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Former New Hampton daycare owner pleads 'no contest' to reckless conduct charge

NEW HAMPTON — A former daycare owner pleaded nolo contendre (no contest) yesterday in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division to one count of misdemeanor reckless conduct.

Ann Mitchell, the former owner of Annie's Place-Children's Learning Center was found guilty by Judge Jim Carroll and sentenced to one year of probation. She was fined $2,000 — all of which was suspended for two years pending good behavior. Mitchell was also ordered to complete 30 hours of community service within three months.

In March of 2014, and during an unannounced visit by the N.H. Child Care Licensing Unit, inspectors found children as young as 8-months-old placed in cribs under four-corner fitted sheets to get them to sleep at nap time.

One 12-month old was placed in a "pack and play" so tightly one the top of her head was showing.

After an investigation, Mitchell was charged with one felony count of child endangerment but she agreed to plead "nolo" to a reduced charge of reckless conduct for her action of placing a fitted sheet over one child.

A nolo contendre plea means the accused chooses not to contest the charges. If accepted by a judge, those pleas are typically used instead of guilty pleas if there collateral issues like a potential civil suit.

In Mitchell's case, Carroll accepted the plea without much enthusiasm, but said he understood.

Annie's Place was closed by the licensing board and Carroll also ordered Mitchell to obey any restrictions placed on her by it. She is also ordered to stay away from five of her name victims and their families who will not be identified by The Daily Sun.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 May 2015 01:39

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LRCC Breaks Ground for $3.3M automotive technology building (562 w/cut slugged lrccbreaksground

LACONIA — A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday morning for the newest addition to Lakes Region Community College campus, a 13,000-square-foot, $3.3 million automotive technology building.
College president Dr. Scott Kalicki said that the new building has been in the works for 10 years and will help the college strengthen its award-winning automotive program. He pointed out that one of the General Motors cars which were lined up as a backdrop for the groundbreaking was a new Chevrolet Corvette which was won for the college by LRCC General Motors Automotive Service Education Program (GM ASEP) graduate, Neal Foster, at the National SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City last year.
''LRCC has been an award-winning GM ASEP program for many, many years," said Kalicki. "Excellence is portrayed by Professors Michael Parker, Jamie Decato, and Dave Perkins, who assisted Foster in obtaining the knowledge and skills to win in Kansas City. GM recognized LRCC's GM ASEP program by awarding the new Corvette based on Foster's gold medal."
Kalicki said that the new, larger facility will also enable the college to increase its in-service training for local automotive technicians and will have 17 lifts which will help provide the kind of training students in the automotive technology program need.
The 7,100-square-foot space that will be vacated once the auto programs moves next door is earmarked for future use by the culinary program, although LRCC will first undertake design work ahead of any request for funds to do the renovations necessary to re-purpose this space. In the meantime the program will continue to operate at its present home at Canterbury Shaker Village, where LRCC operates classes and a restaurant.
He said that the ultimate goal is to return the culinary program to the campus once a commercial-grade kitchen is built.
The new building represents the first phase of the automotive technology addition according to Kalicki. He said that a second phase, which will cost abut $1.25 million, will see classrooms, offices and a showroom constructed.
Kalicki said that plans for the college to become home in the not too distant future to a mobile diesel technology program, which teaches students to diagnose, service, and repair diesel-powered trucks and equipment, are currently on hold.
Last year it was reported that the program, currently located at White Mountain Community College in Berlin, is operating at less than full capacity and is losing in excess of $100,000 a year, due mainly to the reluctance of students to travel that far north.
Last year a 2016-17 capital budget approved by the system's Board of Trustees included a $5 million appropriation for the new heavy equipment/marine/small engine building on the LRCC campus. The program will not move to Laconia until a capital appropriation has been made by the Legislature.
Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) Chancellor Dr. Ross Gittell also took part in a groundbreaking. He said that the students and the state will benefit from the project, which is one of the many ways in which the community college system partners with local communities.


CAPTION: Lakes Region Community College (LRCC) Academic Affairs Vice President Tom Goulette; college President Dr. Scott Kalicki; Automotive Department Chair Michael Parker; and Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) Chancellor Dr. Ross Gittell took part in a groundbreaking for LRCC's new 13,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Automotive Technology Building Tuesday morning.
(Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 May 2015 01:34

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Motorcycle/car crash claims life

BELMONT – A crash between a Mercury Grand Marquis and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle claimed the life of a 36-year-old Belmont woman Monday night.

The crash, according to Belmont Police, occurred at 9:37 p.m. on Jamestown Road.

Police said the male driver of the motorcycle was taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia while the female victim was airlifted to Dartmouth Regional Medical Center in Lebanon but succumbed to her injuries.

