No decision yet on crematorium lawsuit


LACONIA — The hearing in Belknap County Superior Court Friday on the petition of Peter Mayhew, the owner of Mayhew Funeral Home, Inc., to silence his neighbor, Doug Frederick, owner of the American Police Motorcycle Museum, who has repeatedly and publicly complained that emissions from the crematorium litter his property with ash, ended without an announced result.
Justice James D. O'Neill III opened the hearing by asking the attorneys, Marc van Zanten, representing Mayhew, and William Woodbury, representing Frederick, to approach the bench. After the three conferred, the opposing counsels left the courtroom together. When the court reconvened, the attorneys again conferred with O'Neill, who then recessed the proceedings.
Afterward, Woodbury said he expected O'Neill to issue a brief order, perhaps later the same afternoon. However, the justice left the courthouse without issuing an order.
Last week Justice David Ruoff denied Mayhew's ex parte motion, or motion filed without Frederick's knowledge or presence, seeking a temporary restraining order against Frederick and his wife, Leslyee. Mayhew contends that there is no evidence for Frederick's claims that "human ash" is falling from the crematory chimney and and fouling his property, yet Frederick and his wife "loudly and publicly continue their groundless complaints." Mayhew's suit asks the court to forbid the Fredericks from making any statements that are published in a public medium that bear on the character, credibility and reputation of Mayhew; his wife or his funeral home; or that reflect directly or indirectly on the operation of the crematory at the funeral home.
On three occasions Frederick has complained to the Meredith Board of Selectmen about the operation of the crematorium and his remarks have been published in local newspapers and aired on television. He has lodged similar complaints with the Office of the Governor, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, New Hampshire Attorney General and Board of of Registration of Funeral Directors and Embalmers as well as with the Meredith police and fire departments.
Mayhew claims that Frederick's statements, which have been widely disseminated, defame his character and impair his business.

Master carver - John Connors employs chainsaw with surgeon’s precision


MEREDITH — Shorter, warmer winters may have thinned the moose population, but nothing has stayed the skilled hands and sharp eyes of John Connors, who described his most recent rendering of the iconic beast as the best he has ever carved.

Connors has been carving wildlife sculptures with an arsenal of chainsaws for the past 18 years, with black bears in a variety of poses accounting for the majority of his menagerie. He said he enjoys carving fish as well, but is puzzled they are not more popular.

The moose, standing stolidly at Connors" outdoor studio on NH Route 14 took two months to complete. Sculpted to life, the moose stands some six feet at the shoulder and weighs about 1,500 pounds. Connors, who operates a sawmill at his home in Belmont, fashions his sculptures from native white pine. Apart from the hump, the body and head of the moose were carved from a single log while each of the legs are attached to the torso. He said that he roughed out the moose upside down, then attached the legs and righted the sculpture to finish the carving from its hooves to its nose. Once carved, the sculpture is finished with several costs of stain and polyurethane by Steve Edwards, who put the final touches to all his works.

Connors said that he has spoken with three prospective buyers and expects the moose will soon have a permanent home, but not, he added, until he has completed another one to peak the fancy of visitors flocking to the Lakes Region, some hoping to catch sight of a moose.

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John Connors of Sculptree LLC, known for his chainsaw sculptures and carvings as well as rustic furniture, stands aside his latest creation at his open air workshop on NH Route 104, where the lifelike moose all but stops passing traffic. (Michael Kitch/Laconia Daily Sun)

Middle School students use art to highlight their STEM skills (388 w/3 cuts)


LACONIA — Thursday afternoon was STE(A)M Day at Laconia Middle School and provided an opportunity for students in sixth through eighth grades to use art, hence the capital A, to show they are applying science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, in their studies.
Sixth-grader Katrina Hanks set up a display showing how she uses science and math in baking cakes and cupcakes from scratch and how she would run a business which sells the cakes.
Her display featured photos of the cakes as well as a business card she had designed to help her sales.
Zoe Lehneman, another sixth-grader, designed a display showing the water cycle at Laconia Middle School which charted what happens to rainwater which falls on the school.
Natalie Johnson, also a sixth-grader, set up a display showing pictures of her visit to the city of Laconia's water treatment facility on Stark Street and explained how the water which comes from Paugus Bay is treated and distributed.
The students worked several weeks on their projects, some of which were part of their curriculum according to Middle School Principal Christopher Ennis, who said that about 60 students took part in the event, which was designed to link art with technology.
He said that some of the projects worked on by eighth-graders are year-long efforts in which students create portfolios on computers which track what they have learned during and how they have used that knowledge.

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Natalie Johnson, a sixth-grader at Laconia Middle School, stands next to a display which shows photos of her visit to the city of Laconia's water treatment facility (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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Chantel Tabera, Memorial Middle School sixth-grader, listens as Katherine Hanks explains her display about how she uses science and math in baking cakes. Looking on is Zoe Lehneman, whose display describes the water cycle at Laconia Middle School. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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Aarohn Dethvongsa, an eighth-grader at Memorial Middle School, has created a portfolio on a computer which tracks his use of science, technology, engineering and math skills over the course of a school year. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)