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Sled Dog Derby postponed to Feb. 14-16

LACONIA — The 85th annual Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby has been postponed from next weekend until the weekend of February 14-16 due to poor snow conditions.

It marks the second straight year that the derby has been postponed. Last year it was put off twice due to the lack of snow and finally held the first weekend in March.

Race trail boss Jim Lyman said that the course needs at least another six to eight inches of snow in order for the race to be held and says that the race date may be moved permanently to mid-February.

The New England Sled Dog Club has postponed one race scheduled for the Lakes Region and cancelled another. The Hill Village Race scheduled for last weekend has been cancelled and the Tamworth race, which was first held in 1924, was postponed from January 18-19 to March 1-2.



Last Updated on Saturday, 01 February 2014 01:53

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Gilford Selectboard says investment in Kimball Castle not in town's best interests

GILFORD — With the deadline of April 30 for the Kimball Castle to be "made safe" by either demolition or fencing approaching, the Board of Selectmen yesterday announced its preference for having what remains of the structure be razed. The board would like to see a single family home developed on the Locke's Hill property and a suitable memorial placed on nearby town-owned land.

In the meantime, the board invited residents to attend a public forum of the future of Kimball Castle at the Town Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 26, beginning at 7 p.m.

In April 2013, after Building Inspector Dave Andrade told the selectmen the Kimball Castle posed a risk to public safety, the board voted unanimously to authorize its owners, David and Mary Jodoin of Nashua, doing business as Kimball Castle Properties, LLC, to demolish it. Three times since the board has extended the deadline to comply with Andrade's order.

At a public hearing in August, 2013 a group of people, among them some who were not residents of Gilford, called for the castle to preserved. The selectmen invited those seeking to preserve the castle to submit a petitioned warrant article to the Town Meeting to determine if voters were willing to take steps, including including raising and appropriating town funds, to this end. No petitioned warrant article was submitted.

However, the board noted that the Kimball Wildlife Forest Committee suggested that the town purchase the property where the castle stands, drawing on grants, donations and trust funds, so that the castle can be allowed to collapse and the 23.66 acres added to the 179 acres of the Kimball Wildlife Forest. The transaction was projected to cost between $500,000 and $700,000.

The selectmen found that "this investment is not in the town's best interest, especially when we consider the cumulative costs of town ownership (to include having to manage the care of several other structures, dealing with inevitable trespassers, potential liabilities, and the loss of tax revenues) for the sake of a dilapidated castle that would cost a fortune to rebuild."

By letter, the selectmen advised Sandy McGonagle, who chairs the Kimball Wildlife Forest Committee, they have concluded that "there is very little public support for the town to re-acquire this structure or the land on which it resides" and that the board agreed the property should remain on the tax rolls as a single family house lot. The board suggested the committee turn its attention to planning an appropriate memorial to the castle somewhere in the forest.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 03:06

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Vadney retiring from Meredith Selectboard; Seeger only candidate to file

MEREDITH — After serving one term on the Board of Selectmen, Herb Vadney, who is also serving his first term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, has chosen not to seek re-election.

Prior to his election to the Selectboard, Vadney was long chair of the Planning Board.

Hillary Seeger, nee Jollimore, was the lone candidate to file for the Selectboard by the close of the filing period on Friday.

Seeger, whose father Ken served a town moderator and mother, Ann as supervisor of the checklist, said she has no political experience, but after watching what has been happening in Washington decided lack of experience would not put her at a disadvantage. "I'm a collaborative person," she said, "and believe representatives of the people should follow their conscience rather than their party."

Seeger served as a civil engineering technician in the United States Air Force for eight years and in the Army National Guard for another six. She is vice-president of the Laconia Kiwanis Club and was an enthusiastic supporter of Christopher Boothby's campaign for the Executive Council. Saying that as a selectman she intends to represent the will of the people, she urged anyone with questions about her candidacy to call her at 707-6821.

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 February 2014 01:23

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Understanding after Hathaway House meeting is that historic Laconia building will have to be moved to be saved

LACONIA — Following the emotional public hearing on the future of the Hathaway House last week, Pam Clark, who chairs the Heritage Commission, and City Manager Scott Myers met yesterday with Greg Nolan of Cafua Management Company, LLC, the owner of the building, in what Clark described as a "positive and productive meeting."

In September, Cafua applied for permit to demolish the Hathaway House, setting in train the process to preserve it. A public hearing was held, at which the overwhelming majority of attendees favored preserving the building. In accord with the ordinance Clark met with the owner to discuss alternatives to demolition. If an alternative cannot be found, Cafua will be entitled to proceed with demolition.

Clark said that there was acknowledgement that the interests of both the owner of Hathaway House and those seeking to preserve it, hinged on relocating the building. The entrance to the Dunkin' Donuts outlet runs close to the front door of the Hathaway House, effectively foreclosing prospects to convert the building to a either a residential or commercial use at its current location.

Although Cafua will complete its application for a demolition permit, Clark said that Nolan agreed to "provide a reasonable window of opportunity to explore the possibility of relocating the building. He said that at this time the company had no specific plans for the property. Clark said that Nolan assured her that "there is no imminent time frame for demolition" and should the company decide to pursue that course the Heritage Commission will be given ample notice."

Clark said that following the meeting she spoke with Maggie Stier of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance who said that she would arrange for a team to assess the condition of the Hathaway House to determine whether it can be moved and to estimate the cost relocating it. "Right now the question is whether it can be moved and if so where it can be located and at what cost," Clark said, adding that the commission may issue a "request for proposals" to attract developers interested in acquiring the building and a lot to house it.

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 February 2014 01:19

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