Ted Nugent to headline Motorcycle Week's Laconiafest


LACONIA — An effort to bring a several-days-long music festival to Laconia Motorcycle Week might have fizzled last year, but organizers weren't deterred. Instead, they immediately began planning for the 2016 running of the rally, and yesterday held a press conference to announce details for LaconiaFest, a nine-day festival of music and entertainment.

LaconiaFest will take place June 11-19 on the Weirs Drive. More than 100 rock and country bands are expected to perform on two outdoor stages. Ted Nugent was among the headlining acts announced at the press conference, though organizers promised more headliners would be announced in weeks to come.

The musical acts will be complemented by a festival village with vendors, food and beer, and entertainment. Doors to the village will open at noon on each day and close at 1 p.m. Music will cease at midnight. The venue is licensed to host 33,000 people at a given time, though organizers said they expect the daily crowds will fluctuate from 5,000 during weekdays to near capacity during headliner concerts.

Tickets go on sale this weekend, and can be purchased at or

"About a year and a half ago, we set out to make a music venue to complement Laconia Motorcycle Week," said Laurie DiGiovanni, LaconiaFest producer. She promised the 12-acre Weirs Drive In property would feature "action, exhilaration, daytime and night-time mind-blowing fun."

Todd Ahrend, director of attractions for LaconiaFest, said the festival village would feature motorcycle art, custom motorcycle builders, paintball war games, Keith Sayer's Freestyle Motocross high-flying stunt show, and a 500-foot zip line. One of the custom motorcycles built at the festival will be auctioned off to benefit Veteran Outdoors, a charity that promotes outdoor activities' therapeutic effects for service members.

Ahrend said organizers are in talks with remote parking lots, which he hopes to organize shuttles to bring festival goers to and from the front gate. Festival organizers are also speaking with Winnipesaukee Railroad to offer attendees a way to get to the festival.

"It's been a long ride, we had a lot of high hopes last year," said Charlie St. Clair, executive director of Laconia Motorcycle Week, adding that he appreciates the time and effort that organizers, including Mike Trainor, expended in order to make the festival happen. "We look forward to a long partnership with everybody."

"I think this has been a strong team effort, certainly led by Mike Trainor, with Charlie's help," added Mayor Ed Engler. He also cited the work of city officials, such as Fire Chief Ken Erickson and Police Chief Chris Adams. The festival has achieved all necessary licensing and approvals, he said.

"I think everyone in the city of Laconia welcomes this with open arms and (appreciates) what it means to the success of Motorcycle Week and the future of Motorcycle Week," Engler said.

Engler and St. Clair agreed that LaconiaFest will bring a new element to the Weirs for Motorcycle Week.

"We've got music venues," he said, listing the various taverns in and around the Weirs, but none large enough can draw acts with such notoriety. "They're bringing in big acts. Ted Nugent is a big name. He'll draw some people that may not have come before," he said.

Engler, repeating an observation that St. Clair has made about other motorcycle rallies around the country, noted that well-known marquee acts will draw a broad audience.

"That's something that has been missing, in my opinion, in previous years, attracting people who are not necessarily motorcyclists," Engler said.

Referring to the annual rally in Sturgis, St. Clair said, "That's something that happens in South Dakota, people come from far away just for the concert."

In addition to Nugent, other acts announced yesterday included: Buckcherry, Sevendust, Fuel, Dope, Saving Abel, Adelitas Way, Attica 7, Escape the Fate, Biters, Dead by Wednesday, Next to None, Apollo Under Fire, Leaving Eden, Laura Comfort, and Milow the Girl.

MusicFest 6Apr16238343 DS

Kyle Osolin and Aatish Patel from Ticket Galaxy and Todd Anrend and Laurie DiGiovanni from LaconiaFest announce LaconiaFest 2016 during a press conference held at the Naswa Resort on Wednesday morning. (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)

laconiafest lists Ted Nugent and a number of other acts to perform. (Screenshot)

State AG seeks to oveturn ruling to dismiss evidence in major Laconia drug arrest


LACONIA — The state Attorney General's Office has asked a Belknap County Superior Court judge to reconsider his decision to disallow the drug evidence seized in an April 2015 traffic stop to be presented in court.

