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State wants 2nd competency evaluation for man accesed of McGrath St. murder

LACONIA — Asst. N.H. Attorney General Geoffrey Ward said yesterday the state would be seeking a second competency evaluation for a 20-year-old local man who is charged with strangling his roommate on June 10, 2013 while the two were living in a mental health support home on McGrath Street.

Kasey Riley, 20, appeared yesterday in the Belknap County Superior Court for a brief hearing regarding his bail. Wearing orange and shackled, Riley stood quietly. His lower right arm appears to have been freshly bandaged.

N.H. Public Defender Tracy Scarvelli said the interviews for a competency hearing ordered by Judge Jim Carroll are completed but she is still waiting for the report.

Ward said the prosecution will likely file a motion in Belknap County Supreme Court seeking a second evaluation, and Scarvelli told the court she would likely oppose it.

Both defense and prosecution agreed that Riley will continue to be held in Belknap County House of Corrections without bail.

Riley allegedly strangled Zachary March after the two had an argument around 2 a.m. about what Riley was watching on his telephone. Two other people in the unsupervised support home were there the night of the alleged homicide.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 01:22

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Woman who writes the payroll checks in city Employee of the Year

LACONIA — Honored as "Employee of the Year" at the annual Christmas luncheon for city personnel and volunteers yesterday, Gail Denio, who administers the city's payroll from the Finance Department, admitted she is popular among her colleagues — "on Fridays."

Denio has lived in the city for the past 38 years and and worked at City Hall for the last 17. In presenting the award, City Manager Scott Myers said that "she has worn many hats," always with a professional demeanor and helpful and friendly manner.
She started in personnel then moved to finance, where she managed accounts payable before administering payroll.

"I appreciate the award," Denio, said. "It is especially nice that people thought enough of me to nominate me for it." She stressed that that she could not have earned it without the help and cooperation of her fellow employees. "I am very grateful for what they do to make my job easier," she said, explaining that she relied on members of other departments to provide her with the information she needs to cut the paychecks on time.

Apart from her job, Denio also serves on the Planning Board. The City Charter provides for the city manager to appoint one administrative official to the board. Denio is serving her second term and said she has enjoyed contributing to the life of the community.

More than two dozen employees who have served the city for five years or more were also recognized for their length of service, topped by Director of Public Works Paul Moynihan, who has been with the city for 35 years. Captain Bill Clary and Lori Marsh of the Police Department celebrated a quarter of a century of service and Robin Moyer of the Police Department and Joan Bernett of the Water Department two decades of service.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 01:16

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Meadowbrook outlines another round of improvements

GILFORD — Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook is planning a multimillion-dollar expansion program to add facilities and increase the capacity of the outdoor music venue.
Meadowbrook President R.J. Harding and land survey engineer Steven Smith outlined the key points of the project at the Planning Board meeting Monday evening. Meadowbrook expects to present a formal site plan application in January, Smith said.
As envisioned, the three-phase project will include improvements to parking areas, new concessions and amenities, improvements to the backstage area, as well as the addition of about 450 parking spaces. Harding said that once completed, Meadowbrook will have a capacity of 9,500 to 10,000 concertgoers. Currently the venue can accommodate 8,300 people. Harding estimated the cost of the entire project at about $5 million.
Smith said that Meadowbrook hopes to start work on Phase 1 of the project in the spring. That phase will involve improvements to the backstage area, where trucks load and unload equipment for the various performances. Dressing rooms for performers will also be constructed. In addition there will be expansion to the concession area and construction of a building for use by the Police Department and other public safety personnel.
Smith said Meadowbrook hopes to complete work on the first phase before the 2014 concert season starts in late spring. Work on others phases should take place after the concert season ends in the fall, with the balance of the work scheduled for the spring of 2015.
The second phase will involve regrading lawn parking areas. While Phase 3 will consist of building a two-story building that will include a VIP lounge. It also calls for improvements to the VIP lawn parking areas.
In addition to Planning Board approval, Smith said Meadowbrook will also need to apply for state permits.
Meadowbrook opened in 1996 with a temporary stage and room for about 4,500 concertgoers. The venue's permanent stage and covered pavilion were constructed in 2002 and added on to last year.
Over the years it has hosted concerts by a variety of popular music performers. It has also staged concerts by the Boston Pops Orchestra, as well as a live broadcast of Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" on National Public Radio.