Police are withholding the identifications of the victim until her family can be notified.

The Belknap Regional Accident Reconstruction Investigation Team is investigating. Police said the team is looking at sight distance, road alignment and speed as possible contributors.

Anyone who has any information or who made have seen the crash is asked to call the Belmont Police at 267-8350.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 May 2015 01:29

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Attorney for alleged meth dealer challenging police discovery of evidence

 LACONIA – Defense attorney Mark Sisti laid the framework yesterday for a possible evidence suppression hearing for a Lakeport man who is charged with possessing nearly $44,000 worth of methamphetamine.

During the probable cause hearing held for Peter Dauphin, 42, of 19 Appleton St. Sisti cross-examined Laconia Police Officer Richard Carlson about the particulars regarding the traffic stop and the inventory search that ultimately lead to the discovery of some methamphetamine under the drivers seat of a car Dauphin was driving.

During a search warrant executed on his home, police found an additional 6.8-ounces of methamphetamine and $11,000 in cash.

Dauphin was charged by police after Carlson and his partner Ben Black said Dauphin accelerated through the intersection of Union Avenue and Clinton Street and squealed his tires while heading down Elm Street.

Carlson testified that they followed Dauphin who at times exceeded 50 miles per hour in the congested residential neighborhood. He said when he activated his blue lights on Sheridan Street, Dauphin stopped.

Carlson testified he was preparing to cite him for speeding and misuse of power when Black told him the plates didn't belong to Dauphin.

Dauphin told the police he had recently purchased the car and was still driving on the old registration. Sisti produced the title of the car in court yesterday that showed Dauphin had not taken legal control over the vehicle and was driving on the previous owners registration. Sisti noted the car was still owned by the previous owner.

Carlson also testified that he was told Dauphin lived within 200 feet of where he stopped on Sheridan Street and agreed to allow the car to be towed to his home. He said he knew Dauphin paid the the tow driver $150 to take the car to his house.

He said that department policy allows police to conduct an inventory search even if the car is not going to be taken to police impound and it was during the end of this search he allegedly found an opaque eye-glass cloth holder containing the methamphetamine.

He also testified Dauphin didn't give him permission to search the car and that Dauphin had locked it before walking toward his home on Appleton.

"So when a car is going to a man's house, you have the right to go through it?" asked Sisti, at which point City Procecutor Jim Sawyer objected saying the venue was wrong for what was ending up being a suppression hearing and the city police towing policy was irrelevant for probable cause purposes.

Judge Jim Carroll overruled his objection and allowed Sisti to continue.

Carlson also testified that when he pulled the baggie containing methamphetamine from the car, Dauphin asked him what it was.

Sawyer next called Det. Kendra Neri to the stand. She testified that she and Sgt. Christopher Noyes interviewed Dauphin after reading him his rights. She said he agreed to talk without a lawyer.

She testified Dauphin admitted the methamphetamine was his and told her where the rest could be found in his home. She said he told her he was a user who brought three to four ounces every few weeks or so to the area and sold it.

Neri also testified that the drug field tested positive in both cases for methamphetamine.

When Sisti tried to review the time of her interrogation of Dauphin with the actions of arresting officer Carlson, Sawyer objected again, telling Carroll he knew where Sisti was going and reiterated that they were there for a probable cause hearing not a suppression hearing.

Neri also said Dauphin had been on her radar for some time as a possible methamphetamine supplier in the city.

Carroll told Sawyer he wasn't going to dismiss the charge based on issues of suppression and Sisti was allowed to continue.

Carroll determined that notwithstanding the issues of suppression, he found probable cause to sustain the single charge of possession with intent to distribute and bound the case over to the Belknap County Superior Court for possible indictment by a grand jury.
Sisti also made a lengthy argument about the $100,000 cash-only bail for Dauphin saying that "unless there's a body in the back of the car" the bail is exorbitant.

Carroll said he was already aware of Dauphin's close ties to the community and that no guns were found during the search, but that he considers methamphetamine possession dangerous to the community.

"It's been seized," said Sisti, arguing Dauphin is less dangerous now than he ever was because if he posts bail he is likely to be heavily supervised and no danger to anyone.

Carroll reiterated that Dauphin was a danger to the community and Sawyer supported continuing the $100,000 cash-only bail, saying when he was arrested Dauphin had nearly $60,000 in cash and drugs allegedly in his possession.

Sisti said Dauphin could be waiting in jail for a suppression hearing that could cause the case to be dismissed while he had no guns in his possession, a home, a family and a business to run.

After deliberating for a few minutes, Carroll reduced Dauphin's bail to $65,000 — cash-only.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 May 2015 01:26

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