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Court sends South Down decision back to Laconia ZBA

LACONIA — A judge has vacated a decision made by the city Zoning Board of Adjustment to grant a variance to one of the villages in South Down Shores that would have allowed it to add parking spaces and permit some residents to expand their decks. The case is remanded back to ZBA for further consideration.

The Gables neighborhood received its variance in early 2013 and the South Down Recreation Association — the association that governs all of the villages in South Down — challenged it in Belknap County Superior Court in May.

Judge James O'Neill ruled last week that The Gables had not met any of the five criteria needed to be awarded a variance from the city's ZBA, although he did rule that the ZBA has the authority to grant the variance — a power that South Down also challenged.

The five criteria are that a variance would not be contrary to the public interest, that it would not be contrary to the spirit of the ordinance, that substantial justice is done, that the values of the surrounding properties would not be diminished, and that the literal enforcement of the ordinance would create a hardship to the applicant.

O'Neill denied a request by South Down Recreation Association for legal fees created when The Gables filed as an intervenor in the suit.

The Gables in one of multiple villages in South Down — each with its own governing board, its own name and its own identity. There are 31 individual homes in the Gables.

 

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 December 2013 02:05

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LPD drug charge roundup continues with 4 more arrests; 3 other suspects still being sought

LACONIA — Police have arrested four more people and charged them with various counts of sales of narcotics.

Capt. Bill Clary said Joseph O'Flaherty, 31, of 11 Charges St. in Laconia faces one count of sales of a narcotic; Shane Mitza, 38, of 1201 Mount Major Highway in Alton faces three counts of sales of a narcotic; Juston Kennet, 27, no address given, faces one count of sales of a narcotic and Joanne Benwell, 25, no address given faces one count of sales of narcotics.

Clary said Kennet and Benwell were arrested by Rumney police.

In addition, police said there are active arrest warrants for narcotic sales outstanding for Tracey Hebert, 37, Richard Minor, 34, and Shawn Stitt, 35.

All of the above have ties to Laconia and police ask that anyone with any information about their whereabouts to call the Laconia Police Department at 524-5252 or the Greater Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.

The aforementioned seven people have been charged with or are wanted for a variety of narcotic sales charges in what Clary described Thursday as a nearly year-long investigation into drug sales activity in Laconia. He said the drugs involved range from heroin and oxycodone to cocaine and crack.

Police apprehended 13 additional alleged drug dealers in an early-morning drug sweep Thursday, the second time police have conducted a city-wide sweep in the past year.

Eighteen months ago, the City Council added an additional police officer to the ranks and the police administration added a fifth detective to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations and concentrated on drug activity.

Clary said the 16 arrests and three additional warrants are the result of the extra detective in the drug unit.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 December 2013 01:58

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Reward offered for info about Wolfeboro rape

WOLFEBORO — There is a $10,000 reward being offered for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a man who sexually assaulted a young woman on October 20.

Police are releasing very few details, saying only the crime appears to be random in nature, that it occurred in the evening, and that it occurred outside.

Police released a composite sketch of someone who could have been in the area or may have information about the assault. The man in the sketch has a droopy left eye, which police said is a facial characteristic and not a black eye.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Wolfeboro Police at 569-1444 or the N.H. State Police at 323-3333.

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 December 2013 01:49

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PSU adjuncts ratify first union contract

PLYMOUTH — Two years after voting to form a collective bargaining unit the adjunct faculty members of Plymouth State University yesterday ratified their first contract by a vote of 97-percent of the union membership.

The three-year agreement is said to provide job stability, annual wage increases, access to health benefits and intellectual property rights. In a prepared statement, Krisan Evenson, the president of the Teaching Lecturers Chapter who teaches political science, said that "before we unionized, I was unable to see a career track, let alone our place at the university." Prior to negotiating a contract adjunct faculty were employees at will without access to health insurance or other benefits.

The adjunct faculty affiliated with the State Employees' Association of New Hampshire, SEIU Local 1984 in December 2011. Diana Lacey, president of the SEA/SEIU1984, said that "the path to obtain the rights necessary for empowered workers to level the playing field as equally valuable partners in the workplace, including higher education, can be a long one that takes real commitment."

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 December 2013 01:46

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