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Laconia man accused of throwing knife at woman

LACONIA — A local man who allegedly threw a knife at a woman as she was running away from him early Saturday morning is being held of $10,000 cash-only bail after appearing by video in court yesterday.

Police affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division say that Phineas A. Brandon, 26, of 103 Blueberry Lane, after spending the evening at a bar, went into the woman's bedroom around 3 a.m. and jabbed a knife into the wall.

She told police that she left the house to go to a friend's. She said that once she got outside, she tried to call the police but Brandon allegedly grabbed her wrist and twisted it until she dropped the phone.

The victim told police that Brandon allegedly stomped on the phone after it fell from her hand.

She said as she was walking away from him he allegedly threw a knife at her.

Police said they she gave them her cell phone, which had a "spider web-like" crack on the screen. When she took police to the spot where he allegedly threw the knife, they found a steak knife with a black handle lying in the grass.

Brandon also allegedly ran into the woods when police arrived but the officer and his supervisor were able to apprehend him.

Brandon is charged with one misdemeanor count of simple assault, one misdemeanor count of obstructing the reporting of a crime, one felony count of criminal threatening (for stabbing the knife into the wall) and one felony count of reckless conduct (for throwing the knife) and one count of resisting arrest.

Police said Brandon's prior convictions include hindering apprehension in 2010, theft and burglary in 2009, and simple assault in 2006.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 02:49

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This man remains an island; divided Meredith Selectboard holds line on prohibition on addresses for vacant lots

MEREDITH — By a vote of three-to two, the Board of Selectmen upheld the decision of Town Administrator Phil Warren, to deny a resident of Chapman Island, on Lake Waukewan in New Hampton, a street number for a vacant lot on Sawmill Shores Road.

Glenn Feener explained that the sole access to his seasonal island home is the southernmost lot on Sawmill Shores Road, where he parks his car. He likened it to a driveway. But, without a street number, he said that the Post Office, United Parcel Service and Federal Express will not deliver.

Fire Chief Ken Jones, Police Chief Kevin Morrow and Director of Community Development John Edgar originally denied Feener's request and, when he appealed to Warren, were upheld.

Jones conceded "this is a unique situation," but reminded the Selectboard that 911 insists that only lots with buildings qualify for street numbers and cautioned against "opening a can of worms" by making exceptions. He stressed that the Meredith Fire Department and Stewart's Ambulance Service would be the first to respond to an emergency at Feener's property. If an emergency call were made from a cell phone, he said that the GPS system would enable the emergency dispatcher to pin-point the location of the caller within 10 feet.

Referring to the lot on Sawmill Shores Road, selectman Herb Vadney remarked "that's the place we should respond to if he backs over his wife." He went on to question why, given the circumstances, town officials were raising "bureaucratic obstacles" rather than reaching "a common sense agreement. If the fellow wants a mailbox, I don't see why we would stand in the way of it.," he said.

But, Selectman Peter Brothers said that the town should ensure that the 911 system of numbering properties remains consistent and offered a motion to deny the street number. He was joined by Nate Torr, the board chairman, and Carla Horne in the majority, as Vadney and Lou Kahn dissented. However, Torr asked Warren to explore the situation further in hopes of finding a satisfactory solution.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 02:46

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Non-essential FBI Academy shut down, LPD captain sent home

LACONIA — As the federal government partial shutdown continues into its eighth day, the trickle-down effects hit the city police last Thursday when Capt. Matt Canfield had a  specialized FBI training class canceled.

Canfield was into first week of specialized training at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia but was told last Thursday that his instructors were not considered "essential personnel" and the training would be stopped.

"I guess they tried to keep it (the FBI Academy) open but by Thursday they realized they couldn't," Canfield said yesterday.

This is day eight of the partial federal government shut down, caused by the inability of Congress to agree on a 2014-2015 budget that includes funding for the Affordable Care Act. Many federal employees not deemed "essential" have been furloughed without pay, including in New Hampshire the U.S. Forest Service employees as well as a number of people working at the Portsmouth Naval Base.

Canfield, who drove down to Quantico last Friday, was one of about 200 people chosen to attend the 2014 autumn session of the FBI National Academy. He said there was one other police officer from Manchester in his class as well as 24 police officers from countries other than the United States.

The FBI academy offers rigorous 11-week training class specializing in leadership and management for top ranking police officers and after applying a while ago, Canfield was accepted. The program itself is paid for by the FBI and the sending community — in this case the Laconia Police Department — pays for transportation to and from the academy as well as uniforms.

Canfield said he was on a waiting list for a while before he was accepted into the program. He said he was told by the academy directors that all of those who were unable to finish this session because of the government shut-down, will be able to attend one of the 2014 sessions. He said there is a waiting list of about three years after an application.

Graduation from the FBI Training Academy is one of the more prestigious training classes a police officer can receive. Other area graduates included former Police Chief Mike Moyer, Sheriff Craig Wiggin and Tilton Police Chief Robert Cormier.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 02:38

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Anti-co-op forces in Briarcrest want to be part of process, hire lawyer

LACONIA — Nearly a dozen residents of Briarcrest Estates, who are opposed to the Lakemont Cooperative purchasing the manufactured housing park on behalf of the tenants, are taking steps to form an organization and intervene in litigation.

Claiming to represent nearly 80 percent of the residents of the park, the group expects to incorporate as the Briarcrest Estates Home Owners Association before the week is out and has retained local attorney Phil McLaughlin to represent the organization in litigation pending in Belknap County Superior Court.

In July, Mark and Ruth Mooney, the owners of the park, tentatively accepted an offer from Maple Holding and Redevelopment, LLC of Orlando, Florida, an affiliate of Hometown America, Inc., among the largest owners of manufactured parks in the country, to purchase the 183-acre park with 241 home sites for $10 million. However, state law entitles the tenants to make a counter offer by presenting a purchase and sales agreement within 60 days of the first offer. Lakemont Cooperative has matched the $10 million offer and is seeking to arrange financing.

Meanwhile, the Mooneys petitioned the Belknap County Superior Court to approve the sale of the park to Maple Holding and Redevelopment, LLC. Attorney John Giere, representing the Mooneys, contends that since the law is intended to safeguard the interests of tenants of the park, most of whom oppose cooperative ownership, approving the transaction would serve the best interests of the residents in keeping wit the intent of the law.

Attorney Robert Shepherd of Nashua is preparing a response on behalf of the Lakemont Cooperative.

McLaughlin said that the statute was written to provide for cooperative ownership, but failed to anticipate the situation that has arisen at Briarcrest Estate, where a majority prefers for the park to remain in commercial ownership. "The statute fails to provide for dissent," he said. He explained that while the Mooneys and the Lakemont Cooperative are parties to the litigation before the court, the majority of residents are without a voice. McLaughlin said that he is in the process of preparing the case and expects to petition the court to permit the Briarcrest Estates Home Owners Association to intervene soon.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 02:34

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