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Belmont man Tasered, charged with disorderly conduct & resisting arrest

BELMONT – A Union Road man faces one count each of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest for allegedly barricading himself in his house after arguing all day with one of his neighbors.

Michael Sweeney, 40, of 514 Union Road was ordered held on $300 cash and $5,000 personal recognizance bail after his arrest Sunday night.

According to affidavits, police said they were called to the Sweeney residence for the third time at 8:36 p.m. and each time they responded he appeared to be drunker and drunker. He was allegedly screaming obscenities at his neighbors with whom he shares a driveway.

Affidavits said two Belmont officers and a Sanbornton officer learned from the neighbors that Sweeney "was acting crazy," and was upset because of a recent death in the family and because his mother is very ill.

A woman described by police as his common-law wife and the neighbors had been trying to calm him down all day, unsuccessfully.

Police also learned from his wife that there were firearms in the house and he had threatened to use them. One of the neighbors said he threatened suicide and was going to burn down the house.

Sweeney kept telling officers to get off his property or call the SWAT Team to get him out.

While one officer watched Sweeney from a front window, the other two went to the back, but found the back door locked. One officer broke a pane of glass with his baton to gain access but then they heard what sounded like a shotgun rack.

Although police had the door open, they took cover. When Sweeney tried to close the door, one officer tried to hit him with his Taser. He missed and the cartridge hit the door.

One officer drew his weapon while one used the other officer's Taser and they entered the house. Sweeney allegedly threw something at the officer with the Taser. He ducked and was able to zap Sweeney who went down.

The other officer tried to get control of Sweeney's arms but the charge had worn off and he began to fight and get up again. He was Tasered a second time and police were able to get handcuffs on him.

The home was filled with haze and police learned that Sweeney had allegedly tried to set the couch on fire. Police searched the house and found a pellet gun but no weapons.

Sweeney was allegedly screaming and trying to resist again, so Belmont Police called an ambulance and later for the Laconia Police transport van. Affidavits said he was thrashing around the van so much that it was rocking back and forth.

When police opened the door at the jail, Sweeney had allegedly tried to escape his handcuffs but had instead gotten his hands stuck under his knees. Corrections officers allegedly had to carry him into jail.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 01:25

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Selig named Taylor Community president & CEO

LACONIA — The Board of Trustees of the Taylor Community has named Bob Selig president and chief executive officer of the continuing care retirement community.

Selig, who as chairman of Taylor's board stepped into the role of president and CEO a year ago, was appointed to permanently to fill the posts to "continue on the path of strengthening Taylor and further preparing and positioning the organization for the future," the board said in a statement announcing its decision.

"It's a lot more fun than just playing golf," Selig remarked, explaining that he relishes the chance to face challenges, pursue opportunities and solve problems.

Attorney Rod Dyer, who chaired the panel to search for a president and CEO, said that after conducting a nationwide search the committee concluded "that in fact the best qualified candidate was right here in Bob Selig." He said that Selig, a lifelong resident of Laconia, has a record of success in business as both an executive and an owner as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service. He pointed to Selig's leadership in renovating and expanding the Laconia Public Library along with his managerial and financial prowess during his spell as the president and CEO of the Taylor Community.

Selig, who has served as trustee at the Taylor Community for nine years and chaired the board for the last three, said the organization is overcoming two major problems — "not enough people were living here and we had an unfavorable long-term debt structure." The Great Recession, he noted, affected continuing care retirement communities across the country by eroding the investment portfolios and home values of retirees.

Today there are more than 400 residents and debt restructuring has spared nearly $600,000 in annual costs. At the same time, divesting satellite communities in Moultonborough and Sandwich has provided financial and human resources to put to better use at the Taylor Community.

Selig stressed the quality of the 140 members of the staff at the Taylor Community, who he called simply "terrific in their care, concern and loving kindness. It's not just the nursing staff," he continued, "but the guys who mow the lawns and shovel the snow. Every day I am struck by how these remarkable people are so dedicated to this community."


Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 01:21

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Accused flasher sent to prison for probation violation

LACONIA — A Laconia man, accused of exposing himself to two young girls who were selling lemonade at a roadside stand in Holderness last June, was sent to prison yesterday for three to six years on a probation violation.

Christopher Geary, 45, of 9 Harrision St. pleaded true -- or responsible -- in the Belknap Cocunty Superior court to violating two terms of his probation. The underlying charge was one count of failing to register as a sex offender.

The two terms he violated were Rule 7 where he agreed to remain arrest-free and Rule 15E – where he allegedly had unsupervised contact with juveniles.

Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen told Judge James O'Neill that the maximum Geary could face on a probation violation was 3½ to 7 years, but she recommended the 3- to 6-year sentence so the two girls, ages 7 and 9, wouldn't have to come to court, testify, and see Geary again.

He is accused of approaching the girls at a lemonade stand on Route 175 on June 7, buying a cup of lemonade, pouring it out, and urinating in it in front of the girls. Police said he allegedly tried to grab them, but they got away. Their father called the police.

Guldbransen said the Holderness Police and the family of the girl were satisfied with the agreed-upon sentence and were grateful they didn't have to come to court, although they were prepared to do so if needed.

Guldbrandsen said that Geary also faces possible charges in Grafton County where he could be indicted for indecent exposure and/or other crimes.

