Tilton man charged with child sex assault

By ROGER AMSDEN, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN

TILTON — Tilton police arrested a man Thursday evening in Franklin on two charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault.
Charles Beckley, 53, of 22 Grange Road, Tilton, is charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl according to Tilton Police, who said the assaults took place over the past six to 12 months and were first reported to them on May 3.
Following an investigation and interviews, police on Thursday obtained arrest warrants for two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault on a child under the age of 14, along with search warrants for Beckley’s home.
Tilton Police detectives, working with Franklin Police, located the suspect in downtown Franklin at 7 p.m. Thursday and took him custody. He was booked in Tilton and taken to the Belknap County Jail, where he is being held on $20,000 cash bail.
Police Chief Robert Cormier said that Beckley knew the victim and that there may be additional victims.
“We hope that, by getting the word out, other victims will come forward,” said Cormier.
The investigation is ongoing and police are asking anyone with information on the case to contact the Tilton Police Department at 286-4442.

05-13 Charles Beckley

Dr. John Connell named teacher of the year at LRCC

By ROGER AMSDEN, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Dr. John Connell, chairman of the Fire Technologies Department at Lakes Region Community College, was selected as Teacher of the Year by students who attend the college.
Connell, who has been at the college for 29 years, heads one of the largest fire technology programs in the country with over 120 students.
"We're working all the time to make the fire service better and safer," says Connell, who says that in his time at the college he's seen nearly 2,000 students graduate from the program.
He says that while there's plenty of new technology around since he first started teaching, what changes the most for him are the new students he sees each year. "Teaching them and making a difference in their lives is what's important." says Connell.
Connell says that he's very proud of the success of the live-in program, which has students getting hands-on experience while living at fire stations, mostly in the Lakes Region. "There's only so much you can teach them from a book. Getting real life experience with professional firefighters and the equipment they use is invaluable," says Connell.
He said that 13 students are currently taking part in the live-in program, including those at places as far away as Allenstown, Chichester and Newport.
'The program has always had great cooperation from the Gilford and Laconia fire departments, as well as other departments in the Lakes Region according to Connell.
He will be honored at the college's commencement Saturday at Meadowbrook in Gilford.

05-12 Dr. John Connell

Dr. John Connell

1 Pomp and circumstance during LRCC's 50th anniversary

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By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Lakes Region Community College is using its 50th anniversary as the impetus to reconnect with alumni, former college employees and the broader community, while having a little fun along the way.
The former Laconia Vocational-Technical Institute has gone through a number of changes through the years and, during its 50th anniversary celebration, as it marks those achievements, it will be attempting to re-engage with those who had a part in its history. The college plans to hold a series of events between now and the 2018 graduation exercises, and is seeking old photographs, which it will be digitizing, and other historical material.
The college will launch its celebration during this weekend's commencement ceremony, kicking things off by providing each graduate with a 50th anniversary alumni T-shirt. Anniversary T-shirts also will be on sale to the public during commencement, and committee members will be seeking contact info and shared memories of the college.
"We hope to get the community engaged," said Larissa Baia, the college's vice president of Student Services and Enrollment Management, who is on the anniversary committee.
This weekend also will see the first public display of the newly commissioned College Mace, created by New Hampshire artist Katie Shearin. The mace, carved of butternut wood and inlaid with pewter, is infused with icons of knowledge as well as college symbols and images representing the state.
Throughout the year, the college will be seeking the involvement of past students and employees, offering programs that target specific groups, such as a car show that would be of interest to present and former automotive students.
Specific plans are still being formulated, but the committee anticipates putting on a fall event prior to the Laconia Pumpkin Festival, and it will hold smaller events throughout the year, offering networking among specific majors as well as entertainment and academic programs.
The college also is updating its television commercials and has a new logo that highlights the 50th anniversary.
"We want to broaden the boundaries of the college," Baia said, noting that people who have passed through the institution have gone on to careers in the area. "All those branches should be celebrated," she said.
College mace
The mace is a symbol of authority dating back to medieval times when knights carried them as weapons during processions. Today, they have become ceremonial objects, embellished with gems and symbols.
The college mace represents the authority vested in the president by the school's governing body, and traditionally is carried by the longest-serving faculty member during commencement.
In creating the new mace, Sherin used butternut from a tree in Dunbarton and pewter she came across at yard sales, and embellished it with symbols that include the college logo, laurel vines and the banner from the college seal, and acorns representing the seeds of knowledge. Also carved into the wood is the Old Man of the Mountain and a loon, representing New Hampshire.
At the top of the mace is the flame of knowledge with oak leaves from the college seal. Inlaid pewter disks carry the symbols of the various disciplines: nursing, culinary, automotive, fire science, and computer science.

50th anniversary events

May 13 – Graduation at Bank of NH Pavilion
July 8 – Retiree Cook-out at LRCC
Sept. 9 – NASCAR event at NH Motor Speedway
Sept. 23-24 – Autumn on the Hill at LRCC
Oct. 14 – Pumpkinfest in Downtown Laconia

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