Snowmobile trailer taken from Dockham Shores Road yard

GILFORD — Police are investigating the theft of a snowmobile trailer from a home on Dockham Shore Road that was reported to them Saturday morning.

Police believe the theft took place sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning and ask if anyone has any information to call police at 527-4737.

In other Gilford Police news, an employee of the Gilford Mobil Mart reported finding two discarded and used hypodermic needles in a trash can.

Police also closed Cherry Valley Road early Sunday afternoon for about an hour while police attended to a minor car accident.

Chief Anthony Bean Burpee said the road became very slippery in the early afternoon and cars were having trouble navigating the hills.

Laconia man found guilty of reckless conduct for pistol whipping

LACONIA — After a three-day trial a Belknap County Superior Court jury found a city man guilty of felony reckless conduct for placing another person in danger during a pistol whipping at an Estates Circle address in January of 2014.

Parker Cathcart, 20, formerly of Winter Street went to an apartment building because his sister had called him to say the eventual male victim had just hit her.

Cathcart waited for his victim in the outside hallway and when he came down the stairs, he hit him with a pistol. The pistol discharged and the bullet went through the foyer door.

In July of 2014 Cathcart pleaded guilty in Belknap County Superior Court to one misdemeanor charge of simple assault for his actions. Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbransen said that as part of his plea agreement, the state would not prosecute him for the felony with the condition that he obey the rules of his probation to which he agreed.

However, in October of 2014, Manchester Police said Cathcart became involved in a fight at a party, left and returned with a pistol to threaten the party goers.

Manchester Police allege he also hit or pistol-whipped two people.

After learning about the Manchester arrest, the Belknap County Attorneys Office got a grand jury to indict him a second time for his previous reckless conduct with a gun in Laconia.

Since the guilty verdict last Thursday, Cathcart is being held in the Belknap County House of Corrections. A pre-sentencing investigation is ongoing and he will be sentenced at a later date. The maximum allowable sentence is 3 1/2 years to 7 in the N.H. State Prison.

As to the Manchester charges, Cathcart is scheduled for trial in August in the Hillsborough County Superior Court.

Frustrated selectman advocates tearing Belmont Mill down

BELMONT — Selectman Ron Cormier came within a hair's-breadth of making a motion to tear down the historic Belmont Mill last night but was convinced by fellow selectmen to reach out again to the voters.

Cormier, who has been wrestling with the future of the mill for about 11 years, made his threat in the wake of the resounding March 10 defeat of a $3.4-million bond issue to rehabilitate the building and renovate it for Town Officers.

"Knock the friggin' thing down," said Cormier in frustration. "Every time we try to do something, nobody approves."

Even more frustrating to Cormier was the town voting down putting $125,000 into the capital account for building maintenance, which affects all town buildings and not just the mill.

Selectman Chair Ruth Mooney and Selectman Jon Pike were both disappointed and disheartened by the number of people who said no — 467 of the 631 who voted — but told Cormier they weren't quite ready to give up on it. There are about 4,500 registered voters in Belmont said Town Clerk Cynthia DeRoy.

Pike and Mooney suggested that the selectmen bring the mill issue back to the people and let them decide what to do with it and how to pay for it.

Board members and Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin suggested inviting all the people who personally wrote letters to the editor to local newspapers — for or against — along with the anyone else in Belmont to come to a facilitated meeting about the future of the mill.

Tentatively scheduled for May 6, the selectmen are searching for a possible venue, hoping the meeting room at the Corner Meeting House is too small.

"Put the (onus) on them," said Pike, who was rankled by the number of people who accused the Board of Selectmen of putting together a plan "without consulting anyone".

Selectmen held two separate public hearings, discussed the plans at a number of regular selectman's meeting, made use of a SB-2 Deliberative Session, and invited the general public to attend two public presentations given by the engineering company that designed the rehabilitation and plans for town offices. The Budget Committee also held one public hearing and discussed the mill in a different public meeting.

At the most, and with the exception of the SB-2 hearing, about 20 people attended. Local newspapers reported on nearly every meeting held by the board with the exception of the last public hearing because there were few voters in attendance.

With the exception of two newspaper reporters, the Town Clerk and her assistant, no one was at Belmont's selectman's meeting last night.

Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin said the selectmen should support hiring a person for a nominal wage to come in and videotape the selectman's meeting for rebroadcast on Lakes Region Public Access television. She also suggested, and selectmen agreed, to create a Facebook page for discussion on the mill.

The town has four more years on its agreement with the U.S. Housing and Urban Development, Community Development Block Grant used to rehabilitate the mill in after it burned in 1992.

Restored in 1995 and 1996 the town relied heavily on the 25-year federal grant awarded in 1994 that came with the stipulation that the mill would be used for middle- to lower-income purposes or the town would have to pay about $50,000 a year to reimburse the federal government.

With the near failure of the fourth floor two years ago, the mill is no longer home to the Lakes Region Community College Culinary Arts program — one of their larger rent payers.

The day care center has out-grown its space there and will be relocating to a nearby business park. Belknap Family Health Care occupies the third floor and the Senior Center and the Parks and Recreation Department have office space there. All of the aforementioned uses are in keeping with the tenants of the loan, however, town offices would not be.