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Old Home Day Woodmen's games draw spur-of-the-moment competitors

GILFORD — It was a day for amateurs at the Gilford Old Home Day Woodsmen's Competition, which drew a large crowd of more than 350 people to a field next to the Gilford Elementary School Saturday.
Some 26 competitors took part, including Randy Morrissette, 48, of Lakeport, who showed up with some friends to watch the competition and decided at the last minute to enter the pole-climbing event.
Morrissette, who works at New Hampshire Ball Bearing and is a part-time tree worker, finished third with a time of 23.9 seconds, trailing only Osian Batchelder with a time of 18.49 seconds and Clark Goreau with 19.52 seconds.
''I was here with a bunch of friends who came down to watch it. They influenced me to give it a try,'' said Morrissette.
Also making the pole climb was Corey Lofblad, 50, of the Gilford Home Center, who provided the Stihl power saws used by competitors, and who later admitted that making it up the 40-foot pole to ring the bell was a lot of work.
''I could hear people yelling and encouraging me. I thought I was doing pretty good until I heard one of them yell 'keep at it. You're halfway there' and I started to wonder what I'd got myself into,'' said Lofblad.
Ross Breton of Gilmanton, 18, won the axe toss, said he's no lumberjack and that it was the first time he's ever thrown an axe in competition.
The 2013 Gilford High School graduate, who works at NAPA Auto Parts and at Meadowbrook, said that he hopes to come back next year and defend his axe throwing title.
''It was fun. a lot of my friends were cheering for me,'' said Breton.
Dale Squires, one of the organizers of the event and a Belknap Landscape Company employee, took part in the axe-throwing competition, taking fifth place.
''It was surprising how much you get involved and how intent you become on hitting the target,'' said Squires, who said that he was pleased to see so many local people getting involved in the competitions.
''It's great to have A.J. Dupere, head coach of the UNH Woodsman Team, here helping us run the event. He showed everyone who was new at this how to do it well, like the cross-cut saw competition and really encouraged the competitors,'' said Squires.
Bill Bickford of Kitchen Cravings, chairman of the Gilford Bicentennial committee, which brought the Woodsmen's Competition to Gilford last year, says that he hopes the event will become a major part of the town's Old Home Day festivities.
''Last year we held it on a Sunday because there were so many Bicentennial activities. It really fills a lull in Saturday activity and looks really popular. People were coming in to set up their lawn chairs before the parade started and were right back here watching us set up after the parade ended. As long as we have the continued support of local businesses like Belknap Landscape Company and the Gilford Home Center I think we'll do fine,'' said Bickford.

 

CAPTION:
Dale Squires of Belknap Landscape Company, who helped organize the Gilford Old Home Day Woodsmen's Competition, shows his delight when his axe hit the bulls eye in the axe throwing competition. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 August 2013 03:02

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Heritage Commission drawing line in sand at Hathaway House

LACONIA — "I think it's planned demolition by neglect," said Charlie St. Clair, speaking to the City Council last night about the failure of Cafua Management Company, LLC to maintain the Hathaway House next door to its Dunkin' Donuts store on upper Union Avenue.

In 2008, when construction of the Dunkin' Donuts was approved, Gregg Nolan of Cafua assured the Planning Board that the Hathaway House would be painted, in a color of the city's choosing, and fitted with fire alarm and suppression systems as required by the Fire Department. He said that Cafua Management Company had no immediate plans for the building other than to preserve it. City Councilor Armand Bolduc (Ward 6), at the time, lauded Nolan for his decision to preserve the Hathaway House, telling the board that "working with these people was wonderful. I can't say enough about them."

Again last night Bolduc said that after speaking with Nolan he believed the company would repair and paint the building when a maintenance crew was available.

"I don't think he has ever been serious about saving the Hathaway House," insisted St. Clair, whose mother owned the building where she operated a clothing store. "He couldn't care less about you or the city. It's all about making money."

St. Clair's remarks followed a plea by Dorothy Duffy on behalf of the Heritage Commission that the city strengthen its efforts to preserve historic buildings. In a statement, read to the council by Pam Clark, who chairs the commission, Duffy wrote that its members are "distressed and feeling derelict in our duties and reduced to doing the opposite of our intent. We are razing stately old dwellings to build parking lots." She attached photographs of buildings that have been both preserved and demolished along with others the commission fears are at risk.

In chairing the commission, Clark told the councilors she finds herself signing the permits to demolish the buildings she believes the commission was created to preserve. For instance, the Baker House on Mechanic Street, is being to demolished to expand the car lot at Cantin Chevrolet. "We haven't really accomplished anything," she said, "and we haven't had support from the community."

Clark wondered if there were some way to revise the demolition permit to afford historic buildings greater protection and was encouraged to discuss the issue with City Manager Scott Myers and Planning Director Shanna Saunders. She said that registering buildings as historic landmarks was the surest way to protect them, but that required the consent of the owner.

