This Week in N.H. News: High-Profile Police Incidents Unfold in Manchester, Nashua

May 13, 2016

It was a good week for bees, a less-good week for trees. Here’s what else you might’ve missed along the way.Want to catch up a bit earlier on the headlines? Sign up for our Friday news email, The Rundown, and get it delivered right to your inbox. Here's the link.

Above The Fold

Early Morning Manhunt in Manchester

Manchester residents woke up to the sound of police sirens and helicopters circling overhead this morning after an overnight shooting that wounded two police officers wounded — but in stable condition.

Several schools on the West Side were closed, and residents were told to shelter in place this morning as police continue to search for the suspect, who’s described as a white man with long hair who was wearing a trench coat at the time of the incident.

As of early afternoon, a shelter-in-place order had been lifted, and Manchester's police chief said the city was safe — but officials didn't share many other details.

Police Confrontation in Car Chase, Captured on Video, Prompts Criminal Probe

When police finally caught up with the man who’d led them on a 50-mile car chase from Massachusetts to Nashua, news helicopters were, as usual, above to capture the scene from a few different angles.

But it’s the footage of the confrontation that followed when the driver got out of the car — where police can be seen beating the man as he’s crawling away from the vehicle — that’s grabbed the attention of lots of people across the country, and the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office. The state’s now investigating whether the police were too aggressive.

On a somewhat-related note: This incident came just a day after the FBI director suggested that a “viral video effect” might be stifling police officers’ ability to do their jobs. But the agency head didn’t cite any concrete evidence to back up the claim, according to the New York Times, aside from private conversations he’s had with police officers.

A ‘Spotlight’ on N.H. Private Schools

The latest investigation from the Boston Globe’s award-winning “Spotlight” team examines cases of sexual abuse at boarding schools across New England — including a few in New Hampshire.

Because these schools aren’t subject to the same open records laws as public institutions, it’s hard to gauge just how widespread the problem is. But the Globe’s report includes a feature that lets you look up details on incidents involving at least five schools in the Granite State.

One excerpt from the Spotlight investigation.
Credit Boston Globe

Shuffling On Deck in the State Senate

While the race for the White House might be getting the bulk of the spotlight right now, there’s sure to be no shortage of action in the race for control of the Statehouse, too. This week, two state senators — Sens. Molly Kelly, a Democrat from Harrisville, and David Boutin, a Republican from Hooksett — said they won’t run again.

With several others running for other offices like governor, or otherwise stepping aside, that leaves at least six incumbent seats up for grabs in the Republican-controlled chamber — and Democrats are already eyeing an opening to flip things in their favor.

In Other News

In case you were wondering why people were partying on the Statehouse lawn this week...

It was Rep. John Burt’s Fifth Annual Hot Dog Day. There were, of course “New Hampshire-made hot dogs.” And frisbee dogs. There was also some dancing.  (The party, which doubles as a fundraiser for the Lakes Region Humane Society, actually started out as an act of civil disobedience to protest state laws around cooking fires. You can hear all about its history here, via a public access show hosted by Rep. Burt himself.)

The PFOA water contamination struggles continue, in New Hampshire and next door...

This map illustrates the locations of New Hampshire facilities the state has identified as using (or as likely to have used) PFCs.
Credit NHPR Digital via CartoDB

The state has now ID’ed more than 40 companies that have used the kind of chemicals linked to the current contamination situation. And now, high levels of PFOA have also popped up around Amherst.  Meanwhile, a group of Vermonters are suing the same company that’s linked to the contamination in Granite State wells, according to the Brattleboro Reformer.

New Hampshire was at the heart...

...of two recent stories from NPR’s new  “Politics In Real Life” series. In one, a Manchester family shares their challenges getting by without paid family leaveIn the other, another New Hampshire family opens up about their struggle to find treatment for a daughter battling heroin addiction.

Diana Ross was right...

"You Can’t Hurry Love.” Sage advice in life and, maybe, presidential politics? In this case, longtime Republican strategist Tom Rath was talking to the Union Leader about the rocky relationship-mending still ahead for the party after an especially tense primary season.

Also Worth A Click

  • Pets’ pain pills aren’t currently required to be reported to the state’s drug monitoring program, but that could change. (Foster’s Daily Democrat)
  • Aside from that high-speed car chase, there was also apparently a real-life “wild goose chase” up in the North Country. (Berlin Daily Sun)
  • That five-star Yelp review probably isn’t coming for The Firebird Motel anytime soon: Locals say rampant drug issues, human trafficking incidents and other nuisances have earned it a reputation as “the most dangerous place in all of Hooksett.” (Union Leader)
  • Have you spotted a bright purple bus puttering around Portsmouth? Its owner offered a tour of the psychedelic vehicle, which doubles as a home on wheels. (The Sound)
  • That customer service representative at your local Honda dealer might double as a “Donald” impersonator. (Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)
  • Speaking of Trump, another town’s having trouble getting his campaign to pay up after a pre-primary political rally. Farmington says the businessman’s event racked up a bill of about $9,500, nearly $7,500 just in police services. (Foster’s Daily Democrat)
  • Two cities on opposite ends of the state, Berlin and Nashua, are looking to lobbyists to help boost their clout in Concord. (Berlin Daily SunUnion Leader)
  • You’ve probably driven past at least a few roadside memorials in New Hampshire. The rules around these makeshift monuments can vary, it turns out, from town-to-town. (Eagle Times)
  • The Andy Cohen tell-all should be really good for this one: “The Real Fish & Game Officers of the Granite State” — or something like that — is set to start filming soon. (Concord Monitor)
  • One Manchester teen lost his fight to take his 22-year-old girlfriend to prom, but he did at least get a cameo on “The Late Late Show” as a consolation. (Union Leader)