A+ A A-

Careless disposal of smoking material causes 1st alarm fire in Belmont

BELMONT — Firefighters extinguished a first-alarm fire last night at an apartment building at 40 Concord Street. No injuries resulted from the fire.

Belmont fire officials said the fire was reported at about 6 p.m. on Monday night. The blaze appeared to be caused by careless disposal of smoking materials on a porch for a second-floor apartment. A 10 year-old boy was home alone in the apartment when the fire broke out on the porch, however, an alert neighbor helped the child evacuate the building.

The fire caused significant damage to the porch, while the interior of the second-floor apartment sustained smoke and water damage.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

Hits: 281

Local man to serve 2 to 4 years for burglarizing occupied home

LACONIA — A Fair Street man was sentence to serve one to two years in the New Hampshire State Prison for entering an occupied home on Pine Street in October of 2013.

Alan Johnstone, 24, was also sentenced to serve one to two years for violating probation for committing the October 2013 burglary while he was on probation for a different burglary that occurred in February of 2012.

This period of incarceration is in addition to an additional 12 months in the Belknap County House of Corrections for attempted burglary and possession of burglary tools in March of 2012.

Johnstone was accused of breaking into what he thought was an empty Pine Street home only to find the son of the owners was staying there while he recovered from day surgery.

The son, who is a police officer but not in Laconia, knew Johnstone from high school and escorted him from the house. He called the Laconia Police.

When the victim asked why he was in his parents' house, Johnstone said he had heard that he had had surgery and was checking in on him.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 01:24

Hits: 370

Leonard to seek Democratic nomination for N.H. Senate Dist. 6

NEW DURHAM — Rich Leonard, a pharmacist and farmer, announced yesterday that he will again seek the Democratic nomination for the New Hampshire Senate in District 6, consisting of Rochester and the towns of Alton, Barnstead, Farmington Gilmanton and New Durham.

In his first foray into electoral politics in 2012, Leonard lost the seat to Republican Sam Cataldo of Farmington by 637 votes, 12,764 to 12,127. Leonard carried five wards in Rochester, losing the sixth by 32 votes, but was beaten in all of the five towns, including a drubbing by 793 votes in Alton that decided the outcome of the election.

In a prepared statement, Leonard said, "It's time families and businesses in the Senate District 6 had a State Senator who shares their values and will work hard to represent them in a civil and bi-partisan manner," a thinly veiled references to Cataldo's affinity for the Tea Party.

Describing himself as a lifelong Democrat, Leonard presents himself as a strong supporter of public education from kindergarten to the university, including the community colleges working partnership with businesses to develop a skilled workforce. He also backs the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid to the uninsured in New Hampshire.

The pharmacy manager at Hannaford's store in Alton, Leonard also owns Miller Farm with its orchard of 380 apple and peach trees and sugar shack. He is a member of the Public Health Advisory Council-Executive Committee and University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Service in Strafford County. Raised in Hanover, Mass., he lived in Rochester for 26 years before moving to New Durham in 2004.

Duane Kimball, who chairs the Strafford County Democratic Committee and manages Leonard's campaign, said yesterday that despite starting late in his first campaign, Leonard ran well in 2012 and with more preparation and an early start fares to be a stronger candidate in 2014.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 01:32

Hits: 391

Man accused in stabbing says victim ran onto knife

LACONIA — The young man who is charged with first-degree assault for allegedly cutting a Keene man's neck with a knife said yesterday that the alleged victim ran at him during a verbal altercation early Sunday morning in a local downtown parking lot.

Travis Dunn, 24, is being held without bail in the Belknap County Jail. As of Sunday, his alleged victim, Richard Russell of Keene, was in critical but stable condition at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.

Dunn, who spoke to the media yesterday, said he was at the Funky Monkey at closing time and was leaving the bar with two girls he knew. They were all going to leave in one car.

He said when they went out the back door to the Beacon Street West parking lot, there were a bunch of guys he had never seen before standing around the woman's car in which the three were going to leave. He said they started yelling and trash-talking at him.

"I was two seconds from sitting in the seat," Dunn said yesterday from behind the glass wall at the jail.

He said just as he was getting into front passenger seat of the girl's car, he said a white double cab or club cab pickup pulled up and more guys he didn't know got out of it.

Dunn said he stood outside the car and brandished a small pocket knife he carries with him. He said he stood with his arm at a 90-degree angle and the five or six men were standing around him in a semi-circle.

"I told them all to back the (explicative) off," he said. He said the girls were pulling him into the car but the group of guys had the car surrounded and were blocking the way out.

He said at this point one guy who was wearing a brown shirt tried calm things down by telling his friends to back off.

"Then this idiot comes charging at me," Dunn said. "I don't even know if he knew I had a knife. He ran right into it."

He said the man, presumably Russell, was wearing a black and white shirt and appeared to be "wasted." He said it appeared he could barely stand up.

"I don't know if he thought he was some kind of commando or something," Dunn said wiping tears from his eyes. "He was just so drunk."

Dunn said once he realized he "nicked" the man he ran because the rest of the guys began chasing him. He said he ran through downtown and eventually hid under a car on Canal Street for about an hour.

He said he heard the police looking for him and could hear a police dog barking but said he was afraid they would shoot him if he came out from under the car.

After an hour he said he made it home and turned himself in to police the next day.

When asked what happened to the knife, he said he fell down about four times while running from the guys who were chasing him and thinks he must have dropped it.

"It's downtown somewhere," he said.

Dunn said he didn't recognize any of the men and doesn't remember seeing them in the Funky Monkey during the evening. He said it's possible the men knew one of the women he was with and that it's possible they were in the bar and he didn't realize it.

He said he had no intention of getting into any kind of argument or fight Saturday night.

"Heck I had two girls and some money left in my pocket," he said. Dunn said the evening had been one of the best nights he'd had in a long time and he was just looking forward to getting home.

"I had two girls. I sure didn't want to mess that up," he said.

Dunn said he's been "in the hole" or in solitary confinement since he turned himself in and has been reading the Bible and "praying and praying and praying."

When asked what he was praying for, he said he was praying Russell was going to be okay and that he gets to participate in his daughter's life.

"I got a daughter, I got a good job," Dunn said, adding he was raised partially in Florida and spent three years of his young life in and out of foster care.

He said he had just begun to connect with some of his family members in the Lakes Region and that his life was just starting to come together.

He said he never met his father until he was 18 and then he died of alcoholism. "I want to be there for my daughter," he said, tears welling again in his eyes.

Dunn also described himself as someone who doesn't like to fight. "Heck, I don't even like to drink that much," he said.

When asked if he had any kind of criminal record he said he was arrested with marijuana once and got into a fight once when he was in high school but he doesn't think that went on his record.

Dunn will appear by video in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division this morning and will likely be represented by the Laconia Public Defender's office.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 12:50

Hits: 2573

The Laconia Daily Sun - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy
Powered by BENN a division of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Login or Register