Fill in for Flanders

City makes request for special election

By RICK GREEN, Laconia Daily Sun

LACONIA — The City Council has requested a special election to replace state Rep. Don Flanders, R-Laconia, who died last month.

Gov. Chris Sununu and his Executive Council will consider the City Council's request when they meet on Oct. 25. Approval at that meeting would set up a candidate filing period from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3.

The primary election would be Jan. 9 and the general election would be Feb. 27. If there is only one candidate from each party, the Jan. 9 vote would determine Flanders' replacement.

Flanders, who died Sept. 28 at age 82, represented Belknap District 3 since 2000.

He served on the House Commerce Committee, which oversees the banking, insurance and securities industries and the New Hampshire Liquor Commission.

At the City Council meeting Tuesday, City Manager Scott Myers suggested that the council act quickly to seek an election as the new legislative session begins in January.

  • Written by Rick Green
  • Category: Local News
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Prized bicycle stolen - then recovered

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Jesse Mandigo-Seavey was elated to get his new BMX bicycle back on Tuesday after it had been stolen. (Courtesy photo)

City 10-year-old’s bike was a reward for good grades


LACONIA — It's not every day the police department gets to brighten a 10-year-old's day, but that's what happened Tuesday.

On Oct. 5, Jesse Mandigo-Seavey's BMX-style bicycle was stolen from the back porch of his apartment unit. It appeared that someone cut through a lock that had secured the bike to a railing.

The young man was shattered.

“It made me feel sad, disappointed and angry,” he said.

Jesse was proud of the bike, which he had earned for good behavior at school.

“It has an awesome design on it with a skull and lettering,” he said. “I do wheelies and jumps with it.”

His mother, Shelley Mandigo, called police and an officer came out to take a report. But the mother and the police didn't stop there.

She contacted Winnisquam Printing and Copying and asked if they could produce a poster asking for the public's help in finding the bike.

“They did it for nothing,” she said. “They were really sweet and kind.”

The poster, which Mandigo placed around the area, had a headline, “STOLEN BIKE,” and a message from Jesse:

“Hello to the person(s) who stole my bike. My name is Jesse. I got this bike as a REWARD for doing something GOOD. I am very sad that you took it. PLEASE! Bring my bike back. PLEASE!”

The poster included the number for the police department.

The police department put a post on its Facebook page, including an image of the poster.

Police Chief Matt Canfield said the department got a call from a person who said he saw someone riding the bike, and then, miraculously, someone dropped off the bike at the police department.

An officer called Jesse.

“I was so excited that I got my bike back,” he said. “Sad and happy at the same time.”

His mom can attest to how pleased he was.

“He was so excited when he got it back, he hugged the police officer before he even looked at the bike,” she said.

  • Written by Rick Green
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Big day arrives: Pumpkin Festival is here!

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Hunter Bell adds teeth to her creation during yesterday afternoon’s pumpkin-carving at Gilford Middle School, which readied approximately 350 jack-o’-lanterns for this weekend’s Pumpkinfest in downtown Laconia. (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

By RICK GREEN, Laconia Daily Sun

LACONIA — The 2017 New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival gets underway at 4 p.m. today with pumpkin carving, amusement rides, bands, food and more.

“There is plenty of parking in the municipal lots on Beacon Street East and West as well as on-street parking,” said organizer Karmen Gifford. “We just ask please do not block driveways and to leave room for emergency vehicles to get by or you will be towed. Handicap parking is available in each lot and behind the train station on New Salem Street.”

Unlike previous years, there will be no parking shuttle this year.

People are encouraged to bring carved pumpkins.

“Be sure to include a 4-hour votive candle or battery candle,” she said. “Jack-o'-lanterns can be placed within the festival footprint on any display and they will be counted. Carving can also be done at Hector's Restaurant or at the Official Carving Station near the Tower.”

There will be an official count of pumpkins. The record for most lit jack-o'-lanterns is 30,581, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

More than 40 vendors will be open on Friday and located in the streets throughout Main and Pleasant streets, Veterans Square and the beer garden on Beacon Street West. Local restaurants and shops will also be open.

Amusements will include a gigantic slide, fun house, kiddie motorcycle ride, bungee jump and a climbing wall.

