Time to ride – 94th running of Motorcycle Week kicks off

06 09 Weirs Beach sign and riders

By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN
Charity rides and laps around the racetrack are among the many activities taking place during the 94th Laconia Motorcycle Week which gets underway this weekend.
The 11th annual Peter Makris Memorial Ride takes place on Saturday, beginning with a gourmet breakfast at the Naswa Resort. Riders then will take a police-escorted trip along scenic roads in the Lakes Region and have an opportunity to do a lap around the “Magic Mile” at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. That will be followed by a lunch buffet back at the Naswa, which also will offer entertainment by the James Montgomery Band.
The ride honors the memory of Peter Makris, founder of the Naswa, who loved to ride motorcycles and was quick to support local charities. A U.S. Marine who served during World War II, Makris was the first to step forward in support of a fundraiser for a water rescue boat for the Laconia Fire Department after one of its members, Mark Miller, died during water rescue training. Makris wrote a $5,000 check to help kick off the fundraiser.
After his death, his daughter, Cynthia, now president of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, launched the memorial ride which, over the years, has raised more than $345,000 for charities, including the Laconia Fire Department Lifesaving Fund, Easter Seals NH’s Veterans Count program, and the area’s Community Emergency Response Team.
Also taking place at the Loudon racetrack today and tomorrow are featured events by the FIM North America United States Classic Racing Association, the oldest vintage motorcycle road racing organization in the country. They will be on the 1.6-mile road course between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day.
On Sunday, there will be a charity motorcycle ride and breakfast to benefit the Lakes Region Children’s Auction. The breakfast at Berkshire Hathaway Verani Realty in Belmont will begin at 9 a.m., followed by the charity ride.
The Ride to Benefit Special Olympics of NH will leave from Heritage Harley-Davidson in Concord at 10 and arrive at Ellacoya State Park in Gilford where there will be a barbecue with Special Olympics athletes. There will be raffle prizes and a free T-shirt for every rider.
The Mae West Memorial Pet Ride will take place on Monday, with proceeds benefitting the N.H. Humane Society. Riders will meet at Rally Headquarters at 10:30 a.m., make a stop at the N.H. Humane Society on Meredith Center Road, and take a scenic tour of the Lakes Region, ending at the speedway where there will be a raffle and music. Riders will receive custom Sick Boy Motorcycle T-shirts and have a chance to win a variety of raffle prizes, including the top prize, a guitar autographed by members of Guns N Roses.
There will be a special Motorcycle Week cruise aboard the MS Mount Washington Monday afternoon, departing from the Weirs Beach boardwalk at 4:30.
The Gypsy Tour on Tuesday takes riders on a 70-plus-mile scenic ride to Arundel, Maine, leaving Rally Headquarters at 10:30 a.m.
There will be a Covered Bridge Gypsy Tour on Wednesday, traveling more than 170 miles to visit six covered bridges in New Hampshire. The tour leaves Rally Headquarters at 10:30 a.m.
Also on Wednesday, there will be a Ladies Ride, led by Winnipesaukee HOG Chapter 2529 Ladies of Harley, leaving from Laconia Harley-Davidson at 9 a.m. The Nam Knights Benefit Ride From Coast to the Mountains leaves from Makris Lobster and Steak House in Loudon at 9 a.m.
The popular AMA-sanctioned hillclimb will take place at Gunstock Mountain Resort on Wednesday. Opening ceremonies will take place at 9 a.m., competition will begin at 10 a.m.
The Naswa will be the host for the 94th Rally Anniversary Celebration from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
The two-hour We (Heart) Laconia Gypsy Tour, led by Laconia Mayor Ed Engler, will leave from Rally Headquarters at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, taking riders through the Monadnock Region. The entry fee provides a custom T-shirt, patch, VIP parking, live music, catered lunch, swag bag, and merchant discounts.
Also on Thursday is the Ride to the Sky motorcycle ride on the Mount Washington Auto Road, weather-permitting.
The 24th annual POW/MIA Freedom Ride to the Rock will begin Thursday at 6 p.m., honoring those who remain prisoners of war or are missing in action, and their families. Riders will meet at 5 p.m. at Winnipesaukee Crossing.
Friday will bring Brenda’s Ride, a fundraiser to benefit patients undergoing cancer treatment at Lakes Region General Hospital. Riders will leave from Faro Italian Grille/Laconia Roadhouse in The Weirs on Friday at 11 a.m., traveling to Waterville Valley and back.
Also on Friday is Wolfeboro’s Moonlight Madness Motorcycle Ride, leaving at 5 p.m. from JP China in Alton Bay.
