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City has spent 90%of winter storm funds

LACONIA — With five weeks remaining until the first day spring, the Department of Public Works has spent approximately 90-percent of its winter maintenance budget.

The budget of $407,500 consists of three components. The cost of vehicles and purchases of salt and sand amounts to $330,000, while $27,500 is allocated for private contractors, and $50,000 for overtime wages. Through January, $230,000 had been spent on vehicles and material, $9,653 on contractors and $59,949 on overtime. Altogether the city had spent $299,602, almost three-quarters of its budget.

Paul Moynihan, director of public works, estimated yesterday that more than $69,000 has been spent so far in February, much of during last week's storm, when snow fell heavily late in the day and into the night to keep crews on the road around the clock. He estimated that the department spent another $50,000 on vehicles and materials, $8,000 on contractors and $10,000 to $11,000 on overtime during the two storms.

Salt usage, which represents the largest single cost in the budget, is a good indicator of the severity of the winter. So far this year the department has used 3,941.58 tons of salt at $55.31 per ton for a total expenditure of $218,008.79 compared to 3,138.35 tons at $61.65 per ton for a total expenditure of $193,479.28 a year ago. In other words, 25-percent more salt has been applied this winter than last, and there are five more weeks before winter officially ends.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 01:55

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27-second margin earns Bellerive entry into three-timer club

LACONIA — In what may have been the most competitive field ever taking part in Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby, Claude Bellerive of Charette, Quebec, held on to win by just 27 seconds over the three-day race and became only the fifth person ever to win the derby three or more times.
Bellerive is no stranger to close finishes, having had previously won back-to-back titles in 2007-08 by margins of 10 seconds and eight seconds.
He jumped out to the first day-lead in the 85th annual derby Friday afternoon by taking a one minute, 10 second lead and then saw his challengers narrow the gap each day to the point where the top five racers finished only two minutes and 21 seconds apart.
Bellerive, who does not speak English, explained through his daughter, Melanie, who also races sled dogs and is the person who encouraged him to take up sled dog racing after his wife's death around 10 years ago, by saying that his team ran well and he encountered none of the major delays which affected him last year and in the 2011 races.
Bellerive started the weekend racing 16 Alaskan Husky-German Short-haired Pointer mix dogs and dropped to 12 dogs on Sunday when his 52:32 pace was the fourth best time of the day but proved enough to hold off his four challengers with an elapsed time of 2:41:10.
Jack Trottier, a Quebec musher, was third at the end of the first day, a minute and 24 seconds behind Bellerive, and posted the best time of Saturday, 54:15, picking up 44 seconds on Bellerive to narrow the gap to 40 seconds. He was 13 seconds better than Bellerive on Sunday with a 52:19 time which wasn't enough to close the gap and he finished with a time of 2:41:37.
Placing third was first-time derby racer Rejean Therrien of Quebec, who fell more than two minutes behind the pace in Friday's heat after his team became tangled. But he made up time steadily over the weekend, posting the second best time on Saturday and the third time on Sunday. The 37-year-veteran musher finished with a time of 2:42:04.
Vermont musher Steve Long fell from second after Friday's run, more than a minute back, to two minutes and eight seconds back by the end of Sunday's heat, finishing with a three-day total of 2:43:18.
Defending champion Justin Fortier of St. Raymond, Quebec, who had fallen nearly four minutes off the pace by the end of Saturday's heat, turned in the fastest heat of the weekend on Sunday with a blistering 50:59 pace to finish fifth with a time of 2:43:41.
Other finishers were 6. Hermel Bergeron, 2:49.19; 7. Doug Butler, 2:51. 24. 8. Keith Bryar, 2:52:24; 9. Brittany Colbath, 2:55:51; 10. Samuel LaForce, 3:03:32.
The other mushers who have won the Laconia Derby three or more times are Emile St. Goddard (1930-31-33); Dr. Charles Belford (1956-64-65-66) Keith Bryar (1960-62-63) and Dick Moulton (1968-71-73-75-76).
Winner of the six-dog class with a time of 57:25 was Jessica, Doherty of Palmero, N.Y, followed by Jocelyn Bradbury of Portland, Maine, with a time of 58:26. Angie Carter of Penacook was third with a time of 59:06, followed by Kathy Rivest of Charette, Quebec, 59:46; defending champion Melanie Bellerive of Quebec, 59:48 and Fran Plaisted of Vermont, 60:50.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 01:04

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Quick series of dry-road wrecks keep Gilford police busy

GILFORD — Three accident within about a 45-minute time span kept police are fire personnel busy yesterday afternoon.

The first came from an area of Cherry Valley Road just east of Cat Path. Sgt. Corey O'Connor said a white car heading toward Gilford Village appeared to leave the road way, flip over, and land in the woods down a steep slope.

O'Connor said the female driver and her male passenger were able to get out of the car on their own and walk up the embankment to get to the road. He said both declined medical treatment.

Police said they closed down one-half of Cherry Valley Road while wrecking crews worked to bring the car up the snowy embankment and on to a flat bed.
He said the entire road was closed for about five minutes while crews were loading the car for towing.

A few minute later, O'Connor responded to a second car accident on Cherry Valley Road that was further east, near the Gunstock Mountain Resort.

He said a single driver lost control of his Jeep and went off the road, getting hung up in a snow banking.

O'Connor said the roads were clean and dry in both accidents and said the cause was likely driver inattention. Both remain under investigation.

A third accident occurred on the Laconia by-pass. It was investigated by Lt. James Leach and he said it appeared both cars were going in the same direction and somehow collided.

He said there were no injuries and one of the two cars had to be towed. Leach also noted the by-pass was clear and dry and said driver inattention was likely a contributing factor.

In Laconia, two cars collided at the intersection of Baldwin and Joliet Street around 3:30 p.m. Police said there were no injuries.

CUTLINE – (FEB 15 car of Cherry Valley Road) A white car of undetermined make and model lies up-side-down in the woods off of Cherry Valley Road yesterday afternoon. Both occupants were able to free themselves from the car and declined treatment. Gilford Police said the crash is still under investigation but said drugs or alcohol were not factors.

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 February 2014 12:56

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Clarification: Shirley Cyr was not employed by Live Free Home Health Care while working in Meredith home where she is alleged to have stolen $12,000

Clarification: Shirley Cyr was not employed by Live Free Home Health Care while working in the Meredith home where she is alleged to have stolen $12,000

A story that was published in our Thursday, Feb. 13 edition about the former director of the Inter-Lakes School District's food service department being the subject of a police investigation needs clarification because of background references made to his wife's alleged crimes.
Police say they originally searched the Moultonborough home of Joseph and Shirley Cyr looking for cash that Mrs. Cyr allegedly stole from a home where she was proving health care services. During that search they say they made a discovery related to Mr. Cyr that led them to obtain a second search warrant. To date no other information about Mr. Cyr has been made public and he has not been charged with a crime.
Mrs. Cyr is alleged to have stolen $12,000 from one Meredith home in August of last year and gold jewelry from a second Meredith home in December. In both cases, Mrs. Cyr was providing home health care services to the alleged victims.
In the second (December) instance, Mrs. Cyr was working as an employee of Live Free Home Health Care and owners of that company say she was terminated immediately upon their learning of the situation. The Board of Nursing, the Bureau of Elder and Adult Services and Meredith Police were also immediately notified.
In the first (August) instance, the alleged victim was not a client of Live Free Home Health Care and company officials say they had no knowledge of Mrs. Cyr's work in that home until they read about it in the newspaper.

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 February 2014 02:09

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