Paintball range opening at the Weirs

LACONIA — Soon those who yearn for some action-packed fun will to able to try their skill running around an outdoor course, firing colorful paintball rounds at goggle-clad opponents, and ducking for cover.

Laconia Paintball is scheduled to open this month, according to its owner Edward Elfar.

The range is located on land off Endicott Street North (Rte. 3), diagonally across the highway from Funspot and the Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society.

Elfar said Laconia Paintball will be the first paintball range in the Lakes Region. He expects that fact alone will attract both local residents and vacationers to the range for the survival-game experience.

Elfar estimated the overall size of Laconia Paintball's range at between four and six acres. He said that there will be two or three fields for game play.

Describing himself as a "business investor", Elfar said that he has retained the services of two consultants with lots of experience in the paintball field to help develop Laconia Paintball into a high-quality operation. He also stressed that the range will have all the necessary safety features.

The origins of paintball are often traced to the early 1980s, when a group of friends repurposed some agricultural paintball shooters (used by farmers to mark things such as trees and livestock) for a capture-the-flag-like game.

Elfar said Laconia Paintball will be open seven days a week through Labor Day. He said plans are for the range to be open on weekends during the fall foliage season. How far into the season the range will be open will depend on the volume of business, he said.

In addition to individual players Elfar said that he is also working to schedule time for summer youth camps which might be interested in having campers have a paintball experience.


Gilford's Top 10 ready to close this chapter & start another

GILFORD — The Top Ten 2015 graduates of Gilford High School are a tight-knit group of student with some very diverse skills.

This year's valedictorian is Emily Hanf will attend St. Michael's College in Vermont to study to become an English teacher. She serves on the Student Council, plays the saxophone and loves the theater. She works as a ski instructor at Gunstock Mountain Resort and at Sawyer's Dairy Bar.

For her being the Class Valedictorian is "just a stepping stone" and though she said she's very proud of herself, she still has a "long way to go."

Class Salutatorian is Michael Madore who will attend the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine to study being a physical therapist. He is the class treasurer who never set out to be number two but said he only wanted to study hard and do the best he could do.

Hunter Anderson will attend the University of New Hampshire to study physics. He is a member of the robotics team, tutored students in math and hopes to become a physicist with NASA. He plays the trumpet in thr band.

Bradley Bergman, the class Vice President, will attend Villanova University in suburban Philadelphia. He is class vice president who works at Sawyer's Dairy Bar when it's open in the summer.

Stratton Coleman was not able to attend the class pictures last week but he fellow students described her as amazing. She will attend the University of Vermont and major in Japanese. She's on the Student Council and served at Student Council representative to the Gilford School Board.

Sophia Czerwinski will attend Dartmouth College and study pre-medicine. She plays lacrosse, and both runs and skis cross-county. She is the president of the National Honor Society and is a member of the student council.

Andrew Caufield is the senior class president who will attend the University of San Diego. He teaches tennis to children who play at the Gilford Village tennis courts.

Catherine Jansury will attend the University of Colorado and will study environmental science and anthropology. She enjoys dancing.

Danielle Maupin will attend N.H. Technical Institute in Concord and study physical therapy. She is in chorus and works at McDonald's Restaurant.

Aiyana Pouline will attend Union College in New York State this fall. She is a member of the Spanish club and a member of the Interact Club. She's not exactly sure what she be studying but hopes to continue with Spanish.

The Class of 2015 will graduate June 6 at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook.

Moped collides with truck on Parade Road

LACONIA  — A local man was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia for treatment of face injuries after accidentally crashing his moped into the back of a dump truck in a construction zone on Parade Road at 10:40 a.m.

Police said the road was already down to one lane because of the construction and it appears the truck was making a turn and the man didn't realize it.

They said the road was shut down to all traffic for about 20 to 30 minutes and then reopened back to one lane. Police remained there for about an hour while the moped was taken away by a wrecker.

The man's injuries are not life-threatening, said police.

Selectmen debate whether town beach parking lot should open before Memorial Day weekend

GILFORD — Selectboard Chair Gus Benevides met with Parks and Recreation Director Herb Greene and Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Tom Francoeur regarding the gate opening dates for the town beach on Lake Winnipesaukee on Wednesday.

Benevides specifically wanted to know why the department keeps the gates closed until Memorial Day when there are people who use the beach and have to walk down to it.

"We're residents and taxpayers," Benevides said, noting that one recent weekend he saw about 50 people at the beach and many cars parked along Varney Point Road.

Greene told him the gates are open all winter for bob houses but once the bob houses are gone, he closes the gates so cars won't go down and make ruts in the thawing parking lot.

Weather permitting, Greene said, the gate closes a few weeks after Labor Day and for the last couple of years have reopened for the winter when the department learns that the ice is thick enough for ice fishing and the parking lot is frozen.

He said he used to be able to open the gates a few weeks earlier in the spring and close them a few weeks later in the fall but due to insurance costs, the hours for his seasonal maintenance staff were cut.

He noted there is often winter tree damage and some limbs could pose a danger until spring crews can re-mediate it. Greene also said he doesn't want the gates open in the spring until the bathrooms are operating, the boating buoys are in the water, and the swim lines are in.

"We don't want an open and inviting hazard," he said, adding the town doesn't want to encourage people to come out there and "do mischief".

Benevides said he's not trying to keep the beach open "24/7" but wanted the gate dates explained. He also said that while he understood Greene's safety concerns, he felt all the cars parked along Varney Point also present a safety issue.

Selectman Chan Eddy said he initially wasn't sure about the gate openings and closings, but said he was worried about parking along the road.

Selectmen Richard Grenier said changing when the gates open and close was "a solution to a non-existing problem". He agreed with Greene that cars will make ruts in the spring.

In the end, selectmen left it up to the Parks and Recreation Committee to determine when the gate was opened and closed.