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Non-essential FBI Academy shut down, LPD captain sent home

LACONIA — As the federal government partial shutdown continues into its eighth day, the trickle-down effects hit the city police last Thursday when Capt. Matt Canfield had a  specialized FBI training class canceled.

Canfield was into first week of specialized training at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia but was told last Thursday that his instructors were not considered "essential personnel" and the training would be stopped.

"I guess they tried to keep it (the FBI Academy) open but by Thursday they realized they couldn't," Canfield said yesterday.

This is day eight of the partial federal government shut down, caused by the inability of Congress to agree on a 2014-2015 budget that includes funding for the Affordable Care Act. Many federal employees not deemed "essential" have been furloughed without pay, including in New Hampshire the U.S. Forest Service employees as well as a number of people working at the Portsmouth Naval Base.

Canfield, who drove down to Quantico last Friday, was one of about 200 people chosen to attend the 2014 autumn session of the FBI National Academy. He said there was one other police officer from Manchester in his class as well as 24 police officers from countries other than the United States.

The FBI academy offers rigorous 11-week training class specializing in leadership and management for top ranking police officers and after applying a while ago, Canfield was accepted. The program itself is paid for by the FBI and the sending community — in this case the Laconia Police Department — pays for transportation to and from the academy as well as uniforms.

Canfield said he was on a waiting list for a while before he was accepted into the program. He said he was told by the academy directors that all of those who were unable to finish this session because of the government shut-down, will be able to attend one of the 2014 sessions. He said there is a waiting list of about three years after an application.

Graduation from the FBI Training Academy is one of the more prestigious training classes a police officer can receive. Other area graduates included former Police Chief Mike Moyer, Sheriff Craig Wiggin and Tilton Police Chief Robert Cormier.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 02:38

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Anti-co-op forces in Briarcrest want to be part of process, hire lawyer

LACONIA — Nearly a dozen residents of Briarcrest Estates, who are opposed to the Lakemont Cooperative purchasing the manufactured housing park on behalf of the tenants, are taking steps to form an organization and intervene in litigation.

Claiming to represent nearly 80 percent of the residents of the park, the group expects to incorporate as the Briarcrest Estates Home Owners Association before the week is out and has retained local attorney Phil McLaughlin to represent the organization in litigation pending in Belknap County Superior Court.

In July, Mark and Ruth Mooney, the owners of the park, tentatively accepted an offer from Maple Holding and Redevelopment, LLC of Orlando, Florida, an affiliate of Hometown America, Inc., among the largest owners of manufactured parks in the country, to purchase the 183-acre park with 241 home sites for $10 million. However, state law entitles the tenants to make a counter offer by presenting a purchase and sales agreement within 60 days of the first offer. Lakemont Cooperative has matched the $10 million offer and is seeking to arrange financing.

Meanwhile, the Mooneys petitioned the Belknap County Superior Court to approve the sale of the park to Maple Holding and Redevelopment, LLC. Attorney John Giere, representing the Mooneys, contends that since the law is intended to safeguard the interests of tenants of the park, most of whom oppose cooperative ownership, approving the transaction would serve the best interests of the residents in keeping wit the intent of the law.

Attorney Robert Shepherd of Nashua is preparing a response on behalf of the Lakemont Cooperative.

McLaughlin said that the statute was written to provide for cooperative ownership, but failed to anticipate the situation that has arisen at Briarcrest Estate, where a majority prefers for the park to remain in commercial ownership. "The statute fails to provide for dissent," he said. He explained that while the Mooneys and the Lakemont Cooperative are parties to the litigation before the court, the majority of residents are without a voice. McLaughlin said that he is in the process of preparing the case and expects to petition the court to permit the Briarcrest Estates Home Owners Association to intervene soon.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 02:34

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2-year-old Belmont girl dies as result of injuries

BELMONT — The young girl who is said to have fallen down a flight of stairs at her home last Wednesday has died, confirmed a local pastor who has been assisting the child's mother.

Belmont Police are now referring all inquiries into circumstances surrounding 2-year-old Havana O'Flaherty's death to the state Attorney General's Office.

