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'Marshmallow 'triathletes' raise $5,000 for Child Advocacy Center

LACONIA — Seventy-one experienced and not-so-experienced endurance athletes from six states participated in Sunday's first Marshmallow Man Sprint Triathlon to benefit the Greater Lakes Child Advocacy Center (GLCAC). Bruce Butterworth of Seabrook covered the three part course in 1:09:16 to win the mens' competition and Kayle Shapero of Boston came home in front of all the other women in 1:17:17.

GLCAC Program Director Meghan Noyes said her organization will net about $5,000 from the event and plans to do it bigger and better next year.

A sprint triathlon consists of a course that covers about one-quarter the distance of the renowned "Ironman" events. Both contests have three legs, with sprinters at the Marshmallow Man event starting with a half-mile swim in Lake Opechee, followed by a 14-bile bike ride and then a 5-k run.

Jamie Poire of Laconia was the fastest male finisher (1:18:24) among the locals entered — he finished fifth — and Deidre Cullen (1:18:06) of Gilford finished second on the female side. Ron Poitras (1:20:44) finished eighth and Whitney Paine (1:32:38) of Moultonborough was fifth and Lauren Cooper (1:36:16) of Laconia finished ninth.

There were only three entries in the team division (each athlete on a team completes one leg of the race) and Team Kokernack/Eckel/Folcick had the fastest time of 1:12:07.

Noyes said the event was developed and run with the help of several volunteers from the Lakes Region community, Laconia Police Department/Gilford Police/Belmont Police, members of Lakes Region CERT, Laconia Athletic and Swim Club and MC Cycle. Sponsors for the event included Metrocast, Laconia Athletic and Swim Club, Lakes Region Triathlon Club, Hart's Homemade Slush, T&A Gunnery, Laconia Police Relief, Gilford Police Relief, Franklin Savings Bank, MC Cycle, Laconia Ice Company, Rowell's Sewer and Drain, Buster the Balloon Twister and numerous community volunteers the day of the event.

The Greater Lakes Child Advocacy Center provides services free of charge to all child sexual abuse, physical abuse or who are witnesses to violent crimes, such as homicide or domestic violence. In addition, the GLCAC provides community outreach and awareness through workshops/trainings.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 03:04

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Planners happy about plans for new, affordable apartments downtown

LACONIA — The Planning Board last night unanimously approved the proposal by the Laconia Area Community Land Trust to construct a three-story, affordable housing apartment building on the lot tucked between lower Union Avenue and the Winnipesaukee River last occupied by the F.W.Webb Company, a wholesale plumbing and heating firm.

Following the vote, Warren Hutchins, chairman of the board, congratulated Linda Harvey, executive director of the LACLT, for pursuing "a dynamic project" that would provide "a real shot in the arm for downtown."

The boundaries of the 1.87-acre parcel describe a triangle, with 685 feet of frontage on the river — 598 feet above Avery Dam — representing its longest side and bordered on the other two sides by Arch Street and Union Avenue. However, its frontage on Arch Street is limited by a 0.34-acre lot that runs more than half the length of the street from its intersection with Union Avenue owned by Combined Investments, LLC of Milton, Massachusetts, which houses two apartment buildings. The footbridge below the dam links the lot to the Rotary Park, Belknap Mill, One Mill Plaza and City Hall.

There are two buildings on the site, the original mill of 18,597-square-feet, built around 1850 at the river's edge, and a newer outbuilding of 5,154-square-feet near the corner of Arch Street and River Street. Both will be demolished to make way for the project.

Kevin Leonard of Northpoint Engineering, LLC of Pembroke told the board that the LACLT plans to demolish both existing structures on the lot and replace them with a new building will consist of two wings, paralleling Union Avenue and Arch Street and joined in the middle to form a "V." He said that the ground floor of the building will be at "river level" and the top floor even with Union Avenue.

