Respects at Langley Cemetery


American Legion Post 1 Commander Raymond Peavey Jr. speaks to the participants gathered at the Langley Cemetery during the dedication ceremony on Saturday morning. (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Resting place of Revolutionary War veteran rededicated

By WARREN D. HUSE, for The Laconia Daily Sun

LACONIA — In a simple yet poignant ceremony Saturday morning, Langley Cemetery on the Weirs Boulevard was rededicated following its restoration and repair.
Representatives of the American Legion and Daughters of the American Revolution conducted the brief exercises at the 200-year-old family burial ground overlooking Paugus Bay from Resort on the Bay, 591 Weirs Boulevard.
Although the cemetery fronts on Weirs Boulevard, most travelers don’t see it, as it is several feet higher than the highway.
The small cemetery is the final resting place of Winthrop Langley, who served in the American Revolution at Great Island in 1775; and at West Point in 1780.
Legion Post No. 1 Commander Raymond C. Peavey Jr. conducted the ceremony, along with a color detail from the Legion post and Adele Bausor, regent of Mary Butler Chapter, DAR.
Bausor and Florence Merrill, DAR chaplain, presented a wreath for Langley’s grave and offered remarks.
Peavey recalled that the graveyard had suffered some disrepair over the years. The Langley cemetery is one of 14 that the Legion Post decorates with flags, each year, he said.
In his remarks, Peavey recalled, “We owe Mr. Langley and his comrades a debt of gratitude that we can never repay. They gave us not only freedom but a free country where the people govern themselves with justice and equality — a new republic which the world had never seen before. It is important that we remember their sacrifices and honor their memory.”
Ending the ceremony, the group recited the Pledge of Allegiance and Ryan Fogg sounded Taps.
Herman Chamberlain, senior vice commander of Post 1 and his wife Brenda, auxiliary president, acted as color bearers.
Rich Tilton, representing the Tilton Family, owners of the property, acknowledged the assistance of two seasonal residents of the Resort on the Bay cottage colony, Robert Kotarba and Robert Travers, both of Dracut, Mass., who had straightened, repaired and painted the railings around the cemetery, along with a general cleanup.
Kotarba is an Army veteran who served at Cu Chi during the Vietnam War.
Tilton expressed appreciation, on behalf of the Tilton Family, for the turnout at the ceremony and for the work that had gone into renovation of the cemetery grounds.
Also recognized was Shawn Dudek, whose No Limits Metalworks, on nearby White Oaks Road, produced new plaques for the cemetery, with graphic design by his wife Casandra.
Frank Merrill, historian of the New Hampshire Veterans Association, represented that organization.
Winthrop Langley came from Newmarket to settle in what was then still part of Gilmanton in 1775.
At that time, there was no Paugus Bay as such, since it was not until 1851 that a dam at Lake Village created today’s body of water by that name. Instead, the Winnipesaukee River meandered through a swampy area, with farmland on the dry portions, between The Weirs and Folsom’s Mills, as Lake Village was then called.
Not only was there no Paugus Bay, there was also no Weirs Boulevard then, the land sloping down from White Oaks Road, first to farmland, then to the swamp and river. The boulevard was not built until 1899, along with extension of the tracks of the Laconia Street Railway to The Weirs. For quite a long time thereafter, the highway was a narrow and primitive dirt road.
Some years after his Revolutionary War service, Langley married Achsah Quimby in 1813.
Back in June 1935, Laconia Post, 1670, V.F.W., installed the fence around the cemetery.
According to an article in The Citizen at the time, “The Veterans of Foreign Wars take a great interest in remembering the graves of departed comrades of all wars and feel it is a disgrace to see a cemetery all covered with brush and stones where our soldier dead are buried.”
The 1935 article noted that the Laconia VFW had recently cleaned up, in the Laconia district alone, “six of these private cemeteries.”
The committee in charge, then, besides the commander Guy Colby included W.D. Kempton, Winfield Pearson, Bill Reister and Custer Sanborn.”
Over the years, the Resort on the Bay had long been known as Prescott’s Bay View Park, owned by John Prescott, who later sold to Robert and Bertha Tilton. Richard and Joanne Tilton took ownership in 1989, adopting the new designation, Resort on the Bay.
(Langley Cove Motel and Cottages is next door, at 563 Weirs Boulevard.)


At the dedication ceremony held at Langley Cemetery on Saturday morning. (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)


Fugitive of Week arrested in Wyatt Park by Laconia police


LACONIA — Officers responding to a call about a suspicious person in Wyatt Park Saturday arrested a man featured as a “Fugitive of the Week” by the U.S. Marshals Service's Fugitive Task Force.

Eric Prescott, 32, was wanted for violation of parole in connection with a conviction and prison sentence for sexual assault and attempted aggravated felonious sexual assault.

