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Laconia police officer appeals suspension in court

LACONIA — A city police officer who was suspended for two days without pay for her third infraction of internal policies has appealed her suspension to the Belknap County Superior Court.

Patrol Officer Brandy Enis has asked the court for a declaratory judgment after police management determined her actions to assist a local landlord who needed access to a common area in his apartment building constituted "unsatisfactory performance."

Enis, who is represented by attorney Brad Davis, said the Laconia Police Commission determined she "entertained a civil matter that did not warrant police intervention" when she went to help landlord John Daigneault access his basement to perform routine maintenance on a furnace.

Daigneault called the police department on April 17 for "civil standby" help and Enis was dispatched to 307 Elm Street. Once she arrived, the landlord told her he needed to go through his tenant's apartment to reach the basement and he produced a key to the apartment.

Daigneault sent a text message to the tenant 27 hours before he went there. He said he called police because he had had an altercation with the same tenant the previous day and wanted the police to be there to ensure his safety as well as to protect the property of the tenant and to protect him against fraudulent claims.

Enis entered the apartment with Daigneault after knocking and making sure the tenant wasn't home. She waited for Daigneault while he changed the filter. Both told the Police Commission the entire transaction lasted less than five minutes.

She left a note for the tenant explaining why she was there. The tenant didn't file a complaint, however her immediate supervisor, during his review of the daily activities, questioned her actions and said she "allowed a landlord to illegally enter an apartment."

He issued a written Class 2 warning but because it was Enis's third such warning in less than five years, management supported by the commission, said the combination of the three rose to a single Class 3 violation that warranted a suspension.

News of Enis's initial hearing before the commissioners, which she requested be held in public, brought landlords from around the city to voice their support for her and to speak to the commission about the Police Department's role in "civil standbys."

Chief Chris Adams recommended three days off without pay however the commissioners determined two days without pay was the appropriate penalty.

In his written argument to the court, Davis said that Enis has had no training in civil/landlord law although the commission cited that law as the reason Enis was reprimanded.

He said the commission erred when it determined Enis was not acting in her "community care-taking function" as is often required of police officers.

Citing case law from 2002, Davis said that on any average day a police officer performs a "broad range" of duties that extends to investigating crimes to issuing traffic violations, as well as "community care-taking functions" like helping stranded motorists, returning lost children to parents and assisting and "protecting citizens in need."

Davis argues Enis actions accomplished three things: she protected the landlord from any potential physical harm, protected the tenant's belongings from the landlord, and protected the landlord against any claim against him for theft.

He said the care-taking role provided by Enis was separate and distinct from the detention of evidence related to a crime and that police management erred when they compared the two.

Davis also said that state law provides that a landlord can enter a tenant's property with 24 hours notice to perform duties commonly associated with the care and upkeep of his or her property. In this case, he said Daigneault provided 27 hours notice.

Enis and Davis also contend that management improperly used an escalating scale when classifying her third warning as a single Class 3 warning.

He said her two prior Class 2 write-ups had nothing to do with the third and doesn't constitute "escalating" behavior. As an example, he gave repeated tardiness as evidence of escalating behavior and agreed progressive discipline would be warranted in a case like that.

Davis said the department's own policy uses the specific term of "same type" and not "same class of behavior suggesting the policy was designed to punish repeat behavior of the same type and not to lump all Class 2 violations of police policy together to come up with one Class 3 violation.

He asks that the court find the Laconia Police Commission was wrong when it found Enis had committed an unlawful act, that the court find her actions of April 17 don't rise to the level of unsatisfactory behavior and to reverse the decision of the Commission, grant her relief as is just and equitable.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 11:42

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Gas grill fire threatens Franklin Street home; damage limited to $15k

LACONIA — A quick response by firefighters forestalled serious damage to the residence at 126 Franklin Street, where a gas grill on a deck wrapped around the house caught fire this week.

The homeowner reported after the fire was thought to have been extinguished the propane tank continued to leak, reigniting the blaze and causing an explosion the blew the housing of the grill 10 feet away. Fire Chief Ken Erickson said that anyone standing near the grill when the explosion occurred would have suffered serious burns and injuries.

Captain Chris Shipp's crew from Central Station promptly extinguished the fire and cooled the propane tank, forestalling a structure fire and second explosion.

Heat from the fire charred the deck and melted the vinyl siding of the home. Erickson estimated the cost of the damage at $15,000.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 11:36

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WEEKEND: Jordan's Ice Creamery serves up over 40,000 gallons of homemade ice cream through the season

BELMONT — A teenager when his father and mother opened Jordan's Ice Creamery 20 years ago, Craig Jordan, operates the business today with help from his family. "The only time I get ahead is when we close for the season. It's non-stop."

His father, Eric, said the business has grown five, 10, 15-percent every year since it began, and Jordan added that this year, for reasons he cannot fully fathom, sales have boomed. "Yesterday it was just out of control," he said. "We were really busy and a Concord Trailways bus pulled up and dropped off 70 people," he recalled. "We had 200 people waiting in line."

