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Suspected drunk driver airlifted to hospital after hitting New Durham cruiser head-on

NEW DURHAM – State Police say it appears alcohol may have been factor in a head-on crash early yesterday morning that resulted in minor injuries to a New Durham police officer on patrol and serious injuries to the driver of the second vehicle.

State Police said the cruiser was traveling east on Old Bay Road when the driver, Patrol Officer Michael Joy, saw a pickup truck being driven by Christopher Bean, 28, of New Durham headed toward him and driving erratically.

Police said Joy pulled off to the right and onto the shoulder, but was unable to avoid the crash.

Bean was taken by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center with what police described as serious injuries. Joy was taken by ambulance to Frisbee Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

Police from Alton, Farmington and Milton assisted at the scene as well as rescue crews from Farmington and New Durham.

State Police said it appears alcohol was a factor in the crash. They are asking anyone with any information to call N.H. State Trooper Christopher Storm at 223-8607.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 12:34

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Gilford rescuers search woods after cries for ‘help!’

GILFORD — Police, fire and N.H. Fish and Game searched in the Weeks Woods area yesterday for what was reported as a person crying for help.

Police Lt. Kris Kelley said a hunter told them he was in the woods and heard what sounded like someone calling for help. The hunter left the woods and called police.

Kelley said after interviewing the hunter, police accompanied the man back to the spot where he reported hearing the cries. He said police did a cursory search and then called Gilford Fire and Rescue for assistance.

"If there is someone out there, we need to try and find him or her," he said, saying he's not sure what the hunter heard, but said police believe he was being truthful to them.

He said police have not had any reports of anyone being missing. He said they went to houses in the area to see if anyone was missing and said no one said anyone was missing.

Kelley said Fish and Game took over the search and Gilford Police and Gilford Fire and Rescue stopped their portion of the search.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 12:42

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Suit over awkward burial situation at Bayside Cemetery leads to lawsuit

LACONIA — A Tilton man is suing the Bayside Cemetery Association and a Massachusetts family for breach of contract because he claims the cemetery sold one of the plots in his family's site a second time to the Massachusetts family who buried one of their relatives there.

According to pleadings filed in the Belknap County Superior Court, Kenneth Dame purchased two grave sites, one for himself and another for his wife, in 1987 for their interment when the time came. Eleven other members of the Dame family are buried in the family plot and two additional plots are reserved for other Dame family members.

On Aug. 30, 2013, Michael Girardi died and arrangements were made for his burial in Bayside Cemetery.

Dame claims that the administrator of the cemetery sold Girardi's family one of Dame's lots. The administrator died about two weeks later and the error was discovered almost immediately However, Girardi's family will not give permission to have him disinterred and reburied at a different plot – even at the cemetery's expense.

According to the paperwork, Dame was offered a second double plot but it is 60 feet away from his family's lot with "dozens" of reserved or used spaces between the two.

The proposed solution, "...is much too far for him to agree too," wrote Dame's lawyer.

Dame claims that while the courts have determined that "good and substantial reasons must be shown before disinterment is to be sanctioned... the right to have a dead body remain unmolested is not an absolute one," but must be granted where reasons of the public good or the demands of justice require it.

He claims the cemetery breached its contract with him and was negligent in its administration of its affairs. Dame is demanding that the court order the remains of Girardi be moved and reburied at a suitable site.

Dame is also asking the cemetery and Girardi's family to pay for his attorney's fees.

Cemetery Trustee Edwin Burliegh said he hadn't read the court paperwork and declined to comment.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 02:07

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A day after his release from prison, man who kicked roommate to death detained for drunkenness

LACONIA – Within one day of his release from N.H. State Prison, a former local man who kicked his roommate to death in 2011 was detained by city police for drunkenness.

Police Capt. William Clary confirmed yesterday that officers responded to Keasor Court Sunday night for a disturbance complaint and detained Jason Durgin, 40, of Pleasant Street in Concord.

Belknap County Corrections Superintendent Daniel Ward said Durgin was taken into jail custody just before 11 p.m. Sunday and released Monday at 9:30 a.m. He is not facing any new charges.

In June 2012 a Belknap County jury convicted Durgin of negligent homicide for the 2011 beating and kicking death of Leo LaPierre – a transient who occasionally stayed in the trailer Durgin rented behind Quik Laundry on South Main Street.

LaPierre was found unconscious by some friends of one of Durgin's other roommates and she called the police. He was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital and flown to Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon where he died about six days later without regaining consciousness.

When police first arrived at the home around 9:30 a.m., Durgin and his roommate refused to come out of the trailer. The roommate testified at his trial that he held her down on the bed and refused to let her go to the door and speak with the police. Eventually the two came out of the trailer without further incident.

The roommate also testified that the night before, she saw Durgin punch and kick LaPierre during an argument.

After his conviction, Durgin received the maximum sentence of 3½ to 7 years in State Prison. Credited with 406 days of pre-trial confinement, Durgin served 2½ years and was released on parole on Nov. 13, said Jeff Lyons, a spokesman for the State Department of Corrections.

Lyons said Durgin is on parole until April 29, 2018.

In December of 2013, the N.H. Supreme Court upheld Durgin's conviction in a unanimous decision. He had argued that his defense team had been prohibited from offering an alternative theory of the crime and that one of the witnesses against him had allegedly unlawfully used his EBT card.

Clary said the LPD would be notifying Durgin's parole officer about his department's recent contact with him.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 12:26

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