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Gilmanton man charged with setting 3 Laconia fires

LACONIA — A 36-year-old Gilmanton man was arrested Tuesday evening and charged with 3 counts of arson in the City of Laconia. Jason E. Clairmont on Mallard Lane refused the services of a bail commissioner and is being held at the Belknap County Jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned today in circuit court.

According to police Captain William Clary, Clairmont is being charged with setting two fires in the middle of the night on January 25 — a car fire on Academy Street and a porch fire on Highland Street — and a September 4, 2013 fire that damaged a car parked in the area of the downtown garage.

Clary said police, in cooperation with N.H. Fire Marshal and the city Fire Department continue to investigate other suspicious fires in the city.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 03:13

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Belmont man charged with groping 12-year-old girl

GILFORD — An Arkansas man who recently relocated to the Lakes Region is being held on $5,000 cash bail for allegedly twice groping the 12-year-old daughter of one of his friends.

Bryan Proctor, 29, whose last known address was 663 Union Road in Belmont, is charged with two counts of felonious sexual assault.

The alleged assaults occurred between January 1 and January 7 in the Gilford home of the alleged victim and happened while the victim and Proctor were alone in the house while the girl's mother had gone to run an errand.

Police affidavits allege that Proctor repeatedly contacted the victim's mother, apparently worried that she would report the assault. He also allegedly sent text messages to the victim's mother saying he wished to stay in contact with her.

Police interviewed Proctor on January 28. He declined to take a lie detector test.

Affidavits also said that when police went to Proctor's home on Union Road on January 31 to arrest him, he arrived at the house with a moving van. He told police he was planning on moving to Old State Road in Belmont.

In court Monday, Gilford's prosecutor asked for $10,000 cash bail. He said Proctor has no connections to New Hampshire and has a conviction in Arkansas from 2004 for battery II. He said the victim in that case was 8-years-old.

Proctor's public defender said he was working full-time in Tilton and had no ties to Arkansas. She said he has cousins in New Hampshire. She suggested cash bail of $1,500.

Judge Jim Carroll split the difference. He ordered Proctor held on $5,000 cash, to have no contact electronically or otherwise with the alleged victim or her mother, and to sign a waiver of extradition.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 01:54

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Laconia native going for gold in Olympic snowboarding

LACONIA — Chas Guldemond, 26, began chasing his dream at an early age. When he first set out to see how far snowboarding would take him, the sport existed on the fringe of mainstream, celebrated at alternative competitions such as ESPN's X Games.

Guldemond's dedication for slopestyle snowboarding is about to be vindicated, though, as the event is being included in the Winter Olympics beginning later this week in Sochi, Russia. A Laconia native, he has the rare chance to win one of the first medals awarded to a slopestyle snowboarder.

Guldemond spent his high school years at Waterville Valley Academy, a private school designed to produce elite snowsport athletes. When he was 18, he moved to Lake Tahoe, working odd jobs to pay for his lift tickets, hitchhiking to the mountain and sustaining himself with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
It wasn't long, though, until the theme of his snowboarding career would become clear: the more of himself that he gave to his sport, the more snowboarding would reward him. The year following his move out West, Guldemond burst onto the pro snowboarding scene by winning second place at the U.S. Open. Since then, he has been a fixture on podiums for Big Air and Slopestyle events around the world.
While he can now afford more than PBJs, Guldemond never lost his hunger. That's a good thing, because staying on top of the snowboarding world is like trying to summit a mountain as it is rising from the earth. In Guldemond's sport, athletes compete against one another by impressing judges with their aerial acrobatics and park-style tricks. Feats that ensured a first-place finish just a few years ago would have judges yawning today. For example, Guldemond dropped jaws in 2008 by landing the first 1440 in a competition. The trick, spinning four times between the time his snowboard left the jump and when he landed again — featured a rotation so fast that judges had to watch a slow-motion replay to understand what he accomplished.

The snowboarding world waits for no man, though. To be competitive in today's competitions, athletes must pull off several rotations around multiple axes. It is expected that the slopestyle event in Sochi will see many snowboarders attempt to land a "1440 Triple Cork," four consecutive rotations while performing three consecutive front flips. In an interview last week, as he was preparing to compete in the X Games in Aspen, Colo., Guldemond said he feels among the sport's veterans who have had a hand in elevating the sport from the fringe to the Olympic stage.

"When they put slopestyle in the Olympics it was kind of an honor, a proud moment for the sport," he said, and being named to the first slopestyle team to represent the U.S.A. is an honor that he doesn't take lightly. "It's going to be amazing to support my brothers, my sisters on Team U.S.A." Since he went pro, Guldemond's life has been a whirlwind of airport terminals and ski lifts, traveling to compete in events and to find good snow in between. After seeing life around the world, he said, "I'm lucky to be an American, I can do what I love."

