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In Laconia, Shea-Porter makes pitch for preserving Social Security & Medicare

LACONIA — Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter told a gathering of residents of Taylor Home Tuesday morning that she knows from her own experience how important Social Security and Medicare programs are to those receiving benefits and said that she will work to preserve and strengthen those programs.
''In Laconia everyone knows how much we need these programs but in Washington that's not so much the case,'' Shea-Porter told the audience, maintaining that many who want to cut Social Security or turn Medicare into a voucher program are well off and don't need the programs.
Her remarks came at an event sponsored by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare at which she was presented with dozens of petitions collected by New Hampshire members of the group opposing cuts in those programs.
Shea-Porter said that in her family Social Security benefits had helped provide for care for a grandmother with early onset dementia and a great uncle who had suffered a stroke and that her father, who had saved for his retirement, saw those funds wiped out by three major diseases within a decade and had to rely on Social Security and Medicaid for the rest of his life.
''My father praised those programs in the last part of his life even though he had been against Medicare when it first was started,'' she said.
She also praised the Affordable Care Act for bringing health insurance to millions who had never before had coverage and said that even though she favored a Medicare for All program she was pleased with the progress being made in extending coverage and reducing the projected increases in health care costs.
She stressed that the Medicare for All program she would like to see is different from another proposed by a Democratic congressman and would preserve the independence of medical providers by allowing them to contract with Medicare rather than being sold to the government.
Shea-Porter said that she is co-sponsoring legislation which would give credits to caregivers for up to five family service years for those taking care of children or elderly or disabled family members in the formula used to calculate Social Security benefits. She also supports other changes which would improve survivor benefits which would help prevent widows and widowers from falling into poverty after their spouse dies.
When asked how New Hampshire should cope with demographic changes which have been described as a ''silver tsunami'' and seen a major increase in the state's elderly population. Shea-Porter pointed out that young people are having a hard time, as well and said that passing an increase in the minimum wage might help keep more of them in the state.
She said that she would like to see tax law changes which would keep American companies from moving their headquarters overseas to reduce their tax burden and said she was pleased by the recent decision of Walgreen's to remain in the country.
''We have to shut off escape routes for the corporations. There are a lot of things we could do'' she said, pointing out that a lot of the largest corporations pay no taxes at all.
Shea-Porter said that it would ultimately be up to the American voters to decide the future of the Social Security and Medicare programs and said there stark differences between the political parties with the Democrats wanting to strengthen and preserve them while Republicans have supported the Paul Ryan budget plan which would change Medicare to a voucher program and result in reductions in Social Security benefits.
Also speaking at the meeting was Steve Richardson, public affairs specialist with Social Security's regional office in Boston, who said that 58 million Americans currently receive benefits from the program, 34 million of whom are retirees.
He said that fraud is a major problem for retirees and cautioned cautioned those present not to reveal their personal information.
''After Hurricane Sandy there were people getting calls from people who claimed they were with Social Security telling them that banks had suffered a power outage and asking them for personal information which would allow their social security cheeks to be deposited. Don't ever give your number to those people. Remember that if it's Social Security calling that we already know your number.''


Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter talks with Mendon and Betty McDonald at the Taylor Home Tuesday morning where she discussed steps she supports to strengthen Social Security and Medicaid programs. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)


Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 01:01

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Horace has his hat

LACONIA – Horace has found his hat.

Or more precisely, a woman from Laconia did while she and her brother were walking along Parade Road a few days after Bike Week with a metal detector.

Horace Joyner of Rocky Mount, N.C., was attending this year's Motorcycle Week when he crashed his red, white and blue Harley-Davidson Trike while on his way from Weirs Beach to his hotel in Tilton.

Joyner was taken to LRGH and then flown to Boston with head injuries.

All of his possessions were recovered at the scene by his friends and city police – except for one very special hat.

Last Friday, Joyner told the Daily Sun the history of his hat. The next day the woman who found it called him.

