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Hollywood glamour to Laconia CrossFit gym; native likes the road that led back to New Hampshire

LACONIA — One of the oldest themes in literature is that of returning home after a long journey and rediscovering the joy of the familiar, which is now viewed through the lens of the experiences of that journey, and transforms what had once been seen as commonplace into something special and transformative.
That is exactly what has happened to Keith Britton, owner of the CrossFit Juggernaut fitness center in the O'Shea Industrial Park, which will soon celebrate it's first anniversary.
Britton, 37, says that he grew up thinking about running his own business, and, after a detour which has taken him halfway around the world in a variety of careers, inducing modeling, acting on both television and on the big screen and raising venture capital for a Hollywood consulting firm, he finds contentment with what he's doing with his life.
''It's like a sense of mission. There's a sense here that what I'm doing can be used to change someone's life,. And that's very satisfying,'' says Britton, who grew up in Sandown, where he played football and baseball for Timberlane High School and was raised in a closely knit working-class family.
He returned to New Hampshire two and a half years ago after breaking ties with his fiancee, actress Zoe Saldana, of Avatar fame, after 11 years together and having become engaged in 2010.
He says that he had become tired of living in a high pressure world in which concern for success dominates every aspect of life.
Saldana spoke of her high regard for him after the breakup, saying ''He's a very independent soul. He understands what I do, but this is not what he fell in love with and that's what I love.' she said.
''I don't miss people knocking at my door and asking for an autograph. Hollywood wasn't for me. It's like living in a fish bowl where everyone is trying to take from one another. No wonder actors feel the need to get away to remote islands. It's the only way to deal with the pressure that's always there,'' says Britton.
He says that he's been busy since he returned to New Hampshire reinventing himself, starting out with a focus on his own health which saw him working out with friends in his garage and led him to start a new career as a fitness coach.
''I decided to get in shape. The pressure I was dealing with every day was taking its toll. Just getting away from it gave me some room to think about what I needed to do. Before I ever opened the business here I had nearly 50 people working out in my one-car garage. And three months after we opened there were 155 people signed up,'' says Britton.
He says that CrossFit isn't about just lifting weights or cardiovascular activity but takes all parts of fitness into account and that, in the words of former Laconia mayor Mike Seymour, a regular at the gym, what is taking place is ''way more than fitness.''
Seymour says that all new people in the program go through an assessment of their movement ability and that the coaches work with them on any weakness so that they can master techniques which will help them develop.
''It's like a family here, we all work together and support each other,'' says Britton, who has always been fascinated with the word Juggernaut, ever since he was small and saw a giant sailboat with that name.
''I found out that it meant an unstoppable force and I've always liked that idea. And when you think about it you see that a community like this becomes a juggernaut, because the power of determined and committed individuals makes it unstoppable.''
He said that he's also found a supportive atmosphere at The Grace Capital Church in downtown Laconia where he now worships and says he's glad to be living in the Lakes Region, where he finds the right balance that makes his life enjoyable and meaningful.


Keith Britton, owner of CrossFit Juggernaut, has had careers in both New York City and Hollywood but says he's now happy to be back to his New Hampshire roots and running a fitness business that helps change people's lives. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 12:31

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Tilton was only local Republican to vote for 4¢ hike in N.H. gasoline tax

CONCORD — When the N.H. House of Representatives voted yesterday to raise the gas tax by four cents per gallon — the first increase in 23 years — Rep. Frank Tilton, alone among the 13 Republican members of the Belknap County, voted with the majority.

Senate Bill 367, sponsored by Senator Jim Rausch (R-Derry), chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, carried the House 193 to 141, with members divided largely along party lines.

Four of the five Democrats — Reps. Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, Ruth Gulick of New Hampton, David Huot of Laconia and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — voted for the tax hike. Rep. Beth Arsenault was absent and did not vote.

Save for Tilton, the other 11 Republicans — Reps. Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Jane Cormier and Stephen Holmes of Alton, Dennis Fields of Sanbornton, Charles Fink and Michael Sylvia of Belmont, Don Flanders and Bob Luther of Laconia, and Herb Vadney and Colette Worsman of Meredith — voted against the increase. Rep. Bob Greemore of Meredith was absent and did not vote.

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 12:08

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Gilmanton man arrested for allededly warning intruders with gunshots

GILMANTON — A Bean Road man had been charged with one count of felony criminal threatening after allegedly firing a number of rounds from a .40 caliber handgun into the air to stop someone from coming onto his property.
Police said the incident occurred on April 16 at 8 Bean Road.
Jeffrey W. Sargent, 38, told police that at no point did he think his life was endangered but just wanted to keep people off his property.
Sargent is being held on $5,000 cash-only bail and is scheduled to appear in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division.

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 12:00

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Downtown antique center burglarized

LACONIA — The Laconia Antiques Center on Main Street was burglarized just before 3 a.m. Thursday morning.

Business owner Charlie St. Clair said yesterday that it appears two men used a rock or some other hard object to break in the lower part of the glass door on Hanover Street in order to enter the building.

Images of two people were captured by surveillance cameras. St. Clair said police are reviewing the video.

He said two display cases were targeted, glass was broken and some jewelry and other things stolen.

St. Cliar said it appears the men knew exactly which cases they were targeting because neither case was near the side door and the targeted cases were were in separate parts of the building.

"It's discouraging to have something like this happen in downtown Laconia," St. Clair said. "This is a good place to do business."

He said the Laconia Police Department "is on top of it" and he has every confidence the two men will be caught.

St. Clair said the antiques center has cameras and police are reviewing the video.

Det. Sgt. Thomas Sweet said yesterday that police continue to investigate and asks that anyone with any information call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Greater Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.


CAPTION: The Hanover Street side door was smashed by burglars early yesterday morning during a burglary at the Laconia Antiques Center on Main Street. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 11:59

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