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A view to the Tioga, thanks to combined effort of Belmont High School students & American Legion Post 58

BELMONT — More than dozen members of the senior class at Belmont High School joined members of American Legion's Charles Kilborn Post 58 on the banks above the Tioga River yesterday to open the view from the pavilion, which will be built later this year.

The community service day was the second inspired by Dan Clary, who is completing his first year as principal of the high school. Last year the students cleared an adjacent stretch of riverbank behind the Belmont Mill.

Woody Fogg of the American Legion applauded the partnership. "It gives the kids a sense of ownership," he said, "and builds bridges between the town and the school." He said that the work was undertaken in partnership with the Belmont Village Revitalization Committee.

Fogg said that the more mature pine trees will be left for shade while the riverbank is stripped of its undergrowth to provide a view of the river. Several chainsaws were used to cut the trees into manageable lengths while students, working on a steep incline beneath a warm sun, formed a chain, passing limbs and branches up the slope to the parking lot where staff from the Department of Public Works operated a chipper.

The Tioga pavilion and riverwalk will overlook the river. The project is being made possible by the donation of some 20 acres along the railroad bed by Dick and Betty Persons, which matched a $89,000 grant from the Land and Conservation Fund of the National Park Service.

"This shows what a town can do with a lot of volunteers," said Ken Knowlton.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 12:16

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Laconia Community Center has a new gym floor for the first time in 83 years

LACONIA — "It was much needed and will be well used, said Amy Lovisek, assistant director of parks and recreation, eying the new floor at the Community Center.
Lovisek said that the original birch floor was laid in 1931 when the building, which began life as armory, was constructed. During the past five weeks the playing surface has been replaced with a top-grade maple floor over half-plywood, which features the city's logo in green at center court. The floor is lined for basketball and two pickle ball courts. She said that the floor has five coats of urethane and is scheduled for a sixth coat later this year.
The Parks and Recreation Department began requesting funds to replace the floor in 2005. Lovisek said that the floor had been sanded and refinished five times and had become thin and spongy in places. "There were dead spots where you'd dribble the basketball ball and it would just stop," she explained.
Lovisek said that the project cost approximately $65,000, which was drawn from a reserve fund for the maintenance and repair of municipal facilities.The work was done by O'Sullivan Flooring Inc. of Quincy, Mass.

"It will get lots of use," she continued.

The gymnasium hosts 34 different programs with almost 27,000 participants each year and is in use approximately 64 hours during a normal week. Last weekend, the center began opening on Saturdays, when families are welcome between 10 a.m. and noon, pickle ball players from 1 to 3 p.m. and basketball players from 3 to 5 p.m.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 12:27

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Indicted man called ‘a dealer of significant amounts’

LACONIA — A Belknap County grand jury has indicted a man who split his time between Laconia and Metheun, Mass., for two counts of possession of controlled drugs with intent to distribute.

Roger Perkins Jr., 31, was also indicted for one count of possession of controlled drugs.

Since his arrest on March 25, Perkins has been being held on $100,000 cash-only bail in the Belknap County House of Corrections after a video appearance before Judge Jim Carroll in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division the day after his arrest.

On the day of his arrest, police estimated he had two ounces of cocaine in various forms in his glove box and they described him a "a dealer of significant amounts of illegal drugs in the Laconia area."

After getting a warrant to search him, his car, and his apartment at 23 Gale Ave., police set up a surveillance team and observed him coming into town driving a black Acura MDX with Massachusetts plates.

During the course of the arrest, police found two bags of psilocybin mushrooms, a bag of hashish in the apartment. They also found two handguns, one of which loaded.

Police said the exterior of the apartment building had a video surveillance system for both the inside and the outside that was attached to iPads and televisions throughout the apartment.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 01:39

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Commission finds officer violated LPD policy

LACONIA — The Police Commission has determined that a letter of reprimand issued by superiors to Officer Brandy Enis was warranted and said it will schedule an imposition of discipline hearing.

Enis was issued a letter of reprimand by Sgt. Michael Finogle after he reviewed a report she filed about a civil standby on Elm Street on April 17 and determined she violated department policy and the tenants 4th Amendment rights for entering his apartment with a landlord but without his permission.

Finogle said she should have made a better effort to locate and speak to the tenant before entering his apartment and should also have contacted him before she followed the landlord inside. He said her violation of the tenant's rights but that accidents have consequences and he felt she should be reprimanded.

When Finogle recommended to Capt. Bill Clary that she be issued a letter of reprimand, Clary reported back to Finogle that this was Enis's third letter of reprimand for "unsatisfactory performance" in four months and that the violation should be elevated to a Class III as opposed to Class II reprimand.

Finogle recommended a two-day suspension and Enis filed a grievance with the Laconia Police Association, later asking that her hearing in front of the commission be held in public. She was represented at the hearing by attorney Brad Davis, who was hired by the union.

Although many local landlords attended the hearing to support Enis and, by extension, their rights as property owners, the commissioners didn't address landlords in their letter but wrote only of internal departmental policies and whether or not they were violated.

The commission said that after the hearing, Enis continued to believe she had the right to enter the apartment although she said that if the situation were to happen again, she would contact her supervisor before entering.

"This matter was properly elevated to a Class III violation, wrote the commissioners who also said this violation was "similar in nature" to the two previous violations "in that you failed to make proper inquiries before entering an apartment without consent."

The commission determined that while the landlord had the right to enter the apartment, she did not and she didn't stop to question herself.

"The commission finds you liable for that mistake," they wrote.

The Police Commission is chaired by Warren Clement. Other members are Douglas Whittum, and Armand Maheux.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 June 2014 12:52

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