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Police arrest man for allegedly robbing friend at knife point

LACONIA — Police apprehended Paul Mullaney, 27, on Tuesday afternoon  — six days after he allegedly robbed one of his friends at knife point.

Mullaney, who is considered a transient, was wanted by city police for related to an incident reported on October 9.

He was ordered held on $20,000 cash-only bail after his video arraignment in court yesterday morning.

According to affidavits obtained from the 4th circuit Court, Laconia Division, the victim came to the Laconia Police Station at 10:30 p.m. on October 9 and told police Mullaney had robbed him of some money.

The victim told police the two had been together for a while earlier in the evening and during that time, he gave Mullaney $85 and dropped him of at the Cumberland Farm convenience store on Court Street. He said Mullaney called him about five minutes later and asked the victim to pick him back up.

After the victim picked up Mullaney, he said Mullaney pulled a four-inch knife while the two were in the parking lot of the former Little Caesar's Pizza store off Court Street. He told police that Mullaney apologized for robbing him, but said he wanted the money for drugs.

Mullaney stayed off police radar until Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. when Belknap County Deputy Sheriff E. Justin Blanchette spotted and arrested him.

Blanchette brought Mullaney to the Laconia Police Department where he was processed and brought to the Belknap County House of Corrections.

According to a representative at the call center for the N.H. Circuit Courts, Mullaney has numerous prior convictions for a host of misdemeanors and one felony-level burglary. Other prior convictions include DWI, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, operating after suspension, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing, and at least three simple assaults.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 02:23

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Hundreds arrive in city for model railroad convention

LACONIA — Hundreds of model railroad enthusiasts from all over New England are arriving in the Lakes Region today for a four-day convention called ''Tracks to Lakeport.''
Convention headquarters are the Margate Resort, where dozens of clinics and presentations are scheduled throughout the weekend for model railroad hobbyists, who will be able to operate their scale models on a number of modular layouts.
Those attending will get to learn a lot of New Hampshire railroad history and visit historic stations and railroad museums around the Lakes Region.
Among those making presentations over the weekend will be Dwight Smith, founder of the Conway Scenic Railroad, who worked in the Boston and Main Railroad's traffic department in the 1950s and 1960s.
Smith will speak in the Gunstock Room at the Margate at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on "Where the Heck are Those Freight Cars Going" and at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, again in the Gunstock Room, on "Shortlines of NH 1950s-1960s"
Other local speakers will include Dr. Bruce Heald, speaking at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Blackstones Lounge on the history of the MV Mt. Washington, and Marty Cornellisen of the Alton Historical Society, who will present A Trip on the Lakeshore Railroad through Old Photographs at 9:15 p.m.
Warren Huse will speak at 9:15 p.m. Friday in Blackstones Lounge on the history of the Laconia Car Company.
Rail fan excursions will include:
Friday, October 18,
Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad "Train to Lakeport", departs Meredith Station at 1 p.m. and returns at 3 p.m.
Saturday, October 19
Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad "Fall Foliage Special" departs the Meredith Station at 11 a.m. and travels north, passing by Lakes Waukewan and Winona., arriving at Common Man Inn in Plymouth at 12:20 p.m. for a buffet lunch. Returns to Meredith at 3:30 p.m.

The event is hosted by the Seacoast Division of The Northeastern Region of the National Model Railroad Association.


Last Updated on Friday, 18 October 2013 10:54

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Hamel or Tardif shapes up as interesting choice for Ward 5 voters

LACONIA — "I'd rather look at the horizon than in the rear-view mirror," said City Councilor Bob Hamel, who did not expect to be challenged in his bid for a fifth term in Ward 5. But, earlier this month Tom Tardif appeared in the rear-view mirror when a recount of the 47 ballots cast in the primary election awarded him three write-in votes, enough to be offered a place on the general election ballot in November.

Ward 5 is one of three contested city council elections. David Bownes and Richard Beaudoin are vying to succeed Matt Lahey, in Ward 2 and Tony Felch seeks to unseat Armand Bolduc, in Ward 6. Perhaps nowhere is the contrast between the candidates sharper than in Ward 5.

During his four terms Hamel has come to play a pivotal role on the council where his support has been essential to the success of any major initiative. A champion of the property tax cap who was initially skeptical of major investments in the schools, he supported the construction of the Middle School, applying a sharp pencil to the project while cautioning against cheapening the building. When the School District turned its attention to the Huot Regional Technical Education Center and the High School, Hamel touched the brakes. Then, when he judged the timing and financing was right, he became an enthusiastic supporter of the expansive project, which included the expansion of the Huot Center, renovations to the high school and construction of new playing fields, including Bank of New Hampshire Stadium.

"I'm pretty proud of being part of these projects," Hamel said yesterday. The investment in the schools, he called "an investment in the community." He explained that the programs at the Huot Center will develop the workforce local manufacturing firms require to thrive as well as provide students with the skills to pursue successful careers. Moreover, he said that "when people are looking for a place to live and raise a family, one of the first things they look at are the schools."

