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Fugitive arrested after traffic stop on Rte 106

BELMONT — A routine traffic stop of a speeding vehicle on Sunday evening led to the arrest of a Gilford man wanted for larceny in Maine, and who allegedly was in possession of a controlled drug, oxycodone, when he was apprehended.

Robert Boyd, 42, of 200 Cherry Valley Road, Gilford was held in Belknap County Jail in lieu of $6,000 cash bail as a fugitive from justice charged with possession of a controlled drug, a class B felony.

According to police, Officer Evan Boulanger was patrolling on Route 106 when he spotted the vehicle in a 50 mile-per-hour zone. After stopping the car, he discovered that the driver had an expired license and identified the passenger, Boyd, as his brother. Boulanger discovered that an electronic bench warrant for Boyd's arrest was issued by the 4th Circuit Court — Laconia Division, and subsequently confirmed he was also wanted in Maine.

In his affidavit, Boulanger reported that he handcuffed and searched Boyd, finding a folded dollar bill holding what Boyd told him was a crushed Percocet and a blue pill on the floor of the car that Boyd said belonged to him.

Boyd is scheduled to appear for a probable cause hearing in 4th Circuit Court — Laconia Division on Feb. 2.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 02:18

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Weekend fires deemed ‘random acts of arson’

LACONIA — A pair of fires in the early hours of Saturday morning have aroused suspicions among police and fire officials that the incidents could possibly have been committed by whoever is responsible for the spate of random fires that occurred last autumn.

Shortly after 2 a.m. on Saturday firefighters were dispatched to 46 Academy St. where a vehicle was burning. While they were on the scene police reported a second fire on the porch of home at 91 Highland St. Both fires were quickly extinguished, with extensive damage to the rear seat of the vehicle and minor damage to the porch of the residence.

Fire Chief Ken Erickson described both fires as "random acts of arson" similar to those in September and November when vehicles, dumpsters and empty buildings were set afire. Like the fires on Saturday morning, those fires occurred on weekends, late at night or early in the morning.

Police Chief Chris Adams said that while the similarities between the fires cannot be overlooked, the investigation is not based on the assumption that the same person started all the fires.

"We have never stopped working on the case," Adams said, recalling that more than half a dozen similar fires were set in a short period in September. The fire at the occupied residence on Highland Street, he called "a step up," adding "we were concerned before and we're very concerned now."

Both Erickson and Adams urged members of the public to be vigilant and alert. They asked anyone who sees someone behaving suspiciously, especially in the late night or early morning hours, to get a detailed description — height, weight, hair color and clothing — and report their location and direction of travel to the police at once. He said that patrol officers are on the alert for suspects and will respond immediately.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 01:50

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Alton School Board & Teachers Association reach contract agreement

ALTON — The School Board and Alton Teachers Association (ATA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 that would lengthen the school year while increasing the employees contribution to their health insurance premiums and providing teacher with two annual salary increases of 2 percent.

The total cost of the salary increase is $96,472 for the first year of the agreement and $95,599 for the second. Voters will be asked to approve funding for both years of the contract.

Three instructional days would be added to the schedule in 2014-2015, extending the school year to 183 days and another in 2015-2016 when pupils will be taught for 184 days. In addition to step increases for eligible employees, teachers would receive a 2 percent raise in each year of the contract. Teachers, who currently contribute 10 percent to the cost of their health insurance premiums, would contribute 12 percent for the length of the contract.

In a prepared statement School Superintendent William Lander said, "It is important to recognize and reward all the hard work and dedication of our terrific teachers."

Richard Brown, president of the ATA, described the contract as "a just one" in the current economic conditions, adding that "it asserts positive and predictable working conditions while being fair to both Alton faculty and citizenry."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 02:11

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House committee kills Cormier's bill to eliminate planning commissions

CONCORD — A bill to do away with the nine regional planning commissions, sponsored by state Rep. Jane Cormier (R-Alton), received short shrift last week at the hands of the House Municipal and County Government Committee, which unanimously reported it "inexpedient to legislate."

When the committee held a public hearing on the House Bill 1573, Tim Carter of Meredith, along with others from the Lakes Region Tea Party, pictured the regional planning commissions as the Judas goats of a federal effort, pursued under the aegis of the Granite State Future project, to promote "Smart Growth" and "sustainable living" at the expense of local control of land use decisions and private property rights.

However, others noted that the regional planning commissions provide useful information and valuable services to municipal land use boards. Warren Hutchins, chairman of the Laconia Planning Board and a member of the Lakes Region Planning Commission, said that the city along with the other 29 municipalities belonging to the commission urged the committee to reject the bill. Members of the committee pointed out that the bill was unnecessary since municipalities are not compelled to contribute to the work of the regional planning commissions. Likewise, a section of the bill requiring that members of local planning boards must be elected was also rendered redundant since state law already enables towns to either appoint or elect their planning boards.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 02:15

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