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Adam Batstone named LPD Officer of the Year

LACONIA — Police Commissioners named Patrol Officer Adam Batstone as their officer of the year yesterday in their annual meeting set aside for recognizing outstanding employees.

Batstone joined the Police Department in 2008 after getting a degree from Plymouth State University in Criminal Justice. In that time he has become a field training officer, a Taser instructor, and an active shooter instructor.

Batstone is a member of the department's Motorcycle Division — a job in which Police Chief Chris Adams says he takes great pride — and is also the fleet maintenance officer who keeps track of all the vehicles operated by the department.

"Officer Batstone is an outstanding officer who upholds the mission and core values of this agency," said Adams.

The Honorable Service Award went to Lt. Alfred Lessard who runs the training department and keeps the department up-to-date on policies consistent with an accredited police department.

Lessard also volunteers with Stand Up Laconia and was one of the early promoters of the annual Chem Free night that keeps many local prom goers from attending private parties after prom where they could be exposed to alcohol and/or drugs.

The Distinguished Unit Action Award went to the Capt. William Clary, Det. Sgt. Thomas Swett, Det. Kevin Butler, Det. Chris R.A. Noyes, Det. Jeff Wholley, Det, Daniel Carsen, Det, Peter C.A. Horan and Master Patrol Officer Steve Orton for putting together a drug bust that netted one of what Adams said was a major drug dealer in Laconia.

Roger Perkins, 21, who has addresses in both Laconia and Methuen, Mass. was arrested on Gale Avenue in March. During the raid, police said they seized two ounces of cocaine, two guns, a car, some cash, as well as a significant amount of other drugs and paraphernalia.

Detective Chris R.A. Noyes earned two meritorious service awards — one for his continued work in narcotics within the department and one shared with Det. Kevin Butler for their work in investigations and interrogations. Butler is the department's certified polygraph operator and Adams said he has been able to help arrest and convict an number of guilty people as well as exonerate those who are innocent.

Master Patrol Office John Howe also earned a meritorious service award from maintaining all of the department's radar equipment by keeping them calibrated according to fleet standards.

School Resource and Master Patrol Officer Steven Orton was given a letter of commendation for helping police solve the burglary and vandalizing of the Boys and Girls Club in December of 2013.

Orton was able to get information from one of his students that led to the arrest of the three juveniles who were responsible for the damage to the Boys and Girl Club as well as four other unsolved crimes.

Commissioners also recognized Laconia High School students Carly DeNauw and and Savanah Bastis for their work in organizing and raising money for this year's Chem Free party. The Laconia Police Department donated $1,000 to Chem Free to help promote the event.

After tonight's prom, Deauw said about 60 students will go to Funspot and then the movies at the Gilford Cinema. After the movies they will be taken by bus to the High School where they're parents will take them home.

The Commission also recognized a number of employees for time in service. Those with 15 years or more of time are Administrative Assistant Deborah Simkins and Administrative Assistant Tammy Ouellette with 35 years of service; Evidence Technician Michael Moyer with 30 years; Sgt. Gary Hubbard with 25 years; Chief Christopher Adams with 20 years; Commission Chair Warren Clement, Det. Sgt. Thomas Swett, Sgt. Michael Finogle, Det. Jeff Wholley, Master Patrol Officer Steven Orton, Officer Donald W. Kimtis Jr. and Dispatcher Marnell Delorenzo with 15 years each.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 May 2014 12:47

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3 toddlers sent to hospital after Messer St. crash

LACONIA — Three children were taken Thursday by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital for precautionary reasons after the car they were in was in a head-on collision on Messer Street.

Capt. Matt Canfield said all of the children were in a Toyota Minivan and all of them were in properly installed child or baby seats when the collision happened.

He said it appears the driver of a white Chevy was headed toward Oak Street from Lakeport when he dropped his glasses and crossed into the oncoming lane striking the Toyota.

Canfield said there were four children in a minivan aged 2, 3, 5 and an infant. He said the van was being driven by the children's grandmother.

When asked if charges were going to be filed against the driver of the while Chevy, Canfield said the crash was still being investigated.

CUTLINE: (Messer St. Accident 002.jpg) Police investigate a two-car crash yesterday afternoon on Messer Street. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

Last Updated on Friday, 16 May 2014 12:39

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Leavitt Park group pushing city to rebuild tennis courts

LACONIA — As the City Council contemplates the 2014-2015 municipal budget, Tony Felch, president of the Leavitt Park Association, has mounted a petition calling for an appropriation to rebuild the two tennis courts at the park, which he described as "non-useable and unrepairable."

The playing surface of both courts is riven with cracks, which in places are nearly three inches wide and more than an inch deep, overgrown with vegetation.