Along with serving daily at the parlor in Belmont, Jordan's sells ice cream on race days at  New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where its was recently chosen the best food on offer. Jordan said he also caters private ice cream socials and distributes to restaurants. For the past three years Jordan's has topped the WMUR-TV poll as serving the best ice cream in New Hampshire.

Jordan begins making ice cream around nine o'clock each morning and finishes about seven o'clock every evening seven days a week. "Those two machines are running constantly," he said. He estimated that over the course of the season, between April and Columbus Day, he produces some 45,000 gallons in more than 200 different flavors. Jordan's also makes ice cream cakes and pies, low-fat and non-fat yogurts as well as sugar-free ice cream, sorbet and soft-serve in a variety of flavors.

Eric said that while children clamor for ice cream, their parents decide where to get it. Consequently, he explained from the outset Jordan's has offered a wide range of products and flavors to appeal to palates of different ages and tastes. Although Jordan inherited a vast array of flavors, he has eagerly added to it. "One of the things I enjoy is trying things that may seem a bit off the wall," he said.

Salted caramel crunch with pretzel, Jordan said, quickly became among the best sellers. "I'd make six two-and-a-half gallon tubs one day and its gone the next," he said. "I can't make enough of it." He confessed to surprise at the popularity of maple ice cream laced with candied bacon, which he said was immediately very popular. "We're taking orders for it," he remarked. Fond of red wine, Jordan made a batch of cabernet sauvignon ice cream. "I haven't sold it because of the alcohol content," he said. "First, I want to make sure I can do it."

Jordan said 28 ice cream flavors, along with seven sugar-free plus four low-fat yogurt and three non-fat yogurt, are posted each day along with more than two dozen "mix-ins" from M & Ms and Snickers to gummy bears and nerds. He said that 23 of the 28 flavors are staples while the remaining five rotate among the more exotic. Noting that some favorites are always missing, he conceded "some people are happy most of the time and some people are angry some of the time. I'm threatened once a day for not having the ice cream somebody wants," he laughed.

Cones come in four sizes and for the ambitious there is the "Belly Buster" — five scoops of ice cream, a banana, a cookie, whipped cream, nuts and a cherry — served in a bucket with a shovel, which Jordan said is selling especially well this season.

Apart from the ice cream, sorbets and yogurts, Jordan's also makes its own waffle cones, cookies for ice cream sandwiches and whipped cream topping fresh daily. "We try to make as much in-house as we can," Jordan said. "It's a fun business."

Jordan's Ice Creamery is just north of the junction of NH Route 106 and NH Route 140 in Belmont and is open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. until 9 a.m.

CAPTION: Eric Jordan (left), who with his wife Gail opened Jordan's Ice Creamery in Belmont 20 years ago, still lends his son Craig (right) a helping hand with the growing business that viewers of WMUR-TV have named the best ice cream parlor in New Hampshire for the last three years. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch)

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 11:00

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WEEKEND - Reservations recommended for Gunstock's Adventure Tours

GILFORD — Reservations are strongly recommended for all of the Adventure Tours at Gunstock Mountain Resort and can be made on-line at www.gunstock.com or by calling 603-737-4388 to speak with an Adventure Center Associate.
Price for the Zip Tour is $79 and Gunstock says that it is imperative that people arrive at least a half hour before their scheduled tour in order to complete the necessary paperwork. Those who arrive late and miss their session will not receive refunds but may be able to get a later time slot if any are available.
Participants must be at least 10 years old, weigh between 50 and 260 pounds and be between 4' and 6'8" tall. Children between 10 and 15 years of age must be accompanied by a participating parent/guardian. Please note: No open-toed or open-back shoes are allowed on the ZipTour. And cameras and video recording devices must be stowed and secured safely and cannot be used while participants are suspended from the zip line.
The Off-Road Segway Tour, open to those 14 and older, costs $70. Participants must be 14 years of age or older, and weigh between 100 and 260 pounds.. Children ages 14 and 15 must be accompanied on the tour by a participating parent/guardian.
Helmets will be required for all participants and will be supplied by Gunstock Mountain Adventure Park.
Fee for adults at the Aerial Treetop Adventure Course is $50 and there are height and weight restrictions. Participants on the adult course must be at least 12 years old and able to reach 5' 11" (flat footed) with fingertips and must be under 250 pounds. Children 15 and younger must have parent/guardian supervision either in the trees or on the ground.
The Explorer ATA course fee is $25. Children ages 6 to 11, who are able to reach 4' 7" (flat footed) with fingertips, will get to run through the course twice. They'll also start with a safety demonstration on the training course.
Gunstock offers savings for those who complete two of the activities on the same day. The Zip Tour and ATA will cost $109, a $20 savings.
Cost for the ATA and Segway Tour is $99, a $21 savings and the Zip and Segway Tour are available for $125, a $24 savings.
Information on fees for other activities are available at www.gunstock.com.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 10:57

Hits: 198

 
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