Two men charged with dealing in stolen goods; jury acquits one, the second pleads guilty


LACONIA — A jury deliberated for about 20 minutes on Tuesday before acquitting a Meredith man of receiving stolen property.

Chad Elliott, 38, was indicted in December 2015 and charged with receiving, retaining or disposing of stolen items valued at more than $1,500, including a dirt bike, home improvement equipment, power tools, hand tools, a tool box, a tankless hot water heater, a lawn mower and kayaks, after police found the items Oct. 7 in a storage unit Elliott had rented in Tilton.

While a Belknap County jury returned a not-guilty verdict against Elliott following a one-day trial, another man linked to multiple burglaries in Northfield by police confessed to dealing in stolen goods.

Kirk Stutes, 31, of Northfield pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property, the same items, in June. He was sentenced to 12 months in jail, but made eligible for work release. He was also ordered to pay $5,190.65 in restitution.

Upon release from jail, he was to undergo a substance abuse evaluation and all recommendations were to become specific rules of two years' probation.

Stutes was initially arrested by Tilton police in October 2015 on a warrant for theft by unauthorized taking. When the contents of his vehicle were inventoried prior to being towed, police found suspected drug paraphernalia. After obtaining a search warrant, they found methamphetamine and a cell phone.

When they reviewed the contents of the phone they found emails and photos of items believed to have been stolen and subsequently sold.
Police then obtained a search warrant for a basement storage unit at 161 E. Main St. in Tilton that Elliott had rented.

The photos on the cell phone included those of a Honda 125 cc motorcycle, pink and blue kayaks pictured together, a portable table saw with numerous other power tools stacked atop it, a top-loading washing machine and electric dryer, a Rinnai tankless water heater, and a green and red kayak.

A Facebook conversation between Stutes and another man in which includes a photo of the pink and blue kayaks read: "these are really nice kayaks best I've taken so far really like to sell them together as they are a matching pair."

Police ultimately linked the stolen items to burglaries that occurred in Northfield during August and September 2015 on Cottage Street, Park Street, Arch Street, Union Road and Sandogardy Pond Road.

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Shaker Regional School District names two finalists for superintendent


BELMONT — Interim Superintendent Michael Tursi has been named one of two finalists for the permanent position of superintendent of the Shaker Regional School District.

Also chosen as a semi-finalist is Dennis Duquette who until 2012 was the superintendent of schools in Portland, Maine. Most recently he is the principal of Westfield High School in Massachusetts.

Tursi holds a master's degree in education from Plymouth State University and an undergraduate degree in geology from Radford University in Virginia.

Prior to coming to Shaker Regional, he was the superintendent of schools for the Wakefield and Milton district and served as the assistant superintendent of schools in the Manchester School District. He and his family live in Strafford.

Duquette host a master's degree in education from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and an undergraduate degree in sociology and education from Westfield State College. He lives with his family in Raymond, Maine.

The School Board said no date for final interviews have been scheduled.

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Squirrel Nut Zippers play without power in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH — The house went dark but the show went on at The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center in Plymouth Friday night, after a tractor trailer truck took down power lines on Main Street and left the venue without electricity.

The band The Squirrel Nut Zippers was set to perform before a crowd of more than 300 guests when the power went out. The band moved the show to the sidewalk and put on a lively 45-minute acoustic performance, lit by flashlights and cell phone lights, much to the delight of the enthusiastic and appreciative audience that stood along the sidewalk and in the closed Main Street.

The Flying Monkey, a member of The Common Man family of restaurants, will reschedule the show for a later date.Visit for new show details and upcoming events.

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