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Man charged with sex assault on teen arrested in Brockton, Mass.

LACONIA — A Center Barnstead man who was indicted on August 22 in Belknap County Superior Court for an alleged felonious sexual assault that occurred in Laconia was apprehended yesterday morning in Brockton, Mass.

Sheriff Craig Wiggin said Tyler Root, 25, who has been known to live in Center Barsntead and Franklin, was arrested Tuesday by the Brockton Police, in coordination with the Mass State Police – Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and the U.S. Marshals.

Wiggin said a deputy with the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force in Massachusetts coordinated the arrest with the task force's representatives in the sheriff's department.

Root was featured as the Fugitive of the Week in state-wide media publications including the Internet yesterday. He failed to appear for his arraignment in Belknap County Superior Court on September 11.

The indictment says the sexual assault occurred on or about September 30, 2012 in Laconia. The victim was between 13 to 15 years old.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 September 2013 02:48

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'Drug & alcohol epidemic' in Lakes Region, says speaker at annual Public Health meeting

NORTHFIELD — The keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health told a gathering of some 125 people at the Merrimack Valley Railroad freight station Thursday morning that the Lakes Region has ''a drug and alcohol epidemic'' which is contributing to an increase in poverty and crime in the area.
Linda Paquette, executive director of the New Futures organization, which works to prevent and reduce alcohol and drug problems in New Hampshire, said that the problem is made worse by the lack of access to treatment programs for those in need.
''Only Texas is worse in terms of access to treatment,'' said Paquette who said that it is estimated that one on 10 people in Belknap County, some 6,567 people are in need of substance abuse treatment.
Paquette said that 64 percent of the people admitted to the N.H. State Hospital in the first six months of 2013 had a history of substance abuse but there is no substance abuse treatment at the facility and no Medicaid substance abuse benefit.
She said recent surveys of drug and alcohol use in the county show that it has higher rates than the rest of the state and that the problems have huge impacts on public safety, the criminal justice and health care systems and the economy.
Paquette noted that 70 percent of people admitted to prison have significant addition disorders and that 90 percent of those offenders returned to prison have drug or alcohol problems.
She said parolees and those on probation are mostly uninsured and must wait for an indigent care opening into a program, which often is longer than six weeks, and that most care provided in those situations is uncompensated, which keeps providers from meeting the demand for services.
Paquette said that increasing access to treatment is a major priority, which full funding of the state's Alcohol Fund and expanding Medicaid coverage would help accomplish.
She singled out State Senator Jeanie Forrester of Meredith for having raised awareness among her colleagues of the Alcohol Fund, which is supposed to be paid for by a tax on alcohol sales but has never been fully funded.
Paquette said that strong leadership and a focused community response which includes public-private collaboration are needed to bring the alcohol abuse problem under control. She said a recent study by economist Brian Gottlob estimated the economic impact of excessive alcohol consumption is $1.15 billion a year.
The organization presented its first annual Public Health Champion Awards. Winners were:
Workplace - Meredith Village Savings Bank
Community - Lakes Region Food Network
Individual – Richard and Carol Wallace of Alton.
The Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health was presented with the Military Leadership Award from Jo Moncher, bureau chief of community-based military programs for the NH Department of Health and Human Services, for its work on behalf of military families.

Caption for PPHaward pix

Lisa Morris, executive director of the Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health, and Sally Minkow, president of the board of directors of the LRPPH, accept the Military Leadership Award from Jo Moncher, bureau chief of community-based military programs for the NH Department of Health and Human Services. The organization was honored for its work on behalf of New Hampshire military service personnel. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Friday, 27 September 2013 02:45

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Wheelchair bound youth struck by car in - 121 sidewalkcar

MEREDITH — A wheelchair-bound local youth was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia by Stewart's ambulance yesterday evening after he was struck by a car while crossing Main Street in a crosswalk at 5:17 p.m.

Police Sgt. Robert Chance said the boy's injuries appeared not to be life-threatening.

