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Bicycle Exchange gets $5k donation

LACONIA — The Laconia Area Bicycle Exchange has received a $5,000 donation according to founder John P. Rogers, who says that the money came from generous donors from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and was arranged by Peter Benson.

Rogers says that he is still looking for volunteers to join the advisory board of the exchange, which will meet this Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Laconia Middle School as part of the monthly Better Together meeting. The exchange was formed earlier this year as an initiative of Better Together.

Since it was formed the organization has given out over 90 bicycles, according to Rogers. The exchange, originally located near the Big Banana store on Messer Street, moved to a new location during the fall at 343 Court Street, located in part of the Eased Edges building owned by Brian Flanders.

Rogers says things are relatively quiet at the exchange but there remains plenty of work and planning to do. "I will be sending out a fundraising letter in a the first week of December, to ask for tax deductible donations to help pay the monthly rent and to add to account for publicity costs. Mike Sweet of Laconia has been working on bikes no longer usable, saving parts, and selling scrap metal or aluminum,'' says Rogers.

He says that an important next step for the exchange is to advertise for a volunteer or paid position, and with some grant funding in place the process can begin. "We will be looking for someone who can take over the publicity, advertising, and communications activities of the Exchange. From April to November, I have devoted about 20 hours a week to keep this program moving and serving the community. Your suggestions and input will be greatly appreciated.'' says Rogers.

The purpose of the Laconia Area Bicycle Exchange (LABE) is to provide a means of inexpensive alternative transportation in the form of refurbished used bicycles, made available to people who would benefit with greater mobility as it relates to work, family and personal living. The focus of the exchange is for people who have no means to afford an automobile or who have no valid drivers license.

For more information on the program call Rogers at 603-630-7571 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 December 2014 01:56

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Judge says prosecutors can keep Laconia school's truck at least until December 10

SUPERIOR COURT — The Laconia School District will have to wait until at least December 10 before it can retrieve its plow truck that was stolen from inside the Huot Technical Center in August.

After a hearing in Belknap County Superior Court on Wednesday, Judge James O'Neill conditionally denied the district's request to have the truck returned from state impound.

Dennis Lefebvre, 33, of Florida was indicted last week for one count of receiving stolen property. Police reports at the time said that Belmont Police were alerted to someone recklessly driving a truck. The responding officer saw the truck, allegedly being driven by Lefebvre, and stopped it.

Lefebvre was charged initially with driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident (he allegedly drove the truck off Mile Hill Road) and receiving stolen property.

The truck was towed to Rusty's in Tilton and impounded.

Arguing for the release of the vehicle and for the School District was attorney Robert Hemeon, who said the truck was being held illegally because no agency has applied for a search warrant and arresting authorities have had four months to process it.

The state argued that Lefebvre had just been indicted for receiving stolen property and it needs to send the discovery or evidence against him to his attorney.

Lefebrvre's attorney argued he needs some time to process the truck after he gets the state's evidence in order to preserve his client's right's to a fair trial and determine if there is exculpatory evidence in it.

LaFebvre was not alone when he was arrested. A second man, Tyler Marchand, was with him.

In a related case, Lefebvre and Tyler Marchand have each been indicted for one count of burglarizing the high school.

School Business Administrator Ed Emond said the bulk of the plowing at the districts schools is done by the city, however the truck is used for clearing tight areas, salting and sanding. He said the city assisted the school district with the most recent storm.

He also said the district was relieved to learn that the impounding company cannot charge the school district for storage fees and only seeks $150 in towing charges. Emond said the School District has so far spent $500 in legal fees to argue in court for getting back the truck.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 December 2014 01:52

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Governor speaks of state's 'particular genius' at Taylor Community appearance

LACONIA — Governor Maggie Hassan, who will begin her second term in the new year, yesterday paid a visit to the Taylor Community, where she received a standing ovation when Bob Selig, chief executive officer of the retirement complex, introduced her to nearly a hundred residents.

Hassan recalled that earlier this year she was invited to mark the opening of Opechee Harbor, the Taylor facility serving seniors with memory loss and dementia, but was unable to fit the visit into her schedule. However, she said that she had not forgotten and looked forward to touring the facility.

Noting that as the number of elderly grows, the governor said that the need for care and services for those with dementia will increase. She said that in May she signed legislation establishing a permanent sub-committee of the health and human services oversight committee devoted exclusively to Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. At the same time, the law directs the Department of Health and Human Services, in association with the state chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, to prepare an educational program about the disease and other dementias for both the general public, interest groups and government departments, especially law enforcement agencies.

Hassan said that since she was first elected in 2012 her biggest surprise has been "how much I love being governor." As if anticipating the challenges of her second term, when she will face Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, she said that the hallmark of the state and its democracy is that it "brings more and more people from the margins into the heart and soul of the community. As you do that, you get stronger," she continued. "It's hard work and New Hampshire has a particular genius for it."

As the mother of a 26-year-old son with cerebral palsy, who cannot speak or walk, Hassan said she learned about inclusion from all those who opened their arms to him and offered to help.

In New Hampshire, the governor explained "people are engaged at every level." They hold down jobs and raise their families, she said, then volunteer to serve in the citizen legislature for $100 a year or on the planning board for nothing at all. "And they expect the same of their elected leaders," she remarked.

Without offering any specifics, Hassan referred to the fiscal challenges facing the state, which she expected would be overcome by "continuing to talk to each other and work together in a bipartisan manner" during her second term as they were in her first.

Following her relatively brief remarks the governor went throughout the room, offering her hand and making conversation with virtually everyone.

CAPTION: Governor Maggie Hassan chatted with Barbara Miles (right) after speaking to residents of the Taylor Community yesterday. The governor came to tour the newest addition to the complex on Union Avenue, Opechee Harbor, a facility for caring for seniors with impaired memory and other dementias. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 December 2014 01:48

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Brush dump opens again because of storm damage

LACONIA — The Department of Public Works will open the city's brush dump on Hilliard Road at the Weirs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, December 2, 3 and 4 — and if necessary on Friday, December 5, to enable residents to dispose of limbs and branches fallen during last week's snow storm.

This week the DPW has waived all restrictions on size and will accept all limbs and branches regardless of their length and diameter.

The brush dump will be open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. today, tomorrow and Thursday and, if necessary Friday. To reach the brush dump, go to the roundabout at the Weirs, turn north on Endicott Street (Rte. 3), and past the Meredith Bridge Condominiums turn left on to Hillard Road. The dump is one mile down the road on the right.

With winter in full swing the DPW reminds residents not to plow or shovel snow on to city streets and sidewalks.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 December 2014 01:41

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