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To date, Gilford has paid over $20k to suspended police chief & officer

GILFORD – It's been nine weeks since Police Chief Kevin Keenan went on a paid administrative leave and as of yesterday, town official continue to stay mum about the issue.

The Selectboard placed Keenan on leave on August 28. Town Administrator Scott Dunn said Keenan is paid a weekly amount of $1,597.17.

In addition to Keenan being on paid administrative leave, Patrol Officer Holly Harris has also been on leave since the middle of September. Dunn said she is paid $24.33 per hour and the approximate amount Harris has been paid, thus far, during her absence has been $6,812.

The current police department roster, said Dunn, has 17 full-time sworn police officers and three part-time officers. In the course of their budget preparation, selectmen have approved an 18th officer although the Budget Committee has not acted yet on the request.

During Keenan's leave, Lt. James Leach has been acting chief and according to Dunn, is being paid a 5 percent differential while acting above his rank. Acting Deputy Chief Kris Kelley (also a lieutenant) is also being paid a 5-percent differential. Dunn said the 5 percent pay differential is part of the town's policy for when an employee is working a job about his or her typical pay grade.

One of the part-time officers is acting as the School Resource Officer, which is Harris's position during the school year.

Dunn also said that as of September 30, the Police Department has spent $92,281.52 in overtime. He said the budgeted amount for 2013 is $97,970.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 02:56

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Flamingos for hire in Meredith

A flock of 48 plastic flamingos arrived in Hesky Park in Meredith Friday morning to mark the start of a fundraising drive for the Inter-Lakes Elementary School Living Classroom Greenhouse Initiative. The school is planning  to build a 24 foot by 48 foot greenhouse on school grounds as a hands-on learning venue and needs to raise $65,000 for the project. The flamingos can be placed on the lawn of a friend or neighbor for a fee and that person will then have to pay to have them moved to another location. For more information,  contact the Inter-Lakes Elementary School or visit the Inter-Lakes greenhouse home page. (Roger Amsden photo for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 02:39

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Sneeze said to have caused entrapment crash on Mechanic Street

LACONIA — A woman escaped serious injury yesterday around noon after the car she was driving smashed into a utility pole on the flat portion of Mechanic Street, near the Hillside Cemetery and landed on its side.

She told police she sneezed and briefly lost control of her car.

With the shattered telephone pole along with live wires barely staying upright, firefighters worked to free the woman, identified as Helen Y. Brown, and her dog from the wreck.

Making yesterday's rescue particularly difficult was that the car landed on its drivers side, making it impossible for the victim to free herself.

Emergency crews initially used wooden supports to anchor the silver Subaru Legacy Outback so it wouldn't roll onto its roof. After opening the rear hatch, firefighters were able move the rear seat.

Rescuers then broke the seal on the windshield and pried it away from the car. At that point the were able to free Brown and take her from the vehicle through the rear hatch.

Brown was able to stand upright after being freed from the car and, with minimal assistance, was able to get on the gurney that took her to the ambulance where she was transported to Lakes Region General Hospital.

While being rolled on the gurney, she was talking on her cell phone and was making arrangements to have someone pick up the dog.

The woman's dog was unharmed, said Fire Chief Ken Erickson, and was taken by police who will hold it until one of her relatives comes to get it.

Police Sgt. Gary Hubbard said the portion of Mechanic Street near Hillside Cemetery will remained closed until Public Service of New Hampshire crews can make the area safe. He said the utility pole is close to the road on that part of the street.

Hubbard said that neither speed nor alcohol were factors in the crash.

CAPTION (crash on Mechanic Street) Firefighters work to reach a woman who was trapped in her car after it hit a utility pole and flipped onto its side. In one shot they are working on the rear hatch and in the other they are removing the windshield. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 02:35

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City starts Front Porch program to recognize people who've made property improvements

LACONIA — To encourage the owners of residential and commercial properties to improve the appearance of their homes and businesses — and with them the look of the entire city — the city has introduced the "Front Porch Award," a program to recognize those who in the eyes of their fellow residents have significantly enhanced their properties and neighborhoods.

Mayor Mike Seymour announced that the first awards were given to Harry and Priscilla Bean of Gilford for the renovation of a 1,700-square foot single family home with four bedrooms and two baths at 94 Messer Street and Combined Investments, LLC of Milton, Mass. for rehabilitating an eight-unit apartment building at 148 Union Avenue.

The program is an offspring of several meetings held in 2011 at which city councilors and department heads outlined a series of goals and objectives. Encouraging property owners to maintain, improve and landscape their buildings and lots was high among their priorities.

Qualified improvements may include major undertakings like renovation and landscaping or measures like painting the building, replacing the windows or hanging new signage.

Anyone may nominate a particular property for an award, by forwarding the address of the property and the reasons for the nomination as well as the name of the owner, if it known, to the City Manager's Office at 45 Beacon Street East, Laconia, NH 03246 or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Photographs, especially before and after images, would welcomed, but are not required to accompany nominations.

A Nomination Committee will select the properties to be honored. Recipients will receive a letter from the mayor and City Council, along with a photograph of their property. In addition, with the approval of the property owner, a sign will be placed on the property for about a month designating it as a "Front Porch Award" winner and the property will be displayed in the lobby of City Hall and in the weekly newsletter, "Laconia Links."

NOTE: The City Council this week unanimously agreed to sell a 0.169-acre, land-locked lot owned by the city, which lies at the rear of 253 Gilford Avenue, to the owners of the adjacent property for $1,000. City Manager Scott Myers said the lot was what remained of an abandoned sand pit and was no longer of any use to the city. He recommended that the sale be conditioned upon the merger of the two lots into one, the elimination of a 10-foot municipal right-of-way providing access to the lot from Gilford Avenue and the purchaser paying any costs accompanying the transaction. . . . . . The City Council scheduled a public hearing at its next regular meeting on November 12 to consider offering a 4.89-acre lot on Lexington Drive in the O'Shea Industrial Park for sale. The lot, with 232 feet of frontage on Lexington Drive, lies between Titeflex Aerospace and Medsource Technology, LLC.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 02:28

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