New Hampton man pleads guilty to misdemeanor obscentiy charge

NEW HAMPTON — A former firefighter and member of the zoning board pleaded guilty recently to one misdemeanor count of obscenity for having conversations with what he thought was a under-aged girl via the Internet.

Robert Joseph, 67, had been charged with two felony counts of prohibited use of computer services for allegedly trying to engage a child under 16 to engage in intercourse in October of 2013.

In exchange for the single guilty plea to a misdemeanor, the felony charges with dropped.

Joseph was reported to authorities by his ex-wife who set up an account from her new home in Pennsylvania to attract him and when he conversed back, she reported him to Homeland Security.

An agent continued to converse with him while pretending to be a young girl in Maine and trying to entice Joseph to come to Maine and meet her, however he made no overt act to go to Maine nor to procure a hotel room.

Joseph's first trial ended in a mistrial after his ex-wife made a statement on the stand that Joseph's attorney Public Defender Steve Mirkin found objectionable.

Mirkin had said that the charges against Joseph were the product of a vindictive ex-wife and an overzealous Homeland Security agent.

Joseph was sentenced to one-year in jail all suspended, to have contact with no minors, and to limit his internet use to email only. He was placed on probation for three years. In addition, he was ordered to undergo an sex offender evaluation and if no ongoing treatment is required, one year of probation is suspended.

173-pound dog to be guest of honor at city's 5th Annual BOW WOW Fest

LACONIA — The fifth annual BOW WOW Fest on Saturday, May 2 will feature this year's most outstanding canine celebrity, The Hulk, an 18 month old American Pitbull Terrier, who weighs 173 pounds and is still growing.

Bred by Marlon and Lisa Grennan, The Hulk is likely the largest and surely the friendliest of his breed. Last month, he strolled the sidewalks of New York before making the appearance on "Good Morning America" that introduced him to audiences around the world. He will be performing in a music video with Inspectah Deck of the Wu-Tang Clan and Esoteric, two of the most celebrated hip-hop artists in the world. Recently The Hulk caught the eye of Cesar Milan, the popular dog trainer, who intends to profile the Grennans' work with pitbulls on his television program, "Cesars' Way."

When The Hulk is not courting celebrity and earning his keep, he naps, sings and plays with with the Greenans' three year old son, Jordan, who occasionally rides him about the family's estate.

The Grennans own and operate Dark Dynasty K9s on 150 acres in northern New Hampshire, breeding and training American Pitbull Terriers for sale as protectors of persons and property to clients throughout the world.

The Hulk will head the Pooch Parade at the BOW WOW Fest on the WOW Trail and pose for photographs with the many new friends and fans he will make during the day.

The BOW WOW Fest begins at Lakeport Square with registration at 8:45 a.m. followed by the blessing of the pets at 10:05 and start of the parade at 10:15 and closes with the judging and awards between 11:15 and 11:45.

Coffee with a Cop: City residents have questions for chief

LACONIA — About 10 people joined Police Chief Chris Adams and Sgt. Gary Hubbard yesterday at the department's first "Coffee with a Cop" event held at My Coffee House yesterday morning.

A resident from Shore Drive started off the discussion by asking Adams some basics questions about the department — mostly about equipment.

Adams said there are 40 sworn police officers who use seven "front-line" vehicles. The department has four bicycles and three motorcycles as well as a number of older vehicles used by management and detectives.

He also said there are laptops in the front-line cruisers and officers' equipment is kept up-to-date.

Adams also fielded a question about Tasers (electric stun guns) and training in their use, likely spurred by the recent accidental sidearm shooting of a man by a Tulsa, Oklahoma reserve deputy who said he thought he was grabbing his Taser.

Hubbard demonstrated for the attendees how both weapons are secured and carried in different spots.

People had quite a few questions about property crime as it relates to drug abuse and the chief agreed that the two are interrelated in the city.

Adams also said most burglaries and thefts are crimes of "opportunity" and rarely do the police encounter people who actually have a plan.

"I know we all like to think we live in rural New Hampshire and shouldn't have to worry about locking out doors," Adams said.

Hubbard said most homes that are burglarized have open windows or doors on the first floor or there are air conditioners that can be pushed in if not secured properly.

Adams also recommended locking the doors and window of motor vehicles.

As to drug abuse, Adams said the LPD has two detectives dedicated to the drug unit and they work closely with the N.H. State Police, other area police departments and the state drug task force.

A considerable amount of discussion went into they types of drugs police seeing, other than heroin and opiates, and what the effects of them are.

Adams and Hubbard both agreed they still see a fair amount of marijuana and alcohol usage among young people but also said many of the people with heroin and opiate addictions are older.

"We've have overdoses as old as 57," said Hubbard.

Including the new addition of a Prevention, Enforcement and Treatment officer, Adams said the city has added two extra officers to the force in the past few years and he expects the City Council to fund the PET officer a permanent position.

Others wanted to know what people should do if they found needles and other drug-related items on the ground now that the snow has melted. Adams told them to notify police and not to touch them.

One lady wanted to know what a person should do if they come upon a car accident that police had not yet responded to.

Hubbard told her the best thing to do was to pull over, stay in her car and call 9-1-1 if possible. He said getting out of a car and going into traffic, especially on a highway or in the evening, can be very dangerous.

"Don't put yourself in any danger," he said, adding that drivers very often don't pay as close attention as they should to what's going on around them. "Your car is the safest place."

Adams noted that many times he has heard about well-intended people getting hit and killed on highways while they were helping someone else.

After the community meeting, Adams said he was pleased with the turnout and said there would be more sessions over the spring and summer in different venues.
He said he was also looking at bringing some other officers who perform different tasks so the community can understand what they do. He gave detectives, polygraph operators, juvenile officers, the school resource officer and the DARE officer as examples of some of the varied types of specialized training many of his staff have.