Attorney Jason Carey said Judge Peter Fauver "misapplied" the law when he ruled last month that police did not have possession of the car being driven by Peter Dauphin, 43, of 19 Appleton St. when they conducted an inventory search after he was stopped for speeding and they realized the plates on the car showed a different driver.

As a result of that search, police found a small amount of methamphetamine. During the investigation, police obtained a search warrant for his home and found 6.8 ounces of methamphetamine and $11,000.

Without the evidence, the criminal case against Dauphin for possession of narcotics with intent to sell them would likely not proceed.

Fauver determined that because the towing of the car Dauphin was driving was paid for by Dauphin and was to his nearby home, the police never had official custody of it and that the inventory search was unreasonable.

Carey argues that judge's ruling depended too heavily on the destination of the car after police seized the plates and ordered it towed. He said there are multiple cases in the law, including a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals Second District, that decided a noninvestigatory search by police is allowed if the search is conducted according to a neutral police towing policy and if the car was ordered towed by the police.

"The interests protected by an inventory search are what give rise to the officer's obligation to search an impounded vehicle, regardless of its ultimate destination when towed,'" wrote Carey, citing a Massachusetts Supreme Court decision he says is consistent with the federal ruling.

Carey also said the amount of control over the car by police was the same as if the car was being towed to a third party lot or private tow yard. In either case, he said police would not have anything more to do with the vehicle.
Inventory searches are conducted by police to protect the owner from the theft of his or her property, to protect the tow truck driver and impound lot employees from any dangerous items that may be found in a car, and to protect the police from being accused of stealing or damaging any property. The Laconia Police Department tow policy is standard as compared any other police departments, including the New Hampshire State Police, and is not being questioned. How it was applied in this case is at issue.

Carey said it is immaterial whether or not Dauphin arranged and paid for the tow because the law requires that the owner of a car pay for the tow regardless of the circumstances.

He said the court's determination that the search was "unreasonable" because it didn't serve any investigative purpose was misplaced. Carey said courts have repeatedly decided that "where the decision to inventory the contents is lawful, it follows that inventory search itself is per se lawful if conducted pursuant to 'reasonable police regulations.'"

He said that simply because Dauphin was not in custody before the inventory search is also irrelevant. Dauphin was going to be cited by police for speeding and misuse of plates until he was arrested after police found the methamphetamine in the car.

Dauphin is represented by attorney Mark Sisti, who, as of Tuesday, had not filed his response.

Stewart's Ambulance Service sold, but poised for growth


MEREDITH — Stewart's Ambulance Services, which provides emergency medical services to Meredith and neighboring towns, has been sold to Transformative Healthcare and its parent company Kamylon Holdings, a managerial holding company headquartered in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

The transfer of ownership required and this week received the consent of the Board of Selectmen.

Justin Van Etten, who has owned the company for the past nine years, assured the selectmen that only the ownership of the company will change. The employees, including Van Etten himself, will all remain with the company.
"We'll still have maroon ambulances and still be at 20 Foundry Avenue," he said.

Van Etten, who will become become chairman and chief executive officer of Transformative Healthcare, said that his contract grants him authority for at least the next five years to veto any operational changes at Stewart's Ambulance Services that would compromise public safety.

Explaining his decision to sell the company, Van Etten said that Medicare payments represent the largest share of its revenues and noted that "the rules and regulations grow more ridiculous and convoluted" and "the penalties for making a mistake become more severe." He said that the cost of compliance weighs particularly heavily on small firms like Stewart's.

Van Etten said that he chose to Kamylon Holdings in part because the company has roots in the Lakes Region, where one of the founding partners has a season home in Wolfeboro and one of the directors summers in Meredith, the year-round home of his parents.

At the same time, Van Etten said that Kamylon Holdings acquires small locally owned firms, often owned and operated by entrepreneurs with annual sales of $8 million to $80 million, then works closely with them to achieve long-term success. A year ago, Kamylon Holdings acquired LifeLine Ambulance Service, which serves metropolitan areas in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Van Etten said that Stewart's Ambulance Service will serve as a similar platform as the company extends its reach into more rural areas of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

Van Etten suspected Kamylon Holdings picked Stewart's Ambulance Service becaue it is one of the oldest 911 emergency medical service providers in New England with what he believes is "the best reputation New Hampshire."