Maintenance of Winnisquam Scenic Trail to be handled by town workers


BELMONT — Selectmen decided Monday night that the minor maintenance that will be needed by the newly created Winnisquam Scenic Trail can be handled through the town administrator's office.

Trail coordinator Ron Mitchell told the board that while he was able to get a volunteer crew to do a final clean up of the section of the trail from the town beach to the Laconia city line, he said the volunteer crews are getting smaller and smaller.

Selectmen agreed with Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin, who said that once the project was finished, it is the responsibility of the town. She said the insurance company was ambiguous about volunteer help and liability but said that volunteers should not be using their own equipment there.

Beaudin said that, like with other town amenities like the pavilion, if any maintenance is needed, she determines what department should handle it, although it's usually Buildings and Grounds.

Public Works Director Jim Fortin said the only real "maintenance" needed is mowing the grass from the Laconia city line to the public beach and since crews already mowed from the Belknap Mall to the beach, it shouldn't be much of an issue to extend the territory a bit.

Mitchell said that most of the people who use the trail pick up after themselves and pick up after others, so he doesn't foresee any huge costs to the town.

Overfilled kerosene heater leads to fire

LACONIA — Firefighters from Laconia, Gilford and Belmont were called to 283 Province St. at 1:33 a.m. on Monday where they found a fire smoldering on the front lawn. The residents told firefighters they had refilled a kerosene heater to overflowing, which then caught fire in the living room. They were able to remove the heater from the house without being injured and then drag a garden hose into the house to extinguish fire in the living room and on an outside wall, according to Fire Chief Ken Erickson.

Laconia students vote heavily Republican in mock elections


LACONIA — Save for U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the Republican ticket fared well at the hands of students at Laconia High School, nearly half of whom went to the polls in mock election on Friday.

In the contest for the presidency, Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, edged Democrat Hillary Clinton by 118 to 102 to win by 16 votes. Trump captured 47 percent and Clinton 42 percent of the 252 votes cast while Gary Johnson with 18 votes and Bernie Sanders with 14 votes split the balance.

The students also preferred the Republican candidate for governor as Chris Sununu claimed 59 percent of the vote in topping Democrat Colin van Ostern by a margin of 147 to 102.

And Republican Frank Guinta was the students' choice in the 1st Congressional District, narrowly withstanding the challenge from Democrat Carol Shea-Porter, with 125 votes to her 111.

But, in the race for the United States Senate, the students chose the Democrat, Gov. Maggie Hassan, over the Republican Ayotte, the sitting senator, by 151 votes to 108 votes.

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Students at Laconia High School cast their ballots for the the 2016 candidates in a mock election Friday. They chose Trump by 16 votes. (Courtesy photos)