Alleged ‘Opechee Flasher’ jury pick is scheduled for Monday

By Gail Ober

LACONIA — A jury is scheduled to be picked Monday morning for Daniel King, who allegedly exposed himself to a group of children on Sept. 1, 2014.

A description of King was provided to police and a description of his car was provided to police during the investigation.

After a month-long investigation, King, who was homeless and supposedly living in the Concord area, was identified and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was found in Garland, Arkansas, and arrested on Dec. 10 by U.S. Federal Marshals.

King was extradited back to New Hampshire and has been incarcerated in the Belknap County Jail since then. He is being held on $50,000 cash-only bail.

King, 53, was convicted of three counts of indecent exposure and lewdness in 2006 as well as one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault involving a child younger than 13, in 1991.

In the time he has been back in New Hampshire, he was convicted in U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire for one count of failing to register as a sex offender during the time he lived in Concord. He has yet to be sentenced.

King recently filed a motion to eliminate evidence that he was "out of state" from Oct. 14, 2014, until his return as overly prejudicial. He claims he was homeless and free to travel anywhere.

The state wishes to introduce evidence that King was interviewed by Laconia Police on Sept. 19, 2014, and that there was some video footage of a man whom King allegedly admitted looked like him.

The state claims that his car was  abandoned at a rest stop in Maryland on or about Oct. 6, 2014, after he had run out of gas. The state claims that King abandoned his cell phone and used pre-paid phones that he regularly replaced.

The state said the Laconia Police were able to connect or "ping" these phones to assist U.S. Marshals in finding him and that it is evidence of flight, although it acknowledges that flight is not evidence of guilt and should be left to a jury to consider.

In addition, King has also filed a motion to exclude telephone conversations he had with a pastor while waiting trial as not relevant. He says the burden is on the state to explain why the conversation was relevant as these recordings are "highly prejudicial" at trial because of where they were recorded.

King argues that if the state wants to use any portion of the recording, it should have to prove the relevance of any one thing it wishes to introduce.

During the conversation, the pastor and King discussed who he would like to be on his witness list, some of his feelings about jury trials versus bench trials and his confusion as to how the Laconia Police were able to find him.

King has continually maintained his innocence.

Gilford files motion to dismiss Twomey appeal at Timber Hill Farm

By Gail Ober

LACONIA — The town of Gilford has asked a Belknap County Superior Court judge to dismiss as untimely an appeal of the Zoning Board of Adjustments decision not to uphold a cease-and-desist order on Timber Hill Farm.

According to attorney's for the town and the Superior Court file, the motion for a rehearing in superior court was filed on Jan. 4, 2016. The decision not to enforce the cease and desist order was made on Dec. 1, 2015.

"A timely appeal is a necessary prerequisite to this Court's obtaining jurisdiction over the appeal," wrote Town Attorney Laura Spector-Morgan. "Even one day may be fatal to a party's appeal."

Monique Twomey, an abutter of Timber Hill Farm on Gunstock Hill Road, had complained about wedding reception activities at the farm and had succeeded in getting a cease-and-desist order from the town of Gilford. The Zoning Board voted on Nov. 24, 2015 not to enforce it and during Dec. 1, 2015 at the rehearing of its decision, the chair refused to allow additional testimony. The ZBA voted again not to uphold the cease-and-desist. Twomey appealed the decision to the Superior Court.

In her motion for a hearing in Superior Court, Twomey argued that the minutes were not made available regarding the ZBA's decision until Jan. 4, however Spector-Morgan said the availability of minutes have no legal bearing on the time line regarding the 30 days to file from the date of the decision.

Twomey has not consented to the motion to dismiss. There has been no ruling nor has a date been set for any hearing.

Nursing home wants to attract more Medicare residents

By Roger Amsden

LACONIA — The Belknap County Nursing Home is stepping up efforts to attract more residents who are on Medicare with an eye to boosting its revenues.

Interim County Nursing Home Administrator Bob Hemenway told member of the Belknap County Convention's Nursing Home Subcommittee last week that the nursing home receives $515 a day for Medicare residents and only $159 a day for residents who are on Medicaid.

He said that its costs the county around $300 a day per resident and that Medicare residents more than pay for those costs.

“We're getting a 50 percent profit from Medicare patients. That's why private nursing homes focus on attracting Medicare residents.” said Hemenway.

Rep. Valerie Fraser (R-New Hampton) asked “how do we increase the number of Medicare patients?” and Hemenway said that there has been an increase from last year to an average of eight Medicare residents per day compared to an average of 5.9 per day in 2015. The nursing home has 94 beds.

Belknap County Nursing Home Director of Nursing Diane Roberts said that the county is working to get the word out to hospital social workers about the quality of care provided by the county home, which has a high national ranking.

“We're trying hard to market ourselves,'' said Roberts, who said that some private homes are viewed as luxurious, making them difficult to compete with.

Hemenway said that there were things that the county could do to improve its competitiveness.

“Look at the walls. Do they look like your home? They're cinder block,” he said, adding that one woman who was having trouble adjusting to the surroundings asked “Why am I in jail?”

He said that improving the walls and having curtains rather than blinds in the windows were some inexpensive things the county can do to make its rooms more attractive.

County Administrator Debra Shackett noted that while Medicaid patients cost the county a lot of money it is also one of the primary functions of the county to provide for their care.

County Commissioner Richard Burchell (R-Gilmanton), who was not at last week's meeting, recently told his fellow commissioners that one of the reasons for a drop in the county home's reimbursement rate of $6 a day was a 10 percent drop in the number of Medicaid patients in 2015 from what the county home had in 2014.