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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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Report on possible purchase of Adele Taylor property ready for presentation to Moultonborough Selectboard

MOULTONBOROUGH — The committee convened to consider possible uses for the so-called Adele Taylor property, the acquisition of which will be the subject of a warrant article at Town Meeting in March, will present it to the Board of Selectmen next week.

The 5.09-acre lot at 970 Whittier Highway (Rte. 25), which abuts properties belonging to the school district, Bank of New Hampshire and Huggins Hospital in the village commercial zone was a centerpiece of the Village Charette Report accepted by the Planning Board in January 2013. In June the trustees approached the Board of Selectmen and the School Board with an offer to sell the property to the town and donate the proceeds from the sale to the School District.

A price of $240,900, matching the assessed value in 2012, was negotiated and in October the selectmen agreed to place a question on the warrant after obtaining an independent appraisal of the property and estimate of the cost of addressing environmental issues. At the same time, the selectmen formed the committee to explore how the property might be used. The property is currently assessed at $234,800 and was appraised for $223,000.

Although 56 specific uses were suggested in the course of committee meetings and public hearings, when the panel met this week chairman Mark Borrin suggested that the basic question is "do we want to control it or do we want to just let it go. If you want to control what it looks like in the future, buy it," he continued. "If you don't want to control what it looks like in the future, you're going to have to jump some hurdles."

Likewise, Peter Jensen of the Planning Board told the committee. "we shouldn't jump into a use until we decide what we want to do with the village as a whole."

In that vein, the report presents four perspectives for the property, in no order of priority, should voters approve its acquisition by the town, with the caveat that "the property is well suited for combining any number of uses and it is not the intention of this study to suggest that there is only a single potential use for the property."

In keeping with the Village Charette Report, Safe Routes to School Travel Plan and 2008 Master Plan, the property could provide access and egress to the school district property from Rte.25. The School District expressed no misgivings with the one way in and out via Blake Road. Nor did Police Chief Leonard Wetherbee and Fire Chief David Bengston, though both said that a second route could enhance safety.

Alternatively, the committee found that the property could house a multi-purpose community center, noting that in 2011 The Blue Ribbon Commission Report on Community Services and Facilities recommended that "the town pursue development of a facility that includes an indoor gymnasium, recreation department office, program and storage space that would be on existing school land or property adjacent to school facilities." Both the Village Charette and Master Plan also referred to development of a community center.

The committee also heard that the property offered an opportunity to develop a park in the center of the village, perhaps with walking trails and recreational space. The Master Plan envisioned a "village green" and the Village Charette Report also referred to creating green space. Some suggested a park might be compatible with some additional parking space.

Finally, the report notes that residents expressed "considerable concern" that if the town does not acquire the property "anything can happen there" in compliance with the zoning ordinance. There was significant support for reusing the buildings on the property and, if they could not be rehabilitated, for ensuring that new structures should be "stylistically sympathetic." The committee noted that the site offers "many commercial applications," including small shops and restaurants, that would be compatible with either green space or a parking lot.

The committee recognized the challenge of reaching consensus about how to use the property and suggested that if voters approve its purchase, the Board of Selectmen consider a feasibility study to "identify what different options may be available." At the same time, noting that there was discussion "about the possibility that the property had no public use," the committee agreed to represent such concerns in its report by stating there may be no compelling need for the town to buy the property and therefore no public use for it."

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 December 2013 01:44

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