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Donor will pay for disc golf course in Laconia

LACONIA — A woman, whose late brother was very fond of frisbee golf , has offered to outfit a course for the city if the Parks and Recreation Commission can find an appropriate location.

Kevin Dunleavy, director of Parks of Recreation, said the woman told the commission this week that she would donate the necessary equipment as well as lead a fundraising effort to underwrite the facility.

In frisbee golf, also called Frolf or disc golf, individual players toss a disc, usually eight or nine inches, at a series of targets, most often a ring hung with chains mounted above a shallow basket on a pole. A player "holes out" by placing the disc in the basket. The game originated in the early 1960s, began to be formalized a decade later and has grown rapidly since 2000, with the number of courses in the U.S. doubling to more than 3,000 by 2008.

Dunleavy said that the commission will consider if there is a suitable site for a course either in one of the city parks or some other city property and schedule a second discussion of the proposal, most likely in November.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 11:48

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6 new members elected to LHS Athletic Hall of Fame; first additions since 1989

LACONIA — For the first time in 25 years, new members will be inducted this fall into the Laconia High School Athletic Hall of Fame. The Class of 2014 will consist of Mickey Donovan ('99) football/baseball, Jim Fitzgerald ('70-'01) football coach/athletic director, Nick Ford ('05) track/football, Chris Phelps ('87), basketball/football/track, Jim Swormstedt ('87) basketball/football, and Alan Wool ('68) winter track/baseball/football.

Formal induction will occur during homecoming weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 20. There will be a cocktail hour from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Meredith Village Savings Band Culinary Arts Dining Room of the Huot Technical Center and a ceremony will follow at 6 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Long-time voice of the Sachems David Rea will serve as Master of Ceremonies. The evening will conclude with dessert back in the dining room. Tickets for the event are priced at $15 and are available at the LHS Student Activity Office.

The last class inducted into the school's Hall of Fame was in 1989. Athletic Director Craig Kozens led a group that has spent two years doing research and re-defining a mission for the hall. "Through intensive study, we found that the Laconia Citizen's sports reporters were the trailblazers of the original hall," said Kozens. "Now the Laconia Coaches Council has embraced this task and it amassed a committee to bring the tradition back to the City of Laconia. It is with great pride that this committee will, once again, recognize outstanding contributions to the legacy of Laconia athletics."

Candidates for the Class of 2014 were nominated in the spring. (The criteria for selection may be found on the Laconia High School Athletic Department webpage.) The committee met several times and elected the six new inductees at the end of the July.

The Class of 2014 will be joining the Class of 1983, which includes Penny Pitou ('56), Kathy O'Neil ('77), Richard Tilton ('27), Bernie LaCroix ('49), Doug Housell ('51), Doug DeVarney'(61), Steve Stetson ('69), Mike Giguere ('69), Kent Yale ('72), and Chip Veazey ('72); the Class of 1984, which includes Jack Irwin ('50), Jeep Munzey ('49), and Guy Hamel ('68); the Class of 1985, which includes Beau Lessard ('49), Bidge Clement ('27), and Bobby Conway ('41); and the Class of 1989, which included John McGonigle ('59) and Phil Estes ('76).

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 11:45

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Laconia man being held on $20,000 cash bail

CIRCUIT COURT — A Fair Street man is being held on $20,000 cash bail for three separate incidents, including a charge that he hit a woman in the nose with a closed fist after he had been ordered by the court to stay away from her.

Police said Thomas Manley, 50, of 96 Fair St, is charged with one count of simple assault, one count of criminal mischief, and four counts of breach of bail.

According to three separate affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, on July 31 police responded to Fair Street around 5 p.m. for a disturbance. When the officer arrived he saw Manley riding away from the home on his bicycle.

He said he had gone to the Fair Street house to drop off some milk and that he and the woman inside had not been fighting. When the officer spoke to the woman she also said they hadn't been fighting. Both told him that the bail conditions preventing the two from seeing each other were old and "no longer in effect."

The next day, the officer checked with the court and learned Manley's no contact bail provisions were in place and requested an arrest warrant for breach of bail.

