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Kim Lacasse: Unsung Hero recognized

LACONIA — Kim Lacasse, administrative assistant at Woodland Heights Elementary School, was presented with the 14th annual Annette P. Schmitt Unsung Hero Award in a gathering held at C.J. Avery's restaurant on Thursday evening.
Lured to the meeting by her husband, Scott, on the pretext that they were coming to see a car show at the Lakeport eatery, an obviously surprised Lacasse was ushered in to an upstairs meeting room where she was greeted with a round of applause by friends, family and co-workers and presented with the award by local attorney Bud Martin.
The award is presented annually by the Annette P. Schmitt Trust and the Granite United Way and honors someone who has worked behind the scenes on behalf of children and families in the Lakes Region.
Martin said that Lacasse, who lives in Gilford and is an avid auto racing fan, was described by those who nominated her as someone who is ''unstoppable in providing families and children with the support they need'' and who has made a huge difference in the lives of many children.
Lacasse is member of the board of directors of the Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region, to whom she will give the $1,000 donation which comes with the prize, and is involved in the WLNH Children's Auction as a member of Pub Mania's Dream Team Supreme, and is credited with starting the Polar Express Movie Night for students, organizing the efforts of parents to transform the school gym into a winter wonderland.
Lacasse said that she was surprised and honored by the award and was told by Jack Terrill, senior vice president of community impact for the Granite United Way, that her name will be engraved on the perpetual plaque of previous winners of the award.
Among those present for the presentation was last year's winner Claire Persson of Laconia and Janet Brough, also of Laconia, who is administrative assistant for the Superintendent of School's office in Laconia.
The award is given in memory of Schmitt, a woman from the Hanover and Lebanon area who at her death awarded a large portion of her estate to improving the lives of children and families in the Lakes Region.
The award has been given consecutively since 2002 in honor of individuals who give unselfishly of their time on behalf of children and families in Belknap County.

PHOTO CAPTION: ix slugged Kim Lacasse

Kim Lacasse of Gilford, administrative assistant at Woodland Heights Elementary School in Laconia and a member of the board of directors of the Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region, is presented with the Annette P. Schmitt Unsung Hero Award by Bud Martin at C.J. Avery's in Lakeport. (Roger Amsden/ for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 01:06

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Police say woman helped 2 men held at knife point escape

LACONIA — A Jewett Street man is being held on $50,000 cash bail for two counts of attempted robbery and two counts of kidnapping after an incident at his home Wednesday night.

Police affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division said Matthew Cullen invited two men to come to his apartment at 20 Jewett St. to do some drinking.

The two men, who later flagged down a police officer near the Public Library at 10:26 p.m. Wednesday said they went into house and then Cullen allegedly flashed a leatherman-style knife at them and ordered them upstairs.

The victim's told police that once upstairs, Cullen allegedly continued to hold the two at knife point while demanding their drugs. He allegedly went through one victim's bags and then dumped the second victim's bag on the floor.

A female, later identified as Cullen's girlfriend, arrive home and is said to have gotten between Cullen and the two men. She opened a window and told the two victims to go out of the fire escape.

One man made it down the wooden fire escape while the other jumped off it, causing himself injury, said police.

Police interviewed the girlfriend and she told a story that was consistent with what the two victims has said. She described the knife and said she was the one who had them escape through the window and the fire escape.

Police learned the man was Matthew Cullen.

At 12:28 a.m., two other police officers were sent to an area on Main Street for a 911 hangup call. The number used in the call, said police, belonged to Matthew Cullen's brother but they were unable to locate anyone.

At 1:04 a.m. police were sent to Cumberland Farms store on Court Street after Matthew Cullen's brother called police again and told them his brother was at the store. He warned police that his brother was intoxicated.

Two officers made contact with Cullen in the store but after he was searched for weapons, he allegedly became combative and refused to be taken into custody.

After being warned several time to stop resisting, Cullen was sprayed with pepper spray and he began to comply with police.

Police allegedly found two cartons of Marlborough cigarettes in Cullen's waistband.

He was charged with two counts of attempted robbery, two counts of kidnapping, one count of resisting arrest and one count of shoplifting.

Cullen was represented by public defender yesterday. The attorney preserved Cullen's rights to hold a bail hearing in the immediate future.

He was ordered held on $50,000 cash-only bail and ordered to have no contact with either victim or his girlfriend. He must stay out of Cumberland Farms store and sign a waiver of extradition.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 01:09

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Wednesday morning drug raids target pair of homes in Meredith

MEREDITH — After a several week long investigation, town police, assisted by the Belknap County Sheriff's Department, and the N.H. State Police clandestine Drug Lab Team, raided two local homes yesterday morning.

While police were at Scandia Park, unit 26 at 388 Daniel Webster Highway, they allegedly found an active one-pot methamphetamine cook taking place inside the residence.

Police also found materials commonly sued in making methamphetamine and some powdered methamphetamine.

Arrested at the scene was Mark Carpenter, 58, of 388 Daniel Webster Highway Unit 26 and Tracy McGuire, 48, of 230 Meredith Center Road.

The DEA team neutralized the methamphetamine cook. The Meredith Fire Department stood by.

Both are charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and are being held in the Belknap County House of Corrections. Both will be arraigned this morning at 10 a.m.

At the same time, police went to 9 True Road in Meredith and arrested Douglas Peters, 53 and Crystal Smith, 28. Both were charged with possession of a controlled drug and released. Peters and Smith have court dates scheduled for August 17.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 July 2014 12:52

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City argues it enjoys immunity from lawsuit over Opechee Park accident

LACONIA — The city is asking a Belknap County Superior Court Judge to dismiss a civil suit brought against it by a Franklin woman who said she fell after tripping on a mat that led to a swing set at Opechee Park in May of 2012.

Attorneys for the city argued Tuesday before Judge Larry Smukler that he should dismiss the case. They cited provisions of state statutes for recreation and state statutes allowing a city immunity from prosecution.

The disagreement between the two parties is over whether the recreation statute provides immunity from prosecution from anything but raw land. The plaintiff in this case, Margaret Dolbeare of Franklin, said the addition of a mat and a swing set does not equal raw land.

Her attorneys argue the law was meant to protect landowner from suits from recreational activities like hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking and camping. The cited RSA is listed under the Department of Fish and Game heading.

Smukler questioned each attorney as to his argument.

As an example, he asked, what if there is a park and a lake with no improvements and whether it is different once the government builds a swimming pool in the same park.

Laconia argued that it is a "distinction without a difference" saying the Dolbeare and her lawyers want to rewrite the raw land statutes.

"She was recreating, that's what she was doing," the city's attorney, Corey Belobrow, argued.

"So your saying the city had no duty (to maintain its recreation facilities) under RSA 212 and is immunized by RSA 2508?" asked Smukler.

"In this case no duty and immunized," said Belobrow.

Dolbeare, through her attorneys, said her argument was the law cited by the Laconia does not specifically encompass man-made attractions and that its intent is limited to hunting, fishing, hiking, trapping and other recreational activities typically without man-made structures.

"What we see is a list of activities that don't specifically involve a use of things constructed by a landowner," said attorney William Woodbury.

He said the situation at hand is that the city built a swing set with the intention of attracting people to it. He said the mat was curled and twisted and it covered a hole that indicated a lack of maintenance at the park.

Judge Smukler said he would take their arguments under consideration.

Dolebeare is asking for an unspecified amount of money to cover the cost of knee replacement surgery, suffering and lost of enjoyment of life, permanent injury, medical expenses. and lost earning potential.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 July 2014 12:50

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