Local News | Web Feeds Daily news from The Telegraph of Nashua en-us Funding shift may limit veterans services in NH Services for New Hampshire veterans provided through Easter Seals New Hampshire might be sharply curtailed after a federal National Guard ruling that says the agency can no longer participate because it is a nonprofit rather than a small business. The ruling, which came to public attention Friday after a rebuke from Gov. Maggie Hassan, would shift control of up to $1 million a year, or roughly half the money that supports the program, away from Easter Seals. It’s unclear what this would do to the veterans assistance program, which has helped more than 2,600 service members and family members over seven years with everything from counseling to necessities such as food and shelter. Whatever happens, Easter Seals New Hampshire will continue to oversee Veterans Count, a Nashua-based charitable effort spearheaded by businessmen Sy Mafuz and Tom Tessier that raises money to expand the National Guard-funded efforts. “What does this mean? It means Tom and I have to work harder to raise more money to make sure that we are eventually independent and make sure that we can take care of our veterans and their families,” Mahfuz said. In a letter written Friday to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Hassan decried what she called “a baffling bureaucratic decision” to exclude Easter Seals from money for the program, and asked that the decision be overturned. The situation is complicated because of the number of agencies involved. In previous years, the National Guard Bureau money for veteran services – roughly $700,000- $1 million a year – has been funneled through the state Department of Health and Human Services and the New Hampshire National Guard into what is known as the Deployment Cycle Support Care Coordination Program, or DCS-CCP. This money is reserved to help National Guard veterans, especially those whose service came after the Sept. Sat, 12 Jul 2014 01:00:49 EST At Nashua hospital decontamination drill, ‘The big takeaway was get naked, get wet’ NASHUA – The medical staff and first responders ran around the parking lot, looking shockingly like astronauts. They raced back and forth in their full-length plastic suits and yellow rubber boots trying to rescue the victims who had been exposed to a hazardous substance. It was sticky business. The group of 25 people sweated in 90 degree heat in their plastic suits while they rinsed and cleansed test dummies during a decontamination training session at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center on Tuesday. And the hazardous substance used to simulate a chemical spill? That was chocolate sauce, and rescuers had to rinse the brown, gooey substance off the inflatable victims. The training program was an all-day affair, consisting of a morning class followed by the practical demonstration in the afternoon. The training program was designed to teach hospital staff and first responders throughout New Hampshire how to decontaminate patients in case they’re covered in chemicals or toxins prior to entering the hospital. “We can’t let them in when they’re contaminated,” said Mark Hastings, director of emergency management at SNHMC. When a person has come in contact with a hazardous substance, hospitals and first responders need to be trained on how to deal with decontaminating patients. There usually are about four decontamination classes offered throughout the state each year. The training session Tuesday was taught by John Prickett, the emergency preparedness coordinator at LRG Health Care. “They’ve got to experience the suits … and the patients,” Prickett said as his class ran the chocolatey blowup dolls through an inflatable decontamination center. The decontamination apparatus inflates in four minutes when there’s an emergency, and has three sections for patients. Sat, 12 Jul 2014 01:00:37 EST Piekarski, Tulley: Recalling a pair of Nashua auto-dealer giants One started out on Main Street, the other on Lake Street. One put his name on his products, the other didn’t. But when they became neighbors in a brand-new retail experiment called the New England Automotive Village some 50 years ago, it marked just one more thing that Vincent F. Tulley and Wilfrid J. Sat, 12 Jul 2014 00:01:16 EST Former Merrimack man sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography NASHUA – Less than a year after his wife discovered images of nude children in a storage locker, a former Merrimack man was sentenced to up to seven years in prison earlier this week. Jeffrey Arrich, 43,  of 1457 Roaring Camp Road, Murphys, Calif., pleaded guilty to five counts of possession of child sexual abuse images in Hillsborough County Superior Court on Wednesday and was sentenced to 21⁄2 to seven years in prison. Arrich also will have to register as a sexual offender against children and not live with anyone younger than 16 without another adult, according to court documents. Merrimack police began investigating Arrich on Oct. 21 after his wife contacted them and said she had found suspicious materials. Sat, 12 Jul 2014 00:01:00 EST Hollis police schedule sobriety checkpoint Hollis police will stage a sobriety checkpoint in town sometime in the next week. Police announced Friday they will conduct the checkpoint between July 13 and 20, but didn’t disclose where it would be. The “alarming” number of deaths and injuries as a result of drunk-driving crashes statewide was cited as the impetus behind the effort, police said. “We certainly have our share,” Hollis Police Lt. Rich Mello said. “It’s certainly a problem, and the numbers bear that out.” Mello said Hollis police make 30-50 DWI arrests a year, and usually have at least one fatal crash annually, many of which involve some form of intoxication. Hollis police held a similar checkpoint last summer and made more than half a dozen arrests in just a couple of hours. “It was pretty shocking,” Mello said. Police are not specifying what day the checkpoint will be held. “It’s going to be in the town of Hollis, and certainly not on a side road,” Mello said. – JOSEPH G. Sat, 12 Jul 2014 00:00:51 EST Hudson teenager charged with attempted burglary Hudson police said they chased down a teenager before charging him with trying to break into a home Friday morning. Police were called to a home in the area of Scottsdale Drive near Sterling Way around 8 a.m. for a report of a burglary in progress. Officers noticed that screens had been removed from the windows, and after searching the immediate area, they spotted Dominic O’Neil, 17, of Hudson, police said. O’Neil fled from officers, who eventually found him hiding under the deck of a home on Souza Boulevard after a lengthy foot chase, police said. Sgt. Joe Hoebeke said the homeowners were home at the time. Sat, 12 Jul 2014 00:00:46 EST Correction The Board of Aldermen Budget Review Committee