Spring clean your medicine cabinet

LACONIA — When Deputy Fire Chief Sean Riley's wife died of cancer last January, he found himself a young widower with children. Stephanie Riley had been very open and public about her illness but when she passed, Sean found himself with a different issue.

He realized he had nearly 40 different kinds of prescription drugs, any one which could have been lethal to one of his children.

"I should never have kept these in the house," Riley said yesterday as he prepared to put them all in the green drug dispensary box located in the lobby of the Laconia Police Station.

"The more heroin addiction I see, the more I realized I should have taken care of these properly," he said.

Riley, who was joined by Police Chief Chris Adams, Prevention Education and Treatment Officer Eric Adams (no relation), Dr. David Strang of the Lakes Regional General Hospital and head of the emergency room, LRGHealthcare Chief of Staff Dr. Paul Racicot and his friend and co-worker Assistant Fire Chief Kirk Beattie yesterday to kick off Spring Clean Up – Don't Forget To Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinets.

The campaign is being held jointly by the police and fire departments as well as LRGHealthcare to encourage people to safely dispose of all drugs they are no longer using – the prime option being to drop them in the green drug dispensaries at the Laconia and Gilford. In Meredith, residents are asked to bring unwanted medicine to the police department during business hours and they will be disposed of properly.

Racicot said so much heroin addiction begins when young people take their parents' prescriptions. He said in the case of some drugs, people will keep extra around in case they need it another time and at some point they're taking oxycodone for a mild headache and they they're addicted.

Many will turn to heroin because it's usually a much cheaper drug, Racicot said.

"We wouldn't be doing this," said Strang. "If it wasn't a major concern in the community."

Chief Adams said the collection box has proven to be quite popular and it is emptied weekly. The N.H. State Police bring all of the drugs to a disposal site in the southern part of the state.

Woman charged with attempting to run over her ex’s new girlfriend

LACONIA — A Loudon woman is being held on $30,000 cash or corporate surety after she allegedly drove her car at a high rate of speed in the Walgreens parking lot and narrowly missed the girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend.

The victim was able to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

According to police affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, Kelsey McCarthy, 26, of Pittsfield Road aimed her car at the female victim while she was getting into it.

The supervisor on duty said McCarty apparently accelerated the car as fast as it could go and stepped hard on the brakes before striking the victim's open passenger door. He said the victim's car had a crumpled door and McCarthy's car had front-end damage.

McCarthy allegedly fled the scene and was apprehended on Route 106 by a Belmont Police officer.

According to police, before the alleged motor vehicle assault, McCarthy had an altercation with the female victim and had struck her while wearing brass knuckles. She also allegedly threatened to "beat her to a bloody pulp."

She also allegedly struck her old boyfriend and affidavits said he had a fresh mark on the side of his head.

McCarthy is charged with one count of conduct after an accident - leaving the scene, one count of simple assault, one count of criminal threatening, one count of simple assault - domestic violence related, and one felony count of reckless conduct for placing another in danger.

Should she post bail, she is ordered to stay away from the victims.

Used car operation near Weirs Traffic Circle prompts complaint to City Council

LACONIA — A Weirs Beach property owner has complained to City Council that the city has allowed a local garage to operate a used car business illegally from its premises. But owners of the business say that they followed all the necessary state and local regulations and that any problems are due to mistakes made by city officials.

Denis Bourque, who owns property 1187 Weirs Boulevard, appeared before the City Council Monday evening, and said that used cars have been sold illegally from Gulbicki's Towing & Auto Repair at 1193 Weirs Boulevard, for more than a year, that the city has been aware of the situation and has done nothing to stop it.

Bourque told the council that there have at times been 20 to 30 vehicles on Gulbicki's 0.22 acre lot.

"I've gone to the city (about this) and have gotten little or no help," said Bourque.

Mayor Ed Engler told Bourque that his complaint was the first time the council had been made aware of the problem, but that the council would ask city officials for an explanation.

C.J. Gulbicki said that he applied in 2011 to the state for a license to sell used cars from his father, Charles's, auto repair shop. He said the state license was issued in February 2012 after City Planning Director Shanna Saunders mistakenly told the state in writing that a used car business at that location was permitted by city ordinance. In fact, the property lies within the city's Commercial Resort zone, which does not permit automobile sales.

The city subsequently realized the error and the state notified Gulbicki last year that his license would be pulled because he did not have the necessary city permission. Gulbicki said that he went to Saunders and told her that he was working to find a new location for the used car business. He asked the Saunders to intervene with the state on his behalf. Saunders then wrote to the state urging that they not revoke Gulbicki's license since he assured the city he was working to rectify the situation. While the state did not revoke the license, they declined to renew the license when it expired this past March. Since then the younger Gulbicki said that he is no longer selling used cars from the location, except for a couple of vehicles which he is selling as "a private sale." Gulbicki said that he is making arrangements to move the used car lot to 248 South Main St.

Gulbicki said there are now 15-18 vehicles on garage's lot, with most there for repair work, or vehicles that have towed there by Gulbicki Towing.

Bourque told the council he is was particularly upset the the city intervened on Gulbicki's behalf. "Why would the city urge the state not to enforce its regulations simply because the city is not enforcing its regulations?," he asked the council.

City Manager Scott Myers acknowledged that Bourque had contacted numerous times about the matter. Myers said "issues between neighbors" have played a role in the matter.

The elder Gulbicki said he was upset that his business was being made to look bad. He said that neither he nor his son had done knowingly done anything wrong, and that what errors were made were made by the city. "Why should we be hurt because (Saunders) made a mistake?"

He accused Bourque of having a grudge against him.

Weirs Boulevard rezoning proposal comes to City Council

LACONIA — The City Council heard from Weirs business interests and the public last evening about a proposal from the Planning Board to rezone most of Weirs Boulevard from a commercial to a residential district.

About 50 people filled most of the seats in the Council Chambers for a public hearing on a series of proposed zoning amendments, the most controversial of which would change the Boulevard from where the thoroughfare starts at While Oaks Road north to the Naswa Resort complex from Commercial Resort to Shorefront Residential.

The Planning Board is recommending the change because Weirs Boulevard, with its proximity to Paugus Bay, has become predominantly residential as the result of the conversion of many one-time motels and cottage colonies to condominiums as well as the construction of several new multifamily condominium complexes.

"The change from (motel room and cottage) rentals to condominiums has changed the character of The Weirs," Planning Board Chairman Warren Hutchins told the council in explaining the main reason the board was recommending the change.

Some Weirs business owners were expected to voice their opposition to the plan during the hearing. Paul Fitzgerald, an attorney representing the Naswa Resort, who was at last night's hearing, said last week the Naswa's owners were "seriously concerned about the impact of creating a predominantly residential zone compared to what has been allowed and encouraged up and down the boulevard in the past."

In explaining the impact of the change, Planning Director Shanna Saunders said that inns, motels and bed and breakfasts would continue to be permitted in the new Shorefront Residential Zone, but some other hospitality businesses such as restaurants would not.

Another zoning change being proposed includes rezoning Lake Street from the Margate Resort north to White Oaks Road from Commercial Resort to Commercial. Saunders viewed this change as an extension of the current Commercial Zone which runs the length of Union Avenue.

In response to a question from Mayor Ed Engler who said the potential exists for a "total residential build-out" of Weirs Beach, Saunders said she felt that the best kind of development for The Weirs would be a mix of residential and commercial uses.

Any zoning changes will need to be approved by the City Council.