Manchester

Manchester Police Department

The state Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a man convicted of attempting to murder a Manchester police officer in 2012.

In an appeal to the state’s highest court, attorneys for 25-year-old Myles Webster argued eyewitness identifications were tainted when police released his booking photo five hours before he was arraigned.

Webster was found guilty of attempting to kill Manchester Police Officer Dan Doherty, after shooting him seven times at point-blank range.

Webster was sentenced to 60 years to life in prison.

Geoff Forester, NHPR (file photo)

There's been no shortage of high-profile debates over the school system in New Hampshire's largest city.

In recent years there have been concerns about class sizes, academic standards and funding, to name just a few. And this week the Manchester Education Association voted against a proposed four year labor contract with the city.

Michael Flanagan/Flickr CC

The Bureau of Justice Administration has approved funding for a new drug court in Nashua, but has rejected a grant for the same program in Manchester.

Hillsborough County Superior Court had applied for two three-year, $325,000 grants.

Each would have funded drug courts in the state’s two largest cities, but, earlier this month, only Nashua’s was approved.

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Ken Brown says while he’s disappointed, the Manchester court did receive funding for a similar program called Project HOPE.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

A 21-year-old New Hampshire man charged in connection with a lockdown at his former high school in Manchester is heading to court.

Damian Johnson of Manchester will be arraigned Friday on a felony count of falsifying physical evidence and misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass, violation of probation and disrupting school in session.

Police say Manchester High School West was on lockdown for 90 minutes Thursday, after a student reported seeing Johnson with a gun tucked into his waistband. He was found in a small, occupied classroom and was arrested without incident.

Courtesy of MPD

Manchester Police say they’ve arrested nine alleged drug dealers and seized more than $90,000 worth of Oxycodone tablets.

The drugs seized over the course of 13 searches on August 27th came by way of New York and Lawrence Massachusetts according to authorities. The individuals arrested were affiliated with what they are calling a “high level” Drug Trafficking Organization. Three of the individuals behind bars were operating at the top of the chain.

Sgt. Brian O’Keefe says the multi-agency investigation began nearly a year ago and is still ongoing.

Courtesy of MPD

 Manchester Police have reported the seizure of more 11 pounds of synthetic marijuana known commonly as spice from a Manchester tattoo parlor. The drugs sold as incense had a retail value of more than $25,000.

The search warrant was executed at two Spider Bite locations two weeks ago as part of a months-long, multi-agency investigation that began well before a spate of overdoses that occurred in the middle of August.

Sgt. Brian O’Keefe says the department kept the seizures close to the chest since the investigation is still ongoing.

A variety of companies representing such fields as food service, construction and retail are participating in a job fair in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The event is offering opportunities for entry-level and skilled job-seekers.

The job fair is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Sweeney Post Manchester.

It's sponsored by the New Hampshire Employment Security agency.

Melanie Holtsman / Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Department of Education has rejected the Manchester School District’s request to opt-out of a new standardized test to be given this spring. In a letter to the school district, Education Commissioner Virginia Barry writes that if Manchester doesn’t administer the Smarter Balanced exam, it could lose nearly $17 million in federal education funds.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Labor Day was one of the last days customers had to move their stuff out of Extra Space Storage, a self-storage facility in Manchester.

The Manchester mill building that contained the storage company was purchased a developer called Brady-Sullivan, which has  plans to convert the building into luxury condos. The closure came a lot earlier than expected, however, after lead dust was detected in the storage units in January during renovations on the upper floors.  

Courtesy image/Manchester PD

  A newly formed committee to study ways to regulate and control the designer drug known as Spice held its first meeting Wednesday.

The committee was created by legislation signed in the last session. Senator Molly Kelly of Keene was the legislation’s author and is now the Chair of the study committee.

“There’ll be different components than just looking at the criminal law. We can look at even our consumer protection law on labeling.”

Carol Robidoux / Manchester Ink Link

  Some Manchester aldermen are pushing back on a decision by Mayor Ted Gatsas to close a park to the public during school hours.

The decision to erect signs at Bronstein Park warning the public that the park is off limits during school hours came a week after a spike in spice-related overdoses, some of which occurred at the park. Gatsas argues the park is city property meant for use by Central High School. But some aldermen, like Garth Corriveau, say the unilateral decision may have unforeseen consequences.

Courtesy image/Manchester PD

  The three Manchester stores that were closed last week in the wake of the synthetic marijuana overdoses have been allowed to reopen. The stores have agreed not to sell any brand of so-called spice.

Courtesy image/Manchester PD

Governor Maggie Hassan has declared a state of emergency in the wake of more than 40 synthetic marijuana overdose cases since Monday.

Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as spice, has been linked to a jump in overdoses in Manchester and Concord. The powers of Governor Hassan’s executive order to seize the drug sold ostensibly as incense in corner stores, applies only to the bubblegum-flavored variety of a brand called ‘Smacked!.’ Health Commissioner Nick Toumpas says other brands called ‘Green Giant’ and ‘Crazy Monkey’ may also be dangerous.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  Manchester city officials have approved the sale of UNH Manchester’s main millyard building to Segway inventor Dean Kamen’s company.

