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Domestic violence and sexual assault charges dominate grand jury indictments

LANCASTER – Domestic violence and sexual assault charges dominated the list of Coos County grand jury indictments returned last Friday.
Samuel Meyerhofer, 26, of 535 First Ave., Berlin was indicted on six domestic violence charges. He was charged with two counts of sexual assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of simple assault, and one count of criminal threatening. The indictments allege Meyerhofer threatened to stab the victim with a knife and struck her in the face with a closed fist. Three of the charges are Class B felonies and three are Class A misdemeanors.
Benjamin Shea, 24, of 3 Broadway St., Gorham was indicted on three counts of domestic violence/second degree assault. The indictments allege he strangled his victim and impeded her breathing.
David R. Rousseau, 32, of 8 Edgewood Lane, Raymond was indicted on five domestic violence charges. He was charged with one count of second degree assault, three counts of simple assault, and one count of obstructing the report of a crime. Rousseau was also charged with one count of theft by unauthorized taking. The charges allege he placed his knee of the chest of the victim and covered her nose and mouth with his hand. The incidents are alleged to have occurred in Berlin. The second degree assault charge is a Class B felony while the remaining charges are Class A misdemeanors.
Benjamin Roberge, 39, of 1169 Milan Road, Milan, was indicted on three counts of indecent exposure alleging he send a lewd image to a child under 16 years of age. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and attempted felonious sexual assault.
Jacob Porter, 19, of 524 Goebel St., Berlin, was indicted on three counts of felonious sexual assault. The alleged victims were 13 and 14 years old.
Michael Allen Hodsdon, 48, of 567 Cheshire St., Berlin was indicted on a count of possession of a controlled drug (burprenorphine).
Elijah P. Sharp, 48, of 21 Ottawa St., Berlin, was indicted a charge of possession of a controlled drug (heroin) and possession of a controlled drug with intent to sell, both charges listed as subsequent offenses.
John Kay, 49, and Bianca B. Pinciaro, 47, both of Mirror Lake Cottages, Whitefield were each indicted on a single count of criminal mischief.


Last Updated on Saturday, 23 May 2015 01:05

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Ed Fenn gymnasium receives additional upgrades

GORHAM — The basketball hoop system in the gymnasium at the Ed Fenn Elementary School will be getting an upgrade with support from the Recreation Revolving Fund.

About a year ago the gymnasium got a fresh coat of paint and new lighting as part of the initial improvement plan. Other upgrades planned will be the addition of acoustical panels and new safety mats.

Jeff Stewart, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, presented the Board of Selectmen with a plan to use $8,000 from the Recreation Revolving Fund to specifically cover a portion of the $12,000 basketball hoop project.

The hoops at the school are older and require them to be moved manually. The new system will be faster and easier to maneuver.

Stewart explained that it's like giving the money back to the school, because the Recreation Department uses the gymnasium throughout the year for a variety of activities, and collects a recreation access fee from participants.

The upgrades are slated to take place this summer and will be completed before the start of the school year.


Last Updated on Saturday, 23 May 2015 01:05

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White Mountain Community College celebrates 48th commencement

