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With pot farm evidence seized in Governor's Island raid deemed inadmissible, state drops charges against renter

GILFORD — A Belknap County Superior Court judge has dismissed the case against a Governor's Island resident accused of growing and processing marijuana and hashish at his rented home.

Corey LaPlante, 29, formerly of 47 Blueberry Hill Road was charged with two counts of manufacturing a controlled drug and possession of the same drug with the intent to distribute it.

Judge James O'Neill's dismissal came after he determined the N.H. State Attorney's Drug Task Force Officer who investigated the case had made "material misrepresentations" on his affidavit to support a search warrant for the home.

After O'Neill's determination that the evidence seized was not going to be allowed into evidence, Asst. N.H. State Attorney James Vara noted the "state doesn't have the evidence to proceed forward."

In this case, "the evidence" included 12 pounds of marijuana and hashish and $34,000 in cash.

Also charged with the same crime is LaPlante's former housemate, Janelle Noftle.

Although the cases were to be tried together, she has a different attorney than LaPlante and he has has recently filed a motion to reconsider O'Neill's initial refusal to dismiss the evidence against her.

Noftle's first motions to dismiss were denied but that was before LaPlante's attorney Mark Sisti was able to locate the police informant — who is the owner of the home — subpoena her, and get her to New Hampshire to testify.

During her testimony, she refuted much of the information the detective stated in his affidavit in support of a search warrant.

Noftle's lawyer requested that O'Neill reconsider his refusal to dismiss the evidence by saying that since the evidence issues Sisti raised for LaPlante pertain to her as well, the state has the same limitations for her as it had for him.

Vara did not object to her motion but as of yesterday, O'Neill had not made a ruling.

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 October 2014 12:05

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Sachems upset St. Thomas Aquinas, 35-28

LACONIA — Laconia upset previously undefeated and high-rolling St. Thomas Aquinas (Dover) 35-28 last night on Jim Fitzgerald Field. Sachems quarterback Matt Swormstedt through for 3 touchdowns and fullback Keith Schult backed up a stellar defensive effort with a pair of short scoring runs to lead the Sachems.

St. Thomas led 21-14 at the half but Laconia took advantage of a unsuccessful 4 and 1 conversion attempt from deep inside the Saints own territory to score the tying touchdown in the third quarter and Brendon Mooney's 35 yard return with interception set up the go-ahead score.

Laconia is now 3-1 on the season and is a game back in the NHIAA Division II North race. St. Thomas plays in the East and also now stands at 3-1.

Plymouth is next up on the schedule for the Sachems. The Bobcats were 0-3 heading into this weeks game against Trinity (Manchester). The team is without retired head coach Chuck Lenahan for the first time in 43 years. The Bobcats have struggled to score under new head coach Chris Sanborn, only putting 29 points up on the year through the first 3 games.

Laconia will host the Bobcats at 7 p.m. next Friday at Bank of New Hampshire Stadium.

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 October 2014 01:41

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Georgian to bring Mark Twain to life on Meredith stage this weekend

MEREDITH — "What people often don't realize is that Samuel Clemens wasn't Mark Twain and Mark Twain wasn't Samuel Clemens," remarked Kurt Sutton, an actor and musician who will portray them both in two one-man shows at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse this weekend.

Sutton, who emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1950, recalled becoming acquainted with Twain as a student at the University of Georgia. After watching the one-man shows of Hal Holbrook, who has played Twain for 60 years. Sutton determined "when I got older I would do Mark Twain, but in my own way." He said that his wife, Linda Patterson Sutton, who serves as his producer and director, had a white suit tailored for him. "It was two sizes too big," he remembered, "but she told me 'when you get ready to do Twain, it will fit.' It hung in the closet for 15 years."

The Georgian described Twain as "a Renaissance man" of wide ranging experience, interests and talents, stressing that as Clemens he plied several trades — printer, steamboat pilot and silver miner — before turning to journalism in Virginia City, Nevada where he took the pen name Mark Twain in February, 1863.

Sutton said that while Twain known for his writing he was also an accomplished musician, who played guitar, banjo, harmonica and piano for family and friends. A musician himself, Sutton added music to his portrayal. "When I tell a humorous story, I'm Mark Twain," he explained, "and when I sing a song I'm Sam Clemens. That way I'm playing both characters at one time and the audience is seeing both men on stage. When I tell the story about learning to ride a bicycle at the age of 70," he continued, "I sing 'Bicycle Built for Two,' which was a big hit in the 1890s, and when I get to 'Daisy, Daisy' the audiences signs along."

"It is an interesting, family friendly show," said Sutton.

Like Twain, Sutton has had a number of careers as a teacher, coach — "football and wrestling not wrasslin'" — band member, marketing director and consultant, but for the past 11 years he has crisscrossed the country performing as Twain. "I don't need a wig or mustache," he remarked. "I just put on the suit and go to work. I'm becoming nationally famous, one town at a time."

Sutton will perform at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse on Saturday, October 4 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday, the 5th at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on-line at winnipesaukeeplayhouse.org, by visiting the box office or calling 279-0333. Orchestra seats are $20 and balcony seats are $10 for both shows.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 October 2014 12:34

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Scout builds lakeside oasis along WOW Trail

LACONIA — When Danny Iacopucci of Belmont wondered what project he could undertake to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, he called Kevin Dunleavy, director of Parks and Recreation, to ask about the prospect of enhancing the Winnipesaukee-Opechee-Winnisquam (WOW) Trail.

This summer, Iacopucci, together with his fellow Boy Scouts from Troop 366 from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the generosity of more than a dozen local businesses, completed a picnic area featuring a pair of tables, trio of redbud trees and perennial garden overlooking Lake Opechee.

Dunleavy said that he selected the site, a reclaimed and grassed stretch between the trail and the lake north of the New England Yard, a storage area for the Department of Public Works, and west of Dutile & Sons Oil Company.

Iacopucci, who oversaw the project from start to finish, said that stiffest challenge was soliciting the contributions and marshaling the resources to bring the vision to fruition. Altogether almost 150 hours were invested in the undertaking, he estimated.

Swain Landscaping and Construction prepared the site. Peal Pusher's Farm, Maggy D's Garden Center, Appletree Nursery and Osborne's Agway provided the flowering perennials and hardy shrubs arrayed in the framed garden. Timothy M. Hayes Landscaping assisted in selecting and planting the trees. Eased Edges donated a picnic table and, with lumber from Boulia-Gorrell. The scouts built another table to the same design. Engraving, Awards & Gifts, Entelechy, Inc., Melcher & Prescott Insurance and Patrick's Pub all donated to the project.

Dunleavy said that he was pleased to work with Iacopucci and delighted with the results of his project, which he is confident will be enjoyed by all hose who walk, run and ride on the WOW Trail for years to come. He said that the brush lining the shorefront will be cleared to offer a view of the lake from the picnic area.

A senior at Belmont High School, where he is a high honors student, Iacopucci intends to serve a two-year mission for his church before entering college to pursue a degree incorporating his passion and talent for music.


CAPTION: Danny Iacopucci of Belmont initiated and supervised construction of this perennial garden and picnic area along the WOW Trail with help from fellow Boy Scouts from Troop 366 and contributions from local businesses. The high honors student at Belmont High School undertook the project as a step to becoming an Eagle Scout. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch)

Last Updated on Friday, 03 October 2014 12:27

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