Meredith may put question of Bike Week fees on ballot

MEREDITH —Instituting fees for vendors wanting to sell goods or food during the annual Motorcycle Week may go to the residents of Meredith to decide. Selectmen invited the public to give their input at their regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 4, at 4:30 p.m. If the proposal proceeds as planned, an article would be placed on the warrant for Town Meeting in March.

Following the precedent set by Laconia, the ordinance would require all transient vendors, other than nonprofit organizations soliciting donations toward a charitable purpose, to be licensed by the town at a fee of $450 generally and $500 for food services for the entire event, which would entitle them to operate from noon on the first Friday until midnight on the last Sunday of the rally. Vendors operating without a license could be fined up to $500 for each day of unlawful operation.

The board has been weighing the issue of vendor fees since August, when it tabled a proposal in the teeth of stiff opposition from Laconia Harley-Davidson and Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant, the two major hosts of vendors during the rally. Anne Deli, president of Laconia Harley-Davidson, warned "We will lose vendors" at that time, and asked "Does Meredith really want to put one more nail in the coffin of Motorcycle Week?"

The proposal was revived during a budget workshop earlier this month and the public hearing was announced when the board met this week. Town Manager Phil Warren explained that following the hearing the selectmen will decide whether or not to recommend a warrant article authorizing the town to collect vendor fees to Town Meeting. He said that although the selectmen may have the authority to adopt an ordinance, legal counsel has suggested a vote of Town Meeting "would be the cleanest way to do it."

This week, Warren told the board that all municipalities hosting motorcycle rallies collect vendor fees to defray the cost of public services, primarily police patrols, fire protection, medical services and trash collection. He explained that as Laconia Motorcycle Week has become more of a regional event, the costs to Meredith of deploying additional police and fire personnel has grown.

In August, Warren told the board that this year the town incurred expenses of $18,017 during the event, which consisted of $7,149 for police overtime, $5,868 for fire service and $5,000 in dues for the town's membership in the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association. Revenues amounted to $660, which represented special use permits issued to Laconia Harley-Davidson and Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant at $330 apiece.

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In Good Health-mall Steps Toward a Healthier You in 2016

By Carolyn Muller

How have you pledged to better yourself in 2016? Are you making a New Year's resolution to lose weight by eating healthier or beginning an exercise program? Even a few extra pounds can lead to many health problems including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and even cancer. So setting our sites on eating healthier and losing some weight is a great place to start! However starting out with unrealistic goals can make the process seem unreachable and we often give up after only a couple weeks of trying.

The experts say that the way to achieve long term success is to start small. Making small, manageable changes over time will lead you toward your long term goal of weight loss! Here are ten tips for beginning a weight loss journey.

1. Take your time. Aim to lose about 1 to 2 pounds a week. It's safer to lose weight slowly.

2. Pay attention to portion sizes. Never eat out of the bag or box, or drink straight from the bottle. Always put food on a plate and pour your drink into a glass.

3. Stay away from sugary drinks. One less sugary drink a day can result in a 10 pound weight loss per year.

4. Prepare more meals at home. It is easier to control what you eat and home-cooked meals are usually more nutritious and less expensive.

5. Choose carefully when eating out. Watch out for large portions. Share a main course with a friend or take half home.

6. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

7. Feel full on fewer calories. Choose high-fiber foods: fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole-grain cereals, breads and pasta.

8. Choose healthier snacks. Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables instead of crackers, cookies or chips.

9. Do not skip breakfast. Skipping meals can make you hungrier and more likely to overeat.

10. Get moving. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week, such as a brisk walk.

Changing our weight is not something we can do in a hurry. If we take small steps over time, we can make big changes. If you are looking for more resources on weight loss, LRGHealthcare offers a

wide variety of programs, classes and individual counseling to help you along the way. For more information on LRGHealthcare's Weight Institute of NH programs and services, or for Community

Education classes visit or call 527-7120.

Carolyn Muller is a Community Health Improvement Specialist at LRGHealthcare.



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Charges vacated in heroin bust because deputy faces his own criminal charges

LACONIA — The arrest of a former sheriff's deputy has led to other cases being dropped or overturned.

County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen agreed to vacate the conviction of a Groton man who had pleaded guilty on June 3 to one misdemeanor count of being in control of a vehicle where drugs were being illegally kept because the arresting sheriff's deputy, Justin Blanchette, is facing an unrelated charge himself of raping a prisoner.

Steven Moore, 35, of Groton was one of three men found by Blanchette in the Opechee Park parking lot on Nov. 14, 2014. According to initial news accounts, Moore was accompanied by his brother Nicholas, who was never indicted, and Jack H. Lynch, 22, of Holderness.

According to the motion to vacate the charge against Moore, Guldbrandsen assented to the defense's request to vacate because she agreed that if the information about Blanchette's alleged actions and ultimate indictment had been known, Moore never would have pleaded guilty.

Moore's attorney also noted that he had been doing very well while on probation and was "doing a wonderful job of maintaining his sobriety." Belknap County Judge James O'Neill agreed to vacate Moore's guilty plea on Dec. 15.

Lynch was indicted for one special felony count of possession of a controlled drug – heroin. Although his trial was working its way through the system and there were some suppression arguments surrounding the towing of the car, Guldbrandsen dropped the case against him for the same reason – she couldn't put Blanchette on the stand as a police witness.

According to paperwork obtained from the Belknap County Superior Court, the case began when Blanchette noticed a car in the parking lot and said in his report that when the three male occupants noticed him, they began moving around and seemed to be hiding things.

As he approached the car and introduced himself, Blanchette said he noticed a cord wrapped around passenger Lynch's arm and later allegedly admitted he had put a needle underneath him. When Blanchette asked if there were any weapons in the car, he was allegedly told there was a knife.

Blanchette was indicted for one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault in October and is free on $5,000 cash bail. He is scheduled for a dispositional hearing on Jan. 12.

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