Over those years, he's watched the sport that he loves grow to maturity. "When I started in snowboarding, there weren't half the opportunities to become a pro snowboarder." Guldemond learned his sport by hurtling himself off jumps and attempting to ride rails, taking his lumps until he got it right. The younger members of his team learned aerial technique by practicing on trampolines or jumping into pits of foam blocks, which greatly reduce the risk of injury when trying to perfect a new trick. Guldemond joked that some of them are more comfortable when spinning upside-down than they are carving their way down a powdery slope. "Some things come way easier for them because that's how they learned."

Although he's the second-oldest on the American team — only the legendary Shaun White is older, and he's only older than Guldemond by a few months — he feels like he's never been better prepared to compete on the greatest stage. Mentally, physically, he feels stronger than ever, and his performance has followed suit. "The way my contest season has unfolded for me, it's like I'm coming up on a peak — I see that unfolding... I'm really excited, I'm trying to stay humble."

Though, there are some aspects of this particular Olympic games that give him pause. He's concerned about security, especially as it relates to regional terrorism — "It's unfortunate that they had to put it in such a dangerous place, it kind of clouds the excitement for the Olympics" — and he is also troubled by Russia's recent passing of anti-homosexual legislation and the controversy that followed. "I'm glad that I live in America and we support people to be who they are and that's what I stand for," he said.

Asked what his specific goals were for the Olympics and afterward, Guldemond said he will continue to pursue the same goal that has motivated him for years. "I feel like I was blessed with the opportunity to snowboard as well as I do. I feel like it is important for me to be a positive influence on kids." Whether he's riding in Sochi, near his home in Reno, Nev. or in some far-flung corner of the world, Guldemond prides himself on being in line for the first chairlift of the morning and pushing himself until the last run of the day, and for exhibiting that drive and dedication to whoever is on the lift with him or catches up with him at the bottom of the slope. "I want to continue to ride as hard as I can and work hard, people see that, they see that work ethic."

The qualifying round for slopestyle snowboarding will be held on February 6, with the semi-final and final rounds on February 8. Lakes Region residents will be able to watch both rounds during prime time programming on both days.



Laconia native Chas Guldemond will compete in the slopestyle snowboarding event in the 2014 Winter Olympics later this week. (Courtesy photo)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 03:20

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Attorney General negotiated settlement gives 5 Paugus Woods homeowners option to sell property back to the developer

LACONIA — As part of a negotiated settlement with the N.H. Attorney General, developer Brady Sullivan Properties has agreed to buy back the home of five families who purchased homes here in the Villas at Paugus Woods, LLC — if the owners want to sell.

The agreement, which was announced yesterday afternoon, was approved by Belknap County Superior Court on January 27, ending a legal battle that began in December of 2010 when a Sarasota Lane family reported some cracks in their modular home.

Told by Brady Sullivan the cracks were "cosmetic," they notified the state fire marshal and asked for an inspection. Fire Marshal Ken Walsh's affidavits were made public and said that the lag bolts that connect module "C" with the rest of the three-part modular home were not installed.

Walsh also noted that the foundations under the "C" module was not constructed in a way that would support it.

"Because of these failures," wrote former Attorney General Mike Delaney in his filing, "the C Module was physically moving away from the remainder of the house.

The separation of the "C" module was creating the drywall cracks that the family noticed and reported.

Other problems in some of the homes that were inspected were in ventilation and air handling systems as well as electrical issues.

All totaled, Walsh said he got eight complaints and contacted Brady Sullivan to see how the company was going to resolve the complaints.

The Villas at Paugus Woods is a multi-unit sub-division off White Oaks Road. Initially started by a different private developer, the entire subdivision was purchased by Brady Sullivan in 2009.

Brady Sullivan attorneys contended that the City of Laconia had inspected all of the homes and occupancy permits were issued.

On January 13, 2011, city officials, Walsh, and the Brady Sullivan project construction manager met with representatives of all of the subcontractors with the exception of Excel Homes, whose attorneys said the company was in bankruptcy.

Brady Sullivan agreed to stop selling homes while a resolution was in the offing but later asked for and received an exemption for two buyers who had already given up their former homes.

AG Delaney brought suit against Brady Sullivan after learning that an independent inspector had identified 20 code violations that still existed.

The agreement between the state and Brady Sullivan also states that at the attorney generals request, an independent engineer was engaged to inspect every home in the sub-division and fix any defects identified and fix them at Brady Sullivan's expense.

Brady Sullivan must also pay $85,000 in administrative costs and investigative costs to the State of New Hampshire.

Owners of the five homes offered buyouts couldn't not be reached for comment.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 01:41

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