Earlier in the day, police responded to an area of the downtown Riverwalk known as "the cobblestones" for a report of a man, later identified as Manley, allegedly trying to rip a city-owned sign off of the railing.

The responding officer said the people reporting the vandalism noted that two people walking by Manley joined him in trying to remove the sign.

The officer learned Manley was on bail and requested a warrant be issued for him for breach of bail and criminal mischief.

On Monday, police went to the same Fair Street home at 9:30 p.m. for a report of a fight involving five or six people. When the officer arrived, he found Manley who he described as "very upset."

Manley told him that a woman had yelled at him and left in a car. The officer learned from dispatch that Manley had a number of warrants outstanding and detained him.

The officer spoke to the woman who was the original subject of the no-contact order and she told him Manley allegedly hit her in the face with a closed fist.

Manley was charged with one count of simple assault and two counts of breach of bail for Monday's allegedly assault — one for the alleged assault and one for allegedly violating the no contact order.

Judge Edward "Ned" Gordon ordered Manley be held on $20,000 cash-only bail, that should he post bail he provide a source of funds, and that he stay away from the woman and not leave New Hampshire.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 01:54

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Plan to build kids' camp on Paugus Bay island draws protest

LACONIA — A scheduled hearing before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) on a proposal to develop a summer camp for underprivileged children on Big Island in Paugus Bay was postponed at the request of the applicant in the face of stiff opposition from mainland residents.

Since the 2.3 acre island, located about a quarter-mile due east of the South Down Shores gated community's marina, is in the single-family residential zone, where a camp is not a permitted use, Scott Everett, who purchased the island in 2012 and seeks to develop the camp, has requested a variance from the ZBA.

Soon after abutters were notified of the project, the Planning Department received nearly a dozen letters and a number of e-mails, mostly from residents of Paugus Park Road, expressing misgivings about the project. Some of the protesters were at City Hall on Monday night.

Local attorney Rod Dyer, representing Everett, said that on reading the correspondence from abutters he concluded that a formal hearing would not offer an appropriate forum to address their concerns. Instead, he told Steve Bogert, chairman of the ZBA, that he preferred to withdraw the application for the moment and meet with the abutters informally. He emphasized that Everett has no intention of abandoning the project, but has only chosen to proceed after seeking to resolve the issues raised by abutters.

Everett, the founder and president of Supreme Lending, a mortgage lender headquartered in Dallas, Texas, who was raised and still summers in the Lakes Region, acquired the island for $725,000. This year he conveyed the property to N.H. Big Island Co., with the intention of developing a camp,owned and operated by a charitable corporation, which he would endow.

Of the three islands in Paugus Bay — Plummer, Big and Little — Big Island is the second largest. It sits about 400 yards east of the marina at South Down Shores and 1,500 feet north of Paugus Park Road. The only structures on the island are a three-bedroom seasonal camp of approximately 1,250-square-feet, which was built in 1950, an outhouse and dock. The camp is served by a dug well that likely draws water from the lake. The electric service to the island has not operated for some time.

Everett proposes to convert the camp to a lodge with cooking and dining facilities as well as quarters for counselors. Campers would be housed in five cabins, each about 12 feet by 20 feet divided two 12-foot-square rooms housing four campers for a total capacity of 20. Dyer said the camp is intended for young girls aged between 12 and 12. Water, sewer, electricity and cable would be routed to the island through a sleeve beneath Paugus Bay.

Dyer said an oral agreement has been reached with the South Down Beach Club to provide utilities to the island and applications have been made to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to run utilities under the railroad tracks and to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission to bring electricity to the island. Likewise, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has been approached about rehabilitating the existing docking facility.

In their letters, abutters raised a number of issues. Some feared that the sewer line would represent an environmental risk. Others said that the heavy boat traffic in the bay would endanger the safety of young campers. One woman said the bay was a popular venue for water skiers, wake boarders and jet skis and the presence of campers could lead to imposition of a no wake zone that would curtail these activities. Several abutters said that the camp would diminish the value of mainland properties while a camp operated by a charitable corporation would be exempt from property taxation.

Dyer said that he understood abutters have legitimate questions and concerns, but was confident their questions could be answered and their concern addressed.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 12:57

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