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Walker Street parking lot owner says business is in compliance with all city regulations

LACONIA — Planning Director Shanna Saunders said yesterday that she intends to meet soon with the owners of Laconia Refrigeration, LLC, Steve and Kara Olson, to address the traffic and parking issues at the foot of Walker Street..

The company, doing business as Fat Boy ole, LLC, owns three lots on Walker Street nears its junction with Union Avenue, all of which lie within the commercial district: 0.36-acres at the corner with Butler Street, where the Lakes Refrigeration and Lake City Auto Body operate; 0.18-acres at the corner with Union Avenue, housing the the 405 Pub & Grill; and 0.32-acres across the street with a storage building and parking spaces for the restaurant.

Several residents of the adjacent neighborhoods have complained about the congestion arising from the operation of three businesses. Saunders said that the Planning Department specified that the loading and unloading of trucks, along with on-street parking, was not to obstruct traffic. At the same time, she said that in approving construction of the storage building, the department prohibited outdoor storage on the remainder of the lot, which was to be used exclusively for parking, and required that the lot be screened from the street.

Steve Olson insisted this week that he has complied with the terms of the city's approval. Acknowledging that "it is busy street," he said that trucks are loaded and unloaded on Butler Street in order to keep Walker Street clear for through traffic. He said that a handful of the parking spaces in the lot across the street are used to temporarily store what he called "revolving inventory" and that the 23 spaces designated for the restaurant are always available.

Olson said that with three thriving businesses the street can become congested, but no more so than most other commercial areas in the city, including Union Avenue where delivery trucks often block traffic.

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 January 2015 02:10

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Belmont man dies after crash on Rte. 3 in Tilton

TILTON — A Belmont man died Thursday morning at Lakes Region General Hospital after being transported there by ambulance following an accident.

Police said yesterday that Mark A. Gonyer, 52, was the sole occupant of the truck that apparently failed to negotiate the east bound curve on Route 3 near Rusty's Towing.

The truck went straight off the road while headed east and landed in the parking lot said a witness to the crash.

Tilton Police said that there is reason to think Gonyer had a medical condition that may have caused the accident and said an autopsy was done yesterday but the results was not being released.

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 January 2015 01:57

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Employee charged with conspiracy in robbery of restaurant

LACONIA — Police have charged a female employee of D'Angelo's restaurant with three crimes related to the unarmed robbery of the business on December 29 allegedly committed by her friend Brian Moore of Plymouth.

Skyla Farquharson, 21, of 54 Morrill Street is facing one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, one count of criminal liability for the conduct of another, and one count of hindering apprehension.

That she was charged was made public yesterday at Moore's probable cause hearing, held in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division.

During defense attorney Justin Littlefield's cross examination of a police officer, he asked if Farquharson had been charged and the officer said she had. Prosecutor Jim Sawyer chose not to address any charges against her during his direct examination of the officer regarding Moore's alleged role in the robbery.

On December 29, 2014 around restaurant closing time, Moore allegedly entered the back door of the restaurant when one of their young employees was taking out the trash. Moore allegedly grabbed the employee by the neck or collar and pushed his way into the store. He was wearing a mask.

The young employee jumped over the counter and left the store from a different exit and called the police.

Moore allegedly told Farquharson and a second employee to lay face down on the floor while he took between $700 and $800 from the register and fled.

Police said Moore had parked across the street near the loading dock of VIP auto parts.

At yesterday's hearing, police testified that the only place the police dog seemed to pick up a track was near that spot. The officer also testified that when Moore returned to the store to pick up Farquharson, the K-9 was already back in his cruiser.

Police also testified that on Moore's second interrogation by police and after being reminded he was under the original Miranda warning, that he confessed to the robbery after being told police had a warrant for a DNA swab to match with two fresh cigarette butts found near the back door.

In her interviews with police, Farquharson told them she had been joking with Moore about robbing the store in late November or early December but that the conversation started to become serious as it progressed. Police said yesterday they have a witness to at least one of those conversations.

Police asked Farquaharson if they would find text messages or other communication between her and Moore about business that day if they got a warrant to search her phone. She said they would.

Police also testified that Farquharson and Moore allegedly took the clothes he was wearing that night and disposed of some of them in Belmont and some of them in Plymouth.

Judge Jim Carroll found probable cause for the charges Moore faces — robbery and two counts of witness tampering and ordered bail remain at $5,000 cash.

The case against Moore will be bound over for possible indictment by a Belknap County grand jury. Farquharson remains free on bail and has not yet appeared in court.

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 January 2015 01:52

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Belknap Commission will try to get firms to reduce outstanding 2014 legal bills

LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioners held their first meeting yesterday with newly-sworn in commissioner Hunter Taylor of Alton on board and wasted no time putting his legal background to use, naming him to work with law firms which are owed $60,000 by the county to try and lower those bills.
''I'm willing to do that,'' said Taylor after commission Chairman Richard Burchell of Gilmanton said that he would ''never sign a request for a (inter-operating budget) transfer after the line item was expended,'' and said that from his standpoint ''some of the bills were drawn with a heavy hand".
The county rang up nearly $100,000 in legal bills in 2014, largely due to a dispute over budget authority between the Belknap County Convention and the former members of the commission, and has expended nearly all of the $40,000 which was appropriated last year for legal expenses.
Commissioners yesterday also approved a $40,000 contract with Kevin Warwick, president of Alternative Solutions Associates, Inc., for development of a plan of programs for a community corrections (rehabilitation) facility in Belknap County.
Warwick serves as a consultant to Sullivan County's Department of Corrections and is a recognized national leader in establishing community-based programs and was recommended to the commission as a consultant by Belknap County Corrections Superintendent Dan Ward. Burchell and DeVoy are both familiar with Warwick and his work, having met him during a visit to the Sullivan County (Claremont) Community Corrections Center.
Also working with Warwick on the study will be Ross Cunningham, former superintendent of the Sullivan County House of Corrections who is now the assistant superintendent of at the Merrimack County House of Corrections.
DeVoy pressed Ward to try and have Warwick complete the study within 90 days and Ward said that Warwick was concerned that the study be thorough and that he didn't want to cut corners.
The study will also build upon the Ricci Greene Associates study completed for the former commissioners with an eye to a stand-alone facility for a community corrections center.
Ward said that a grant of between $6,000 and $10,000 mat be available from the National Correctional Institute to help reduce the costs of the study.
Taylor said that physical facility was not as important as the programs and that it was essential to get started as soon as possible on the study.
Ward also announced that Captain David Berry, a 20-year veteran with the Belknap County House of Corrections, has resigned effective in two weeks and will be leaving to become the Sullivan County Corrections superintendent.
Ward said that he was looking to fill that position internally and was also preparing to hire a new community corrections officer from a field of five candidates.
Commissioners also discussed the possible relocation of the Restorative Justice program headed by Brian Loanes from the Belknap County Courthouse to office space in the administrative wing of the Belknap County complex, where it could work more closely with case managers from the Department of Corrections.
Loanes said that he would develop a proposal to present to the commissioners when they meet next Thursday.
Commissioner also discussed the reimbursement of administrative costs from the Belknap County Home with Nursing Home Administrator Mathew Logue, who said that there was an online system run by the Department of Health and Human Services which even takes office costs into account for private nursing homes.
''It's been reported that we lose revenue if we don't have administrative support costs in our budget. I want to make sure we're capturing all of our costs and being reimbursed properly,'' said DeVoy.

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 January 2015 01:37

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