Charlie Chandler joins District 2 race for NH Senate seat

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

WARREN — Charles Chandler of Warren, best known as Charlie, yesterday became the first Democrat to announce he will seek a seat in the New Hampshire Senate in District 2.

Born and raised in Laconia, which he called "my home town," Chandler has spent the last 45 years serving local and state government in elected, appointed and voluntary positions. "Public service is in my blood," he said.

Chandler, a retired attorney, has been a selectman in Northfield, where he also served on the Planning Board, and currently holds the same two positions in Warren. He represented Northfield in the New Hampshire House of Representatives where he served along side his father, Earl Chandler of Wilmot, and brother, Gene Chandler of Bartlett, as the lone Democrat of the three.

Chandler served on the Ballot Law Commission as well as an Election Monitor, appointed by the Secretary of State and Attorney General to oversee voting in New Boston.

In 2010, Secretary of State William Gardner picked Chandler to preside over an independent inquiry into Financial Resources Mortgage Inc. and CL&M Inc. of Meredith, which bilked more than 100 clients of tens of millions of dollars in what Chandler called "a heartless, vicious Ponzi scheme."

Chairman of the Board of Franklin Savings, a director of the Pemi-Baker Land Trust and a member of the Cannon Mountain Advisory Commission, Chandler said that along with background in law and service in government he also brings experience in business to his candidacy.

Chandler said that he has always been committed to public education.

"We must fully fund and provide this adequate education in order to keep New Hampshire moving forward." He described economic development as "always part of what I do," adding that while the economy rebounding "it's not improving for everybody."

Chandler stressed that his "experience, judgement and temperament" suited him for the Senate, where he anticipated "The positions I take will cross party lines."

Chandler is the second resident of Warren to enter the race in District 2, joining Republican Bob Giuda who his vying with Brian Gallagher of Sanbornton for the GOP nomination.

"I know them both well," he said, noting that he spoke with them to say that he intends to run a positive campaign grounded on the issues and hoped they would do the same. Chandler said, "There are serious philosophical differences and the voters of District 2 will have very clear choices."

Senate District 2 consists of 27 towns in three counties: Haverhill, Piermont, Orford,Warren, Wentowrth, Dorechester, Ellsworth, Rumney. Groton, Orange, Grafton, Campton, Plymouth, Hebron, Alexandria, Holderness, Ashland, Bridgewater and Bristol in Grafton County; Meredith, Center Harbor, New Hampton, Sanbornton and Tilton in Belknap County; and Hill, Danbury and Wilmot in Merrimack County.

Fire at Plymouth apartment displaces 17

PLYMOUTH — Seventeen people were displaced by a fire late Sunday night/Monday morning at a 12-unit apartment building. The Red Cross has reported they are assisting five adults, eight children and two cats involved in the incident at 2 Fox Park Drive.

Most of the occupants had exited the building safely, while one required fire department assistance, according to a release from Plymouth Fire-Rescue. The fire was contained to one unit, which was heavily damaged. No cause was determined for the fire, which is under investigation.

Deputy Chief Morrison credited an aggressive interior attack with limiting the fire spread. Several other units suffered smoke damage. There were no reported injuries. 

Plymouth Fire-Rescue was assisted by fire departments from Ashland, Campton-Thornton, Holderness, Rumney, Waterville Valley and Meredith E.M.S. Support was also provided by the American Red Cross, the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal's Office, Plymouth Police Department, as well as Plymouth State University Police. 

– Ginger Kozlowski

Cemetery vandalism - Historic headstones at Belmont burial site broken

BELMONT — Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the person or people who knocked over five headstones at the Highland Cemetery on Church Street.

Chief Mark Lewandoski said police got a report from a cemetery trustee Sunday morning and believe the damage was done sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Trustee Sharon Ciampi said Monday that two of the stones were pushed over and three more were pushed over and broken.

She said one appears to be from 1820 and was very thin. She said she would have to contact the state to see how to identify who was buried there and rely on them for guidance. Ciampi said the writing was very worn and there was an epithet on it and there is no way to fix it.

She said another broken stone had been broken before and cracked in the same place. One of the markers that appears to have been kicked over was for an infant.

Anyone who has any information is asked to call the Belmont Police at 267-8350.

– Gail Ober

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This is one of several headstones pushed over or broken at Highland Cemetery in Belmont over the weekend. (Courtesy photo)