BERLIN — For a speaker at its 48th graduation, White Mountains Community College turned to an alumnus and Milan native who inspired graduates with his account of being wounded on duty in Iraq.
Air Force Captain Donald "Rick" Weeks graduated from White Mountains Community College in 2005 and the next year found himself on duty on a rooftop in Fallujah, Iraq. A U.S. Marine at the time, Weeks described how a rocket-propelled grenade hit his position.
He said he awoke from the blast deaf and disoriented, choking on the smoke from his smoldering clothes. His friend and fellow Marine on the roof singled-handedly returned fire and saved Weeks' life.
Weeks told the about 150 graduates at Thursday's commencement exercises that they should be proud of what they have accomplished. But he said they cannot rest on their laurels. Their diploma, he said, will "not knock on doors for you and the world will not come looking for you."
While it has been over 50 years since President Kennedy proclaimed that the "torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans ..." Weeks said the sentiment is still true today.
"I'm here to tell you the off-line real world needs your leadership and service," he said.
Weeks urged them to find something they are passionate about and answer their own call to service.
In the real world, he told the graduates, only two things matter — can you do the job and can you lead. He said college prepares them to do the job but leadership ability is found within.
"Don't let your ego convince you that the tough dirty jobs are beneath you," he added.
Weeks warned there will be failures as well as successes.
"You will encounter your own rooftops," he said.
The trick, he said, is to get back up and continue to serve and lead.
Weeks spoke fondly of his days at WMCC, telling the students that the "school cares about your success." He asked the graduates to promise with him to represent the college well.
Weeks continued his education after WMCC, earning a bachelor's degree in political science in 2008 and his law degree in 2012. After serving in the Marine Corp Reserves from 2002 to 2010, he commissioned in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps.
"I'm just a country kid from Milan, New Hampshire," Weeks noted, despite an impressive list of accomplishments that includes his current position as chief of military justice for the 27th Special Operations Wing, a Purple Heart, Air Force Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and 2013 American Bar Association LAMP Distinguished Service Award.
Student Senate President Britney Fisher reviewed some of the activities of the senate over the year and its role in bringing students together to work as a team. She wrapped up her speech with a list that ranged from make your bed every morning and sing even when you are up to your neck in mud to accept that you will fail on occasion and never give up. Like Weeks, she said the graduates "can't sit around and wait for opportunity to come to you, you have to make it happen."
Bryen-Aimee Godin, student representative from the Littleton Academic Center, said she transferred to White Mountains Community College from another community college. She said her previous experience had not been good and she was apprehensive about transferring.
"I had no idea that the Littleton campus would soon become my home away from home, or that the faculty and staff would become an anchor of support for me," she said.
Honor Society President Richard Lepage came to WMCC after a less than successful stint at a four year college. He has thrived and as head of the honor society spearheaded fundraising efforts to help students buy Christmas presents for their children and send the Berlin High special education students up the Cog Railroad.
"Life is about choices. Sometimes we made bad choices that put us in some rough places and sometimes we make good ones that take us to places we thought we could never reach" he said. Graduation, Lepage said, was a celebration of a good choice.
Making choices was also a theme of remarks by WMCC Interim President Matthew Wood. Wood talked about how he spent two years after graduating from college living in his grandfather's garage and doing odd jobs. At an alumni reunion, a friend and classmate told Wood he needed to develop a plan and do something with his life. After initially being angered, Wood said he took his friend's advice, asked his grandfather for a loan, and went back to college.
"You have a lot of choices ahead of you," he told the graduates.
Community College System Board of Trustees President Paul Holloway assured graduates and students that White Mountains Community College is an important cornerstone of the North Country.
"This school will be here for you," he promised.
Chancellor Ross Gittell presented the Teaching Excellence Service Award to Associate Professor Gail Minor-Babin. Wood presented the President's Award to the student with the highest cumulative average in an associate degree program to Austin Ash of Littleton. Wood also recognized retiring professors Gregory Meserve and David Carlisle.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 May 2015 18:09

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Hassan signs Balsams bill

DIXVILLE — Gov. Maggie Hassan yesterday signed SB 30 into law, paving the way for Balsams resort developer Les Otten to seek state backing for $28 million in bonds as part of his $143 million financing package.
Sponsored by North Country Senator Jeff Woodburn, the bill allows the creation of redevelopment districts in unincorporated places such as Dixville. Without the legislation, the state Business Finance Authority could not consider a state-backed bond for the project.
Next up for the project developers is a general presentation to the Coos County Planning Board next Wednesday, May 27 at 6 p.m. at the Colebrook School gymnasium. The presentation may serve as the pre-application conference for the Balsams project. The two parties are also slated to discuss a planned development district for Dixville.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 May 2015 20:45

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