Better late than never: local GOP gets a look at Scott Walker

LACONIA — One of the eight Republicans who has announced his candidacy for the presidency — George Pataki, the former governor of New York — and a front runner for the GOP nomination in many of the early polls — Scott Walker, the sitting governor of Wisconsin— were guests of the Belknap County Republican Committee aboard M/S Mt. Washington last evening for the annual Lincoln Day cruise.

They were joined aboard by former governors Bob Ehrlich of Maryland and Jim Gilmore of Virginia, both of whom are contemplating entering the race for the GOP nomination.

The ship cast off shortly after six, without either Walker, who was behind schedule flying to Laconia Airport, or Shawn Jasper, the Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, on board. Alan Glassman, who chairs the county committee, announced he considered taking vote of those on board o sail or stay, but instead compromised by sailing to Meredith Bay and then returning to The Weirs to collect the latecomers. Passengers lined the decks as Walker and his wife, Tonette, walked down the gangplank.

"Scott Walker has proven he won't miss the boat twice," one wag quipped.

Walker, likely the most conservative, and Pataki, perhaps the least conservative, among the prospective candidates, stand at opposite ends of the GOP field, which is expected to reach a score of declared candidates. They also rank at opposite ends of the current polls, with Walker topping the list of 15 likely candidates at 14.9 percent and Pataki failing to register in last place. Walker will speak at the home of New Hampshire Representative Brian Gallagher in Sanbornton this morning at 10 a.m.

An evangelical favored by the conservative base of the GOP for his uncompromising stance on social issues and for crippling the power of public employee unions, Walker touted his success with Independent voters, who may well decide the New Hampshire primary. He said he had won three of four elections in Wisconsin with 96 percent of the Republican vote while carrying the Independent vote by 12 percent.

Pataki, who favors a right to abortion, gun control and measures to address climate change, noted that Independents can vote in the primary, but was quick to add that in winning the governorship of New York three times he appealed to the base of the GOP and beyond. Although Pataki is reported to have described his candidacy as a longshot, he said he was "very upbeat" after the reception he received after announcing last week. "I intend to work hard, make the case, believe in the people and believe in myself," he said with the confidence of a man who has never lost an election.

The cruise was Ehrlich's 11th trip to New Hampshire. He said that the state reminded him of the congressional district he represented in Maryland prior to becoming governor in 2003. "We've made some friends here," he said, "and I've had opportunities to talk about the issues I want to talk about." In particular, he said that he has been asked to speak about what he called "the unfortunate chapter of Baltimore." Ehrlich , grew up where the violence erupted, said the addressing the challenge of dysfunctional schools, high employment, drug abuse and rampant crime plaguing the inner cities must be a national priority.

On his sixth visit to the state, Gilmore said he is "seriously considering" becoming a candidate. Apart from his executive experience as governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002, he touted his experience as a counter-intelligence officer in the United States Army and chairman of a congressional panel assessing the capacity to counter domestic terrorism. He said that national security remained a high priority for the country and would be a major theme of his campaign. "Other candidates don't have my experience," he said. Gilmore announced his candidacy for the presidency in April, 2007, but abandoned his campaign less than three months later for want of sufficient funding.

Representative Frank Tilton of Laconia estimated that more than 500 tickets were sold for the cruise, the most in recent years.

Dryer fire in Laconia does $50,000 worth of damage

LACONIA — Firefighters made quick work of a dryer fire at 147 Shore Drive yesterday at 3 p.m.

Chief Ken Erickson said first responding firefighters found heavy black smoke in the basement. He said the homeowner initially tried to extinguish the fire but the heavy acrid smoke drove him away.

Erickson said there was a training session at the Laconia Central Station yesterday and crews were able to respond with nine firefighters and quickly get hoses to the basement.

He estimated the damage to be about $50,000 but said quick work of the firefighters saved about $200,000 worth of damage.

Belmont and Gilford Fire Departments assisted Laconia.

Grand Jury Indictments - May 2015

BELKNAP COUNTY SUPEROR COURT INDICTMENTS MAY 2015

Henry Stanley, 21, of Lowell, Mass., was indicted for bail jumping for failing to appear for a dispositional hearing in the Belknap County Superior Court.

Mark Camire, 36, of Franklin was indicted for two counts of sales of methamphetamine and one count of possession of methamphetamine in a case investigation by the Tilton Police.

