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4-H members win honors at annual Belknap County Fair

BELMONT — The Belknap County 4-H Fair recently recognized a number of local youth for their contributions to "their club, their community, their country and their world" through the 2015 Belknap County 4-H Fair.

Receiving the highest honor that the fair recognizes, the Governor's Trophy, was Lauren Emond of Gilford. Lauren is a Senior 4-H member and has an impressive record of both 4-H achievements and of community service. She was awarded the trophy by Fair Board President Fran Wendleboe and also received a letter of recognition from NH Governor Maggie Hassan and delivered by Senator Andrew Hosmer of Laconia.

The Robinson Smith Trophy is given to a Senior 4-H member with an outstanding Livestock Record and showing in multiple animal classes at the fair. This year's recipient was Savannah Garrity of Alton. Also being recognized for their Exhibit Barn contributions were The Chapel Valley 4-H Club of Sanbornton for the Commissioner of Agriculture award, 4-H For Service Club in Sanbornton for their Best Overall Club Display, Sarah Chambers of Tilton for her best independent club member display, Kadin Burns of Sanbornton for his Best Educational Display, Cheyenne Longley of Northfield for her Teen Teaching Exhibit, Makala Chandonnet of Northfield, Hayley Burke of Laconia and Nora Hartshorn of Sanbornton were the Rita Claremont Exhibitor winners in the Senior, Junior and Cloverbud categories respectively.

 Belknap County 4-H is a program of UNH Cooperative Extension and offers youth, ages 5-18, the chance to participate in positive youth development experiences including leadership, citizenship, science, agriculture and community service projects. For more information on the Belknap County 4-H program, call 527-5475.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2015 05:36

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A cellar reveals a lot about the house

A cellar reveals a lot about the house

 

A lot of people don't think about it but the cellar, or basement as it is most commonly referred to now, is one of the most important parts of a house. Once utilized mainly for holding coal or keeping perishable food from spoiling quickly, the cellar has become a much more user friendly space since the mid-1950s. The basement can also tell you a tremendous amount about the structure of the building, how well it has been maintained, and even a lot about the owner of the property. The basement is where most of the mechanical systems of the home such as the boiler, water heater, fuel tank, the plumbing, and the electrical panels are usually located, but today it likely provides additional living space. A basement also provides storage space for all that junk we drag home and then don't know what to do with it.

Basements in old homes typically tend to be dark and dank with dirt floors and low ceilings so you would likely hit your head on every trip down to put a new fuse in the electrical box. It is a test and you usually would fail. They are also usually full of cobwebs and great big spiders. This type of cellar has provided the backdrop for many a horror movie and the cause of nightmares for female members of the household. But, there are also many older homes with great, usable basements that belie their age ... so let's not lump all old basements as the same. The basement walls, the foundation that is, are the most important walls in the house because the rest of the house is literally built upon them. Whether made of stone, brick, block, or concrete it is of paramount importance that they are in great shape.

So, what can a basement tell you about a home and its owner? Well, I know when I go into a home, particularly an older one where you wouldn't expect the basements to be a great space and it is clean and neat with everything in its place you know the owner truly cares about the property. And when the floors and foundation walls are nicely painted you can usually be assured that the rest of the property is in tip top shape, too.

The basement will give you clues as to whether there has ever been any water infiltration there. Stains and/or mold on the sheet rock or concrete walls, effervescence on the floor, and rust on the steel lally columns are dead giveaways to some sort of damp situation in the basement. A sump pump would also be a pretty good indicator that there is, or was, a water issue particularly if there is a shiny new one in the sump hole and a burned out one sitting over in the corner.

Clues about routine home maintenance can be found here. Check the boiler to see if there is a recent service tag on it. If there is a bunch tags hanging off boiler, one for every year or so, you'll begin to get the feeling that the homeowner takes pretty good care of the place. Most homes with forced hot water heating systems have more than one zone. Check and see if the owner (or plumber) has labeled all the zone valves and circulators. It is kind of nice to know what goes where when there are six or seven zones. If the heating system is a forced hot air furnace, check to see if the air filter is clean. If there are some spare filters sitting on a shelf somewhere down there that's another good sign that the homeowner keeps up with the home maintenance.

