LP leak

LP leak

09-13 LP leak

Firefighters closed Meredith Center Road on Monday morning for about 30 minutes to manage a propane spill. An Eastern Propane delivery truck was traveling north on Meredith Center Road, Fire Chief Ken Erickson said, when a motorist alerted the driver that the truck was leaking from a worn hose. The driver of the truck pulled over in an area with no nearby homes and awaited assistance. Propane is heavier than air and his highly flammable, and a pocket of the gas could be ignited by the catalytic converter of a passing vehicle, so the road was closed while firefighters used their water hoses to push any possible clouds of propane off of the roadway. (Courtesy Laconia Fire Department)

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The battle of his life - Derek Cote raises money for multiple myeloma research while wrestling with the disease (670)

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — In 1982, shortly after graduating from Laconia High School, when Derek Cote enlisted in the Marine Corps, his father doubted he would finish boot camp. "I was the honor Marine in Platoon 3004, the elite of my group, " said Cote. Now, more than three decades later, Cote finds himself battling cancer, one of some 250,000, including about 1,500 from New Hampshire, claiming they were sickened with various diseases during their tours of duty at Camp Lejeune, where the water supply was laced with toxins for 35 years.

In October 2014, Cote was diagnosed with multiple myleloma, a cancer of the plasma (white) blood cells, among 15 diseases an act of Congress, enacted in 2012, designated as qualifying veterans and their families living at he base between 1957 and 1987 for medical treatment. Three years later, the Veterans Administration acknowledged that there is sufficient evidence to compensate veterans stricken with eight diseases, including multiple myeloma, for their disabilities, but implementation of the program has been stalled. Cote said he submitted his information over a year ago, but has received only acknowledgement of its receipt.

While the Marine Corps and Veterans Administration have dragged their feet, Cote, while coping with what he calls "my cancer," has also mounted a campaign to spare others from the ravages of multiple myeloma. The year after he was diagnosed, his father, Armand, passed away from pancreatic cancer. "I always wanted to have a golf tournament for my father," he said. "I put it together in a couple of weeks." The AC/DC tournament, bearing the initials of father and son, was played amid spring weather last November and raised $10,000, which was split evenly for research for treating and curing pancreatic cancer and multiple myeloma. This year the tournament raised $25,000, all of which was donated to the Myeloma Institute of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Cote recalled that he was confined at home for 96 days following stem cell treatment and "I wanted to see what I could to help other people." He found that Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, had endowed the Myeloma Institute with sufficient funds for administration and operation so that all other contributions are applied exclusively to research. Cote said that the golf tournament will become an annual event and next year he expects to hold a second event fashioned after the WOW Ball. "I'd like to do something every six months," he said.

Meanwhile, Cote continues to wrestle with his cancer, which twice has nearly taken his life. He undergoes chemotherapy twice a week and takes medication daily. He said that the most common symptoms are nausea, stiffness and fatigue, but added the most serious is that "my cancer loves to eat bone, like termites." He explained that the cancer cells drill across the bone until it becomes brittle and breaks. While lifting weights, he said he felt a snap and subsequently discovered a rib had broken in 20 places. At the same time, he said that while his cancer is in his bloodstream, it has not reached his soft tissues and vital organs.

"I don't just lay around," Cote said, "and I don't do everything I'm supposed to do." His wife Tammy added that it's hard to be normal, but Derek does everything he can to live a normal life." Cote, who with his sons Craig and Chad builds custom homes, said "I feel guilty. The boys are doing the work and running the business." However, he remarked that whenever he can he finds time to join them, if only to look over their shoulders and take pride in their work.

"I'm not a victim," Cote insisted. "I'm not a martyr." He said that the doctors tell him that every year you live with myeloma you get two more, "but, I don't think about that." Instead, he said that God has given us the ability to learn and I only pray for one thing — to understand my lesson."

"He always tries to find the positive," his wife said. "Because it's there!" he declared.

