Police investigate break-in on Grant Street, find broken windows

LACONIA — Police are investigating a failed attempt to break in to an occupied residence at 21 Grant St. around 9:40 p.m. on Wednesday.

The resident heard glass shattering and immediately called the police. Officers arrived to discover two broken windows, which led them to believe that the suspect entered the house through the basement doors. Before the police arrived, the suspect fled the immediate neighborhood.

The incident remains under investigation and police urge anyone with information about the identity or whereabouts of the person or persons responsible for the break-in to contact Officer Holly Callanan at the Laconia Police Police Department at 524-5252.

– Michael Kitch

DWI for driver stuck on Holy Trinity lawn

LACONIA — After a silver Saturn sedan was found on the lawn of Holy Trinity School stuck in snow with its wheels still spinning shortly before 8 p.m. on Wednesday, the driver was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.

Jeremy D. Lapoint, 22, of 1156 N. Main St., Apt. 19, was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail pending his appearance in the Fourth Circuit Court, Laconia Division on April 6.

Initially police responded to a report of an accident involving three vehicles, but on reaching the scene found only the one car involved. A preliminary investigation indicated that Lapoint was traveling westbound on Church Street then strayed at the intersection with Messer Street, colliding with the stop sign, jumping on to the sidewalk and carrying on to the lawn, where it became mired in snow and mud. Lapoint was not injured.

Police urge anyone with information about the incident to call Officer Erik Benoit at the Laconia Police Department at 524-5252.

– Michael Kitch


More than concerts

03 22 gilford meadowbrook harding

R.J. Harding, president of the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook, answers questions before the Gilford Planning Board during approval of a new swimming pool and lazy river attraction for performers and their entourages at the amphitheatre. (David Carkhuff/Laconia Daily Sun)


Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook owner foresees many upgrades for Gilford venue


GILFORD — R.J. Harding said he hopes to engrave the Lakes Region on the memories of visiting performers who come to play at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook.
In the live-concerts industry, Harding said he plans to gain a reputation not just through the area's natural beauty but through extras that can't be found at other venues.
Such is the case with a new swimming pool and a water park feature called a "lazy river," a waterway for gentle tubing and flotation that loops around the pool. Both will cater exclusively to visiting artists and their crews.
Harding, the president of the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook, said his wife actually pushed for the addition, which received the blessing of the Gilford Planning Board Monday.
"My wife talked to me for 10 years about having a lazy river, and I told her she was nuts, we would never do that," Harding said, laughing, during an interview Monday night.
Today, anything is possible, and Harding hinted at other improvements to come at the 9,000-seat outdoor amphitheater.
After the death of his father and Meadowbrook Musical Arts Center founder, Robert Harding, R.J. Harding became a part owner of what he calls "New England's finest concert venue."
Harding said he works with founding partners, the Gelottes. The late William Gelotte was one of the founding partners and chairman of the board for Meadowbrook Farm LLC.
"We're not done. This is just the start," Harding said Monday, as the Planning Board reviewed his proposal.
"Now we're getting into more multi-night performances," he explained. "We really found our niche in our industry by excellent hospitality starting with catering years ago and now it's been everything else you can think of, our beautiful lake and boating. Now people are starting to stay four and five days this year, and we thought it was worth the investment to cement that reputation within the industry. Gilford has become one of the places across the country where acts want to play. I wanted to put the nail in that coffin, and make them never forget us, basically."
Once the pool and lazy river become established features, Harding said he will explore other amenities.

"I'll definitely be adding on to it, whether it be bungalows and suites up there, or I'll extend the lazy river, maybe, and keep going," he said. "No venue has done this stuff."
The venues that get mentioned as "the place to play" include Red Rocks in Colorado, a longtime destination for top artists.
"My wife and I decided years ago we needed to build our own Red Rocks and we'll do it through things like that, hospitality, and it's working, but they also come to expect new things every year," Harding said.
In 1996, Meadowbrook consisted of temporary staging with 2,500 temporary seats and room for 2,000 lawn guests. Today the venue consists of 5,746 reserved seats under the pavilion roof and 1,850 general admission lawn seats, according to its website, https://banknhpavilion.com.
The 2017 season opens with the Zac Brown Band, May 27-29; and other performances include the Avett Brothers, June 1; Miranda Lambert, The Cadillac Three and Tucker Beathard, June 2-3; Joan Baez, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Indigo Girls, June 16; Bryan Adams, June 17; and Third Eye Blind & Silversun Pickups, June 20.
During Monday's meeting, Harding explained that existing bathrooms and changing areas will complement the new pool and lazy river.
In 2011, Meadowbrook built a crew room with six showers, three for each gender, Harding said.
Harding said the pool and lazy river would be reserved for the performers and their crews. Asked about the prospect of renting out the facility for the general public, Harding said, "I have no interest in becoming a pool party rental guy. I hope I never have to get to that point in the financial scheme of things."