Police said Prescott tried to run from officers, but was captured after a brief struggle. He is also facing a charge of resisting arrest.

Prescott was featured as a “Fugitive of the Week” on Oct. 11 on various television stations, newspapers and websites. Also, law enforcement agencies received the notification.

The Marshals Fugitive Task Force received and investigated numerous tips indicating that Prescott was still in the Laconia.

He was taken to Belknap County Jail, where he will be held without bail, pending his return to the state prison on his parole violation.

“Thanks to the public’s willingness to keep their community safe and the rapid response of the Laconia Police Department, this dangerous felon is once again off the streets,” said David L. Cargill Jr., the U.S. Marshal for the district of New Hampshire.

Since the inception of the New Hampshire Joint Fugitive Task Force in 2002, these partnerships have resulted in over 6,806 arrests including for murder, assault and various other serious offenses.

Nationally, the United States Marshals Service fugitive programs are carried out with local law enforcement in 94 district offices, 85 local fugitive task forces, seven regional task forces, as well as a network of offices in foreign countries.

Short-term solution reached on inmate labor at county home


LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioners have agreed on a short-term solution for a shortage of inmate labor for the Belknap County Nursing Home kitchen and laundry which will involve using members of the so-called “garage crew” at the Belknap County House of Corrections.
The change is necessary in order to replace eight inmates in the Corrections Opportunity for Recovery and Education program at the Belknap County House of Corrections who are now attending programs five days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be available to work in the kitchen and laundry at the nursing home only on weekends.
The CORE program expanded from three to five days a week after the new Community Corrections facility opened and the impending shortage of inmate labor at the nursing home caused a great deal of concern at the County Home, which has for years relied on inmate labor for work in the kitchen and laundry areas.
Belknap County Corrections Superintendent Keith Gray said that the “garage crew” is made up of seven to 10 inmates who work on the grounds and do maintenance at the Belknap County complex and that many of the workers already have experience in the kitchen and laundry areas.
He said that there is an attitude problem though, as many of those inmates will feel that they are being put back into doing work which will not benefit them once they are released into the community.
“Working in the nursing home is not seen as a decent job for inmates by the inmates themselves,” said Gray.
He has said that even if he had an unlimited number of inmates available, there would still be problems with the inmate workers, as nursing home employees are not trained to deal with inmates.
The problem is particularly acute on the second shift when four prisoners are working, two as dishwashers, one cleaning pots and pans, and another mopping the floor.
Nursing Home Administrator Shelly Richardson said she has had many kitchen workers on the second shift complain about the poor quality of work from the inmates.
“The cooks on the night shift are stressed. They are there with the prisoners all by themselves,” said Richardson.
Commission Chairman Dave DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) has said that it might be possible to have a Corrections Department officer overseeing what the inmates are doing during the time they are working in the kitchen. Gray said it would require having two officers in the kitchen each day and says that he will have corrections officers check in every half hour while inmates are working in the kitchen.
Two years ago, the county approved a pilot program to pay inmates who worked in the county home kitchen, laundry room or on the grounds $3 a day. The program was dropped last year after both Carolee Sliker, dietary manager at the nursing home, and Gray said that it wasn't working as intended.
Sliker said at that time that the program had produced "a parade of inmates coming through the kitchen who have behavior issues and do not want to work."
She said that those who do want to work and do a good job are quickly lost as they qualify for work release programs, requiring the cooks to be constantly training new inmates, which she said involves paying overtime for the cooks.
Sliker, who has been with the county for 19 years, 10 of which have been as dietary manager, resigned recently from her position. Her last day at work will be next Tuesday.
Richardson has proposed that the county hire 10 dishwashers and one laundry aide starting on May 1 next year to resolve the problems with relying on inmate labor. They would be paid $10.61 an hour and be eligible for health insurance. Cost for the eight months would be $310,674.
DeVoy said that he strongly favors continuing to use inmate labor and said he doubts that the County Delegation will go along with the proposal to hire 11 workers.
But Commissioner Hunter Taylor (R-Alton) says that relying on inmate labor is not an answer to the long-range problem and has suggested that the county look at other alternatives.
One of the ideas which has been discussed is hiring an outside contractor to handle the bulk of the housecleaning operation and cross-training those presently on the housekeeping staff to work in the kitchen.

10 24 Nursing home 1

Leanne Gladu, head chef at the Belknap County Nursing home, gets ready to use the giant mixer. (Roger Amsden/Laconia Daily Sun)

10 24 Nursing home 2

Cynthia Buchanan, a dietary department worker at the Belknap County Home, delivers a special dessert order to Harriet Ireland, a resident of the home, who dined with her husband, Clifford Ireland. (Roger Amsden/Laconia Daily Sun)

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Tomi Styles, cook for the second shift at the Belknap County Nursing Hone, pitched in to help serve food at lunch Friday. (Roger Amsden/Laconia Daily Sun)