on Thursday tabled Mayor Donnalee Lozeau’s proposed 2015 city operating budget and plan to take it up at a future meeting. The status of the budget was incorrect in a headline on Page 1 of Friday’s Telegraph. Sat, 12 Jul 2014 00:00:42 EST Merrimack Farmers Market relocating for better visibility MERRIMACK – The Merrimack Farmers Market is moving to a new location on Wednesday. The market, which is open from 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays through mid-October, will move to the parking lot at Vault Motor Storage, 526 Daniel Webster Highway – the former Zyla’s discount warehouse. The hours and days of operation will remain the same. Organizers of the farmers market, operated by volunteers under the auspices of the Merrimack Agricultural Commission, said the new site offers easy access from the highway and a more visible presence to passersby. The farmers market formerly operated in the parking lot at The Commons shopping center, 515 Daniel Webster Highway. Drivers seeking local goods contended with a turn at a traffic signal, a drive down a hill and a turn into the parking lot near Tractor Supply Co. Once the maneuvers were accomplished, marketgoers could patronize the 15 or so vendors. Bob McCabe, of Merrimack, a volunteer manager of the farmers market, said the new location will be more convenient. Sat, 12 Jul 2014 00:00:26 EST June: Sunny, dry, a bit warm June has the longest days of the year, and June 2014 took advantage of that by supplying us with a very sunny month. Bright sunshine was recorded 67 percent of the time at the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, Mass., 12 percent above normal and the sunniest June in 35 years. Blue Hill Observatory is the nearest location to Nashua that records sunshine data after the National Weather Service ended these observations in Boston and Concord during the mid-1990s during its modernization. June was quite a nice month for almost everyone, whether you were watching a baseball game, hosting a family cookout, made a day of it at the beach or tended to your garden. The only down side of June was for farmers, who found it too dry as the month went along. After below-normal rainfall during May and especially June, topsoil moisture became scarce by mid and late June, resulting in browning lawns locally. This was the case only across southeastern Hillsborough and southern Rockingham counties, where thundershower activity seemed to be reluctant to develop. Farther north and west, rainfall was more prolific, and lawns stayed green in places such as Concord and Dublin. Shower and thunderstorm activity to begin July has mitigated dry topsoil conditions locally, and there are no signs of drought at this point. Palmer Drought indices as of July 5 are positive, indicating we are in very good shape for at least several weeks with respect to groundwater supplies. The reasons behind our nice June weather are based on the idea that we are in a summer version of the winter blocking pattern that brought so much cold to the heartland last winter. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 23:01:32 EST Nashua T.J. Maxx banishes marathon bombing survivor’s service dog NASHUA – What started out as a stop on an afternoon shopping trip to Nashua on Thursday suddenly descended into a stressful encounter for Lowell, Mass., resident Sydney Corcoran when a manager at T.J. Maxx told the 19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing survivor she couldn’t walk her service dog into the store. Corcoran, who adopted Koda to help her deal with the post-traumatic stress disorder with which she was diagnosed in the wake of the explosions in which she suffered leg injuries, told Boston television station WCVB that the manager at the T.J. Maxx clothing store told her she needed to put Koda in a shopping cart or she would have to leave. Shaken, Corcoran said she picked up Koda and left. “I was ready to burst into tears,” she said. She then called her mother, Celeste Corcoran – who lost both her legs in the bombings – to tell her what happened. Celeste Corcoran headed to the Nashua store, where she confronted the unidentified manager. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 23:01:23 EST Nashua sent firefighters, ladder truck to help fight fatal Lowell fire that killed seven One look at the amount of blackened, smoldering rubble where, just hours earlier, as many as 50 people slept in multiple apartments was all Nashua firefighter Jim Douzanis needed Thursday morning to recognize just how rapidly and intensely flames had roared through the rambling tenement on Branch Street in Lowell. Douzanis was one of a crew of four Nashua firefighters manning Ladder 2 out of the Lake Street Station who were dispatched to the four-alarm pre-dawn blaze at 81-85 Branch St. that claimed seven lives, including five members of one family, injured about 10 more and left 50 people homeless. But as bad as was the fire damage, Douzanis said it wasn’t until he and his crew returned to Nashua that he learned of the horrific death toll. Capt. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:31:00 EST Fireworks reports checked in deadly apartment fire LOWELL, Mass. – A fire ravaged a three-story apartment building before dawn Thursday, killing four adults and three children, forcing tenants to jump or hand their children to safety, and leading to dramatic rescues from upper floors. Authorities are looking into witness reports that the sound of exploding fireworks preceded the blaze, as well as a man’s claim that a brother who died in the fire kept fireworks in his apartment. The victims in this former mill city about 25 miles northwest of Boston were all found in units on the top floor of the building, which was just down the street from a fire station. Nine people were hospitalized with injuries not considered life-threatening. Authorities say 48 people lived in the building, which had a liquor store on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors. The roof entirely burned away, with the outer walls charred and the siding melted. