Bristol woman killed in I-93 crash

ASHLAND — A Bristol woman was killed in a single-car accident on Interstate 93 Wednesday morning while heading northbound.

Debra-Rae Purchell, 58, of Bristol was pronounced dead after being transported to Speare Memorial Hospital.

Police said neither speed nor alcohol appear to be contributing factors in the crash and members of the New Hampshire State Police Collision Analysis Team are still investigating.

Anyone with information about this crash is encouraged to contact the New Hampshire State Police, Troop F at (603) 223-8477.

– Gail Ober

Dump to Trump - Sculpture made from recycled auto parts draws attention to Toad Hall artist


FRANKLIN — A larger-than-life image of Donald Trump, pieced together from old auto body parts, has been drawing a lot of attention to the Toad Hall art studio on this city's Central Street.
Created by Joe Kildune, who two years ago started turning out sculpture art from the unlikely material, the Trump image went viral a few weeks ago when it was posted on Facebook along with smaller sculptures of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders beside it.
"It got hundreds of views the first day and people from all over were commenting about it," said Kildune."If I'd known it was going to cause such a sensation I would have put it up earlier, while Trump was campaigning in New Hampshire."
The Trump sculpture features an obviously angry orange-complexioned Trump looking like he's about to tear into an opponent and has the famous comb-over.
"I spent a lot of time on this, and from the reaction people have had, I think it got it right," said Kildune.

He's also happy with the Hillary Clinton sculpture with its smile and apple cheeks, but thinks he was off the mark with Bernie Sanders.
He says that it's kind of unusual, from his perspective, that the Trump sculpture turned out the best.

"I've always been a Democrat," he said. "That's part of my Irish heritage. The Kildunes came to Boston from Ireland in 1922.'"
Kildune, who grew up in Lawrence, Massachusetts, is a graduate of the Montserrat School of Visual Arts and spent 23 years as a designer for General Tire and Rubber, 12 of those as art director. While there, he created six patents for the firm for manufacturing techniques in embossing and engraving that he invented.
He also designed auto interiors and interior decorations and wall coverings for hotels, banks, casinos and restaurant chains while working in New York City, and says that, after years as a commercial artist, he decided four years ago that he wanted to get back into the fine arts again.
And he thinks he has found the area that he wants to concentrate on, rescuing plastic automotive parts from the landfill and recycling them into art. As he sees it, those discarded parts which most people view as junk are really hidden treasures just waiting to be transformed into vibrant visual art.
He works days at AutoServ in Tilton and evenings at the Franklin art studio, and said he got the idea for creating the sculptures while at the car dealership.
"'There was whole pile of parts in a dumpster at the AutoServ collision center and I grabbed one of the bumpers and took it back to my studio in Gilford, where I hit it it with some heat and started reshaping it. I like working with the material. It's rigid but flexible and you can shape it into whatever your vision is and create really interesting works. My mind's eye sees flowing forms bent and intertwined, created in abstract but recognizable statues, no longer trash but now embodying a life of its own,'' said Kildune.
"A lot of thought, design and engineering created these parts, which are really something like the human figure, dynamic and symmetrical. The eye can see a resemblance in automobiles to life forms: insects, marine animals, a mirrored equal design, eye sockets which once shrouded running lights, a grille now a mouth agape, graceful turned forms finishing into refined wings,"' said Kildune.
He said larger sculptures attracted a lot of attention at his first show two years ago, including a one about 15 feet high, which he said was inspired by Pee Wee Herman's dance performance to the song '"Tequila."
Today, his creations fill the display area at Toad Hall and he's managed to attract quite a lot of attention from those looking for unusual art.

"I've made a few good sales of larger sculptures and that helps keep me going," said Kildune.

He describes himself as ''a free spirit'' who has had a fun life.

''We've got to enjoy it while we're here," he said. "One of the things I enjoy the most is talking about art with my daughter, Kailey, who is a graduate of the Parsons School of Art in New York City and does illustration and animation there."
Joseph Kildune stands next to his sculpture of Donald Trump which he made from recycled auto parts and is on display at the Toad Hall Art Gallery in downtown Franklin. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)
Joseph Kildune stands next to his sculpture of Donald Trump which he made from recycled auto parts and is on display at the Toad Hall Art Gallery in downtown Franklin. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

Gilford Police get body cameras


GILFORD — In a time with heightened sensitivity toward police transparency and accountability, the Gilford Police Department will become the first major department in the Lakes Region to use body cameras.

Chief Anthony Bean Burpee said the $25,000 was built into the police budget and provides each of 18 officers a replacement Taser and a Taser Axon Body Camera, which looks somewhat like a pen and can be clipped to an officer's sunglasses or lapel.

"On our end result is we feel it's important to have them on to protect the officers and the public," said Lt. Kris Kelley. "It's a transparency issue."

Bean Burpee said the department entered into an agreement with Taser for the participation in a five-year program that provides the department with new Tasers every five years and a new body camera every two-and-a-half years. He said they got a grant from Taser for $8,000 to offset the upfront costs and said the annual contract included electronic storage and insurance for the replacement costs. He said it should cost the department between $25,000 and $30,000 annually.

"We haven't had any complaints (about officer behavior)," said Bean Burpee Tuesday, but said this is a move toward greater transparency for the department as a whole and a commitment to the safety of his individual officers.

He said the next step is to complete the body camera policy and make sure it is implemented and the officers are all trained. When asked, he said the union was on board with it.

Gilford will be the first in the area to use body cameras however it is not the first department to discuss them. Belmont Lieutenant and Executive Officer Richard Mann said his department looked into a similar program but found it to be too expensive. He said all of the Belmont officers are equipped with Tasers.

Sgt. Mike Harper of the Meredith Police Department said every one of the 14 officers there has Tasers but there is no plan for the immediate future for the department to get body cameras.

About six months ago, Laconia Police Chief Chris Adams told the Police Commission there was no plan to have his officers wearing body cameras. All of the front-line police officers in Laconia are equipped with Tasers.


March 23 Editor's note: Laconia Police Chief Chris Adams said his command staff are looking into various grants that would assist in providing body cameras to front-line police officers in Laconia. Adams said he personally supports body cameras but has not included them in his 2016-2017 budget request. He said cameras have been added to his short-term strategic plan. Adams, who was unavailable to comment for a story about body cameras that ran on the front page of the March 23 edition wanted his position clarified. In addition, the Tilton Police are using body cameras.

03-23 Axon body camera

This is the type of body camera by Axon that clips to sunglasses, which Gilford police will be using. (Photo courtesy Taser International)