Lakeport Opera House building to be sold at auction

LACONIA — The white, frame building at the corner of Union Avenue and Clinton Street in Lakeport, which houses a small theater, is scheduled to be sold at suction on Wednesday, March 4.
The building sits on a 0.2-acre lot and was originally constructed in 1885. It was known as the Opera House Block and for a time was home to the International Order of Odd Fellows. The first floor consists of 4,552-square-feet of retail space, most recently leased to a pawnbroker, but now vacant. The Lakeport Opera House is on the upper story where there is 9,240-square-feet of space. The property has an assessed value of $224,800.

"I would love to see someone restore it," Gerard Horn, the longtime owner of the building, said recently. "Demolition is the last option." He recalled that "20 or 30 years ago" members of the Streetcar Company approached him about acquiring the building and restoring the theater, but abandoned the project when the community theater group learned the cost of renovating the theater alone was $1 million.

Earlier this month members of the Heritage Commission toured the building.

Astride a busy intersection with limited on-street and off-street parking, the location has posed a challenge for commercial enterprises. The single story brick building next door stood empty for several years before a restaurant opened more than a year ago only to close in less than three months.

F.D. Peverly & Sons, auctioneers and appraisers, of Northfield are conducting the sale.

Family of man buried in wrong lot at Bayside counter sues cemetery association

LACONIA – The family of a local man who was buried in a plot that was allegedly already sold to a Tilton man has been allowed to intervene in the lawsuit filed by the Tilton family against Bayside Cemetery.

Maria Shapiro, Savannah White and Lina Girardi would like to be heard by the judge who will hear the case of Kenneth Dame vs. Bayside Cemetery Association.

The three, Michael Girardi's mother and his two sisters, say they arranged for a funeral and burial in Bayside Cemetery when Girardi died unexpectedly in August 2013.

Girardi was buried in a plot that records show was already sold to Dame as part of his family plot at Bayside.

Dame has sued the cemetery demanding that Girardi's remains be moved to a different plot. As evidence, he has offered a bill of sale for the plot at 42A section 8 and documented that he paid $500 for it on June 6, 1987.

Once granted the motion to intervene, the Giradi family filed a cross claim for injunctive relief against Bayside Cemetery and Dame.

"The burial of Michael Giradi was done in a Catholic religious ceremony and relatives and other interested persons traveled long distances, (including as far away as Italy) to participate in the funeral and burial service," read the complaint.

The Girardis further said that Catholic funeral ceremony, especially for the family of the deceased, learn to live within communion with one who has fallen asleep in the Lord and "in the Body of Christ of which he is a living member..."

The Girardis said once Bayside Cemetery trustees told them about the mistake and offered to relocate Michael Girardi's remains at no cost to them, the family contacted the Laconia Police.

The family says the news of the burial mixup has caused them ''extreme and unthinkable mental and emotion pain" and was devastated to learn that because of a bookkeeping error their loved one is burial in a plot that belongs to another.

They claim that any attempt to disinter Michael Giradi will cause "severe emotional distress and trauma" to his family including his minor child.

The Girardis also claim that there is a plot for Kenneth Dame, when he dies, that is "in close proximity" to his family plot.

Police look into possible Children’s Auction computer breach

GILFORD – Police are investigating a fraudulent credit card transaction possibly linked to the NH1 Children's Auction.

Police said they have confirmed one fraudulent transaction on a resident's credit card that was traced back to the auction.

As a result, police are working with the auction's staff who are responsible for maintaining the server in question.

Police also said people who could have possibly been victimized have made contact with the people who manage the server. A detective involved with the case also said the NH1 Children's Auction has sent emails to those who had pre-registered with a credit card.

NH1 is a network of radio stations across New Hampshire, which includes WLNH in Laconia which started the Children's Auction in the 1980s.

Should anyone in Gilford feel they have been a victim they are encouraged to contact the police at 527-4737.

If others feel they have been victimized they are encouraged to call their local police department. However, Gilford Police said it would like those people to contact them as well because the servers are maintained in Gilford and the information could help detectives.

As of yesterday, officials from the Laconia and Belmont Police had not had any complaints.

Gilford Police ask that anyone who believes there has been fraudulent activity on the credit card are asked to call their credit card company immediately, to immediately contact any merchants to get as much information about the transactions as possible, and to contact the police in their jurisdiction to file a report.