The seventh annual Jesus Ride through Weirs Beach will leave from Lowe’s parking lot in Gilford on Saturday, June 17, at 11 a.m.
The week culminates with the 94th annual Loudon Classic at N.H.Motor Speedway on June 16 - 18. There will be more than 30 races, including the LRRS Supermoto, USCRA Side Cars, and the 12-lap Loudon Classic, taking place that Saturday.
During the week, the Loudon track will offer daily demo rides featuring Indian, Yamaha, Slingshot and Ducati motorcycles. There also will be food and merchandise vendors, with bands playing at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. on June 14 - 17.
The rides and special activities are just part of what will be taking place during Motorcycle Week, with vendor tents offering merchandise and entertainment, bikini and wet T-shirt contests, motorcycle demos, and more. The complete schedule, which will be updated daily, is posted at www.laconiamcweek.com.
The next few days will see:
Saturday
Cornerstone Outreach Ministries Safety Food Stop, Route 9, open 24 hours.
Loudon Motorcycle Swap Meet, N.H. Motor Speedway, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Rally Kickoff Breakfast, Hart’s Turkey Farm Restaurant, Meredith, 8 a.m.
Pancake Breakfast, American Legion Riders Chapter 72, Claude R. Batchelder Post 72, Alton, 8 - 11 a.m.
T-6-D Stunnas Motorcycle Stunt Team, Heritage Harley-Davidson, Concord, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Free Coffee House, White Church, Tower Street, Weirs Beach, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.; AA meetings at noon and 6 p.m.
Sport Bike Show, Broken Spoke Saloon, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Half-price admission to American Police Motorcycle Museum in Meredith for those arriving on a motorcycle. Day includes unveiling of Laconia Motorcycle Week sculpture. Open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
BBQ & Meat Raffle by the American Legion Riders Chapter 72, Claude R. Batchelder Post 72 in Alton, noon to 5 p.m. Proceeds benefit the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund.
Big Air Jumps and Stunt Show, Makris Lobster & Steak House, noon to dusk.
Rally in the Valley, Tuckerman’s Ravine, Intervale, 4 - 8 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday
Cystic Fibrosis Northern New England Charity Trail Ride starts and finishes at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and rides approximately 100 miles per day.
Sunday
Cornerstone Outreach Ministries Safety Food Stop, Route 9, open 24 hours.
Loudon Motorcycle Swap Meet, N.H. Motor Speedway, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
FIM North American Vintage Championships, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Charity Bike Ride & Breakfast to benefit the Lakes Region Children’s Auction, Berkshire Hathaway Verani Realty in Belmont, 9 a.m.. A ‘Tiny House’ will be on site for tours.
Free Coffee House, White Church, Tower Street, Weirs Beach, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.; AA meetings at noon and 6 p.m.
Winnipesaukee HOG Chapter 2529 leads ride to Bentley’s Saloon in Arundel, Maine, leaving from Laconia Harley-Davidson at 10 a.m.
Half-price admission to American Police Motorcycle Museum in Meredith for those arriving on a motorcycle, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
AMA Gypsy Tour to N.H. Motor Speedway in Loudon, 10:30 a.m.
Antique Bike Rally at Makris Lobster & Steak House in Loudon, noon to 4 p.m. Special guests include Houly from Grateful Sleds, David Gamlin from Way back Wheels, and John Reardon from JR’s Cycles.
Great Legs Contest, Makris Lobster & Steak House in Loudon, 4 p.m.
Monday
Half-price admission to American Police Motorcycle Museum in Meredith for those arriving on a motorcycle, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Mae West Memorial Pet Ride leaves Rally Headquarters at 10:30 a.m.
Cruise on M/S Mt. Washington, leaving Weirs docks at 4:30 p.m.
Motorcycle Week Historic Talk featuring K. Peddlar Bridges at Hall Memorial Library in Northfield, 6:30 p.m. Win a prize for “Librarian’s Favorite Motorcycle.”
Rider & Rally Trivia at Patrick’s Pub in Gilford, 7p.m.
Best of the Bikers Pool Tournament, Shooter’s Tavern, Route 3, Belmont, 7 p.m.
Tuesday
Ride to Benefit Special Olympics of NH leaves Heritage Harley-Davidson in Concord at 10 a.m. and travels to Ellacoya State Park in Gilford for a barbecue with Special Olympics athletes.
Vintage Motorcycle Show at Broken Spoke Saloon, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Half-price admission to American Police Motorcycle Museum in Meredith for those arriving on a motorcycle, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Gypsy Tour to Bentley’s Saloon in Arundel, Maine, leaves at 10:30 a.m. Rain date: Thursday.
Cycle Source Pin Up of the Month Contest at Broken Spoke Saloon, noon to 5 p.m. Cash prizes and a chance for a photo shoot with Cycle Source Magazine.

