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Clerk Still Seeking Volunteers in Ward 5

LACONIA — Less than two weeks after finding herself without a single official to work the voting station in Ward 5 at the primary election on Sept. 9, City Clerk Mary Reynolds said yesterday that some people have offered to serve, but she still hoping for more volunteers.

Reynolds said that a moderator, ward clerk, three selectmen and three ballot clerks is the bare minimum required to conduct an election. She explained that the moderator, ward clerk and three selectmen must be at the polling station throughout the day, from 6:30 a.m. until the votes are counted and ballots sealed around 8 p.m. The ballot clerks, on the other hand, may work shorter shifts, and while at least three are necessary, the more there are, the fewer hours they need to work.

The moderator is responsible for the conduct of the election and oversees the work of the other officials at the polls. The ward clerk supervises the ballot clerks, who check the eligibility of voters coming to the polls, during the day and tabulate the results of the election after the polls closes. The three selectmen set up the polling station the evening before election day and assist whenever and wherever they are needed at the direction of the moderator while the polls are open. The ballot clerks, who must include at least one registered Republican and one registered Democrat, check the name, address and photographic identification of voters as they enter the polling station.

All election officials are compensated and provided with lunch, dinner and refreshment. The moderator and ward clerk are paid $7.50 per hour and all others $7.25 per hour. Reynolds further emphasized that volunteers will be thoroughly trained to fulfill the responsibilities of their positions and follow the procedures of the election. Anyone interested in volunteering for any of the positions in Ward 5 should contact the City Clerk at 527-1265 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 12:32

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Gilmanton man accused of choking his girlfriend

CIRCUIT COURT — A Gilmanton man is free on $15,000 personal recognizance bail after appearing in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division to answer a charge that he choked his girlfriend.

Michael Tape, 50, of 23 Musket Trail appeared by video and is charged with one count of second degree assault.

Affidavits said police were called to the home after a 911 call was placed through the Belknap County Sheriff's Department. When officers got there, Tape met them at the door.

Tape told them he mis-dialed his phone and was looking for his girlfriend's phone.

When they asked him about a female, Tape told them there was no emergency and not to worry about it. Police said they needed to speak with her, and Tape allegedly yelled for her to come to the door.

As she exited the house, affidavits said she motioned to one of the officers by putting her hands to her neck and mouthing "he choked me."

Police separated the two and one of them took the woman to the driveway while the other stayed with Tape.

During her interview, the alleged victim told the officer that Tape was rolling a cigarette and when she asked him for one he allegedly swore at her.

She said she was sitting in a chair and Tape approached her and allegedly put his hands around her throat and pushed her back against the wall. She told them the chair slid away from her and she and Tape fell to the floor. She said he was still choking her and landed on top of her.

She said a neighbor who was in the home with them allegedly pulled Tape away from her. Affidavits also said she told police she had tried to leave the home earlier but was stopped by him and told to return to the apartment.

A police prosecutor asked for a minimum of $10,000 cash saying that the allegations were serious. He said Tape has previous convictions for armed robbery in Massachusetts, three simple assaults and two resisting arrest charges, the latest being in 2009.

When asked, the prosecutor said all three people allegedly involved had been drinking. He also said the neighbor who allegedly broke up the fight spoke with police but refused to give a written statement.

The defense said Tape's criminal record was "minimal" for a man in his 50s and that he has lived in the area for 23 years and at the Musket Trail address for at least 10 years. She said he could return to live with his sister who was on vacation and is not the victim.

She said he is disabled from nerve damage to his foot and has no ability to post $10,000 cash bail.

The prosecutor said he objected to personal recognizance bail because at one point Tape allegedly tried to get the victim to change her story and that a second person that night reported to police that he had also been assaulted by Tape but in an unrelated incident.

The defense said those were separate investigations and not part of the lone second-degree assault charge.

Judge Jim Carroll agreed and set bail at $15,000 personal recognizance. He ordered Tape not to drink any alcohol and to stay away from the victim and the neighbor.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 August 2014 12:15

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Foam on Loon Cove had drifted over from Wolfeboro, where it was used to control house fire

ALTON — Firefighters working along side a boat from the N.H. Marine Patrol broke up two 100-square-foot patches of Class A firefighter foam from the Lake Winnipesaukee waters of Loon Cove yesterday morning.

Alton Capt. Mike Viscariello said the two agencies were called around 11 a.m. yesterday by someone who saw the foam.

He said they initially responded with booms to collect what was then an unknown substance. However, they determined the material was Class A firefighters foam that likely came from a multi-alarm house fire in Wolfeboro Thursday night.

