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Racquetball back on court at the Community Center

LACONIA — Yesterday, for the first time in more than a decade, racquetball players returned to the Community Center, a mother and son in the morning and two young women over a late lunch hour.

Kevin Dunleavy, director of Parks and Recreation, said that when the popularity of racquetball diminished some 10 or 15 years ago the court at the rear of the building was converted to a dance studio, complete with a mirrored wall. Recently, as dancers seemed to prefer larger space afforded by the gym and some people expressed renewed interest in playing racquetball, he decided to return the court for its original purpose.

"The addition was built specifically for racquetball," Dunleavy said, "and the marked wooden floor is in very good condition. So we thought we'd give a try and see what kind of response we get."

Hillary Stanley and McKenzie Watson, who work evenings together at Chili's in Tilton, welcomed the opportunity to play in the middle of the day. Stanley, an experienced player who recently moved to the Lakes Region from Massachusetts, said "the first things I looked for when I got here were a mall and a racquetball court." She discovered that the racquetball courts at the Summit Resort at The Weirs and Gilford Hills Tennis and Fitness Club were open only to members, then called the Parks and Recreation Department. Learning she could play for $2 a hour, she replied "sold."

"It's better than running on a treadmill," said Watson, who was playing for the first time after Stanley introduced.her to the game. "Oh, yeah, I'll be back," she decared. "It's fun and it's heated. That's nice."

Dunleavy said that while he expects most players to have their own equipment he hopes the department will be able to provide racquets and balls for those taking up the game for the first time.

The court is open for play Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and on Tuesday evenings from 6:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dunleavy advised players to call the department at 524-5046 in advance to schedule their playing time. The fee to use the court is $2 per person per hour.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 January 2015 12:02

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Correction: Racquetball courts at Gilford Hills Club are open to the public

An article in Friday's edition of The Laconia Daily Sun reported that the racquetball courts at the Gilford Hills Tennis and Fitness Club are open only to members, Teresa Ross, general manager of the club, said that all three courts are open to the public for a fee of $12 per person per day and that the club offers a racquetball membership for $59 per month. In addition, she said that the club hosts racquetball leagues, which are also open to the public.

For more information call the club at 293-7546.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 01:10

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County reps unanimous is support of allowing guns on floor of N.H. House

CONCORD — Of the 18 members of the Belknap County House Delegation — all Republicans — 17 voted with the majority yesterday to amend the rules of the New Hampshire House of Representatives to allow representatives and visitors to carry, but not display, firearms in the chamber, anteroom, cloakrooms and gallery of the House. One was absent.

In 2010, the Republican majority lifted the longtime ban on deadly weapons only to have the Democratic majority reimpose it two years later. With the GOP again in the majority, the ban was lifted once more yesterday by a vote of 228 to 149 as the House divided along party lines.

The members of the county delegation voting with the majority were: Glen Aldrich, Russ Dumais and George of Gilford,'Dennis Fields and Brian Gallagher of Sanbornton, Don Flanders, Peter Spanos, Bob Luther and Frank Tilton of Laconia, Valerie Fraser of New Hampton, Ray Howard and Peter Varney of Alton, Shari LeBreche and Michael Sylvia of Belmont, Dave Russell of Gilmanton and Herb Vadney of Meredith. Robert Fisher of Laconia was absent and did not vote.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 January 2015 12:39

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County attorney drops sex assault charges against Albanian immigrant

LACONIA — Charges against a Laconia man for aggravated felonious sexual assault and second degree assault have been dropped by the office of the Belknap County Attorney.

Fatmir Gasi, of 72 Batchelder St. was arrested on January 19, 2014 and indicted by a Belknap County grand jury in March of 2014. Gasi is an Albanian-speaking immigrant from Bosnia.

His attorney, Steve Mirkin, had filed a motion to suppress or exclude the evidence taken from Gasi's statements to police because it was clear that Gasi didn't understand enough English to understand his waiver of his Miranda rights.

In addition, the police didn't record the initial part of the interview when Gasi was allegedly having his rights explained to him. The tape only began with the arresting officer asking him if he he understood them.

The Belknap County Attorney's Office did not respond to Mirkin's motion but both of the charges were dropped sometime yesterday.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 January 2015 12:36

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