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Belmont Police recover car stolen in Manchester

BELMONT — Police arrested a man Wednesday night who was driving a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee that had been reported stolen from Manchester.

Jacob A. Jason, of 103 Blueberry Lane in Laconia is charged with one misdemeanor count of disobeying an officer, one felony count of driving after being deemed an habitual offender, and one felony count of receiving stolen property.

Jason appeared by video in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday morning and Judge Lawrence MacLeod ordered him held on $5,000 cash or corporate surety.

Affidavits said police were behind the Jeep while it was headed south on Rte. 106 when they noticed one of the brake lights was out.

Officers radioed the license plate number to dispatch and learned the Jeep had been reported stolen by a Manchester woman.

When the Jeep turned abruptly into a convenience store, officers pulled in behind it.

Police affidavits reported one officer read Jason his Miranda rights and asked him for some identification. When they asked him if he knew the Jeep was stolen, he initially said he didn't know anything about it. Jason also allegedly gave them a false name and birthday.

A second officer found an alternative identification card with Jason's picture on it in the Jeep.

During his booking, Jason told police that he did know the Jeep was stolen and that an unknown person put the car keys in his mailbox Wednesday night and told him the Jeep was "in the Lakes Region."

He allegedly told them he was returning the Jeep to its owner. Manchester Police confirmed the owner had reported it stolen.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 02:46

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Forced to Superior Court for remedy, it will cost Tardif hundreds of dollars to ask judge to order Ward 5 recount

LACONIA — Former mayor Tom Tardif discovered yesterday that he may have to pay a pretty penny to determine whether he received three write-in votes in the primary election for City Council in Ward 5, as his friend and former councilor Dave Gammon claims.

When the polls were closed on September 10, votes tallied and ballots sealed, incumbent city councilor Bob Hamel, who ran unopposed, was declared the winner with 39 of 47 ballots cast. In an apparent oversight by those working the polls, no write-in votes were reported. However, a computer print-out indicated that three write-in ballots were cast.

Gammon contends that he, his wife and another woman cast write-in votes for Tardif. Since the City Charter provides for the two candidates with the most voters to advance to the general election in general, if Gammon's claim is confirmed, Tardif would be entitled to a place on the ballot.

But, Gammon's claim can only be verified by opening and counting the ballots and that requires more than scissors and a calculator. A recount must be requested before the close of business on the first Friday after the election, a deadline that passed last week.

On the strength of advice from the city attorney, Laura Spector-Morgan, City Clerk Mary Reynolds advised Gammon and Tardif that five registered voters could petition the New Hampshire Secretary of State to conduct a recount before the second Friday after the election, which falls tomorrow. However, Tardif said that when he met with Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan yesterday he was informed that this process applied only to questions, not candidates, on the ballot and advised to approach the Superior Court.

Tardif said that the clerk of the Belknap County Superior Court told him he could file a petition asking the court to order a recount, but that would cost close to $300 in court fees. Moreover, Tardif said that when he filed suit against the Belknap County Convention earlier this year, Justice James D. O'Neill, III transferred his case to Grafton County Superior Court , apparently to avoid a conflict of interest.

"Can you imagine the costs incurred just because everyone is saying "'it's not me'?" Tardif exclaimed. "It's a Catch 22." He said that he has not decided whether or not he would run in the general election should a recount show that he polled enough write-in votes to qualify. Instead, he said that the greater issue is to ensure that votes that are cast are counted.

I can't imagine forklng out that kind of money to help the city correct an error," he continued. "But, if we don't file the cloud over the election will be there forever."

Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 02:28

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TV show to tell story of Belmont man who planned to blow up JFK in 1960 & the observant postmaster who stopped him

BELMONT — For the past few months, Polly Murphy has been remembering one of the defining moments of her life — when her late husband Postmaster Thomas Murphy thwarted a 1960 attempted assassination on then President-Elect John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

In the aftermath of his heroism and, in part, as the result of a media campaign by former Union Leader newspaper owner and publisher William Loeb, her family ended up being stalked by Richard Paul Pavlick — the man who had intended to kill JFK.

