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Sue Rayno presented with Tilton's Boston Post Cane

TILTON — Sue Rayno, 96, was presented with a replica of the town's Boston Post Cane by town officials in a ceremony held yesterday afternoon at her Calef Hill Road home.
''When I first moved here in 1968 there was nothing from here to the corner,'' said Rayno, who was raised on a farm, also on Calef Hill Road, but located a few miles away in Sanbornton.
Rayno, who said that she has no living relatives, says that she is blessed to have ''the world's best neighbors. All of my friends and neighbors have their children come in to see me and all the little people in the neighborhood give me big hugs.''
She can remember life on the farm where she hitched up teams of horses and operated horse-drawn machinery to help mow the fields at two farms.
During World War II she recalls that her brothers ''were frozen to the farm'' as they were classified as essential workers and were exempt from being drafted.
''We sort of specialized in cauliflower and broccoli and also raised cattle and hay and sold firewood,'' she recalls.
She also recalls her mother deciding to raise AKC registered Dachshunds but said that the job took seven days a week and she preferred working only five or six days.
She said that she had ''three wonderful husbands, one at a time,'' and continued to have a large garden after moving to Tilton and considers herself fortunate that she has a neighbor who is willing to mow the fields and harvest the hay from her property.
She also worked at Arwood Engineering for 16 years where she was the only woman in the office there.
Asked by Pat Consentino, chairperson of the Board of Selectmen if she would ride in the parade at the annual Tilton-Northfield Old Home Day on Saturday she eagerly replied ''I wouldn't miss a free ride.''
Consentino said the town's original Boston Post Cane is kept at the Tilton Town Hall and that there will be a plaque put in place next to it which notes that Rayno is the current holder.
She said that the Boston Post Cane tradition was started by the Post as a publicity stunt under the ownership of Edwin A. Grozier in 1909. The newspaper had several hundred ornate, gold-tipped canes made and contacted the selectmen in New England's largest towns. The Boston Post Canes were given to the selectmen and presented in a ceremony to the town's oldest living man. The custom was expanded to include a community's oldest women in 1930.
The Boston Post was the most popular daily newspaper in New England for over a hundred years before it folded in 1956. In the 1930s the Boston Post had grown to be one of the largest newspapers in the country, with a circulation of well over a million readers.


CAPTION: postcane tilton
Tilton officials presented 96-year-old Sue Rayno, center, with the Boston Post Cane as the town's oldest resident. Making the presentation were Tim Pearson, finance and IT director for the town, who is a neighbor of Rayno, Selectman Joe Jesseman, Pat Consentino, chairperson of the Board of Selectmen, and Selectman Jon Scanlon. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 June 2014 12:04

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Meredith man charged with rape of child

MEREDITH — After a two-week investigation, police arrested a local man yesterday and charged him with one count of raping a child who was under 13 at the time of the alleged assault.

Mark W. Thurber, 42, of Chase Street has been charged with one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault and is being held at the Belknap County Jail on $50,000 cash-only bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned this morning in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division.

Police said they began their investigation when the alleged victim reported the assault to police on June 16. They said she is a friend of Thurber's family.

Police said they are interviewing other alleged victims and ask that if the general public has any information to call Det. Cpl. John Eichhorn at the Meredith Police Department at 279-4561 or Det. Nathan Buffington at Tilton Police at 286-4442.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 June 2014 11:47

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Extreme heat will kill bed bugs but how do you safely & cost effectively generate it?

LACONIA — Although bed bugs pose no risk to public health, their proliferation poses a challenge to landlords in a city where rental units represent 44-percent of the housing stock and house four out of every 10 people.

Deputy Fire Chief Kirk Beattie, who serves as the city's health officer, said that he fields two complaints about bed bug infestations each month. However, landlords who rent significant numbers of units claim that bed bugs are more common and widespread than the number of formal complaints suggests.

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends "integrated pest management," or IPM, which applies various techniques and products to clean and disinfect mattresses, pillows and bed linens while sealing cracks and crevices on floors and walls. However, landlords claim that they cannot rely on tenants to go to the lengths IPM requires. Alternatively, appropriate pesticides can only be applied by professional pest control services at considerable expense, generally beyond the means of tenants.