He said the youth was near the corner of Main and Lake Street by the Public Library when a car driven by Kenneth Brady, 47, of Corliss Hill Road struck him.

Chance said Brady was unable to stop before hitting the boy but was able to stop his 2009 Toyota Corolla while it was still in the crosswalk.

Police said neither drugs, alcohol, nor cell phone use were factors in what Chance called an accident.



Last Updated on Friday, 27 September 2013 02:35

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Speaker at Alton forum sees workforce housing initiative as conspiracy by federal & state agencies to take control of local land use

ALTON — For the second time in as many weeks, more than 75 people crowded into the Gilman Museum on Wednesday night to voice their opinions, apprehensions and suspicions that an initiative to bring the town into compliance with a state statute requiring municipalities to provide opportunities to develop so-called workforce housing represents a sinister ploy by federal and state agencies to rewrite local zoning ordinances and trample private property rights.

"What I've not heard tonight is anything about the impact of workforce housing on Alton," said Bob Longabaugh as the meeting drew to a close.

"Workforce housing is part of a bigger picture," warned Ken Eyring of Windham, the featured speaker at the second of two forums hosted by the Alton Business Association. He explained that workforce housing is but one aspect of Granite State Future, a program funded and overseen by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) and managed by the nine regional planning commissions in the state.

Stressing that the program "bypasses our elected representatives," he said that it caters to those protected against discrimination by the federal Fair Housing Act, including racial, ethnic and religious groups as well as low and moderate income households. He cited a document from HUD that referred to developing strategies to "reduce or eliminate barriers" to fair housing, which included New Hampshire's "strong tradition of private property rights and hostility to planning and zoning."

Eyring noted that Alton accepted a grant from the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA), which in turn accepted funds from HUD under an agreement that authorizes HUD to "interpret" the results of the work funded by the grant. He claimed that the agreement between HUD and the NHHFA applies to Alton, which is subject to HUD's oversight.

Referring to establishment of regional planning commissions in 1969, State Rep. Jane Cormier (R-Alton) said that was when the federal government began influencing local planning decisions. The regional planning commissions, she continued, "are not about municipalities working together but are part of a much grander plan." Cormier spoke of federal agencies "bypassing our Legislature and going into our communities to change our zoning laws."

"Your representation in Concord is being usurped," Cormier declared, vowing to file legislation that would do away with regional planning commissions, which she described as "huge, bloated, corrupt" organizations. "Our zoning ordinance shouldn't be manipulated by anyone," she insisted. "It's definitely a local control issue."

A week earlier she called for repeal of the workforce housing statute and this week repeated "this has got to go."

Cormier received a warm welcome from Linda Hart, who said that along with others "we're going to go on the road to as many towns as we can to tell them 'wake up!' We'll tell them why we don't like workforce housing and don't want regional planning commissions," she said. "People are waking up all over the state."

The third featured presenter, Ric Perreault, who operates a business in Rochester and owns a lakefront home in Alton, suggested that rather than enabling workforce housing, an article should be put to Town Meeting to "get rid of the town planner." He warned that in Alton as in Rochester so-called workforce housing would become subsidized housing.

When town officials present at the meeting were asked what they thought of what they heard, Tom Hoopes, vice-chairman of the Planning Board and a member of the Zoning Amendment Committee considering the question of workforce housing, replied that he heard "a great deal of confusion."

Hoopes explained that the only way to adopt, repeal or amend a zoning ordinance was by a vote of Town Meeting, dismissing suggestions that federal agencies could set local zoning policy. Likewise, he said that speakers displayed "a total misunderstanding of the regional planning commissions." He said that he represented Alton on the Lakes Region Planning Commission and found that instead of imposing policies on municipalities, the staff of the commission collected data and conducted research to assist them in addressing local issues. "You need real honest answers and you're not getting them," he cautioned.

"You can say that again," retorted one of his many critics.

"I think there's a lot of ignorance out there and only a few of us on top of things," said another man, after expressing misgivings about Granite State Future, workforce housing and Common Core.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 September 2013 02:32

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