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)

Family’s pet monkey seized

Complaint forced state to take animal raised from birth by Laconia couple


LACONIA — "It was like taking a family member out of the house," said Conservation Officer Chris Brison of the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department, after removing a patas monkey from a local household on Monday where it was kept illegally. "it was devastating to the family and terrible for all of us.," he said.

seized monkeyState law prohibits the keeping of many species of wild animals — amphibians, reptiles, fish and mammals, including all primates, — without a permit, which for most mammals and all primates are granted only to those who exhibit them in licensed enclosures. Brison said that the monkey's owners, Penny Dessalines, 47, and Burnie Johnson, 51, of 33 Roller Coaster Road have been charged with a violation, which carries a fine of up to $1,000.

Brison said that the couple acquired the monkey as an infant four or five years ago and thinking it was a female called it "Bella," but as it matured discovered it was a male. He said that two years ago he received a complaint and advised the couple they were in violation of the law and urged them to place the monkey in an appropriate setting. They left the state, taking the monkey with them, but later returned to New Hampshire with the monkey. After receiving an anonymous tip he executed a search warrant and removed the monkey from the home.

"It's a wild animal and should be treated as such," Brison stressed. He said that the monkey had a crate, but often was loose in the home,where he played with two children and interacted with the family dog. However, he noted that as the monkey reached maturity it was becoming more aggressive.

Initially the monkey was taken to Dr. Michael Dutton, a veterinarian in Weare experienced in caring for exotic animals, who examined him and drew a blood sample. Brison said that the monkey appeared to be in "good condition."

Afterwards the monkey was moved to an undisclosed location while officials of the Fish & Game Department began seeking to place him in an appropriate, permanent home. "We're looking at a bunch of options," Brison said. "We don't deal with monkeys very often. They require special care and attention. " He said the department was seeking a facility accustomed to primates where the monkey could be with others of his own kind.

Patas, also known as wadi or hussar, monkeys are a reddish brown with a white chest and black brow. They range across a belt in central Africa, south of the Sahara Desert and north of the central rainforest, from Senegal in the west to near Ethiopia in the east. They are terrestrial animals, living on the ground in troops of 60 or more on savannas and semi-desert regions. At maturity they are 33 inches long with a tail stretching another 30 inches. With long limbs, pat as monkeys are the fastest among all primates, capable of running 43 miles per hour. They are omnivores, feeding on insects and animal remains as well as seeds and tubers.