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Double-duty fire chief

03-21 Ken Erickson sworn in in Belmont

Belmont Fire Chief Ken Erickson shakes hands with the Belmont Selectman Chairman Ruth Mooney following his swearing-in ceremony at the Corner Meeting House Monday. In a historic move, Erickson, who is the current fire chief in Laconia as well, will assume the chief duties of neighboring Belmont under a contract for chief services signed by the town of Belmont and the city of Laconia. (Laconia Daily Sun Photo - Gail Ober)

Arrest made in Airport Plaza vandalism

GILFORD — Police have arrested a local man following an investigation into acts of vandalism at the Airport Plaza overnight between Friday, March 5, and Saturday, March 6.

Louis Allen Sullivan, 18, of 25 Old Lakeshore Road has been charged with one count of criminal mischief, a Class B felony, and released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail pending his arraignment in 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division on May 5.

Lt. Kristian Kelley of the Gilford Police said that a number of windows were broken at both the Gilford Cinema 8 and the Gilford House of Pizza as well as at a vacant unit of the shopping plaza. He said that images from surveillance cameras, particularly of the clothing worn by the suspect, led police to Sullivan, who was arrested without incident at his home on Monday evening. Officers executed a search of Sullivan's home, which Kelley expected would lead to additional charges of criminal mischief.

– Michael Kitch

Death at Golden View Nursing Home ruled a homicide


MEREDITH — The New Hampshire Attorney General yesterday confirmed that the death at Golden View Health Care Center last week is being investigated as a homicide.

According to a statement by the Office of the Attorney General, law enforcement officers were called to Golden View on the evening of Wednesday, March 16 where they learned that nursing staff intervened upon finding a male resident, Donald Sleeper, 87, assaulting a female resident, Barbara Whittier, 82, in her room. Despite emergency medical treatment, Whittier died that same day.

After an autopsy was performed the next day, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner determined that the cause of death was hypertensive and coronary heart disease "with a contributing cause of attempted strangulation." The statement issued by the Office of the Attorney General read "the manner of death was homicide."

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin said that Sleeper suffers from Alzheimer's disease.

"We are conducting a criminal investigation to determine whether or not to bring charges against Mr. Sleeper," he said, adding that in light of his condition, "It is unlikely that criminal charges will be brought against him." He stressed that "we are looking at all the circumstances surrounding the incident and will not make any decisions until our investigation is complete."

Sleeper came to Golden View last fall and after the incident was taken from Golden View to another medical facility.

"This is a very difficult situation for both families," Strelzin said.