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County Convention denies request for $3-m jail bond

LACONIA — The Belknap County Convention last evening rejected the request of the Belknap County Commission to borrow nearly $3-million to fund improvements at the existing county jail and further the process of designing a new facility.

The motion to approve the request, which required a two-thirds majority or 12 of the 16 members present and voting to succeed, failed by a vote of seven in favor and nine against.

The nine opposed, all Republicans, were Reps. Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Charles Fink and Michael Sylvia of Belmont, Bob Greemore, Herb Vadney and Colette Worsman of Meredith, Stephen Holmes of Alton and Frank Tilton of Laconia.

Four of the five Democrats on the convention were present and all — Reps. Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, Ruth Gulick of New Hampton, David Huot of Laconia and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — voted to approve the borrowing. They were joined by three Republicans — Dennis Fields of Sanbornton and Don Flanders and Bob Luther of Laconia. Beth Arsenault, a Democrat representing Laconia and Belmont, was absent and did not vote.

Rep. Jane Cormier (R-Alton) resigned her seat on May 28, leaving the convention with 17 members.

Altogether the commission requested a borrowing of $2,960,000, of which $1,600,000 would be applied to a three-year lease for a temporary housing unit with capacity for 48 inmates. Another $1-million would be invested in replacing the HVAC system at the existing jail, much of which could be incorporated into a newly constructed facility. The remaining $360,000 would fund a schematic design of new county jail, without which the cost of the project cannot be estimated.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:39

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LRCC professor to run for Belknap County Commissioner

LACONIA — Democrat David Pollak of Laconia, a professor at Lakes Region Community College, will challenge Republican David DeVoy of Sanbornton for the seat on the Belknap County Commission opened by the retirement of Ed Philpot.

Pollak is a graduate of George Washington University with a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in education from Antioch University New England. He is a member of the liberal arts faculty and teaches a variety of courses in the social sciences, including psychology, government and ethics. He is married with four children.

Pollak said yesterday that he has followed the often contentious course of county government during the past several years closely and would seek "to dial down the rhetoric and find consensus." Noting that the future of the county jail is the overriding issue facing both the commission and the Belknap County Convention, he said, "I am coming to that with an open mind." He recalled that he had taught classes at the jail and is familiar with conditions at the facility.

"I am not an expert," Pollak said, "but I am a good listener and a good learner." He said that he "admires people with strongly held principles" and finds "if you start from a place of respect, you get to a good outcome." Although a newcomer to local politics, he served as a sewer commissioner in a rapidly growing rural township in southeastern Pennsylvania before coming the New Hampshire.

Pollak said that in deciding to run for county commission he remembered one of his favorite sayings: "You don't want to go to a place where they don't need you."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:18

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Mass. man charged with endangering young child

LACONIA — A Massachusetts man is charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child after police found him stumbling and staggering along Lakeside Avenue while in the company of a very small child.

According to affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, police located Jared Leone, 28, of 416 Rogers St., Tewksbury, Mass., Sunday at 5 p.m. and after several passersby reported seeing him either fall or jump into the water next to the city docks, allegedly leaving the child unattended on the dock.

Observers reported that at one point the child was trying to wake him up but was unable to.

Police observed the man pulling the child who was riding on a toy motorcycle. Police observed that he was about to pour a Red Bull on the child's head when they interceded.

When police approached Leone, he immediately became defensive and evasive, affidavits stated. He also told police that he drove to New Hampshire.

Police described him as unsteady on his feet, slurring his speech and exhibiting mood swings from very agitated to calm and cooperative. They also said he had saliva built up in the corners of his mouth.

They told Leone he was not leaving with the child and asked him repeatedly if there was someone they could call who would come and get the child.

Police said Leone refused to give him the name of the child's mother, telling them only her first name and that she lived in Newton, N.H. He mentioned that he was in debt because of "court battles" he had with her.

They said Leone made efforts to contact his own father but only "fumbled with the phone."

After several attempts to learn the name of the child's mother, police told him they would put the child in temporary foster care.

"Do what you have to do," Leone said, as reported by police.

Affidavits said the child was out of ear shot of the conversation.

After Leone was advised that he was in police custody, they said he still refused to give police any information and allegedly became so irrational that police determined he was not going to be any additional help to them.

Leone was taken to the Laconia Police Station while the child was taken to a different location. City police contacted police in Newton, N.H., who were able to identify the child's mother who agreed to come immediately.

The child was taken to the police stations and her mother arrived at 8 p.m. with her current boyfriend. Affidavits said the child ran to his mother.

Leone's criminal history, according to police, includes a conviction for breaking and entering in 2004, burglary on 2010, possession of a controlled drug in 2004, bail jumping in 2004, driving after suspension in 2013, and disobeying an officer in 2013.

He was held overnight and released on $5,000 personal recognizance bail after appearing in court yesterday morning. Judge Jim Carroll ordered that he have no unsupervised contact with any children under the age of 16, no contact with his child unless he has the permission of the child's mother, and that he not consume any alcohol or drugs.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:25

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3rd Annual ‘Water, Wings and Wheels’ brings crowd to Laconia Airport

GILFORD — A good turnout was on hand Saturday as Laconia Airport hosted its third annual Wings, Water and Wheels Open House Saturday.
The event, held on Flag Day, had as its theme , "Honoring Our Heroes" and also marked the 70th anniversary of Civil Air Patrol's Wing Maneuvers, which have ben held at the airport since July of 1944.
One of the highlights of the day was the presentation of a program for the very first Wing Maneuvers event was presented by Col. Bill Moran, NH Civil Air Patrol Wing Commander and a member of the Laconia Airport Authority, to Dr. Henry Munroe, president emeritus of the New Hampshire College and University Council, who was a 17-year-old cadet when the first event was held in 1944.
Munroe said the Laconia Airport was a very different place with only one runway when the first maneuvers took place.
Munroe will receive the Congressional Gold Medal this fall for his CAP volunteer service during WWII.
"We are honored to have Henry join us for this memorable occasion and are proud to have a Congressional Gold Medal winner in the state of New Hampshire." said Moran.
Many static displays greeted open house visitors, including aircraft from the airport's fixed-based operators Sky Bright Aviation and Emerson Aviation, who raffled off a free scenic flight. Members from the NH Pilots Association pilots from around the state had their airplanes on display, including a unique ER Coupe 415C, owned by Alan Tripp and Jetta Morrison. The aircraft, built in 1946, weighed only 1300 pounds, two seats and had an 85 horsepower engine and could cruise at 90 miles per hour.
Airplanes weren't the only things attracting attention.
A replica of a 1939 Jaguar owned by Donna Boettcher of Weirs Beach was on display. Her husband, Peter, said that convertible used a 1985 Mustang frame and body and is powered by modern six cylinder V-6 engine and was built by a North Dakota form which specializes in making classic roadsters which come in kit form.
Boettcher is retired from the Manchester Water Works while his wife is a retired teacher who taught for 35 years in Candia.
''It's a fun car, a play car. We like to take it around Lake Winnipesaukee for weekend rides,'' he said.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:01

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