Boating while intoxicated charge for man who hit The Witches

An Alton man was arrested on a charge of boating while intoxicated after striking the notorious outcropping of rocks known as "The Witches" in Lake Winnipesaukee on Saturday night.

The Marine Patrol reported that an emergency call was issued at 9:50 p.m. on Saturday night for a boat crash on Lake Winnipesaukee, south of Timber Island and in the area known as "The Witches," named after a group of rocks that rise to just below the waterline.

Responding Marine Patrol officers were able to pull the boat off of the rocks and tow it to Gilford Town Docks, where the operator, Tyler Finethy, 24, of Alton and his two occupants both refused medical treatment.

Finethy, after being administered a field sobriety test, was arrested for boating while intoxicated. The Marine Patrol report said that alcohol appears to be a contributing factor to the crash, and noted that state laws treat boating while intoxicated as severely as driving while intoxicated.

  • Written by Adam Drapcho
  • Category: Local News
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Electrical box catches fire in Weirs

LACONIA — Laconia Firefighter Pickowicz thought he’d spend part of his Saturday morning performing his weekly check on the rescue boat, but had to change plans when at 10:55 a.m. he heard a loud bang, according to Fire Chief Ken Erickson.
Pickowicz looked up from Lakeside Avenue to New Hampshire Avenue, next to the pizza parlor, and saw smoke and flames belching from an underground electric switch box. He notified Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid and they dispatched the Weirs Engine.
Acting Lt. Deb Black arrived and requested assistance from the Central Station and Eversource. Flames and smoke were belching from the ground, said Erickson, just 4 feet away from a 1,000-gallon propane tank, 5 feet away from a Dumpster, and 10 feet away was the roof of the pizza parlor.
Her crew quickly deployed a 3-inch large volume hose line and played water on all the exposures, but no water could be put directly on the fire, as it was high voltage electrical equipment.
 As the Central crews arrived, firefighters were sent into the adjoining building and roof to check for smoke or fire, said Erickson. Carbon monoxide detectors were deployed to check for accumulation of gas in the adjoining buildings. The concern was that the smoke and toxic gas could spread through the underground conduit to the buildings. A second hose was deployed to protect the roof of the pizza parlor. One section of the building on Lakeside Avenue was evacuated. Laconia Police set up a detour on Lakeside Avenue.
Eversource arrived at the scene around 11:30 a.m., he said. The fire was still burning at this time. They were able to isolate the power at which time firefighters extinguished the flames.
The fire consumed the underground switch vault and all the large-caliber electric cables and conduit. Eversource crews went to work to remove the damaged wires and replace new wires. Several buildings were out of power for most of the day.

06 27 Half Moon Motel fire

Firefighters work to put out an electrical fire Saturday morning at Lakeside Avenue. (Courtesy photo/Laconia Fire Department)

  • Written by Ginger Kozlowski
  • Category: Local News
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Van crashes through wall at Bristol couple’s home

By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN
BRISTOL — Police have arrested the driver of a van that crashed into a Bristol home at 12:11 p.m. Sunday, causing minor injuries to the two women inside.
Kevin Hardy, 51, a resident of Lake Street, faces charges of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless operation and use of a mobile device while driving.
Police Chief Michael Lewis said Hardy was driving east on Pleasant Street when the van veered off the road and struck two upright granite pillars at Homeland Cemetery before continuing on to crash through the side of a building at 230 Pleasant St.
Amanda and Kayla Dinger told police they had been lying on a bed, watching television, when they heard the vehicle strike the pillars, which “got them up, probably saving their lives,” said Lewis. As they started to move to see what had happened, the van came crashing through the bedroom wall, sending pieces of wood flying in all directions.
“The results could have been far different,” Lewis said.
The driver was uninjured, but a field sobriety test showed Hardy to be impaired, resulting in his arrest. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 13.
Lewis said the vehicle is being inspected by State Police Troop G to ensure there was no mechanical failure that might have caused the accident.
The two women declined to speak to The Laconia Daily Sun, but Amanda Dinger told WMUR “Our entire apartment just blew up,” and said, "Before I knew it, I had debris and a van on top of me.”

  • Written by Tom Caldwell
  • Category: Local News
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