Alton hunter found dead in woods, heart attack likely


ALTON — A local man who failed to return from bow hunting on Monday was found dead in the woods and is believed to have died of natural causes, according to a Conservation Officer.

The victim had gone to a mixed area of forest and fields in the vicinity of 117 New Durham Road early that morning and appears to have suffered a heart attack as a result of the exertion from climbing out of a tree stand, said Fish & Game Officer Chris Brison.

"He was a very avid sportsman and hunted and fished all the time. I'd just meet him last week, even though he wasn't in my patrol area," said Brison.

The man's son deployed a popular cell phone app used by hunters to locate each other and had pinged his fathers' phone when he did not return, and found him shortly before 2:30 p.m. Monday.

Brison said Fish and Game responded to investigate to assure that the man hadn't fallen on an arrow or sustained injuries in a fall from a tree stand. In this case there were no signs of injury or foul play, and Brison said he plans to characterize the cause of death as natural, unless an autopsy determines otherwise.

Hunters wearing a safety harness who fall from a tree stand quickly succumb to suspension trauma caused when blood flow to their heart is interrupted when they are suspended in an upright position with legs dangling and can lose consciousness within a few minutes and die within five, Brison cautioned.

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Woman shot in head in Belmont on Arlene Drive


BELMONT — Police Chief Mark Lewandoski said a woman suffered what appears to be a single shot to the head while she was in a home on 24 Arlene Drive around 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Lewandoski said the woman was alive when police arrived and she was taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital and then flown to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, where she was in stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit Tuesday evening.

As of 6 p.m., the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit and the Belmont Police were investigating. Lewandoski said that the shooter is not in custody, but police had a good idea who he is.

He said the general public is not in danger but they have not yet recovered the gun.

Lewandoski said police received several calls from the area saying from people saying they heard a gunshot and then heard a woman screaming. He said the victim, who appeared to be in her late 20s or early 30s, was conscious and talking to police before she slipped into unconsciousness.

He said the home is a duplex and the shooting occurred in the right-side apartment and that the victim and her likely assailant were visitors of the tenants who rent that half of the house.

The renters of the apartment, said Lewandoski, have been cleared of any wrongdoing but will not be allowed to return to the house until the police complete their investigation. He said police learned that the people involved in the shooting were their guests and that they had stayed there Monday night.

He said there are people who live in the other half of the home who have two children and they are being temporarily housed in an undisclosed location. He said their two dogs will be taken to the Humane Society for care until they can all return to the home.

As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Lewandoski said investigators were in the process of getting a search warrant for the house. He said police only went into the apartment to assist the victim and make sure no one else was there.

Lewandoski said that investigators were speaking to a number of witnesses and police hope to make an arrest shortly.

"Right now I do not know the victim or the person who shot her but we hope to have some answers soon as to why this happened," he said.

According to Belmont online assessing records, the house is owned by Elizabeth Gates and Shane Farmer. It is not known if they live there.

10-11 Major Crimes Unit at 24 Arlene

The State Police Major Crimes Unit was stationed outside 24 Arlene Drive in Belmont Tuesday evening. A woman was shot in the head at that address, but police say no one else is in danger at this time. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)

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Council to revisit Lakeside Avenue improvements tonight


LACONIA — The City Council will decide whether to extend improvements on Lakeside Avenue, which would include underground utilities, new street lights and concrete sidewalks, beyond Tower Street to Foster Avenue when it meets tonight at 7 p.m.

In June the council authorized investing $1,150,000 to bury the utilities and install new street lights from US Route 3 to Tower Street with the expectation that the Weirs Tax Increment Financing Advisory Board would request another $200,000 to enhance the sidewalks and crosswalks, bringing the total cost of the project to $1,350,000, which would be funded by the Weirs Tax Increment Financing District.

Tax increment financing allows municipalities to delineate tax increment financing districts, then apply a portion of the future tax revenues that accrue from the increase in assessed value generated by new construction, expansion or renovation of property in the district to finance public improvements by servicing borrowings within that district. There are three such districts in the city, one downtown, another in Lakeport and the third at The Weirs.

The proposal to extend the scope of work to Foster Avenue followed public discussion, together with the need for the Laconia Water Works to undertake improvements past Tower Street to Foster Avenue.

The cost of burying additional utilities, installing more street lights and extending concrete sidewalks is projected at $250,000, increasing the total cost of the project from $1,350,000 to $1,600,000. The project would be financed by a borrowing with a term of 20 years. Debt service on borrowings of $1,350,000 and $1,600,000 would begin at $93,000 and $110,000 decrease by $1,200 and $1,500 each year respectively.

Although the current balance in the Weirs Tax Increment Financing District account is not sufficient to service the debt, City Manager Scott Myers said the projected increase in property values will enable the district to fully fund the debt service within six years. In the meantime, the city would loan the district the difference between what it can pay and what is owed, which he anticipates would not not exceed $100,000. The arrangement, Myers stressed, would have no impact on either the city's cash-flow or budget since the loan will be repaid as income to the tax increment financing district rises.

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