Caged chickens lead to Belmont charge of animal cruelty

BELMONT — A former Laconia Road woman has been charged with one count of cruelty to animals for allegedly leaving 13 chickens and two turkeys locked in an outside dog crate for three days.

Police said Sherry Nelson, 53, of 149 Laconia Road, who was in the process of moving, had allegedly packed the poultry into the dog crate with the intentions of taking most of them to be slaughtered.

She allegedly tied the outside with a zip-tie and told the neighbors she would be back that day to get them.

Police said one of her neighbors became concerned because of the sun and heat and covered the crate, gave the birds some water and called the police.

When police arrived they freed the birds and made arrangements for them to go to the Upper Valley Humane Society.

The arresting officer said the birds were in pretty rough shape when police arrived but they are expected to survive.

"It didn't look very pretty," said the officer. "Now they are in a better home."

Police said that if a person is forced to leave their home or is moving to some place where animals aren't allowed, they should notify the authorities because there is some help for them.

It is a class B misdemeanor to abandon or mistreat any animals or livestock.

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 436

Taco Bell restaurant to be built on upper Union Ave.

LACONIA — Diners accustomed to "finger lickin' good" will soon be asked to "think outside the bun" when the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant on Union Avenue is replaced with a Taco Bell franchise.

Good Eats Hospitality, LLC of New Gloucester, Maine, which owns the property and the business through its subsidiary L & D Properties, LLC, plans to demolish the building that has housed KFC since 1992 and construct the new home of Taco Bell on the same footprint.

The same company owns a KFC restaurant on Rte. 140 in Tilton, near exit 20.

The existing building is 2,190-square-feet while the new building will be slightly smaller at 2,020-square-feet and provide seating for 40. The drive-thru lane, along with the parking lots either side of the building, will remain. Water and sewer will be connected to the existing infrastructure on the site.

Planning Director Shanna Saunders said that the project raises no significant issues. However, L & D Properties, LLC will require three variances, which the Zoning Board of Adjustment will consider on September 15. One variance would to reduce setback from Union Avenue from 50 feet to 41 feet to accommodate a wetland at the rear of the property and the other two would allow five signs instead of the required three and increase the permitted square footage of signage 92 square feet to 99.82-square-feet.

Both the Taco Bell and KFC brands are owned by Yum!Brands, Inc., a Fortune 500 corporation with more than 40,000 restaurants in 125 countries around the world.

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 5192

Cat poop chronicles continue in Barnstead, judge order contempt investigation

BARNSTEAD — A Belknap County Superior Court Judge determined yesterday that one the parties involved in a cat feces battle in Locke Lake Colony has likely committed involuntary contempt of court.

Judge James O'Neill directed that the Belknap County Attorney investigate whether or not Victoria Bednarski and her husband violated the terms of a restraining order issued in June of 2013 by Judge Kenneth McHugh.

The Bednarskis were ordered to keep their three cats off of the Gilles Dube's property and the Dube's were ordered to stop firing (pellet) guns and lighting fireworks at odd hours of the night.

The Dube's, who have represented themselves throughout the nearly 18 month-long battle, claim that the Bednarskis cats have damaged the beach area of their property by continually defecating there.

Yesterday was the second time the Dube's have come to court to say that the Bednarskis have not complied with McHugh's order. He offered pictures to the court dated August 14 that he said showed the damage to his beach however he said that the wildlife camera he bought to capture images of her cats was inconclusive.

Dube said just last week he was on his deck when one of her cats joined him.

He said the Barnstead Police have been involved and that one officer told them they have the right to protect their property using means that included pellets guns.

Police Chief Joe McDowell confirmed the police have been involved but declined to comment on what now appears to be a possible criminal and not a civil matter.

The Bednarskis are represented by attorney Emily McLaughlin, who said that her clients don't ever let their cats out of the house because they are afraid of what the Dubes will do to them.

She provided a list of signatures from people who says that every time they have been to the Bednarski's home, the cats are inside and there is no evidence that they go outside.

McLaughlin also noted that the Locke Lake area is filled with wildlife including Canadian geese, ducks, raccoons and other wildlife that could also have defecated on the Dube's beach. She also noted that other people in Locke Lake Colony have cats too.

McLaughlin described the Dube's two claims of contempt as "vexatious litigation" and asked that the court award the Bednarskis legal fees.

She said her clients are terrified to be in their own home and that Bruce Bednarski's health has suffered as a result.

Conversely, the Dubes asked the judge to award them $4,000 in damages for the money they have spent on court costs, emotional distress and remediation of the beach area of their property.

The Dube's also want the Humane Society to take the cats from the Bednarski's and put up for adoption.

O'Neill ruled that the cross-restraining order remains in full effect while the county attorney's office investigates. He withheld any ruling on any financial demands until the investigation is complete. He also ordered that if any of the parties are determined to be in "inadvertent contempt" they could be jailed for up to six months.

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 822

Sachems drop opener when 2-point conversion attempt fails in last minute

LEBANON — Following what could have been a tying touchdown with 22 seconds remaining, Laconia last night elected to try for a 2-point conversion and the win but came up short and dropped its football season opener here last night by a score of 22-21. Kyle Chiasson piled up 193 yards on 38 carries to lead the Sachems offense.

The Sachems went 3-6 last season, missing the playoffs. One of their three wins came against Lebanon, 20-17.

Laconia's offense is returning quarterback Matt Swormstedt and running back Chiasson. Both players were key contributors last season. Linebackers Cody Yale and Keith Schultz will be the anchors of the defensive side.

The Sachems have a bye in week two and will return to action on September 19th when they host Manchester West, new to NHIAA Division II, at Bank of New Hampshire Stadium.

Lebanon will head to Plymouth next Saturday to face the defending Division II champion Bobcats in their season opener.

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 159