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Police allege woman was drunk when she caused crash near airport

GILFORD — A woman who was involved in a minor traffic accident on Lake Shore Road (Rte. 11) Thursday morning was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated.

Police said Debra S. Goeller, 63, of Valley Street in Laconia was driving east toward Alton at 11:52 a.m. and attempted to make a left-hand turn into what police described as a gated dirt turn off that goes to the Laconia Muncipal Airport runway.

Lt. Kris Kelley, who responded to the crash, said the car that was driving behind Goeller tried to pull around her on the right, but she apparently changed her mind regarding the turn and continued to head east on the road. He said the two cars then collided.

Goeller had a passenger in her car and Kelley said the other driver was alone. No one was injured.

Kelley said Goeller is new to the Lakes Region and that her prior address is in New Mexico.

A person is charged with aggravated DWI if he or she causes an accident or if his or her blood alcohol level is greater that .16, which is twice the legal driving limit.

Kelley said both circumstances were alleged factors in Thursday morning's crash.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 October 2013 02:51

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Police identify San'ton man as thief who helped himself to $40 at chocolate store

TILTON — Police have arrested the man who allegedly robbed the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory on October 15.

Brady R. Gilbert, 22, whose last known address was 13 Cogswell Road in Sanbornton is charged with one count of theft — a Class A misdemeanor.

Police affidavits submitted to support an arrest warrant said the store clerk told police that Gilbert came into the store that is in the Tanger Outlet Mall and bought a $2 item.

When she rang up his purchase, she told police he allegedly placed one hand on the counter and reached in and took $40 from the cash register.

The store clerk told police he wasn't wearing a mask or gloves and affidavits said police were able to lift a palm print from the counter.

The next day, Detective Crp. Matt Dawson said was able to identify Gilbert as a suspect and included his photo in an array and showed it to the clerk. She was able to identify Gilbert.

Dawson got a warrant for his arrest on October 17 and found Gilbert in the parking lot of the McDonald's restaurant.

Gilbert appeared by video in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday.

Dawson also said the Gilbert had previously failed to show up for a unrelated firearms charge in Belknap County Superior Court.

He said Gilbert was scheduled to appear in that court Monday morning because the state had filed a motion to revoke his bail on the other charge.

Dawson told Judge Carroll that Gilbert had refused bail the night before and he would be satisfied with $1,500 cash.

Carroll set bail at that amount.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 October 2013 02:42

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Forrester named legislator of the year by group dedicated to reducing drug & alcohol problems

CONCORD — N.H. Senate Finance Chairman Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) has been named legislator of the year by New Futures, a nonprofit organization working to reduce the prevalence of drug and alcohol related problems in New Hampshire. Forrester received the honor at the group's annual awards dinner in Concord on Thursday.

The award recognizes Forrester's efforts in support of various drug and alcohol treatment programs in the state. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, she led the effort to include an additional $500,000 in the state's budget for the drug and alcohol fund. The senator also serves on the Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment.

Writer Sheryl Rich-Kern was also recognized at the event for her article "Hitting Bottom and the Bottom Line" which ran in Business NH Magazine and focuses on the impact New Hampshire's substance abuse problem has on the state's business community, taxpayers, and economy.

"Senator Forrester's success in restoring funding to the Alcohol Fund involved an intense effort on her part to educate her colleagues about the scope of the alcohol and drug problem in New Hampshire," said New Futures Executive Director Linda Saunders Paquette. "From the Senate, to the Governor's Commission, to her work in the community, Senator Forrester is spreading the word about the importance of prevention, treatment and recovery supports and fighting to ensure resources are available to those who need them."

"Having worked in a substance abuse treatment facility in the past, I know firsthand the importance of funding for these support programs," said Forrester. "Drug and alcohol abuse weakens our communities, harms our economy, and costs taxpayers millions each year as a result of increased criminal justice, health care, and other costs. Effective treatment programs can prevent these consequences by ensuring that those suffering from these diseases can get treatment and then go on to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. It is an honor to be recognized by New Futures for the work we have been able to do in this area and I look forward to continuing to work with them to address New Hampshire's substance abuse problems head on."

New Futures is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates, educates and collaborates to prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug problems in New Hampshire.



Note: A courtesy photo from the event is attached, no attribution necessary. Left to right: New Futures Executive Director Linda Saunders Paquette, Sen. Jeanie Forrester of Meredith and writer Ann Dowsett Johnston, author of "Drink", at the Sept. 17 annual meeting of New Futures in Concord. (Courtesy photo)

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 October 2013 02:21

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Model railroading center stage in Laconia this weekend

LACONIA — Model trains have been a life-long fascination for many of those attending a regional convention of of the National Model Railroad Association which is being held at the Margate Resort this weekend.
Some 300 people are on hand for the weekend event, which is hosted by the Seacoast Division of The Northeastern Region of the National Model Railroad Association.
''It took us two years to put together this convention,'' said Erich Whitney of Derry, convention chairman, who said that coordinating all of programs and exhibits and arrangements for visiting local railroad related attractions takes a lot of time.
''We're really excited to hold a convention in an area which has such a great railroad history,'', said Whitney.
He said that many of those attending were making visits to the Lakeport freight station and the historic Laconia Railroad Station, as well as stations in Ashland, Plymouth and Meredith and taking rail excursions offered by the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad, the Hobo Railroad and even as far away as Conway to ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad.
While there were any clinics and presentations taking place at the Margate, the major focus of activity were the on-site operating sessions at which modular model railroad systems were set up and operated on several large oval track configurations.
One of the most impressive modulars was an eight-foot long, 250-pound mountain scene set up by John Flanders of Clinton, Mass., president of the Ashburnham Modular Railroad Club, which has about 200 members.
The modular features some 250 snow-covered trees, tunnels, a winding road where a snow plow is being operated and a wrecker has arrived to help a motorist who has skidded off the road. There's also wildlife, skiers and even an abominable snowman lurking on the mountain side.
''It took two years to build,'' says Flanders, who unveiled his creation last year at a convention in Springfield, Mass.
Flanders, who grew up next to the railroad tracks in Clinton, said that model railroads have been his life-long passion and that he has about $40,000 worth of trains and over 80-feet of modular layouts which he's built over the years.
A union carpenter who works out of Worcester, Mass., Flanders says that he enjoys the conventions as a way to stay in touch with those who share his enthusiasm.
Whitney said that he got into model railroading about four years ago thanks to the enthusiasm his children, Brenna, 15, and Colin, 12, developed for model trains.
''Our kids got involved in trains and we spend a lot of time with them going to train shows and to train sites all over New England and New York to ride on local railroads,'' said Whitney.
An engineer at a government research center in Bedford, Mass, Whitney says that he enjoys working on model railroad projects with his children.
''It brings out your creative side. You get to use both sides of your brain,'' said Whitney, who said that his daughter has an amazing ability to conceptualize layouts and create them and was enjoying the convention.
''There's a generation gap in model railroading. Most of the people here are long-time modelers but we'd like to see the hobby came back and young people are the key,'' said Whitney.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 October 2013 02:09

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