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:25:00 EST Budget Review Committee sends Nashua mayor’s road spending plan to full board, hold onto city budget The aldermanic Budget Review Committee made a few tweaks and changes to the Mayor Donnalee Lozeau’s proposed fiscal 2015 city operating budget Thursday night, eventually taking up Lozeau’s proposal to create a special revenue fund for road maintenance and repair. In the end, the committee voted 6-1 to recommend an amended version of Lozeau’s road maintenance plan for passage by the full Board of Aldermen, but held onto the city budget for more deliberations at a future meeting. Ward 3 Alderman David Schoneman was the lone “no” vote. An amendment was passed unanimously adding a stipulation that the road funds be used only for “annual paving contract(s) as approved by the Finance Committee.” After nearly an hour of discussion over the amendment, committee Chairman David Deane motioned to re-table the budget resolution, which passed in a rollcall vote, 5-2, with Ward 2 Alderman Richard Dowd and Ward 4 Alderman Pam Brown opposed. Deane said a date for the next meeting will need to be set, along with a meeting of the full Board of Aldermen. Initially, some aldermen and public hearing speakers questioned whether Lozeau drafted the road spending plan to move funds to a special account in order to circumvent the spending cap, but she’s insisted from the beginning that she did so to try to find a solution to what she called a “challenging, at best” problem of funding road repairs. Her proposal, which in June was aired at Budget Review Committee meetings and a public hearing, also calls for about $50,000 for new software to allow the Department of Public Works to better map out a schedule and timeline for road repair and maintenance work. “I’m telling you the paving situation in this city is so bad we could spend $2 million on it right away,” Lozeau told the committee. Her request to create the fund goes to the heart of Lozeau’s proposed $241.3 million budget for fiscal 2015, which represents a roughly $5 million, or 2.2 percent, increase over the current budget. The budget as proposed would come in below the city’s spending cap, and keep city property tax increases below 3 percent. Schoneman reiterated previous concerns that the proposal “skirts” the spending cap, saying taxpayers voted for the cap because they were worried about their taxes getting out of hand. Lozeau said she sees the fund, officially named the Special Road and Highway Fund, as a way to jump-start road projects that otherwise might languish for another year or more. The discussion and eventual vote over the special fund took place as part of the committee’s second budget wrap-up session Thursday night. When the committee returned to the wrapup session, Schoneman threw out a motion to cut $500,000 from the controversial Main street sidewalk reconstruction project, saying the figure was intended “to get the conversation started.” Eventually, Schoneman revised his motion to cut about $173,400 from the sidewalk project, a figure suggested by committee member Jim Donchess. Donchess, a frequent critic of the project, said it might not be a bad idea to halt, and “re-address,” what he called “a half-baked project. “We don’t even know when it’s going to finish,” he said. After nearly an hour of discussion over the amendment, committee Chairman David Deane motioned to re-table the budget resolution, which passed in a rollcall vote, 5-2, with Ward 2 Alderman Richard Dowd and Ward 4 Alderman Pam Brown opposed. Deane said a date for the next meeting will need to be set, along with a meeting of the full Board of Aldermen. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:40:01 EST This weekend's weather forecast with Al Kaprielian Al Kaprielian says another great summer weekend is on the way.  Fri, 11 Jul 2014 08:38:04 EST Nashua man charged with firing accidental gunshot into city apartment NASHUA – Police arrested a city man on felony charges earlier this month and accused him of accidentally firing a bullet into an apartment complex. Police were called around 11:30 a.m. on May 25 for a report of shots fired near a local apartment complex and a woman there told officers a bullet had been shot into her apartment, police said. Patrol officers identified Nicholas Kolhonen, 22, of 6 Silver Drive, Apt. 20, Nashua, as a possible suspect and detectives later charged him with felony reckless conduct after determining the shot had been fired as a result of an accidental discharge, police said. Kolhonen was arrested around 1:30 on July 5 and released on $15,000 personal recognizance bail pending his arraignment at Nashua district court, police said. The Class B felony is punishable by up to seven years in prison plus fines, police said. – JOSEPH G. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:06:18 EST Nashua College to close its doors in September Mount Washington College will close its Nashua and Salem campuses by early September, the school announced Wednesday. Formerly known as Hesser College until a year ago, the school will merge the two closed campuses with its Manchester facilities. “Starting on September 9, students will be continuing studies at the main campus in Manchester,” said college spokesperson Stephen White. The closure’s will affect 540 students and triger about 50 staff layoffs. There are approximately 350 students attending the Nashua campus on Amherst Street, opposite the Somerset Plaza. Manchester will become Mount Washington’s sole campus. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:06:01 EST Nashua police charge Bedford woman with fraud NASHUA – Police arrested a Bedford woman this week they said defrauded a local bank. Police were contacted by the bank and told it had lost a sum of money as the result of check fraud. Detectives investigated and arrested Tamra Snyder, of 7 Mack St., Bedford, on Wednesday, police said. Snyder was released on personal recognizance bail and will be arraigned at Nashua district court, police said. The Class B felony is punishable by up to seven years in prison plus fines, police said. – JOSEPH G. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:05:54 EST State’s first court for veterans opened in Nashua Thursday NASHUA – New Hampshire’s first court program designed to assist veterans who are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and other combat-related conditions to navigate through the criminal justice system got off the ground Thursday. The Nashua Veterans Behavioral Health Track will be rolled into Nashua district court’s mental health court program that allows criminal defendant’s to get treatment rather than going to jail for minor offenses. The veterans track will focus specifically on former military members whose crimes are related to illnesses and substance abuse that stem from their tours of duty. “It’s an opportunity to streamline veterans through the court system and recognize some of the specific issues that veterans face, particularly post-traumatic issues,” said New Hampshire National Guard Brigadier General Carolyn Protzmann. “This court will hopefully shed light on those issues veterans are facing and hopefully push them toward treatment and not incarcerating them.” Gov. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:05:38 EST Nashua woman facing theft charge in check cashing scheme NASHUA – A Nashua woman is facing a felony theft charge after police arrested her this week and accused her of a check cashing scheme. A local bank reported to police it had lost more than $1,500 due to the scheme and after an investigation, detectives charged Evelyn Anaya, of 17 Spalding St., Nashua. Anaya was arrested around 9 a.m. Wednesday and charged with theft by deception-consolidation, police said. Anaya was freed on personal recognizance bail pending her arraignment at Nashua district court, police said. The Class A felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison plus fines, police said. – JOSEPH G. