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Traffic stop leads to methamphetamine bust

BELMONT — A Northfield man and a New Hampton woman are being held on $500 cash bail each after police found methamphetamine in their possession after a traffic stop Saturday night.

According to affidavits, Franchesca Pecoraro, 29, of Main Street in New Hampton was driving near Church Street when a patrol officer realized the brake lights above the trunk was out.

When he checked Pecoraro's license he found it had been revoked he asked her to step out of the car. When he checked to see if her passenger, Jamie Judkins of 318 Cross Mill Road in Northfield could drive her car, he learned his license was also suspended.

While waiting for the car to be towed, he allowed both to wait unhandcuffed while he conducted an inventory of the car prior to the tow.

Affidavits said Judkins asked for a pack of cigarettes and his backpack from the back of the car. The officer retrieved them but noticed that the backpack was unusually heavy and asked Judkins what was in it because it felt like it was in the shape of a firearm.

Judkins said it was a wrench and a cursory inspection indicated it was a plumbers wrench. The bag and its contents were turned over to Judkins.

While Judkins and Pecoraro were smoking cigarettes and waiting for the officer to complete his inventory, the officer found a large leather box type shaving kit that contained "empty gram-baggies" of an unknown substance.

He said Judkins admitted the shaving kit was his and said the baggies weren't his but he knew they were there. The officer said that he thought the substance was heroin.

The officers asked Judkins if he could check his arms and Judkins agreed, showing his arms that had old marks but nothing fresh.

When he asked Pecoraro to look at her arms, he said she had fresh track marks and one was still "oozing."

Pecoraro agreed to talk to the officer and when he asked if there were any needle or other sharp objects that could cause him harm while he was doing his inventory, she told him he could find some items under the front seat of the car.

The officer found a baggy with four hypodermic needles, a straw, a cotton ball and a piece of tinfoil. He also found a bag with unused needles.

He said there was also a large chunk of white powder in the bag with the needles that he recognized as methamphetamine.

Because both Pecoraro and Judkins are both on probation the officer arrested both of them for a probation violation and one count each of possession of methamphetamine.

As of yesterday and according to the Belknap Cocunty House of Corrections inmate locator, they are both still incarcerated.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 May 2014 12:49

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Jim Pickering celebrates 82nd b-day in house he lived in as child — now Mame's restaurant

MEREDITH — Friends and family helped Jim Pickering of Loundon celebrate his 82nd birthday on May 18 at Mame's restaurant in Meredith. The restaurant occupies the same building where he lived for the first six years of his life and he was returning to it for the first time.

The party of 11 was hosted by restaurant owner John Cook, who provided a tour of the historical building, which is now a virtual museum filled with historical artifacts. All in attendance marveled at Pickering's extensive memories growing up in Meredith in the 1930s in general and of the house in particular.

 Although aware that his family was taking him to dinner after church on that Sunday, the true destination was a surprise until, after passing Hart's Turkey Farm as a final other possibility, Jim commented, "I think I'm going home today". With that, he reenter a place where he had not set foot for nearly eighty years.

Pickering by his daughter and son-in-law, Cheryl and David Rice, and many members of his Loudon Congregational Church, including Pastor and wife Dick and Patton Carter of Ashland, Deacon Joe Watson and wife Jenny of Laconia, Deacon Mark and Vicki Whittemore, church organist Shirley Preston, and Loudon neighbor and friend Rodman Booker.

In addition to the great food and fellowship, special complimentary birthday cake, and personal historical tour, appreciation was also expressed for the gracious hospitality of Mame's Kayleigh Sargent who coordinated the festivities, and helped bring about a most wonderful day.

CAPTION: Jim Pickering of Loudon (center) celebrated his 82nd birthday on May 18 at an unexpected location — Mame's restaurant in Meredith. The restaurant is located in the same historic home where Pickering lived as a young boy. Flanking him are his daughter and son-in-law, David and Cheryl Rice of Loudon. (Courtesy photo).


Last Updated on Friday, 30 May 2014 12:47

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Preserving deveopment potential around key Meredith intersection becomes priority

MEREDITH — When the Advisory Committee convened to address traffic congestion downtown met yesterday, it broadened its perspective from easing the flow of vehicles through the Rte. 3/Rte. 25 intersection to ensuring the redevelopment of the properties on the northern corners of the junction.

Last month the committee learned that nothing less than replacing the signaled intersection with a two-lane roundabout offered the most promising means of hastening the flow of traffic along the south and east corridor. However, a majority of the panel appeared to share concerns expressed by Rusty McLear of Hampshire Hospitality Holdings that a roundabout of sufficient size and appropriate configuration would severely limit if not altogether foreclose development of the adjacent lots.

The committee asked Gene McCarthy of McFarland Johnson, Inc., project manager for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT), to assess the prospects of enhancing the traffic signals at the intersection. Yesterday McFarland reminded the committee that it had earlier rejected signalization, primarily because to maximize its effectiveness, Rte. 25 would require two additional lanes.

Nevertheless, McCarthy said that "this does work," explaining that the results of adjusting the traffic signals and widening the roadway would be superior to one-lane roundabout, but inferior to a two-lane roundabout. "It's not terrible, but it's not great," he remarked.

