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Head-on ties up upper Union Avenue

LACONIA — The southbound lane of Union Avenue was closed and northbound traffic slowed to a crawl between Lakeport Square and McIntyre Circle for about an hour after two vehicles collided in the center of the roadway just south of Lake Street shortly before noon yesterday.

A Honda Ridgeline, driven northbound by Karen Craver, 51, of Gilford and a Jeep Liberty, driven southbound by Zachary Pearson, 20, of Laconia, collided obliquely near where the center lane on Union Avenue ends and the left turn lane to Lake Street (Weirs Blvd.) begins.

Neither motorist was with a passenger and both were treated for non-life threatening injuries at Lakes Region General Hospital. Both vehicles suffered severe damage. Police officers from both Laconia and Gilford diverted traffic around the scene of the accident for nearly an hour.

Lieutenant Rick Simmons said that the cause of the accident remains under investigation.

CAPTION: Both vehicles suffered severe damage, but their drivers escaped without serious injury when they collided nearly head-on on Union Avenue near McIntyre Circle around noon yesterday. Traffic crept along Union Avenue for nearly an hour until the vehicles were towed and the roadway cleared. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).

 

Last Updated on Friday, 02 August 2013 03:32

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Correction: Lance Reason was adopted son of Aprill Morgan

A story published on the front page of our Saturday, July 27 edition about the untimely death of 20-year-old Laconia resident Lance Reason contained inaccurate information about his relationship to the woman in whose house he was living. The story stated that Mr. Reason was in the home of his foster mother at the time of his death. In fact, Aprill Morgan was originally a foster mother to Mr. Reason but she legally adopted him as her son in 2008.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 August 2013 03:28

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Tardif & Gammon ask judge to reconsider decision not to sanction lawmakers

LACONIA — Although Justice Timothy Vaughan of Grafton County Superior Court ruled that the Belknap County Convention violated the state's "Right-to-Know" law by electing its officers in November 2012 by secret ballot, Tom Tardif and Dave Gammon, who brought the suit, are seeking punishment as well as vindication. Last week the pair, representing themselves, asked the court to reconsider its decision not to impose one of several penalties authorized by the law.

Vaughan agreed that the convention "directly violated" RSA 91-A:2, II, which prescribes that all meetings of a public body shall be open to the public and that "no vote while in open session may be taken by secret ballot." But, he found that the convention "realized their error" and held a second election, which with only one exception mirrored the outcome of the first and held that to strike the election and order another "would be an exercise in futility and a further waste of resources". Likewise,the justice found no evidence that the convention acted in bad faith and declined to impose civil penalties or order that its members undergo remedial training in the law.
In their motion for reconsideration, Tardif and Gammon remind the court that in 2007 the Belknap County Convention elected Sheriff Craig Wiggin by secret ballot, prompting a legal challenge that was decided against the convention by the New Hampshire Supreme Court. At the same time, they claim that because the original election was conducted contrary to law, the convention was not properly organized, casting doubt on the legitimacy of its subsequent actions. They ask the court to require "any elected officer, employee or other administrative of Belknap County" to undergo remedial training in the interpretation and application of the "Right-to-Know" law at the county's expense. They also asked the court to order that secret ballots cast in the original election be disclosed to the public.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 02 August 2013 03:24

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Woman charged with intent to sell heroin remains jailed in lieu of $15k cash bail

LACONIA — Judge Jim Carroll determined yesterday that a Bay Street woman charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute it would remain in the Belknap County House of Corrections on $15,000 cash-only bail.

Carrie M. Conway, 34, of 19 Bay St. was charged July 24 after Laconia Police executed a search warrant at her home. Her probable cause hearing was held yesterday in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division. She also faces one count of possession of heroin.

"It may be a sign I'm getting old but I always associated heroin with a skull and crossbones," said Judge Jim Carroll when Conway's attorney, Ted Barnes, asked for $250 cash-only bail coupled with high personal recognizance bail.

"I think $15,000 is conservative," he continued, adding the court takes all drugs very seriously and noting heroin's "seeming preponderance" in Laconia recently.

A probable cause hearing is not a trial but is a snapshot of the enough of the state's evidence such that a judge can determine if there is reason to justify further criminal proceedings. It is also a chance for the defendant to try and alter bail terms.

According to affidavits filed with the court and testimony of a city narcotics officer in court yesterday, Conway was arrested after police detained her minor son for whom they had gotten a warrant to search his person and home. The teen was picked up by police while riding his bicycle in a nearby parking lot. During the search, police found four small bags of heroin and $624 on his person.

Laconia Det. Chris Noyes said police got additional search warrants for Conway's person and home after finding the heroin on the teen.

Carroll said for the purposes of probable cause he gave great credence to Noyes's testimony that Conway allegedly told police she made "trips" or went to purchase heroin about every two days.

Noyes testified the amount of heroin seized in her home is more than what is used for daily consumption. He also said Conway lied to police when she initially told them the only heroin in the house was in her pocketbook.

He said after police found a safe under the bed, she admitted the four bags of heroin in it were hers. Noyes testified Conway gave police the safe combination.

Included in the things seized from the house was a set of scales. When Barnes questioned Noyes about evidence the scales belonged to Conway, Noyes said he didn't have any.

Barnes also questioned the validity of the search warrant because it listed an address different from 19 Bay St. Prosecutor Jim Sawyer argued it wasn't an element of the crime and Carroll agreed.

Conway lives in the apartment with her boyfriend, Jeremy Barton, 42.

Police charged Barton with one count of possession of methamphetamine. Barton was released on personal recognizance bail. He is facing a separate charge of possession of methamphetamine in the Belknap County Superior Court. His trial is scheduled for November of 2013, however he is scheduled to appear Monday after the Belknap County Attorney's Office filed a motion to revoke his bail.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 02 August 2013 03:20

Hits: 449

 
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