"Tom's name was never supposed to be released, but it was," she said while attending a media event Wednesday night at the Belmont Public Library that was called to promote attention to a November 17 (8 p.m.) television show about Murphy and Pavlick that will run on the Smithsonian Channel. The documentary was filmed in July in Belmont and much of the footage was shot at the library. Another production about the episode will be featured on the Travel Channel this fall.

"It was kind of a scary time," she said. "We never told the kids too much about it because we didn't want to scare them."

N.H. Dept. Public Safety Commissioner Earl Sweeney, a former Belmont police chief and a volunteer sergeant in the town's police department recounted the 1960 story and it's aftermath.

The way Sweeney remembers it, Pavlick was an older man who had relocated to Belmont after he retired as a U.S. Postal Service employee in South Boston.

Sweeny said if he were to use today's lingo to describe him, he would describe Pavlick as "sour" and kind of a "nut-job." He lived on Dearborn Street in a rundown old house.

Sweeney said he was the kind of guy who was "very vocal" at annual town meetings and at selectmen's meetings. For example, at one point, he said, Pavlick got the idea that the water commissioners were poisoning his water with chlorine and the state police confiscated his guns for a while after he threatened them.

"He was a character," said Sweeney. "More vocal than dangerous."

Or so he thought in 1960.

In early 1960, Pavlick focused his wrath toward then Sen. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was running as the Democratic nominee for president. Sweeney said Pavlick's greatest concern was Kennedy's Catholicism and the fear that should he be elected president, the country would be run by the Pope and the Catholic Church.

"Pavlick hated Catholics," Sweeney said, adding that the man would go around and tell anyone who would listen that if Kennedy was elected "someone should shoot him."

After Kennedy was elected, according to Sweeney and press clippings from the time, Pavlick either sold or gave away his house to charity, packed all his worthy belongings into an "old Buick" and left town.

But Sweeney said he would send "disjointed" postcards to a few of the residents back in Belmont, all of them from the various places he visited.

Tom Murphy, at the time, was a brand new postmaster with a wife (Polly) and six daughters. As Pavlick's postcards would come into the Belmont Post Office, Murphy would sort them into people's boxes and he noticed the postmarks always came from the same places that Kennedy was visiting while campaigning. One day he mentioned it to the police.

Sweeney said he and the chief did a "little investigating" and learned Pavlick had purchased some sticks of dynamite from the local hardware store. He apparently told the hardware store owner that he needed to remove some tree stumps from his property.

Sweeney said the chief (he was one of only two officers in Belmont in 1960) went to Pavlick's old property and didn't see any signs of blasted tree stumps.

Concerned, Murphy notified the U.S. Postmaster General who in turn notified the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service.

Sweeney explained that the FBI had just started using the earliest form of the N.C.I.C. or National Crime Information Center — the system still used by law enforcement.

The information about Pavlick's car and his description were entered into the N.C.I.C. system.

According to Sweeney, Kennedy had wanted some rest before he took office so in December of 1960 he took his family to the family's West Palm Beach compound.

Pavlick had followed. He rigged his car with the dynamite and looked for an opportunity to blow up both himself and Kennedy. Sweeney said Pavlick realized he couldn't get into the Kennedy compound so he waited until Kennedy went to Sunday Mass.

He followed the limousine to the church but changed his mind when he saw that Kennedy's wife Jacqueline and daughter Caroline were also in the limo.

As he followed Kennedy to his next stop, a Florida motorcycle officer recognized the plate and description of Pavlick's car and stopped him.

Local and federal police said the car was rigged to explode and Pavlick admitted to his plans to kill him. He told police he didn't blow it up at the Catholic Church because he didn't want to kill innocent women and children.

Pavlick was charged with attempting to kill Kennedy and was committed to a federal mental facility in St. Louis, Missouri.

