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Barnstead woman run over in her driveway

BARNSTEAD — A Pittsfield woman has been charged with driving after suspension and driving with a suspended registration after she allegedly backed over a Rabbot Lane woman.

Police said they were called to Rabbot Lane and found the victim lying in her driveway and Sierra Rollins, 27, of Pittsfield standing next to a Toyota Camry.

Barnstead Fire officials requested a helicopter from Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital in Lebanon  be sent to the scene and the victim was flown there for treatment. As of 11:45 a.m. yesterday, the victim was alive said Barnstead Police.

Rollins was released on personal recognizance bail and ordered to appear in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division on October 17. Police continue to investigate and say additional charges could be forthcoming.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 03:19

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5-year-old who wandered away from Gilmanton home found 3 miles away

GILMANTON — A 5-year-old Brookline, N.H. girl is back in the safe arms of her family after she wandered away from a home here that her parents were visiting Sunday afternoon and a number of family, friends and public safety officials, spent the next seven hours looking for her. She was found hiding in a barn in Loudon, several miles away.

Police Chief Joe Collins said the child strayed from Rollins Pond Road shortly after 12:30 p.m. He said her family was visiting friends and all of them looked for her briefly before but notified police at 12:43 p.m.

"It was a terrifying seven hours," said Collins who said his officers, officers from the N.H. Department of Fish and Game, the State Police, the Gilmanton Fire Department and numerous friends and family began looking for her.

He said a team of K-9's from the New England Canine Search Team had just arrived when 10 or 12 volunteers from a farm on Blake Road in Loudon found the child hiding in their barn. Officials estimate she walked about 3 miles.

"She was smart to try and seek shelter," Collins said, noting that the temperatures dropped into the 30s Sunday night.

He said after police learned she was safe, he drove to the Blake Road farm to bring her back to Gilmanton. After he strapped her into the back seat of his cruiser he said she looked at him and said, "You know I'm supposed to be in a car seat."

He said he told her he didn't think Mommy would mind this one time but said she reminded him two more times as they were returning to Gilmanton.

"I guess she didn't want me to get in any trouble," Collins said, describing her a "cute as a button."

Collins said the family did the right thing by calling them right away. He said the sooner authorities learn of a missing child the sooner they can muster the resources they will need to find him or her.

"I'm just grateful we got a happy ending," describing the reunion as "quite an emotional thing."



Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 03:16

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Prosecutor drops 'with death resulting' charge against alleged dealer

LACONIA — The Belknap County Attorney's Office will not prosecute a Manchester man for allegedly supplying the heroin that killed a 22-year-old woman when she overdosed in late March of 2011. Jury selection for his trial was scheduled to begin yesterday.

Alfredo Gonzales, 46, of Center Street was charged with one special felony count of sales of heroin with death resulting for allegedly providing the heroin to Karen Mikkelson, who sold it to Ashley Denty, who died of an overdose in 2011. He still faces a separate count of sales of heroin but the potential sentence for sales is less than that for sales "with death resulting". A jury was selected yesterday to hear that case and opening arguments are scheduled for September 16.

Mikkelson, Steven Marando, and Amanda Kelly, all formerly of Laconia, pleaded guilty in their roles in Denty's death and are either serving or have served sentences in the Belknap County House of Corrections or the N.H. State Prison.

As of Friday, Mikkelson and Marando were listed as people who are scheduled to testify against Gonzales for the state.

In a motion filed last week by Gonzales's attorney Mark Sisti and argued last Friday, Sisti asked the court to dismiss both charges against his client because he recently learned the Laconia Police were investigating a different person who claimed on Facebook that he was the one who actually administered the heroin to Denty.

Sisti said the information from the new investigation could exonerate his client but was withheld from him until August 29. He said the investigation by Laconia Police began in March and the County Attorney's Office was aware of it in July but chose to tell him about it less than one week before jury selection.

