Manchester woman arrested after long police chase (390)


LACONIA — After leading Gilford Police on a miles-long chase and trying to disarm a police officer, a Manchester woman was ordered held on $50,000 cash-only bail after a negotiation between the County Attorney and her defense lawyer.

07-19 Ashley S. Hodgdon

Police said an officer stopped Ashley Hodgdon, 25, of 254 Douglas St. Apt. 2 while she was near Blaisdell Avenue near the Lakeport-Laconia line Friday at 10:05 p.m. for defective equipment.

The officer said she allegedly gave him a false name and address but would not provide him with a driver's license. He said she appeared nervous and fidgety, and showed other signs of impairment.

A supervisor arrived and affidavits said the two of them asked her to step out of the car and talk with them. After asking repeatedly, police said she started her car and drove off with the two officers following her.

Police said they followed her through Laconia, along Route 106 through Belmont, Gilmanton, Loudon and Canterbury and at times reached speeds of 60 to 70 mph.

As they approached the Canterbury entrance to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, police said they noticed a state trooper had put down a stop strip. They said Hodgdon tried to go around it and drove her car off the road.

Affidavits said police approached the gun with their guns drawn and attempted to get her and her passenger to get out of the car. Police saw her try to start the car and drive away.

Since her door was locked and the window was up, police said they broke the driver's window with a baton and began a long struggle to get Hodgdon out of the car. She was sprayed with pepper spray and Tasered but continued to fight with the arresting officer. At one point she tried to take the supervisor's gun from him.

Affidavits said she was eventually placed in handcuffs and brought to the hospital where she was medically cleared. Back at the Gilford Police Department, Hodgdon allegedly provided police with a false name.

After verifying her identity with Concord Police she was charged with one count of reckless conduct for driving erratically, one count of felony reckless conduct for trying to take a police officer's gun from him, once count of simple assault on a police officer, one count of disobeying a police officer, resisting arrest and driving while intoxicated.

Route 106 road work begins this week


BELMONT — Commuters and visitors alike will be seeing the beginning of a two-year Route 106 road construction project in the area of Seavey Road by the end of this week.

According to Chuck Flanders, who is the head of the state Department of Transportation Construction Bureau, crews will begin by cutting trees and excavating land across the street from where Seavey Road meets Route 106 on Thursday morning.

Flanders said they need to do this first because seven or eight utility poles will need replacing and "It will take quite a few weeks dedicated to that," he said.

The Seavey Road intersection project has been planned for about three years now and was initially identified as an unsafe intersection by the state and was put on the list to be rebuilt.

Flanders said the state decided to rebuild the nearly 5 miles of road between Perkins Road and the city of Laconia urban compact line, so they combined the two projects.

Flanders also said on Monday that when the project is complete there will be a left-turn lane for traffic headed north on Route 106 and a right-turn lane for traffic headed south. He said he is aware that the Belmont School District begins classes in the end of August and said the department will coordinating construction with the district and with First Student Bus Company.

He also said that the Seavey Road intersection won't be completed until the summer of 2017.

When asked what motorists could expect, Flanders said initially, there will be very little disruption around Seavey Road except for the excavation across the road for the utility poles.

The project requires the replacement of the Tioga Bridge and Flanders said there will be two lanes of traffic going each way but they will be jogged to one side or the other. On rare occasions, he said they may need to move traffic one lane at a time but said those instances will be driven by necessity and when traffic is not at peak travel.

He said he expects all of the reclaiming work on the 5-mile section of road should be completed by the end of this construction season.

The 2017 part of the project will have the bridges along the Laconia Bypass over Routes 107 and 106 replaced and the Seavey Road intersection completed.

07-19 Seavey Road intersection

Excavation will begin late this week on the banking across from Seavey Road as part of a two-year construction program along Route 106 between Belmont and Laconia. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)

Sportsmen’s club negotiating to buy property from airport authority


GILFORD — After 30 years of leasing its land on Lily Pond Road, the Belknap County Sportsmen’s Association has a purchase and sales agreement with the Laconia Airport Authority, but some major steps need to take place before the club can own that land outright.
According to airport manager Marv Everson, the Gilford Planning Board must approve the subdivision, which was on its agenda for Monday night. Should the subdivision be approved, an appraiser needs to get a “Yellow Book” appraisal, or one that meets the terms set by the Federal Aviation Administration.
After that, the appraisal goes to the state Department of Transportation Bureau of Aeronautics for review. If approved, it will be sent to the FAA for approval.
“I’ve been told that it could take as little as one month or as many as six or seven months to get an answer from the FAA,” he said, noting that all have agreed this piece of land is not needed nor will it ever be needed for airport use.
Time is of the essence because the 30-year lease between the Airport Authority and the association expires on Oct. 1. While the lease price has been $100 a year, Everson said the FAA has insisted on getting a fair-market value should a lease arrangement continue, which he has estimated to be $5,000 a year.
According to the association’s attorney, Mike Persson, it has formed the Belknap County Sportsmen’s Charitable Fund and has achieved a 501(c)(3) tax status as a nonprofit.
Originally, Persson said, the Sportsmen’s Association was at the end of the runway. Thirty years ago the FAA and the airport asked them to move so the runway could be lengthened.
“The 30-year lease at $100 a year was the cost to (the airport) for expanding the runway,” Persson said.
But now that the lease is up, Everson said the FAA not only wants fair value for a future lease but needs to know that the money is being reinvested into the airport.
Everson said the decision to sell the property to the association makes more sense for both entities.
“All the revenue we take in is reinvested in the airport,” Everson said.
Persson said he is happy that the airport authority has recognized the value of the sportsmen’s association to area residents and that so far, all of the relations and negotiations have been positive.
Association member and Gilford Selectmen’s Chairman Richard “Rags” Grenier said the Belknap County Sportsmen’s Association is the only legitimate sportsmen’s club in the area, unless one were to go to Canterbury or Holderness.
He said the club offers fishing trips for children, hunting classes, archery classes, firearms safety classes, and outdoorsmanship classes for young and old.
Grenier said firearms safety and training has become one of the fastest growing segments of the industry and having a safe club with property trained instructors in the area is a great benefit to the citizenry.