McLear pointed out that all the roundabout plans, except for the one-lane roundabout, would encroach of on lots surrounding the intersection. In particular, he said that the town would forego development worth between $6 million and $8 million if the lot on the northeast corner of intersection owned by Meredith Village Savings Bank were consumed by a roundabout. This, he indicated, would be a steep price to pay for alleviating congestion on summer weekends.

The committee then returned to an option it had previously rejected consisting of three one-lane roundabouts and a by-pass. The junction of Rte. 25 and Pleasant Street would be converted to a roundabout and a second roundabout would be built on Rte. 3, north of its intersection with Rte. 25. The two roundabouts would be connected by a roadway crossing Hawkins Brook and by passing the busy intersection, where the third, single-lane roundabout would be built.

John Edgar, director of Community Development, suggested this option might improve the flow of traffic without hindering development at the center of town. At the same time, he said it could improve the flow of local east-west traffic.

However, the price tag for the by-pass option is estimated at more than twice the $5 million DOT has allocated to the project.


Last Updated on Friday, 30 May 2014 12:40

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Camp Resilience: New Gilford-based program offers respite & counseling services for veterans in need

GILFORD — Some 17 veterans who receive services from the Veterans Administration's Boston Medical Center spent the last two days in the Lakes Region taking part in outdoor adventures while also honing their skills in resume writing and searching for jobs.
The veterans were taking part in Camp Resilience, a "wounded warrior" pilot program being hosted by the recently-formed Patriot Resilient Leader Institute, whose mission is to provide veterans and injured first responders the opportunity to come to the Lakes Region for a brief respite of recreation, personal counseling, group seminars and team building.
The veterans, who are staying at the Gunstock Inn, spent Wednesday taking Segway tours and enjoying aerial treetop adventures at Gunstock Mountain Resort and Thursday morning went fishing and took boat tours of Lake Winnipesaukee before enjoying a cookout at Gilford Town Beach.
Sandwiched in between these outdoor adventures were job search and resume writing classes at Lakes Region Community College .
''We're having a great time while doing some self-esteem building,'' said Edward Mitchell, a Marine Corps veteran from South Boston who served in Lebanon in the 1980s, shortly after terrorist attack on a Marine barracks claimed 241 lives. He said that the resume building skills classes were particularly helpful.
Ray Gonsalves, 64, of East Providence, R,I., currently lives in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston. He served in Vietnam from 1968 through 1971 and is taking part in a program for homeless veterans. ''I've had some problems so I came to the VA for medical care and I can't say anything but good about the VA. There are great people who run the program which is probably one of the best in the country,'' said Gonsalves.
He said that he had problems maneuvering the Segway but surprised himself by the way he was able to climb through the aerial treetop adventures course at Gunstock.
John James, a Navy veteran who served aboard the U.S.S. George Washington nuclear submarine from 1973-79, said he has used Segways before and had no trouble with them. He said that the boat tour which went around Bear Island was enjoyable but a bit chilly on the way back in when the boat was headed into the wind.
He said that the interview skills course was ''designed to improve our marketability'' and was particularly helpful. ''I've had a lot of jobs but they were always with people who knew me. I've never gone through the interview process before and because of today's job market it's important to have those skills.''
Chris Page of Brighton, Mass., a Navy veteran, said visiting the Lakes Region was sort of like a homecoming as his family has a summer place near Melvin Village. ''I like New Hampshire and come up here a lot. But I feel a little guilty about having all these things done for us for free,'' said Page.
Frank Dawkins of Springfield, Mass., who has spent 16 years in the Army and the reserves, said he was in awe of the area's natural beauty. ''There's no landscape like this. I didn't catch any fish but t was so quiet out there I didn't mind. There's no sirens like there are all the time in Boston.''
Brian Sullivan of the North Shore area was one of the lucky fishermen in the group, landing a salmon which he brought ashore with him and which was cooked on the grill for lunch.
Gilford selectman John O'Brien and Don Morrissey, both Vietnam veterans who were helicopter pilots, and are members of the Patriot Resilient Leader Institute , said that the visit by the veterans had gone well and were grateful for the support that they received from places like the Gunstock Inn, Gunstock Mountain Resort, Silver Sands and Shaw's supermarket.
Morrissey said that currently, the PRLI has no funding other than board donations. Anyone wishing to learn more about this project or make a donation of financial support, goods or services may do so by visiting the group's website at www.prli.us or by calling Kurt Webber, PRLI president, at 520-3989. Financial donations may also be sent directly to the PRLI Account, c/o Bank of New Hampshire, 62 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH 03246.


John O'Brien, Gilford selectman and a Vietnam veteran, talks with John James, one of 17 veterans from the Boston area who are in the Lakes Region as guests of the Patriot Resilient Leader Institute. The veterans, all of whom receive services from the Veterans Administration's Boston Medical Center, enjoyed a cookout at Gilford Beach after a morning of boat tours and fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Brian Sullivan, a U.S. Navy veteran from Boston, holds a landlocked salmon that he caught on Lake Winnipesaukee Thursday morning and was cooked on a grill for him by Gilford Fire Chief Steve Carrier at a cookout at Gilford Beach hosted by the Patriot Resilient Leader Institute. He is one of 17 veterans who receive services from the Veterans Administration's Boston Medical Center who are visiting the area. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Friday, 30 May 2014 12:13

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