Derek Cote

Tammy and Derek Cote have raised $25,000 this year with a golf tournament to benefit the Myeloma Institute of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. (Michael Kitch/Laconia Daily Sun)

DerrickCote

Derek Cote enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1982. He said he believes he got cancer thanks to the polluted water at Camp LeJeune, where he went through boot camp. (Courtesy photo)

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Sanbornton Police arrest two for gun theft/burglary (809)

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

SANBORNTON — Police have charged two local people in connection with a Sept. 2 burglary of a Mountain Road home in which a handgun and a shotgun were taken; however, one of those arrested said they were in the area because they were picking blackberries and waiting for some methamphetamine.

09-13 Shiloh Gray  09-13 Aleka Goumillout

Aleka Goumillout, 25, of 176 Shaw Hill Road is charged with one count of being an accomplice to burglary, and Shiloh Gray, also of 176 Shaw Hill Road, is charged with one count of burglary and two counts of theft of handguns.

Goumillout is being held on $500 cash bail and Gray is being held on $7,500 cash bail after their separate arraignments Monday afternoon in the Belknap County Superior Court.

According to affidavits, the burglary was reported on Sept. 2 at 6:49 p.m. by the homeowner, who also reported a small safe containing passports and money missing.

The victim gave police specific details about each stolen gun, including the serial numbers and the color of the five shells in the ammo sleeve attached to the shotgun stock.

Police reviewed video taken by the homeowner's surveillance system and saw a maroon SUV pass the house twice earlier that day, between 2:15 and and 2:39 p.m. The victim said Gray, a former employee, drove or was a passenger in a very similar SUV.

Two neighbors also told police that they saw a similar vehicle parked in a lot near the victim's driveway around the same time and both described the driver as a woman with long dark hair whom police believe was Goumillout. 

One neighbor said she watched the car for a while and saw a man wearing jeans and a baseball cap come out of the woods near the victim's home and return to the SUV. She said he appeared to be hiking up his jeans. She said the doors, the hood and the back lift gate were up and the car was filled with items.

During their investigation and according to affidavits, police said they learned where Gray lived and that Goumillout is his girlfriend. They also learned that in July, Franklin Police had issued a citation to Goumillout, who was driving a maroon Toyota 4-Runner and that Gray was with her.

On Sept. 5, police responded to 176 Shaw Hill Road for a report of a disturbance and learned from Gray's brother that he believed Shiloh was responsible for the theft of some of his marijuana plants he grows legally in Maine.

Gray's brother said Shiloh had shown up unexpectedly at his Maine home on Sept. 4 and had a .40 caliber handgun with a full magazine at the time. He said Shiloh had gotten the gun from the back of his SUV and said Shiloh also mentioned having a shotgun in the car.

Sanbornton Police also learned that on Sept. 4, Farmington Police had stopped Gray and Goumillout for driving with an expired temporary registration. The SUV had been impounded and was at a tow company's lot in Farmington.

Police obtained a search warrant for the SUV and recovered a pistol and a shotgun from the back. The serial numbers had been filed off both guns but police said the stock of the shotgun was the same as that described by the victim. They also recovered an ammo sleeve with the exact ammunition in it as described by the victim.

On Sept. 10, police were called to a home on Morrison Road for a report of a woman sleeping in a green SUV that was blocking the driveway to the residence. They found Goumillout in the driver's seat and Shiloh Gray in the passenger seat. Affidavits said drugs were found in plain sight and both were taken to the Tilton Police Department for processing.

While there, both were read their Miranda warnings and told they were being charged with their alleged roles in the Sept. 2 burglary.

The Sanbornton officer said that while he was preparing to take Gray to the Belknap County Jail, Gray said he wanted to talk further about the burglary.

Once at the Sanbornton Police Station, Gray was read his rights a second time and told the investigator he and Goumillout were on Mountain Road on Sept. 2 and they had parked in the lot near the victim's home.

Gray said they were there to wait for a person who was supposed to sell them some methamphetamine. He also said he saw a neighbor who was outside of her home that day and he saw the second neighbor drive by in his car.

He said he and Goumillout had been in an argument while waiting in the lot and said he went into to the woods for about a half an hour and didn't think she left the vehicle. Gray told police he was picking blackberries for her and had not walked over to the victim's home, though he admitted he was familiar with it.

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