Kevin Dunleavy, director of parks and recreation, said that concern for the safety of those playing on the courts led to their closure last year.

In 2013, the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Committee ranked restoration of the tennis courts both at both Leavitt Park and Memorial Park at a cost of $52,000 37th among its priorities. The council accepted the recommendation of City Manager Scott Myers not to fund the request. This year Myers has recommended resurfacing and relining the five courts at Memorial Park at a cost of $25,000, which the CIP Committee ranked 30th, but not reconstruction of the courts at Leavitt Park, which ranked 33rd.

Dunleavy said that the courts at Leavitt Park require total rebuilding, which includes removing and replacing the fencing, reclaiming the playing surface to its gravel base, laying and lining a new playing surface, all of which he estimated would cost about $75,000.

Felch said that the Leavitt Park Association has offered to contribute $6,000 toward the project, along with an equal amount drawn from the Leavitt Park Trust Fund, with the approval of the Trustees of the Trust Funds. At the same time, he intends to approach local businesses that have contributed to other civic projects in the recent past.

Dunleavy said that the popularity of tennis appears to have declined in recent years, noting that Laconia High School has enough players to field a girls' but not a boys' team this spring. However, he added that he was recently contacted by a representative of the Lakes Region Tennis Association, which has relationships with several parks and recreation departments in the area, about he prospect of offering free lessons in the city parks.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 May 2014 12:31

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Winni Salmon Derby officials happy with weekend forecast of rain

LACONIA — Diane LaBrie, chair of 32nd annual Winni Derby which gets underway on Lake Winnipesaukee this morning, says she couldn't be happier with the weekend weather forecast which calls for it to be cloudy and cool with rain on Saturday morning.
''That will make for some good fishing,'' says LaBrie, ''Salmon and lake trout are always more active when it's overcast and cool and we should see some good-sized fish weighed in this year. Because of the long winter the lake is cooler than normal and that should make for even better fishing than usual.''
LaBrie expects between 1,300 and 1,400 entries in this year's derby, which is the largest salmon tournament on the lake and has over the years become a tradition for many anglers.
''There are a lot of families taking part. It's an ongoing thing and people who fished in it as children are back here with their kids. It's nice to see that,'' says LaBrie, who has been running the Derby since the Laconia Rotary Club took over responsibility for it when the founder, Rick Davis of Center Harbor, stepped down four years ago.
Since that time the Derby has undergone several changes, including a switch to cash prizes instead of boats and fishing gear, and also has invoked a long-standing rule which provides that the winner of the derby undergo a polygraph test.
''We've gotten good feedback on the switch to cash prizes and people like knowing that we're making sure the winning fish was actually landed in Lake Winnipesaukee,'' says LaBrie.
This year the decision on whether or not to have the winner take a polygraph test will be made by officials at the conclusion of the derby.
She said that the Derby has also tweaked its cash prizes this year, which will amount to over $50,000.
''We've added a junior lake trout division this year and that was in response to suggestions we've received,'' she says.
Grand prize winner in the salmon division will receive $10,000, compared to $12,500 last year, and the runner-up $3,000. Lake trout division winner will receive $5,000, the runner-up $1,200. Grand prize winner in the junior salmon division and junior lake trout division will each receive $2,500 and the second place finishers $1,000. Last year the junior division salmon winner received a boat instead of a cash prize.
Also new this year are 10 drawings over the weekend for $100 prizes for those registered in the Derby.
The third annual Rick Davis Sportsman's Award will also be presented to the fisherman whose salmon is closest in weight to the average weight of salmon landed during the derby.
Weigh-in station for the event will on Lakeside Avenue, across the street from the Weirs Beach docks and the station will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Sunday.
All fish weighed in between 6 and 9 p.m. on Friday or Saturday will qualify for the next day's awards. Daily awards will be presented at the Laconia Ice Arena starting at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Fisheries biologist Don Miller of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says that the average size of salmon netted in a survey last fall on Lake Winnipesaukee was 2.5 pounds and 19.3 inches in length, up from previous years.
He said that 28 percent of salmon examined by Fish and Game last fall had noticeable hook wounds and urged anglers to harvest hook wounded fish rather than release them back into the water. ''Please do your part in maintaining a healthy and vigorous fishery by harvesting these wounded fish, and carefully releasing healthy fish to sustain this wonderful salmon fishery we have here in the Lakes Region.''
LaBrie said that Derby works closely with Fish and Game and last year donated $2,000 towards the special Bio-Oregon fish food for the salmon raised at the Powder Mill Hatchery in New Durham which will allow for a better quality of fish to be stocked in the lake each year.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 May 2014 12:27

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