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Volunteers raised $50,000 for new Elm Street School playground equipment

LACONIA — A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last evening at the Elm Street School for new playground equipment recently installed as the result of a five-year, $50,000 fund drive conducted by the Volunteers in Service to Elm Street School (VISTESS) program.
Kara Stanley, Playground Fund coordinator, said that a $10,000 grant from the WLNH Children's Auction helped the organization reach its goal.
''There was some 20-year-old equipment which wasn't entirely safe. That's all been replaced and we've completed two new areas. Now we're looking at a third phase which will see swing sets put in place and will cost about $7,500.'' said Stanley.
She said that fundraising included sports ticket raffles, pancake breakfast events, penny/loose change drives, holiday spaghetti dinners and a variety of community outreach activities.
VISTESS is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to provide enrichment programs, field trips and family events for Elm Street School students, parents and staff.
Heather Lounsbury, PTO coordinator, said that not only was the equipment purchased by VISTESS but members also did prep work and site work for the project.
During the ceremony Elm Street School's new principal Tara Beauchemin was introduced and she said that she was thrilled to be coming to a school which had such an active volunteer group and was so involved in the community,
For more information or to make a donation, please contact Kara Stanley, Playground Fund Coordinator at (603) 520-3233 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; or check out Go Fund Me at www.gofundme.com/9swa6o and Facebook at Elm Street School Alumni and Friends.


10-year-old Ryan Poliquin, a fifth grader at Elm Street School, tries out some of the new playground equipment at the school following a ribbon-cutting ceremony held yesterday at the school. The equipment was purchased with funds raised by Volunteers in Service to Elm Street School and installed by members of the group. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2014 12:58

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Meredith says 'no' to 2-lane roundabout

MEREDITH — The committee of local stakeholders working with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) to improve the flow of traffic through the U.S. Route 3/N.H. Route 25 corridor yesterday rejected the option of a two-lane roundabout at the village center junction.

Modellng by McFarland Johnson, Inc., project manager for DOT, indicates that a two-lane roundabout at the primary intersection offers the most effective means of relieving congestion. Nevertheless, the committee agreed that it would have an adverse impact on both the abutting properties and the entire downtown.

"You want the most efficient way to move traffic through town," Lou Kahn, who chairs the panel, told DOT offiicals. "You don't worry too much about what it does to the towni." He said that a two-lane roundabout would "cut the town in two," making it difficult to travel from one side to other. "You've got to fix the traffic problem without harming the town."

Rusty McLear of Hampshire Hospitality Holdings, whose inn at Bay Point on the southeast corner of the intersection would be affected by a two-lane roundabout, cautioned against looking for the perfect solution.

The committee returned to two alternatives for the intersection, improved signalization or a one-lane roundabout, with two right-turn lanes from Rte. 3 on to Rte. 25. Gene McCarthy of Mcfarland Johnson was asked to position the roundabout to minimize its impact on surrounding properties. Both options will be considered when the committee meets again in September.

McCarthy emphasized any improvements at the junction of Rte. 25 and Pleasant Street must correspond to those at the intersection of the primary intersection. In other words, either roundabouts or signals must be paired to ensure traffic flows efficiently. Several members of the committee though that a roundabout or signal at Pleasant Street could ease access and egress to businesses along Rte. 25, particularly the Hannaford supermarket.

The committee also discussed ways of managing foot traffic back and forth across Rte. 3 at Lake Street and Dover Street, which contributes to slowing traffic and increasing congestion on the highway. If the central intersection continues to be managed by traffic signals, signals to control pedestrian crossings could be coordinated with them. However, it would be more difficult to coordinate pedestrian crossings on US Route 3 with a roundabout at the intersection.

McLear pointed to the success of pedestrian underpasses in Holderness and New Hampton, reviving the notion of constructing a tunnel under the highway from Hesky Park. McCarthy said that 10 feet of clearance would be required together with graded approaches to accommodate those with disabilities. "It can be done," McLear insisted, asking "what's the cost?"

