LACONIA — A Laconia man, accused of exposing himself to two young girls who were selling lemonade at a roadside stand in Holderness last June, was sent to prison yesterday for three to six years on a probation violation.
Christopher Geary, 45, of 9 Harrision St. pleaded true -- or responsible -- in the Belknap Cocunty Superior court to violating two terms of his probation. The underlying charge was one count of failing to register as a sex offender.
The two terms he violated were Rule 7 where he agreed to remain arrest-free and Rule 15E – where he allegedly had unsupervised contact with juveniles.
Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen told Judge James O'Neill that the maximum Geary could face on a probation violation was 3½ to 7 years, but she recommended the 3- to 6-year sentence so the two girls, ages 7 and 9, wouldn't have to come to court, testify, and see Geary again.
He is accused of approaching the girls at a lemonade stand on Route 175 on June 7, buying a cup of lemonade, pouring it out, and urinating in it in front of the girls. Police said he allegedly tried to grab them, but they got away. Their father called the police.
Guldbransen said the Holderness Police and the family of the girl were satisfied with the agreed-upon sentence and were grateful they didn't have to come to court, although they were prepared to do so if needed.
Guldbrandsen said that Geary also faces possible charges in Grafton County where he could be indicted for indecent exposure and/or other crimes.
Judge O'Neill asked specifically if the plea before him included any possible charges Geary faces in Grafton County and Guldbrandsen and Geary's public defender Amy Ashworth said it did not.
When O'Neill asked Geary why he felt he should "cut him a break," Ashworth said she did not want her client to address the court because she feared he would say something that could incriminate him should he be indicted for what he allegedly did in Holderness.
She said he would agree to admit that he had been arrested by police.
O'Neill persisted, whereupon Geary said he just "wanted to get on with his life." He said he has a wife who is standing behind him and that he will take any and all programs he can while he is in prison.
"You won't regret it," Geary said. "I won't be back in this court ever."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 01:08
LACONIA — Saturday's Multicultural Festival, now in its 13th year, will be bigger and better than ever, according to Becky Guyer, chairperson of the event.
''We'll have over 80 vendors, food from all parts of the world, lots of new entertainment and a new entertainment tent as well as a closing ceremony for the first time which will give people something to look forward to at the end of the day,'' says Guyer.,
''Well be going strong until the end, with an uplifting closing ceremony at 3:30 dedicating the day and the community to peace. Taking off on the worldwide Pinwheels for Peace concept, the closing will feature a human peace sign, energized by the spinning of pinwheels which will have been created throughout the day at various locations on the festival grounds.'' says Guyer.
She says the Kids' Korner, located in the HealthLink building parking lot, will be "pinwheel central" until the moment arrives to unleash the collective energy of hundreds of colorful spinning pinwheels at the closing.
The festival highlights the music, arts, crafts and cuisine in honor of this growing diversity of cultures in the Lakes Region, from that of Native Americans to recently arrived immigrants.
Activities start at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. and center in and around Rotary Park and the Belknap Mill, downtown. Included in the day are free entertainment, food and craft venders, some local and many representing a wide variety of cultures, along with exhibits, children activities, and the traditional parade.
Celebrating the worldwide inclusiveness of the day, the Parade of International Flags, organized by Larry Frates, leads off the festival. It will include a contingent of Up With People cast members who are in the city for a pair of weekend concerts.
The parade starts in the Bank of NH parking area at 10 a.m. and marches around downtown to Rotary Park, where the opening ceremony will take place. Up With People will take the stage following the ceremony and offer an shortened version of their normal concert performance.
Guyer says that the Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy of Malden, MA are a stunning addition to the day's entertainment menu. Wah Lum Kung Fu and the Academy are well known throughout the Greater Boston Area and New England for their professional lion dance, dragon dance, drumming, and kung fu/tai chi performances.
Also featured will be the Black Thunder Singers, who keep alive the old Native American traditions as taught by the elders, both in their performances and in their daily lives. They bring their powerful drumming, dancing, and singing to the park.
Lindsay and Her Puppets will be a part of the Children's Corner this year. Other performances include: The Concord School of Music, Larry Frates' Magic Show and Cartoon Story-time, and Artsfest Hoop Dance & Circus Demos. Wildlife Encounters will be present, and much more to hold the attention of the youngest. Juliean Hartley, a certified music therapist of the Concord School of Music, specializes in early childhood development goals.
In its 12th year with the Festival, Wildlife Encounters brings awareness concerning issues affecting Animals – People – Earth, while providing a personal connection with exotic animals.
Also among the many entertainers will be the Jack Zarzatian Ensemble. Jack and his fellow musicians' repertoire include Armenian, Turkish, Greek, and Arabic classical, folk, and contemporary music. They offer a diverse experience in musical instruments and styles, including the dumbek, a Middle Eastern drum, and the oud, a Middle Eastern lute.
There will be a wide diversity of food vendors according to Guyer. ''We''ll have food vendors from the Dominican Republic, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Bhutan, Greece, the Philippines, Turkey and Argentina as well as Jewish food.''
This year's festival has its very own cookbook: Tastes of Nations. It will be for sale at the festival tent. The cookbook contains over 100 recipes collected from our original immigrants to the most recent ones.
