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Seeking U.S. Senate seat, Rubens stakes out his own territory

LACONIA — Jim Rubens, one of the three Republicans seeking the Republican nomination to the United States Senate, last evening brought his campaign to the Public Library where less than a dozen people were on hand to hear and question the candidate.

A businessman from Hanover, who served two terms in the New Hampshire Senate in the 1990s, Rubens is vying with Scott Brown of Rye and Bob Smith of Tuftonboro in the primary for the bid to challenge Jeanne Shaheen, the incumbent Democrat.

"I'm a thoughtful person. I'm a principled person. And I'm a statesman," Rubens old his listeners. Recalling his career as a state senator, he touted his part in the success of legislation to establish charter schools, deregulate the electric industry and introduce official ballot voting (SB-2). After leaving the Senate, he became an outspoken opponent of casino gambling and an equally determined champion of measures to address global warming.

Although Rubens has been endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, a pressure group with a libertarian flavor, his place on the political spectrum is his own. He prides himself on offering "bold ideas" and no issue is beyond his reach. Calling Congress "corrupt to the bone," he favors a plan for public financing of elections that appeals across the aisle. While generally opposed to government regulation of the private sector, he calls for restoring the separation between commercial and investment banking, which was a centerpiece of the deregulation of financial services. Insisting "the oil industry has a lock on the Republican Party," he believes that free markets and solar can lead to energy abundance and independence in 10 to 20 years. He supports women's right to choose abortion, along with requiring parental notification for minors.

Rubens repeatedly hearkened to the "very serious problems" facing the country and echoed the apocalyptic vision common amongst more populist Republicans. He referred to the "constitutional meltdown" and the "economy gone haywire" and warned against the overreach of the federal government reflected by the introduction of Obamacare and machinations of the Federal Reserve System.

"America is going to burn down," Rubens declared, "if we don't do something. We can't wait another six years while Jeanne Shaheen is dancing on the graveyard of the American economy."

At the same time, pressed by Joshua Youseff, an unsuccessful candidate for the N.H. Senate in 2012, he cautioned "we're not going to shrink government overnight. And when Bill Baer, who is awaiting trial after his arrest at a meeting of Gilford School Board, asked how he would respond to the crisis in Ukraine, he said "I'm trying to take a practical view, " noting that some Republicans are clamoring to "bomb someone. I have reservations," he continued, "about committing soldiers to places around the world where there no good guys."

"I'm only touching on some of the problems," remarked Rubens, whose appetite for debating public policy is virtually inexhaustible. The next seven weeks will tell whether he can slake or spoil the appetite of primary voters.

Rubens is facing former Senator Bob Smith and former Mass. Senator Scott Brown in the Republican Primary Election, which is Tuesday, Sept. 9.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 10:32

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Workers now replacing Main Street Bridge steel that was put in place about 90 years ago

LACONIA — With the second stage of the rehabilitation of the Main Street Bridge over the Winnipesaukee River well underway, the reconstruction of the original bridge has become the centerpiece of the project.

The bridge consists of three spans. The central span, built in the 1920s, aligns with Main Street and served as the lone crossing of the river until 1968 when the sections carrying Beacon Street East and Beacon Street West were added and joined to the existing bridge with the reconfiguration of downtown. Four years later the central span was improved.

The rehabilitation of the bridge is proceeding from east to west in four stages. During the first phase, which was completed last month, the concrete deck was replaced and the steel stringers and concrete abutments were rehabilitated on the Beacon Street East section. Next year, in the fourth phase of the project, the deck will be replaced and the stringers and abutments rehabilitated on the Beacon Street West section.

Meanwhile, this month and next, work will proceed on the oldest section of the bridge, where the steel stringers bearing the original deck will be replaced in the second and third phases of the project. Director of Public Works Paul Moynihan said yesterday that altogether eight steel girders, each approximately 75 feet long and weighing about 5.5 tons, will be set in place on rehabilitated abutments. The easterly stringers will be installed this month and the westerly stringers next month. At the same time, a beam that runs laterally across the Main Street Section of the bridge will be lowered.

Main Street will remain open to traffic while work progresses.

Work on the Beacon Street West section of the bridge will proceed between March and July 2015 in tandem with the construction and landscaping of the "Gateway Plaza" north of the bridge at the foot of Main Street. The entire project is expected to be finished by August next year.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 01:05

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Correction: Kim Lacasse is member of dream team supreme

Kim Lacasse, winner of the 2014 Annette P. Schmitt Unsung Hero Award, is a member of the Pub Mania Dream Team Supreme team, not the Cafe Deja Vu team, as was incorrectly reported in Friday's edition. The Cafe Deja Vu team is, however, the highest earning team for the last two years in Pub Mania, the top fundraising event that feeds into the annual WLNH Children's Auction.



Last Updated on Saturday, 19 July 2014 12:14

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2 women charge Barnstead sex attacks when they were minors, 18 or more years ago

CIRCUIT COURT — An Epsom man was ordered held on $75,000 cash bail after appearing in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday after being charged with one count of pattern rape that allegedly occurred in Barnstead more than two decades ago.

The statute of limitations for rape is typically six years, meaning the victim has six years from the time of the allegedly assault to report it to police. Recent changes in the law allow that if a person was under 18 at the time of the assault, he or she has until the age of 40 to report the assault to authorities.

Attorneys for Kenneth Day, 67, reserved their right to argue bail and a probable cause hearing has been scheduled for August 1 at 1 p.m.

The state was represented by Belknap County Deputy Attorney General Carley Ahern, who said the particulars of the case are very disturbing. At her request the court seals the complaints, the affidavits supporting Day's arrest, and issued a retracted version of his bail conditions.

She said the complaints stem from Day's allegedly acts from 1991 through 1996.

The case was allegedly triggered when two women walked into the Barnstead Police station and said Day allegedly assaulted them when they were children.

Police along with the Belknap County Sheriff's Department launched an investigation and determined there could have been as many as 300 separate alleged incidents of rape allegedly committed by Day.

Ahern said the one charge is a pattern of sexual assault charge meaning the assaults occurred twice or more over a time span of at least two months but less than five years.'

Should he post the $75,000 cash bail, Day is ordered to report immediately to the N.H Department of Probation and Parole, not to leave the state, to sign a waiver of extradition, and to not have any unsupervised contact with children under age 16.

He is also ordered not to consume any alcohol or unlawful drugs.

Day is being held in the Belknap County House of Corrections.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 July 2014 12:07

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