Police say woman jumped from car going 45 mph

GILMANTON — Police have determined that an unidentified Manchester woman jumped from a moving car Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. on Rte. 107.

Sgt. Matt Currier said the woman was a passenger in the vehicle that was traveling about 45 miles per hour at the time. He said she jumped about one mile south of the "Four Corners" or the intersection of Routes 107 and 140.

Currier said a witness said, "she just came flying out of the car." He said the male driver was a long-time friend of the woman and he stopped and called 911.

The woman was taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia.

Currier said she didn't appear to have any serious injuries.

The woman, he said, spoke very little English but he said police were able to speak with her to the degree that they are convinced this was not a criminal act nor was it predicated by the fear of one.

Belmont Police assisted Gilmanton Police with traffic control.

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Construction starting on 30 new downtown apartments

LACONIA — Chinburg Builders, Inc. has begun work on the penultimate stage of its residential development project at the Beacon Street West, downtown, with the conversion of a large warehouse-like  building on the 5.59-acre site to rental apartments.

The 18,000-square-foot-brick building, which was originally part of the Laconia Car Company and later the Allen-Rogers Mill, will house 30 apartments, most one or two bedroom units, with some studios. The construction value of the project is $3.1 million.

The Planning Board has also approved the company's plan to reconstruct the building that sat astride the Perley Canal at the southeast corner of the property, in the shadow of the Main Street Bridge, before it collapsed under the weight of a snowfall in 2008. The site was initially intended for a restaurant, but instead will house a building with seven two-bedroom apartments, two with frontage on the Winnipesaukee River. A short stretch of the downtown riverwalk, which borders the southern edge of the Beacon Street West community, will be attached to the building and joined to a walkway leading to the Main Street Bridge.

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Arbo seeks exemption from GIlford property tax on religious grounds

GILFORD — Arbo Ministries International of Texas filed an application early this month for a religious property tax exemption for one of the two town properties it owns.

The non-denominational ministry owns a developed piece of property on 14 Curtis Road and a 6.59-acre undeveloped lot across nearby Cherry Valley Road but the ministry has only requested the exemption for the Curtis Road property.

Many locals refer to the property as the Guild Farm, after the prominent family that liver there for decades. Others call it the Smiling Hill Farm.

Arbo's application states its primary mission is to "teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ through every means possible — ie books, CDs, radio, Internet and public services."

According to the application, the property is 2.88 acres and 55 percent of its usage is for the continual support of a parsonage, 10 percent of its use is for ministry offices and 35 percent is used for a prayer center.

The ministry initially proposed and filed an application with the Zoning Board of Adjustments for a special exception to zoning regulations to allow for a "church" in an area zoned residential.

As part of a compromise, the Planning Board agree to allow Arbo Ministries instead to operate a permitted "home-based business" with some restrictions in exchange for a withdrawal of its application from the Zoning Board for the special exemption — which it did.

According to Planning Board member Norm Silbur, who made the motion to allow the home business that passed unanimously, the ministry agreed to a number of physical conditions, including that no more than 30 percent of the property would be used for the ministry.

He said yesterday, that he wasn't surprised to learn that the ministry applied for the property tax exemption, but that in his opinion, it should be limited to a base of 30 percent of the assessed value of the home — $590,530 as of 2014.

Property tax records from 2014 indicate the property is still classified as a single-family home.

Ultimately, the Board of Selectmen will have the final say. In smaller communities, there is generally not a separate Board of Assessors and selectmen serve as the official assessors.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn said the application for the tax abatement is being researched by contract Assessor Wil Cocoran who will make his recommendation to the board.

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