With the construction and other activities in downtown Laconia, continuous shuttle bus service has been arranged from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shuttle will pick people up and drop them you off at various parking lots near the center of Laconia, going to and from City Hall. Parking for the Festival can be found in the following areas: St Joseph's Church parking lot on Church Street, the Laconia Clinic area, and the Water Street lots.
The Laconia Multicultural Committee is especially appreciative of our many sponsors, including the Laconia Human Relations Committee; the Penny Pitou-Milo Pike Family Fund; the Well Sense Health Plan; Genesis Behavioral Health; the Bank of NH; the Northway Bank; and Lutheran Social Services.
The festival was conceived and is supported by the the Laconia Human Relations Committee, which was created in 2000 by then Mayor Matthew Lahey and Police Chief Bill Baker. Leonard Campbell is current LHRC Chair.
(Optional for box if needed)
ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE FOR 2014 Laconia Multicultural Festival
10 A.M. – PARADE OF FLAGS
10:15 – OPENING CEREMONIES IN ROTARY PARK
10:30 – UP WITH PEOPLE
11:00-11:30 BLACK THUNDER SINGERS & DRUMMERS
11:00 - LINDSAY'S PUPPETS (@ HEALTHLINK TENT)
11:30-11:45 - ANKARA ROSE CELTIC BELLY FUSION
11:45-12:15 - BLACK THUNDER SINGERS & DRUMMERS
12:00 – LINDSAY'S PUPPETS (@HEALTHLINK TENT)
12:15 -12:45 – THE O'BRIEN CLAN
12:30 – CONCORD COMMUNITY MUSIC SCHOOL
12:45-1:00 – ANKARA ROSE
1:00 – LARRY FRATES MAGIC SHOW (@HEALTHLINK TENT)
1:00-1:30 – THE O'BRIEN CLAN
1:30 – CONCORD COMMUNITY MUSIC SCHOOL (@HEALTHLINK TENT)
1:30-2:15 – THE JACK ZARZATION BAND
2:00 – CARTOON STORY TIME WITH LARRY FRATES
(@ HEALTHLINK TENT)
2:15-3:00 – WAH LUM ACADEMY
2:30-3:30 - HOOP DANCE & CIRCUS DEMOS BY ARTSFEST
(@ HEALTHLINK TENT)
3:00-3:30 – CZECH & SLOVAK FOLKLORE PERFORMERS
3:30-4:00 – CLOSING CEREMONIES
NEW HORIZONS BAND
PINWHEELS FOR PEACE CELEBRATION
ALL DAY, KUNNAWAY, OUR STROLLING, NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE PLAYER
(Unless otherwise stated, performances take place in Rotary Park)
Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 09:04
LACONIA — A local man is charged with setting fire to his wife's home after an alleged argument Friday evening.
John Woodbury, 51, of 44 Taylor St. is facing two counts of arson. Police said the first charge that he faces alleges he put firefighters in danger when he lit the house on fire at 6:15 p.m. The second, said police, alleges the fire endangered the home next door.
He is being held on $50,000 cash bail and his public defender waived an argument saying he would address bail at a probable cause hearing that will be scheduled within 10 days.
The home is at the end of Taylor Street – a dead end street off Highland Street. Laconia assessing records list one owner – Tina Woodbury – and its assessed value is $91,100.
According to affidavits, a neighbor told police that she saw Tina Woodbury walking down the street. She said a man was following her down the street screaming obscenities.
According to affidavits, while police were interviewing Tina Woodbury, she told them that one of her friends had gotten a call from John Woodbury threatening to burn down her house.
When police spoke to Tina Woodbury's friend, she told them he had called her and told her he wanted his wife to come home and that he was pouring gasoline around the house.
When police spoke to Tina Woodbury, she told them that John Woodbury left voicemails including one that said he was "lighting a match" and that he was watching the house burn.
Fire Chief Ken Ericson said the bulk of the fire burned in back and firefighters were hampered mostly by heat and humidity.
"We had firefighters laying on the neighbor's lawn being misted," Erickson said.
He said Gilford firefighters went down Stephens Street and fought the fire from the back while Laconia firefighters dragged a hose down Taylor Street to a hydrant on Highland Street. He said a few of the neighbors helped the firefighters drag the hose.
Initially the fire was reported to be on Girard Street. It was later reported to be on Stephen Street and then Taylor Street. Since Stephen and Taylor Streets are parallel to each other and the fire was at the very end of the street, Erickson said he can understand how that mistake could have been made.
As to the initial Girard Street call, he said it is part of the ongoing investigation.
When asked if there was an accelerant was used, Erickson said that, too, is part of the investigation.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 01:29
CENTER HARBOR — A Louisiana man drowned while swimming in Squam Lake over the weekend. The body of Khang Vu, 37, was recovered approximately 50 yards from the shore of the lake.
According to the New Hampshire Marine Patrol officers received a report of a person struggling around 5 p.m. Saturday in waters near Dog Cove at the southeast end of the lake in Center Harbor. Friends of the swimmer on shore tried to help him when they realized he was in distress, but their efforts were unsuccessful.
In addition to Marine Patrol, Center Harbor Police and Fire-Rescue responded, along with officers of the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department and Holderness Police Department. The cause of the drowning remains under investigation.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 01:12
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