Meredith sues over junk in yard

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — After months of trying to get the renter of a home on Snell Road to clean up the property, the town of Meredith has filed for an injunction or court order in Belknap County Superior Court to get her to do so.

The town says that Rachel Mount is the tenant of the property on 12 Snell Road and the property is owned by Constance Leggett of Florida.

According to the pleadings, in order to operate a junk yard, a person must obtain a license from the state and a certificate of location that would be granted by the selectmen.

In this case, the town, through photos and written statements, says that since April there have been "several large piles of trash, debris and garbage, including but not limited to a bob house packed to capacity and overflowing with 'junk.'"

Pleadings say that neither Mount nor Leggett has filed for a junk yard license or has permission to operate on at 12 Snell Road.

The town, through the efforts of the public health officer, sent letters on April 13, May 16 and July 14 instructing the defendants to remedy the problem.

A letter dated Aug. 15, 2016, from the town attorney informed Mount and Leggett the property constitutes a public nuisance and demands the defendants remedy the junk-yard conditions.

The suit asks for a fine of $275 daily since Aug. 15 for each day they have refused to bring the property into compliance. The town is also seeking attorney fees.

The town has also hedged its bet by saying that should the court find that Mount and Leggett have not violated any zoning ordinances or site plan regulation but does find a violation of the junk yard statute, that the court order a penalty of $50 per day until it is cleaned up.

Neither Leggett nor Mount has responded to the request for an injunction.

An attempt by The Sun to find Mount was unsuccessful, and only a post office box is known for Leggett.

009-16 trash at 12 Snell Road

Trash has been piling up at 12 Snell Road in Meredith since April. (Courtesy photo)

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Ossipee woman dies in head-on collision; Alton woman, Barnstead man escape injury

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

OSSIPEE — An Ossipee woman died but an Alton woman and a Barnstead man were uninjured after being unable to avoid a car accident on Route 116 Tuesday at 4:08 p.m.

State Police said that Sarah Miller, 26, of Alton and Shane Perkins, 29, of Barnstead were driving in a Ford Ranger that sideswiped a Dodge pickup after it collided head-on with a Honda Accord.

Police said the Dodge 1500 pickup was being driven northbound by Jason Nason, 28, of Ossipee when his Dodge crossed the center line and collided with the Honda. The force of the crash caused the Dodge to rollover into the southbound lane, where it was sideswiped by Miller, who tried to avoid the truck, without success.

The driver of the Accord was Gary Baumann, 67, of Ossipee, who was seriously injured and taken to Huggins Hospital, where he was transferred by helicopter to Maine Medical Center. His wife and passenger, Janet Baumann, 61, died in the crash.

The State Police accident reconstruction team is investigating the crash along with Ossipee Police and the Carroll County Sheriff's Department. Police said all factors including speed, driver distraction and/or impairment are being considered.

Any one with any information is asked to call Trooper Daniel Quartulli at 603-223-8477 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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The Citizen to cease publication Sept. 30

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — For the past 16 years, Laconia has been the lone city north of Boston served by two local daily newspapers, but this distinction will be lost at the end of the month following the announcement by George Sample, chief executive officer of the Sample News Group that The Citizen will cease publication on Sept. 30.

09-22 Citizen front page 9-16-16

Sample said the decision reflected the mounting financial pressures on newspapers, which weigh particularly heavily on those operating in smaller and competitive markets. He added that efforts to sell the business during the past several months were unsuccessful.

The Sample News Group, headquartered in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, purchased The Citizen from the George J. Foster Company of Dover in 2010, within months of acquiring Eagle Printing and Publishing Company of Claremont, publisher of the Eagle-Times, which had filed for bankruptcy protection the year before.

"We have tried for several months to sell the paper, but unfortunately we were unable to find a buyer, said Sample. "We have enjoyed our six years serving the Lakes Region, and we're proud of the efforts our team has made in producing a very good hometown newspaper."

Ed Pierce, the editor of The Citizen, said that in recent years the paper concentrated its efforts at reaching a wider readership through its online edition and social media by posting breaking news the moment it occurred. As a result, he said that "We enjoyed unparalleled growth in the digital and social media markets." He said that when The Citizen announced that Steven Tyler would perform during Motorcycle Week its website tallied 23,984 views and last month it drew 341,859 hits along with the nearly 6,000 likes registered on the Facebook page. Pierce said that The Citizen had the least online traffic of all the papers in the Sample New Group's stable, but in August had risen to top of the list.

However, Pierce acknowledged that the growth of revenue from digital advertising has fallen far short of the expansion of online readership. Meanwhile, the costs of producing and distributing the print edition of the paper have risen steadily.

"The paper had turned a corner," he said, "but not fast enough for the investors."

Pierce said that most of the 14 employees at The Citizen, which includes eight in the newsroom, will be offered positions elsewhere in the Sample News Group, which has a strong presence in Pennsylvania as well as daily and weekly newspapers in New York, New Jersey, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Pierce himself will become executive editor of The Journal Tribune in Biddeford, Maine, next month.

• • •

Paper had 90-year run

The newspaper was started by Edward J. Gallagher in 1926 and for years was known as the Laconia Evening Citizen. Gallagher, who would later become Laconia's mayor, was also the author of a biography of Stilson Hutchins, founder of the Washington Post. The Citizen was owned by Gallagher's daughter, Alma Gallagher Smith, and her husband, Lawrence J. Smith, following Gallagher's death in 1978. The Smiths operated the newspaper until the George J. Foster Company purchased the paper on May 10, 1991. Foster was the publisher of Foster's Daily Democrat in Dover.
In the late 1990s, the Foster Company launched Foster's Sunday Citizen as a joint venture by Foster's Daily Democrat and The Citizen, neither of which previously had a Sunday edition.
The Citizen was named Small Newspaper of the Year in 1992, 1993 and 2001 by the New England Newspaper Association.
The Foster Company announced on June 23, 2010, that it would sell the paper on June 26, in order to concentrate on their main property, Foster's Daily Democrat. The company said it would continue to print The Citizen and the Laconia edition of the Sunday Citizen at its presses for at least the next three months. The new owner was Sample News Group, publisher of multiple daily and weekly newspapers across the northeastern United States.
The Citizen reported Friday that the decision to close the newspaper "comes amid growing financial pressure on the newspaper industry, particularly in smaller markets being served by multiple publications.

– Roger Amsden

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