Steven Tyler Returns to NH to Headline Laconia Fest

Steven Tyler Returns to NH to Headline Laconia Fest

LACONIA — What was just a rumor last year has become a hard reality this year with the announcement today that Steven Tyler will headline LaconiaFest when he takes the stage with Loving Mary, his Nashville band, during the 93rd running of Laconia Motorcycle Week.

For Tyler the show will mark a homecoming. As a child he summered on the shore of Lake Sunapee where he met the players of Joe Perry's Jam Band, which became Aerosmith, among the most iconic and enduring bands of the past 45 years.

In recent years Tyler has turned to country vibes and will be performing with Loving Mary, his band rooted in Nashville. Laurie DiGiovanni , producer of LaconiaFest, said that along with country tunes, including his recently released single "Red, White & You," Tyler will pull a few pages from the Aerosmith's songbook.

Tyler and Loving Mary will perform on Wednesday, June 15. DiGiovanni said that tickets will go on sale shortly.

LaconiaFest will be held at the Weirs Beach Drive­In Theater from June 11 to June 19 June when more than 100 artists will perform on two stages from noon to midnight on two stages. A complete of those scheduled to perform as well as tickets and information can be found at

The band plays on - LHS band classes moved to ‘fifth’ block next year, sports won’t start until 3 p.m.

25Sep15176983 DS

The Laconia High School marching band, shown here at homecoming, has been a big concern for students and parents as the administration considers how to cut costs for the coming school year.  (Karen Bobotas for the Laconia Daily Sun)



LACONIA — Band will continue for credit next year at Laconia High School, but it will require a longer school day for the students who want to participate.
According to a letter to the public from Principal Jim McCollum (see letters to the editor), the program has been moved to the "fifth block" in the school day. McCollum said the schedule allows for more flexibility, while the "fifth block," said Superintendent Dr. Phil McCormack, is from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
There have been no cuts to the elective and fine arts program at the high school, said McCollum.
"All positions remain fully funded," he wrote. "Sadly, as many of us remember, that area has been the focus of cuts over the years. It was very good to know that Music, Art and Health & Wellness courses were spared this time around."
With between $1.2 million and $1.7 million in budget shortfalls to be addressed, there have been some cuts. The school will lose one social studies teacher, one English teacher, a part-time math position, one science teacher and one world language teacher. Four athletic teams have been cut: bowling, cheer, skiing and swimming; along with two coaching positions for the football team. Also lost are one full-time academic coordinator, now shared with the middle school, and the student service director moves to part-time, said McCollum.
Those students who want to participate in band and athletics will find the schedule more accommodating. With band class in the fifth block, no sports practices will start until 3 p.m.
"It is now the law of land for all sports," wrote McCollum. "Students will not have to choose between band and the sport they also enjoy. Band participants will also continue to receive full course credit for their participation and no stipends (other than the department head stipend) have been lost. This includes stipends that support music associated with drama."
McCollum notes that the change also allows Advanced Placement classes to be scheduled in the fourth block, the time that band has traditionally met, which will allow students interested in both band and AP to do both.
McCormack described the AP classes as "singletons," or classes that are only offered once per year. He said he has personally heard of and knows students who couldn't take band because it conflicted with singletons.
"I think this will provide greater flexibility in overall schedules," he said.

– Gail Ober also contributed to this story.

Two women attacked, robbed on future WOW Trail spot


LACONIA — Police have placed the highest priority on finding the man who robbed two women Monday at 5 p.m. along a portion of what will be the Laconia-to-Belmont leg of the WOW trail. The attack happened somewhere near the border between the two.

Two women, ages 30 and 35, said a man attacked them by pushing one woman to the ground and taking the purse of the other one while brandishing a small black handgun. The purse contained a passport and identifications for both women. Police said the victim told them he ran toward the Belknap Mall.

Chief Chris Adams said the two women appeared to be of Asian-Indian decent and are residents of Laconia. He said they were walking along the trail toward Laconia. Fire officials said there was some language barriers during their encounters.

The woman who was pushed apparently hit her head when she fell. She was taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital and later flown to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.

Police said the uninjured woman told them that the man was taller than 5 feet 6 inches, of average build, had a skinny face and smelled strongly of alcohol. He was described as wearing blue jeans, a black sweatshirt, a blue-collared jacket and black gloves.

Adams said that detectives and patrol officers from Belmont and Laconia canvassed the area that night and have spoken to a number of people. He said they continue to search the area and interview people who may have some information.

He said any random act of violence like this is always a high priority for the police department.

During the time of the armed robbery, the Laconia City Council was listening to a proposal about Phase 2 of the city portion of the WOW Trail that will go along that stretch of the old railroad corridor.

Mayor Ed Engler said he was saddened to learn of the attack, but says building the trail will enhance the area and statistics have shown that areas where there are maintained recreation trails have had positive effects on surrounding neighborhoods.

He said that Phase 1, from Lakeport to Main Street in Laconia, went through was was once a longstanding area popular with the homeless. He said today the incidence of homeless camps in that area has dropped and increases in recreation population tends to reduce the kind of behavior exhibited by Monday's armed robbery.

While he said there is no way of knowing at this point if Monday's perpetrator is homeless, he said he expects that once Phase 2 of the trail is built, the area will be less secluded and people will be less vulnerable to similar attacks.

"We expect the recreation trail to improve the area and not make it worse," Engler said.

Adams asked that anyone who may have seen this encounter or has any information call the Laconia Police at 524-5252.