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Great gift - Boys & Girls Club given $100,000 by AutoServ of Tilton and the Gaudet famil

LACONIA — The Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region announced yesterday that AutoServ of Tilton and the Gaudet family have contributed $100,000 toward renovating and converting the former St. James Episcopal Church on Main Street into a safe, efficient and welcoming clubhouse.

In a prepared statement, Paul Gaudet Sr., the president of AutoServ and founder of the Lakes Region Boys & Girls Club Endowment Trust, said that he first became aware of the club many years ago when Barbara Leone, one of his neighbors, visited the dealership and made what he called "an impassioned plea."

"I was so moved and realized the difference she and other of my neighbors were making volunteering and being so hands-on with these kids, kids who really need positive mentors," he continued. He confessed that at the time he could not spare time to be at the club, but instead "started out giving money personally and through our family business." That, he remarked, "grew to hitting up friends and neighbors, our dealership connections, pretty much telling the story Barbara had first told me — that this club truly changes the trajectory of kids who need support."

Chris Emond, executive director of the Boys& Girls Club of the Lakes Region, noted the Gaudet family's longstanding commitment to the club and said tthis transformational gift will make an impact for decades to come." The contribution is the most recent of many that will fund improvements to the club, including construction of a teen center, enhancing space for diverse activities and reconfiguring the foyer to monitor access to the building. In addition, installation of a new industrial kitchen will enable the club to serve hot, nutritious meals to members each evening without charge.

05-12 Autoserv Check Presentation

Jon Clay, Walt Flynn, Paul Gaudet Jr., Scott Knowles, Chris Emond, Barbara Leone, Donna Gaudet Hosmer and Ned Beebe gather for a presentation of $100,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region. (Courtesy Photo)

Belmont bandstand named to state Historical Register


BELMONT — The newly restored bandstand has been named to the New Hampshire State Register of Historical Places by the state Historical Resources Council, and the town is ready to celebrate.

The bandstand was constructed in 1908 near the Belmont Mill, which is also listed on the state register, at the height of the popularity of the outdoor brass band era.

Built in the latter part of the Victorian Era, historian Wallace Rhodes said high level color- and paint-chip imaging determined that its original colors were the rusts and greens as one sees it today. Rhodes speculated that it was likely painted while during the Colonial Revivalist period that followed and in which many houses were painted white.

The roof of the bandstand was reshingled using cedar shingles in the same diamond patterns, as were the originals. Rhodes said part of the restoration was replacing a ball that sat on top and which he thinks blew away in a storm at some point.

Restoring the bandstand was a largely volunteer effort offset with some taxpayer dollars, a Land and Heritage Community Investment Program or L-Chip grant and money raised by the Belmont Heritage Commission for the project.

Before it could be restored, it needed to be relocated to a different spot in the village during the revitalization project and in 2012, Mark Roberts of Leslie E Roberts LLC moved the bandstand in one piece while the foundation was back and returned it one piece.

Once back in place, the bandstand was rehabilitated on site by J.R. Graton, who specializes in historical renovation, beginning in October of 2013.

To celebrate the recent designation, the Belmont Public Library and the Belmont Heritage Commission will celebrate with a Heritage and Preservation Fair on May 21.

Events begin at 10:30 a.m. at the library with a welcoming by Selectmen's Chairman Ruth Mooney. Attendees are invited to stroll through the village and take advantage of the walking trails and the new sites.

During this time, there will be displays, activities and refreshments; and booths by the Belmont Historical Society, Friends of the Bandstand, Bratt/Winni Trail, the Save Our Gale School Committee and others.

The library will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with some special exhibits. Guests will be allowed to see and use the Ancestry Library Edition.

People are encouraged to bring their old Belmont photos and postcards for scanning and adding to the Belmont Historical Society and Library Collections.
People can learn to research their historic homes and family trees. There will be some resources for barn preservation.

05-12 Belmont bandstand 2015The bandstand last year, fresh from renovation.

05-12 Belmont bandstand past colorA 1908 postcard shows the bandstand as a village landmark.

05-12 Belmont bandstand past Another historic postcard shows the bandstand as part of a playground.

05-12 Belmont band from pastOne of the bands that may have played in the bandstand in the past.

Home invasion case stalled for witnesses


LACONIA — For the second time in as many months, the Belknap County Attorney's office has failed to produce the witnesses it intends to call to further its case against a man they say committed a home invasion on Harvard Street in June of 2014.

In the state's case against Tyler Twombley, 31, five potential witnesses have allegedly asked for immunity in exchange for their testimony. To date, one has been served with a subpoena but has yet to appear in court and three others, including two women yesterday, have not appeared for their immunity hearings.

Twombly is accused of burglary for entering a home with another as yet unidentified man, and for robbing one of the people in the home of some controlled substance after either hitting him or shooting him in the head.

Twombly attorney Mark Sisti said yesterday he would file a motion asking the judge to eliminate the four from the state's potential witness list if they cannot be produced in two weeks. Jury selection is scheduled for mid June.

Sisti also reapproached the topic of granting immunity to Joshua Pike, who has been charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and robbery, but who has yet to be indicted. Sisti has long claimed that Pike, who was in the home during the incident, can and will testify that Twombly was not one of the two men who entered wearing hoodies and bandannas across their faces.

The judge has refused to grant Pike immunity.

Yesterday, he said he would be inclined to grant Sisti's motion to eliminate all the remaining people the state intends to use a witnesses who do not show up for their immunity hearing if the state can't get them into the court room within two weeks.