MC Week visitors from the Land Down Under

LACONIA — Visitors from all over show up at Laconia Motorcycle Week every year and this year is no exception, a point Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, made at a press conference held at the Naswa Resort Friday morning.
He introduced Michael ''Mick'' Colville from New Castle, Australia, who along with his wife, Robyn, has spent the 92nd anniversary rally in the Lakes Region.
The couple traveled more than 10,500 miles from Australia to reach New Hampshire, flying in to the New York city area where they rented a motorcycle in Bergen, New Jersey and drove to Newport, Rhode Island for a day and spent the next two days in Boston, Mass., before coming to the Lakes Region for the next nine days.
They are staying at the Bear Tree Lodge in Meredith and had their first Bike Week experience by taking part in last Saturday's Peter Makris Memorial Ride around Lake Winnipesaukee.
Mick, who drives a Harley Fat Boy back home in Australia, said ''we had a wonderful experience'' and would like to return.
The couple also took part in the covered bridge Gypsy Tour and Thursday's ride to the top of Mt. Washington.
St. Clair said that more than 400 bikes took part in the annual Freedom Ride to the POW/MIA vigil in Meredith Thursday night.
Major Russell Conte of the New Hampshire State Police said that Motorcycle Week traffic was running smoothly and that it was expected that there would be no major traffic problems for riders coming into the Lakes Region on I-93 and Rte. 106 over the weekend.
Laconia Police Chief Chris Adams said that there were only three minor arrests on Thursday night related to Bike Week and that the first serious motorcycle crash of the week had taken place on Parade Road just before the 11 a.m. press conference got underway,
He said two cycles had been involved in a crash at the Roller Coaster Road intersection.


CAPTION Aussie 1

Michael ''Mick'' Colville and his wife, Robyn, are introduced by Laconia Motorcycle Week Association executive director Charlie St. Clair at a press conference at the Naswa Resort. The couple are from New Castle, Australia, and have spent Bike Week in the Lakes Region. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Caption Aussie 2

Robyn Colville and her husband, Michael, who are from NewCastle, Australia and are visiting the Lakes Region for Laconia Motorcycle Week, chat with Major Russell Conte of the New Hampshire State police, Laconia Police Chief Chris Adams and Claire Perrson of Laconia following a press conference at the Naswa Resort. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

'Smokey's' fire danger rating signs stolen in Belmont

BELMONT — For a reason no one can fathom, someone stole the changeable signs that get posted in front of the fire station to report the fire danger on any particular day.

Lt. Ryan Brown said the signs were all stored inside the Smokey Bear sign at the end of the BFD driveway. Each day the danger of forest fires is rated from low to extreme.

He said one went missing about two days ago and the rest of them disappeared  Thursday night into Friday morning, sometime after 11:30 p.m. and before 6:15 a.m.

Brown said each rating had two signs — meaning two that say "low", two that say "medium" all the way up through "extreme". All totaled, there are 10 individual sign pieces.

At first, he said, he and the other supervisors thought it was a pranks pulled on them by one of the call firefighters or members of the duty crew.

"We interviewed the usual pranksters," he said, noting that none of them knew anything about the thefts.

He said the Belmont Police have been notified but all the fire department really wants is to get their signs returned.

Brown said the signs must be ordered through the N.H. Division of Forestry and are made especially for the state for redistribution to individual fire departments.

"All Smokey want is to inform people about the fire danger," Brown said.

He is also asking that if any parents see any of the signs in their childrens' rooms to return them to the department.

"That's really all we want," he said.


CAPTION: Smokey Bear in Belmont is missing his warning signs. The message board on the left is asking for them to be returned so Smokey can continue his warnings. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

Gilmanton town administrator to leave post

GILMANTON — Town Administrator Arthur Capello will be leaving Gilmanton in the end of July to assume the same position in his home town of Farmington.

Capello has been with the town for two years and saw it through the sprinkler pipe leak that shut down town hall in the Academy Building for three months earlier this year.

Capello was a selectman in Farmington but was defeated in his most recent bid for re-election.