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

06-09 choked dog

The dog. (Courtesy photo)

06-09 Richard Glover

Richard Glover

Sachems claim championship

Laconia girls take Div. III lacrosse with tight game


06-08 Laconia Celebration 3

Laconia’s strong junior class played a significant role in the Sachems’ title defense. From left, Teegan Stevens, Abigail Crowell, Lyndsey Paronto, Helen Tautkus and Cheyanne Zappala celebrate the championship while freshman Hannah Dow, far right, crashes the junior party. It was Laconia High School girls lacrosse team’s second championship in as many years. (Ryan O’Connor/for The Laconia Daily Sun)


By Ryan O'Connor

BEDFORD — The two contests couldn't have differed more, but the end result proved the same.
Following a 14-3 trouncing of rival Kearsarge Regional High School on May 6, the top-seeded Laconia High School girls lacrosse team met the Cougars once again in the Division III championship game Wednesday night.
Unlike that first matchup, however, Kearsarge gave the Sachems all they could handle, pushing the defending state champs right to the last minute before Laconia senior Mackenzie Howe notched the game winner with 5.2 seconds remaining in the contest to boost her team to a successful title defense, 14-13.
"During our first game, we really came out flat and weren't able to get it together, "said Kearsarge head coach Hilary Grimes. "I think we really came out today, right from the start, on fire and ready to go, and that made a huge difference."
Grimes' counterpart wasn't surprised.
"I know Kearsarge, and Kearsarge is a great team ... so, yeah, I did expect it to be a barnburner," said Laconia head coach Kerri Howe. "And you know, you've also got the nerves and emotions and all that, and I've been saying this, it's always hard to be the team on top. That younger team is always a little hungrier than you, and I think you saw that at the beginning of the game, and then we kind of turned it around and came through."
In fact, after the Sachems took a 5-3 lead just over 11 minutes into the first half – thanks to four goals from junior standout Helen Tautkus – Laconia gave up four consecutive goals to head into halftime down by two.
The second half began much the way the first half ended, with Laconia falling behind, 6-9, in the opening six minutes. With 11 minutes remaining in the game, Kearsarge extended it's lead, 11-7, and that's when Laconia hit the gas, scoring five of the next six goals – including three markers by Mackenzie Howe in about two minutes – to notch the game at 12 with just under six minutes on the clock.
"That's what great about my team. I know I can be down by four and come back," said the elder Howe. "We have speed. We can work that ball quickly, and once they started figuring out the best angle to go on the goalie and started taking the shots where they should have been taken ... it was easy for them."
Eleanor Angus put the underdogs ahead at the 1:20 mark before Tautkus scored her eighth goal of the game 18 seconds later to once again knot the score.
Howe's winning goal wasn't pretty by anyone's definition. In fact, the ball was deflected on a desperation check, but still rolled its way into the net to lock up the victory.
Said Mackenzie Howe of the game winner: "We thought Helen was going to take it in, and then she didn't, so then she crossed it to me, and I was like, 'OK, well, this is it. I don't even know what was going on through my head, I just knew I had to score, and it worked out.
"It's so amazing," she continued. "I think we've all dreamed of this since we were freshman. And I just can't believe we did it. I'm so proud of my team. This is awesome."
In addition to the eight goals from Tautkus and the four tallies from Howe, seniors Hailey Martel and Gabrielle Smith also found the back of the net, while junior goalie Lyndsey Paronto made several pivotal saves late to secure the Sachems' second-consecutive banner.

06-08 Laconia LAX 3

Laconia junior Helen Tautkus notched the Sachems’ first four goals in Wednesday’s Division III championship game against Kearsarge. (Ryan O’Connor/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

06-08 Laconia Celebration 2

Seniors Meya Minor, Mackenzie Howe and Gabrielle Smith were joined by junior netminder Lyndsey Paronto, far right, as the first to hoist the Laconia High School girls lacrosse team’s championship plaque, their second in as many years. (Ryan O’Connor/for The Laconia Daily Sun)