NOTES: The Planning Board voted to place six proposed zoning amendments on next March's local election ballot. One proposed change would require a 25-foot buffer along wetlands where virtually all construction and excavation would be prohibited. Two amendments seek to change the buildable area requirements regulations for excavation in steep terrain of new and existing lots. Another would amend the frontage requirements for certain lots. One amendment would rezone about 35 acres on the north side of Lake Shore Road — or Route 11 — from industrial to commercial. The land involved includes the Walmart Plaza and from there east to Lily Pond Road. An amendment to change the definition of a street will be scheduled for a second public hearing.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 01:02

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Gilford boards learn cell tower issue is quite complicated

GILFORD — The Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) and Planning Board, meeting jointly last night, decided to continue consideration of a proposal to erect a cell tower at the foot of David Lewis Road that has aroused the ire of several nearby property owners.
According to federal law, the ZBA has another 150 days to grant the special exception the project requires. To grant a special exception the ZBA must find, among other things, that the cell tower will not have a detrimental impact or pose a nuisance to the neighborhood.

John Morgenstern, chairman of the Planning Board, said that the board was treating the meeting as an informational opportunity in advance of holding its first public hearing on the proposal in January.
New Cingular Wireless PCS, doing business as AT&T, and American Tower Corporation, LLC, the construction manager, have applied to erect a 100-foot monopole tower with 12 antennas on the southeast corner of a 148-acre tract owned by the Traditional Catholics of New Hampshire, most of which is a farm worked by Armand and Ernie Bolduc, who raise buffalo and tap maples on the property.

The tower would be topped by a beacon specified by the Federal Aviation Administration to alert aircraft The site would include an equipment shelter, 12-feet by 20-feet, and emergency diesel generator within a 50-square compound surrounded by chain link fence six-feet high and topped with barbed wire. A 12-foot driveway leading from the southwest corner of David Lewis Road would provide access to the tower.
The tower would stand 100 feet from the property line of two adjoining lots, one a house lot at 38 David Lewis Road owned by Kevin Lacasse and the other a vacant 5.27-acre parcel reached from Stark Street owned by Roger Baron. Although the tower would not be as close to the home of Charles and Winifred Hughes at 48 David Lewis Road, the slope of the land would make it very visible from much of their property. Moreover, to reach the tower a 12-foot wide road would be built within a 50-foot right-of-way from David Lewis Road adjacent to their property line.
Will Dodge, an attorney representing AT&T, explained that the tower is intended to expand voice and data coverage in the immediate area by reducing the extent of zones where coverage is frequently intermittent or altogether lacking. He claimed that set in a wooded area the tower would be visible from only a few locations and would not be seen from public roads. Radio frequency emissions, Dodge said, would be "well, well below" the recommended threshold to ensure public safety.
Neither Baron nor Lacasse were persuaded. Calling the tower "very offensive," Baron said "there is no doubt in my mind that it will devalue my property." He told the boards that an appraiser could not measure the precise impact because she could not find comparable circumstances where a cell tower was erected so close to a residential neighborhood. Baron also presented photographs of cell towers that caught fire, asking how the Gilford Fire-Rescue Department would deal with a 100-foot tower ablaze.
Lacasse said that the tower would reach at least 30 feet above the tree line, dismissing claims that the trees would screen the structure from view. Apart from occasional noise when it was running, the generator he said would emit exhaust fumes on to his property. He also expected that the tower would become a target for vandalism and attract "all kinds of riff-raff." He urged the board to "come to the defense of the little people in Gilford" by rejecting the proposal and "have them look for another location."
Steve Nix, acting as chairman of the ZBA, sought clarification of the relationship between local land use ordinances and the federal telecommunications law, which stipulates that zoning ordinances cannot be used to prohibit telecommunication service. Dodge said that AT&T has equipment on other towers in the area, but cannot provide the coverage it needs without the proposed tower. He said that the federal law provides that each provider of cellular service is entitled to fill in the gaps in its coverage, not simply to ensure that competing providers together provide adequate service to a given area.
The ZBA will return to the proposal when it meets in January.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 December 2013 02:38

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