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Small joys: woman reunited with her Christmas Village

LACONIA — Jane Miner is now reunited with the Christmas Village houses that she started collecting about 10 years ago while living in Florida.
More than 100 of them are now proudly displayed along shelves along the walls of the hallway in the upstairs apartment she shares with her son, Bruce, and daughter-in-law, Julie.
"'I'm so glad to have them back.'' says Miner, who passed them along to a relative around the time she moved back to New Hampshire seven years ago to live with her son.
The Christmas Village houses and small figurines also made their way back to another home in New Hampshire, remaining in a Concord home until early June when the family which had them downsized their home and found they lacked the room to continue storing and displaying them.
''I asked Bruce if we could bring them back here and he was more than glad to do that. Ever since then he and Julie have been working to make a display area for them,'' says Jane.
Bruce Miner says he has spent the last eight weeks making shelves to display the homes, which feature a variety of winter scenes and figurines, from bakeries, drug stores and doctor's offices and even a Walmart, to figurines singing Christmas carols and engaging in a snowball fight.
It's taken him a lot of hours and planning to accomplish the task, which Bruce says is still not complete as he is adding a water scene to complete the display.
''I've worked a couple of hours every night after work on this as well as every weekend. We wanted to have them all up before Christmas,'' he says.
Bruce, who is currently the paint shop manager at the State Hospital in Concord, says that he is making good use of the carpentry and building skills that he has built up over a lifetime of working in construction.

''I didn't want any electrical wires showing, so I built subfloors to house them.'' she says. He also uses magnets to keep the figures from tipping over.
Julie, a health care unit coordinator at Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia, says that she thinks the display adds a really festive atmosphere to the home and likes it so much she might want to see it stay up on a permanent basis.
''It really catches your attention. It's been a lot of work, but it's all been worth it,'' she says.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 December 2013 01:26

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Second man arrested in connection with Oct. home invasion

LACONIA — A man who was allegedly involved in a Oct. 29 home invasion and burglary was arrested by city police last night and is being held on $15,000 cash or corporate surety.

Scott Perrault, 27, of 310 Mechanic St. turned himself into Laconia Police after being told there was a warrant for his arrest. He is charged with once count of armed robbery.

Kenneth Dukette, 22, of Dewey St., who is Perrault's half-brother, was charged with his role in the the alleged crime and was indicted last week by a Belknap County grand jury for four counts of kidnapping — each for both victims — theft by unauthorized taking, armed robbery, burglary, and criminal threatening.

According to affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, city police initially responded to a North Main Street apartment building and found a handcuffed man as well as woman victim whose wrists had been bound with a telephone charger cord.

The male victim said told police Dukette, who he knows, and Perrault, who he said he didn't know, broke into his apartment and ordered him to open a safe from which the two stole a gun and some money.

Police soon stopped Dukette's car and found two Airsoft handguns, two pair of gloves. They said one of the Airsoft guns appeared to have what was dried blood on it, which is consistent with the victim telling police Dukette hit him with his fists and with one of the guns.

Police said they learned Perrault's identity when they interviewed Dukette after his arrest and he told them his half-brother had gone into the house with him that day.

According to affidavits, Perrault went to the Laconia Police station on Nov. 15 and spoke with a detective and admitted his role.

Perrault told the detective that he and Dukette went to the victim's house to buy some drugs but when they went into the apartment, Dukette told the victim to "give us your (explicative)."

Perrault stated to police that the victim "gets robbed all the time," that he is "a little guy," and "that's what happens in the drug game."
In court yesterday, City Prosecutor Jim Sawyer argued that Perrault's role in the alleged home invasion was a serious one and asked that he be held on $15,000 cash bail.

Public Defender Steve Mirkin argued that Perrault had cooperated with police, had turned himself in when notified of the warrant for his arrest, and had not fled the area after his November 15 interview with police.

Judge Jim Carroll set bail for Perrault at $15,000 cash or corporate surety.

Dukette is being held on $100,000 cash-only bail. Following a recent bail review hearing in the Belknap County Superior Court, Judge James O'Neill continued the $100,000 cash-only bail.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 December 2013 01:36

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Winnisquam board ready to bring football into the fold

TILTON — The Winnisquam Regional School Board voted unanimously last month to put a $28,000 warrant article for funding a high school football program on the warrant of the 2014 school district meeting.
The board adopted the recommendation of its Athletic Committee, which had conducted a study on the long-term sustainability of a football program and had urged that the district ''own and operate the football program''.
The Winnisquam football program has been run by the Friends of Winnisquam Football, a community-funded organization, since its inception in 2005. Home games are played on a field next to Tanger Factory Outlets which is accessed from Rte. 132.
Board member Patricia Sawicki, who chairs the committee, said that there are concerns about the field but they should be addressed in a separate study.
Sean Goodwin said that the major point the committee wanted to make to the board was that ''they are still relying on capable volunteers to fund and operate the most well attended school sponsored athletic event and it is the single sport that attracts school participants of all abilities.''
Interim High School Principal Robert Pedersen said his experience with club programs in other districts has been that schools gain more control and have stronger teams when they are district funded.
Athletic director Zack Medlock said that the football program would be entirely managed by the district and that Friends of Winnisquam Football strongly favor the proposal.
The proposal calls for gate receipts going to the district and concessions revenue going to the Boosters Club, which would continue to operate the concessions.
The issue has been on the ballot several times as a result of petitioned warrant articles, according to School Board Chairman Mike Gagne, who said the study thoroughly addressed concerns which have been raised in the past and earned unanimous support from school board members.

Last Updated on Saturday, 21 December 2013 12:39

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Man who allegedly ran illicit drug operation out of Laconia storage unit facing nearly a centuries worth of sentences after indictments

LACONIA — A man who was allegedly running his own illicit drug store from a commercial rental space on Province Road has been indicted by a Belknap County grand jury for 13 separate drug counts.

Tobey Comeau, 37, who is being held in the Belknap County Jail, is being prosecuted by the N.H. Attorney General's Office and could face up to 89 years in state prison if he is convicted on all 13 counts.

Comeau faces five counts of possession with intent to sell methamphetamine, one count of possession of anxiety medication, two counts of possession of steroids and two counts of possession with intent to sell steroids, two counts of possession with intent to sell pain killing narcotics and one count of possession of painkillers.

Affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, say that Laconia Police applied for a received a search warrant for his storage unit and cars at 505 Province Road. They were assisted by Concord Police, where Comeau was living at the time, and the N.H. State Police.

On him, police allegedly found $2,500 and in a search of his car found methamphetamine, steroids, pills that were at the time unidentified, a digital scale, radio equipment, GPS tracking device, and a handgun.

When told Laconia Police would be searching his storage unit on Province Street, he told them they would find a gun near a printer and a shotgun. He said he wasn't sure if there were any drugs there.

Police affidavits said they found several cameras facing inside and outside, counter surveillance equipment and a bag of methamphetamine.

Comeau is being held on $200,000 cash-only bail. At the time of his arraignment in May the affidavits for the search warrants were sealed by the circuit court judge.

Last Updated on Saturday, 21 December 2013 02:25

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