Yesterday, Sr. Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin would only confirm that his office has been in contact with Belmont Police regarding a child.

Wednesday morning, emergency responders were called to Building 2 of the Belmont Village Apartments for a two-year-old child who had apparently fallen down the stairs. Fire Chief Dave Parenti confirmed later that afternoon that responders found the child who was unconscious but breathing.

He said the child was found at the bottom of a carpeted stairway, on a carpeted landing.

He said the child, who was later identified by police as O'Flaherty, was taken by Belmont ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital. She was flown by helicopter to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.

At the time, police blocked the entrance to the apartment building with yellow crime scene tape. Lt. Rich Mann confirmed there was an investigation and that Havana's mother, Crystal Case, was at work and the child was in the care of an adult when she was found at the bottom of the stairs.

He said the tape was removed sometime Wednesday night.

Havana's family held a candlelight prayer vigil for her in Belmont Village last Friday. First Baptist Church Pastor James F. Smith officiated over the Friday's vigil. He also dedicated his Sunday service to Havana.

Police attended the vigil but stood a respectful distance away from the nearly 100 people who came to pray for the little girl.

Smith said yesterday that Havana was taken off life-support shortly before Friday's vigil and died sometime Saturday.

Havana attended the Heavenly Sonshine Preschool offered by the First Baptist Church.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 02:03

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Laconia produces lots of offense but Monadnock scores a lot more, 66-37

LACONIA —Monadnock Regional (Swanzey) stayed unbeaten (5-0) in NHIAA Division II football play last night by rolling past the Sachems at Bank of New Hampshire Stadium by a score of 66-37. The visiting Huskies scored two touchdowns on defense and another on a kickoff return.

Laconia (2-3) tried to spread out Monadnock's defense and move the ball with an aerial attack. The Sachems average eight to 10 pass attempts a game but threw the ball 48 times Friday night. Quarterback Matt Swormstedt completed 19 for 280 yards and two touchdowns but he was also victimized by four interceptions — one of which was returned for a pick six.

"We had breakdowns in every facet of the game," Laconia coach Craig Kozens said afterwards. "When the run wasn't going anywhere, we tried to spread the field and roll the dice. Unfortunately the dice don't always roll your way" Commenting on the four interceptions and fumble loss for a touchdown, Kozens said, "They took advantage of our mistakes. We just couldn't get it going the right way. I tip my cap to them. It doesn't get any easier for us next week (against 5-0 Plymouth)."

Laconia jumped out to a quick lead — scoring first for the fourth time in five games — when Swormstedt hooked up with Kyle Chiasson for a 48 yard strike one minute into the game. Monadnock would respond with a 25 yard field goal.

After Laconia went three and out on its next possession, Monadnock did not look back, scoring on a nine play drive capped off by a 31 yard quarterback keeper down the right sideline. Next, Laconia would fumble on the 31 yard line and watch Huskies Linebacker Drew Bolewski scoop up the loose ball and trot in untouched for the first of two consecutive defensive touchdowns.

Down 24-7, Laconia's Chiasson found the end zone for his second of three touchdowns on the night when he found a hole on the right side and sprinted 40 yards to paydirt. The Huskies would return the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for six of their own.

The Sachems dove down to Monadnocks 11 yard line, where the Huskies picked off Swormstedt on the three to end the threat. On the next play, trying to get out of the shadow of their own goal line, the Huskies tried to run off tackle only to be wrapped up for a safety by captains Steven Kemos and Jon Pelky.

Twelve points would be as close as the Sachems would get. The first drive for Laconia of the second half looked to be a three and out when they lined up to punt on fourth and one at their own 15 yard line. Only the snap went directly to Chaisson who rambled 85 yards for the touchdown.

Laconia would end up rushing for 157 yards on the evening. Swormstedt rushed for an 11 yard TD late in the fourth to cap off the scoring for Laconia.

Laconia looks to rebound from the loss, when they head to Plymouth to take on the Bobcats next Saturday at 1:30.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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