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:05:20 EST Nashua man charged with calling in phony bomb threat at homeless shelter NASHUA – Police arrested a homeless man Thursday and charged him with contacting the media to cover what he said would be a bomb explosion at a Nashua homeless shelter. Nashua police were contacted by WBZ-TV, Channel 4 News in Boston, around 5:20 a.m. on July 6 and told that a man had called and said he was going to blow up the Dalianis House at 59 Factory St., Nashua, and that he wanted media coverage, police said. Police responded and found no evidence of a bomb within the shelter for homeless veterans and determined the call was a hoax. On Wednesday they arrested Mark Sacco, 48, of no fixed address, and charged him with false report as to explosives, a felony, police said. Sacco was held on $1,500 cash or surety bail and arraigned Thursday morning at Nashua district court, police said. The Class B felony is punishable by up to seven years in prison, plus fines, police said. – JOSEPH G. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:04:09 EST Pennichuck Corp. seeks to issue $54.5 million worth of bonds NASHUA – Pennichuck Corp. is seeking authorization from the city of Nashua to sell up to $54.5 million worth of bonds to refinance existing debt and pay for capital projects through 2016. Nashua’s Board of Aldermen took up a resolution Tuesday that would allow Pennichuck Water Works, one of the corporation’s subsidiaries, to move forward with a new long-term financing plan. Pennichuck is working to transform the corporation’s capital structure from one suited for a publicly-traded company to one “better aligned” with Pennichuck’s new status as a city-owned public utility. Part of that transition is laying the groundwork for Pennichuck to finance projects with long-term debt rather than private equity in the future. Specifically, Pennichuck is seeking to refinance approximately $23.4 million worth of outstanding debt with new bonds. The company’s plan calls for the bonds to be issued through the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority, bearing a fixed interest rate of approximately 5.5 percent. Pennichuck Water Works is currently carrying approximately $50.1 million of long-term debt. The lion’s share was taken out before the corporation was acquired by Nashua in 2012. Approximately $39.8 million of the outstanding debt exists as “balloon” or “bullet” maturities, a form of financing that requires making large payments at the end of the borrowing term. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:01:18 EST Study: Car insurance rates vary widely in NH; are more expensive in Mass. Car insurance rates vary by hundreds of dollars a year across New Hampshire, with smaller cities and towns like Keene, Concord and Peterborough paying less than most places in Greater Nashua, according to a new survey by a finance firm called Even in the most expensive place, however, the cost was much less than in Massachusetts towns – although state-to-state comparison is difficult due to differing requirements for coverage. The survey examined auto insurance rates for a single 30-year-old male who drove his Toyota Camry about 12,000 miles a year, with good credit and a good driving record. It’s not clear how costs would vary for other types of drivers. The analysis “includes costs across 37 cities from 14 insurers, including the five largest groups  underwriting in the state: State Farm, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, National Indemnity (GEICO), and Allstate,” the firm said in a press statement. The average costs, the firm said, range from $827 a year in Keene to $1,140 a year in Manchester, a difference of 37 percent. Nashua, at $989, was almost a dollar a week more expensive than the statewide average of $948 a year. Results varied a surprising amount even between similar adjacent communities – for example, Amherst’s figure was about 7 percent higher than Milford’s. “The likely answer is that claims frequency and severity for those insurers were different in those towns, “said Ting Pen, co-founder of In Massachusetts, rates ranged from $1,286 in Marlborough to $2,125 in Brockton. Lowell’s average was $1,693 a year, Lawrence was $1,863, and Boston was $1,933. The Massachusetts analysis involved 35 different insurance companies and 179 cities and towns. The coverage was much more extensive than in the New Hampshire analysis and involved seven kinds of driver situations. The New Hampshire study assumed covered liability of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for the passengers and an uninsured motorist; $1,000 in medical payments; and $500 in collision deductible. Annual car insurance costs for other Greater Nashua communities include: Milford: $912. Hollis: $958. Merrimack: $960. Amherst: $972. Hudson: $980. Windham: $1,073. The analysis was done by requesting rates from each of the companies in each of the communities and then averaging the results for each community. The list of all New Hampshire rates can be found at The entire study is at David Brooks can be reached at 594-6531 or dbrooks@nashua Thu, 10 Jul 2014 13:55:01 EST Napa East gift card holders need not despair – yet Related story: Nashua’s Napa East abruptly closes; future uncertain NASHUA – As customers, and even employees, of Napa East Wine Lounge & Shop continue to question the reasons for its abrupt closure on Tuesday, one group of would-be diners are asking a specific question: What happens to my gift certificate? Several certificate-holders were among the scores of people who posted comments on Napa East’s Facebook page following Tuesday’s announcement, and others contacted the Telegraph on Wednesday looking for answers. While the state Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau, which regulates services and products that include gift certificates and cards, doesn’t specifically address what happens to gift certificates when a store or restaurant closes, the head of the bureau said Wednesday that the bureau “generally takes the position that the business owner is responsible for making restitution to the certificate holders.” Assistant state Attorney General David Rienzo suggested that certificate holders file a complaint with his office, a process that can be completed online by going to the Consumer Protection and Antitrust page ( and clicking on “consumer complaints” link on the right side. Those who file a complaint can submit the form electronically or print it out and send it to the bureau at the address on the Website. Anyone with questions can contact Rienzo’s office at 271-3643. Should Napa East eventually file for bankruptcy, Rienzo said, it would become more difficult for certificate holders to receive restitution. So far, Napa East owner Joanna Mahoney has given no indication whether bankruptcy is in the restaurant’s future. