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Boat suddenly sinks on Lake Winnisquam

BELMONT — A lone man was brought to shore from the waters of Lake Winnisquam some 300 yards off Belmont Beach after his boat capsized and sank in more than 60 feet of water shortly after 7 p.m. yesterday.

The man, who did not wish to identified, said "I was tooting right along and all of sudden the back was at the front and back and the front was at the back and the back went down." He said that he was not aware of either hitting the wake of another boat or a piece of floating debris. He had two life jackets and a cell phone, with which he was able to report the incident.

Personnel from Belmont Fire-Rescue on shore directed Lieutenant Chris Shipp of the Laconia Fire Department at the helm of the rescue craft with firefighters Chris Beaudoin and Deb Black aboard, to the scene. They plucked the man, along with a second man who had paddled an inflatable raft to the aid of the first, from the water and brought both to shore. No one required medical attention.

One Belmont firefighter speculated that a steering cable snapped, sending the boat spinning into a circle that could have caused it to sink. Shipp said he noticed debris in the water, which he thought may have been pieces of insulation.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 03:44

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A barn party that grew into 'Duanestock'

GILFORD — The gathering of local musicians at Duane Johnson's barn on Lockes Hill Road used to be called simply ''the Barn Party''.
But as it grew over the years, those taking part decided it needed a more appropriate name and took their clue from Hughes Mayo of Melrose, Mass., who plays a 12-string 1960s Rickenbacker guitar as well as a blues harmonica at the mid-August gathering, and renamed it ''Duanestock'' in honor of it's founder.
Nearly 100 showed up at Johnson's 233-year-old barn starting late Saturday afternoon for the 17th annual event, which featured lots of food brought by the guests and music late into the night by a wide variety of performers.
''This actually got started in 1997 when Jim Makris came over with his guitar and we ate pizza and had a few beers. Jim and I have known each other since we were teenagers at Lakeshore Park. There was just Jim and his girlfriend, my wife Mariiyn and our three kids, who endured our musuc until they decided to get out outside and play in the backyard,'' says Johnson.
Since that time the event has snowballed to the point where the old barn, built by Daniel Locke in 1780, has its own place in local music history, even though Johnson, a retired special education teacher who taught in Ashland and Pittsfield, thinks that Duanestock may sound a little pompous.
Today the barn features seven sofas, as well as rocking chairs and easy chairs to accommodate the audience, and its walls are festooned with all kinds of memorabilia, music-related political posters or simply Americana, collected by Johnson at auctions over the years.
There's even a large aquarium with tropical fish off to one side to add to the ambiance and outside there's a large tent where all the pot luck, a seemingly endless variety, is brought by the musicians,, their spouses and significant others, for guests to feast on.
''This barn has great acoustics,'' says Wayen Kenworthy, who drives all the way up from New Jersey for the event and played Tom Petty's ''Last Dance for Mary Jane'' Saturday, along with some of his own compositions.
He's a friend of Carl DeProspo, sales manager at Cantin Chevrolet, who grew up in New Jersey and has been a regular at Duanestock for years, playing both guitar and bass.
Johnson says his mother, Muriel, showed up for this year's party, arriving with Ray Brogan, a World War II Marine veteran, and celebrated her birthday but wouldn't tell anyone how many candles should be put on her cake.
He said that long-time audience favorite Jimbo Pero, a fiddle player from Epsom, interspersed his songs with jokes and jumped in to accompany other performers while Makris, who also plays a fine harmonica, did some Cat Stevens and James Taylor songs.
Johnson said he was thrilled to have Drew Seneca, ''Mr. Downtown'' (Laconia) back, along with Tom Dunfee, who did Tom Waite's ''Jersey Girl'' and then joined Seneca for some Crosby, Stills and Nash numbers.
Rob and Patsy Tacker, a local couple, dazzled with their Everly Brothers harmonies, while Chuck and Lynn Weston of North Hampton, drew applause for Neil Young's ''Sail Away.''
One of the highlights was the arrival of Arthur Clark, a blind musician who showed up with his chauffeur, Esther, who unpacked her fiddle and provided a lead and backup to songs by Clark and Pero, which included ''Scotland the Brave'' as well as many old country tunes.
''It was nice to see young people in the audience enjoying songs from the 60s. And all of the musicians enjoyed playing for people who are listening to the lyrics and get the song's message,'' said Johnson.
He says that some of those who showed up Saturday will be joining him when he does a concert at the Belknap County House of Corrections, where he is a GED teacher, in September.
His wife, Marilyn, is a special education teacher at Woodland Heights School in Laconia, and at Saturday night's gathering she reconnected with a cousin that she hasn't seen in 30 years.
''It's kind of sad to see Duanestock end each year. With all the friends showing up the time just flies. I wish the day could last forever. But it will happen again next summer. You can count on that,'' says Johnson.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 03:41

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Youssef inists he didn't break election law

LACONIA — Former District 7 Senate candidate Joshua Youssef said yesterday that he did not violate any state election laws when he created a blog that mirrored that of his ex-wife's attorney Ed Mosca.

