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Got Lunch! Launches fourth year of summer food program for children

LACONIA — Got Lunch! Laconia launched its fourth year of delivering summer meal makings to Laconia families Monday morning as volunteers gathered at the Laconia Congregational Church to bag the peanut butter jelly, bread and fresh fruit and vegetables which were distributed to 543 families.
John Walker, who along with the Rev. Paula Gile of the Congregational Church of Laconia, UCC, helped start the now widely emulated program which distributes food during summer months to children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches, said that volunteers from as far away as North Carolina were on hand to help bag the groceries. Those volunteers included representatives from the New Hampshire Food Bank, where 40 percent of the food which is distributed in the program is purchased.
Lily Chanthasak, 16, a student at Laconia High School where she is a member of both the Key Club and the local chapter of the National Honor Society, said that this is her third year as volunteer.
She was helping to supervise activity at one of the tables filled with groceries and showing first-year volunteer Troy Harper, another Laconia High School student who is also a Key Club member and is on the honor society.
''I just wanted to volunteer, to help out,'' said Harper, who sat across the table from other first-time volunteers Lucas Beane, 10, his sister, Kathryn, 7, and their mother, Heather.
Beane said that it was a special day for her son, Lucas, who was celebrating his 10th birthday. ''It's our first time, and we wanted to give back to the community,'' she said.
Guest baggers included Laconia Mayor Ed Engler, who thanked the volunteers on behalf of the city and told them they could really be proud of their effort, Laconia Superintendent of Schools Terry Fostern and Bill Irwin of Irwin Marine, a corporate partner of the Got Lunch! program whose firm has donated a 2014 Sea-Doo Spark 3up (3 seater) personal watercraft and trailer to be used a summer raffle prize for the program.
Raffle tickets are priced at $10 each (three for $20) are now on sale and the drawing will be held on Aug. 4.
Another raffle prize will be four tickets to a Red Sox-Orioles game in early September which have been donated by Davis & Towle Insurance.
Gile of the Congregational Church of Laconia, UCC, said it costs about $110 to provide enough food for one recipient in the program, which runs for 10 weeks. This year's fund-raising goal is $66,000, she said.
She said that volunteers are still being sought for this year's program, including drivers and food deliverers.
She said anyone who would like to get involved should visit the website www.gotlunchlaconia.org or contact Volunteer Coordinator, John Walker, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:34

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Man attempted to walk off with a motorcycle on Lakeside Avenue

LACONIA – Police said an unidentified man tried stealing someone's motorcycle Sunday afternoon while it was parked on Lakeside Avenue.

Police said the owner of the bike saw a man he didn't know pushing the motorcycle and hollered at him to stop. The unknown man disappeared into the crowd.

Police were called at 1:14 p.m. but were unable to locate the would-be thief.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:22

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2- alarm fire scorches log cabin in Gilmanton

GILMANTON — Firefighters spent most of yesterday afternoon fighting a stubborn two-alarm fire in a log cabin on Loon Pond Road, about three miles from Route 107.

Homeowner Don McNulty and friend Adam Foley said they were in the basement of the home at 4 p.m. when Mark and Cameron Haradon drove up to the home to mow the lawn.

"We saw the front right corner of the house on fire," said Mark Haradon, noting they could see the flames coming from a light fixture on the outside of the house.

Haradon said he knew McNulty was in the house and said he ran in and began screaming to him that the house was on fire. He said his son (Cameron) called 9-1-1.

McNulty and Foley heard them yelling and scrambled up the stairs, leaving the house just before the fire began spreading inside.

McNulty said he and his wife just bought the house about a week ago and had yet to move into it. He said he and Foley, a retired electrician, were in the basement looking around to see what work needed to be done before his family moved into it.

"It's a blessing they came around when they did," McNulty said. "If we'd been in there any longer it may have been too late to get out."

You'd be surprised to see how fast we moved when we heard the house was on fire," McNulty said.

He also said that except for some small windows, there is only one way out of the basement and the fire was spreading to that area.

McNulty said other than the kitchen appliances there were no furnishings in the home except for a large-screen television the prior owner had left because it didn't fit into her new home.

Aside from the hot temperatures and the lack of nearby water supply, Fire Chief Joe Hempel said the log house had wood-beam rafters on the second floor, but the original roof was covered with metal making it very difficult for firefighters to get water on to the fire.

Hempel said firefighters began with an interior attack, but ordered them to evacuate the structure when it became too dangerous and he knew no one was inside.

As the fire continued to burn, smoke and occasional flames billowed from the eaves and firefighters were able to stream water and temporarily knock down the flames — only to have them pop up in a different eave.

Firefighters could be heard using a power saw to try and cut holes in the metal roof to give the heat and flames a place to ventilate.

After battling the flames for about an hour with the first alarm crew, Hempel called for a second alarm that brought fresh crews and water from as far away as Concord and Laconia.

Firefighters were still on the scene at 8 p.m.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:29

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County Convention denies request for $3-m jail bond

LACONIA — The Belknap County Convention last evening rejected the request of the Belknap County Commission to borrow nearly $3-million to fund improvements at the existing county jail and further the process of designing a new facility.

The motion to approve the request, which required a two-thirds majority or 12 of the 16 members present and voting to succeed, failed by a vote of seven in favor and nine against.

The nine opposed, all Republicans, were Reps. Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Charles Fink and Michael Sylvia of Belmont, Bob Greemore, Herb Vadney and Colette Worsman of Meredith, Stephen Holmes of Alton and Frank Tilton of Laconia.

Four of the five Democrats on the convention were present and all — Reps. Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, Ruth Gulick of New Hampton, David Huot of Laconia and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — voted to approve the borrowing. They were joined by three Republicans — Dennis Fields of Sanbornton and Don Flanders and Bob Luther of Laconia. Beth Arsenault, a Democrat representing Laconia and Belmont, was absent and did not vote.

Rep. Jane Cormier (R-Alton) resigned her seat on May 28, leaving the convention with 17 members.

Altogether the commission requested a borrowing of $2,960,000, of which $1,600,000 would be applied to a three-year lease for a temporary housing unit with capacity for 48 inmates. Another $1-million would be invested in replacing the HVAC system at the existing jail, much of which could be incorporated into a newly constructed facility. The remaining $360,000 would fund a schematic design of new county jail, without which the cost of the project cannot be estimated.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:39

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