Brian Norris, 30, of Laconia was indicted for two counts of forgery of a government instrument, check, etc. in a case investigated by Laconia Police.

Holden Smrekar, 28, of Gilford was indicted for one count of possession of methamphetamine.

Daniel King, 54, of Country Drive was indicted for one count of assault by prisoner in a case investigated by the Belknap County Sheriffs Department.

Michael Davidson, 29, of Gilford was indicted for possession of crack cocaine in a case investigated by Tilton Police.

Ryan Labree, 25, of Gilford was indicted for 13 counts of forgery in a case investigated by Gilford Police.

Joseph Lagasse, 30, of Laconia was indicted for theft by unauthorized taking in a case investigated by Tilton Police.

John E. Spurling, 62, of Campton was indicted for one count of felony reckless conduct, one count of second-degree assault, and one count of duty (to move to the left) when approaching a highway emergency after allegedly striking a N.H. State Trooper who was working a detail in New Hampton.

Thomas T. Chambers, 26, of Belmont was indicted for possession of methamphetamine in an investigation conducted by Tilton Police.

Haigan Doubleday, 27, of Tilton was indicted for possession of methamphetamine in a investigation conducted by Tilton.

Howard Towne, 59, of Alton was indicted for two counts of domestic violence criminal threatening, one count of domestic violence second-degree assault, one count of domestic violence reckless conduct, three counts of domestic violence simple assault, and one count of domestic violence obstructing the reporting of a crime in a case investigated by Alton Police.

Gregory S. Donrovich, 26, of Laconia was indicted for one count of domestic violence second-degree assault and one count of domestic violence simple assault in a case investigated by Laconia Police.

Ramon Rosaria, 35, of New Jersey was indicted for possession of MDMA in as case investigated by N.H. State Police.

Alexis Morin, 21, of Laconia was indicted for three counts of forgery in an investigation by Laconia Police.

Charlotte Gonsalves, 24, of Exeter was indicted for one count of possession or narcotics after an investigation by Laconia Police.

Andrew Chamberlain, 30, of Belmont was indicted for one count of domestic violence second-degree assault, and three counts of domestic violence simple assault after an investigation by Belmont Police.

JJ C. Woodbury, 25, of Gilmanton was indicted for possession of methamphetamine following an investigation in Belmont.

Douglas Hewitt, 25, of Gilford, was indicted for second degree assault after an investigation in Laconia.

Zachary Brown, 31, of Laconia was indicted for burglary in a case investigated by Laconia Police.

Gary Bardsley, 51, of Sanbornton was indicted for deceptive forestry business practices in a incident that occurred in New Hampton.

Nichole Brackett, 27, of Laconia was indicted for driving in Laconia after being deemed a habitual offender.

Mark Monsante, 46, of Franklin was indicted for two counts of attempted theft after being convicted before for theft in Tilton.

Laurie Webb, 48, of Barnstead was indicted for theft by unauthorized taking from LRGHealthcare while in Laconia.

Justin Franquie, 23, of Laconia was indicted for one count of second degree assault, one count of domestic violence second degree assault, and one count of witness tampering.

Craig Beaudoin, 39, of Laconia was indicted for one count of credit card fraud.

George Nesbitt, 48, of Holderness was indicted for driving in Laconia after being deemed an habitual offender.

Joshua Burley, 24, of Laconia was indicted for conspiracy to commit forgery after an investigation by Laconia Police.

Scott Batchelder, 32, of Meredith was indicted for two counts of felony criminal threatening with a deadly weapon, one count of being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon, and four counts of witness tampering.

Travis Vachon, of Laconia was indicted for possession of "Slakka" or synthetic hallucinogen after an investigation by Tilton Police.

Ryan Labree, 25, of Gilford was indicted for one count of receiving stolen property after an investigation by Tilton Police.

Henry Lamontagne, 44, of Laconia was indicted for possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it and one count of sale of methamphetamine, after an investigation by Tilton Police.
Amanda Titus, 29, of Franklin was indicted for possession of one count of heroin.

Drew Parenteau, 32, of Franklin was indicted for one count of possession of methamphetamine after a Tilton Police investigation.

Patrick McDonald, 22, of Belmont was indicted with one count of possession tramadol with the intend to distribute and one count of possession of tramadol after an investigation by Tilton Police.