reasons and mean that when only two officers are on patrol duty, both must respond.
Of the 491 responses in 2013, 369 (75 percent) were accidental alarms or were caused by a defective systems. Last year there 457 alarms, 345 (again, 75 percent) of which were accidental or defective and this year so far there have been 394 alarms, 297 (and again, 75 percent) of which were accidental or defective.
Burpee said that 83 businesses and residences have exceeded the two-alarm limit since 2013.
''Over 400 alarm calls per year for the past 33 months is a high number of responses by police personnel. It is my hope to divert some of the responsibility for false alarms back to business/residence owners,'' said Bean Burpee.
The town ordinance provides that fines will be assessed beginning with the third false alarm in any 12-month period, starting at $100 for the third, $150 for the fourth, $200 for the fifth, $250 for the sixth and $500 for all subsequent alarms.
Selectmen approved his proposal that he draft a letter to all police alarm permit holders reminding them of the 2010 ordinance and notifying them that effective January 1, 2016 the police department will be monitoring alarm activations and issuing fines.
He also asked selectmen how the town should proceed with collecting unpaid fines and received the response from Selectman Richard Grenier that ''we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.''

Tufts Health Freedom Plan approved for sale in N.H.; LRGH a part owner

LACONIA — With the approval of the New Hampshire Insurance Department, the Tufts Health Freedom Plan, an insurance company owned by the members of the Granite Healthcare Network,LLC, among them LRGHealthcare of Laconia and Tufts Health Plan of Watertown, Mass., will begin offering health insurance throughout the small group market in New Hampshire.

The Tufts Freedom Plan was formed in March as the first health insurer owned by healthcare providers. LRGH joined with Catholic Medical Center (Manchester), Concord Hospital, Southern New Hampshire Health System (Nashua) and Wentworth-Douglass Health System (Dover) to create the Granite Healthcare Network in 2011 with the intention of leveraging the resources of its members to enhance the quality and control the cost of care by managing common risks, sharing best practices, exchanging information and making joint purchases.

Headquartered in Concord, the Tufts Health Freedom Plan expects to provide a broad network that will include all 26 hospitals in New Hampshire. The company will compete with other carriers for a share of the small group market, which represents about the lion's share of the insurance business in the state. The company will draw on the resources of the Tufts Health Plan to achieve operating efficiencies. Initially the Tufts Heath Freedom Plan will not be available on the New Hampshire Healthcare Exchange (Affordable Care Act).

Henry Lipman, senior vice-president of financial strategies and external relations at LRGHealthcare said yesterday that the partners in the Granite Healthcare Network and Tufts Health Plan are pursuing, "a shared vision to provide the highest quality of care at the most affordable costs" while seeking to sustain locally managed health care systems.

In a prepared statement Brian Wells, president of the Health Freedom Plan, said that the plan, "represents a fresh approach to health care coverage and we're very excited to be able to provide new options to the New Hampshire market. The plan," he continued, "has a diverse product offering, all designed to provide exceptional care management and an outstanding member experience while lowering the cost of providing health care."

The Tufts Freedom Plan is being offered through insurance brokerages with coverage slated to begin on January 1, 2016. At the same time, the approximately 15,000 employees, spouses and dependents of the five members of the Granite Healthcare Network, including some 2,300 at LRGHeathcare, are being enrolled in the plan.