In due course, Postmaster Murphy's name came to light and he was given a "Beyond the Call of Duty" pin in April of 1961 — one of two ever issued in New England according to Union Leader reporter Earl Anderson.

Sweeney recalled that it was the Boston Globe that originally reported the Murphy-Pavlick story.

After Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas on November 22, 1963, the federal government apparently lost interest in Pavlick and all the charges were dropped. A Missouri federal judge ruled he was insane so he was not released.

He spent the next six years being shuffled from state hospital to state hospital ultimately landing in the N.H. State Hospital around 1966.

Pavlick began a letter-writing campaign. He sent hundreds of letters to influential people all over the county including the Union Leader, eventually capturing Loeb's attention.

He also wrote to Murphy. In one instance he included a picture of Murphy sitting at his desk and called him "Stinking rat! Blasted ignorant immoral shanty Irish" as was reported by a local newspaper at the time.

In 1966, Loeb began to call attention to Pavlick because he had never been indicted by a grand jury nor had he been tried in a court of law, yet was still incarcerated.

Loeb, in one of his now-legendary front-page editorials, demanded that Pavlick should either be recharged with something or released. People throughout New Hampshire, except in Belmont, rallied to his cause.

Postmaster Murphy became the whipping boy of many who interpreted his actions as being akin to being a rat. In one newspaper article written in 1966, Murphy had told the reporter that if he had to do it all over again he might not.

"'Now six years later,' Murphy claims, "'The press have made me out to be an idiot by printing only one side of the story.'"

He said six years earlier, the same press had made him into a hero and now that some had began to champion Pavlick's cause, they made him feel like he had done something wrong. Sweeney recalled writing a letter defending Murphy that ran in the Union Leader and one selectman in Belmont later tried to get him fired for writing it.

Under pressure from Loeb, the N.H. State Attorney's Office petitioned for Pavlick's release and in due course, he was freed.

Polly Murphy and Sweeney remembered Pavlick would drive his car to the street in Belmont where they lived and watch her family.

Sweeney recalled that he would sometimes sit outside the Murphy home but since he was the only cop in town he would often get called to a crime and have to leave the Murphy's unattended.

On Wednesday, Polly Murphy remembered her husband saying that if Pavlick or one of his supporters wanted to come gunning for him they should know he "wasn't a bad shot himself."

Pavlick continued to harass the Murphys until he aged to the point where he was taken in by the N.H. Veterans Home. In 1975 he died at the age of 88.


Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 02:41

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Weirs Room & car collection just part of wonders in 'The Barn'

MEREDITH — Dick Dearborn grew up in the Weirs and has special memories of his childhood there, including the historic day when he was seated on his grandfather Leander Lavallee's shoulder and the Mount Washington II cruise ship made its way underneath the Weirs Bridge and out from Paugus Bay onto the main body of Lake Winnipesaukee.
That was August 15, 1940 and Dearborn was only four years old. But he still remembers how bystanders atop the bridge were called on by his grandfather to jump aboard the Mount in order to have it ride deep enough in the water to pass under the bridge.
''He had everybody on the bridge jump onto the boat so we could get under the bridge,'' says Dearborn, whose family lived on the same block at the Weirs and had a front row seat on all that happened there.
His grandfather had owned the original side-wheeler ''Mount Washington'', which had been destroyed by fire at the Weirs docks in December of 1939, but had managed to replace it with an iron ship which had been cut into 20 sections at Lake Champlain and shipped by flatbed rail to Lakeport, where it was reassembled and put into service the very next summer.
This Saturday invited guests to his "man-cave", better known to his friends as ''The Barn'', will get to see Diane Nyren's recently completed mural of the Weirs Channel Bridge on the wall of the structure's "Weirs Room", as well as Nyren's painting of the Mount headed in from the lake.