After listening to both sides, Judge James O'Neill ordered on Friday that jury selection would continue as planned. He agreed to give Asst. County Atty. Carley Ahern until yesterday to answer Sisti's motions.

O'Neill heard additional arguments yesterday but has not ruled on the final motion to dismiss the sales of heroin charge.

Gonzales has one Texas conviction for selling drugs. Earlier this year, a jury found him not guilty of selling drugs in an unrelated case to a Laconia Police confidential informant. That trial lasted three days and the jury rendered their not guilty verdict in less than an hour.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 03:11

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City manager reports positive economic signs

LACONIA — There are indications of positive economic signs evident in Laconia, City Manager Scott Myers told the City Council last night.
Building activity, motor vehicle sales and property tax collection are all encouraging trends that Myers reported.
Myers said that from April 1 to Aug. 31 the city issued building permits for construction that, all told, is expected to add $12.5 million to the city's property tax base, compared to $6.2 million in new building value over the same peiord last year and $7.5 million in 2011. The manager said that a majority of the $12.5 million was associated with two projects: $6 million for the Walmart expansion on the Laconia/Gilford line and $1 million for a new auto parts store being built at Court and Fair streets.
He also reported a noticeable up-tick in motor vehicle sales. "(Local) auto dealers are seeing the best sales in several years," he said. Both private individuals and businesses modernizing their fleets were contributing to the higher volume of sales, he added.

Laconia's current budget projects the city will take in just over $2 million from motor vehicle registrations. Vehicles that have been registered since the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1 have resulted in $374,482 in revenue. An increase in the number of new vehicles registered means more revenue because the registration fee is based on a vehicle's model year and its original factory list price.
Myers also reported that property tax collections are running at 95.38 percent for the 2013 first-half collection, which he called the highest collection level in recent years.
In other business, Myers reported that the public's response to the city's new mandatory recycling program continues to be generally good, but more progress is needed. He told the council that the amount of recyclables that are being picked up curbside every other week now amounts to about 23 percent of the total trash haul for a two week period. He hoped that the level of participation would increase in the coming weeks.
The council approved funds for improvements to municipal facilities. It unanimously approved an $850,000 bond issue to fund replacing the surface of the Smith Track at Opechee Park and for construction at the Weirs Community Park. The work on the Weirs park is expected to cost $550,000, while the Smith Track project has a price tag of $300,000. The council also approved spending up to $80,000 to re-shingle the roofs on City Hall and the Leavitt Park and Tardif Park clubhouses, as well as to remove lead paint and repaint the Leavitt Park Clubhouse. The council rejected a suggestion that metal roofs be installed on the three buildings because that would have added more than $42,000 to the cost.
NOTES: The council unanimously approved making the intersection of Washington and School streets in Lakeport a 4-way stop. Washington Street resident Greg Elliott, in pressing for the change, said making traffic approaching from all directions stop before entering the intersection was necessary in view of the number of children living in the neighborhood as well as those using the playing fields at nearby Leavitt Park. "We're just looking to save a life," said Elliott. . . . . . City Councilor Bob Hamel (Ward 5) asked if there were steps the city could take to encourage owners of deteriorating buildings to take advantage of a tax incentive program which allows the city to abate a portion of their property tax in return for building improvements. Myers said the program applies to buildings in downtowns and village centers and that the improvements need to contribute the public good. Myers said he would look at the program in greater detail and report back to the council. . . . . . Myers reported that he had named Ken Malone to the board of the Laconia Housing Authority. Malone, a certified public accountant, will fill the 13 months remaining in the term of Ruth Stuart, who recently resigned. . . . . . Mayor Mike Seymour paid tribute to Bob Kingsbury who died Saturday. Seymour noted Kingsbury's military service which included combat duty during World War II in Europe, as well as serving a term as one of Laconia's representatives in state House of Representatives. Seymour extended condolences to Kingsbury's children and grandchildren. . . . . . The council approved transferring a lease for a hangar at the Laconia Airport from American Aviation Corp. to James and Eugene LaBrie.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 03:03

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