Maine Coon cats strut their stuff at Laconia cat show

LACONIA — Among those taking part in the Veteran Cats show over the weekend at VFW Post 1670 was Carol Pedley of Standish, Maine, who has been breeding Maine Coon cats for 44 years, making her the longest active breeder of Maine Coon cats in the country.
Pedley says that the Maine Coon, large and sociable cats known as ‘’gentle giants,’’ have a long and unique history and are perhaps the only recognized cat of distinctly American origin.
She brought along several cats to the show, including a kitten Le Beau Minu Domino, who carries the name of her cattery in Standish, which she opened in 1972.
Pedley said Maine Coons, which are among the largest domesticated cats in the world, were popular at cat shows in the late 19th century cat shows but their existence became threatened when long-haired breeds were imported from other countries in the early 20th century. They have since made a comeback and are now one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.
‘’A Maine Coon won the very first cat show in North America, which was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1895,’’ said Pedley.
Another enthusiastic Maine Coon owner was Diane Guisti of West Warwick, Rhode Island, who was showing 6-month old Waylon.
‘’I just love this breed. They’re really have personalities like dogs. They want to be with you all the time and follow you wherever you go,’’ she said.
More than 70 cats and household pets were entered in the weekend show, sponsored by the United Maine Coon Cat Association, which featured four show rings each day and a variety of breeds ranging from Himalayan, Rag Doll, Persian, Abyssinian, Scottish Fold, Exotic and Oriental, as well as all-breed household pets.
Among the youngest cats was Booja-Booja, a 6-month-old chocolate exotic longhair owned by Sheila Walter of Newport.
‘’It’s only his second cat show but he’s already won a ribbon as the best long-haired kitten,’’ said Walter, who said Booja-Booja has a good personality and enjoys riding in car. She plans to start showing him in the cats category after the first of the year.
A veteran award-winner, Fendi, a 4-year-old Himalayan owned by Stephanie Paris of Ipswish, Massachusetts, was also at the show. He has won trophies two years in a row as the best long-haired altered cat.
‘’He has blue eyes and long hair and he thinks he’s the king,’’ said Paris, who started entering her pets in shows five years ago buying them from an enthusiastic breeder who showed her how to get involved in cat shows.

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Town of Gilford saves thousands by buying fuel at consumer prices (353)

GILFORD – When the state Department of Transportation notified the town that its pumps on Lily Pond Road were closing for a few days for upgrades, Town Administrator Scott Dunn discovered that buying gas and diesel at the station across the road was much cheaper.

If gas prices stay at or near where they are in 2016, he anticipates the town will save $7,500 in automotive fuel costs alone.

"The state was charging $2.74, and we could drive to a gas station and get it for around $2.01," he said. Using a conservative savings estimate, he said the town uses approximately 30,000 gallons of fuel annually and if it can save 25 cents per gallon, that equals the projected $7,500.

DOT Fuel Allocation Manager Brian Pike said yesterday that District 3 – which covers the Lakes Region – has locked in a price for unleaded fuel for $2.74 through July 31, 2017. He said it was a 30-month contract that was in effect until it expires or until Area 3 uses $6,214,563 gallons or 85 percent of its usage in the years preceding the contract.

Pike said the Gilford DOT pump station was only closed for a week or so and has since reopened. The reason for the temporary closure was so the state could upgrade the tanks and pumps to meet Department of Environmental Services standards. He said work on the DOT station in Belmont began yesterday and the Loudon pump station is already above ground and doesn't need to be upgraded.

Pike said the upgrades were necessary because the town of Belmont said no to a new DOT pumping station at the intersection of Route 106 and Brown Road a few months ago.

Dunn said that in the time the town stopped buying gas from the state pumps, it has signed up for a WEX Universal Fleet gas-purchasing system that uses a credit card and that strips out the excise taxes during the purchase. Before the town got the card, Dunn said he would apply to the state and federal governments for rebates of the excise tax charged to regular consumers but not other government agencies.

So far this year, Dunn estimates the town has saved about $2,000.

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City home uninhabitable after fire, no one hurt

LACONIA — Despite the timely response of firefighters, fire destroyed a wooden shed as well as damaged a two-story home and attached garage at 24 Beaman St. yesterday, leaving it uninhabitable.

The homeowner repeatedly said to firefighters "I can't believe how fast the fire spread," according to the Laconia Fire Department's press release.

Fire Chief Ken Erickson said the department received several reports of fire shortly before 1:30 p.m., and six firefighters from Central Station arrived "within minutes" to find the rear of building fully engulfed by a fire that had begun to spread to the house and garage, as well as through fallen leaves toward an abutting property on Rowell Street. He said firefighters ran a two-and-half inch hose, pumping 300 gallons of water a minute, to the back of the building "and stopped the fire dead in its tracks." Firefighters ran a second two-inch hose into a side door of the house which slowed the progress and ultimately extinguished fire that spread from the rear of the building along the soffits.

One man who was in the building when the fire started had left safely by the time firefighters reached the scene. No one was injured.

Erickson said that it was not clear whether the fire began inside or outside the rear of the building, but noted that along with the shed and garage a porch at the back of the house was severely damaged. He estimated the value of the damage to exceed $70,000. According to Zillow.com, the property last sold in December 2014 for $62,500. It is a duplex with a garage and workshop space.

Laconia firefighters were assisted by crews from Belmont, Gilford, Franklin, Meredith, Tilton-Northfield, Franklin and Sanbornton.

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