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Wednesday morning drug raids target pair of homes in Meredith

MEREDITH — After a several week long investigation, town police, assisted by the Belknap County Sheriff's Department, and the N.H. State Police clandestine Drug Lab Team, raided two local homes yesterday morning.

While police were at Scandia Park, unit 26 at 388 Daniel Webster Highway, they allegedly found an active one-pot methamphetamine cook taking place inside the residence.

Police also found materials commonly sued in making methamphetamine and some powdered methamphetamine.

Arrested at the scene was Mark Carpenter, 58, of 388 Daniel Webster Highway Unit 26 and Tracy McGuire, 48, of 230 Meredith Center Road.

The DEA team neutralized the methamphetamine cook. The Meredith Fire Department stood by.

Both are charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and are being held in the Belknap County House of Corrections. Both will be arraigned this morning at 10 a.m.

At the same time, police went to 9 True Road in Meredith and arrested Douglas Peters, 53 and Crystal Smith, 28. Both were charged with possession of a controlled drug and released. Peters and Smith have court dates scheduled for August 17.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 July 2014 12:52

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City argues it enjoys immunity from lawsuit over Opechee Park accident

LACONIA — The city is asking a Belknap County Superior Court Judge to dismiss a civil suit brought against it by a Franklin woman who said she fell after tripping on a mat that led to a swing set at Opechee Park in May of 2012.

Attorneys for the city argued Tuesday before Judge Larry Smukler that he should dismiss the case. They cited provisions of state statutes for recreation and state statutes allowing a city immunity from prosecution.

The disagreement between the two parties is over whether the recreation statute provides immunity from prosecution from anything but raw land. The plaintiff in this case, Margaret Dolbeare of Franklin, said the addition of a mat and a swing set does not equal raw land.

Her attorneys argue the law was meant to protect landowner from suits from recreational activities like hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking and camping. The cited RSA is listed under the Department of Fish and Game heading.

Smukler questioned each attorney as to his argument.

As an example, he asked, what if there is a park and a lake with no improvements and whether it is different once the government builds a swimming pool in the same park.

Laconia argued that it is a "distinction without a difference" saying the Dolbeare and her lawyers want to rewrite the raw land statutes.

"She was recreating, that's what she was doing," the city's attorney, Corey Belobrow, argued.

"So your saying the city had no duty (to maintain its recreation facilities) under RSA 212 and is immunized by RSA 2508?" asked Smukler.

"In this case no duty and immunized," said Belobrow.

Dolbeare, through her attorneys, said her argument was the law cited by the Laconia does not specifically encompass man-made attractions and that its intent is limited to hunting, fishing, hiking, trapping and other recreational activities typically without man-made structures.

"What we see is a list of activities that don't specifically involve a use of things constructed by a landowner," said attorney William Woodbury.

He said the situation at hand is that the city built a swing set with the intention of attracting people to it. He said the mat was curled and twisted and it covered a hole that indicated a lack of maintenance at the park.

Judge Smukler said he would take their arguments under consideration.

Dolebeare is asking for an unspecified amount of money to cover the cost of knee replacement surgery, suffering and lost of enjoyment of life, permanent injury, medical expenses. and lost earning potential.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 July 2014 12:50

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Ellacoya drowning victim identified as East Boston man

GILFORD — The New Hampshire Marine Patrol has identified the man who drown Monday at approximately 4:50 p.m. off Ellacoya State Park on Lake Winnipseasukee on Monday evening as Oscar Hernandez Gonzales, 27, of East Boston, Mass.

People at the scene said Gonzales was with a group of work friends who had come to New Hampshire for the day. When his friend reported him missing to the lifeguards he was found an about 7 feet of water about 30 feet from the swim line.

Attempts by lifeguards and responding EMTs to save him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia.

Marine Patrol continues to investigate.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 July 2014 12:44

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Lipman suggests City Council play more active role on county jail front; priority should be placed on meeting all state & federal standards

LACONIA — City Councilor Henry Lipman (Ward 3), who chairs the Finance Committee, this week suggested that the City Council take an initiative to loosen the logjam that has stalled discussion of the future of the county jail by calculating what the city can afford to contribute to the project.

In 2013, the city, which budgets within the bounds of a property tax cap, bore 18.9-percent of county tax commitment and would bear the same share of annual debt service carried by the county to fund the cost of a new or renovated jail. When Ricci-Greene Associates presented a proposal for a facility of 184 beds and a community corrections component with an estimated cost of $42.5 million to the Jail Planning Committee, the City Council wrote to the Belknap County Commission expressing concern at the cost.

"We've got to make some progress," Lipman said, "and we've got to get something done." He indicated that the highest priority is to ensure that the facility complies with all state and federal standards by providing a structure that is "safe for both jail inmates and corrections officers."

Addressing his fellow councilors on Monday, Lipman said he considered rehabilitative programming, which requires additional space and personnel, as "step two."

Lipman said that by by reviewing the city's outstanding debt and annual debt service, the council could determine an amount or a range of amounts of additional principal and interest payments the city could carry. "We can say this is what we can afford," he said. "The number would not be an absolute post in the ground, but I think it would help move the ball."

So far discussion about the jail has been largely confined to the Belknap County Commission and its Jail Planning Committee, on the one hand, and the Belknap County Convention, on the other, and has reached a stalemate. Lipman ventured that an initiative by the City Council might change the course of the dialogue.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 July 2014 12:42

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