LACONIA — A Belknap County grand jury indicted three people on Thursday for a variety of charges relating to getting drugs into the county jail on or about February of 2013.
According to the indictments, April Tyrrell, 49, whose address was given as the Belknap County House of Corrections is charged with one felony count of being an accomplice to delivery of articles to a prisoner and one count of conspiracy to deliver articles to prisoners.
Jonathan Bristow, 50, whose address was given as 1040-A Route 132 in New Hampton in charged with one count of conspiracy to deliver articles to prisoners and one count of delivery of articles to prisoners.
Patricia Kennett, 30, of the N.H. Prison for Women in Goffstown is charged with one count of conspiracy to deliver articles to prisoners.
Indictments alleged that the three spoke about getting drugs into the jail by having Bristow come to visit and use duct tape to secure a package containing them under a radiator in the public restroom. The type and amount of drugs has not been identified.
One of Tyrrell's House of Corrections assignments was to clean the bathroom in the evenings. Tyrrell was sentenced in December of 2012 to serve 12 months in county jail by a Belknap County Superior Court judge for three counts of drug possession.
The conspiracy was uncovered when the Kennett and Bristow allegedly spoke on the telephone and used Tyrrell to retrieve the drugs.
Kennett was being held in county jail during the time of the alleged drug smuggling conspiracy on a probation violation.
Kennett was convicted of robbery on February 2, 2012 for a purse snatching she committed in downtown Laconia on October 26, 2011 and sentenced to serve 1 to 3 years in New Hampshire State Prison.
She was put on probation but records say in December of 2012 she violated the terms by living with a new boyfriend at a different address, admitting to being an accomplice to burglary, associating with people who were also on probation, admitting the use of a variety of illegal drugs including cocaine, heroin, and benzodiazapines while on probation, and failing to complete a drug program while on release.
Corrections Superintendent Daniel Ward said he couldn't comment on this specific case or investigation. As to smuggling any kind of contraband into the jail, he said his department routinely investigate allegations and incidents and then turns the cases over to the Belknap County Sheriff's Department for investigation.
"If we have any evidence the sheriff turns it over to the Belknap County Attorney and she will prosecute every time," he said.
Ward says he wants to dispel the concept that jail or prisons are lawless cultures. "On the contrary, we are very disciplined," he said.
"If you can't follow the rules in jail then how can you expect to follow them when you're not in jail," he said.
He said drugs in jail are dangerous for a number of reasons including the safety of the prisoners who don't use them, prisoners who may accidentally overdose or have an allergic reactions, and his staff. Over his years in corrections, he said people have tried hundreds of different ways to get drugs, weapons, or cigarettes into jails and prisons and he and his officers have generally dealt with some version of all of them.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 01:59
LACONIA — A woman on White Oaks Road said she initially thought she was losing her mind when she woke from a nap about two weeks ago and saw three miniature horses being led down her road by two people.
Barbara Ricker said yesterday when her husband Everett returned from hiking, she told him about what she saw and he told her she must have been dreaming.
As it turns out, it's likely Ricker wasn't dreaming that day nor was she loosing her mind. One of her neighbors from across the street saw the same thing.
Fast forward two weeks and the horses were back eating food offered to them but unwilling to be captured and adept at avoid it.
For the past two days they have been seen repeatedly along White Oaks Road, eluding capture by being able to dart away when anyone went to grab them. Fearing for the safety of the horses or motorists traveling along the roadway, the Rickers called the police — as did a number of their neighbors.
While police were trying to find the owners, last night the horses fell into an inadvertent trap and wandered into to one of Ricker's neighbors' outdoor dog pens. Safe behind fencing, police were called and said they have been able to locate the owner of the horses.
Sgt. Tom Swett said officers have been chasing the three horses on and off since Sunday. He said yesterday afternoon that while he personally hasn't seen the animals, a few of his officers have.
"We've been patrolling frequently on the road," Swett said, agreeing with the Rickers and the neighbors that there are enough traffic accidents on White Oaks Road without adding three wandering horses to the mix.
Swett said there is a city ordinance regulating livestock trespass and though the ponies are in temporary custody in the dog pen, the owner could find him or herself in the doghouse.
On May 1, a few horses were photographed by a family that lives in Paugus Woods — a housing development off White Oaks Road that is about halfway down the road that runs from the Weirs Boulevard to Route 11-B in the Weirs.
It's not known if they are the same horses.
CAPTION: Mary Hebert feeds a carrot to one of the seemingly wild miniature horses that have been roaming around her White Oaks Road neighborhood for the past two weeks. (Everett Ricker photo)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 07:31
LACONIA — The annual survey prepared by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA) pictures a tight residential rental market across much of the state — including Laconia — marked by low vacancy rates and slowly rising rents.
Each year the NHHFA assesses market conditions by questioning property owners and managers who offer units for year-round rent at market rates, culling seasonal and subsidized units from their sample.
Statewide the vacancy rate was 3.4-percent for all rental units and 3.3-percent for two-bedroom units, which is close to the turnover rate of 2 percent representing the usual comings and goings of tenants. The median gross monthly rent, including utilities, was $1,018 for all units and $1,076 for two-bedroom units.
