Laconia Police investigate burglary at Coldwell Banker office Friday

LACONIA — Police are investigating a burglary at the Coldwell Banker Real Estate Office on Court Street that was reported to police at 8:44 a.m. Friday.

Capt. Matt Canfield said there doesn't appear to be any forced entry to the building and laptops, computer cords and memory devices were some of the items taken.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Laconia Crime Line at 527-1717.

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 270

Criminal threatening charges dropped, rooster's owner pleads guilty to disorderly conduct

LACONIA — A Lakeport woman who kept a pet rooster at her home on North Street pleaded guilty yesterday in 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, to a charge of disorderly conduct in connection with a confrontation with her neighbors that took place at a Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting in June, at which the board confirmed its earlier decision barring her from keeping the animal in a residential zone.
Two charges of criminal threatening against Bridgette Leroux, 44, of 58 North St., brought in connection with the same incident, were nol prossed, or dismissed, by the Laconia Police Department prosecutor James Sawyer.
Leroux was fined $1,000, with $750 of the fine suspended by Judge James Carroll, on the condition of one year of good behavior.
In 2014, Jeffrey Leroux purchased the rooster, a bantam - or smaller - breed, as an ornamental bird, at the Sandwich Fair as pet for his wife, who dubbed him "Pecker." When neighbors complained about his crowing to the Planning Department, Director Shanna Saunders ruled the Lerouxes could not keep poultry in a residential zone. The Lerouxes sought a variance, which was denied by the ZBA in April.
When the zoning board members met at the Belknap Mill in June, they reaffirmed the original decision, prompting Bridgette Leroux to turn in anger on her neighbors, Dan and Amanda Ouelette, who were seated several rows behind her. Seeking to restore order, Steve Bogert, chairman of the zoning board, warned Leroux if she persisted he would have her removed. In the meantime, Saunders called the police.
In July, the Ouelettes were granted a temporary restraining order forbidding the Lerouxes from contacting or communicating with them. In seeking the order, they recalled the confrontation at the zoning board meeting, alleging that Jeffrey Leroux threatened to damage their property and Bridgette Leroux threatened to physically harm them. Moreover, they told the court they had spoken with the police about the incident at the mill as well as another incident two nights later, when they called 911 to report disruptive behavior on the part of the Lerouxes.
Bridgette Leroux was then charged by police with disorderly conduct and she was also charged with criminal threatening.
Jeffrey Leroux said at the hearing on the restraining order sought by the Ouelettes that Pecker had been moved to Center Harbor, where he is living on the 57-acre farm owned by his father.

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 381

Councilors give endangered oak tree a big hug

LACONIA — City councilors last night by a 5-1 margin gave a hug to an endangered oak tree on Union Avenue by passing a resolution to have the sidewalk at the base of the 14-foot-diameter tree removed in order to improve the chance the tree will survive well into the future.
Earlier this month Cafua Management Inc., owner of the lot between Dunkin' Donuts and Dairy Queen where a commercial building was recently constructed, asked the Planning Board for approval to remove the tree, which it claims poses a safety hazard.
Council members, who said they have seen the proposal to have the tree removed opposed by many of their constituents as well as the city's Heritage Commission, said they would like to take action now to have the sidewalk removed so that work which might help save the tree can be undertaken before the ground freezes.
They also agreed to a suggestion by Mayor Ed Engler to have City Manager Scott Myers draft a resolution that they can take up at their December meeting which would express their support for having the tree saved.
''I'd like to see it there another 10 to 15 years,'' said Ward 3 Councilman Henry Lipman, who made the motion to have the sidewalk removed immediately. City officials say the roots of the tree, which have been paved over, grow amid sewer, drainage and gas lines.
Ward 6 Councilor Armand Bolduc said he thinks the tree may not last as long as Lipman hopes, as he fears the tree is rotting from the inside out.
"When the center of the tree goes, it won't be long," he said.
But Bolduc supported attempts to save it, as did Ward 2 Councilor David Bownes, who said, "Do something now. There's a lot of sentiment to save the tree.''
The request to fell the tree will be presented to Technical Review Committee, whose members represent various city departments, on Dec. 9, which will then submit a report to the Planning Board. The Planning Board may require Cafua Management to pay a professional arborist to assess the condition of the tree, as well as a traffic engineer to determine if the tree obscures the line of sight along Union Avenue.
Meanwhile, the site plan for the commercial building, which was approved by the Planning Board, shows the tree standing entirely within the lot owned by Cafua Management Inc. However, a portion of the trunk is within a short stretch of sidewalk belonging to the city. In other words, the trunk of the tree appears to straddle the property line.
In September, when it was first reported that Cafua Management Inc. inquired about removing the tree, Arthur Costonis, who described himself as an arborist, told the Planning Department that the tree is healthy, but recommended removing the pavement covering its exposed roots and replacing it with loam, as well as fertilizing the tree by injecting nutrients around its roots.

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 467