Biggest salmon was caught at 8:30 a.m. on Derby's first morning

LACONIA — Clyde LeMay knew he had a good catch on the opening day of the Winni Derby when he pulled in a 4.14 pound salmon in the Broads section of Lake Winnipesaukee, near Welch Island.
''It was 8:30 Friday morning and we brought it right into the weigh station around nine o'clock,'' says LeMay, who has been fishing in the derby for 25 years, the last 14 with his son Spencer, who was in the boat with him. They live in Wilder, Vermont.
Neither father nor son has ever landed anything in the derby which won a prize and have had many big fish get away from them at the last minute.
But it turned out to be their year as the catch, one of the very first on the leader board, held up throughout the weekend to win the $12,000 first place prize, by just .04 of a pound over Paul Bilotta of Foxboro, Mass..
LeMay said that he wasn't taking any chances and continued to fish throughout the weekend, hoping for an ever larger catch and nearly landing a salmon on Sunday morning which he thinks might have been bigger than his winning fish.
LeMay works at Bond Optics in Lebanon and noted that he and his son were fishing out a 14-foot Sea Nymph boat, which he says was one of the smaller ones on the lake over the weekend, and that they'll replace with a boat at least 16 feet long in next year's derby.
''I was nerve wracking waiting all weekend to see if I'd win,'' says LeMay, who used live smelt for bait and says that he and his son have always had better luck with live bait.
LeMay had to wait it out to see if he'd won, but for the winner of the Lake Trout division, Scott Roth of Meredith, it was a question of whether he'd make it to the weigh-in station before the derby ended.
Roth landed a 7.28 pound Lake Trout at 11:45 a.m. Sunday and just made it to the derby weigh-in station at Weirs Beach before the clock struck noon, which would more or less have turned his prize winning fish into a pumpkin instead of the $5,000 cash prize that he won.
Winning a $3,000 prize for the largest salmon caught in the Junior Division was Hunter Durant, 9, of Manchester, who landed a 3.78-pounder.
Winner of the Rick Davis Sportsmanship Award for the hitting closest to the average weight salmon was Dwayne Thibeault of Osteen, Florida, who landed a 3.12 pound salmon.

The three-day derby attracted 1,100 anglers, about the same as last year according to Diane LaBrie of the Laconia Rotary Club, who has chaired the derby ever since the Rotary Club took over sponsorship of the derby from Davis in 2011.
New Hampshire Fish and Game Department biologist Don Miller, who is retiring after 38 years with the department and has been at the last 30 Winni Derbies, says that this year's fish are larger than in recent years and show that department's efforts to improve the quality of the salmon catch are working.

CAPTION pix slugged winniderby 2015

$12,000 fish. Clyde LeMay of Wilder, Vt., holds the 4.14 pound salmon that he landed Friday morning near Welch Island and which was the winning fish in the 33rd annual Lake Winni Derby. (Courtesy photo)

UNH pays tribute to Laconia's Hope Makris

LACONIA — Hope Makris, owner of the Naswa Resort in Weirs Beach, was honored by the University of New Hampshire during commencement exercised held on Saturday.

Makris, a 1946 graduate of UNH, received a Granite State Award.

"For over 60 years, Hope and her late husband, Peter, welcomed guests to the resort. And today their children and grandchildren take pride in making every guest's experience at the Naswa one to remember, the university said in a statement announcing the honor to Mrs. Makris. Her parents started the resort in 1935.

The other 2015 Granite State Award recipient was Gerald Carmen, a longtime state Republican Party leader, who served in the Reagan administration. Carmen is also a recognized business consultant who has worked with international leaders and business executives, and promotes joint ventures between U.S. and overseas companies.

According to UNH President Mark Huddleston, "The Granite State Award is given to individuals, agencies, corporations and foundations whose outstanding achievements have made extraordinary contributions to the State of New Hampshire." Makris was chosen for the award "due to her distinguished record of service," Huddleston said.

Makris started working in hospitality at the age of 10. Giving back to the Lakes Region community and New Hampshire as a whole has always been important to her.

One of her many charitable causes is Easter Seals of New Hampshire. Easter Seals Land & Lake Poker Run at The NASWA has raised $875,000 over the past 14 years.

The Makrises established the Laconia Fire Department Life Saving Fund after veteran firefighter Mark Miller lost his life.

Over the past eight years, through the Peter Makris Memorial (motorcycle) Run Charity event, Makris and the Naswa have kicked off Motorcycle Week by raising excess of $275,000 and have fully funded the three fire rescue boats and dive team of the Fire Department.

"There is a bond with those who frequent (the Naswa's) hotel and restaurants, " said Makris, "and I know that giving back is the best way to show leadership and gratitude to the lovely community in which it has built a successful business."

This makes the second time in recent years that Makris has been honored by UNH. In 2011 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the university's Center for Family Business.

The university honored two other people at Saturday's commencement by bestowing honorary degrees: Ryan Pitts, a Medal of Honor recipient who was also commencement speaker, and noted portrait artist Richard Whitney.


Local Republicans hopeful that Guinta can document claims

LACONIA — Belknap County Republicans are expressing reluctance to join in on calls for First District Congressman Frank Guinta to resign from his seat in the U.S. House.
Last week Guinta was found by the Federal Election Commission to have accepted $355,000 in illegal contributions from his parents in 2010. He has said the money he used for his first congressional campaign in was also his, but now Guinta must refund the full sum to his parents and pay a $15,000 fine.
Yesterday New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper called for Guinta's resignation, saying ''it has become quite clear in recent days that his documentation and explanation of the source of his campaign contributions, and the accounting of any taxes that may have been paid, simply don't add up.'' (See related story on page 2.)
Fellow Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte has said that that Guinta's explanation is inconsistent with the FEC's findings, and that if she were him, she would resign.
Alan Glassman, chairman of the Belknap County Republican Committee, said that while he was saddened to see what transpired, he is still hoping that Guinta will be able to provide sufficient documentation to support his version of what has happened and remain in office.
With regard to resignation he said ''It's entirely his call. I think he's been doing an excellent job as a congressman."
Rep. Frank Tilton of Laconia, chairman of the Belknap County Convention and former GOP county chairman, said that he's not as upset over the campaign contribution from Guinta's parents as he is over the way Guinta has handled the issue. ''I don't know the details. If he did take money from his parents it does concern me if he hasn't been forthright'' said Tilton.
He said that the situation is somewhat parallel to that faced by Democrat Hilary Clinton and contributions from foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation while she was serving as Secretary of State.
Rep. Bob Luther, another Laconia Republican, said that it is premature to call for Guinta's resignation.
"I think he just made a mistake and rectified it'' and criticized Ayotte for her statements. ''Kelly Ayotte should be the first to resign. She was up to her knees in the FRM scandal years ago,'' said Luther.
Rep. Brian Gallagher of Sanbornton said he was concerned ''that all of the pieces of the puzzle are not fitting together properly but it's being a little trigger happy to call for him to resign at this point.''
Gallagher said he was still hoping that Guinta would be able to provide evidence that would bring the complete clarity needed to resolve the situation.
A former mayor of Manchester (2006-2010), Guinta won a close primary in 2010 over Rich Ashooh and Sean Mahoney, and went on to defeat two-term Democrat Carol Shea-Porter in the general election.
After losing to Shea-Porter in the 2012 election he won the seat back in the 2014 campaign, during which he claimed in a televised debate that he had been completely cleared by the FEC.
The National Journal reported yesterday that former New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen said "Frank is dead politically. There's no recovery from this.''