Man accused in heroin death of Tilton man has new bail hearing

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — A Belknap County Superior Court judge will decide in the near future if a Northfield man accused of selling a 21-year-old Tilton man the heroin/fentanyl that killed him will be released on some kind of cash bail.
Brian Watson, 51, was released after posting $25,000 cash bail after being charged in connection to the death of Seth Tilton-Fogg in late April of 2015. One of the conditions of his release was that he have no contact with Teanna Bryson, the woman who knew Tilton-Fogg from high school and who allegedly connected the two.
Watson's bail was revoked by the court after he was stopped by police in a vehicle while Bryson was allegedly trying to hide under some clothing in the back seat. He is being held without bail in the Belknap County House of Corrections.
Attorney Mark Sisti argued that Bryson cannot be found and his client should be given a chance to post bail. He said the whole reason for the bail revocation was that he was with Bryson, and since "she doesn't want to be here," Watson should have another chance to post the same amount of cash and abide by the same conditions as before.
Sisti produced a letter from Watson's former employer saying that he would hire him back immediately if he posted bail. He said Watson would live with his parents.
Deputy Belknap County Attorney Roni Karnis said nothing has changed since Watson's bail was revoked in November because "contact is contact" and by having Bryson in his car, he violated the terms of his bail agreement.
She said that in order for the court to reconsider the revocation, there must have been some misinterpretation of the facts at the first revocation hearing.
"The circumstances haven't changed," she said.
Bryson is a key witness in the state's trial against Watson. She failed to show up for a different bail revocation hearing in November saying she had an infection in her foot.
Karnis told the judge that police have not been able to locate her. In an agreement with the County Attorney's Office, Bryson agreed she would make herself available to the court in exchange for some consideration for her alleged role in Tilton-Fogg's death.

Gilford parents want earlier access to robotics donations

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD – While the members of the winning robotics team from Gilford High School were honored by members of the School Board Monday night, some parents had some criticism of the way their finances and awards were handled.
Mentors Jackie and Chris Drever, who were supported by many of the parents of the team members, told the board they were disappointed because of the time it took for them to accept two grants – one from Meredith Village Savings Bank and one from New Hampshire Ball Bearing.
Jackie Drever said the school gives the FIRST robotics team $6,000 from the budget and the rest of the money comes from fundraising and donations. But it took until Monday night for the School Board to accept the two donations, meaning the checks for the program sat in a safe for at least a month and the team, which competed two weekends ago couldn't access the money.
"We need to find a way that this doesn't happen again," she said, adding that the team was down to its last $400 before the board accepted the donations. "The kids work way too hard for that money."
Although School Board members explained that there is a legal process that must be followed, Chris Drever said that the "timing is everything" when it comes to getting access to the money.
He noted that the students compete against schools that are much larger with much larger budgets, including a few groups of home-schooled students whose only curriculum is robotics. He said the average robotics team spends $30,000 to $40,000 annually.
The mentors said they weren't asking for more money from the district, just a way to get the little they do have into the program in time for it to be useful.
Member Sue Allen said that in the future the board could call an emergency meeting to accept the donations and tasked the school administration with notifying them.
Parent Jennifer White said she was disheartened to find the 2012 banner for the robotics championship stuffed into a closet used by the team to store its equipment and robots.
"STEM is huge," she said. "We need to ...(hang) this banner in a place just as high as our sports awards."
White said the team also won the entrepreneurship award for fundraising and the school should be as proud of the robotics teams as they are of the sports teams.
Principal Anthony Sperazzo told the board that he was already working to find a prominent spot for their banners.

Editor's note: This story was updated March 15 to correctly reflect the companies who made grant to the team.

County Nursing home honors veterans who are residents

By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Veterans who are residents of the Belknap County Nursing Home were presented with certificates of appreciation for their service to the country in a ceremony held Tuesday afternoon at the home.
Among those honored was 96-year-old Emile Ricard, who served with the 79th Infantry Division, in France and Germany and was on the front lines as Allied troops battled their way into Germany in March of 1945.
"We came under fire a lot and there were a lot of close calls for me," said Ricard, who recalls slogging along with his M-1 rifle through numerous firefights in the final phases of the war. He recalls the feeling of elation he experienced when Germany surrendered in May of 1945.
"I was very glad it was over," said Ricard, who said that the German people that he came into contact with were respectful and treated him well.
He grew up in Belmont and entered the Army in 1943, just after marrying his wife, Irene. After the war he returned home and made his home in Laconia, where he spent 17 years working at the Lund Ski factory.
"It was a good place to work and there were some really skilled people there. When they closed it down they moved the operations to the South but it didn't last long for them down there," says Ricard.
He and his wife, Irene, were noted ballroom dancers and lived for years on Cedar Street, right next to Tardif Park. They had been married for 66 years when she died in 2008 at the age of 98.
The certificate ceremony took place in a front of a wall display honoring veterans which was recently put in place near the entryway to the home through the efforts of Brenda Twardosky, recreation director at the county home. The certificates were presented by volunteers from the Central New Hampshire VNA and Hospice as part of the "We Honor Veterans" program, a collaboration of the Veterans Administration and Hospice.
Acting Nursing Home Director Director Bob Hemenway praised Twardosky for putting together The Veterans Wall project, which contains photos and memorabilia from veterans currently living at the nursing home.
Retired U.S. Army Col. Peter Cassell and other volunteers from the "We Honor Veterans" program, including John Waker and Dave Shea, presented certificates to the veterans.
Cassell said it is important to honor veterans and insure that their needs are being met. He said that 680,000 veterans die each year, nearly 1,800 a day and that he and other volunteers are dedicated to making sure that their sacrifices are remembered.
Others honored in addition to Ricard were Dana Aloise, who served in Army and tried to enlist in the National Guard when he was only 14, only to have his true age discovered, and later served in Alaska during the Korean War; David Burbank, an Air Force veteran; Fred Clavitte, Ronald Fitzgerald, Edward Gagne, John Haven, Francis Isabelle, Norman Rollins, all of whom served in the Army; John Neylon who served who served with the Marines and Robert Goodwin and Clifford Ireland, who served in the Navy.