06 10 Bike Week T shirt girl

Autumn Urena, from Easton, Pennsylvania, sets up a T-shirt display for the American Iron shop on Lakeside Avenue on Thursday. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)

06 10 Bike Week patch vendor

Junaid Tahir, from Daytona, Florida, arranges patches on a rack at the American Iron shop on Lakeside Avenue on Thursday. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)

  • Written by Adam Drapcho
  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 2119

FBI arrests four on drug charges; two from Laconia, Tilton

By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Four men, including two in the Laconia area, were arrested Friday morning in a case the FBI said involves motorcycle gangs, methamphetamine and cocaine.

06 10 cunningham

James Cunningham, 60, (left) was arrested at 223 Weirs Blvd., Police Chief Matt Canfield said. This is the same residence where Cunningham was arrested in November following a two-hour stand-off with police in an incident where a woman reported she had been assaulted.
06 10 raxter

Timothy Raxter, 52, of Tilton, (right) was arrested in a rural area near the border of Laconia and Gilford at Cotton Hill and Country Club roads. He was being held pending a detention hearing next week, while the other three were released on various conditions and restrictions.

Laconia Police officers held back traffic as an FBI SWAT team from Boston made the local arrests.

“These are significant arrests for this area and will put a damper on meth distribution in this area for a little time,” Canfield said.

Acting U.S. Attorney John Farley said the charges against Raxter relate to the discovery of 10.8 grams of methamphetamine and a firearm in his white GMC truck in Laconia in January.

The other three arrests stemmed from a series of drug transactions involving a person who was cooperating with authorities.

Farley identified Cunningham as an alleged Hells Angels Motorcycle Club member.

Also arrested was Harry Bolton, 63, of Weare, who was identified as the alleged Milford & Company Motorcycle Club president.

The fourth man arrested was Kenneth Bailey, 52, of Weare.

Farley said methamphetamines remain a serious problem.

“Even as our state attempts to address the opioid crisis, we remain vigilant in our efforts to protect the public from the distribution of other dangerous drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine,” he said.

Harold Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division, said there is a gang component to the drug accusations.

“The Hells Angels are one of the most notorious biker gangs in the United States and often use violence and intimidation to protect their 'turf' in support of their criminal activities,” Shaw said.

“As alleged, this investigation revealed that a Hells Angel member engaged in the distribution of drugs in New Hampshire.

“In an effort to create safer neighborhoods for everyone, the FBI New Hampshire’s Safe Streets Task Force is fully committed to the identification and pursuit of illicit gang activities within the state, to crack down on illegal drug distribution networks, and deter associated violence,” said Shaw.

The arrest came one day before the beginning of Laconia Motorcycle Week, but Chief Canfield said this was just a coincidence.

“The investigation developed to a point where sufficient probable cause existed to get arrest warrants,” he said.

Cunningham was charged with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Bolton was charged with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute cocaine.

Raxter was charged with possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Bailey was charged with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine.

Each drug charge is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million. The maximum penalty for the firearms charge against Raxter is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

 

  • Written by Adam Drapcho
  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 2789

Pleasant Street School second-graders serenade city firefighters

By ALANA PERSSON, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — The firehouse walls echoed yesterday afternoon, yet not with the usual sound of sirens, but with powerful singing voices. Under the instruction of music teacher, Sam Fortier, the second grade class from Pleasant Street School performed a show for the firefighters to thank them for the service within the community.

Each year, the second grade class performs a musical that is created in conjunction with the curriculum being taught in the classroom. Last year, Fortier planned a show that was themed around rocks and minerals, which he found to be a huge success. This year, however, the teachers suggested he focus on the history of Laconia, which he did.

Fortier created songs that were themed around the spirit and history of Laconia and added conmmentary throughout that showcased the city. The songs talked about the industry of the Lakes Region, the railroads and religious centers, the Belknap Mill, Pumpkin Fest, Bike Week, Fun Spot, the Laconia Public Library and the services that the town offers. One of the services the children sang about was the dedication of the firefighters and police officers.

“The show was awesome,” said Shawn Riley, Deputy Chief of the Laconia Fire Station. “I loved how they came out into the community and incorporated Laconia into the music.”

Riley said that events like these help foster community involvement and make him proud to be a part of Laconia.

Fortier echoed a similar sentiment, as he concluded the show by thanking the many community members, businesses, organizations, and leaders who make Laconia and Pleasant Street School a great place.

“What we do at Pleasant Street School would not be possible without everyone in the community, so I want to thank the community for all they do each day,” said Fortier.

06 10 PSS sings to LFD

Sam Fortier, music teacher at the Pleasant Street School in Laconia, leads second-graders in song at the Laconia Fire Department on Friday. The performance was meant to be a thank-you to the firefighters to thank them for their service. See video on the Sun's Facebook page. (Alana Persson/Laconia Daily Sun)

 

  • Written by Alana Persson
  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 771

LDS RSS Feed