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Correction: Bicycle Exchange formed in 2014, has given out 101 bikes

LACONIA — An article about the Laconia Bicycle Exchange that appeared in yesterday's edition mis-stated a couple of details about the program. The program was founded in April 2014 and has since given out more than 100 bicycles to persons in need.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 January 2015 01:54

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Alleged Barnstead child rapist to serve at least 20 years

LACONIA — A Barnstead man who has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault of his step niece and nephew over a 7-year period 20 years ago told Judge O'Neill of the Belknap County Superior Court yesterday he would accept a negotiated plea deal of two consecutive 10 to 20 years sentences.

On January 2, Kenneth Day, 67, a Barnstead native, agreed to serve the sentences but wanted to be able to apply for parole after serving 16-years of the stand-committed time.

Although his defense team and Belknap County Deputy Prosecutor Carley Ahern had agreed on Day's being able to apply for parole after 16 years, after hearing statements from the victims who don't want him to be able to be paroled after 16 years, Judge James O'Neill wouldn't accept the sentence. In an unusual statement from O'Neill, he said at the time that he would accept the sentence but only if Day agreed to serve the entire 20 years before he could be released. Day will be 87 years-old when he is released.

In what was slated to be a pre-trial conference yesterday, O'Neill said he would accept Day's plea but only after all of the victims were given the opportunity to be in court. Yesterday, five people came to the hearing but at least one of his victims was unable to be there.

Day is charged with luring the two children who were 6-years-old at the time into a bus he lived in on the children's parent's property in Barnstead with soda and cookies – two things the children weren't allowed to eat.

He began sexually assaulting them and the assaults continued until they were 13 years-old.

The two walked into the Barnstead Police station last year and told their stories to police, triggering an investigation that revealed there was at least one additional female victim. The assaults on the two children who went to police occurred almost 20 years ago but were brought within the statute of limitations for adults reporting sexual assaults that happened to them as children.

Through his attorney, Day said yesterday that he would accept the 20 years right away but wanted to delay sentencing until February 2 so he could mentally prepare for state prison. Day is currently being held on $150,000 cash only bail in the Belknap County House of Corrections.

Day also faces similar charges in Merrimack County and could face additional jail time.

O'Neill set next Monday at 9 a.m. as the time he would accept Day's plea so the state would have enough time to contact all of the victims to see if they wanted to be present.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 January 2015 01:51

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Titeflex to add 47,000 sq. ft. to Lexington Dr. facility

LACONIA — Titeflex Aerospace is expanding its facility at 93 Lexington Drive, enabling the firm to consolidate its operations, double its manufacturing space and create room for future growth.

Titeflex, which manufactures flexible hose and rigid tubing for a variety of applications in the aerospace industry, currently occupies 431,000 square feet on a 9.9 acre lot, but rents space in an adjacent building as well as a parking lot. The new addition will add 46,994 square feet to the north end of the facility. Beyond the addition, a 37,000 square-foot lot will provide on-site parking for 123 vehicles.

Project manager Brandon Prudhomme said that the addition will enable the firm to bring all its operations under one roof as well as reduce its production costs. "We're looking to do a lot of positive things at once," he remarked, adding that with LED and natural lighting energy costs will be trimmed and by recycling all its water discharge will be cut to zero. Prudhomme said that with the additional space and lower costs Titeflex will position itself to increase output and add employment in the future.

The parking area will be surfaced with porous pavement, the first large commercial application of the technology in the city. A filtering media directly beneath the surface will cleanse the water of contaminants before it reaches the groundwater and a network of under drains will disperse rising water during heavy rainfall to prevent flooding. The Conservation Commission applauded the firm for its investment in protecting the environment.

Prudhomme said that the project will be presented to the Planning Board when it meets in February.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 January 2015 01:38

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Voice of the Bruins Had Deep Ties to the Lakes Region

GILFORD — Bob Wilson, long-time voice of the Boston Bruins, spent a lot of time on Lake Winnipesaukee in his 23-foot Chris Craft ''Big Mouth'' which he kept at Fay's Boatyard in Gilford and is remembered as a friendly and unassuming man by people who knew him in the Lakes Region.
''I used to drive him to the Boston Garden after he had problems with his vision,'' recalls Merrill Fay, owner of Fay's, who said that Wilson was highly regarded by all who knew him.
Wilson, whose name was actually Robert Henry Castellon, died on Jan. 15 at the age of 85 after a courageous battle with lung cancer. A sports broadcasting legend, known as "The Voice of the Bruins," Wilson assumed his mother's maiden name in 1957 in order to have a two syllable name to fit radio station WCOP's jingles. He started broadcasting the Bruins games in 1964 and became play-by-play man in 1967, holding that position until he retired in 1994. For two seasons, 1969-71 he worked for a St. Louis radio station broadcasting the Blues games, including their loss to the Bruins in four straight games for the Stanley Cup in 1970.

His wife, Nancy, whom he married in 1950, says that she and Bob bought a year-round home in Dockham Shore Estates in 1988 and that for the last seven years of his broadcasting career he commuted to Boston to do the Bruins games.

''We absolutely loved it here,'' she said. Both were quietly active in the community and attended the Gilford Community Church and were regulars in Senior Bowling League at Funspot for the last 15 years.

She is still active in the league and says that Bob continued to stick with bowling until almost a month ago despite being legally blind for 10 years due to macular degeneration.

''He had some wonderful teammates. After he rolled the first ball they would tell him that he had the 5, 7 and 10 still standing so he would know where to put his next shot,'' says Nancy.

She says that Wilson continued to use the Castellon name locally, even though people knew him as the Bruins' announcer. ''It was a way of keeping some privacy for our children so that they could live normal lives. He was a great father and great grandfather and always treated people with respect and courtesy,'' she said, noting that for her and her family it is that part of his character which was the most important.

Nancy says that the Dockham Shore area is filled with memories for her and that she and her family had been coming to Gilford and staying summers in that area ever since the late 1930s.

''My family never had a car. They lost a lot of money in the Depression so we would come up the area on the train from Boston. We got off at Weirs Beach and take a water taxi to Dockham Shore or go up to Tarlson's store where we bought groceries and would get a ride to Dockham Shore on the store's delivery truck.''

She recalls walking over to The Weirs from Dockham Shore to go rollerskating and then walking back to the cottage the family had rented. ''We'd walk in the middle of the road sometimes because there was hardly ever any traffic.''
She says that she has fond memories of Sawyer's Dairy Bar as well as the Tamarack Drive-In ''when their lobster rolls were the best in the area.''

Nancy says that Bob was a humble person who took great pride in his work and was overwhelmed with emotion when the Bruins named the home radio booth at TD Garden after him in 2011.

Her son, Bill, who lives in Kittery, Maine, recalls that his dad was active in helping raise funds for the Gilford Skating Rink and following his retirement had an oldies program Sunday nights on radio station WLKZ and even broadcast some Laconia High School football games.

''He always had time for people. He was a very giving person and taught a lot of young broadcasters like Jack Edwards, who does the Bruins games on TV. He idolized my Dad,'' says Bill.

He said that one of the nicest tributes to Wilson came from a granddaughter who wrote on Facebook that he was known to all family members as ''Da'' and ''was the greatest grandfather a girl could ever have.''

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Boston Bruins Foundation (100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114) or the Bob Wilson Memorial Scholarship for Communications c/o Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation, PO Box 7312, Gilford, NH 03247-7312.

A celebration of Bob's life will be held at Gilford Community Church, 19 Potter Hill Road, Gilford, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24. A reception will follow the service.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 January 2015 01:34

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