Clark said the commission needs resources and indicated she intended to submit a budget request later this year. The commission, she continued, also needs more members, particularly individuals with an appreciation of architecture and an ability to research deeds.

Councilor Matt Lahey (Ward 2) said the commission has fulfilled its role, which he said is "to sound the alarm," but was hard pressed to suggest what more could be done to preserve properties their owners preferred to demolish and redevelop.

Although Clark acknowledged that the commission faced a dilemma, returning to the Hathaway House she declared "we will fight to the end for this building."

NOTE: On the recommendation of Mayor Mike Seymour, the City Council authorized City Manager Scott Myers to meet with officials of Aavid Thermalloy, LLC to discuss changing the name of Primrose Drive South, where the company's headquarters are located. Recently the firm, which was begun in Laconia in 1964, announced that it was returning its corporate headquarters to the city from Concord. Seymour said that Primrose Drive South is often confused with Primrose Drive North on the opposite side of Lexington Drive and in recognition of the firm's presence in the city it could be renamed "Aavid Drive." . . . . . . The City Council unanimously agreed to a new two-year contract with LRGHealthcare to provide ambulance services to the city. City manager Sacott Myers said that the agreement mirrors that which expired in June. LRGHealthcare will pay the salary of the deputy chief for medical services, Shawn Riley, as well as of the four senior paramedics. The contract does not provide for the purchase of an ambulance, but can be renewed and amended to include a new ambulance if necessary.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 November 2013 07:01

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Grand Jury indicts Center Harbor physician on prescription abuse charges

LACONIA — A Center Harbor physician who surrendered his medical license in July has been indicted by a Belknap County grand jury on two counts of writing a fraudulent prescription and for one count of identify fraud.

Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen said yesterday that Dr. Hasan A. Duymazler, 46, whose last known address was 24 Dew Point Lane also faced three additional criminal charges in Carroll County.

Duymazler is accused of writing a prescription for "Matthew Stewart" for oxycodone between January 21 and May 13 and filling it himself at the pharmacy at Hannaford's Supermarket in Gilford. He is also accused of doing the same thing between October 8, 2012 and December 30, 2012.

He also allegedly posed as another person for the purpose of filling one of the prescriptions on June 7, 2013.

Guldbrandsen said the indictments were the result of a N.H. State Police narcotics investigation.

Duymazlar was first criminally charged for obtaining a prescription by fraud on July 17 and trying to fill it in North Conway. On July 18 and after an emergency meeting of the N.H. Board of Medicine, Duymazlar surrendered his license to practice medicine.

At the time of his suspension Duymazlar had a practice in Wolfeboro.

According to a media release issued by the board of medicine on July 19, two separate pharmacists in two separate pharmacies in North Conway became suspicious when he tried to fill a prescription for oxycodone (a narcotic pain killer) at one and later tried to fill it at another.

When he was asked for identification by the first pharmacist, he couldn't produce any and pharmacist refused to fill the prescription. At some point in June the two pharmacists compared notes, recognized Duymazlar from his photograph on a N.H. hospital's Website, and contacted the state.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 August 2013 02:38

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Prosecutor says she's pursuing other 'investigative avenues' in quest for resolution to accident that killed teen

LACONIA — Confirming that she did not present a case to the Belknap County Grand Jury when it convened last week, County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen said she is still investigating the circumstances that caused the driver of the Jeep Cherokee, Amy LaFond, 52, of Laconia, to strike two middle school students on the Messer Street Bridge in April, claiming the life of Lily Johnson and severely injuring Alyssa Miner.

Gulbrandsen said that she is reviewing the reports of investigations conducted by the Police Department and by the Belknap County Accident Reconstruction Team as well as "pursuing other investigative avenues," which she declined to specify.

"It remains an ongoing investigation," Gulbrandsen said, declining further comment.

Johnson and Miner were hit while on the sidewalk on the Messer Street Bridge, near the intersection of Opechee Street and Messer Street at approximately 2:30 p.m. on April 19. According to police, Lafond was traveling northbound on Messer Street toward its intersection with Opechee Street at the foot of the Messer Street Bridge, where a pedestrian crosswalk crosses Messer Street. A car going in the same direction had stopped at the crosswalk, apparently to enable a number of middle school students standing at the corner to cross the street.

About the same time, the two girls had walked down Opechee Street to the intersection, turned the corner, to their left, on to the sidewalk and were walking along the sidewalk on the west side of the Messer Street Bridge. For reasons that remain to be determined, Lafond skirted the stopped car, crossed into the southbound lane of Messer Street and mounted the raised sidewalk via a ramp, then hit the two girls from behind.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 August 2013 02:34

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