2 men arrested for inent to distribute heroin

LACONIA — Concluding an investigation it says took several months, the Police Department on Wednesday afternoon executed simultaneous search warrants that resulted in the arrest of two local men on drug charges, including possession off and intent to distribute heroin.

David C. Hobbs, 29, of 742 Union Avenue, and Jeramiah M. Proulx, Sr., 38, of 740 Union Avenue were stopped and arrested on Rte. 106 on Prescott Hill at about 4 p.m. At the time, Proulx was a passenger in a car being driven by Hobbs. The court-authorized search warrant's also covered the suspects' homes.

In all, police say they seized in excess of $6,400, along with a "significant" quantity of heroin, pills and marijuana, as well as electronic surveillance and recording equipment.

Proulx is charged with possession of a narcotic drug and conspiracy to distribute a narcotic drug. Hobbs was charged with conspiracy to distribute a narcotic drug.

Police say both men refused the services of a bail commissioner and are scheduled to be arraigned in Fourth Circuit Court-Laconia on Thursday.

Commenting on the arrests, Detective Sergeant Thomas Swett said, "The Police Department aggressively investigates drug crimes and anyone having further information about this case, or other incidents to illegal drug activity, is encouraged to contact police at 524-5252 or call the Crime Line at 524-1717.


Gilmanton Historic District protester withdraws name from consideration for spot on governing commission

GILMANTON — The Meeting House Road man who had asked voters to have his property removed from the historic district around the Smith Meeting House on Tuesday night withdrew his request to serve on the district's board.

Craig Gardner of 533 Meetinghouse Road had petitioned to have his property removed during the March election after learning a fence he constructed was not suitable to the Historic District Commission.

"I've been on a lot of committees in my life," Gardner told the Selectboard. "The most dishonest thing a person can do is come on a committee with a cause."

Gardner said he wondered if he could ignore his cause (to remove his property from the district) and decided he could be more honest as a member of the community.

"I appreciate your honesty," said Selectboard Chair Don Guarino, who agreed that Gardner could be very active as a member of the community.

Gardner and Roland Huber, a second property owner in the district, both petitioned the town to have their properties removed from because of what they considered unreasonable restrictions. A slim majority of voters ultimately agreed with them but their petitions were challenged by abutters, including former Historic District Chairman George Roberts, who attended Tuesday's meeting, who filed "protest petitions" that meant, under state law, Gardner and Huber needed a two-third majority vote to prevail.

Although the town received the protest petitions in a timely fashion, when officials contacted the town attorney about what to do with them, administrators were told to ignore it, said Town Administrator Arthur Capello.

While one condition of the protest petition was satisfied according to RSA 675:5, a second condition requiring the town to post the protest petition and announce it at the beginning of town meeting, in this case, the deliberative session, was never met.

Town attorneys have brushed off the posting and announcing portion of the law as a "minor procedural error" but Gardner disagrees.

He said that had he known about two-thirds vote needed for him to succeed, he would have approached the matter differently and could have possible prevailed.

The posting matter is still being discussed within the town between administrators, town counsel and Gardner.

With Gardner's last-minute withdrawal for consideration for the Historic District Commission seat, selectmen nominated Betty-Ann Abbott to serve for a three year term.

In her application, Abbott said she had an interest in the area and would be mindful of residents rights while being holding true to the mission of the Historic District.

Under state law, the Planning Board can also have one of its members serve on a historic district. Selectman Steve McCormack, who is the board's representative to the Planning Board, said Roy Buttrick had volunteered.

Lakeland School students mark Earth Day by breaking ground on new flower & vegetable gardens

MEREDITH — Students at Lakeland School, a private K-8 school located on the Meredith Center Road, overlooking the southern end of Lake Wicwas, celebrated Earth Day Wednesday by starting work on gardens where they will soon be raising flowers and vegetables.
The garden project has been in the works for nearly a year according to Christina Reynolds, first and second grade teacher at the school, who says that the students have played a big part in planning for the gardens by helping design them and decide what plants to grow.
There will be two 10 foot by 4 foot plots which will be framed with wood and filled with composted soil to create raised beds.
Middle School students from grades 5-8 used shovels, rakes and other garden tools Wednesday morning to clear the ground which will be used for the gardens and are very enthusiastic about the project, according to Reynolds, who notes that the project offers an opportunity for the students to develop their math and science skills.
Students say they are planning to grow pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons, carrots, tomatoes and sunflowers in the gardens. Tyler Morrissette, 13, of Gilford, says he'd like to grow some potatoes as well.
Reynolds said that there will also be a composting area near the gardens where such items as banana peels, orange rinds and leftover lettuce from salads will be combined with other organic ingredients to provide compost for the gardens.
Some third and fourth graders have already collected some red wriggler worms from the school grounds which they are keeping in containers in their classrooms and which will be placed in the composting area. A worm kit has been ordered and the thousands of worms which it will produce will be busy turning the organic material into compost.
Reynolds said the school has been aided by local Master Gardener Dee Sargent in designing the garden and that the school is very grateful to carpenter Morgan Reynolds for building the frames and to Petal Pushers Farm in Laconia for providing the composted soil which will b.e used to grow the plants.

Lakeland School students Claire Gardner, Michele Loyer, Nicole Turin, Abigail Johnson and Nicole Bahder celebrated Earth Day by clearing ground for a garden project at the school. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)