Two struck in Gilford parking lot

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GILFORD — Two unidentified people were struck by a car in front of HomeGoods at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Police said they were in a crosswalk.
The victims, a woman and a man, were not seriously injured said police. The woman was transported to Lakes Region General Hospital by ambulance and the man was treated by emergency responders and drove away.
It appears either employees of HomeGoods or people who witnessed the incident brought a chair for the female victim so she could sit while ambulance crews arrived.
Sgt. Corey O'Connor said the person driving the vehicle stopped and was cooperative with police. He said the incident remains under investigation.
— Gail Ober

Ted Nugent to headline Motorcycle Week's Laconiafest

By ADAM DRAPCHO, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — An effort to bring a several-days-long music festival to Laconia Motorcycle Week might have fizzled last year, but organizers weren't deterred. Instead, they immediately began planning for the 2016 running of the rally, and yesterday held a press conference to announce details for LaconiaFest, a nine-day festival of music and entertainment.

LaconiaFest will take place June 11-19 on the Weirs Drive. More than 100 rock and country bands are expected to perform on two outdoor stages. Ted Nugent was among the headlining acts announced at the press conference, though organizers promised more headliners would be announced in weeks to come.

The musical acts will be complemented by a festival village with vendors, food and beer, and entertainment. Doors to the village will open at noon on each day and close at 1 p.m. Music will cease at midnight. The venue is licensed to host 33,000 people at a given time, though organizers said they expect the daily crowds will fluctuate from 5,000 during weekdays to near capacity during headliner concerts.

Tickets go on sale this weekend, and can be purchased at Laconiafest.com or Ticketgalaxy.com.

"About a year and a half ago, we set out to make a music venue to complement Laconia Motorcycle Week," said Laurie DiGiovanni, LaconiaFest producer. She promised the 12-acre Weirs Drive In property would feature "action, exhilaration, daytime and night-time mind-blowing fun."

Todd Ahrend, director of attractions for LaconiaFest, said the festival village would feature motorcycle art, custom motorcycle builders, paintball war games, Keith Sayer's Freestyle Motocross high-flying stunt show, and a 500-foot zip line. One of the custom motorcycles built at the festival will be auctioned off to benefit Veteran Outdoors, a charity that promotes outdoor activities' therapeutic effects for service members.

Ahrend said organizers are in talks with remote parking lots, which he hopes to organize shuttles to bring festival goers to and from the front gate. Festival organizers are also speaking with Winnipesaukee Railroad to offer attendees a way to get to the festival.

"It's been a long ride, we had a lot of high hopes last year," said Charlie St. Clair, executive director of Laconia Motorcycle Week, adding that he appreciates the time and effort that organizers, including Mike Trainor, expended in order to make the festival happen. "We look forward to a long partnership with everybody."

"I think this has been a strong team effort, certainly led by Mike Trainor, with Charlie's help," added Mayor Ed Engler. He also cited the work of city officials, such as Fire Chief Ken Erickson and Police Chief Chris Adams. The festival has achieved all necessary licensing and approvals, he said.

"I think everyone in the city of Laconia welcomes this with open arms and (appreciates) what it means to the success of Motorcycle Week and the future of Motorcycle Week," Engler said.

Engler and St. Clair agreed that LaconiaFest will bring a new element to the Weirs for Motorcycle Week.

"We've got music venues," he said, listing the various taverns in and around the Weirs, but none large enough can draw acts with such notoriety. "They're bringing in big acts. Ted Nugent is a big name. He'll draw some people that may not have come before," he said.

Engler, repeating an observation that St. Clair has made about other motorcycle rallies around the country, noted that well-known marquee acts will draw a broad audience.

"That's something that has been missing, in my opinion, in previous years, attracting people who are not necessarily motorcyclists," Engler said.

Referring to the annual rally in Sturgis, St. Clair said, "That's something that happens in South Dakota, people come from far away just for the concert."

In addition to Nugent, other acts announced yesterday included: Buckcherry, Sevendust, Fuel, Dope, Saving Abel, Adelitas Way, Attica 7, Escape the Fate, Biters, Dead by Wednesday, Next to None, Apollo Under Fire, Leaving Eden, Laura Comfort, and Milow the Girl.

MusicFest 6Apr16238343 DS

Kyle Osolin and Aatish Patel from Ticket Galaxy and Todd Anrend and Laurie DiGiovanni from LaconiaFest announce LaconiaFest 2016 during a press conference held at the Naswa Resort on Wednesday morning. (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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Laconiafest.com lists Ted Nugent and a number of other acts to perform. (Screenshot)

State AG seeks to oveturn ruling to dismiss evidence in major Laconia drug arrest

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — The state Attorney General's Office has asked a Belknap County Superior Court judge to reconsider his decision to disallow the drug evidence seized in an April 2015 traffic stop to be presented in court.

Attorney Jason Carey said Judge Peter Fauver "misapplied" the law when he ruled last month that police did not have possession of the car being driven by Peter Dauphin, 43, of 19 Appleton St. when they conducted an inventory search after he was stopped for speeding and they realized the plates on the car showed a different driver.

As a result of that search, police found a small amount of methamphetamine. During the investigation, police obtained a search warrant for his home and found 6.8 ounces of methamphetamine and $11,000.

Without the evidence, the criminal case against Dauphin for possession of narcotics with intent to sell them would likely not proceed.

Fauver determined that because the towing of the car Dauphin was driving was paid for by Dauphin and was to his nearby home, the police never had official custody of it and that the inventory search was unreasonable.

Carey argues that judge's ruling depended too heavily on the destination of the car after police seized the plates and ordered it towed. He said there are multiple cases in the law, including a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals Second District, that decided a noninvestigatory search by police is allowed if the search is conducted according to a neutral police towing policy and if the car was ordered towed by the police.

"The interests protected by an inventory search are what give rise to the officer's obligation to search an impounded vehicle, regardless of its ultimate destination when towed,'" wrote Carey, citing a Massachusetts Supreme Court decision he says is consistent with the federal ruling.

Carey also said the amount of control over the car by police was the same as if the car was being towed to a third party lot or private tow yard. In either case, he said police would not have anything more to do with the vehicle.
Inventory searches are conducted by police to protect the owner from the theft of his or her property, to protect the tow truck driver and impound lot employees from any dangerous items that may be found in a car, and to protect the police from being accused of stealing or damaging any property. The Laconia Police Department tow policy is standard as compared any other police departments, including the New Hampshire State Police, and is not being questioned. How it was applied in this case is at issue.

Carey said it is immaterial whether or not Dauphin arranged and paid for the tow because the law requires that the owner of a car pay for the tow regardless of the circumstances.

He said the court's determination that the search was "unreasonable" because it didn't serve any investigative purpose was misplaced. Carey said courts have repeatedly decided that "where the decision to inventory the contents is lawful, it follows that inventory search itself is per se lawful if conducted pursuant to 'reasonable police regulations.'"

He said that simply because Dauphin was not in custody before the inventory search is also irrelevant. Dauphin was going to be cited by police for speeding and misuse of plates until he was arrested after police found the methamphetamine in the car.

Dauphin is represented by attorney Mark Sisti, who, as of Tuesday, had not filed his response.

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