Judge O'Neill asked specifically if the plea before him included any possible charges Geary faces in Grafton County and Guldbrandsen and Geary's public defender Amy Ashworth said it did not.

When O'Neill asked Geary why he felt he should "cut him a break," Ashworth said she did not want her client to address the court because she feared he would say something that could incriminate him should he be indicted for what he allegedly did in Holderness.

She said he would agree to admit that he had been arrested by police.

O'Neill persisted, whereupon Geary said he just "wanted to get on with his life." He said he has a wife who is standing behind him and that he will take any and all programs he can while he is in prison.

"You won't regret it," Geary said. "I won't be back in this court ever."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 01:08

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WEEKEND - Laconia Multicultural Festival Celebrates 13th Year

LACONIA — Saturday's Multicultural Festival, now in its 13th year, will be bigger and better than ever, according to Becky Guyer, chairperson of the event.
''We'll have over 80 vendors, food from all parts of the world, lots of new entertainment and a new entertainment tent as well as a closing ceremony for the first time which will give people something to look forward to at the end of the day,'' says Guyer.,
''Well be going strong until the end, with an uplifting closing ceremony at 3:30 dedicating the day and the community to peace. Taking off on the worldwide Pinwheels for Peace concept, the closing will feature a human peace sign, energized by the spinning of pinwheels which will have been created throughout the day at various locations on the festival grounds.'' says Guyer.
She says the Kids' Korner, located in the HealthLink building parking lot, will be "pinwheel central" until the moment arrives to unleash the collective energy of hundreds of colorful spinning pinwheels at the closing.
The festival highlights the music, arts, crafts and cuisine in honor of this growing diversity of cultures in the Lakes Region, from that of Native Americans to recently arrived immigrants.
Activities start at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. and center in and around Rotary Park and the Belknap Mill, downtown. Included in the day are free entertainment, food and craft venders, some local and many representing a wide variety of cultures, along with exhibits, children activities, and the traditional parade.
Celebrating the worldwide inclusiveness of the day, the Parade of International Flags, organized by Larry Frates, leads off the festival. It will include a contingent of Up With People cast members who are in the city for a pair of weekend concerts.

The parade starts in the Bank of NH parking area at 10 a.m. and marches around downtown to Rotary Park, where the opening ceremony will take place. Up With People will take the stage following the ceremony and offer an shortened version of their normal concert performance.
Guyer says that the Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy of Malden, MA are a stunning addition to the day's entertainment menu. Wah Lum Kung Fu and the Academy are well known throughout the Greater Boston Area and New England for their professional lion dance, dragon dance, drumming, and kung fu/tai chi performances.
Also featured will be the Black Thunder Singers, who keep alive the old Native American traditions as taught by the elders, both in their performances and in their daily lives. They bring their powerful drumming, dancing, and singing to the park.
Lindsay and Her Puppets will be a part of the Children's Corner this year. Other performances include: The Concord School of Music, Larry Frates' Magic Show and Cartoon Story-time, and Artsfest Hoop Dance & Circus Demos. Wildlife Encounters will be present, and much more to hold the attention of the youngest. Juliean Hartley, a certified music therapist of the Concord School of Music, specializes in early childhood development goals.

In its 12th year with the Festival, Wildlife Encounters brings awareness concerning issues affecting Animals – People – Earth, while providing a personal connection with exotic animals.
Also among the many entertainers will be the Jack Zarzatian Ensemble. Jack and his fellow musicians' repertoire include Armenian, Turkish, Greek, and Arabic classical, folk, and contemporary music. They offer a diverse experience in musical instruments and styles, including the dumbek, a Middle Eastern drum, and the oud, a Middle Eastern lute.
There will be a wide diversity of food vendors according to Guyer. ''We''ll have food vendors from the Dominican Republic, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Bhutan, Greece, the Philippines, Turkey and Argentina as well as Jewish food.''
This year's festival has its very own cookbook: Tastes of Nations. It will be for sale at the festival tent. The cookbook contains over 100 recipes collected from our original immigrants to the most recent ones.
With the construction and other activities in downtown Laconia, continuous shuttle bus service has been arranged from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shuttle will pick people up and drop them you off at various parking lots near the center of Laconia, going to and from City Hall. Parking for the Festival can be found in the following areas: St Joseph's Church parking lot on Church Street, the Laconia Clinic area, and the Water Street lots.
The Laconia Multicultural Committee is especially appreciative of our many sponsors, including the Laconia Human Relations Committee; the Penny Pitou-Milo Pike Family Fund; the Well Sense Health Plan; Genesis Behavioral Health; the Bank of NH; the Northway Bank; and Lutheran Social Services.
The festival was conceived and is supported by the the Laconia Human Relations Committee, which was created in 2000 by then Mayor Matthew Lahey and Police Chief Bill Baker. Leonard Campbell is current LHRC Chair.

(Optional for box if needed)
ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE FOR 2014 Laconia Multicultural Festival

12:15 -12:45 – THE O'BRIEN CLAN
12:45-1:00 – ANKARA ROSE
1:00-1:30 – THE O'BRIEN CLAN
2:15-3:00 – WAH LUM ACADEMY


(Unless otherwise stated, performances take place in Rotary Park)

Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 09:04

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