Sanbornton and Belmont police investigating home burglaries

SANBORNTON — Police are reporting three home burglaries, including two on Cram Road, since the beginning of the year.

Police Chief Steve Hankard said they have reason to believe the Cram Road burglaries were committed on the same day and likely by the same person(s).

He said police have not been able to positively link the third reported burglary to the other two.

Hankard said three home burglaries in three weeks is a lot for a small community like Sanbornton. He also said a handgun had been stolen in one of them.

He said he is sharing notes and information with the Belmont Police who have responded to five home burglaries since the new year, with the most recent one on Plummer Hill Road on January 21.

The two townships share a common border.

Hankard and Sgt. Steve Akerstrom asked that residents report any suspicious activity, including cars and foot traffic, immediately to police.

If anyone has any information they are asked to call the Belmont Police at 267-8350 or Sanbornton Police at 286-4323.

In other police news, Belmont Police are investigating a road rage incident that occurred in Shooter's Tavern parking lot off Rte. 3 at 9:05 p.m. on January 24.

Akerstrom said a young woman was being harassed by a vehicle with two people — a man and a woman — in it.

He said the woman pulled into the Shooter's parking lot and was followed by the two who got out of their car, approached her car, and tried to get her out of it. When she called police on her cell phone, the two fled.

If anyone witnessed the incident or has any information, the are asked to call the Belmont Police at 267-8350.

Hunter Taylor of Alton Unanimous Choice as New commissioner

LACONIA — Hunter Taylor of Alton, who 49 years ago was the youngest and lowest paid member of the faculty at the University of Georgia law school, was unanimously appointed by the Belkanp County Convention Monday night to a two-year term as Belknap County Commissioner.
Taylor fills a vacancy created when Steven Nedeau of Meredith resigned effective Jan. 1. as Distict 3 commissioner with two years left in his term.
Taylor is professor emeritus at the Rutgers University School of Law and held his own private practice in New Jersey until he retired in 2010 and moved to the Lakes Region. He had previously served nine years on a New Jersey school board and three years as a land use planning board member.
He has has been a high-profile critic of the previous board of commissioner's plan to build a new county jail, writing any number of long letters on the subject to editors of local newspapers, as well as being critical of the commission in its two-year long legal battle wit the convention over line item budget authority.
He joins new commissioners Richard Burchell of Gilmanton and David DeVoy on the board, both of whom were also critics of the previous commission and whom he endorsed in his letters to the editor.
Taylor joins his wife, Ruth Larson, in holding public office. She is also a retired lawyer and was named to the Gunstock Area Commission a little over two years ago.
He said that he became interested in local politics in 2012 after reading about the dispute between the county convention and the commissioners over line item budget authority in the Laconia Daily Sun. He said that his own reading of the relevant statutes convinced him that the commissioners were wrong.
Taylor also faulted the previous commissioners for what he said was the creation of an aura of crisis and said that the duty of the convention is to represent the taxpayers while that of the commissioners to oversee the day to day operations of the county.
He said that he supports the county jail plan endorsed by both Burchell and DeVoy modeled on Sullivan County's and said that he had always opposed the plans of the former commissioners for more expensive versions, ranging from $42 million down to $25 million.
He noted that Sullivan County had spent $2 million on repairs and upgrades to its old jail and $5 million on a new 72-bed, 20,000 square foot community corrections center.

City braces for storm, trash collection delayed

LACONIA — The team of 19 people which operates the city's dozen plow trucks and three sidewalk plows will be working around the clock until the major nor'easter storm passes.

"We'll play as we get it," Jon Neal, general foreman at the Department of Public Works, said yesterday as the crews prepared for the storm which was expected to start last night and continue throughout today. "It will be a long haul. Nobody goes home. We've got plenty of salt and sand," he continued, "and all the equipment is working."

Meanwhile, City Manger Scott Myers announced that the City Hall, Public Library, Community Center and Water Department will be closed all day today. He advised residents with problems or questions arising from the storm to call the Police Department at 524-5252 and, as always in the event of an emergency to dial 9-1-1.

He said that city officials will monitor the course of the storm and post appropriate information on the city website — — as well as inform the local media.

The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative anticipates that heavy snow and strong winds will increase the likelihood of power outages. Seth Wheeler, spokesman for NHEC, said that the utility has stocked its nine operating districts with emergency supplies and secured additional resources to supplement its full complement of line crews to assist with restoring power if necessary. Power outages, he said, can be reported to NHEC's 24-hour outage line at 1-800-343-6432 and power outages and restoration efforts will be posted on the website

Due to the storm there will be no curbside collection of trash and recyclables today, Tuesday. "Everything will be one day late this week," said Ann Saltmarsh, who explained that what would have been collected on Tuesday will be collected on Wednesday, and what would have been collected on Wednesday will be collected on Thursday and so on through Saturday.

Lakeport Opera House building to be sold at auction

LACONIA — The white, frame building at the corner of Union Avenue and Clinton Street in Lakeport, which houses a small theater, is scheduled to be sold at suction on Wednesday, March 4.
The building sits on a 0.2-acre lot and was originally constructed in 1885. It was known as the Opera House Block and for a time was home to the International Order of Odd Fellows. The first floor consists of 4,552-square-feet of retail space, most recently leased to a pawnbroker, but now vacant. The Lakeport Opera House is on the upper story where there is 9,240-square-feet of space. The property has an assessed value of $224,800.

"I would love to see someone restore it," Gerard Horn, the longtime owner of the building, said recently. "Demolition is the last option." He recalled that "20 or 30 years ago" members of the Streetcar Company approached him about acquiring the building and restoring the theater, but abandoned the project when the community theater group learned the cost of renovating the theater alone was $1 million.

Earlier this month members of the Heritage Commission toured the building.

Astride a busy intersection with limited on-street and off-street parking, the location has posed a challenge for commercial enterprises. The single story brick building next door stood empty for several years before a restaurant opened more than a year ago only to close in less than three months.

F.D. Peverly & Sons, auctioneers and appraisers, of Northfield are conducting the sale.