LRCC partners with Toyota in new state-of-the-art lab


LACONIA — Lakes Region Community College showcased its new state-of-the-art automotive lab, which features 17 vehicle bays and all the latest equipment Thursday afternoon, and announced that it has entered into a new partnership with Toyota.
Ross Gittell, chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire, said that the new lab shows the dedication of the state's community college system to workforce development.

"We're looking to the future workforce and training people with the very latest technology," said Gittell.
Scott Kalicki, president of Lakes Region Community College, credited Mike Parker, head of the college's automotive program, with reaching out to Toyota to help make the partnership a reality. Kalicki told the group that with a "huge, huge demand for auto technicians across the board, the new building allows for more industry training."
Patty Koerner, Toyota's national manager for strategic resources, said that LRCC is "an awesome school and that's why we chose the opportunity to be here."
Parker said that the new 21,000-square-foot facility, which cost about $4 million, has 17 bays and each of the two classrooms also have bays as well as 20 laptop computers for use in diagnostics and troubleshooting.
He said the school continues its relationship with the nationally recognized GM Automotive Service Education Program, known as ASEP, which was brought to the college years ago by then automotive department head George Dykstra, who is now the coordinator New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association's education efforts. The LRCC auto program has seven instructors.
NHADA President Peter McNamara said that the LRCC auto program plays an important role in the state and that dealerships in New Hampshire have openings for 400 technicians. He said that the auto industry in the state is excited about the new facility and the expanded program, which will provide even more options for training tomorrow's workforce.
The college offers a two-year associate degree in Auto Technology and GM credits toward certification in all areas through their ASEP. LRCC also offers a general auto tech program.

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Patty Koerner, Toyota's national manager for strategic resources, and Scott Kalicki, president of Lakes Region Community College, listen as Ross Gittell, chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire, speaks at the opening of the college's new state-of-the-automotive lab. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

Cigarette smoke causes grief for downtown condo association


LACONIA — A cigarette-smoking condo owner on Beacon Street West has prevailed over a board of directors who wanted to renovate her apartment to stop the second-hand smoke from entering other apartments.

Sue Ann Merrill and the Beacon Street WEst Condominium Unit Owners Association agreed to a compromise but not before a Belknap County Superior Court judge had to issue an injunction to stop the renovation and then mediate the case.

Merrill lives in a condo on the first floor of the Beacon Street West Condominiums. She confines her smoking to the bathroom so as not to adversely affect the health of a person who lives with her.

According to the court pleadings, the cigarette smoke exits her bathroom through a bathroom vent and rises into the apartments just above hers. Over time, Beacon determined that when she smoked within her unit in the bathroom, which is allowed in the bylaws, is "a harmful or offensive use" and contrary to the bylaws.

Beacon determined that the only way to fix the problem was to have Merrill's smoke rerouted through her dryer vent that goes directly outside. Merrill objected to this because the dryer is her dryer and not part of the common area. She said if her housemate's clothes become inundated with smoke, his physician said it could be detrimental to his health.

Despite this, Beacon sent a notice to her that they would be entering her condo on June 1 to make the repair without her permission, so she filed an emergency request with the court to stop them from doing this.

She said that Beacon's attempt to "classify only (her) exercise of a permitted act in her own unit and no one else's within the association, as harmful, is a breach of (the) covenant" she signed when she purchased her condo.

In his order granting the emergency injunction, Judge James O'Neill wrote that her request rises to the level of an emergency because her "rights will be violated, and significant harm will come to her property, specifically her unit."

He also ordered a mediation before a hearing date was scheduled.

During the mediation, the two parties agreed that the bathroom vent will be redirected into a separate pipe that runs parallel to the dryer vent and the association will cap off the existing bathroom vent.

Within 48 hours of the signed agreement, she will allow Beacon's contractors access to her home for inspection by contractors with plans and a material lists.

Beacon agrees that it will connect the exhaust vent and the dryer vent at the exterior wall of Water Street and that during construction the contractor will seal off the rest of the unit and provide a dust barrier during construction.

The association agreed to provide a letter to Merrill that states the smoking vent won't flow back into the dryer vent and that all of the work will be completed by June 17.

Sanbornton man charged with animal cruelty

SANBORNTON — A local man is charged with a Class B felony of cruelty to animals after police say he lifted a neighbor's dog by its choke collar and punched it in the head with a closed fist.

Police said Richard Glover, 45, of 753 Sanborn Road also struck the pit bull mix with a stick and threw it over a stone wall.

The dog belongs to another resident of Sanborn Road and police said the incident was witnessed by several people.

After getting a warrant for his arrest, he was found by police hiding under his bed in his home.

Glover was released on $1,500 personal recognizance bail and given a court date of July 11 at 8:15 a.m. in the 6th Circuit Court, Franklin Division.

– Gail Ober

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The dog. (Courtesy photo)

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Richard Glover