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WEEKEND - Old home celebrations in Alton, Belmont & Gilmanton this weekend

ALTON/BELMONT/GILMANTON — "I wish that in the ear of every son and daughter of New Hampshire, in summer days, might be heard whispered the persuasive words: Come back, come back. Do you no hear the call? What has become of the old home where you were born. Do you not remember it – the old farm back among the hill, with its rambling building, its well sweep casting its long shadow, the row of still poplar trees, the lilacs and the willows?"

So wrote New Hampshire Governor Frank West Rollins in 1897 when he created Old Home Week.

According to the Campton Historical Society, Rollins worked with the N.H. Department of Agriculture to encourage many native born New Hampshire people to return to the villages, buy the old and decaying farmhouses of their youth for summer homes, and to awaken from what he felt was a moral national slumber.

This weekend there are three Old Home Day celebrations in southern Belknap County.

The town of Alton is making an effort to return to the Old Home Week of the turn of the 20th century by hosting the first Old Home Weekend — a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday event loaded with activities and events highlighted by a parade and fireworks.

With a theme of What's Old is New Again, Alton Historical Society President Marty Cornellissen said one of the big features of this weekend's event is the opening of the Alton Historical Museum in the 1885 J. Jones freight building that members of the society have been restoring.

One half of the 110-foot building will be a historical museum while the back half, which is not yet completed, will be a meeting space.

After Friday's events that include a block party at the Alton Central School, Saturday festivities begin with the 5K road race, a craft fair in the Alton Bay area, and an antique boat show, all beginning at 9 a.m.

At 11 a.m., activities move closer to town and the Alton Historical Museum opens for four hours. A barbershop group will entertain for some of the time that the museum is open between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Old Home Parade, sponsored by the Alton Business Association, begins at 2 p.m. The line of march will be from School Street in the Village area, and then proceed up Main Street to the Bay. At 3 p.m. the Prospect Mountaineers Band plays at the Bandstand.

Following the parade is a Police Department K-9 demonstration at 4 p.m. and the annual Fire Department Chicken Barbecue.

Fireworks in the Bay begin at 9 p.m.

On Sunday the craft fair continues from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition there will be a mini-golf tournament all day in Alton Bay, and a car show at Monument Square from noon to 3 p.m

Hotdogs and hamburgers will be served at the J. Jones freight building from noon to 4 p.m.

There's at Fairy and Princess picnic from 3 to 5 p.m. at River Run Deli, and a Police Motorcycle demonstration at the at the Police Station.

Belmont's Old Home Day will take visitors to the Mardi Gras.

A flag-raising ceremony begins the day at 8:30 a.m. near the library while the 46th annual 10K road race starts at Concord and Main Street. The Tioga Fun Run begins at 9 a.m.

At 10 a.m. are children's games and the Soggy Po Boys Jazz Band starts playing near the bandstand.

The annual parade starts at 1 p.m. with the community showcase starting at 2 p.m. At 5 p.m. is the annual chicken barbecue at the Fire Department.

Activities at Bryant Field include a rock-climbing wall at 6:30 p.m., the Small Change Jazz Band will play and fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 p.m.

Throughout the day, there will be concessions and community and school groups set up in the village area and the Belmont Heritage Commission and the Belmont Historical Society will have exhibits at the Belmont Library until 3 p.m.

In Gilmanton, there are the Bean Hole Beans. Celebrating its 116th Old Home Day begins Thursday morning with the sorting of 200 pounds of beans.

"We want to make sure there aren't any small rocks or pebbles in them," said this year's "Bean Queen" Sarah Welcome.

After the sorting, she said the beans are soaked overnight and on Friday the four bean hole pits are fired up. Each pit is lined with rocks, and after the fires burn down the rocks and the coal act like a very hot oven.

There are four varieties of beans this year – traditional kidney, traditional navy beans or pea beans, Southwestern spicy beans, and vegetarian beans.

Welcome said many people come looking for the salt pork, but for those who eschew the fatty part of the pig, she said the vegetarian beans have been quite popular.

For the old-fashioned bean fans, she puts 15 pounds of salt pork in each of the other pots.

The beans are poured into containers around 6:30 p.m. Friday and cook overnight in the baking pits. By 11:30 a.m. Saturday they are ready.

Welcome described the cast iron pots as "six-men" pots because that's how many people it takes to lower and raise one pot of beans.

Gilmanton's beans are served in two seatings – one at 11:30 a.m and the other at 12:30 p.m. Each meal comes with all four kinds of beans, ham, coleslaw and brown bread.

For entertainment, she said a bluegrass band will play and there will be puppet shows and other activities for the children.

Gilmanton's Old Home Day takes place at the Historic Smith Meeting House.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 August 2014 09:02

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Judge finds probable cause for arrest of drug sale suspect

LACONIA — After a probable cause hearing yesterday afternoon, 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division Judge Jim Carroll found there was reason for the police to arrest a Grant Street man for one count of selling narcotic drugs.

The charge brought by Laconia Police against Patrick McIntire, 25, of 41 A Garfield St. will be bound over to the Belknap Superior Court for potential indictment.

McIntire was arrested after a confidential information called police and told them he could get some methadone from him.

After reviewed a text message exchange allegedly between McIntire and the informant, police gave the informant $30 in marked bills and sent him into McIntire's house for the buy.

McIntire public defenders questioned the state's only witness, Det. Dan Carsen, who, along with a second detective, witnessed the informant going into McIntire's house on November 18, 2013.

