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Gilmanton Destination Imagination team clears half of Global Finals goal

04 29 gilmanton DI Kutuks

Hale and Fawn Kutuk invite the public to a Saturday, May 13 fund raiser at Crystal Lake Park in Gilmanton in support of the local middle school Destination Imagination team. (David Carkhuff/The Laconia Daily Sun)


GILMANTON — A Gilmanton School Destination Imagination team's push to raise money has cleared $6,000, or more than half of what they need for a trip to Global Finals in late May.
"We just breached over 50 percent, so we're now over $6,000, and if we keep the pace up we're on target to meet our goal," said Fawn Kutuk, parent of one of the team members.
The team has been invited to represent the town at Global Finals in Knoxville, Tenn., May 24-27, and coordinators have embarked on an aggressive fund-raising effort.
For the first time in Gilmanton's history, a Gilmanton School Destination Imagination team has advanced past both regional and state competitions to represent New Hampshire on the global stage.
Team members who will travel to Knoxville include Natalie Clay (age 10), Brady Gardner (age 10), Hale Kutuk (age 13), Jaime Waldron (age 10) and Zavien Whitmore (age 10).
The team, Spaghetti and The Meatballs, staged a Kids Fun Run Tuesday, April 25, hosted by Gilmanton Iron Works Market. Despite rain, the fun run helped the team raise $160, Kutuk said.
"It was another bonding experience for the kids," she said.
Hale Kutuk, Fawn's daughter and a seventh-grader at Gilmanton School, said the Destination Imagination experience started with uncertainty and unease.
"In the beginning, I didn't like DI at all," she said.
But during preparation of the skit for the competition, which emphasizes creativity and teamwork, Hale Kutuk said the team members began to form friendships.
"I learned to listen to others and over time your bonding will grow and make you into a family," she said.
"Now we're really, really close," Hale Kutuk said. "We found the things we do have in common."
Next, the students will host a fund raiser on Saturday, May 13, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Crystal Lake Park in Gilmanton.
"We're going to have carnival games, face painting, we have a professional tarot card reader coming to give fortunes," said Fawn Kutuk.
A raffle table, carnival food and drinks, a deejay with dancing and a photo booth are among the attractions. T-shirts have been made to support the team and will be for sale at the carnival.
"The bulk of the funds will be due when we leave for the trip, which is the 23rd of May," Fawn Kutuk said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up on the team's behalf to accept online donations at http://www.gofundme.com/gilmanton-destination-imagination-q.
Anyone interested in supporting the team's trip to Global Finals can call Fawn Kutuk at (603) 724-5247 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
According to the organization, the following teams have qualified to attend Destination Imagination Global Finals at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville: Bedford, Bedford Vanished!, Bedford 3-Peat, Mind Blowers, 5 Friends 1 Thought; Gilmanton School, Spaghetti and the Meatballs; Project EXTRA, Laconia Middle School; and Meredith's Inter-Lakes, The Destroyers, Omega.

Ashland man arrested on charge involving heroin and fentanyl


ASHLAND — An Ashland man has been arrested on a felony drug possession charge involving heroin and fentanyl.

Adam Macallister, 32, was arraigned Thursday in Belknap County Superior Court. Bail was set at $20,000.

Court documents indicate he was arrested on Wednesday while leaving a residence on Main Street in Ashland.

On March 4, he was arrested on an outstanding warrant during a traffic stop on Interstate 93 in New Hampton, but was released.

Officers later obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and found a substance thought to be heroin and fentanyl. Also found were a plastic bag containing white powder, a needle, a spoon, two short straws, a digital scale and two stolen license plates.

The case is being prosecuted by the New Hampshire attorney general's office. He is being represented by the state public defender's office. Assistant Attorney General Jane Young declined to comment on the case. Representatives of the public defender's office said Friday they were not familiar with the case.

Fentanyl has become a deadly problem in the state, accounting for most of the 500 drug overdose fatalities last year.

Also, Gov. Chris Sununu announced Tuesday that a related, but even more powerful drug, carfentanil has been discovered in the state and was implicated in the overdose death of a Meredith man and two other fatal overdoses in Manchester. The drug was created to tranquilize large animals.

The man who died in Meredith was identified by state police and the state medical examiner's office as Richard Normandin, 48. His body was found March 13 in his home.

Meredith police referred questions to the Attorney General's office, which declined to comment as an active investigation continues.  

Kevin, kids and the mayor mark Arbor Day with new tree


LACONIA — Once again the city celebrated Arbor Day at Sanborn Park, where Tim Ford, foreman at the Parks and Recreation Department, planted a Zelkova Serrata tree that, with good fortune and tender care, will grow to a girth of 12 feet around at its base, rise to a height of nearly 100 feet and cast its shadow over the park for the next 500 years.

Several children from Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region were on hand for the ceremony. Each read a verse of Henry Behm's poem "trees," which begins "Trees are the kindest things I know. They do not harm, they simply grow."

Kevin Dunleavy, director of Parks and Recreation, reminded them that when the tree has grown into a towering teenager they should bring their children and grandchildren to the park and tell them they were there when it was a mere stripling.

Mayor Ed Engler read a proclamation to mark the occasion then shared his affection for trees with the children. A native of South Dakota who sunk deep roots in Texas, he told them he often drove out of his way to admire those trees that captured his fancy. One of his favorites, if not the favorite, he said is the Founders' Oak, a live oak tree in New Braunfels, Texas. The tree, he explained, is some 325 years old, 17 feet around at the base, with a canopy stretching for 60 yards.

Dunleavy told the children that Laconia is home to a number of the largest examples of their species in Belknap County, including the Norway Spruce, Catalpa, Butternut, Douglas Fir and Black Walnut as well as the state champion white oak, the Perley Oak, which has stood and spread alongside Perley Pond for more than 400 years.

The Zelkova, Dunleavy said, is not native to North America, but is common to Japan, Korea, eastern China and the island of Taiwan. It is an ornamental tree with dark green leaves that turn to yellows, oranges and reds in the autumn. In 1989, the Korean Forest Service found that most of the trees in the country more than 500 years old were Zeltova Serrata, more than 10 of which are registered national monuments.

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Tim Ford, foreman of the Parks and Recreation Department, was joined by Chris, 14, Leah, 11, and Tessa, 10, from the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region around the Zeltova Serrata, the newest tree in the city planted in Sanborn Park to celebrate Arbor Day on Friday. (Michael Kitch/Laconia Daily Sun)