The building will house 12 one-bedroom units, each 675-square-feet and 20 two-bedroom units of 864-square-feet. Like all the projects undertaken by the LACLT, the units will be offered at affordable rents and property taxes will be paid on the apartment building. A parking lot with an entrance at the corner of Arch Street and River Street will have spaces for 30 vehicles and a smaller lot along Union Avenue will have another 6 spaces. The lower level will be faced with brick and the upper levels with vinyl siding.

Leonard said that a stretch of the downtown riverwalk would be designed and built across the lot as part of the project, with the cost shared between the LACLT and the city.

Harvey estimated the cost of the project at approximately $4 million, but cautioned that this is not a firm figure. She said that the process of assembling the financing package the acquisition of the property and construction of the building is underway but not yet complete.

Although no one spoke against the project, the board raised two issues. First, Leonard explained that the lot included a parking area with a dozen spaces on Union Avenue, which are used by the owner of 100 Union Avenue, which abuts the parcel to the south, under the terms of an easement. He said that the LACLT is seeking to purchase the easement and, if successful, would incorporate this piece of the parcel into the project, but otherwise would not improve the area.

Jerry Mailloux insisted that the LACLT improve the entire property, stressing that the land along Union Avenue is an eyesore. He conceded the parking lot need not be reconstructed but said that the area should be landscaped and lighted to match the remainder of the frontage on Union Avenue. If the LACLT succeeds in purchasing the easement, Mailloux said that the stretch of a retaining wall on that section of the property should be rebuilt to match its counterpart on the rest of the site.

Second, the LACLT asked the board to waive the requirement to install a sidewalk on Arch Street, where it is not practicable. Although the board agreed, Don Richards said that since the project would increase traffic in the neighborhood, the safety of pedestrians, especially children, would be at greater risk. To address the issue the board denied the request for a waiver, but rather than require a sidewalk to be built in a specific location directed the LACLT to set aside funds for the construction of sidewalks in appropriate places in the neighborhood to enhance public safety.

The board granted the LACLT's request to waive impacts which, with an 80-perecent discount for an infill project, amounted to $11,140.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 02:34

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Police found 32 ax wounds on Belmont mother & son

LACONIA — One of the lead New Hampshire State Police homicide detectives testified yesterday at Shawn Carter's probable cause hearing that his mother, Priscilla Carter, 59, died from 10 separate wounds — nine that appeared to blows from an ax and one that could have been a knife wound, under one eye. She had been stomped or kicked repeatedly and had multiple broken bones.

His brother, Timothy Carter, 39, died from what Det. Sgt. Joseph Hebert said were 23 chop wounds. Both were found in the same room at 20 Sunset Drive in the Winnisquam section of Belmont, a room he said appeared to be Timothy Carter's bedroom.

Shawn Carter, 30, formerly of the same address, is accused of allegedly chopping them to death between 10 p.m. on May 23 and 2 a.m. on May 24 according to Hebert's recounting yesterday of what he was told by the coroner.

Hebert's testimony was taken in 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division in front of Judge Jim Carroll.

Shawn Carter was apprehended near his home, on Rte. 3, around 2 p.m. on May 24 — about three hours after police found the bodies and within a few hours from when they issued a be-on-the-lookout-for alert for him. The BOLO, recalled Hebert, contained information that Carter was likely driving his mother's red Monte Carlo and his drivers license had been suspended.

After getting a search warrant for the car, triggered by what police said was a knife in plain view in the map pocket of a car door, a yellow-handled ax similar to the one Shawn Carter bought at Walmart the week before the murder was found in the trunk. Police also recovered an atlas (map), and a black duffle bag in the back seat containing men's clothing, a second knife, and what Hebert said was a woman's wallet that police determined was Priscilla Carter's.

He was wearing work boots that Hebert said had human blood evidence on one of them. There was also blood evidence on the ax and on the hat he was wearing at the time of his arrest. He also said that most of the blood in the room belonged to Timothy Carter although blood belonging to Priscilla Carter was also found.

