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Laconia man being held on $20,000 cash bail

CIRCUIT COURT — A Fair Street man is being held on $20,000 cash bail for three separate incidents, including a charge that he hit a woman in the nose with a closed fist after he had been ordered by the court to stay away from her.

Police said Thomas Manley, 50, of 96 Fair St, is charged with one count of simple assault, one count of criminal mischief, and four counts of breach of bail.

According to three separate affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, on July 31 police responded to Fair Street around 5 p.m. for a disturbance. When the officer arrived he saw Manley riding away from the home on his bicycle.

He said he had gone to the Fair Street house to drop off some milk and that he and the woman inside had not been fighting. When the officer spoke to the woman she also said they hadn't been fighting. Both told him that the bail conditions preventing the two from seeing each other were old and "no longer in effect."

The next day, the officer checked with the court and learned Manley's no contact bail provisions were in place and requested an arrest warrant for breach of bail.

Earlier in the day, police responded to an area of the downtown Riverwalk known as "the cobblestones" for a report of a man, later identified as Manley, allegedly trying to rip a city-owned sign off of the railing.

The responding officer said the people reporting the vandalism noted that two people walking by Manley joined him in trying to remove the sign.

The officer learned Manley was on bail and requested a warrant be issued for him for breach of bail and criminal mischief.

On Monday, police went to the same Fair Street home at 9:30 p.m. for a report of a fight involving five or six people. When the officer arrived, he found Manley who he described as "very upset."

Manley told him that a woman had yelled at him and left in a car. The officer learned from dispatch that Manley had a number of warrants outstanding and detained him.

The officer spoke to the woman who was the original subject of the no-contact order and she told him Manley allegedly hit her in the face with a closed fist.

Manley was charged with one count of simple assault and two counts of breach of bail for Monday's allegedly assault — one for the alleged assault and one for allegedly violating the no contact order.

Judge Edward "Ned" Gordon ordered Manley be held on $20,000 cash-only bail, that should he post bail he provide a source of funds, and that he stay away from the woman and not leave New Hampshire.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 01:54

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Plan to build kids' camp on Paugus Bay island draws protest

LACONIA — A scheduled hearing before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) on a proposal to develop a summer camp for underprivileged children on Big Island in Paugus Bay was postponed at the request of the applicant in the face of stiff opposition from mainland residents.

Since the 2.3 acre island, located about a quarter-mile due east of the South Down Shores gated community's marina, is in the single-family residential zone, where a camp is not a permitted use, Scott Everett, who purchased the island in 2012 and seeks to develop the camp, has requested a variance from the ZBA.

Soon after abutters were notified of the project, the Planning Department received nearly a dozen letters and a number of e-mails, mostly from residents of Paugus Park Road, expressing misgivings about the project. Some of the protesters were at City Hall on Monday night.

Local attorney Rod Dyer, representing Everett, said that on reading the correspondence from abutters he concluded that a formal hearing would not offer an appropriate forum to address their concerns. Instead, he told Steve Bogert, chairman of the ZBA, that he preferred to withdraw the application for the moment and meet with the abutters informally. He emphasized that Everett has no intention of abandoning the project, but has only chosen to proceed after seeking to resolve the issues raised by abutters.

Everett, the founder and president of Supreme Lending, a mortgage lender headquartered in Dallas, Texas, who was raised and still summers in the Lakes Region, acquired the island for $725,000. This year he conveyed the property to N.H. Big Island Co., with the intention of developing a camp,owned and operated by a charitable corporation, which he would endow.

Of the three islands in Paugus Bay — Plummer, Big and Little — Big Island is the second largest. It sits about 400 yards east of the marina at South Down Shores and 1,500 feet north of Paugus Park Road. The only structures on the island are a three-bedroom seasonal camp of approximately 1,250-square-feet, which was built in 1950, an outhouse and dock. The camp is served by a dug well that likely draws water from the lake. The electric service to the island has not operated for some time.

Everett proposes to convert the camp to a lodge with cooking and dining facilities as well as quarters for counselors. Campers would be housed in five cabins, each about 12 feet by 20 feet divided two 12-foot-square rooms housing four campers for a total capacity of 20. Dyer said the camp is intended for young girls aged between 12 and 12. Water, sewer, electricity and cable would be routed to the island through a sleeve beneath Paugus Bay.

Dyer said an oral agreement has been reached with the South Down Beach Club to provide utilities to the island and applications have been made to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to run utilities under the railroad tracks and to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission to bring electricity to the island. Likewise, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has been approached about rehabilitating the existing docking facility.