"The Barn" is actually a large metal building in Meredith. There's other reminders of the Weirs in the room and next to it, in a large room, there 's a wide-ranging collection of baseball photographs, including Ted Williams and Babe Ruth and even Bill Monboquette, author of a no-hitter for the Red Sox in 1962, as well as autographed baseball bats.
''I can remember sitting around the kitchen table during World War II and right after the war listening to the Red Sox games on radio'' says Dearborn, who at one time had a 10-seat suite over third base at Fenway Park and now has a 21-seat suite on the first base side.
''I reserve one day there for myself each year. It's a little hard to get around the ballpark for me these days but I still love to watch a baseball game. There are a lot of good memories for me at Fenway Park.''
''The Barn'' also houses Dearborn's auto collection, as well as the large collection of sports memorabilia, and has two bars — one upstairs and the other downstairs in an area known as ''Dirty Dick's Garage'' — where there's other memorabilia, including a collection of 200 Zippo lighters.
Five years after riding the Mount onto the lake, Dearborn says he can recall exactly where he was in August of 1945, when World War II ended with the surrender of Japan.
''I was in mid-air diving off from a platform at Irwin's Winnipesaukee Garden. Jim Irwin had put the tower up and I used to dive from there with my brother, Bob, and Bob and John Lawton to recover bottles which had been tossed into the lake. We used to get two cents a bottle. Anyway, I was in mid-air when I heard people cheering and singing. I got out of the water and ran right up to Tarlson's Arcade. People were gathered around singing and hollering. There was a big parade right down through the Weirs which was led by three former Confederate soldiers from the Civil War encampment at the Weirs,'' Dearborn recalls.
He said that his family, headed by Fred Hershell ''Tot'' Dearborn was always in the restaurant business and for years ran Dearborn's Diner, a downtown Laconia institution which was located where Sunrise Towers now stands,
Dearborn, who would go on to found Eptam Plastics and make his mark on the Lakes Region manufacturing scene, credits the American military with providing him with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. He joined the service in 1954, right out of high school.
''They sent me to electronics school and it made my life. I learned so much. After I got out of the service I worked for a year at the diner and then started applying what I learned in the service,'' says Dearborn, who worked for Kinsman Organ in downtown Laconia before the building was sold to Seeburg Electronics. He then landed a job with InsulFab, a plastic parts fabricator in Boston, for whom he worked for 27 years while living in Watertown, Mass., where he met his wife.
''It was a wonderful job but it was time for me to go out on my own,'' says Dearborn, who started Eptam with three other partners in the kitchen of Ernie Paquette's closed restaurant just across the bridge in West Franklin and that's where the Eptam name comes from — Ernie Paquette Tool and Machining — and moved the operation to Blaisdell Avenue in Laconia before building a 15,000-square-foot plant in an industrial park next to Lily Pond in Gilford, on Laconia Airport Authority property.
As demand for Eptam's products grew in the 1990s Dearborn added a 26,000-square-foot building and then relocated to Northfield, where the business is now located in a 186,000-square-foot facility which runs three shifts a day, seven days a week, and employs 148 people.
''When we got into the medical devices field that's when we really started to grow. Today our biggest concern is finding the right people to keep up with the demand for our products,'' says Dearborn, who says he was really pleased a few years back when Eptam was named one of the best companies to work for in the entire state.
He says that at the age of 77 and having lost his wife five years ago he has no intention of retiring. ''I get to work at 5:30 to 5:45 every morning. I intend to work as long as I can walk. I think I'd go crazy if I wasn't working.''
Dearborn says he started collecting cars about 10 years ago and his collection includes Packards from 1933 and 1948, a 1941 Studebaker, a 1960 Studebaker Lark and a 1963 Studebaker Avanti, a 1955 Ford Customline and a 1969 T-Bird, as well as a 1951 Plymouth Concord and other cars, including Oldsmobiles and Buicks.
''Once I started collecting cars, I went crazy. But I'm not looking for any more of them,'' says Dearborn.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 03:31

Hits: 466

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