Corner Slice awaits review of sign rules


GILMANTON — At the Historic District Commission on Tuesday, the operators of the Corner Slice convenience store and gas station received assurance that the town is reviewing its sign ordinances, after a flap concerning a standalone "open" banner at the historic district business.
The Planning Board, the Historic District Board and the Zoning Board are reviewing all sign ordinances, confirmed Roy Buttrick, member of the Gilmanton Planning Board. Buttrick said his focus is on finding resolution, noting that board members are volunteers.
"What I really want to do is positive, positive. Everybody is working together to try to get this done," he said.
A 15-foot flag with the word "open" on it was taken down at the Corner Slice, a business that has faced a host of regulatory hurdles before it opened last summer. The freestanding vertical flag with the word "open" that once attracted customers from nearby Route 140 and Route 107 was disallowed by town staff, who told owners Henry and Rachel Vigeant to take it down.
Annette Andreozzi, land use administrator for Gilmanton, said the Corner Slice "was trying to do something that didn't fit into the rules," prompting the commission review.
Now, according to Rachel Vigeant, the Historic District Commission has provided guidance that information from the town office will emanate from new town administrator, Heidi Duval, rather than from particular departments.
And the town is trying to update its ordinances, to cover instances where rules don't specify particular uses. For example, Buttrick said the freestanding "open" banner is not covered in the signs ordinance, which addresses signs but not banners.
Rachel Vigeant said she and her husband, Henry, have voluntarily discontinued use of the 15-foot banner while the town sorts out its rules.
"The larger flag – that's our choice, we're working with the boards until they make a decision. All entities will be reviewing everything," she said Wednesday.
Rachel Vigeant said the larger 15-foot flag was up for about two weeks before she and her husband took it down. A smaller flag continues to protrude from the side of the store, located near the corner of Route 140 and Route 107.

01 13 Corner Slice-Gas

Books for kids

03-08 United Way books 1

Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way, had an opportunity to read to children from the Lakes Region Child Care Services Wednesday. Each child went home with a copy of "Snowy Day," thanks to the United Way's donation of nearly 700 books to local groups. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving was designated Giving Tuesday last year and the United Way used that day to promote awareness and raise funds for the books. (Courtesy photo)

Single-vehicle crash kills one in Barnstead


BARNSTEAD — A car plunged 12 feet off a rural two-lane road and came to rest on its top in an icy creek, killing the sole occupant of the vehicle, police said Wednesday.

Police and rescue personnel rushed to the accident scene in the 300 block of Peacham Road about 9 a.m. after a motorist reported seeing the 2008 convertible Chrysler Sebring in the creek, its passenger compartment submerged.

Police Chief Paul Poirier and Officer Dan Shapiro broke a side window, pulled out the driver and attempted CPR.

"We were able to pull him out of waist-deep water," Poirier said. "You don't even think about the cold. The adrenaline rushed and our main job was to get him out."

Damage to a mail box and tire tracks appeared to indicate the car was traveling on the road when it crossed the oncoming lane and plunged into the gully, Shapiro said.

The exact time of the accident and the cause of death were not known.

This was the first fatal vehicle accident of the year in Barnstead, about 20 miles southeast of Laconia, Poirier said. The creek where it occurred does not have a name and narrows to a trickle during the summer.

The name of the person who died was withheld pending notification of family.

03-08 Barnstead fatal flip

Rescuers were able to pull a man from this wreck Wednesday, but the man did not survive the crash. (Rick Green/Laconia Daily Sun)