There will also be live entertainment. DJ Jason will be in the Beer Garden.

Bands performing at the stage in Veterans Square from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. include Crescendo's Gate, Catching Arrows, Last Reach and Red Guard. There will also be a street band on Main Street from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A zombie walk will begin at the 34-foot pumpkin tower at 6:30 p.m. Thousands of pumpkins carved by school children will be on display in the Bank of New Hampshire parking lot.

There are free municipal parking lots surrounding the festival footprints and the parking garage. Parking is also available along residential streets and at Opechee Park, Pleasant Street School and Memorial Park.

Festivities begin again Saturday with 10K and 5K runs at 9 a.m., and for the less athletic, a $5-a-plate pancake breakfast begins at 9 a.m. at Holy Trinity School. There will also be a zip line, horse-drawn hay rides and games, including Pumpkin Fest corn hole.

Leashed pets are welcome.

Events and activities – Friday and Saturday

Friday, Oct. 13, 4 to 8 p.m.
• Drop off your carved pumpkin OR carve a jack-o’-lantern at the carving station
• Food and craft vendors
• Amusement rides – gigantic slide, fun house, climbing wall, bungee jump, kiddie rides and more.
• Pumpkin Festival Beer Garden featuring Shipyard Brewery, NH Distributors and 405 Pub & Grill; entertainment by DJ Jason.
• 4-8 p.m. - Street music oon Main Street in front of Greenlaw’s
• 6-8 p.m. – Boston’s All You Got Tour on the Laconia Harley-Davidson Hideout Stage in Veterans Square.
• 6:30 p.m. – Join the Zombie Walk.
• Climb Pumpkin Eye View for a peek at the 34-foot featured Tower of jack-o’-lanterns.
​• Stroll the Streets of Pumpkins.
• School Pumpkins Display, sponsored by Bank of New Hampshire.

Saturday, Oct. 14, noon to 8 p.m.
• 9 a.m. – The Runaway Pumpkin 10K & 5K Run/Walk starts at Opechee Park.
​• 9 a.m.-noon – Pumpkin and buttermilk pancake breakfast at Holy Trinity School, $5 a plate.
• Drop off your carved pumpkin OR carve a jack-o’-lantern at the carving station.
• Food and craft vendors.
​• Pumpkin Festival Beer Garden featuring Shipyard Brewery, NH Distributors and 405 Pub & Grill; entertainment by DJ Jason; 7-10 p.m. – Axis.
​• Live music at the Laconia Harley-Davidson Hideout Stage in Veterans Square
Noon-3:30 p.m. – Pat Foley Band
4:15-8 p.m. – Stray Dog Band
• Amusement rides – gigantic slide, fun house, climbing wall, bungee jump, kiddie rides and more.

All new in 2017:
• Noon-4 p.m.
–  200-foot zip line attraction on Main Street, sponsored by Gunstock Mountain Resort and ClearChoiceMD.
– Horse-drawn hay rides around downtown on Hanover Street, sponsored by Parks & Recreation.
–  2017 Pumpkin Fest Amazing Race: Solve the clues, complete the challenges, beat the clock, win the prizes; sponsored by Opechee Inn & Spa. Located on Hanover Street. To participate, register early.

• Noon-5 p.m.
– PumpCANALly featuring children’s pedal tractor pulls, PumpkinFest corn hole, Monster Golf, exhibits, games and more, sponsored by Grappone Automotive.
– 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Mill Marketplace
– 2-4 p.m. – Great Pumpkin Cook-Off.
– 4:30 p.m. – Riverside Duck Derby in the Winni River, sponsored by the Belknap Mill.
​– 5 p.m. – Caring for Kids costume parade for children, adults and dogs in costumes. Gather near Bank of New Hampshire’s school pumpkin displays on Pleasant St beginning at 4:30. Stroll will begin promptly at 5 p.m. Presented by LRGHealthcare
​– 5 p.m. – Jack-o’-lantern lighting begins.
​– 7-7:15 p.m. Guinness World Record attempt.
​– 8:45 p.m. Pumpkin Dump Derby.

  • Written by Rick Green
  • Category: Local News
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