Hamel stressed that the council has undertaken these major projects while budgeting within the limits of the tax cap. He expected that the reconstruction of the Central Fire Station will be next project on the agenda, adding that once it is complete all the major municipal buildings will have been ugraded. "Then we can think about doubling what we spend on roads," he said.

Apart from the public projects, Hamel said that the city has enjoyed a significant amount of private investment, including Walgreen's and CVS downtown, Dunkin' Donuts, Dairy Queen and MacDonald's on Union Avenue and townhouses and condominiums at The Weirs. "I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel," he said. "There are people investing in Laconia."

Hamel said that he intends to ensure that "we take care of what we've got by keeping buildings in good repair and maintaining our infrastructure. We must spend the taxpayers' money wisely,"

For Tardif, who served as a city councilor from 1988 to 1990 and as mayor from 1990 to 1992, the race is the first he has entered since losing a Republican primary for Belknap County Commissioner to Frank Tilton by a two-to-one margin in 2008. He said after his friend Dave Gammon went to the length of petitioning the Superior Court to order the recount, he felt he should declare his candidacy. "I've bought signs," he remarked. "It broke my heart, but I bought signs."

"It's time for change," Tardif said, describing the incumbents as "almost career councilors.. We need a true conservative and I think that is what I am." Going a step beyond the tax cap, he said that he would not vote for any expenditures that increased the burden on property taxpayers. "The economy is not changing and it could get worse," he said. "people are still hurting."

Tardif said that, unlike Hamel, he would not have voted this week to authorize the School District to borrow $1.8 million to fund further renovations at the High School. Acknowledging that the loan bears no interest, he said that the debt service amounts to $78,000 worth of fat in a budget already full of it. "Likewise, he said that he was opposed to a "Pay-As-You-Throw" trash collection program, which Hamel supported, and also opposed the mandatory recycling program because it requires households to recycle or forego trash collection. "It's the penalty that concerns me," he said. "Trash collection is the responsibility of city government."

While Tardif called Hamel "a good guy," he observed that "sometimes Bob asks all the right questions, but votes with the group."

Tardif doubted that his past as the head of the controversial Straight Arrow ticket of a quarter century ago would haunt him. "I don't think they know me," he remarked, declaring "I'm not ashamed of anything I did as city councilor or mayor." He said that his administration built a park house, paved Union Avenue and North Main Street, bought a fire truck and ambulance "and the tax rate didn't go up."

"What I say I'll do, I do," Tardif said."If I say I'll do the job, I'll do the job."

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 02:15

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Hillsborough Co. inks deal to take Belknap's overflow prisoners

LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioners Wednesday approved an agreement with Hillsborough County for housing local prisoners at their Department of Corrections in Manchester.
The one-year agreement is designed to help Belknap County deal with crowding at its correctional facility in Laconia. It calls for Belknap County to reimburse Hillsborough at the rate of $57.50 per day per prisoner but also makes Belknap liable for all expenses associated with hospital or health care services as well as security services associated with outside medical services.
County Administrator Debra Shackett said that it was an ''after the fact agreement'' as prisoners have already been transferred to Hillsborough County from the overcrowded Belknap County House of Corrections, which has a capacity of 120 but has had as many as 151 inmates in recent months.

''We've already received our first bill for the month of September and that was for $15,000'' said Shackett.
She said that eight or nine Belknap County inmates are currently being held in Hillsborough County. ''We have 14 out in three different counties,'' said Shackett, who added that other inmates have been transferred to Grafton and Carroll county facilities.
Shackett said that the county currently has bills for $31,000 for inmates being held out-of-county.
She said that House of Corrections Superintendent Dan Ward was working closely with Belknap County Sheriff Craig Wiggin to arrange for the transportation of prisoners back to Belknap County ''as soon as we have space.''
She said that the logistics of such moves are being looked at to try and ensure that as much as is possible those prisoners who are being brought back won't have to be subsequently transported out of the Belknap County facility.
County Commissioner Stephen Nedeau (R-Meredith) asked how many inmates were on work release or monitored by ankle bracelet and was told that there are 12 in each category and that is the maximum amount allowed by regulations.
''We have as many people out there as can be supervised,'' said Shackett.
County Commissioners, who last week requested the transfer of $52,000 to cover the Corrections Department cost overrun, will try again next week when the Belknap County Convention meets, to win approval of that request.
The convention's Executive Committee passed over the request, declining to act until they had an opportunity for study.
The convention is scheduled to meet next Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Belknap County complex.
Commissioners also received a letter from the town of Gilford regarding the Lakes Region Mutual Aid appropriation, which will be dropped from next year's county budget.
The letter pointed out that as a result the Gilford municipal budget will increase by $78,162 since it will be paying Mutual Aid directly, and that the county budget will decrease by $554,037.
Gilford selectmen requested that commission reduce the county tax rate so that it would be commensurate with the increase in municipal tax rates caused by the change.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 02:12

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