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Water line break sends 200k gallons over Union Ave.

LACONIA — An excavator working at the intersection of Mechanic Street and Walnut Street struck a 12-inch water main around 2:30 p.m. yesterday, sending some 200,000 gallons of water cascading down Walnut Street and Harrison Street, across Union Avenue, through the Irwin Marine yard and toward Paugus Bay, as well as along Mechanic Street to Stark Street.

Seth Nuttelman, superintendent of Laconia Water Works, said that the mishap left approximately 30 homes without running water during the five hours it took to repair the break.

Traffic moved along Union Avenue in both directions as the water swept across the roadway, Although the street was not damaged, there was some scouring beneath the shoulder and around the guardrail of the southbound lane, opposite Walnut Street.

A storm drain emptying into Paugus Bay carried a heavy load of silt into the water. However, Nuttelman said that because the storm drain is downstream of the intake pipe that draws the municipal water supply from the bay, city water quality would not be affected. Moreover, since Paugus Bay, which holds about 13 billion gallons of water, is the sole outlet for the 625 billion gallons of water in Lake Winnipesaukee, any pollutants are quickly diluted and, depending on the flow at the Lakeport Dam, soon flushed downstream.

"It's not a bad situation," said Nuttelman. "There are no concerns."

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 02:24

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Shaker closing playing fields early because of West Nile Virus threat

BELMONT — Until the town sees its first hard frost, Shaker Regional School District Superintendent Marie Dreyer has said that all high- and middle-school fields will be off limits after 6 p.m. and the elementary school fields in town will be off limits at 5:45 p.m.

Dreyer is reacting to the news Wednesday afternoon that a horse in Belmont has been diagnosed with West Nile Virus, making the town a high-level risk for its inhabitants.

She said school staff combed all of the school properties for any containers that could possibly hold standing water and removed or destroyed them.

She said other measures taken by the Shaker Regional School District was either a letter or e-mail sent immediately to all parents as well as the purchase of cans of Off – an insect repellent that contains DEET. Dreyer said if parents permit it, the repellant will be applied by a school nurse to younger children and given to older children for self-application.

Dreyer also said she has been in e-mail contact with the superintendents from Gilford, Laconia, and Winnisquam about possible sporting events scheduled for Belmont that may have to be held earlier in the day or postponed to a day after a hard frost.

Fire Chief Dave Parenti said he was first notified about the West Nile Virus around 4 p.m. from the Code Enforcement/Health Officer Steve Paquin.

West Nile Virus and its evil cousin Eastern Equine Encephalitis are mosquito-borne illnesses that can infect humans. Although cases in humans are rare, an active infection can cause flu-like symptoms that usually appear four to 10 days after a bite. West Nile Virus can be lethal.

Susan Laverack at the Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health said people should avoid being outside at dawn and at dusk. She recommends wearing long-sleeved clothing, long pants, and socks when outside.

She said the recommendations Dreyer made for Belmont's students are the same as what she would recommend for all residents.

Dreyer said the e-mail she sent to parents made a similar request about clothing.

"It's been warm lately so I know it hard for the little ones to understand," she said.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 02:51

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Make A Wish, John Bradley Thompson

