Woman said pushed from moving car

CIRCUIT COURT — A Mechanic Street man was ordered held on $200 cash and $20,000 personal recognizance bail for allegedly pushing his girlfriend out of a moving car last Sunday.

Thomas Coelho, 35, is charged with one felony count of reckless conduct, one misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment, and one misdemeanor count of simple assault.

According to Laconia Police affidavits, at 7:15 p.m. on December 8, Coelho and his girlfriend had gotten into an verbal argument so she left their home and went to Sanborn Park to hide from him.

She told police he found her and because he had their two children in the back seat of his SUV she got in the truck with him.

Once inside, he allegedly said "I've got you now, you're not going anywhere."
The victim said she told Coelho she wanted to leave him.

She said he hit the unlock button on the car doors but when she tried to climb into the back seat he physically stopped her. She told police he opened her door and pushed her out of the SUV somewhere in the area of Mechanic and Manchester Street.

The woman called a female friend and stayed with her for the evening. She said she returned to their apartment at 8 a.m. on Monday to retrieve her things but Coelho scared her to the point where she got into his SUV. She said the two children were in the back.

Coelho said she surreptitiously called 911 and left her phone off the hook in the hopes police would find her. The couple then went to Elm Street School to drop of their children and Coelho brought them into school.

She said she called 911 and stayed in the SUV until they returned home. She said Coelho parked his SUV behind her Chrysler, blocking its exit, so she locked herself in her own car until police arrived. No arrest was made at that time.
On December 10, at 3:45 p.m. the alleged victim's friend filed a written statement regarding the events of December 8 and said when she went to pick up her friend, one of the children told her that "mommy got thrown out of the car."

The friend told police that the alleged victim was bruised and had a bloody elbow on December 8.

With the new information, police went to Coehlo's house and arrested him.

Coelho was arraigned Thursday morning in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Divsion. In his bail order, Judge Jim Carroll learned that the alleged victim and the two children would be staying in a different community so he ordered that Coelho, should he post bail, not have contact with her unless it was by telephone and it was regarding the children.

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Hosptial Auxiliary hosts annual Tree of Love service

LACONIA — The Lakes Region General Hospital Auxiliary's annual Tree of Love Service of Remembrance was held at the hospital Thursday afternoon.
The event was held at the Tree of Love, which was set up near the hospital's gift shop and the tree was adorned with angels crafted by local school children to honor and remember living and lost family and friends.
During a brief ceremony, which opened and ended with prayers delivered by Rev. Michael Graham of the Gilford Community Church, members of the auxiliary read the names of the 321 people who were represented by the angels on the tree.
Scott Clarenbach, chairman of the board of trustees of LRGHealthcare, said that the annual ceremony is ''a great holiday tradition which is very beneficial'' and is a true reflection of the auxiliary's ''care, compassion and community.''
Following the reading of the names, the auxiliary provided light refreshments and punch to those who attended, many of whom were relatives of those whom were being remembered.

Rev. Michael Graham of the Gilford Community Church speaks at the annual Lakes Region General Hospital Auxiliary's annual Tree of Service of Remembrance held at the hospital Thursday. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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VFW's Christmas tree generosity appreciated

LACONIA — Susan Karr says that she is overwhelmed by the generosity being shown by the Laconia Post 1670 VFW, which earlier this week bought a Christmas tree for her and her grandsons and has invited them to attend a special Children's Christmas party at the post on Saturday afternoon.
''I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for helping us with a tree for the holidays. It's just wonderful what they've done for us and the children in the area,'' says Karr.
She and her grandsons, Tyler Fournier, 10, and Alex Fournier, 7, were brought to the post Wednesday by a friend, Nathaniel Spooner, to pick up their tree.
''They're so excited. They attended last year's party and they still talk about it. They can't wait for the party on Saturday.''
Spooner, who is a single father and also received a tree for his family, says that he really appreciates the help provided by the VFW.
Post commander Bill North says that the post has been hosting a party for between 80 and 100 kids for the last several years and that 94 will be attending Saturday's party, which gets underway at 1 p.m. 20 pizzas from Lakeside Pizza followed by a make-your-own sundae buffet will be featured.
North said that Santa will arrive around 1:30 p.m. and will pass out personalized presents for each one of the children at the party.
''The girls from the auxiliary went out shopping on Black Friday to get the best deals for presents for the kids,'' said North, who expects that parents as well as grandparents will show up Saturday to witness the big smiles on the faces of the children as they get to open their presents.
He said that the post has been putting a lot of effort into community causes and last month raised $5,700 to assist homeless veterans at its annual Queen B Mania event.
''It's hard work but we hope that it will help us attract new and younger members. We're doing a lot of things to make the post more attractive for families, including getting rid of smoking at the post,'' said North.


Susan Karr , left, and her grandchildren Alex Fournier, 7, and Tyler Fournier, 10, and a friend, Nathaniel Spooner, were at Laconia VFW Post 1670 to pick up Christmas trees for their families which were provided by the post, which is holding a Christmas party for young people at the post Saturday afternoon starting at 1 p.m. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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Santa's Village opens today in Bristol

by Thomas P. Caldwell
BRISTOL — Those who missed attending Laconia's 39th annual Christmas Village — as well as those who were there but want to relive the magic — have an opportunity to experience the original attraction that served as its inspiration when Santa's Village opens this Friday at the Tapply-Thompson Community Center on North Main Street, Bristol.
Dick Tapply of Gilford, who launched Christmas Village during his term as Laconia's recreation director, recalled his childhood when his father decided to do something to make Christmas special for the Bristol community.
Richard "Wink" Tapply and his wife, Ruth, were creative and innovative people, Dick said. "One of things that Dad and Mom, being creative, loved to do was celebrate Christmas," he said. "He came up with the idea of having a Santa's workshop and a Christmas village, where Santa from the North Pole could come down to the community center sometime prior to Christmas and share the wonders of the holiday with all the children and their parents at the community center."
Wink Tapply was the first director of what then was known as the Bristol Community Center, and he and Ruth did the decorating, making it a family affair. As children, Dick and his brother, Charlie, were always involved in whatever their parents were doing, so they became elves — Dick creating objects from wood and Charlie operating a train set.
That was the birth of Santa's Village which this weekend, Dec. 12 - 14, will mark its 60th anniversary.
In the beginning, Santa's Village was quite simple, with Santa handing out simple toys to the children coming to see him. Then they created a chapel to bring in the spiritual side of the holiday. Gradually, more buildings were added and Santa's Village become more elaborate, with a ski slope, bake shop, and other activities. Soon a single floor was not enough, and the event came to fill all three floors of the community center.
A large mailbox outside allowed children to drop their letters to Santa, and Wink and Ruth would make sure that all letters were answered. Today, while waiting to go upstairs to see the village, children get to write their letters and see the Post Office elf stamp the envelope to be sure it makes it to the North Pole.
Over the past two weeks, volunteers, including local Boy Scouts and a contingent from J Jill in Tilton, have been setting up the village and decorating the community center in preparation for the event. A new lineup of elves has been training for the important roles they would have, and adults have transformed the building into a magical land for this weekend's opening.
While Santa Claus remains the main attraction, the centerpiece of the village is just outside his cottage: a two-track train set that Doug Williams has been operating since 1987. With mountains and tunnels set at a perfect height for young eyes to observe, the railroad attracts as much attention as the cookies and crafts that the elves are working so hard to supply.
Santa's Village will be open on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. and continue on Saturday and Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m.

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