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School district appeals to judge for return of pick-up

SUPERIOR COURT — Laconia School District attorney Bob Hemeon argued Wednesday in the Belknap County Superior Court that the state had illegally impounded the district's pick-up truck, allegedly stolen from the Huot Technical Center by two local men, because none of the three agencies involved in the incident has applied for a search warrant — and they have had nearly four months to do so.

Hemeon asked Judge James O'Neill to return the truck that has been impounded since August 4, when Belmont Police arrested Dennis LeFebvre near Mile Hill Road and charged him with one count of receiving stolen property.

The case was bound over to the Belknap County Attorneys Office and LeFebvre was indicted for one count of receiving stolen property (the Belmont Police charge) and one count of burglary at Laconia High School, (a Laconia Police charge). A second man, Tyler Marchand, was also indicted for one count of burglary, out of Laconia.

Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen explained yesterday that the School District was not, in fact, being charged the $75 a day for storage and impound fees by Rusty's Towing of Tilton and the company only seeks to recover the $175 charge incurred in August for towing the car from Belmont to its lot.

The School District had been concerned with what they thought were storage fees that had accumulated to more than $5,000 when they chose to get their attorneys involved. According to a Belmont Police supervisor, there is an arraignment in place between private towing companies and police departments without secure impounds, like Belmont.

Hemeon also argued that the stolen truck was the only one owned by the district and it was desperately needed by it for plowing, sanding, salting and other on-campus maintenance work. He noted for the court that snow was predicted for the weekend and even it the truck were returned immediately, the district still needs to fix it as it was damaged during the theft.

Guldbrandsen said she plans on arraigning LeFebvre on December 2 and she typically will send the discovery package — the state's evidence — to his attorney John Bresaw either that day or the day after.  Bresaw and Guldbrandsen both argue the truck then needs to stay impounded and secure until both sides process it for evidence, including fingerprints and DNA.

Bresaw added that his client is not the only person charged with burglary at Laconia High School and there could be evidence in the truck that implicates Marchand rather than his client of the burglary.

Marchand has told police that he was walking down Union Avenue doing nothing when LeFebvre picked him.

Judge James O'Neill said he would rule on the matter shortly.

Last Updated on Friday, 28 November 2014 12:09

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LMS students decorating downtown store windows for holidays

LACONIA — Some 20 downtown businesses had their windows decorated with holiday-themed items thanks to a Project EXTRA program involving about 40 students from Laconia Middle School.
Nick Resca, site director for the Middle School EXTRA program, said that the program, whose initials mean Enrichment eXpressions To Raise Achievement, has partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region to open up more paths for enrichment activities for students.
''We're looking forward to making this a holiday tradition which will enable the students to feel like a real part of the community and showcase their efforts,'' said Resca after the students had completed installing a window display at Sawyer's Jewelry which featured a holiday theme, complete with snowmen and a Christmas tree,
The students, Joeann Aldridge, Mariah Floreno, Maddy McLelland and Mayson Jenkins, worked together developing an idea for what the window display would look like and then used their artistic skills to put it together about a month ago.
Tuesday they had the display pieces brought to Sawyer's, where they went to after the school day was over and spent about half an hour putting them together. The creative work itself took about two hours to compete.

 

caption for windowdecoration photo

 

Seventh graders from Laconia Middle School created a window decoration for Sawyer's Jewelry as part of a Project EXTRA program which involved about 20 businesses in downtown Laconia. Shown are Mariah Floreno, Joeann Aldridge, Maddy McLelland and Mayson Jenkins. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 12:54

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Boys & Girls Club plans to merge into Concord clubs

CONCORD — The boards of directors for the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Concord yesterday announced that they have voted to enter into a management contract with intent to merge.

Chris Emond, executive director of the Greater Concord clubs, said that his administrative staff has already begun overseeing the Lakes Region club and once the merger closes will assume responsibility for its administration, which he stressed will achieve efficiencies of scale that in turn will significantly reduce its operating costs. The executive and administrative functions of the merged entity will be headquartered in Concord.

Emond emphasized that the merger agreement will include a provision that the property of the Laconia club, the former St. James Episcopal Church complex off North Main Street, will be "preserved in perpetuity of the benefit of the children of the Lakes Region". He explained that this provision will ensure that the merged entity cannot sell the property and, if for any reason, it were to be sold, will provide that the proceeds be placed in an endowment or trust for the purpose of serving the children of the Lakes Region.

