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Family & friends help Tony Maheux celebrate his 100th birthday

LACONIA — Antonio "Tony" Maheux was honored by friends and family on his 100th birthday Saturday at Laconia Country Club.
Maheux was presented with a Centenarian Proclamation by Brenda Kean, executive director of the Laconia Historical and Museum Society at the celebration, an event at which many stories were recounted about Maheux, who was stepfather to the seven children of his wife of 40 years, Noella (Walker) Gagne and for years ran his own painting and wallpapering business in Laconia.
''He was very good to my kids,'' said Noella, who said that she and Tony met a few years after the death of her first husband, Sylvio Gagne, in 1970.
At the time she had six children living at home and one in the armed services ranging in age from 10 to 25 and recalled that she had called Tony to have him so do some wallpapering for her. ''I talked to him while he was wallpapering and we got to know each other and shortly after that we started dating,'' she recalls.
They were married in 1973 and lived on High Street in a home which once belonged to 19th century Laconia Mayor Charles Busiel.
Maheux, who now sees only shadows due to macular degeneration in his eyes, grew up in Laconia and counted among his early jobs working as a logger and delivering cords of woods to households using his father's truck. He worked at what was then Laconia Hospital from 1934 to 1946, when he started his on business.
He was a jack of all trades at the hospital, where he did everything from mowing the lawns and maintenance to running the boiler room when the regular worker was on vacation and even lending a hand in the operating room.
''I used to help Doctor Abbott sometimes. I remember holding a man's leg when the doctor put a pin in it. Other times I'd help put body casts on and move the patients from room to room or help them stand up after an operation,'' said Maheux.
His work was so valued at the hospital that when he was drafted during World War II the hospital asked that he be classified as essential worker because he was so valuable to keeping the hospital running.
Following the war he opened his own painting and wallpapering business which he ran from 1946 until he retired in 1982. After his retirement he would often help family and friends by doing carpentry, painting and wallpapering in their homes.
''He's a wonderful guy. I don't know what my mother and all of us kids would have done without him,'' says his stepson Mark Gagne.


Antonio 'Tony' Maheux celebrated his 100th birthday at Laconia Country Club Saturday. He is shown with his wife of 40 years, Noella, and Brenda Kean, center, executive director of the Laconia Historical and Museum Society, who presented him with a Centenarian Proclamation in honor of his birthday. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 01:31

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Forrester tagged 'Friend of Seniors' by association of nursing home owners

MEREDITH — For the second year in a row, New Hampshire State Senator Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) has been honored by the New Hampshire Health Care Association. Last year the association chose Forrester as its "legislator of the year" and yesterday named her one of three "Friends of Seniors" at a brief ceremony at Golden View Health Care Center attended by some two dozen residents.

Presenting the award, John Poirer, president of the New Hampshire Health Care Association, said that Forrester "is all you can ask for in a legislator and then some." He described her as "one of the few who truly wants to understand what is going on and why something should not happen or what something should happen."

In particular, Poirer cited Forrester's contribution to the 2014-2015 state budget, which restored $42 million in funding for long-term care, and her work on legislation that enables nursing homes to recover funds improperly transferred by residents who enroll in Medicaid, placing costs on institutions that lead to higher fees for residents.

Forrester, said Poirer, "is the epitome of a true legislator, not a politician."

In accepting the honor, Forrester said that like the late Carl Johnson, for whom the association named its "legislator of the year" award, she has taken a keen interest in the issues surrounding the quality and cost of long-term care and will continue to serve the interests of senior citizens. She expressed her appreciation to the association as well as to Jeanne Saunders, the chief executive officer at Golden View.


CAPTION: John Poirer, president of the New Hampshire Health Care Association, presents Senator Jeanie Forrester of Meredith with a memento as one of three "Friends of Seniors" in 2013 in recognition of her efforts to ensure the quality and manager the cost of long-term care. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 01:23

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Propane smell empties Sanbornton store on Sunday

SANBORNTON — Five apartments and the Sanbornton General Store at 666 New Hampton Road were evacuated Sunday morning after there was a reported leak of propane in the building.

Firefighters and police responded and check the air with meters. They determined the 500-gallon propane tank was near empty and the "methyl mercaptan" additive used to create the warning smell was expelled into the building.

The building and all of the apartments were ventilated and people were allowed to return at 9:45 a.m.

Fire Chief Paul Dexter said when smoke and carbon monoxide alarms sound, or when there is a smell of propane, people should evacuate immediately and call the fire department.

Dexter also recommends having all heating appliances checked annually by a qualified service technician.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 01:17

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Belmont planners not ready to endorse historic demolition ordinance

BELMONT — Planning Board members on January 13 voted against supporting a petitioned warrant article that, if passed, at the upcoming annual town vote would create a Historic Demolition Review Ordinance.

The ordinance would call for a pre-demolition review of all properties built in 1965 or later by the review committee.

"The HDRC is responsible for only one thing," wrote lead petitioner Linda Frawley, "determining whether a building is historically significant, and if so, holding a hearing to review potential alternatives to demolition."

The Historic Review Committee, if created, "would be advisory only and would encourage people to look for an alternative to simple razing historical property.

Planning Board members who held a public hearing on the petitioned warrant article earlier this month, were not necessarily against some kind of historic review committee but wanted more time to evaluate the idea.

Frawley said she "rushed" around the day before the petition deadline to gather signatures for a petition that would cover the entire community and get it filed in time for consideration this year.

She said that there are a number of properties in Belmont that are not in the Village District — she gave the Providence Road Meeting House as an example — that bear preserving.

Selectman Jon Pike, who serves as the selectman's representative to the Planning Board, said he was concerned with the rights people have to their own property.

As an example, he gave an example of someone who purchased an old home that has a ell connection the house to the barn. He said his interpretation of the ordinance as proposed was that if someone wanted to remove the ell, the ensuing review processes could take as much as 120 days.

Frawley said "a small piece of property is not part of the ordinance" while Town Planner Candace Daigle said there would be a minimum size of a demolition or renovation that would be covered under the proposed ordinance.

Pike said he sees the benefit of some kine of historic demolition ordinance but wants better assurance that private property owners' interests are protected. He said he felt the time from when an application was made until the time a demolition order was granted was too lengthy.

"We are not unreasonable," said Frawley. "We don't like people to dislike history in Belmont."

She also said the proposed demolition ordinance is a "good faith effort" to follow though with the most recent Belmont Master Plan in which a number of citizens participated.

She said it is the first time they have tried it in nine years in Belmont and cited other communities who have similar ordinances such as Laconia, Amherst and Winchester.

She also said it was reviewed by the N.H. Division of Historical Resources. She their only recommendation was to lengthen the time of the review from 45 days to 90 but she thought it wouldn't be fair.

Planning Board Chair Peter Harris said he supports the Heritage Commission but didn't see how he could support creating a Historic Commission Review District at this time.

"We're so much in the dark," he said.

He also said the Planning Board hasn't had time to fully review the proposal. "With a little work, I can see this being a good thing," he said.

Three of the members, including Pike and Harris, said they also couldn't support it at this time. One member abstained.

Because the proposed ordinance has been placed as an article on the March warrant by petition, it cannot be changed or altered by the Planning Board or on the floor of the SB-2 deliberative session, scheduled for February 1 at 10 a.m. — a Saturday.

In addition, until the ballot portion of the town meeting takes place, all demolition permits of property older than 50 years are being held in abeyance until voters can weigh in on the article on voting day on March 11.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 01:09

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