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December 11, 2019 top stories
Vershire man arrested
on weapons charges

CHELSEA—A Vershire man, who was arrested in Boston last month on weapons charges, had 20 misdemeanors dismissed this summer after he was found not competent to stand trial in Orange County.
On Nov. 14, Dominick Bailey, 54 of Vershire, and Glenn Lacedra, 58, of Revere, Massachusetts, were arrested by federal and state law enforcement in a sting. According to a Boston Police Department news release, Bailey and Lacedra were taken into custody after police recovered
several firearms and rounds of ammunition. The two men allegedly brought the weapons from Vermont to sell them in the city.
Officers from several units of the Boston Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, the DEA, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service arrested Bailey and Lacedra after the two men drove into the parking lot of the Murphy Skating Rink in South Boston. Police say they recovered a .223 caliber AR-15 rifle, a 9 mm handgun, a .22 caliber handgun, a long barrel pistol, and several rounds of ammunition.
They have been charged with several counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, carrying a loaded firearm, possession of an unlicensed assault rifle, and a violation of the City of Boston Assault Weapons Act of 1989.

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Town, county officials
discuss inmate releases

NORTH HAVERHILL—Last month’s violent attack on a good Samaritan and subsequent carjacking allegedly committed by a recently released inmate has prompted some to ask about the county jail release procedures.
Brendan Harriman has been charged with robbery in the attack, which happened on Nov. 4. The 21-year-old Lebanon man had just been released from the Grafton County House of Corrections when he hitched a ride near the intersection of Dartmouth College Highway and Horse Meadow Road near the Grafton County complex.
According to police, a 79-year-old man stopped to pick up Harriman, who then allegedly beat the driver, stole his car, and left the man bloodied in a parking lot at Walmart in Woodsville.
Grafton County Corrections Superintendent Tom Elliott and other county officials attended the selectboard meeting on Dec. 9. He said that in the wake of the attack, he had been approached by a local business and by community members about the jail’s release procedures.
He told selectmen that between 800 and 1,000 inmates are released each year.
“The majority have rides,” he said.
It’s a common practice by corrections staff to determine whether an inmate has a ride prior to his or her release. He said they provide free telephone calls to the inmates to organize a ride or transportation and will schedule a taxi or cab if they have the money available for that service.

This week's featured photo
Christmas lights and candles provide a festive glow to the Bradford Academy building one evening last week.
Budget cuts doom desserts

NORTH HAVERHILL—The decision to remove dessert from the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council’s Meals on Wheels delivery service and congregate meals was made to cut costs without reducing other services.
The move, effective Dec. 1, has garnered a great deal of attention, not only because some diners are disgruntled at losing dessert, but also because it symbolizes a much larger problem: Public funding has declined significantly over the past 10 years, while demand for services continues to rise.
GCSCC is not alone. It’s one of 10 agencies serving meals to seniors under separate contracts throughout the state. Seven of the ten agencies are undergoing funding shortages.
In Grafton County, it’s dessert that is being cut from menus. Elsewhere, in New Hampshire and nationwide, similar organizations have stopped other services they provide in order to save money.
Kathleen Vasconcelos, executive director of GCSCC which distributes Meals on Wheels for residents in Grafton County, said some agencies have shut down one day per week, and others have imposed a waiting list for meals on wheels deliveries.
GCSCC’s budget is currently $3.6 million, which covers eight senior center budgets throughout the county.
“It’s a lean budget,” Vasconcelos said.
County-wide the number of meals delivered has increased nearly 20 percent over the past couple of years. Last fiscal year, 149,547 Meals on Wheels were served throughout Grafton County.udes a concrete traveling surface that is 3.5 inches thick.

When Santa needs help,
Grange comes calling

RYEGATE—The Blue Mountain Grange kicked off the season with its fourth annual Pound Auction and Potluck Supper on Nov. 22 at the Grange Hall in Ryegate Corner.
This year proved to be the fundraiser’s most successful one to date. Donated items, identified only by weight, brought in close to $600 at auction.
The driving force behind the pound auction is Makayla Perkins, who organizes, advertises and sets up the event. She is supported by fellow members of the Blue Mountain Grange.
Perkins was inspired after attending a similar auction at the Riverside Grange Hall in Topsham four years ago.
“What a fun event and a great way to raise money for a good cause,” she said. So, she pitched the idea to her fellow grange members and suggested they try holding their own pound auction.
In a holiday season often identified with conspicuous consumption, this particular night of spending is in service to the Ryegate Santa Fund, which for over 20 years has quietly seen to it that needy children in Ryegate get some toys and clothes for Christmas. Each Ryegate family on the list also gets a complete turkey dinner courtesy of White’s Market in St. Johnsbury.

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