"This is very important," Emond said, adding that the two clubs will continue to operate under their separate names and with their own boards of directors and programming personnel. Likewise, the two clubs will maintain their fundraising programs, so that money raised in the Lakes Region will be put to work in the Lakes Region. However, Emond noted that the Greater Concord clubs employ a development director and grant writer, both of whom will be able to assist the Lakes Region club with its fundraising efforts. "We're not going to leave them to their own devices," he remarked.

In a prepared statement, Walter Flinn, president of the Lakes Region club, said that "any time two entities merge, there are certain operations that can be combined that will save precious funds." The Greater Concord club, he continued, " brings tremendous experience in youth development programming and fundraising. "We feel this the right decision for families and children in Laconia."

Police Chief Chris Adams, who has served as a director of the Lakes Region club for eight years and president for two years, described the proposed merger as "a win-win. It's all about serving the kids," he said, adding that the merger promises to enable the Lakes Region club to extend its reach beyond Laconia. "We are the Boys & Girls of the Lakes Region," he noted.

Flinn said that the dialogue between the two clubs opened last summer after Lakes Region club lost its second executive director in three years. After undertaking due diligence, the directors and staff of both clubs concluded they would each benefit by merging. "Once our board had the information," Emond said, it was a pretty quick decision."

Donald T. Segal, president of the Greater Concord club, said in a formal statement that "our strategic plan includes exploring opportunities for growth, when it makes financial sense and where there is strong support in the community we are entering. Laconia met those criteria." He also noted that the community, "with exceptionally high poverty levels," needed a strong club to support its youth.

During the past 15 years, the Greater Concord club has merged with organizations in Hopkinton and Allenstown, expanded operations in Warner and Franklin and partnered with two elementary schools in Concord. Emond said that the club has has learned how to operate satellite units and rally support in the communities it serves.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 12:48

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Manchester incident leads Belknap County to re-indict 20-year-old for felony reckless conduct with a firearm

LACONIA — A former Winter Street man has been indicted a second time for a single count of felony reckless conduct after allegedly discharging a firearm he was said to be using to hit a man while the two were arguing outside a Blueberry Lane apartment block in January of 2014.

Parker Cathcart, 20, whose current address is the Valley Street Jail in Manchester, is accused by Manchester police of doing a similar thing on October 26, while he was at a party in the south side of Manchester, said paperwork filed with Belknap County Superior Court by his probation officer.

In Manchester, Cathcart allegedly went to a party where alcohol was being served where he became involved in a fight. He is alleged to have left the party and returned with a stolen gun that he used to scare party goers. He is also alleged to have assaulted two people using the gun.

He is being held in the Valley Street Jail on $75,000 personal recognizance bail and $10,000 cash-only bail.

Belknap County Prosecutor Melissa Guldbrandsen said in July of 2014 Cathcart pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of simple assault for his actions on Blueberry Lane in January. She said that as part of his plea agreement, the state would not prosecute him for the felony with the condition that he obey the rules of his probation to which he agreed.

Guldbrandsen said when Cathcart's probation officer filed a report with the court about his latest arrest by Manchester Police for first-degree assault, receiving stolen property (the gun) and criminal threatening, she said those allegations are in violation of his probation so she brought forward the Laconia felony at the last session of the Belknap County grand jury.

According to the probation paperwork, when Cathcart agreed to the terms of his probation in July they included him taking a gun safety class from a sheriff's deputy, performing 250 hours of community service, and maintaining employment of at least 25 hours a week when not attending school. He was also to stay away from his victim and pay restitution.
Probation filings indicate he a made a $69 payment for restitution, had performed none of his community service and was arrested at a party in Manchester where his alleged actions resulted in additional criminal charges. He has taken a gun safety class.

As for his Laconia charges, Cathcart allegedly went to an apartment on Estates Circle around 3 a.m. on or around January 17 after his sister called him and told him she was there and her boyfriend had hit her.

Affidavits filed at the time by Laconia Police at the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division said Cathcart went to the building and waited in the foyer for his sister's alleged assailant.

A witness said she saw Cathcart grab the alleged assailant by his his neck and heard a gun fire. Until that point,the witness said she didn't know Cathcart had a gun.

Laconia Police recovered the bullet and eventually recovered the gun but not from Cathcart.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 02:23

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