The committee will next meet on Thursday, September 18.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2014 12:51

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Hosmer raising far more money than Republican challenger from Franklin

CONCORD — Financial reports filed this week show a wide gap in the funds raised by the candidates for the New Hampshire Senate in District 7 — the Democratic incumbent Andrew Hosmer of Laconia and his Republican challenger Katheen Lauer-Rago of Franklin.

Between June 18 and August 20 Hosmer added $35,020 to his balance of $79,613 for a total of $114,633, During the same period he reported expenditures of $35,896, leaving him with $78,737 in hand.

Lauer-Rago raised $6,536 and spent $3,199 and has a balance of $3,230.

Hosmer counted 111 individual contributors, including three of $1,000 and 10 of $500. He also received contributions from 29 businesses, labor unions and trade associations totaling $13,100. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, who share Hosmer's support for the Northern Pass project. He received $1,000 from the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association. (He's an executive at AutoServ of Tilton.) The New Hampshire Association of Realtors kicked in $2,000.

Lauer-Rago received 30 contributions, most of them from individuals. With a contribution of $2,000, the political action committee of Senator Chuck Morse of Salem, the president of the N.H. Senate, represented nearly a third of all her funds while Senator John Reagan of Deerfield and the Merrimack County Republican Committee each contributed $500.

District 7 consists of the city of Laconia and towns of Belmont,and Gilford in Belknap County and the city of Franklin and towns of Andover, Boscawen, Canterbury, Northfield, Salisbury, and Webster in Merrimack County.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2014 11:49

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Police say Laconia man video recorded his own drug deals & they have the images

CIRCUIT COURT — An alleged drug trafficker is in Belknap County Jail on the strength of evidence gleaned from the elaborate surveillance system installed to protect the apartment where police claim he sold drugs.

Matthew Perkins, 24, of 57 Holman Street in Laconia, who was arrested on Thursday charged with two counts of selling a narcotic drug, a class B felony, was held in lieu of $5,000 cash bail following his arraignment in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday.

Keith Lafoe, 40, of 736 Union Avenue, who was also arrested on Thursday charged with one count of selling a narcotic drug, was released on personal recognizance bail and scheduled for arraignment in October. Both men were arrested with incident at their homes.

The arrests stemmed from a investigation that began with an arrest on drug charges in March and remains ongoing.

According to the affidavit of Detective Christopher Noyes, police searched the person, vehicle and apartment of Roger Perkins at 25 Gale Avenue. There they found a surveillance system with eight cameras both inside and outside the building connected to an Ipad in a bedroom and a television in the living room.

Crack cocaine, cocaine, marijuana and methylone were found in the vehicle. In the apartment, police found equipment used to package drugs as well as to cook cocaine into crack cocaine. In a closet, police found two firearms and a large safe containing bags of crack cocaine, cocaine, marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms along with a pair of firearms, two scales and $1,200 in cash.

Obtaining a second search warrant for the digital video recorder (DVR), Noyes viewed more than 1,000 hours of footage captured by the surveillance cameras, which recorded 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The DVR displayed the date and time of the footage recorded by each camera.

Noyes alleges that at 4:48 p.m. on March 23, 2014 a man he recognized as Lafoe entered the apartment. Minutes later a camera records Matthew Perkins walking into the closet where the safe was found and returning with a bag containing a white substance., which Noyes claims to some sort of drug. Then Lafoe joins Perkins in the bedroom, puts cash on a table and examines the bag while Perkins counts the money.

Noyes reported that Perkins unties a baggy and dumps something on to an envelope then goes back to the closet and returns with a box of bags. Perkins fills two bags, which Lafoe ties off before leaving through the back door. Afterwards Perkins continues to fill and tie what Noyes said were at least five bags of the white substance. Noyes claimed the cameras recorded a drug deal, adding the drug appeared to be cocaine or crack cocaine.

About 45 minutes later, the same day, the camera captured Matthew Perkins in the bedroom constantly checking his phone and the Ipad connected to the surveillance camera as if expecting someone. Soon Perkins let a man, who Noyes identified as Micah Niles, through the back door and locks it behind him. Perkins took several bags from the table and handed them to Niles, who put money on the table. After counting the money, Perkins took another bag from his pocket and handed it to Niles, who put it in his mouth then left through the back door.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2014 11:03

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