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Tilton man identified as victim of falling pine tree

LACONIA — Police yesterday identified the man who was struck and killed when high winds toppled a pine tree across Davidson Drive, near the boat club, at South Down Shores on Sunday afternoon as Paul Russell, 54, of Tilton.

According to a prepared statement, police officers and firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 4:13 p.m. where Officer Jonathan Howe found Russell, trapped beneath a large pine tree and covered with fallen limbs.  Fire Lieutenant Chad Vaillancourt said that firefighters cleared the limbs and debris only to find that Russell had already died from his injuries. He said that Russell, who was employed by Sonny and Sons Tree Service of Belmont, was working with another man to remove a pine tree that had fallen across the road when a second pine tree, standing near the first, snapped off about six feet above the ground and fell directly upon on him. Vaillancourt estimated the tree was approximately three feet in diameter.

Chet Cilley said that several of the villages at South Down Shores frequently hired Sonny and Sons Tree Service and the company was called when the tree blocked the roadway on Sunday.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 02:48

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Meredith Police Dept. observing ‘Grovember’

MEREDITH — To call attention to their support for men diagnosed with and fighting prostate cancer, officers from the Police Department have grown beards. The beards are part of Grovember — a nationwide program to call attention to prostate cancer.

In addition, the Meredith Police Association will donate $2,000 plus any and all contributions from their fund raiser to the prostate cancer research.

A blue ribbon of support has been added to each Meredith police cruiser.

The father of one of the department's officers is recovering from recent prostate cancer surgery and the police association chose prostate cancer research for one of their annual fund raisers.

The Meredith Police Association is financed strictly through fundraisers and donations. So far this year, Detective Corporal John Eichhorn said the MPA has donated to nearly $10,000 to various charities and local organizations.

In addition, the MPA purchases Christmas gifts for needy children in Meredith, hosts a toy drive, and provides money and gift cards to residents in need or for those who have suffered through a tragedy like a house fire.

Donations to the MPA and the Grovember Prostate Cancer awareness campaign can be made through the Meredith Police Association, P.O. Box 1366, Meredith, N.H. 03253 or by calling the Meredith Police at 279-4561.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 02:48

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Laconia DPW director raked over coals at council

LACONIA — Paul Moynihan, director of public works, was grilled by Councilor Henry Lipman (Ward 3), who chairs the Finance Committee, about his management of the Department of Public Works (DPW) fleet when the City Council met last night.

Lipman was surprised to learn that the DPW decided to keep four vehicles that he expected would be retired when the council authorized borrowing $170,000 to replace equipment in the 2014-2014 city budget. During discussion of the budget Lipman expressed concern about the cost of insuring and maintaining vehicles that had outlived their useful life.

Moynihan told the council that since 2008 the department had added 20 vehicles and a snow blower attachment and scrapped, traded or auctioned a dozen vehicles. Four of eight vehicles — two salt and sand trucks and two Bobcat sidewalk plows — represented net additions to the fleet. The other four vehicles — two new pickup trucks, a new street sweeper and a new dump truck — were intended as replacement vehicles, but Moynihan said that the department had retained the existing vehicles.

"I have problems with this," said Lipman, who reminded Moynihan that he had requested an analysis of the cost of insuring and maintaining vehicles designated for replacement.

Moynihan replied that the cost analysis was included in his report and that the four vehicles "more than paid for themselves." The pickup trucks were used by seasonal employees, he said, while the dump truck will serve as an extra plow truck if necessary as well as a source of spare parts. The old street sweeper, which costs $2,554 to retain, he claimed more than paid for itself by reducing the amount of contracted street cleaning services.

"Two street sweepers for a city our size seems pretty rich," Lipman remarked. "When we make an investment we need the whole picture," he continued. "I don't want to drive by Messer Street and see lots of equipment parked and not being used."

"We're very concerned about not keeping anything that's not paying for itself," Moynihan responded.

Lipman said that he wanted "a plan," and after assuring Moynihan there was nothing "personal" about his remarks, told him that he presented one plan to the council then chose to take a different course. "You need to come back to us," he said.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 02:48

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Laconia church again hosting Thanksgiving meal

LACONIA — Volunteers and staff at the Congregational Church of Laconia, United Church of Christ are spending the early part of the week preparing for the free 45th annual Hazel Duke Thanksgiving Dinner.

Beginning at 11:30 a.m. for hor d'oeuves and at noon for a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, the hope, said Rev. Paula Giles, is to serve about 150 meals.

"This year we've raise the money and are buying the food," said Giles who said she specifically wanted to single out St. Andre Bessette Parish for making a "considerable" donations to this year's dinner.

Giles said Hannaford Supermarket is working with the church to help them provide the ingredients for the meal.

Giles said Hazel Duke was a single woman and a parishioner who taught for years within the Laconia School District. She said Duke felt that no one should be alone at Thanksgiving.

"She believed there should be a place for people who would otherwise be alone," Giles said.

She said people are welcome to bring pies for dessert but for the most part the dinner is being cooked by a core group of about 40 volunteer — some of whom have been volunteering for years. She said Emily Clement and Mike and Susan Izard are this year's coordinator.

Giles said reservations are not necessary but encourages those who want to attend to call 524-0668 so they can get an idea about how many people will be attending.

CAPTION: The annual free Hazel Duke Thanksgiving Dinner tradition continues thanks to a small army of volunteers associated with the Congregational Church of Laconia, UCC. (Laconia Daily Sun file photo/Ed Engler)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 02:48

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