The deal includes a long-term lease agreement with Dean Kamen’s company which owns the much larger Pandora building. UNH Manchester’s Interim Dean Mike Hickey says construction will begin Monday and they hope to complete the move to Pandora by next Spring break.

Courtesy of Gabriel Wani

  The Sudanese woman sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her Christian faith has arrived with her children and husband to New Hampshire.

Meriam Ibrahim, her husband Daniel Wani and their two children arrived in the airport in Manchester Thursday night.

Ibrahim was released in June after being held in captivity with her young son in a Sudanese prison. She gave birth to her daughter there while shackled to the floor.

Daniel Wani, in a recorded statement, thanked everyone who helped secure his family’s release.

The 7-year-old police dog partner of a Manchester, New Hampshire, police officer is retiring after a successful career.

"Lou" and Officer Scott Ardita passed certification for five years while winning numerous awards in the process. The certification trial measures the success of a dog and his handler, but most importantly, it certifies the dog as a bona fide K-9 capable of working as a police dog.

The Manchester Police Department currently has eight working K-9 teams. Lou will continue living with Ardita and his family as he starts his retirement.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  UNH Manchester is planning on selling its main building in the millyard to the company run by the inventor of the Segway. The university is looking to expand into a larger space—the millyard’s Pandora building.

For more than twenty years, UNH Manchester has been located at 400 Commercial street, next door to Dean Kamen’s company DEKA’s headquarters. Now, the school wants to consolidate itself in a nearby larger mill building where it already leases the first two floors from Kamen. The swap would mean Kamen can expand his corporate headquarters.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  Manchester police say that while efforts to reduce property crimes in Manchester have shown some success, the total number of crimes since January is virtually identical to last year. The information was presented during a downtown community meeting hosted by the Manchester police department Tuesday night.

Officer Matt Barter, the department’s crime analyst, says some of the numbers between January and June are looking good. 

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is expanding its summer Lunch in the Park series this year. Veterans Park is at the center of an effort to clean up the image of downtown area parks.

The hope is that every Thursday to the end of the summer people will venture out of their offices and homes to eat lunch in the city’s Veterans Park. Last year, Lunch in the Park events happened three times. This time it’s up to eight. Mike Skelton, the chamber of commerce president, says the events were first conceived when business owners complained about how the parks were being used.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The Manchester Police Department swore in 14 new officers Monday morning.

It’s the city’s largest crop of new officers in recent years.

Ten men and four women were sworn in Monday.

(You can read the bios of the new officers here).

Police Chief David Mara says the new additions bring the department to 226 police officers total, still far below the 265 he says a city the size of Manchester needs.

A food market can be a cultural center for a neighborhood. The owner of an Asian market in Manchester is hoping to become just that, but first he must find a new space for his store. To learn more about the Saigon Asian Market we turned to Mark Hayward of the Union Leader who has written about the market’s struggle with the Manchester Zoning Board of Adjustment:

What can you tell us about this store and about its owner?

examiner.com via Flickr Creative Commons

Manchester Police Chief David Mara is one of four finalists to head up the police department in Somerville, Mass.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation says temporary night closures are planned on Interstate 293 in Manchester, both northbound and southbound, near Exit 4 for drainage installation across the highway.  The lane closures are scheduled to take place from Tuesday, May 27, through Saturday, June 7, from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. each night, excluding the weekend. The interstate will have one open lane at all times in each direction. The improvements are necessary to accommodate construction of a third lane on I-293 southbound.

Flooding near Main Street Museum in WRJ, VT
Ann and Dan / Flickr Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency and Antioch University New England are hosting a climate change adaptation conference in Manchester this week.  

  The week started with the news of Southern New Hampshire University’s new $10,000 bachelor’s degree program. Recent undergraduate enrollment numbers show the small, Manchester school is now equal in size to UNH in Durham, with a vast majority of its students online. 

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

At a recent cookout behind the red-brick mill building that houses UNH Manchester, senior Derek Burkhardt describes what’s been an eight-year run to get his bachelor’s.

“I actually attended UNH Manchester right out of high school,” says Burkhardt. “But I took some time off in between school to save up some money to be able to afford school, but also to join AmeriCorps. So once I was done with that I came back to continue my education.”

Like many students here Burkhardt says he chose UNH Manchester because that’s where he lives.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The former superintendent of the Manchester School District has died following a cancer diagnosis made just weeks after stepping down from the post last year.

On Tuesday, the town of Hooksett will vote whether to approve a contract with Pinkerton Academy in Derry. If voters approve the deal, it could spell the end for the town’s century-long relationship with Manchester schools.


MPD

Over the last two days, police in Manchester arrested 30 street-level heroin dealers. Three were on Wednesday and at least 27 on Thursday since 5 o’clock in the morning.


Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Last year, robberies, burglaries and heroin addiction appear to have skyrocketed in the Queen City.

Over the summer we looked at the issue of crime in Manchester and we provided a lot of historical data from the past five years. Now that the year is done, we review some of those numbers. The most surprising development is a 45% growth in robberies compared to 2012. Burglaries spiked to unprecedented highs during the summer, but robberies continued well into the colder months. The city also saw a high number of homicides. The highest in recent memory.

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