Kirk named to Parks and Rec

LACONIA — Arthur Kirk, who has been a coach in city youth league sports for 10 years, was named by the city council Monday night to a position on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission.
He will fill the remainder of the three-year term of Jeff Pattison, which expires in March of 2016. Pattison, a long-time member of the commission, resigned recently after retiring from his state position and moving to San Diego, California.
Kirk received five votes for the position with one vote being cast for Tony Felch, who had also applied for the position. Felch, president of the Leavitt Park Community Club, regularly attends Parks Commission meetings.
Felch, who has lost contests to Ward 6 Councilor Armand Bolduc in the last three city elections, also applied for a position as trustee of trust funds to fill the remainder of the term of Karl Reitz, which expires in March of 2016.
He cited his experience as a property manager for 24 years and his service on the distribution committee of the Children’s Auction as qualifications but no member of the council put his name into nomination. Ward 3 Councilor Henry Lipman cited the need for investment experience for a trustee of trust funds candidate.


Note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct number of times Bolduc has been elected.

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Divers clear milfoil from Black Brook

LACONIA — Taking advantage of the unseasonably warm temperatures, a team of divers from Aqualogic spent the days before Thanksgiving removing milfoil from the lower reach of Black Brook.
Scott McPhie of the Planning Department said the project was sponsored by the Conservation Commission and funded by a donation of $2,000 by the Winnipesaukee Watershed Association. He said the commission appreciates the generosity of the association and Pat Tarpey, its executive director.
Black Brook rises in Gilford, crosses into Laconia under Blaisdell Avenue, winds around McDonald's, passes beneath Union Avenue and empties into Paugus Bay at the Spinnaker Yacht Club.
McPhie said that several years ago work began to clear debris from the brook, and last year Aqualogic removed milfoil along the stretch between McDonald's and Union Avenue. With the donation from the Winnipesaukee Watershed Association, Aqualogic returned this year to clear the brook of milfoil from the bridge on Union Avenue to its mouth at the yacht club.
John Judd of Aqualogic said more than 400 gallons of milfoil were removed from the brook this week. The company uses a unique rig, designed by Judd, consisting of a vacuum held by a diver and powered by an engine aboard a small flatbed boat tethered to the diver. The diver, Judd's son, Dominic, uproots the milfoil, which is vacuumed directly into a bag, minimizing the risk that stray fragments will take fresh root.
McPhie said the section of the brook treated last year remains 80 percent clear of milfoil and the natural, indigenous vegetation has regenerated. He explained that as the water level rises in Paugus Bay, it backs into the mouth of the brook, carrying milfoil with it. Clearing the brook of debris and milfoil, he said, will improve its flow, reducing the areas of sluggish and stagnant water where milfoil thrives and countering the backwash from the lake.

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100 cans of Enfamil stolen from Walmart Sunday

LACONIA — A hundred cans of powdered baby formula, often used by drug dealers to cut cocaine and heroin, were stolen from Walmart on Sunday afternoon.
An unknown man allegedly walked out of the store at 1:55 p.m. wheeling a shopping cart filled with 100 cans of Enfamil. A photo of the suspect, from a surveillance video, was released by authorities.
Police said the retail value of the stolen baby formula as is sells in Walmart is $1,597.
Capt. Matt Canfield explained how the powder is used to cut drugs: A dealer could have one gram of cocaine worth $100. He could use half the cocaine at original strength, add half a gram of baby formula to the rest and sell it for the same $100. By this calculation, half a gram of Enfamil is now worth $50 to the drug dealer.
Canfield said the stolen Enfamil will likely be fenced at a reduced rate to a drug dealer or traded for drugs.
Anyone who recognizes the man in the surveillance photo or witnessed any unusual activity in the store or parking lot of Walmart on Sunday afternoon, is asked to call Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.

Correction to William Baer story.

CORRECTION – Regarding a Nov. 25 article, William Baer was charged with three counts of disorderly conduct after his appearance at a May 6, 2014, meeting of the Gilford School Board. He was never charged with resisting arrest and the case was dismissed under First Amendment grounds by 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division Judge Jim Carroll. In addition, the judge wrote that, "because Leach at least arguably had probable cause (for an arrest) under (state law) he is entitled to qualified immunity. Based on qualified immunity, Leach is entitled to summary judgment of Baer's false arrest claim."