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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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Man injured in tractor accident

GILMANTON — Fire Chief Paul Hempel III said a local man was injured in a tractor accident while mowing a lawn yesterday afternoon.

Hempel said the man was on Guinea Ridge Road around 2:30 p.m. when the call came in.

He said he's not exactly sure what happened but said the mid-sized farm tractor was not running when emergency crews arrived.

He said the man was conscious and breathing. He was taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia for evaluation.

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 October 2013 03:30

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LFD deputy chief leaving to take a top Dept. of Safety job

LACONIA — After nine years with the Fire Department, Deputy Fire Chief Deb Pendergast has been appointed director of the Division of Fire Standards and Training and Emergency Medical Services at the New Hampshire Department of Safety.

Pendergast alone among the 18 candidates for the position was nominated by Governor Maggie Hassan. She was unanimously confirmed by the Executive Council when it met last week. She will oversee both the Fire Academy, which serves as the Northeast regional training facility for Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Personnel, and the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services.

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, where she majored in psychology, Pendergast is pursuing a master's degree in pubic administration at the University of New Hampshire. She has spent two decades in the fire service. 11 with the East Derry Fire Department, where she rose to the rank of lieutenant, and the last nine as deputy chief in Laconia, joining the department as the highest ranking female firefighter in the state.

As deputy chief Pendergast secured more than $1.2 million in grants for the department, including most recently $642,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to add four firefighters for two years.

City Manager Scott Myers said that "the state's gain will be Laconia's loss as she is a valuable resource for our community." The community, he noted, should be proud that "the governor thought highly enough of one our own to nominate her to this important position."

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 October 2013 03:24

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