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 13:49:00 EST Hudson man arrested after police say he drove 132 MPH in Toyota Supra on Everett Turnpike in Nashua NASHUA – State Police arrested a Hudson man they said was racing another car on F.E. Everett Turnpike Wednesday morning topping speeds of 130 mph. Kenneth Guertin, 45, of Hudson, was charged with felony reckless conduct after Trooper Kieran Fagan stopped him in his black Toyota Supra while the other car, a Subaru WRX, got away, according to police. Guertin is the third man this week to be arrested on felony charges after hitting dangerous speeds on New Hampshire highways. Fagan was patrolling the turnpike and heading north near Exit 4 in Nashua just after 7 a.m. Wednesday when two cars racing one another passed him. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 11:07:11 EST New Hampshire opens first criminal court for vets in Nashua NASHUA (AP) - New Hampshire's governor and chief justice will be among the speakers at opening ceremonies for the state's first court to handle the cases of military veterans charged with crimes. The ceremony will be held at Nashua District Court Thursday. Judge James Leahy will host the events and preside over the court's cases as part of the Veterans Behavioral Health Track. Gov. Maggie Hassan and Chief Justice Linda Dalianis will attend the ceremonies. Nashua District Court in 2006 was home to the Judicial Branch's first mental health court. Veterans' advocates say veterans often experience anger management issues, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder - any of which can drive crimes by veterans. The opening ceremonies begin at 1 p.m. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 05:40:00 EST Finance Committee endorses reopening Brentwood School with Nashua district staff NASHUA – Some of the city’s intensive needs students are likely to be taught at a small alternative school in Merrimack by the district’s own teachers this fall. Members of the Board of Education’s Finance Committee voted to hire new staff and take over most of the closed the Brentwood School. The Brentwood School, an alternative high school for students with intensive needs, closed suddenly at the end of this last school year. “We currently had 8 to 10 students at any given time at (Brentwood)” said Conrad. “When they closed so late in the year, the question was, ‘what do we do now?’” The committee voted to post open positions for staffing a Nashua-run program at Brentwood, although the budget and program details have yet to be worked out. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 05:34:42 EST Storm took down “attractive nuisance” 60-foot swing in Mont Vernon MONT VERNON – A bolt of lightning or some really strong wind knocked down the biggest swing in the region during last week’s storms, but that may not have been entirely a bad thing. “We loved it; we’re very sad for our swing,” said Ana Barrett of the almost 60-foot-tall swing that hung from a giant ash tree on their property, halfway up the long Mont Vernon hill as it rises from Milford. “You thought you were going to land on the farm down below, when you got going up high.” “I got to swing really high on it – we used to see the Pomeroy’s house,” said Julia, 5, one of three young daughters in the Barrett home, referring to the dairy farm at the base of their property. The swing was installed a year ago by Brookline resident Bob Eaton, a retired arborist whom Jim and Ana Barrett had met through church. He installed it without a cherry picker or ladder, using a slingshot to get a throw line over the branch, then climbing the tree to install the necessary tree bolts and hardware. The resulting swing was unusual, perhaps unique in the region and drew lots of attention. At first that was fine. “We’ve let everybody who stopped and ask swing on it, as long as they park in the driveway. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 05:32:35 EST Nashua moves polling locations to increase school safety NASHUA – Driven by concerns about school safety across the country, Nashua will move Election Day voting out of two elementary schools and into new locations this fall. The Board of Aldermen on Tuesday approved a request from City Clerk Paul Bergeron to change the polling locations in Ward 3 and Ward 5, moving voting booths out of school buildings and into churches in the two wards. The city also will hire police officers to work security details at seven other school buildings used as polling places around the city. The changes will be visible as early as the September primary election. Nashua School Superintendent Mark Conrad said the moves are intended to assuage fears from parents and staff about easy access to school buildings while children are in the building. “Parents want to know that we’re controlling access to who comes into the schools their children are in,” he said. Throughout the U.S., a number of schools have moved to end their traditional role as polling places since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. It’s hard to tell how widespread school voting restrictions have become; The Associated Press reported in January that more than three dozen U.S. schools either had either eliminated voting or considered doing so because of Sandy Hook. Officials who were called to speak before the Presidential Commission on Election Administration several months ago repeatedly testified that the issue poses a growing problem. “Schools are less and less inclined to want to make those facilities locations for voting, because you have access from people coming in off the street,” Ohio Secretary of State John Husted said at the commission’s Cincinnati meeting in September. In Nashua schools, administrators have instituted “full perimeter security,” meaning that on most days, visitors must check in at the main entrance to gain access to the building. Yet on election days, procedures are more lax to accommodate voting. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 05:31:28 EST New Hampshire non-graduates find routes toward diplomas Graduation is a transition time for students. The majority receive diplomas and move on to work or go to college. A handful of seniors opt for earning their high school equivalency certificate. And then there are a few who call it quits, who are counted as dropouts, and get counted in a statistic that is closely watched by local and state school officials. