July was Laconia FD’s busiest on record


LACONIA — The fire department set a new record for calls last month with 478.

Fire Chief Ken Erickson said call volume has been increasing in recent years. Most are related to medical emergencies. An aging demographic factors into the uptick in medical calls.

In July 2014, the department handled 357 calls.

Last month, there were 83 fire and hazard calls, 343 emergency medical calls, 15 motor vehicle crashes and 37 service calls. The city has seen an uptick in overdose calls associated with opioid abuse, but it was not clear how much this contributed to July's record as the medical calls were not broken down into categories.

Of the fire and hazard calls, 16 were actual fires, eight of which were for fires in buildings. Of the medical calls, 60 patients were considered high-risk.

Fourteen percent of all calls were in The Weirs, 65 percent were in the downtown area, 7 percent were in Lakeport and 7 percent of the calls were to other towns. The remaining 7 percent were split between the north and south ends of the city.

Kendra Peaslee. director of emergency services at Lakes Region General Hospital, said the volume of patients in the hospital's emergency room has also been increasing in recent years.

She didn't have exact numbers, but she said an aging population has contributed to the increase and to the fact that many patients now have more chronic and complex conditions than was the case in the past.

In the year to date, the fire department has handled 2,816 emergency calls, which is up 39 percent from 2010.

Since January, the fire department has maintained a citywide response time of four minutes to 56 percent of all calls, and six minutes to 83 percent of all calls.

  • Written by Rick Green
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Rod & Gun Club donates to Recycled Percussion charity

LACONIA — The Laconia Rod and Gun Club donated $1,000 to the Recycled Percussion Foundation on Friday, in support of the organization’s program to supply underprivileged children with school supplies.
“It’s not very often that a charity gives to another charity,” said Nick Hanks, the Rod and Gun Club’s entertainment chairman, but he said his nonprofit organization found the Recycled Percussion Foundation to be a perfect match.
The foundation, originally named the Legacy X Foundation, is another nonprofit group, founded by Justin Spencer, creator of the “junk rock music” group, Recycled Percussion, which is based in Manchester. The foundation’s mission is “to create an environment where people feel safe, accepted and have a sense of belonging, by providing positive solutions to negativity.” It focuses on counseling to overcome bullying and innovative training programs.
Hanks said the Rod and Gun Club also focuses on children. For 27 years, the club has held an annual Santa Jam where it collects monetary donations as well as products to sell at a live auction, followed by live band performances. The money is used to fill the needs of underprivileged children as well as assisting the elderly. The club buys clothes, toys, and gifts for the holidays.
The morning after the Santa Jam, the club holds a Breakfast With Santa, where children receive free breakfasts and adults can eat for a $5 donation.
Hanks, who recently assumed the position of entertainment chairman, contacted Recycled Percussion about performing, but a scheduling conflict prevented the band from coming at that time.
“When I looked at what they’re doing for the children, I saw that they support the exact same causes we do,” Hanks said. “It’s all about kids and the community. So I proposed donating the maximum of the money donated to us by Dunkin’ Donuts, and the club agreed unanimously. We’re two completely different organizations doing the same thing for a good cause.”
The Rod and Gun Club also holds a Kids Fishing Derby, is host for the Robbie Mills Tournament, and also holds events for breast cancer research, Hanks said.
“It’s all about giving. We’re much more than a place to smoke and drink,” Hanks said, adding that they are accepting new memberships and offer something to do virtually every day. There are dart tournaments, shuffleboard, karaoke, and other events, as well as opportunities to watch sports on a large-screen television.
The club also is available for special functions.
He summed up their charitable focus by saying, “Every child deserves to have good clothes and fun.”

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Susan Cote Ennabe, Justin Spencer of Recycled Percussion, Nick Hanks, Heather Abbott, Linda Pinard (front), and Ryan Vezina of Recycled Percussion gather for a photo following the Laconia Rod & Gun Club’s donation of $1,000 to the band’s Chaos and Kindess effort. (Courtesy photo)


  • Written by Tom Caldwell
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American Police Motorcycle Museum seeks variance for boat storage plan

MEREDITH — The owner of the American Police Motorcycle Museum went before the Meredith Zoning Board of Adjustment on Thursday, seeking a variance that would allow the property to be used for boat storage.
Doug Frederick made the case that allowing such a use is in character with the area, which already has automotive repair shops, and he argued that it would enhance the area and be a benefit to the community.
Frederick is hoping to sell the property, located on Route 3 at what formerly was Burlwood Antiques, and to move his motorcycle museum to another location.
Zoning Administrator Scott LaCroix said no one raised any objections during the hearing, and the board voted to postpone deliberations on the request to Thursday, Aug. 24.
Prior to hearing the variance request, the board denied Frederick’s appeal of an administrative decision that had found boat storage to be not an allowed use in that zone. Had the members of the Zoning Board overturned the decision, Frederick would not have had to seek the variance, but they denied his appeal because he had missed the deadline for submitting it.

  • Written by Tom Caldwell
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