He said his blog, www.edmoscablog.com, had a disclaimers throughout, saying Mosca was not responsible for its content and it was not affiliated with Mosca.

Youssef, a Laconia Republican, lost his bid for the District 7 Senate seat in 2012 to Democrat Andrew Hosmer, also of Laconia.

Youssef said he was very concerned that the Office of the State Attorney would continue to spend the time and resources of the taxpayers to investigate an alleged election law violation months after the complaint was no longer relevant.

Youssef, who said he will likely run again for the Senate District 7 seat in 2014, said the investigation into www.edmoscablog.com was "beyond irresponsible" and is emblematic of the waste of government resources he believes is one of the biggest problem facing the state.

On Aug. 6, the civil division of the AG's Office told him to "cease and desist" using www.edmoscablog.com or face possible criminal charges.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen G. LaBonte said Youssef violated the provision of RSA 666:6 by creating the blog he said was close enough to Mosca's blog that people could misconstrue who wrote it. The investigation was triggered by a complaint filed in February.

"This is state agencies wielding power they don't have," Youssef said yesterday, adding only a court of law has the legal right to "order" him to do stop using the blog.

"No (criminal) charges have ever been filed," Youssef said, noting only a judge or jury could order a "cease and desist."

"Some believe RSA 666:6 is not constitutional and would be struck down if challenged to the Supreme Court," he said, classifying his use of the blog as "free speech" and saying the courts have traditionally given "broad latitude" to political speech.

He said the investigation into www.edmoscablog.com was politically motivated by a Democratic Party-led executive branch.

"Now I'm more politically motivated than I ever have been, " Youssef said. "Government is a customer service industry and the people of New Hampshire have lost faith in their government."

He said he would work to restore that faith.

District 7 is comprised of Laconia, Franklin, Belmont, Gilford, Northfield, Webster, Canterbury, Andover and Salisbury.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 02:14

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Record 239 Riders for 11th Annual Brenda's Ride

LACONIA — The 11th annual Brenda's Ride with Friends drew a record turnout of 239 motorcycles Saturday, with well in excess of 300 riders making the scenic run around Lake Winnipesaukee to raise funds for the Oncology Department at Lakes Region General Hospital.
Bikers set out from the Weirs Beach Lobster Pound at mid-morning with an escort of five police motorcycles from Laconia, Meredith, Tilton, Northfield and Alton and returned to the Lobster Pound for an afternoon of music, food and fund-raising raffles.
The event was started in 2003 by Brenda Ganong, a cancer survivor since 1997, and her husband, John, and drew 35 bikes the first year it was held.
Since then participation has grown every year, and last year the event drew 225 bikers and raised $16,500.
''It's amazing when you look in the mirror on your bike and see all of the people who have shown up to ride,'' says Brenda, who marvels at the show of support for the event and the continuing support of the many people who have shown up year after year to take part.
One rider who has been at all 11 events is Kurt McLaughlin, a firefighter from Cambridge, Mass., who grew up with John Ganong in Somerville, Mass., where they both rode motorcycles together as teenagers.
"I wouldn't miss it,'' says McLaughlin, who just arrived back home from attending the Sturgis, S.D., motorcycle rally and was riding with a contingent of Cambridge firefighters in Saturday's ride.
"This community is unbelievable. Everybody pulls together to help out. That's why it's so great to live here," said John Ganong, who moved to the Lakes Region 30 years ago from Somerville, Mass., and has been involved in the real estate field in the Lakes Region for many years.
Brenda Ganong says that when she first heard that she had breast cancer she thought her life was over and that she might never even see her then 16-year-old daughter, Christina, graduate from high school.
''Now she has two sons, and I'm a real happy grandmother. It's like a miracle,'' says Brenda, who says that one of her grandsons, 11-year-old Ben Gloddy of Northfield , is the New England flat track motorcycle racing junior champion.
She isn't the only Ganong who feels that a miracle has taken place in their life.
Her husband, John, who had a heart transplant in January 2011, says that he's ''never felt better in his life.''
John, who has been known to ride his motorcycle dressed in a Santa Claus outfit at various fundraising events ever since he moved to the Lakes Region, performed a Blue Brothers routine with his son, Jason, Saturday afternoon.
Music was provided by Matt Langley and band AXIS.
Winner's Circle Auto Sales Inc. in Tilton was the $1,000 Gold Sponsor of the 2013 Brenda's Ride. Joining them as $500 Silver Sponsors were The Looney Bin Bar and Grill and Pilgrim Consolidators.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 04:04

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