Woman shot in head in Belmont on Arlene Drive


BELMONT — Police Chief Mark Lewandoski said a woman suffered what appears to be a single shot to the head while she was in a home on 24 Arlene Drive around 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Lewandoski said the woman was alive when police arrived and she was taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital and then flown to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, where she was in stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit Tuesday evening.

As of 6 p.m., the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit and the Belmont Police were investigating. Lewandoski said that the shooter is not in custody, but police had a good idea who he is.

He said the general public is not in danger but they have not yet recovered the gun.

Lewandoski said police received several calls from the area saying from people saying they heard a gunshot and then heard a woman screaming. He said the victim, who appeared to be in her late 20s or early 30s, was conscious and talking to police before she slipped into unconsciousness.

He said the home is a duplex and the shooting occurred in the right-side apartment and that the victim and her likely assailant were visitors of the tenants who rent that half of the house.

The renters of the apartment, said Lewandoski, have been cleared of any wrongdoing but will not be allowed to return to the house until the police complete their investigation. He said police learned that the people involved in the shooting were their guests and that they had stayed there Monday night.

He said there are people who live in the other half of the home who have two children and they are being temporarily housed in an undisclosed location. He said their two dogs will be taken to the Humane Society for care until they can all return to the home.

As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Lewandoski said investigators were in the process of getting a search warrant for the house. He said police only went into the apartment to assist the victim and make sure no one else was there.

Lewandoski said that investigators were speaking to a number of witnesses and police hope to make an arrest shortly.

"Right now I do not know the victim or the person who shot her but we hope to have some answers soon as to why this happened," he said.

According to Belmont online assessing records, the house is owned by Elizabeth Gates and Shane Farmer. It is not known if they live there.

10-11 Major Crimes Unit at 24 Arlene

The State Police Major Crimes Unit was stationed outside 24 Arlene Drive in Belmont Tuesday evening. A woman was shot in the head at that address, but police say no one else is in danger at this time. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)

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Council to revisit Lakeside Avenue improvements tonight


LACONIA — The City Council will decide whether to extend improvements on Lakeside Avenue, which would include underground utilities, new street lights and concrete sidewalks, beyond Tower Street to Foster Avenue when it meets tonight at 7 p.m.

In June the council authorized investing $1,150,000 to bury the utilities and install new street lights from US Route 3 to Tower Street with the expectation that the Weirs Tax Increment Financing Advisory Board would request another $200,000 to enhance the sidewalks and crosswalks, bringing the total cost of the project to $1,350,000, which would be funded by the Weirs Tax Increment Financing District.

Tax increment financing allows municipalities to delineate tax increment financing districts, then apply a portion of the future tax revenues that accrue from the increase in assessed value generated by new construction, expansion or renovation of property in the district to finance public improvements by servicing borrowings within that district. There are three such districts in the city, one downtown, another in Lakeport and the third at The Weirs.

The proposal to extend the scope of work to Foster Avenue followed public discussion, together with the need for the Laconia Water Works to undertake improvements past Tower Street to Foster Avenue.

The cost of burying additional utilities, installing more street lights and extending concrete sidewalks is projected at $250,000, increasing the total cost of the project from $1,350,000 to $1,600,000. The project would be financed by a borrowing with a term of 20 years. Debt service on borrowings of $1,350,000 and $1,600,000 would begin at $93,000 and $110,000 decrease by $1,200 and $1,500 each year respectively.

Although the current balance in the Weirs Tax Increment Financing District account is not sufficient to service the debt, City Manager Scott Myers said the projected increase in property values will enable the district to fully fund the debt service within six years. In the meantime, the city would loan the district the difference between what it can pay and what is owed, which he anticipates would not not exceed $100,000. The arrangement, Myers stressed, would have no impact on either the city's cash-flow or budget since the loan will be repaid as income to the tax increment financing district rises.

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At the Sandwich Fair

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Amber Paquette and Lenox from Mr. Vernon take in a little down time at the Sandwich Fair on Saturday afternoon.  Amber and Lenox were entered in the 4H dairy showmanship events throughout the weekend. (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

After 37 years, the fair’s master of ceremonies, Art Harriman, steps down


SANDWICH — Sandwich Fair’s long-time master of ceremonies, Art Harriman, who has been performing for 37 years at the fair, was honored with farewell concert by Annie and the Orphans Monday afternoon at the fair’s entertainment stage.
Anatole “Annie” Paquette, observed that he and his group, the Orphans, have been playing at the fair for 29 years and thanked Harriman for his many years of entertaining fairgoers.

10-11 Sandwich Fair Art HarrimanArt Harriman, master of ceremonies at the Sandwich Fair entertainment stage for 37 years, performs Monday on the last day of the fair.It was his final year as master of ceremonies. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Harriman, who grew up in Ashland and now lives winters in Big Bear Lake, California, started his musical career at the age of 6 by playing the harmonica on the Mt. Washington cruise ship on Lake Winnipesaukee. He purchased the harmonica with money he earned shining shoes at the Concord railroad station.
For years he has billed himself as “The Six Piece, One Man, Fun Dance Band” and has had the distinction of appearing in Elvis Presley’s 1968 movie “Live a Little. Love a Little” as Presley’s friend and band leader. He has also performed with Willie Nelson and Hank Williams Jr.
“I’ve had a lot of fun at the fair and it’s always nice to be recognized by people who come by and say hello every year” said Harriman. He said that while he is stepping down as master of ceremonies at the fair, he will continue to provide entertainment whenever possible. He has been appearing lately at the Common Man in Ashland where a farewell event for him is planned for Wednesday night.
The fair was extremely busy Monday after Sunday’s drenching rain put a damper on attendance according to Rhea York, who works in the Sandwich Fair office.
“Monday we had ideal weather, nice and sunny and were really busy. It was nice that we had good weather for Art’s last day as master of ceremonies. It’s quite a feat to have been doing that for 37 years.” she said.
Held during the peak of the fall foliage season, Sandwich is a classic New England fair, with a midway, carnival concessions and rides. And there’s always lots of food, including fried dough, giant doughnuts, buffalo burgers, and sausage grinders with peppers and onions.
One of the newest attractions, the Sandwich Fair Pickup Truck Pull, now in its second year, proved very popular and crew a big crowd of spectators who filled the stands and rooted for local drivers who were taking part.
Other popular events held Monday were the Woman’s Skillet Toss and Gentlemen’s Keg Toss. It was also be 4-H Day with many animal demonstrations and competitions running.
Kameron Gallant of Wheelock, Vermont, took part in the 4-H working steer competition with a pair of Brown Swiss, Ben and Jerry, who together weighed over 4,600 pounds. She said she enjoys working with the big animals and that they are extremely powerful but very docile.
This year’s fair booklet was dedicated to Allen R. Wiggin, the former vice president of the Sandwich Fair Association, who died last November at the age of 74. Wiggin also served as livestock superintendent for the fair until his death.

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The crowd funnels through the Sandwich Fair.(Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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Michael Ibraham Jr. of Mendon, Massachusetts, stops at Angelino’s for a sausage sub after working up an appetite playing the midway games. (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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Kameron Gallant of Wheelock, Vermont, and Shelbi Whitman of West Paris, Maine, wait for the working steers show on Saturday.  (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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Samantha and Cristina Locke of Barnstead with Bill and Cote during the Horse Pulling events on Saturday afternoon at the Sandwich Fair.  (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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Charlie and Scarlett carry an accumulation of “prizes” from midway games at the Sandwich Fair Saturday afternoon.   (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)

10-11 Sandwich Fair sausage

There was fair food in abundance, like this sausage drawing hungry customers. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)