LACONIA — A Meredith man found himself in hot water after allegedly setting fire to a towel in a corridor on the fourth floor of the downtown Landmark Inn shortly before midnight Thursday.
Benjamin P. Luoma, 28, of 64 Pleasant Street, Meredith was charged with arson, a class A felony, was released on $25,000 personal recognizance bail following his arraignment in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday. He is scheduled to appear for a probable cause hearing early next month.
Firefighters responding to an alarm discovered the small fire that burnt the carpet and later told police that guests suspected a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, who at the time was outdoors smoking a cigarette in front of the hotel, was responsible.
Officer Patrick Lyons reported that the man outside identified himself as Luoma and said that he had lit the towel on fire and placed it atop a light fixture then knocked the burning towel on to the floor and stomped on the flames with his foot. A witness provided police with a written statement that he saw a man matching Luoma's description light the towel on fire.
The hotel was evacuated while the Fire Department investigated the activation of the alarm and confirmed the fire was extinguished. No one was injured and property damage was minor.
Last Updated on Saturday, 23 August 2014 12:48
Judge rules Sanbornton man involved in shooting a danger to himself and others; $100k cash bail continued
CIRCUIT COURT — Attorneys for the Sanbornton man accused of trying to kill his son on Steele Hill Road last week said yesterday that there is reason to believe he acted in self-defense and that his bail should be reduced to personal recognizance. But Judge Ned Gordon was not convinced and bail conditions were continued.
Public Defender Steve Mirkin noted that Lloyd Barnard, 61 of Steele Hill Road is facing one count of first degree assault and one count of attempted second degree murder after he allegedly shot his son at least four times in the legs on August 10.
Although Barnard waived his right to a probable cause hearing, the state, represented by Deputy Belknap County Attorney Adam Wood, and the defense held a bail review in the 6th Circuit Court, Franklin Division yesterday.
Although his attorneys tried to silence him, Bernard uttered that he "never pointed a gun at anyone."
During that review, two versions of the shooting emerged. Mirkin argued that Barnard and his son had been in a fight, both physically and verbally, and that even though they see very little of each other, there have been other disagreements between them.
Mirkin said Barnard received a laceration to the back of his head, a black eye, and numerous scraped to his forehead in the fight, which could mean the shooting was in self-defense.
He said Bernard poses no flight risk and can return to his home on 228 Steele Hill Road where he was renting a room from the owner, who was in court yesterday.
Mirkin also pointed out that Barnard was ill, and had been scheduled for cancer screenings in Laconia but because of his incarceration had been unable to attend them.
He said Barnard's son lives in Belmont and not anywhere near Steele Hill Road. Mirkin said Barnard would agree to any bail conditions including reporting to either the police or probation, not to consume any alcohol, and to stay away from his son. He also agrees to sign a waiver of extradition.
Mirkin pointed out that his client lives on disability after being injured a few years ago in a logging accident. He said he wouldn't be able to raise any amount of cash for bail.
Woods said the state still wants Barnard held on $100,000 cash only.
He said the victim told police that he and his father had been arguing when Barnard pulled out a .22 caliber gun and fired it multiple times. The victim said he was able to disarm his father and that he brought the gun into the house.
Woods said the victim told police that when he went back out of the house, his father had a .45 caliber handgun and fired it multiple times — hitting him at least four times in the legs.
The Daily Sun has learned the victim has since been released from the hospital.
Woods said the victim fought his father to take away the second gun and that's when Barnard sustained the injuries claimed by the defense to be self-defense. He said the victim was able to get to his truck and call 911.
Woods also testified yesterday that Belknap County House of Corrections Superintendent Daniel Ward told him that Barnard was on suicide watch because of an incident at the jail.
He told Judge Edward "Ned" Gordon that Ward believes Barnard is not ready to be in the general population at the jail. Woods argued this means he is a danger to himself and potentially others.
Judge Gordon determined that while it was unlikely that Barnard was flight risk, he ruled that he poses a danger to himself or others and upheld the $100,000 cash bail set by Judge Jim Carroll.
The case against Barnard will be bound over to the Belknap County Superior Court for possible indictment.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2014 01:30
LACONIA — The Lakes Region chapter of SCORE — Service Corps of Retired Executives — celebrated its tenth anniversary at the Laconia Country Club last night.
Leo Glasheen of New Hampton, a former procurement official with the federal government, has been with SCORE for 21 years. When he moved from Manchester to New Hampton 12 years ago he resurrected the local chapter, with help from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) and Eliza Leadbeater, then executive director of the Belknap Economic Development Council (BEDC). "I guess I'm the godfather," he admitted.
Today, Glasheen said, the Lakes Region chapter has some 20 members, about a third of whom have served for a decade. "It's a revolving door," he remarked, noting that most members volunteer for between two and four years. "The attrition rate is higher than I'd like to see it," he said, "but, we've helped a lot of clients and that's what it's all about. That's what's the most fun."
SCORE members lend their knowledge and experience of business to others seeking to start and grow their own businesses. The program offers workshops as well as face-to-face and on-line mentoring. Glasheen said that developing a sound business plan and arranging the necessary financing are the major tasks. He estimated that between 15 and 20 of every 100 clients "show real good potential" and the majority of those achieve some measure of success.
The president of the chapter, John Plummer, spent 38 years with the United States Department of Defense before operating his own business advising on the management of hazardous materials. "There are no small ideas and no bad ideas," he said, stressing that "a guy with $500 and a lawnmower who wants to start a landscaping business is as important as an engineer with a promising invention.
Rather than dissuade the majority from taking a risk, Glasheen said "I get them to conclude that their plans won't work. I tell them," he continued, "you can waste my time. That's part of my job." He described the relationship with clients as "mentoring" rather than "counseling," explaining "we don't want to be confused with shrinks."
Glasheen estimated that about 40 percent of clients seek to provide a service, most often a business-to-business service like accounting or information technology, but SCORE members have also mentored physicians and chiropractors in the rudiments of managing cash flow and marketing their services. The remaining 60 percent include light manufacturers, restauranteurs and innkeepers and retailers.
While many clients are mentored in the fundamentals common to all businesses, SCORE volunteers with backgrounds in particular industries like manufacturing or hospitality, offer specialized advice.
"SCORE volunteers have diverse professional backgrounds that sit on top of their mentoring skills," Plummer said. "That diversity is our value added."
SCORE was a volunteer organization from top to bottom until 1998 when the SBA appointed a chief executive officer, board of directors and executive team and assigned the program a line item in the agency's budget. SCORE also entered partnerships with major corporations, like Bank of America and Sony. Glasheen said that chapters follow a standard operating procedures and all volunteers are certified as well as undergo continuing education. "Things are always changing and leveraging partnerships and continuing education keeps us in gear and up to speed," Glasheen said.
SCORE provides its services free of charge and assures its clients of confidentiality. Glasheen said that the tag line of SCORE is "for the life of your business" and that volunteers assist clients with "exit strategies" for transferring ownership of their business.And when clients retire, he added, we encourage them to join the ranks of the volunteers at SCORE.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2014 01:21
LACONIA — Police have arrested two city men on outstanding warrants stemming from an ongoing investigation from a drug bust in March.
Matthew Perkins, 24, of 57 Holman Street is charged with two counts of sales of narcotics. He refused bail and will appear in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division today at 10 a.m.
Police also arrested Keith Lafoe, 40, of 736 Union Avenue. He is charged with one count of sales of a narcotic drug. Lafoe was released on personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to appear in circuit court in October.
Police said they went to both men's homes where both were taken into custody without incident.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2014 01:10
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