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$100k bail holding man LPD calls 'significant' drug dealer

LACONIA — A man who splits his time between his wife and children in Massachusetts and his girlfriend on Gale Avenue was held on $100,000 cash-only bail after appearing yesterday in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division on drug charges.

Roger R. Perkins, Jr. 31, who has listed addresses in both Methuen, Mass and Laconia, is charged with possession of cocaine and crack cocaine with the intent to distribute them. Police estimated he had as much as two ounces of cocaine in various forms inside his glove box.

The Police Department issued a statement indicating it viewed Perkins as "a dealer of significant amounts of illegal drugs in the Laconia area."

Police affidavits filed with the court said that city drug detectives applied for a warrant to search Perkins, his car, and an apartment at 23 Gale Street, including any of its occupants.

Around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, police said a surveillance team saw Perkins, who was alone in the car, enter the city driving a black Acura MDX with Massachusetts license plates. They followed the car to 23 Gale Avenue where they detained Perkins.

Police searched the car and obtained a key to the locked glove box that allegedly contained the cocaine.

They found a second baggie with a glassy substance and white powdery residue yet to be identified.

Once inside the apartment, police found two bags of psilocybin mushrooms, a bag of hashish, numerous drug paraphernalia. They also found two safes they were unable to open and two handguns — one of which was loaded.

Police said the apartment had what they described as a "sophisticated surveillance system with cameras both on the exterior of the building and throughout the interior of the building." The cameras were attached to an iPad and televisions throughout the apartment and were digitally recorded.

In court yesterday, Prosecutor Jim Sawyer asked for high cash bail saying Perkins has convictions for drugs, second-degree assault, and was deemed an habitual offender for driving purposes. He said he hadn't appeared in any New Hampshire Courts since 2008. Sawyer said there was some information from Massachusetts but he hadn't verified all of it yet.

Perkins's public defenders asked for $5,000 cash bail saying he would be hard-pressed to raise that amount. They also said he had family in New Hampshire with whom he would stay and had promised not to leave the state.

The defense also said Perkins supported his wife and children in Massachusetts and was working in an overhead aerial imaging company in the Boston area until it closed in November of 2013 and he became unemployed.

His attorney argued this was the first trouble he had been in since 2008 and was trying to get his life back in order.

Judge Jim Carroll said he agreed with the state's contention that Perkins was a danger to the community and ordered the $100,000 cash bail with a hearing to determine the source of the funds should he be able to post it.

His Laconia girlfriend, Windyanne Plunkett, is also charged with one count of possession of a controlled drug. She was released on personal recognizance bail the day she was arrested.

Affidavits said she described herself to police as Perkins's girlfriend but told police she didn't know he was married. She said she knew he lived in Massachusetts.

Perkins is scheduled for a probable cause hearing in Circuit Court on April 3 at 8:30 a.m.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 March 2014 02:34

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BHS Student Council questioning use of Native American images

BELMONT — Members of the Belmont High School Student Council are hosting a public forum in April to discuss the school's mascot and whether or not it is culturally insensitive to Native Americans.

Principal Dan Clary said yesterday that the topic of discussion will be if having an American Indian chief wearing a headdress was an appropriate visual representation of the Red Raiders mascot.

Clary said the issue came up during a discussion among the members of the Student Council and the idea was to host a forum in which residents, alumni, current students, and others can voice their opinions. The forum is scheduled for April 16 in the High School cafeteria at 7 p.m.

Clary said yesterday that the initiative originated entirely from the students and not from any outside influences.

He said the Student Council is comprised of students representing all four grades at Belmont High School.

Clary said he has worked at Belmont High School for 10 years and said he doesn't recall any similar discussions during his time but said he believes they have occurred prior to his tenure.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 March 2014 02:25

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Report ranks Belknap 6th healthiest of N.H.'s counties

CONCORD — Belknap County was ranked as the sixth healthiest among the 10 counties in the state by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, which for the past five years has measured the health of all the counties in the 50 states.

The "County Health Rankings" apply two broad sets of criteria: health outcomes, which measure the length and quality of life, and health factors, or the individual behaviors, social, economic and environmental conditions conditions, and clinical resources that affect health. The different elements are weighted to determine the final rankings.

Belknap County ranks sixth in health outcomes, seventh in health factors and sixth overall. The county tracks the state average by most but not all measures.

The rate of premature death, defined as years of life lost before age 75, in the county, is 6,086 per 100,000 people, which is 15-percent above the average of 5,267 per 100,000 people for the entire state. The number of individuals surveyed reporting they were in poor or fair health was 12 percent in the county compared to 11 percent in the state, Likewise, 3.6-percent of those surveyed reported mental health issues, slightly more than the 3.3 percent for the state as a whole. However, low birth rate deliveries represented 6.3-percent of births in the county, but 6.8 percent in the state.

The incidence of smoking and obesity among adults in the county, 18-percent and 27-percent respectively, matches the state averages. But, intoxicated or impaired drivers are involved in 41 percent of all fatal accidents in the county compared to 32 percent in the state. The rate of violent crime in the county, 200 per 100,000 people, also exceeds the state figure of 172 per 100,000 people. The teen birth rate in the county — 24 per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19, is seven points above the state average.

While 14-percent of the children in the state live in poverty, in Belknap County the portion is one-fifth, and a third of all children live in single-parent households compared to 27-percent throughout the state.

The report ranks Rockingham, Grafton, Hillsborough Merrimack and Cheshire as the five healthiest counties, and Carroll, Strafford, Sullivan and Coos as the four least healthiest.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 12:33

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Laconia Airport exempted from Gilford vendor fees

GILFORD — Selectmen last night voted unanimously to waive the vendor fees for the Laconia Airport's third annual Community Day scheduled for June 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Airport Manager Diane Cooper-Terrill told selectmen that there are about 12 very local vendors who will be setting up displays at the "Wings, Water, and Wheels" open house event and the airport has had to charge them $35 to set up their displays.

Cooper-Terrill told selectmen she didn't think most of them would be able to afford to continue if the had to also pay a $65 vendor fee assessed by the town.

She also asked the board to consider a permanent waiver for the Laconia Airport for all future vendor fees, noting that Gunstock Mountain Resort, Ellacoya State park and Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook all enjoy similar waivers.

While the board didn't have any objections to the request, Town Administrator Scott Dunn said the addition of the airport to the list of permanent exemptions would require a change in the overall policy.

Selectmen asked Dunn to reword the policy and return to the board at its next meeting with a draft for their potential approval.

In other business, selectmen reorganized the board as a result of the March elections, naming John O'Brien as chair, Gus Benevides as vice-chair and Richard "Rags" Grenier as secretary.

O'Brien will be the selectman's representative to the Planning Board while Grenier will be the selectman's representative to the Budget Committee.

Benevides will be the selectman's representative to the Laconia Airport Authority, the Heritage Committee and the Historic Preservation Committee. He will be the negotiator with AFCSME — the union that represents the Public Works employees.

Grenier will also represent the board on the Teamsters negotiating committee, the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Committee, and the Capital Improvement Committee.

He was also named liaison to the Belknap County Corrections Jail Planning Committee.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 March 2014 01:25

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