Passing fakes - Two arrested after ‘getting rid’ of counterfeit bills by spending them at Landmark


LACONIA — Police arrested a transient man and woman over the weekend and charged them with being involved in counterfeiting in the area.

08-22 Melinda McDonald 08-22 Kyle Joyce

Melinda McDonald, 36, was charged with two counts of forgery and Kyle Joyce, 31, was charged with two counts of criminal liability for another. Police list both as transient.

According to police statements and affidavits obtained from the Belknap County Superior Court, McDonald and Joyce tried to pay for a room at the Landmark Inn with a false $20 bill and a false $100 dollar bill on Aug. 8 and Aug. 9 relatively.

Affidavits said police interviewed the two on Aug. 9 and were told by them that they had gotten about $200 in fake money from someone in Lakeport and were passing it to "get rid" of it.

Capt. Matt Canfield said Monday that police continued their investigation and got warrants for each of them. He said police responded to a shoplifting call Sunday afternoon at Walmart and found and arrested both of them on Gilford Place on the outstanding warrants.

Canfield said that some of the counterfeit money, which was not of good quality and had the feel of being very thick and waxy, has been recovered in a storage area for an apartment on Academy Street.

Canfield said the people who own the house and currently rent the apartment don't have anything to do with the counterfeiting.

He said police continue to investigate and they have been in touch with the U.S. Treasury Department and the Secret Service, who operate from that department and who investigate counterfeiting.

Both McDonald and Joyce entered not guilty pleas in court Monday. Joyce was released on $10,000 personal recognizance and McDonald is being held on $2,000 cash or corporate surety.

Belmont selectmen OK new fire truck


BELMONT — Selectmen accepted the fire chief's recommendation that the department spend $530,950 on a new fire engine but not without expressing some reservations about the manufacturer.

Chief Ken Erickson said the internal truck committee spent five months researching a replacement for the 1998 Engine 2 and got two bids – one from Pierce and one from E-One.

After Erickson recommended Pierce, largely because of the extended warranty on the galvanized steel frame rails, Selectman Jon Pike said Belmont had a previous problem collecting on a warranty from Pierce on a similar issue.

Apparently, said Pike, Pierce was purchased by Oshkosh in 1996, after the town bought the truck and Oshkosh failed to honor the Pierce warranty. Pike said that the town chose Pierce at the time because of the warranty.

Pike noted that the Laconia Fire Department, unlike Belmont, was successful at the time in getting some satisfaction from their warranty but Erickson said it was because the city went to the insurance company that issued it.

Erickson told selectmen that no contracts were signed and that before one was, he would bring it and all of the warranty paperwork to the town administrator who would have the town attorney and Primex, the town's insurer, review it.

Other reasons why Erickson recommended Pierce over E-One, who had the lowest bid, was because the money from the 10-year-lease offered by them would be deliverable to them once the contract is signed and not when the town takes delivery of the truck, which will be in about 10 months. With a one-year delay for the first payment, this lowered the annual payment from nearly $64,000 to $62,000.

Pierce offered a better trade-in value, doubled the prepaid discounts and extended the warranty on the body from 10 to 12 years.

Both bids were for stainless steel cabs, multiplex wiring and galvanized steel frame rails.

The Pierce bid was for $530,950 and the E-One bid was for $512,037. Factoring in the difference in the extended warranties by Pierce, its truck is $4,713 more than the E-One  truck.

Three youths plucked from lake Saturday, one sent to Boston Children’s Hospital

GILFORD — Three young people nearly drowned Saturday while swimming near Governor's Island on Lake Winnipesaukee after a wave pushed them into water that was too deep for them.

According to the state Marine Patrol, an 18-year-old girl, a 15-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy were initially swimming in waist-deep water after arriving in the area with their family on a pontoon boat.

After seeing them struggle, the owner of the boat, Ali Cheema, 24, of East Elmhurst, New York, pulled up anchor and tried to get them back into his boat. Other nearby boaters also assisted.

The three were brought aboard and the 15-year-old boy was given CPR. He and the other two were taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital. The 15-year-old was transferred to Boston Children's Hospital while the other two stayed in Laconia. All three were conscious.

Gilford and Laconia Fire Departments assisted Marine Patrol.

– Gail Ober