In Laconia, the vacancy rate was 3.6 percent for all units and 5.6 percent for two-bedroom units. The median gross monthly rent was $920 for all units and $953 for two-bedroom units, effectively the highest the survey has reported in the last 23 years.
According to the 2010 census, 2,978 of the 6,838 housing units in Laconia that are occupied year-round, or 44-percent, were homes to 6,399 renters, who represented 40-percent of all residents.
Dan Smith of the NHHFA said that the rental market has been shaped by two recessions, the first in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the second beginning in 2008. In the late 1980s, speculative construction swelled the inventory of new homes, especially condominium units. When the market collapsed for lack of demand, the landscape was littered with unsold units, many of which were purchased by investors and thrown on to the rental market.
Rents plummeted. By 1992, the median gross monthly rent for all units touched $560 statewide and $476 in Laconia while the numbers for two bedroom units were $608 and $498 respectively. By 1996 rents began to recover and have risen steadily ever since, including through the recent recession. In Laconia, between 2003 and 2013, the median gross monthly rent has climbed 57 percent for all units and 52 percent for two-bedroom units.
Unlike the first recession, which left a glut of unsold housing units, Smith said that when the recent recession struck there was no excess supply of housing. He said that the loss of jobs and income forced significant numbers of homeowners into foreclosure, especially those who purchased homes with mortgages beyond their means. Meanwhile, relatively few rental units were constructed after the prior recession because the low but rising rents would not support the costs of development. Consequently, Smith explained, as the number of unemployed and foreclosed rose, the demand for rental housing increased, sustaining the upward pressure on rents.
Smith anticipated little change in the rental market in the near future. He expected demand to remain constant as uncertainty about job prospects and tightening credit standards led many potential home buyers to prefer to rent. Likewise, college graduates burdened with student loan debt and foreclosed homeowners with poor credit scores are virtually driven to rent. If demand for rental units is unlikely to shrink, Smith doubted that with slow population growth and low household formation rates it was any more likely to rise significantly. Without an appreciable rise in demand, he foresaw no significant increase in the stock of rental units and suggested any new construction would be aimed at the top of the rental market.
Rents, Smith expected, would continue to rise, perhaps in pace with inflation, which would likely increase the ranks of those paying more than 30 percent for housing, which he estimated at about 40 percent of renter households while allowing the share may be slightly higher in Laconia.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 01:44
LACONIA — ''What kind of a cane is this?'' asked 102-year-old Rachel Gilbert, after she was presented with the Laconia Centennial Cane in a ceremony at the Belknap County Nursing Home Tuesday afternoon.
Ann Dearborn Kaligian, who presented the cane, explained that it was a Centennial Cane, originally from the Dearborn family which her late husband, Bob, had first presented to Madeline Whalen, at that time the city's oldest resident, during the city's 1993 Centennial celebration.
"I never thought I'd require a cane,'' said Gilbert, who said that yesterday's ceremony ''was something I never expected.''
Kaligian recalled that Gilbert's husband, Eugene, built a ranch style house for her and her husband in Laconia in 1962 which cost them $16,000.
''He built a lot and I was the bookkeeper,'' said Gilbert, who despite her age still has vivid memories of growing up on Winter Street in Laconia as one of 11 children in the Frank Morin family. Her grandfather, J.P. Morin, owned the Belknap Mill.
Gilbert says that for two years when she was a teenager she took the train every day from Laconia to Concord, where she attended Concord Business School, earning a degree in business in 1929.
''I really appreciated that diploma. I still have it on the wall of my room here at the County Home,'' she says. ''It was a different time. But we had a lot of fun as a family.''
Her daughters Marie Anne Mills of Laconia and Helen Nickel of Gilford and son Paul Gilbert of Ellington, Conn., attended the ceremony, along with many members of both the Morin and Gilbert families.
''Dad was one a family of 16,'' said Nickel, who says that her parents were ''awesome people. There wasn't anything we didn't have. They provided a good education for all of us and were all that you could ask parents to be.''
Mills says that her mother was especially proud of her Concord Business College degree. ''She earned it in a time in which not many women went to college.
Gilbert is only the third person to receive the Centennial Cane. Bob Dearborn, who had started the tradition, died in 1996 and it wasn't until April of 2007 that the cane, which had been donated to the Laconia Historical & Museum Society, was rediscovered.
Last year it was presented to 101-year-old Doris Barnes, who was just a few months older than Gilbert. Barnes died in April.
Historical & Museum Society Director Brenda Polidoro presented Gilbert with a proclamation signed by the society's president Ernie Bolduc which reiterated the society's intent to carry on the tradition introduced by the Dearborns.
On an annual basis, the Society's Centennial Cane Committee will search to identify the eldest member in the Laconia community and present the cane to them during the month of July. Although the Centennial Cane will be part of the presentation ceremony, the cane will actually be kept on display at the Laconia Public Library, where the Laconia Historical and Museum Society's office is located.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 01:39
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