Shawn Riley, Beattie's predecessor as health officer, said that heat is one of the most effective means of ridding buildings and apartments of bed bugs. He said that bed bugs cannot withstand exposure to 117 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or more. But, applying that degree of heat to all the places where bed bugs hide requires maintaining an ambient temperature of between 140 and 160 degrees for between four and eight hours.

Both Riley and Beattie stressed that because the process is hazardous it should only be undertaken by experienced professionals using proper equipment. Apart from posing a fire hazard, he explained heating a sealed building or unit to the necessary temperature may also cause a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
They said they have directed cautioned against using any type of fueled heating device, particularly the so-called "propane salamander," which is commonly used to warm construction sites in cold weather. Beattie said that using propane salamanders to eradicate bed bugs is contrary to the fire code.

Landlords contend that engaging professional services or purchasing preferred equipment to heat multi-family buildings are prohibitively expensive. One recalled that an exterminator quoted a price of $1,000 per unit to treat a building, which required treatment at least twice a year. The cost, he said, would add $40 per week to the rent of the units, effectively pricing them out of the market. Moreover, when the exterminator was asked about the warranty on the service, he answered that it was good only until he left the property.

The equipment preferred by the Fire Department is an electric heating unit powered by a generator operated from outside the building, which one landlord said costs approximately $75,000. He estimated that five of these devices operating five days a week would be needed to eradicate the bed bugs from the city's rental units.

Landlords question the prohibition again "propane salamanders," insisting that they are designed and intended for indoor use and, if operated properly with close supervision in tandem with carbon monoxide monitoring, do not present an unacceptable risk to public safety.

Then again, neither do bed bugs.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 June 2014 11:44

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Landlords express frustration before police commission

LACONIA — A handful of residential landlords attended yesterday's Police Commission meeting yesterday to voice their displeasure at the confusion surrounding the department's policies on "civil standbys" and when officers will accompany landlords into a tenant's home.

Landlord Harry Bean said he has owned 80 apartments in Laconia for 40 years and in many cases he has had problems accessing his buildings because of lack of tenant cooperation. He said many of them pretend not to be home when they are, despite being given the required 24-hour notice that he was coming by to fix something or to have access to his building.

"I've been sucker punched twice by tenants recently," Bean said, saying that if the police weren't going to accompany him into an apartment when he needs them to, then he will start to carry a gun for his own protection.

He said he would recommend that all landlords arm themselves when dealing with problem tenants.

He also told the commissioners that if he was forced to go alone into a problem tenant's apartment, he "was the one that would be coming back out unharmed."

The discussion about a police officer's role in so-called civil standbys was triggered when police management disciplined an Officer Brandy Ennis, who entered an apartment with a landlord after the tenant had been given 24-hour notice. The officer made sure the apartment was empty of people before the landlord went into the house to access the basement to do some maintenance on the furnace.

The landlord had called the police because there had been a previous confrontation with the tenant and he was in the process of evicting him.

At the recommendation of her supervisor, Ennis was disciplined for entering the apartment without speaking first to the tenant or contacting her supervisor.

Chief Chris Adams assured Bean that the police would still respond to all his and other landlords requests for civil standbys and that each incident would be handled according to the circumstances at the time.

Debbie Valente, the president of the N.H. Property Owners Association, said she thought the commission was going to determine and announce the disciplinary action taken against Enis yesterday but commission Chair Warren Clement said the matter was a personnel issue, that he wasn't going to talk about it in public, and that the officer and her attorney had been notified as to the determination.

Valente wasn't mollified and accused the police off "making it up as they go along." She said the landlords were being mislead by the police, to which Adams replied that the police have to follow the law and cannot violate the rights of the tenants.

When someone suggested the law should be changed, Clement reiterated that the police "don't make the law but they have to follow it."

As to the determination of the commission regarding Enis punishment if any, the hearing continued in a non-public session held last Friday at 9 a.m. that was initially attended by The Daily Sun.

When the commissioners asked Enis attorney if they were to continue in a public session, he said he and his client had no opinion, so the board transitioned to a non-public meeting and The Daily Sun was asked to leave.

Enis's attorney said Adams had recommended a three-day unpaid suspension for Enis but the commission hadn't made any decision at potion of the meeting he attended. He said the commissioners agreed that if they did decide to suspend her they would not impose the suspension for 30 days to give his client time to decide if she would appeal to the Belknap County Superior Court.

At press time, it is not known what final action the commissioners took.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 June 2014 11:39

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