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:05:25 EST Hollis gas pipeline meeting moved to Middle School, anticipating big crowds HOLLIS – A public hearing to discuss possible alternate routes for a natural gas pipeline in the area has been shifted to the Hollis Brookline Middle School because large crowds are anticipated. It will start at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 14, in the multi-purpose room at the school, 25 Main St. A presentation of alternative routes in Town Hall on Monday filled the selectmen’s meeting room to overflowing, even though no public comment was allowed. Monday’s meeting will be designed to gather public comment and opinions, and will almost certainly draw more people. The routes were put together by an engineering firm hired by Beaver Brook Association, the Hollis-based environmental group. The route put forward by Kinder-Morgan, parent company of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., would have run through a number of Beaver Brook properties that are covered by conservation easements, which forbid development projects like pipelines. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:05:21 EST One hurt in Nashua French Hill crash Wednesday A woman suffered non life-threatening injuries in a two-car accident on Nashua’s French Hill on Wednesday afternoon. The unidentified woman, believed to be in her 50s, was the driver of the vehicle that rolled over and came to rest on its roof after the crash at the intersection of Summer and Cross streets, Deputy Nashua Fire Rescue Chief Brian Rhodes said. She was taken to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center for treatment, he said. No other injuries were reported. The name of the driver of the other vehicle was also unavailable. Rhodes said the accident, which occurred around 5 p.m., is under investigation by Nashua police. – DEAN SHALHOUP Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:00:32 EST Nashua aldermen restore budget money to hire police officers NASHUA – Responding to concerns about ongoing drug crime in the city, a committee of aldermen voted Monday to restore $70,000 to the police department budget, heeding a call from the police chief to help put more officers on the street. Members of the aldermanic Budget Review Committee chose to restore funds in the city’s fiscal 2015 budget that had been trimmed by Mayor Donnalee Lozeau. The decision came Monday as the committee began tailoring Lozeau’s $256.5 million budget proposal for the coming year, making alterations to the police budget and a handful of other line items. The police department was one of two city divisions that requested an increase above the 2 percent threshold set by Lozeau at the beginning of budget season. Chief John Seusing’s budget proposal for the police department came in at $26.6 million, an increase of about 2.5 percent from the current year. Lozeau cut $70,000 from the bottom line before handing the police budget off to the Board of Aldermen last month. Seusing said he would cope with the $70,000 reduction by allowing two staff positions to go unfilled, but he implored members of the Budget Review Committee to restore the funding to help increase staffing. Seusing said previously that the money would allow him to hire two new officers and shift two more experienced officers to the drug unit, also known as the Narcotics and Intelligence Division. Ward 5 Alderman Michael Soucy, a former city police officer, led the charge Monday to restore funding to the police budget, saying that the department is understaffed. “I believe as a society, as a city, one of the most important things that people want is to go to bed at night believing that they’re safe,” Soucy said. Soucy said the average detective in Nashua is juggling 40-50 unsolved cases, meaning that fewer resources can be devoted to solving crimes such as home burglaries. “I’m just afraid, being a border city, the way we’re growing, that at some point we’re going to begin to look like some of these Massachusetts communities,” he said. Alderman-at-Large Jim Donchess said he attended a recent Crime Watch meeting in Ward 4 and heard a presentation from a detective in the drug unit about the challenges facing the department. “It was very clear from an on-the-street view that the quantity of drugs has increased dramatically, and that they have more work than they can possibly do,” Donchess said. Other adjustments Monday included reducing the line item for advertising in the purchasing office from $49,000 to $39,000. The fund is used primarily to place public notices in newspapers and other periodicals for job openings, requests for bids and other items. The committee also eliminated funding for Nashua’s Downtown Facade Improvement Program, which was funded this year to the tune of $40,000. The program is administered by the mayor’s Office of Economic Development. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 12:58:00 EST Nashua aldermen call for control over citizen services director position NASHUA – The Budget Review Committee voted Monday to shift the position of citizen services director out of the mayor’s office – a move that one city official said was aimed at retaining the employee who holds the job. The current citizen services director, Patricia Rogers, was hired to serve on the mayor’s staff beginning in 2008. Rogers is the point person for residents who have concerns and complaints about city business. She was slated to earn a $49,779 salary in the position during the coming fiscal year. While she currently serves under the direction of the mayor, that soon could change. The budget committee voted Monday to recommend moving her position under the direction of the Board of Aldermen. While there was little discussion about the proposal Monday, Alderman-at-Large David Deane said Tuesday that he views Rogers as an asset to the community and feared she wouldn’t be asked to continue serving in her role by the mayor. “It’s my understanding – through what I’ve heard through numerous sources – that the individual has been, you know, given some options. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 08:54:29 EST Pair facing slew of drug charges, accused by police of making drug runs to Nashua NASHUA – Police have charged a woman and a man with several felony-level drug charges, accusing them of trying to sell cocaine, heroin and prescription pills. Police said Yahaira Acevedo- Torres, 27, and Luis Ruiz-Gonzalez, 22, were arrested Friday and charged with sale and possession of narcotic drugs, including crack cocaine, heroin, cocaine and oxycodone hydrochloric pills. Police have been investigating  Acevedo-Torres, “probably going back a couple years now,” Nashua Police Lt. David Bailey said. During the recent investigation, police said Acevedo-Torres and Ruiz-Gonzalez were making daily trips to the Nashua area for the purpose of distributing narcotic drugs. Acevedo-Torres and Ruiz-Gonzalez were charged with Class A felonies and were arraigned at the Nashua District Court on Monday. The pair were arrested by Nashua Police Department’s Narcotics Intelligence Division, who were assisted by members of the U.S. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 00:06:05 EST Mikata in Nashua torn down to make more room After more than a decade in Nashua, the Mikata Japanese Steakhouse at 647 Amherst St. has been torn down to make way for an expanded version of a year-old auto oil and lubrication shop and car wash. Amherst St. LLC and Key Auto Group decided to expand the facility, which replaced a Saturn dealership only last year, after the Mikata property became available. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 00:05:24 EST New Hampshire’s abortion clinic buffer zone law faces court challenge CONCORD – A legal group promoting Christian beliefs has filed a lawsuit against the state of New Hampshire over a new law that would establish protest-free buffer zones around facilities that offer abortions. Alliance Defending Freedom is asking a federal judge to temporarily block New Hampshire’s new law from taking effect Thursday. The new law would ban demonstrators from coming within 25 feet of facilities where abortions are performed. The court challenge comes on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June striking down a similar buffer zone law in Massachusetts. “New Hampshire has created an expansive anti-speech zone that cannot survive constitutional scrutiny,” said Manchester attorney Michael Tierney, who is working with Alliance Defending Freedom to challenge the New Hampshire law. “There is no constitutional ground for creating speech-restricted zones on public ways and sidewalks.” Democratic Gov. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 00:00:25 EST Nashua man riding bicycle in critical condition after colliding with car in Hudson HUDSON – A Nashua man is in critical condition after colliding with a car while riding an electric-assist bicycle Monday. The accident occurred around 11:50 a.m. at the intersection of Lowell and Wason Roads. James Landry, 47, was found on the eastbound lane of Wason Road suffering from serious head trauma. The car involved was parked at the scene, and the driver, Alisha McCoy, 30, of Nashua, and passers-by were rendering aid to the injured male bicyclist. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 00:00:17 EST One year, 8,700 miles, 1,700 pictures, and no words: Nashua grad finishes his silent walk across country NASHUA – More than 8,700 miles, nearly 2 million steps and close to 12 months later, Greg Hindy is ahead of schedule. Hindy, 22, is in Los Angeles just shy of a year since he took a vow of silence and set off on foot from New Hampshire to travel up, down and around the country before finishing his silent trek at a friend’s house in L.A. on July 9, his 23rd birthday. “He’s back in the city, so I think it’s a done deal,” his father, Dr. Carl Hindy, said this week. “There’s a lot of film to develop.” Greg Hindy’s walk is intended to be a piece of performance art. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 14:04:00 EST Engineers hired by Beaver Brook Association present alternate pipeline routes through Hollis, Brookline HOLLIS – Beaver Brook Association presented its engineers’ ideas of alternative routes for a natural gas pipeline that may be running through Hollis at a special meeting Monday, but also heard that changes being sought in Massachusetts could change things further. “There’s a larger effect in Middlesex County (Massachusetts) towns to move the entire pipeline so it runs through public lands. That might affect what you’re doing,” said Dennis Eklof of Groton, Mass., part of a just-formed group of towns targeted by Kinder Morgan for a gas distribution pipeline. Eklof spoke Monday evening at a special meeting of the Hollis Board of Selectman that heard about three possible alternatives developed to a transmission pipeline drawn up by Tri-Mont Engineering Co. of Braintree, Mass., on contract for Beaver Brook Association. Two of the proposals run north through Brookline to the west of Kinder Morgan’s Hollis proposal, then cut through Milford and Amherst to Route 101A in Nashua; the third runs through Hollis mostly along Route 122, to the east of Kinder Morgan’s plan. The two Brookline proposals are around 15½ miles long, more than the 12.2 miles of Kinder Morgan’s plan, while the Route 122 route is shorter at 11.4 miles. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 13:01:00 EST Man allegedly stabbed another man during domestic dispute NASHUA – Police arrested a Nashua resident last week who they said stabbed a man who tried to intervene in a domestic assault. Police were called to a Nashua residence shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday for a report of a domestic disturbance during which a man was stabbed. When they arrived, officers were told Ernie Roig, 26, had been involved in an altercation with a woman and that he had threatened her with a knife and assaulted her, police said. A family member stepped in to stop the altercation and was stabbed in the stomach by Roig, police said. The male family member was brought to a city hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and the woman who was involved had only minor injuries, according to police. Roig was charged with domestic violence: first-degree assault and two counts each of domestic violence: criminal threatening and domestic violence: simple assault. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:04:01 EST Brookline residents and board opposed to pipeline BROOKLINE – It was standing room only as more than 30 residents attended the Board of Selectmen meeting Monday to listen to a presentation by Beaver Brook Association on alternate routes for a proposed pipeline that would cut through some of its conservation land if the initial proposed path is approved. Board Chairman Darrell Philpot took a sense of the room, and when he asked who supported the pipeline, not one hand went up. After discussion of the routes, which at this point are informational only, members of the public were allowed to speak. “I would think we would want to protect Beaver Brook,” said Forrest Milkowski. “I support the idea to take action to save conservation land. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:10:00 EST Shaheen in Nashua to discuss legislation to expand tax credits for child care NASHUA – It’s time child care tax credits are updated for the first time since their introduction in 1976, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said during a visit to the Adult Learning Center’s Early Childhood Adventures Program on Monday. Shaheen said childhood education costs families about $12,000 per year in New Hampshire. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 09:22:00 EST Don Himsel's 'Voices': ‘You did it!’ Downtown Nashua regulars will recognize Franny’s greeting If you’ve spent any time around Nashua’s Main Street and have run across Francis Whitford, chances are he looked you straight in the eye and said you did it. Just go with it. It’s part of being downtown in Nashua. Friends and strangers alike are often the recipient of his boisterous “You did it!” greetings as he walks by. Franny, 58, faced with developmental challenges and epilepsy, is as part of the Main Street scene as anything down there. For years he has been seen on foot, walking from his home through the downtown and shouting his greeting. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 09:15:01 EST Parent of Pep Direct in Wilton agrees to $24 million settlement in veterans-donation scheme WILTON – The parent company of Pep Direct in Wilton has agreed to a $24.6 million settlement to resolve allegations that it used false claims about assistance for wounded veterans to solicit $116 million in donations over six years. So much of the money was spent on marketing that the charity it represented is now in debt. The solicitations included letters that told emotional stories about veterans who don’t exist, according to a settlement announced last week by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Quadriga Art and Convergence Direct Marketing, the direct-mail vendors for the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, allegedly misled potential donors and failed to disclose conflicts of interest, the settlement says. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 09:12:10 EST Nashua firefighter faces federal child pornography charges NASHUA – A member of Nashua Fire Rescue has been placed on home confinement following his first appearance in federal court on child pornography charges, according to documents posted on the U.S. District Court’s website earlier this month. Stephen Cote, a Nashua fire department employee since December 1996, was indicted on one charge each of distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography at the federal court in Concord, according to court documents. The charges accused Cote of possessing and distributing images of children “engaging in sexually explicit conduct” between March 8 and June 25, 2013, according to court records. Cote was arraigned Thursday and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device and to remain confined to his home except for work, school and some other activities. He also was ordered to turn over a laptop computer, firearms and ammunition to a probation officer and to notify his employer of computer-related restrictions, according to court records. Nashua fire officials did not know about Cote’s arrest when contacted by The Telegraph on Monday morning. Fire Chief Brian Morrissey said Cote had worked for the department since the mid-1990s and was off-duty over the weekend for a previously scheduled vacation. “I haven’t seen anything as of yet,” Morrissey said. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 00:06:27 EST Decontamination training sessions Tuesday at SNHMC in Nashua NASHUA – Southern New Hampshire Health System will be training health care personnel to decontaminate victims exposed to hazardous substances at a training session Tuesday, July 8. This full-day program includes classroom and hands-on training using protective outerwear and powered air purifying respirators. In addition, trainees will learn how to use the current modes of decontamination based out of the main campus Emergency Department at 8 Prospect St. – TELEGRAPH STAFF Tue, 08 Jul 2014 00:04:20 EST Former officer in hit and run released from jail MANCHESTER (AP) – A New Hampshire police officer who was sentenced to a year in jail for leaving the scene after he struck two teens with his unmarked police car has been released after less than three months. WMUR-TV reports the jail superintendent released former Manchester police Sgt. Stephen Coco on a daily reporting program requiring him to phone in. Coco had been charged with conduct after an accident. Prosecutors said he was off-duty on March 22, 2013, when he struck the teens from behind, injuring them. Coco said he hadn’t left home that night, but police said his SUV had front-end damage. Coco said there’s no chance he will re-offend. But state attorneys have challenged the superintendent’s decision. The judge took the matter under advisement and will release a ruling. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 00:03:33 EST Fireworks displays delayed all over Greater Nashua Rainy weather pushed north by Hurricane Arthur has altered the schedule for many municipal fireworks displays. These towns have rescheduled Fourth of July events: Nashua Fireworks were postponed until Saturday at Holman Stadium. Note that all of the city’s other Independence Day events were canceled. The Revolution Run 5K was still scheduled to take place Friday. Merrimack Fireworks were delayed until Sunday evening at Merrimack High School. The pancake breakfast and Sparkler 5K were still on for their normal schedule on Friday. For updates on Family Day events, visit Amherst Fireworks were postponed until Saturday at Souhegan High School. Mon, 07 Jul 2014 09:18:48 EST Is allowing ‘unproven cancer cure’ to help Hudson girl compassionate treatment or medical profiteering? Why would anybody want to prevent a sick child from getting treatment that might be her only hope of staying alive to see her 13th birthday? That question comes up in the case of McKenzie Lowe, of Hudson, whose family had to overcome strenuous opposition in the medical community to try a treatment developed by a Texas doctor named Stanislaw Burzynski, in hopes that it will cure her inoperable brain tumor. They and their supporters are now raising money to pay the tens of thousands of dollars that Burzynski needs to proceed. “We understand how the family feels. Obviously, we wish the best for McKenzie,” said Ronald Lindsay, president of Center for Inquiry, which has long been critical of Burzynski. The organization has written a letter objecting to the Food and Drug Administration’s recent approval of “compassionate use” treatment for a half-dozen patients, including McKenzie. Mon, 07 Jul 2014 09:14:59 EST Judge to decide if woman accused of Hollis home invasion is competent to stand trial NASHUA – The state’s chief forensic examiner said a woman facing attempted murder charges following a May 2013 home invasion in Hollis is competent to stand trial. Whether or not a judge agrees remains to be seen. Dr. Daniel Comiskey said he suspects that Cynthia Nagele, 58, of Lowell, Mass., was having more struggles with depression and anxiety when her lawyers filed a motion in April stating their concerns about her ability to understand and retain vital information about her case. Since then Nagele has received mental health treatment and medication and can communicate sufficiently with her lawyers and consider her options and legal rights, Comiskey testified at Hillsborough County Superior Court Tuesday. Mon, 07 Jul 2014 09:11:46 EST