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City brings some second-hand stores under pawnbroker ordinance

LACONIA — The City Council this week unanimously endorsed a proposal by the Police Department and Licensing Board to stiffen the reporting requirements for pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers of certain types of merchandise, a move intended to curb the trade in stolen property.

The ordinance will apply to both pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers and would require both to be licensed by the city. A pawnbroker is defined as any person or corporation that lends money at interest and takes property as security, which may be sold if not redeemed. A secondhand dealer is defined as any person or corporation that buys, sells or exchanges secondhand goods, but the definition would apply only to those who purchase secondhand articles "directly" from the general public.

Detective Kevin Butler told the council that the ordinance would apply to the one licensed pawnbroker and a dozen secondhand dealers currently operating in the city. He said that trade in books, furniture and clothing would be exempt from the ordinance while transactions involving motor vehicles, firearms and ammunition are subject to other municipal and state regulations.

Applications for licenses would be submitted to the city and investigated by the police. who will report to Licensing Board. No license will be issued to any firm, whose owners or employees had been convicted of theft, burglary, fraud or receiving stolen property in the prior 10 years. Licenses will be issued for a specific location and could not be transferred to another person or corporation. Licenses will carry an initial fee of $100 and an annual renewal fee of $25.
Pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers will be required to record the date and time of purchases, amount paid or loaned, as well as the interest rate, along with the name and address of the seller or borrower, type of article, brand name, model number, and serial number, color, any identifying marks; and if jewelry, the metal as well as kind, number and, if known, carat of any stones. The transaction record will include a color image of the property. The ordinance will require transaction records be kept for seven years
Sellers and borrowers will be required to produce photographic identification, including their full name, date of birth and street address, which the pawnbroker or secondhand dealer would attach tot he transaction record. Transactions with anyone younger than 18 would be prohibited unless they were accompanied by a parent or guardian, who would be required to sign the transaction record.
Pawnbrokers will be required to hold property taken in pawn for four months after acquiring it, unless the item is perishable, in which case it can be disposed of within a month with permission of the police. Pawnbrokers or secondhand dealers purchasing property for money will be required to hold it for 14 days. Pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers will be required to file transaction records electronically on a specified form with the police within 24 hours of the close of the business day when the transaction occurred. Violations of the ordinance would carry a fine of $100 per day or suspension or revocation of license.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 April 2015 12:34

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Small early morning earthquake was centered in Sanbornton

SANBORNTON — A 2.3-magnitude earthquake struck at 4:11 a.m. Wednesday on Perkins Road according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Sanbornton police said they received no reports of any damage or injury from the quake.
Alan Kafka of Boston College's Weston Observatory in Weston, Mass, said that it's not unusual for small earthquakes, also known as temblors, to be reported from the Sanbornton area. He said that over the last 40 years central New Hampshire has been the most seismically active area in New England.
Kafka said that it is easy to understand why there were no reports to police as the threshold for actually feeling an earthquake is a magnitude in the mid two range.
He said that the largest earthquake ever recorded in the Sanbornton area was one of a 6.3 magnitude which took place in 1638 and was felt as far away as Montreal and Boston.
In recent years the largest earthquakes recorded in Sanbornton were one of a 4.7 magnitude on January 19, 1982 and a 3.9 quake which was recorded on October 25, 1986.
The largest earthquakes in recent history in New Hampshire were two which were recorded as both being of a 5.5 magnitude which took place in Ossipee of Dec. 20 and Dec. 24 in 1940.
The quakes caused damage over a broad area and were felt as far away as Pennsylvania as New Jersey.. Since the shocks were both of approximately the same intensity, the damage and felt reports were combined. Tamworth and Wonalancet reported chimneys were thrown down, some walls were cracked, plaster fell, and a few pipes were broken. Much stucco was knocked loose from outside walls. Some furniture was also broken and there was considerable damage to china and glassware.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 April 2015 12:30

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Barnstead man attacked by fox

BARNSTEAD — Police killed what appeared to be a sick fox yesterday afternoon after it attacked a local man in his backyard.

Sgt. Frank Grow said a Depot Street man was putting wood through his wood splitter yesterday around 3 pm. when he said a fox came from the tree line and attacked his leg.

Police said the man was able to shake off the fox and it ran in between an oil tank and a propane tank on his property.

Grow said police brought gloves, jackets and a snag pole from the station and were able to catch the fox and destroy it.

Grow said the man was evaluated by the Barnstead Fire Department that recommended he speak with his own physician about the incident.

The remains was collected by an officer of the Department of Fish and Game who will perform tests to see if it was sick or rabid.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 April 2015 12:22

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State has ordered caboose removed from spur RR line in downtown Laconia

LACONIA — Richard Mitchell, the owner of Pitman's Freight Room on New Salem Street, has been ordered to remove the caboose from the state-owned sidetrack adjacent to his property by May 26 and to immediately cease crossing the sidetrack to reach a parking area at the rear of his property.

The Daily Sun was supplied yesterday with a copy of the letter by David Gammon, who owns an adjacent property and has long asked the state to force Mitchell to remove the railroad car.

On April 17 Shelley Winters, administrator of the Bureau of Rail & Transit of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, wrote to Mitchell, reminding him that in July 2004 he was informed that his lease of the sidetrack had expired and directing him to remove the caboose from it. "In researching this issue," Winters noted, "recent observations have revealed that there is no existing agreement in place between you and the state and that you have failed to remove the caboose from the state-owned sidetrack." She described the presence of the caboose as a breach of the original lease as will as "a trespass and a nuisance."

Furthermore, Winters wrote that the DOT was "troubled to learn that the caboose has become a an attractive hazard," this is, patrons of Pitman's Freight Room have been allowed to climb on it, "even while consuming alcohol". She directed Mitchell to "cease any and all activities on state property" and ensure that his patrons did so as well.

Mitchell did not return telephone calls yesterday.

"I was shocked when I saw that letter," said Gammon, who with his sister owns the property abutting Pitman's Freight Room. In fact, their two buildings are attached with the brick wall shared between them serving as the lot line dividing their two properties. The railroad line runs southwest, along Mitchell's lot then, where the two lots meet, the sidetrack runs to the rear of Gammon's lot, ending abruptly at the corner of his property where the caboose has been parked within two feet of his building since 1999.

"I've been pestering the DOT off and on for the past 15 years," said Gammon, who claims that Mitchell placed the caboose "as a grudge to devalue our property." In February, Gammon renewed his efforts, asking both Winters and Attorney General Joseph Foster why, after 11 years without a lease, the caboose had not budged. Gammon also claims the Bureau of Rail and Transit has informed him that there is no record of Mitchell paying the annual fee of $986 to lease the track since his lease expired in 2004.

Mitchell has acknowledged, "I have to do something with the caboose" and now must also make arrangements to secure automobile access to his back parking lot. With her letter, Winters enclosed information about how property owners whose lot is divided by a railway may obtain a "crossing agreement," which can take 60 days or more.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 April 2015 12:20

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