According to Joyner, a different woman read the article in the Sun and called the woman who she knew had found a hat resembling the one he had described.

He said when the two spoke on the phone, he described a (Dale) Earnhardt #3 patch he had put on top of it and she confirmed for him that it was his hat. The patch was not included in the story.

Joyner said the woman who found the hat took it home and put it in a bag. She told him that a number of people had tried to buy the hat from her but she told them she had a feeling that the had was very special to somebody.

"She actually had me crying," said Joyner, speaking yesterday about the phone call he got from her. "That hat sure has a lot of memories."

Joyner said he told her that he was offering a reward for the hat, but the woman declined to accept it.

"I'm going to send her something anyway," he said. "She's made me so happy there's no words to express it."

CAPTION: Horace Joyner wears his special hat while attending Motorcycle Week. He said the parrot belonged to someone he met in the Weirs who allowed him to take a picture of himself with the bird on his shoulder.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 01:22

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Affidavits released in Tilton aggravated rape case

TILTON – Arrest affidavits released from the 6th Circuit Court (Franklin Division) state a Meredith man recently indicted for 13 counts of raping a child was a close family friend.

The documents released yesterday said Mark Thurber, 42, of 118 Chase Road had allegedly been assaulting the girl since she was 6 years old.

Affidavits, taken during an interview with the Greater Lakes Region Child Advocacy Center, said the child described in detail some of the things Thurber allegedly did to her.

She said the first assault occurred while she was at his cabin in Meredith in 1999.

The child told police the assaults continued, sometimes on a daily basis, during 2008 and 2009 when Thurber allegedly lived with her family in Tilton.

She told the detective that he would sleep on the floor of her bedroom, but would eventually climb into her bed and assault her.

Affidavits said the victim's parents confirmed that Thurber frequently stayed at their home and they also recalled that he would stay in her room. The parents allegedly said they recalled him finding him in her bed on more than one occasion.

The affidavits, as prepared by a Tilton Police detective, said there are many more details about the alleged rapes not included in the initial affidavit and police only included enough information to justify Thurber's arrest and detention for one count of pattern aggravated felonious sexual assault.

A Belknap County grand jury indicted Thurber last month for six counts of felony pattern aggravated felonious sexual assault and seven counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault.

Thurber is being held in the Belknap County House of Corrections on $50,000 cash-only bail.

Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2014 11:59

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The Boys of Summer: 1964 Laconia Little League State Champs Hold Reunion

GILFORD — Members of the 1964 Laconia Little League All-Stars, the only state Little League championship team ever from the Lake City, held a 50th reunion Saturday at the Pheasant Ridge Country Club.

''It was a magic summer,'' recalled Jeff Noyes of Laconia, who organized the event which brought together nine of the 16 players from the championship team, two of whom came all the way from Utah for the reunion.

Copies of newspaper stories from that year were assembled by Jim Noucas, who played second base on the team and is now an attorney in Portsmouth, and presented in a commemorative booklet form to the players, many of whom had their memories refreshed as they read through the clippings and looked at old pictures.

''It was an unforgettable experience, something we'll always cherish,'' said Noucas, who reminisced in his introduction to the booklet about that idyllic summer and those who played key roles in shaping the championship team.

''Every morning Tony Demers (known as Mr. Little League for his part in building the Laconia Little League'' came down to Opechee Park and set up Iron Mike. We hit as long as we wanted to. Our coaches, Jim Royal and Ray Simoneau, worked every day. And, every evening we returned to Opechee Park for practice after they finished work. In between, we spent the day at the beach. It never felt like work. It was always fun. As a result we developed a camaraderie that was the key to our continued baseball success at Memorial Junior High School (undefeated) and Laconia High School (best record in Class L). We always enjoyed the game and one another.''

