Moultonborough officer nabs Ossipee bank robber

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

MOULTONBOROUGH — Police arrested a New York man Thursday about an hour after he allegedly robbed the Ossipee Branch of the Citizen's Bank.

Police Chief Leonard Weatherbee said Master Patrol Officer Jared Beaulieu was monitoring traffic on Route 25 when he noticed a black Toyota 4-Runner that fit the description of alleged robber.

Weatherbee said Beaulieu radioed in his location and pulled over William M. Cropsey, 26, of Rochester, New York. He said Cropsey initially gave Beaulieu a false name but Beaulieu was eventually able to identify him.

Weatherbee said Moultonborough Police were familiar with Cropsey because of a recent domestic violence incident.

Moultonborough Police charged Cropsey with one count of stalking, one count of disobeying a police officer for lying about his identity, and one count of driving after suspension.

Weatherbee said Cropsey was taken to the Carroll County House of Corrections where he was later charged by Ossipee Police for one count of robbery.

Ossipee Police said Cropsey was arraigned in the 3rd Circuit Court, Ossipee Division and is being held on $10,000 cash-only bail. Should he post bail, a source-of-funds hearing will be held.

Weatherbee said Beaulieu showed great powers of observation.

"It was a great police of police work," said Weatherbee.

Meredith town manager hopes to rein in expenses in next year’s budget

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

MEREDITH — Sketching the goals and principles for the 2017 municipal budget, Town Manager Phil Warren told the Board of the Selectmen Monday that he expects to maintain the close rein on expenditures that has guided budgeting for the past seven years.

Warren said that while this year equipment purchases, routine maintenance and capital improvements have been addressed, "there still remain many other instances where level services have not been maintained." At the same time, he noted that "these reductions in service have had little impact on the residents" due to "the dedication of the town employees."

In what has become an annual refrain, Warren said that the good news is that revenues from sources other than property taxes, particularly proceeds from the meals and rooms tax and motor vehicle registrations, are stable, but the bad news is that these revenues are stable. He also said that expenses for building maintenance and health and life insurances have been trimmed.

Warren offered a half dozen specific recommendations. He said the budget should "maintain or attempt to maintain," current levels of service, which he said are below those of 2009, with no further reduction of services. Vacancies arising from resignations and retirement, he said, will not be automatically filled, but instead will be evaluated. Nor, he said, do salary surveys and recent experience indicate that any full-time positions should be reclassified. All requests to purchase equipment should be analyzed and replacing worn out equipment should be considered. Finally, he called for continuing to fund the Capital Improvement Program.

Warren said although he has no intention of introducing new programs or services, proposals for both a new Public Works facility and a new library will need to be considered in the 2017 budget. He expects the feasibility study for the Public Works facility to be completed, which will include a decision on its location, and for the project to be presented to the Capital Improvement Program Committee and to Town Meeting in the budget cycle. The library trustees, he suggested, may request funding for design and engineering costs.

Moreover, Warren reminded the selectmen that apart from the Public Works facility and the library, to other capital projects — the renovation of the waterfront infrastructure and the reconstruction of Main Street — remain on the agenda.

"I'm looking for some direction," he said, explaining that the board should place these projects in some order of priority. The capital projects, Warren said, bear a significant impact on the amount to be raised by property taxes.

Some are shocked at people selling electricity door-to-door

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — The appearance of sales people representing Clearview Energy on local doorsteps has prompted one resident of Winter Street to file a complaint with the New Hampshire Attorney General.

Clearview Energy, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, provides electricity to some 100,000 commercial and residential customers in a dozen states, including New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia. The company is one of 22 "competitive energy suppliers" registered with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission an began operating in the state in May of this year.

Asking not to be identified, the resident who filed the complaint said the young man who came to his door engaged him in what he called "double talk" and "patter," laced with "buzzwords like clean energy and deregulation. It's not hard to know when you're being hustled," he said. He said that the salesman encouraged him to switch his electric service from Eversource to Clearview and at one point spoke on his cell phone to someone he suspected was "the closer" then asked him to call a number in northeastern Oklahoma, which he discovered was not in service.

Last summer in Maine Clearview's practice of soliciting door-to-door aroused the interest of the Maine Public Utilities Commission and sparked a conflict with Central Maine Power.

Amanda Noonan, director of consumer services and external affairs at the Pubic Utilities Commission, said that 28 calls have been received about Clearview and added "not all are complaints, which are in the minority." However, she said that the commission is in the process of reviewing its regulations and is "considering banning door-to-door soliciting." She agreed that the front doorstep is not the appropriate place to choose a provider of electricity.

Noonan said that there is a "comparison shopping webpage for competitive electric supply," which list the rates charged by all the registered competitive energy suppliers, on the commission's website. She said the rate are updated every month and urged anyone who is solicited either by mail or in person to switch their electric supply to refer to the webpage before making a decision. In addition, she said that consumers should carefully review the terms of any contract offered, particularly the rates, which may be fixed or variable, and any fees charged for terminating the contract. "Consumers should do their homework before making any decisions," Noonan stressed.

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