GILFORD — Students and staff members at Gilford Elementary gathered outside the school yesterday afternoon to watch 6-year-old John Bradley Thompson and his family leave in a stretch limousine for a flight that will take them to the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia.
John, a first grader who was diagnosed earlier this year with an inoperable brain tumor, is making a week-long trip with his family thanks to the Make A Wish foundation, which grants wishes of children with life-threatening conditions.
The son of Jesse and Alison Thompson, John was hoisted atop the limousine by his father near the end of the ceremony, where he waved to his fellow students, many of whom held signs wishing him well and expressing their support for him in his struggle with the rare form of cancer.
''The community and the school have all been so great, so supportive,'' said his has grandmother, Darryl Thompson, as the limousine pulled out of the driveway at the school.
The Thompson family is very familiar with the Make a Wish Foundation, having donated nearly $3,000 to the organization in April of 2012 when Jesse appeared on the Wheel of Fortune television game show and held a party at the Lyons Den restaurant in Glendale for invited guests the night it was aired.
John was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) on June 2 this year after being taken by his parents to the emergency room at Boston Children's Hospital after experiencing double vision and dizziness and reaching the point where he was unable to lift his chin off his chest. An MRI revealed a large, aggressive tumor his brain stem.
A brain biopsy was taken to obtain tissue samples and on June 13 John traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to join a Phase I Trial Study at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He received six weeks of radiation treatment, started daily chemotherapy and returned home to Gilford on August 1. He is enrolled in an experimental chemotherapy clinical trial at St. Jude and returns there frequently for tests. Only 150 cases are of DIPG are diagnosed each year, making it so rare that there is no federal funding for research.
A web site, Think John Bradley, provides updates on his condition A sports fan who is passionate about his artwork, John has two little sisters, Clara (4 years old) and Elizabeth (7 months) and a big yellow dog named Jackson.
Family members say that John has been feeling good, hanging out with his friends and checks daily on his blog, where he has been reading the comments and absorbing positive vibes.
A fund known as the JB Thompson Fund has been set up to accept donations from the fundraisers which are being held in the community for John. Two two are coming up in the near future, JBT Night at Patrick's Pub & Eatery on Tuesday, October 15 from 4 p.m. to close where 50 percent of the food portion of the checks will be donated, and The Cure Starts Now at Gunstock Mountain Resort on Saturday, October 26. The evening will feature a meal, a program, a live auction and dancing to local favorite Paul Warnick and Phil 'n the Blanks.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 02:09

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Historic Laconia Veterans Square church building will be converted into Irish pub/restaurant by Hampton couple

LACONIA — David and Maureen Kennedy of Hampton, who trace their roots to Tipperrary and Galway respectively, plan to convert the former Evangelical Baptist Church on Veterans Square into a restaurant and pub with a distinctive Celtic flavor.

Kennedy discussed his plans for the building with the city's Technical Review Committee on Wednesday and is scheduled to seek the approval of the Planning Board next month.

Planning Director Shanna Saunders said "we fast tracked this project."

Kennedy said that he expects to close on the purchase of the building from the church next month and anticipates completing the conversion in seven months. "We'd like to catch some of the summer," he said.

In search of larger accommodations, the Evangelical Baptist Church moved to Lakeport after purchasing the former Our Lake of the Lakes building complex from the Roman Catholic Church.

The restaurant will be the Kennedy's second, both housed in churches. The Holy Grail Restaurant and Pub in what what was St. Joseph's Church on Main Street in Epping has twice been chosen as the state's finest Irish pub by New Hampshire Magazine.

Kennedy likened the historic Laconia church — originally constructed at the corner of Church and North Main Streets, in front of the Public Library —  to a large split-level ranch house, explaining that a staircase at the entrance leads to an upper and lower level. He said that while he is still in the process of preparing plans he expects the dining room and bar will be on the upper level while a "village setting" with a cafe as its centerpiece would occupy the lower level, which would be lined with he called "faux shops," offering bakery items, packaged foodstuffs and perhaps Irish products. He described the lower level as a space for people to congregate while waiting for a table or enjoying a coffee after dinner.

Kennedy said that he plans to add a second story to a triangular addition at the rear of the building where for the kitchen, offices, utilities and storage. In Epping, he said he was able to provide seating in the choir loft of St. Joseph's Church above the main floor of the dining area and has contemplated adding a mezzanine to the Evangelical Church if the structure will support it.

Because the the building occupies the entire lot, Kennedy said that finding a discreet place for a dumpster has proved his sternest challenge. He said that conversations with neighboring businesses have been encouraging and is confident of resolving the issue.

The menu, like that in Epping, will feature traditional Irish offerings like shepherd's pie, fish and chips, corn beef and cabbage and boiled dinner along side more conventional fare like steak, seafood, pasta and burgers. He said that daily and seasonal specials, using fresh local ingredients, will be served. In Epping, nearly two dozen brands of beer — of course, including Guinness — are on tap.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 07:35

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