Manhunt for missing county jail inmate ends with surrender aided by family members

Laconia — After 10 law enforcement agencies pursued a manhunt for 12 hours, a man who escaped the custody of the Belknap County Jail on Thursday was surrendered to the Belknap County Sheriff's Department by members of his family shortly after noon yesterday. .

Ryan Mears, 26, of New Durham had been released on the electronic monitoring program in March and, until his disappearance, had complied regularly. He was due to report to the Belknap County Jail at 4 p.m. of Thursday, but failed to do so. His last confirmed whereabouts was in New Durham at 10:30 a.m. Investigators learned that Mears removed his electronic bracelet and fled the area. The New Durham Police and New Hampshire State Police searched with K-9 units, without result.

Mears, who was originally  charged with negligent homicide and second degree assault, was being held by the Belknap County Superior Court in lieu of $60,000 cash bail. He has been returned to the Belknap County Jail where is is being held pending his appearance in the 4th Circuit Court — Laconia Division.

The Belknap County Sheriff's Department was assisted by the Strafford County Sheriff's Department, New Durham Police Department, Durham Police Department, New Hampshire State Police, United States Marshal's Office, Concord Police Department, Kingston Police Department, Deerfield Police Department and Belknap County Department of Corrections.

Laconia Library hosts 'Heroes for Heroes' luncheon

LACONIA — Three dozen children from the Opechee Day Camp, joined by Laconia police officers and firefighters, were the guests at the first Heroes for Heroies luncheon hosted by the Laconia Public Library yesterday.

Gail Drucker, the children's librarian, explained that a blank sheet of paper headed "My Story" was put at each place setting. "Every hero has a story," she said, encouraging the children to write a brief statement describing their hero. At the same time, the children were invited to make their own "hero sandwiches", choosing from an array of cold cuts, cheese, vegetables and toppings.

Then the children, all between the ages of five and eleven, were encouraged to step to the podium at the front of the room and either read what they had written or speak about their hero.

Landen said he was "new here" and spoke of another camper who became his friend and helped him feel that he belonged.

Chase recalled that he swallowed a mouthful of water while swimming and his sister, Bailee, came to his rescue. "She even patted my back," he said.

Others lauded their mothers or fathers.

Most remarks were lost to the weak sound system and lunch table chatter. But, Drucker collected what the children wrote and encouraged them all to return to the library. And the children left with full stomachs, clutching trading cards picturing police officers distributed by a smiling Lieutenant Rich Simmons.

ART: In it's second year, Meredith Sculpture Walk has grown to 32 works

MEREDITH — In its first year the Sculpture Walk has grown from 24 works by 17 artists to 32 works by 22 artists and now stretches from Lake Street to Pleasant Street while making a loop through Mill Falls Market Place and Hesky Park.

A baker's dozen of the sculptors who exhibited last year have returned and four works displayed a year ago — "American Dog" by Dale Rogers of Haverhill, Massachusetts, "Meditiation Bell and Arch" by Larry Elardo, "Black Sailboat" by Steven Hayden and David Little of Meredith, "Red Wing" by Hugh Gibbons of North Falmouth, Massachusetts and Hayden's "Spirit's Daughter" — are standing for a second season.

Among the newcomers Judy O'Donnell of Falmouth, Maine, who works with steel, has offered three works, each abstracted from the natural world — "Ladybird," "Yellow Jacket on Flower" and "Cormorant". The bronze yellow jacket alighting on elongated lilac petals skillfully captures the industry of the insect and languor of the flower.

Beverly Seamans of Newbury, Mass., another exhibiting for the first time, also has three works on the walk. Two, "Osprey," fashioned of bronze and bluestone, and "River Otter," a bronze, are drawn from nature. Standing tall, with a fish clenched between its teeth, the otter depicts the predatory and playful character of the species. Her third piece "Wendy," a bronze of a young girl with a book in her lap, sits beneath a tree near the bookstore, raising memories of Copenhagen's "Little Mermaid."

Using found objects, Richard Foster of Bristol, New Hampshire has fashioned two whimsical pieces, "Utterly Green," an abstract ruminant with a green udder," and "Ribbit," an outsized frog with a pendulous tongue. "Insight Out" and Macroscope," made of iron and steel by Conrad Levenson of Stanfordville, New York, challenge the imagination to interpret the circles at the centers of his work.

Bruce Hathaway of Richmond, Vermont has graced Scenic Park with "Alchemy of Time and Fire," an ethereal, blaze of entwined aluminum rods rising from a shimmering plate. Working with stainless steel, Tom Sleeper of Belmont, New Hampshire has conjured "Winnipesaukee Monster," with the flat shell of a sea turtle, long neck of a swan and blank stare of a deer in the headlights as well as a naturalistic, colorful pileated woodpecker.

With a mix of traditional Yankee thrift and uncommon ingenuity, Patrick Plourde of New Gloucester, Maine has used the blades of shovels to create a reminder of his Pine Tree State, a pine cone astride a twig.

With concrete and odd bits and pieces, including a drain pipe, Joe Chirchirillo of North Bennington, Vermont has concocted "Slide Mountain," an asymmetric abstraction recalling a U-bolt gone awry, suggesting nothing so much as disconnection and dysfunction.

The polar bears, mother and cub, perched together on a shrunken piece of ice, entitled "The Dsicarded," by Morris Norvin of Boston, promises to be the most eye-catching of the 32 sculptures. Made of steel barrels and finished with an blinding silver paint, his work depicts both the majesty and pathos of these rulers of the Arctic and even the bleakness of their shrinking environment while displayed on the grass of Hesky Park in Bright sunlight.

The returning artists with new works include Josie Dellenbaugh of Glastonbury, Connecticut returns with "Japanese Mother and Child", bronze inspired by the earthquake and tsunami that swept northern Japan. Stephen Green of Lee, New Hampshire offers "Getting There", a twisted piece of carved granite quarried in Mason. Last year John Bon Signore's "Toe Dancer" in stainless steel was a favorite and this year he has brought "Toe Dancer 3A," who is pirouetting on her other foot. leg. Gordon Frost of Salisbury, Massachusetts works with recycled rebar and last year offered the hunted in the form of "The Buck," and this year offers the hunter — "El Lobo".

Joe Gray of Pittsfield, New Hampshire has entered "Taking Flight," a rising heron carved from bluestone and granite; Jospeh DeRobertis of New London has returned with a foraging dragonfly of copper, steel and stone. Once gain harnessing the wind, Drew Klotz offers a new kinetic sculpture, "Icarus," relentlessly driven by the breeze. With forged steel Little has sown a patch of "Spring Fiddlehead" while his sometime partner Hayden has embraced a disc of colored glass in arms of stainless steel to create "Lover's Light".

A brochure, with a walking map, photographs of the sculptures and directory of the aryists is available at several locations in downtown Meredith. Enjoy!