Grace Capital Church buys former Goodwill building in Laconia

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, with which the Grace Capital Church is affiliated, this week completed its purchase of the property at 22 Pleasant St. from Goodwill Industries of Northern New England for the listed price of $350,000.

Pastor Mark Warren of the Grace Capital Church said Friday, "We're very excited to be staying downtown and being part of the investment that will make our community thrive." He said that the church will undertake renovations and improvements to the building with an eye to begin holding services there in September.

Since October 2012, the church has leased 22,000 square feet of space in the building attached to the downtown parking garage. Its new home sits on a on a 0.46-acre lot with 11,652 square feet of largely undivided space on one floor. Warren said that with seating for some 200 worshippers and a congregation numbering about 350, the church will be holding two services.

"I expect we will outgrow the space," he said, "then we can rent out the Colonial Theatre on Sundays.

Grace Capital Church was founded in 1996 by Peter Bonanno and, after meeting in private homes and school rooms around Concord, moved to a building in Pembroke in 2005. Soon after being established, the church affiliated with the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, a Protestant Pentecostal denomination begun by the evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson in 1932 and headquartered in Los Angeles. The congregation grew rapidly, with about 1,000 worshippers, many of them from the Lakes Region, attending two services on Sundays. In October 2010, the church opened in the Lakes Region, holding its services at the Laconia Middle School and maintaining an office on Canal Street before moving to the building attached to the downtown parking garage.

The Grace Capital Church has been the major tenant of the private portion of the parking garage complex, which consists of seven commercial units and 36 spaces in the garage itself owned by Downtown Crossing LLC. Earlier this year, Daniel DiSangro, the principal of Downtown Crossing LLC, expected to sell the property to Genesis Behavioral Health, but the deal foundered when it was discovered $200,000 would be required to repair the private part of the garage.

Soon afterwards Warren announced that the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel had entered a purchase and sales agreement to acquire the Goodwill building on behalf of the Grace Capital Church. In anticipation that the church would relocate, DiSangro accepted an offer to purchase the commercial units from Steven Borgi, who plans to open a fitness center in the space vacated by the church. This transaction has yet to close.

Meanwhile, the city has entered a purchase and sales agreement to acquire the privately owned portion of the parking garage, consisting of 36 spaces and the southernmost stairwell. When that transaction closes, the city will own the entire parking garage with no obligation to maintain it to ensure access to privately owned parking spaces.

BNH Pavilion wants later concert hours

GILFORD — Concerts may go longer and be louder if the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion has its way.

A special request for extended hours and higher low-frequency volume for a two-day show at the concern venue will be reviewed Monday by department heads.

The request for a temporary site plan amendment is for the two-night Pretty Lights Episodic Festival scheduled for Aug. 5 and 6.

The specific request is for an extension of the noise curfew from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. and for an increase on low-frequency or bass decibels from 108 to 120.

The Pretty Lights tour is one of four two-day events scheduled at the pavilion this year. Earlier this year, the Planning Board gave permission to BNH Pavilion to host up to 1,000 camping spots at each of the four two-day event.

After a review by department heads on Monday at 10 a.m., the request will go to the full Planning Board for discussion and action on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.

— Gail Ober

Barnstead man held on $25,000 cash-only bail

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Court documents indicate a Barnstead man arrested by Barnstead and state police Thursday fired several rounds from a hunting rifle in the direction of members of his extended family as they fled from him.

07-08 Paul E. TaskerTasker Jr.

Affidavits said one of the victims told police that she was cooking on a grill on the back porch of Paul Tasker Jr.'s son's home at 640 Province Road on July 5 when Tasker Jr. approached her with a hunting rifle equipped with a scope.

She told police he said something like, "I will take you all out," and loaded a round into the chamber.

She said she and her son ran across the street to their neighbor's while Tasker Jr. pounded on the bulkhead door of Tasker III's home. The woman said he told her he would kill Tasker III and would take over the house and all of its property.

During this time, she said he fired the rifle in their direction.

Tasker Jr. waived his arraignment in Belknap County Superior Court Friday and agreed to $25,000 cash-only bail. Public defender John Bresaw reserved Tasker's rights to a future bail hearing.

He is charged with one count of felony criminal threatening, one count of reckless conduct for firing the gun, and one felony count of being a felon in possession of a weapon.

More details also emerged Friday about how State and Barnstead Police were able to apprehend Tasker Jr.

Lt. Kevin Duffy said Barnstead Police had been looking for Tasker Jr. since the July 5 incident but after learning he was likely living in the woods on his son's property, Barnstead requested the assistance of the State Police SWAT Team to locate him.

He said searching for him "posed a heightened threat (to law enforcement) because Tasker was armed (with a rifle and semi-automatic handgun) and had expressed a willingness to use them."

Duffy said Tasker Jr. was camped with his girlfriend and three children in the 50- to 60-acre wooded lot but police didn't know where. He described it as taking a barricaded person who is armed and putting him or her in a huge wooded area.

He said about 6:30 a.m. on July 7, police began to surround the area and at some point Tasker Jr.'s girlfriend and the children came out of the woods. The children, said Duffy, were placed with the state Division of Children, Youth and Families. He said the unnamed girlfriend was interviewed and released.

Duffy said that at some point Tasker Jr. tried to leave the cordoned-off area on foot and chanced upon a police K-9 that bit his arm. Police apprehended him without further incident.

Tasker Jr. was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital for treatment of the dog bite and then to the Belknap County House of Corrections.

Duffy said he was not armed when police arrested him but declined to comment further on the weapons.