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Bandit hits Dunkin' Donuts at mall

BELMONT — Police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred at 9:23 p.m. Monday night at the Dunkin' Donuts store on Route 3, in front of the Belknap Mall.

The two employees working at the time said a male subject wearing a face covering, a hooded sweatshirt, gloves, and carrying a large knife entered the store and demanded cash.

Neither employee was injured.

Employees told police the man fled on foot.

A Gilford K-9 and handler, Laconia and Tilton Police assisted Belmont Police who searched the area. The dog was unable to pick up a scent.

Anyone with any information about the crime is asked to call the Belmont Police at 257-8351 and ask to speak to Detective Raechel Moulton or Sgt. Adam Hawkins.

This is the second robbery along Route 3 in as many days. Laconia Police continue to investigate the unarmed robbery of the Premium Mart on Court Street.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 03:03

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Belmont selectmen unhappy that casino owes$235,000 in back taxes

BELMONT — Selectmen learned Monday night that the Lakes Region Casino owes about $235,000 in back property taxes to the town after falling behind on the agreement that was struck in April of 2012.

Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin said $97,289 is subject to tax-deeding, meaning that the town can place a lien on the property. According to N.H. law, a tax bill must be two years and one day late before it is subject to a deeding.

"I don't want to push them out but they made a deal," said Selectman Jon Pike. "I don't believe they've showed good faith."

The deal about which Pike spoke was made by the three selectmen and and the owners of Potts Gaming, LLC. Former Casino Manager Rick Newman represented Potts Gaming at the meeting when the deal was struck.

In April of 2012, which was shortly after Potts Gaming bought the former Lakes Region Greyhound Park when the bank foreclosed on the loan previously held by Torguson Gaming Group.

Potts Gaming and the Board of Selectmen agreed that the business would pay $3,000 weekly toward the $185,781 in back taxes in exchange for the board waiving $25,400 of accrued interest and fees.

Beaudin said Potts Gaming has not made a tax payment to the town since the end of March of 2013. She said she contacted the General Manager Ryan Gloddy who said the casino would start making payments on December 1.

"It's unacceptable," said Pike, telling Beaudin to send a letter to Potts Gaming LLC. "I want those payments to resume."

Pike and Selectman Ruth Mooney both said that it was Potts Gaming who made the deal with the town and it was their responsibility to make the payments as agreed. Neither felt it was appropriate for the company to dictate the terms of when they would resume paying the taxes.

Selectman Ruth Mooney also said she was a little disappointed to learn this week that the Casino was behind on its agreement since it had been almost seven months since it made a payment.

Other than agreeing that Potts Gaming should have kept up their end of the bargain, Selectman's Chair Ron Cormier recused himself from the discussion saying his son participates in one of the youth hockey programs that uses the Lakes Region Casino as a fundraiser.

The Daily Sun was unable to reach Lakes Region Casino Manager Ryan Gloddy yesterday.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 03:00

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3-year Alton resident wins close vote for appointment to Gunstock Commission

LACONIA — Ruth Larson of Alton, a retired attorney who moved to the Lakes Region from New Jersey three years ago, was elected to a five-year term on the Gunstock Area Commission by the Belknap County Convention last evening.
Larson edged Doug Lambert of Gilford by a 6-5 vote. Lambert owns a manufacturing firm and is a former member of the Gilford Budget Committee.
Others receiving votes for the five-year-term were Chris McDonough of Gilford, owner and chief financial officer of Fratello's and Homestead restaurants, who received three votes, and Michael Gillepsie of Gilford, who works for a communications company which owns three television stations in New England, who received one. In total, 11 men and women asked for an appointment.
A two-year term to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Commissioner Chris Blackstone of Alton was won by Chuck Lowth of Meredith, an incumbent 15-year member of the commission whose term is expiring. He garnered eight votes to five for McDonough and two for Lambert.
At one point in the vote for the five-year term it appeared that there was a 5-5 tie, but Rep. Ruth Gulick (D-New Hampton), who had originally said she wanted to vote for Lowth, changed her vote and cast it for Larson when she realized that Lowth had said he was interested only in the two-year term.
Larson, a retired attorney who worked for CIGNA Insurance in New Jersey before establishing her own private practice in Princeton, New Jersey, retired in 2010 and moved to Alton.
Unlike many of the 11 candidates who had highlighted their own business experience and ties to Gunstock in their brief five-minute interviews, Larson said that she had applied for the job because she wasn't sure anyone else was going to.
''I was very pleased to see so many well-qualified candidates,'' said Larson, who said that she had once run a law office with 40 people and would approach the job as a commissioner ''with a sense of humility and no agenda.''
She said that one of the motivating factors for her application was her experience of weekday skiing at Gunstock over the last year. ''I didn't see many people on the lift lines and I didn't think the area was doing that well. But I later learned that was because I wasn't there on the weekends when it was really busy and I know now that the area has been doing very well,'' said Larson.
She said that she was pleased by the vote and intends to work closely with other commissioners to fulfill Gunstock's mission as a four-season attraction which is responsive to both residents and visitors.
Lowth said that he was interested in the two-year term because he wanted to see the commission continue to work cohesively and continue to make progress following the proven business model developed from Gunstock's master plan.
He said that no matter what a person's background, the ski business is unique and that is a great deal of on the job learning required for commission members. He said that his appointment would help keep ''a normal rotation for the commission'' and not have two new commissioners learning the ropes at the same time.
The five member-commission was established by state legislation in 1959 and removed authority over the day-to-day operations of Gunstock from the Belknap County Commissioners and placed it in the hands of a five-member commission whose members would be appointed by the County Convention.
Under the state law that established the commission, no more than two members of the board may reside in the same Belknap County municipality. Laconia is currently the only such municipality currently represented by more than one — Sean Sullivan and Bob Durfee. John Morgenstern of Gilford is the other member of the current board.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 02:54

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Laconia will write policy for how concession privileges will be awarded

LACONIA — In the wake of a recent miscommunication between the School District and the local Kiwanis Club over high school football game concessions, the Policy Subcommittee of the board will set the parameters that govern how school concessions and fundraisers are handled in the future.

The discussion triggered some dissension between a normally unified board about whether or not the district should even have a policy or whether concessions and fund-raising should be handled at the school level. No formal vote was taken.

Chair Joe Cormier said he worried that if the board gets involved in the concessions at the new Bank of New Hampshire Stadium then it could start a spiraling that leads to board involvement in every field or facility use, that are typically made by the building supervisors who are the principals.

As it stands now, there is no clear policy about who makes the decisions.

This ambiguity is what partially created the controversy that arose when the administration awarded the concession stand at home football games to Laconia Youth Football in exchange for a pledge of a $10,000 donation to the capital project to raise money for construction of the stadium

Traditionally the high school's Key Club — the youth arm of the Kiwanis Club — has manned the concession booth that generates income for the club's activities.

The dust-up stemmed from an apparent break down in communications between the administration and the Key Club advisers who are teachers. Although the decision was made during the peak of the capital campaign in the spring, it was allegedly not conveyed to the Kiwanians until two weeks before the football home opener and stadium dedication.

Outraged and feeling blind-sided, the Kiwanians appeared en mass at a School Board meeting to complain about both the lack of process and the lack of communication between the district and their organization.

Last night, Policy Subcommittee Chair Chris Guilmett said that after Superintendent Terri Forsten calls a few other districts to see how they handle concessions and facilities, the committee will create a policy that that delineates who makes the decisions in the hope that the full School Board will endorse it.

Other members of the Policy Subcommittee are Stacie Sirois and Beth Arsenault.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 02:53

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