If there is a water softener it indicates that the water likely has a high iron content and could cause stains in your plumbing fixtures. If there is a softener, check to see if there is salt in the system or if it is it bone dry. Are there any spare bags of salt in the basement?

The electrical circuit breaker box is usually also located in the basement. If the cover panel is screwed in place on the box that's perfect! If the cover is on the floor with a ball of wires hanging out of the box, "Houston, we may have a problem."

Finally, is there is a corner of the basement reserved as a simple workshop with a bench or as complex as a complete woodworking shop? If there is and it is neat as a pin, no sawdust, no mess, and the tools are all hung up on the pegboard or on shelves right where they are supposed to be this can tell you only two possible things about the owner. One is that he might have inherited all the stuff from his father, doesn't have a clue how to use it, and is smart enough not to try. Or two, he is very good at using the tools and has kept the house in great shape. Either way with a clean basement, tags on the furnace, no water stains on the walls you probably will have a pretty good house...

Wow! There were 150 single family home sales in the 12 communities covered by this report in July. I can't remember having anywhere near that number in a long, long time. The average sales price came in at $387,973 with a median price point of $232,500. Last July there were just 89 sales at an average of $383,974 and in 2013 there were 110 sales at an average of $299,469. Shades of a recovery? Maybe we are not in the cellar anymore? We'll see...

P​ease feel free to visit www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data compiled using the NNEREN MLS system as of Aug. 20. ​Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2015 05:17

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Gilford's annual Old Home Day set for Saturday, August 29

 GILFORD — The annual Gilford Old Home Day celebration will be held this Saturday, Aug. 29. This year's theme is "Holidays Throughout The Year!".

The festivities include the annual Parade at 10 a.m. (featuring bands and many traditional floats), Police K-9 demonstration,  Moonwalks Bounce Houses, musical entertainers including the Paul Warnick and Friends and the King Chrome Band, Community Band Concert, games for all ages, crafts, live music, food, fireworks and a dance to wrap things up.

In conjunction with Old Home Day, the Gilford Youth Center is hosting two special events. 

First is a “Meet and Greet” and “Sing-a-Long” with Disney’s Rapunzel.  Children will meet, have their picture taken with Rapunzel, and sing-a-long to some of the songs from her movie.  Cost is only $5/per child. There will be two sessions: one at noon and the second at 12:45 p.m.

Second, is a “Super Hero Mission” featuring Batman, Spider-Man, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Michelangelo.

Children will receive a special mission packet (scavenger hunt around the campus) that will lead them to the Super Hero room where children will receive a “Mission Completed” Certificate and have their picture taken with the Super Heroes.  Cost is $5/per child. Children can pick up their mission packet between 1 and 2 p.m.

To be guaranteed a spot in either Youth Center event, those interested must register at www.gilfordyouthcenter.com. Those with questions can call the center's director, Scott Hodsdon, at 524-6978.

The majority of activities take place at the Gilford Village Field. Parade applications are still being accepted and can be found at the Gilford Town Hall and on the Parks and Recreation website at www.gilfordrec.com.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 August 2015 07:31

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Football of Belmont Football fundraiser Sun.

BELMONT — Friends of Belmont Football is urging the public to come celebrate football season by attending their Summer Touchdown Party this Sunday, Aug. 30, from 1 to 6 p.m. at The Top of the Town restaurant, 88 Ladd Hill Road.

There will be live entertainment and dancing, barbecue chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs. A cash bar will be available and attendees will be able to purchase tickets for the 50/50 raffle.

Organizers are encouraging those who attend to make a $10 donation to support FOBF. This organization is committed to raising $15,000 this year so that Belmont and Canterbury Athletes can play cooperatively with Gilford as a combined Varsity Football Team in 2016. Players of these communities currently play cooperatively at the junior varsity level.

Keep informed by visiting and Liking Friends of Belmont Football on Facebook.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 August 2015 07:29

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