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Community mourns death of recent GHS graduate

MEREDITH — A recent graduate of Gilford High School and alumnus of the school's varsity football program has died, said the coach of the team yesterday.

According to Gilford Police Chief Anthony Bean Burpee, police responded a few days ago to the family home of Austin Blais, 18, because of a call reporting some kind of reckless conduct — either fireworks or gunshots.

He said police did an investigation but two days ago he said Blais's mother came in and filed a missing person's report regarding her son.

Bean Burpee said his officers learned that Blais had a girlfriend who lived in Meredith and police in that community were notified.

Lt. Keith True said Meredith Police and officers from the N.H. Fish and Game Department worked to locate him but declined to comment further.

Football coach Shawn Garrett said he was notified Tuesday night that Blais had died.

He described him as a spirited young man who was always smiling and who loved playing football.

"He loved the game. He liked being out there," Garrett said.

He said he had been with some of the Gilford football team members Tuesday night and yesterday morning at the locker room where many of the boys he played with came to grieve.

School Board Chair Sue Allen said the school district is providing grief counseling to students who need it. Speaking for the board and the administration she said she wished to offer her deepest condolences to Blais's family.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 11:56

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Zero interest expressed in moving & restoring Hathaway House

LACONIA — City Manager Scott Myers confirmed yesterday that the efforts of the Heritage Commission to solicit an developer willing to acquire, renovate and relocate the Hathaway House have failed to elicit a response.

At the same time, Cafua Management Company, which seeks to redevelop the upper Union Avenue property it acquired in 2000, must assess the historic significance of the site in the course of applying to the United States Environmental Protection Agency for a permit required by the federal Clean Water Act.

Last September, Cafua, which owns and operates the adjacent Dunkin' Donuts restaurant, applied for a permit to demolish the Hathaway House, sparking a frantic effort to preserve it. After meeting with Greg Nolan, development director of Cafua, to discuss alternatives to demolition, the Heritage Commission ultimately conceded that if the building was to be preserved, it would have to relocated. In May the commission agreed to place a series of advertisements seeking a private party interested in moving and owning the building. The deadline of June 18 passed without a response.
This spring Cafua was granted a permit to demolish the Hathaway House and submitted plans to redevelop the property. The firm proposes to construct a 4,850-square-foot retail building on the northern half of the 1.6-acre lot, which includes the Dunkin' Donuts outlet. The building would be reached by a spur off the existing entryway to Dunkin' Donuts, eliminating the need for a fresh curb-cut. The building would be divided into three units, two of 1,650-square-feet and one of 1,550-square-feet and would be served by 27 parking spaces, 11 more than required.
In the meantime, Cafua applied to the EPA, which regulates waste and storm water discharge, for a "national pollutant discharge and elimination system" (NPDES) permit, triggering a review of the historic significance of the property required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
Brandee Loughlin of the Planning Department, who managed so-called Section 106 reviews in both Massachusetts and Texas, explained that they are triggered by an application for federal permits or funding. She said that the EPA has sought the advice of the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, which in turn has informed the city of the review.
Cafua has hired a consultant to take inventory of the historical and archeological resources on the site, which would include the Hathaway House, and determine their significance. Loughlin said that once the review is complete the next step is for the EPA to determine whether the project proposed by Cafua will have adverse impacts on historical resources and if so, how they can be avoided, minimized or mitigated. She stressed that the federal law does not require that historical resources be preserved. But, she said in the case of buildings, the EPA could require salvage of architecturally significant features as well as a photographic record or measured drawings of the structure. Throughout this process Nolan has indicated his willingness to allow significant features of the Hathaway House to be salvaged as well to permit the building to be photographed.
The Planning Board was scheduled to hold a public hearing on Cafua's plan for the property this week, but at the company's request postponed the hearing until the board next meets on August 5. This spring Nolan indicated that he expected to begin work on the project during the current construction season.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 11:52

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Altercation at Stinson Lake said to have preceded shooting death

RUMNEY — A Stinson Lake Road man was shot in the head around 6 p.m. Sunday after what police are describing as an altercation with another man.

Dr. David Landseadel, 48, a chiropractor who practiced in Plymouth, died from a single gunshot wound to the head said Senior Asst. Attorney General Janice K. Rundles in a written statement to the media yesterday.

She said the victim knew his assailant, however the circumstances that led up to the homicide a still part of the ongoing investigation. At press time, no arrests have been made.

The local fire chief said Landseadel's body was found on a stair case leading down to commonly used beach and docking area on Stinson Lake. He said his department was called to provide light for the team of State Police and local police investigators who spent most of Saturday night into Sunday morning at the scene.

Landseadel, who was an alternate member on the Rumney Planning Board, lived at 2279 Stinson Lake Road.

Fellow Planning Board member Gerry Thibodeau said he didn't know Landseadel well but thought he was pleasant member of the board who was very non-confrontational.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 July 2014 12:47

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A treasured guest from the Bronx

LACONIA — Tammy McKenzie of the Pendleton Beach neighborhood are the parents of eight-year old twins — their son Aidan and daughter Heather — but for the next three weeks the family will the pair will grow to triplets with the addition of Joshua Goumerra, a Dominican boy from the Bronx who has returned for his summer vacation.

McKenzie, with her husband John, are a volunteer host family of the Fresh Air Fund, which for the past 138 years has placed more than 1.8-million children from the five boroughs of New York City with families in small, rural communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine to enjoy a summer vacation.

"This is Joshua's second year with us," McKenzie said, "and we're hoping to have him 10 more years till he's 18." The twins held a banner reading "Welcome Back Joshua" and a bunch of colored balloons as Joshua stepped from the North Fork Express that carried him from the New York Port Authority to the McDonald's parking lot in Tilton yesterday.

Altogether the bus brought nine children to the Lakes Region and, according to Rhu McBee, who her husband Burritt co-chairs Laconia Friendly Town, one other missed the bus. She said that buses from New York will arrive in the state each week in July and in the first week of August, hoping that they bring more than 157 children who visited New Hampshire a year ago.

The program began in 1877 amid a tuberculosis epidemic that swept through the tenements of New York City, prompting Reverend Willard Parsons of Sherman, Pennsylvania, a small town southeast of Binghamton, New York, to ask his congregation to provide the city's neediest children with a spell in the country. By 1881 the Fresh Air Fund drew support from the "New York Tribune" and seven years later incorporated. Today the organization benefits from the generosity of the "New York Times." Apart from placing children with host families, the fund operates five camps on 2,300 acres in the Hudson Highlands near Fishkill, New York.

McKenzie said that the twins kept in touch with Joshua throughout the year. "He's another member of our family," she said. "I cried like a baby when he left last summer."

"Noting that the motto of the fund is "the simple things in life connect us all," McKenzie said that apart from throwing party for Joshua's eighth birthday, there is no formal structure to his stay. "There's swimming and fireworks, but a lot of just messing around playing like kids — blowing bubbles on the lawn and throwing a ball. It's simple things."

"It's great," exclaimed Joshua, who when asked what he enjoyed most exclaimed "everything!"


CAPTION: Aidan McKenzie and his twin sister Heather welcomed Joshua Goumerra, who arrived from New York City yesterday to spend the next three weeks at their home in Laconia. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/ Michael Kitch).

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 July 2014 12:36

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