In their letters, abutters raised a number of issues. Some feared that the sewer line would represent an environmental risk. Others said that the heavy boat traffic in the bay would endanger the safety of young campers. One woman said the bay was a popular venue for water skiers, wake boarders and jet skis and the presence of campers could lead to imposition of a no wake zone that would curtail these activities. Several abutters said that the camp would diminish the value of mainland properties while a camp operated by a charitable corporation would be exempt from property taxation.

Dyer said that he understood abutters have legitimate questions and concerns, but was confident their questions could be answered and their concern addressed.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 12:57

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Owner of stolen Donzi offers $5,000 reward

LACONIA — The man who had his boat and trailer stolen from Lakeport Landing Marina last week is offering a $5,000 reward that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person who took it.

Dave Elkins said the black 27-foot Donzi was his "baby."

"I'm not much of a car guy but I love my boats," he said, speaking from his office in the Boston area yesterday.

Elkins said this is the second Donzi he's owned and he searched all over the eastern seaboard for one that hadn't been used in salt water.

He found this one in Maryland and said this was his fourth season with it. He also said this particular model isn't made any more and that Donzi didn't make many of them.

Elkins is the father of three teens who he said were heartbroken when they realized the boat had been stolen. "My wife was in tears, my kids were shaking," he said.

He said the boat and the trailer were parked at the marina and he doesn't keep a plate on his trailer because he stores the boat there during the winter.

"I keep it covered and in the same spot," he said.

Elkins said he finds it hard to believe a boat got stolen from Laconia.

"I used to keep a boat in Charlestown (Mass) and nothing ever happened to it. Who thinks a boat is going to get stolen in little ole Laconia," he said.

Police were able to see a while Toyota Tundra with two men in the cab leaving the marina when they reviewed video surveillance tape from nearby Avery's Restaurant. He also said it appears the person who took the boat took a right turn on to Elm Street after stealing it.

Elkins said the Laconia Police have been very helpful and that Chief Chris Adams called him personally.

The boat was covered with a black canvas cover when it was stolen.

Any one with any information is asked to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Greater Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 12:45

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Meredith selectmen & library trustees remain at odds

MEREDITH — After meeting in a workshop session yesterday, the Board of Selectmen and Board of Trustees of the Meredith Public Library appear no closer to agreement on a "Memorandum of Understanding" that would clarify the relationship and delineate the responsibilities of the town and the library.

Tension between the selectmen and trustees has arisen against the background of a state statute that vests library trustees with a measure of autonomy, particularly over compensating employees. In 2012, the trustees created a new position, filled it with an existing employee and reclassified it by three pay grades, raising the hourly wage of the incumbent by 19 percent. Town manager Phil Warren acknowledged the statutory authority of the trustees, but reminded them that the town's personnel policy authorizes the selectmen to amend "salary plan" on the recommendation of the town manager. He also that in approaching the budget, the selectmen had agreed "no new positions and no re-classifications."

Earlier this summer the selectmen presented the trustees with a draft, which provided that "in order for the town to be able to defend and uphold various legal, personnel and liability matters, it is necessary that all employees and departments, including the library, follow all town ordinances, policies (including the personnel policy) and administrative regulations." The other major component of the draft recognized that the library is a town building and provide for the town to administer and manage its day to day "maintenance and operation."

The trustees prepared a draft of their own that was circulated to the selectmen. "This redraft smell like a lawyer," Selectman Lou Kahn remarked yesterday. "I don't like lawyers, because I was one."

Colleen Nolan, vice-chair of the Board of Trustees, told the selectmen that the trustees intended to prepared a personnel policy for library employees. Erin Apostolos, director of the library, assured the selectmen that the policy would be consistent with the town's policy "for the most part," but indicated that the outstanding issue remains "who has the final say."

Selectmen Peter Brothers said that while he was eager to see the library's personnel policy, he was also somewhat concerned. He noted that the relationship between the town and library may expose the town to liabilities arising from personnel practices and issues, particularly as the treatment of employees must conform to both state and federal laws. Kahn added that while state law purports to define the relationship between the town and the library, a federal court may apply a different standard.

Town Manger Phil Warren pointed out that a federal court recently ruled that both McDonald's Corporation and its franchisees are jointly responsible for the employees at privately owned franchises. "That is my concern," he said, suggesting that the town could find itself liable in a situation of the library's making.

Both Kahn and Brothers were surprised to find the trustees reluctant to yield responsibility for maintenance to the town. "If you want to go looking for a plumber," Kahn said, "that's up to you, but we thought taking over the maintenance would be an improvement." Brothers said that responsibilities are not clearly defined and delineated and that the memorandum was intended to "eliminate the guesswork."

Paul Eldridge of the Board of Trustees reminded the selectmen that "you run a municipal corporation and we run an educational institution. They can't be run the same."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 12:37

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