Carter was initially charged with operating without a license and, after being held for seven weeks on $200 cash-only bail, was convicted in the 6th Circuit Court, Franklin Division at a trial in early July. He was charged with the homicide on the day of his trial for operating after suspension.

Yesterday N.H. Senior Asst. Attorney General Jeff Strelzin questioned Hebert, who said that when Belmont Police Officer Patrick Riley responded to a call to the home made by a co-worker who was concerned for Priscilla's well-being, he found Priscilla and Timothy Carter and they were "obviously deceased".

Taking those in the courtroom through the steps, Hebert said the door from the breezeway was "ajar" and "unlocked" and there were no obvious signs of forced entry.

Herbert said Riley's report indicated he entered the home after knocking and identifying himself. He said all of the doors to various rooms were open except one. He said he looked in all the open doors and neither saw nor heard anything.

Hebert said when Riley opened a bedroom door he made the gruesome discovery. There was a considerable amount of blood in the bedroom including "splatter," said Hebert, but there was no other blood, signs of disturbance, or criminal activity in the house other than what was in the bedroom.

Hebert said the medical examiner reported the bodies were not "manipulated" very much and, when asked by Carter's defense lawyer Robin Wight-Davis, he said he was "fairly confident" Riley didn't see the stab wound in Priscilla Carter's face who, he said, was found face-down.

"There was massive trauma," he said.

He said he didn't know if anyone else at the house saw the apparent stab wound and said a different state police detective was the first to notice it. He said fire personnel were called but he didn't think they disturbed the bodies.

Hebert was also questioned about the medical examiner's report, the initial state of the bodies, and information about Carter's arrest. He testified about some witness statements and a surveillance tape that showed someone purported to be Carter at Cumberland Farms convenience Store on Court Street in Laconia just after midnight on May 24.

Hebert said the man in the surveillance was wearing a light colored cap that was very similar to the one Carter was wearing when he was arrested. Hebert said there were a few spots of on it that tested positive for human blood. He couldn't be sure if Carter was wearing the same clothes when he was stopped by police as the person who he said is Carter was wearing on the surveillance tape from the store. He bought, according to Hebert, cigarettes, gas and a map. He also said Carter appeared to have trouble with the gas pump.

Investigators interviewed a man who allegedly saw Carter at Cumberland Farms who knew him. Hebert said the man told him Carter said he had "stolen" his mother's car.

Yesterday's much anticipated probable cause hearing was attended by about 15 of Priscilla Carter's friends or family, who sat together in the last two rows of the court house. Many could be seen wiping away tears as Hebert revealed details of the slaying under Stelzin's direct examination.

A probable cause hearing is not a trial and the typical rules of evidence are not relevant, meaning hearsay or what another person told police is allowed.

Strelzin's objective, which he accomplished, was to present Judge Carroll with just enough information so that he could determine there was cause to justify Carter's arrest and the state could continue to hold him without bail.

Davis succeeded in getting a preliminary glimpse into some of the state's evidence before actual discovery, a few of their witnesses accounts, their alleged time line, and the location and condition of the house. She called no witnesses of her own.

The next step is for Strelzin to present his case to a Belknap County grand jury for possible indictment. The next grand jury is scheduled to sit in late August although it is not known if the case will be presented then.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 01:36

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Losers of 7 in a row, Muskrats season ends in Maine

LACONIA — The Muskrats season ended Saturday night in Sanford, Maine, where Laconia was beaten 4-2 in a play-in game to determine the fourth and final representative of the NECLB's Eastern Division playoffs. Laconia and the Mainers had ended the regular season with identical 21-23 records.

With a roster depleted by late-season injuries, the Muskrats lost their last seven games, enabling Sanford to get in the hunt.

Sanford advanced to a first-round playoff series with defending league champion Newport and the Mainers were taken out in two games. Newport starts a best of three series with Mystic on Wednesday to determine the Eastern Division champion.

Vermont has already advanced to the Western Division final and will play the winner of the Keene-Holyoke series that is tied at one game each.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 03:39

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