He said after representatives from the N.H. Department of Environmental Services learned it was Class A foam, they told Alton firefighters and Marine Patrol to break it up with their boats as opposed to collecting it.

DES Spokesman Tim Drew said the foam was a Class A protein-based biodegradable foam and all it needed to do was dissipate.

Viscarello said that firefighter foam dispersed in an area the size of that portion of Lake Winnipesaukee would not cause any long-term damage but did want residents along the waterfront to know what it was and not to be worried.

According to Foster's Daily Democrat, the Wolfeboro fire started around 5 p.m. and was caused by a lightening strike to a tree that traveled into a nearby house.

The family was able to safely leave the home however one Tuftonboro firefighter was injured. He was treated at Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro and released.

Viscarello said the Wolfeboro fire was in a home that was on the lake and that likely the cause of the firefighter foam getting into Lake Winnipesaukee.

The Wolfboro fire was declared under control by 9 p.m.

 

CUTLINE: Alton resident Tony Parenti, left, helps Alton Fire Captain Mike Viscariello (right) untie the Alton Fire Boat as it goes to break up the foam in Lake Winnipesaukee. Parenti allowed the fire boat to use his dock for yesterday's operation. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 August 2014 12:09

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BHS athletes happy to wear blue & gold to play football

BELMONT — Uniforms were being handed out Friday morning in the weight room at Belmont High School to a group of athletes preparing for their first season ever of playing football at the high school level.
But the uniforms weren't the red and white that Belmont teams wear. Instead they are the blue and gold of Gilford, a long-time arch-rival of BHS teams in a number of sports: soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball and baseball.
The two schools, who already field a cooperative program in ice hockey, are embarking on a similar venture in football this fall which could ultimately see the joint team move up to NHIAA Division II in a few years and become a regular opponent for Laconia High School.
For this year, Belmont athletes are eligible to play at the junior varsity level only, But starting next season they'll be eligible to play at both the JV and varsity level, which leads Gilford High School coach Shawn Garrett to believe that within a few years his team will be moving from Division III into Division II.
''Once Belmont players can pay at the varsity level, I'm sure we'll be moving up due to the increased enrollment of combining a program for the two school districts,'' says Garrett, who is in his first year as head coach after having served as assistant coach last year.
He says that about 27 Belmont students have expressed interest in playing football and 15 have been showing up for pre-season conditioning sessions.
''It's mostly freshman and sophomores and I expect that before long we''ll be seeing about 40 players from each school district, which should give us a very strong program in the years ahead.''
He says that participation by Gilford students peaked at around 50 several years ago but was down to 27 last year, which meant that there weren't enough to hold separate practice sessions for the JV squad.
''This year we expect to have about 50 kids in uniform, which means that the freshman won't be going up against the seniors in practices. The younger guys will practice against guys in their own skill set which should allow them to have success sooner and keep them active and involved,'' says Garrett.
He noted that may of the Belmont players already know the Gilford players, having taken part for the last several years in the Gilford Youth Football League and helping contribute to championship seasons at the middle school level.
Many of those players, like Dillon Gansert, Tanner Wood, Brandon Scheffer, Mark Forgione and Austin Simonds are among those who have already turned out for conditioning workouts and took part in a recent 7-on-7 camp against Laconia High School on Laconia's artificial turf field.
Gansert, a freshman, says he's ''ecstatic'' about the opportunity to play football at the high school level and says that the cooperative team venture came about through the efforts of the Friends of Belmont Football, a group of parents who joined together three years ago in an effort to find a way for their sons to be able to play football at the high school level.
The group raised over $10,000 and still is working on raising additional funds for next year. The agreement negotiated between the school districts calls for Belmont to pay $7,500 this year and $15,000 next year, After the second year both school districts will share equally in the costs of the football program.
Belmont Sophomore Austin Simonds, says he's excited about the chance to play football this fall. ''It's my favorite sport. I wish we had our own team but this works for me.''
Garrett says he's working with both Gilford and Belmont players on conditioning and noted that its not just about lifting weights but also about developing core stabilization and flexibility in order to avoid injuries.
He says that instructors at Gilford Hills Tennis Club have donated their time to work with the players on conditioning exercises and that regular practices for all players will get underway on August 20 at the Meadows field in Gilford. A football camp will be held starting August 13 at the Meadows with voluntary participation.

CAPTION:
Tanner Wood does a pull-up in the weight room at Belmont High School as Dillon Gansert (34) and Cody Watson and Brian Sliva, seated, look on. The Belmont students are looking forward to their first ever football season as members of the Gilford-Belmont junior varsity team. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 August 2014 12:04

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