Police say untimely death on Messer Street was drug-overdose related

LACONIA — Police said yesterday the young man whose body was found in a apartment at 26 Messer Street likely died from some kind of drug overdose.

The man who appeared to be in his early 20s was not from Laconia, said Capt. Bill Clary, and was considered to be a transient in the community he called home before coming to Laconia.

The death was reported to police around 11 a.m. Monday morning and was investigated by local detectives.

A complete autopsy is being conducted by the N.H. Medical Examiner.

Clary said the name of the young man is not being released because not all of the members of his family have been identified.


Future of Belmont Mill to be Topic A at Monday night meeting at BHS

BELMONT — Selectmen will host a facilitated meeting so residents can participate in determining future of the historic Belmont Mill on Monday, May 4 in the cafeteria of the High School at 7 p.m.

Selectmen, when discussing the mill in a meeting after voters overwhelmingly rejected a plan to restore it and convert it to town offices, said they wanted the voters to tell them what they should do next and how they propose to pay for it.

In preparation for the meeting, Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin reached out personally to all of the stakeholders that she and the selectmen could identify.

The list includes the members of the Heritage Committee, the Historical Society, the people who came to one of two public hearings to voice an opinion about what should happen, the attendees of the annual Town Meeting SB-2 session and anyone who wrote a letter or letters to the editor of the local newspapers.

The circa 1833 mill was restored in the 1990s after being partially destroyed by a fire. During the blaze the roof was destroyed and for three years the insides were exposed to elements.

The town secured a federal grant that allowed the town to rebuild it provided it was used for low- to moderate-income purposes for 25 years.

Three years ago, the town learned there was a soft spot in the flooring on the fourth floor and further examination showed that some of the restoration work that has been contracted during the 1990s renovation was not done as it should have been. Unfortunately for the town, the companies responsible for the questionable work had long since gone out of business and compensation was not possible.

Because of the structural defects on the fourth floor, the Lakes Region Community College relocated its culinary arts program to Canterbury Shaker Village.

The third floor is occupied by Belknap Family Health Center while the bottom floor is home to the Lakes Region Child Care Center that is relocating to larger accommodations over the summer. A portion of the mill is being used by the Belmont Recreation Department.

With the departure of nearly half of the tenants, the town solicited an engineering estimate to renovate the mill and relocate the town offices into it. Budgeted at $3.4 million, the voters rejected the proposal.

The purpose of Monday's meeting at the High School is for the town residents to evaluate the possibilities of what the mill can be — up to and including the same proposal or complete demolition.

By facilitating the meeting with an independent person — Michael Castagna of Castagna Consulting — selectmen are hoping for some future thoughts to come from the town's people that aren't necessarily influenced by the will of the selectmen or the Budget Committee.

McDonald's in Tilton has brand-new look

TILTON — The Napoli Group LLC, which owns and operates over 30 McDonald's restaurants in New Hampshire, held an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony at it's newly remodeled Tilton store on Thursday morning.
Master of ceremonies for the event was Larry Johnston, who managed the Laconia McDonald's when it opened in 1971, and who said that the Tilton McDonald's has been in business for almost 30 years and was virtually the only business in the Exit 20 area when it opened in 1986.
Located just off from I-93 and Rte. 3-11, the major access road to the Lakes Region, it soon became the second busiest McDonald's in the state and was a part of the major retail and commercial expansion of the early and mid-1990s in the Exit 20 area.
''This area has grown up around us,'' said Johnston, who introduced Napoli Group LLC owner Peter Napoli and his son, Sal, who presented a check to The (Northfield) Pines Community Center Executive Director Jim Doane as a way of showing their gratitude to the area for its support of their restaurant.
"I can't thank you enough for this donation,'' said Doane, who added that the funds would be used to help provide access to programs at The Pines for area children whose families can't afford the fees.
Johnston noted that contractor Roger Desjardins of Marceau Construction of Methuen, Mass., had been able to complete the project while then existing restaurant remained open for business, a challenging logistical situation, and noted that Desjardins had also been in charge of the recent remodeling of the Franklin McDonald's, which is also owned by the Napoli Group, as are the McDonald's in Laconia and Meredith.
Area supervisor Bob Benson, who lives in Maine, where the Napoli Group, which owns over 90 restaurants in New England, also has a large number of restaurants, praised the staff at the Tilton McDonald's for their dedication and team effort throughout the remodeling process.
The inside of the restaurant presents a new look for McDonald's. The decor comes in shades of black, brown and orange, providing a sleek, modern feel, giving the restaurant a more upscale casual dining feel. And, for added convenience, there are now two drive thru ordering lanes.
''We're looking to provide the kinds of things our customers want.'' said Peter Napoli, pointing out that he menu has changed as well in recent years to provide more salads and healthful choices like oatmeal for breakfasts.
Napoli, a Leominster, Mass., native started working with McDonald's in Fitchburg, Mass., in 1967, and says that his path to success is similar to that of other people who started their careers with McDonald's. ''Half of their current executives started out working at McDonald's. We've evolved over the years but that kind of opportunity for people who work for us is still there.,'' says Napoli.

Taking part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newly remodeled McDonald's in Tilton are, front row, Sal Napoli of the Napoli Group; Tilton Police Chief Bob Cormier; Tilton Planning Board Chair Jane Alden; Selectboard chair Pat Consentino and Peter Napoli, owner of the Napoli Group. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)