Among those who showed of the reunion were Jim Dunlap and Tim Lahey, the aces of the pitching staff, which allowed only two runs in the four tournament games, Noyes, Noucas, Dave Wadsworth, who was the catcher; Geoff Chillingworth, shortstop; Keith Karnan, outfielder; Don Fecteau, outfielder; and Jim O'Neil, another outfielder who is now the presiding judge in Belknap County Superior Court.

Also taking part were Jim Royal Jr., representing his late dad, Jim Sr., who was manager of the team and a Laconia City Councilman, and Bobby Simoneau, representing his dad, Ray, who was the team's coach.

Other members of the team unable to make it to the reunion included Kerry Persons, Gary Cartier, Roger Goupil, Tom Rock and Ted Landroche. Two of the members of the team, Jim Stitt and Bob Lakeman, died of cancer, Stitt in 1998 and Lakeman in 2011. His father Ray Lakeman, who was a Little League coach in 1964 and later served as member of the Laconia City Council, also attended the reunion.

Laconia's march to the title opened with a 13-0 victory over Franklin at Opechee Park on a Friday night in which Dunlap pitched a one-hitter, striking out 11, while Chillingworth homered and doubled, Persons had three hits and Rock and Wadsworth both had a pair of hits.

The following day Lahey pitched a no-hitter, which was preserved by a leaping catch of a line drive by Karnan at third base, as Laconia downed Littleton 8-0 at Opechee Park.

The next Saturday Laconia journeyed to Somersworth where it was the Jummy Dunlap show, as he homered twice, a three-run shot in the first and two-run homer in the third, driving in five of Laconia's six runs in a 6-2 victory over Portsmouth in which he also pitched and recorded 12 strikeouts.

That brought it down to the state final in Manchester as Tim Lahey pitched a six-hit shutout and Laconia beat Manchester Central 2-0.

Laconia's runs came in the second when Chillingworth reached on a fielder's choice and moved to third on singles by Haley and Rock, scoring when Lakeman drew a bases-loaded walk, and in the third, when Dunlap hit a solo homer.

The Laconia Little Leaguers got a rousing welcome when they returned to Laconia Saturday afternoon where they were greeted by the Lakes Regionaires Drum and Bugle Corps and given a police escort through the city to Opechee Park.

They later went on t play in the New England Regionals at Grappone Field in Concord, where they played before 2,200 fans and beat Waterville, Maine, 4-2, behind Dunlap, who stuck out 15, and went on to play Smithfield, R.I., in Atlantic Division finale, losing 6-1.

Lahey said he still remembers the finale against Manchester Central and how the game could have gotten out of hand in the first inning.

''Their first batter got on and the next guy bunted down the third base line. I got to it but fumbled it and then picked it up and threw as hard as I could to first base. Bobby Lakeman caught it down by his foot and we got the batter out. If he had reached we would have been in real trouble because they were a team that could really bunt well. That set the tone for the rest of the game,'' said Lahey, who said that he was pitching out of trouble for most of the game.

Chillingworth and Karnan both came all the way from Utah for the reunion. Karnan, whose father, Roy, was also a Little League coach, was one of three Karnans who would become Laconia High School catchers and is a ski instructor at the world class Deer Valley Ski Area in Heber City, Utah.

Chillingworth, a financial adviser with Merrill Lynch in Salt Lake City, said it was Jeff Noyes, recently retired from a law enforcement career with the Laconia Police Department and the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council, who deserves credit for putting together the reunion.

Chillingworth's wife, Laurie, who is a banker, said it was ''pretty cool'' to see all the people gathered for the reunion.

''I love it when Geoff tells me stories about the 1964 season. He remembers everything and when he talks about it becomes so animated. You can see what a wonderful memory it is for him,'' she says.

Among the mementoes brought to the reunion was a 1964 state championship jacket that Noyes still has, although he's never worn it.

''I had a growth spurt and by the time we got the jackets that winter it was too small for me,'' he explained


Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 12:26

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