Prosecutors tried to discredit the alleged purchased by challenging the on-line drug identification site used by Carsen to identify what police said were three 10 milligram pills of methadone.

They said the site, www.drugs.com, was not an officially recognized or monitored Website and could not be depended on for identification. Judge Jim Carroll agreed with the city prosecutor when he argued the chemistry was a trial issue.

McIntire's defense team also attempted to challenge the credibility of the confidential information.

Judge Carroll gave them some leeway but stopped Carsen from identifying who the informant is or whether or not he had been arrested for anything, saying that specific information was for trial and not an informal probable cause hearing.

McIntire's defense was able to learn that the informant was someone who police knew to have both used and sold drugs in the past.

The defense also challenged the state's contention that McIntire was the only one who had access to the cell phone allegedly used by him during the text message exchange.

Carsen testified that the police have not confirmed McIntire was the only user of the phone nor have the confirmed McIntire was the only one in the house at the time of the alleged drug sale.

Carroll determined that the totality of the evidence provided by the state and Carsen's experience, there was probable cause for the arrest.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 August 2014 01:02

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Alleged playground injury lawsuit still alive after judge's ruling

LACONIA — A Belknap County Superior Court judge declined to dismiss a Franklin woman's claim that the city was negligent when it allegedly failed to maintain some playground equipment at Opechee Park.

Margaret Dolbeare filed suit against the city for negligence and creating a nuisance after she tripped on the edge of a mat while approaching the swing set with her granddaughter on May 27, 2012.

She said the mat was curled and twisted and used to cover a hole that indicated a lack of maintenance at the park.

She said her foot went under the mat and she fell, causing her to hurt her knee. She is seeking an unspecified amount of money for medical bills including a knee replacement, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering.

The city had asked Judge Larry Smulker to dismiss both counts because the city was immune from suit because it is protected under the state's recreation statutes.

In his ruling issued last week, Smukler said the motion to dismiss that cited RSA 508:14 and RSA 212:34 was incorrectly interpreted by Laconia's attorney, who argued that the city has no duty to maintain it recreation facilities under RSA 212:34 and was immunized by RSA 508:14.

RSA 212:34, ruled Smuker, pertains a duty of care for outdoor recreation land that includes hunting, fishing, horseback riding, water sports and the like. He said using constructed outdoor recreation facilities like the swing set at Opechee Park is not "outdoor recreating" as defined by RSA 212:34.

As to the city's claim of immunity under RSA 504:14, Smukler said it also fails for the same reason.

"The use of playground equipment is not of the same kind or class as the non-exhaustive list of activities included in the definition of "outdoor recreational activity," he wrote, referring to RSA 212:34.

"Specifically, the enumerated activities do not involve the use of equipment or structures that do not serve the purpose of facilitating access or use of the land." he continued.
He said that since the two statutes are often cited together, he refused to give broader consideration to the immunity the city said it has under RSA 504:14.

He also said recreational statutes do not apply to nuisance claims and since the city offered no other legal argument to dismiss that portion of the claim, he will allow the suit to go forward.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 August 2014 12:40

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The other guy from Alton who's running for governor

ALTON — Last month, the University of New Hampshire-WMUR-TV poll reported that only two of 10 likely voters knew enough about Walt Havenstein of Alton and Andrew Hemingway of Bristol, the leading Republican candidates for governor, to offer an opinion about them. Even fewer could have identified Jonathan Smolin, a third candidate for the GOP nomination, also of Alton, had they been asked.

Yesterday, six weeks before the primary, Smolin, in his first first media interview, said that so far he has campaigned through social media, chiefly a Facebook page that has drawn 331 likes, and networking, but plans to begin putting up yard signs next week. He said that he has repeatedly approached WMUR-TV, only be shunned.

"Some people are writing to them to complain," he said.

Smolin took part in a candidates forum hosted by the Bedford Republican Committee and said he will participate in a debate at Franklin Pierce University next month. A surgical assistant at Huggins Hospital in Woilfeboro. he said that it is challenge to campaign around a full-time job.

Smolin, who is 48, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and attended Bradford College in Bradford, Mass. and New England College in Henniker and has spent the last 20 years in health care, including a stint as director of the Salter School of Nursing in Manchester. With his wife Dianna and two sons, 12 and 13, Smolin has lived in Alton since 2005.

"I think people want an average Joe," Smolin said. "Someone coming from the same place as the majority of people who live here." He described Hemingway as a "career politician who wants to continue his career" and Havenstein as "a wealthy businessman."

On the political spectrum, Smolin stands closer to Hemingway than Havenstein. "I'm more with the libertarian wing of the party," he said.

He is opposed to both a personal income and general sales tax. He favors limited government and would follow the lead of Colorado by legalizing the use of marijuana as well as open the state to casino gambling. While acknowledging the need to reform health care, he supports the repeal of Obamacare. Likewise, he would eliminate Common Core from the public school system and empower local school districts to determine the appropriate curriculum and testing for their students. The state, he suggested, should provide the best high school graduates with a college education "at little or no cost." Smolin said that state government should take initiatives like tax-free zones to attract more business and industry, which would generate more middle class employment.

"I believe in applying common sense to government," Smolin said. "I'm interested in fixing the state, not fixing which party runs the state. I want to get everyone together," he continued, "and don't mind going across party lines."

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, September 9.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 August 2014 12:50

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