Robert: Reward announced

Robert: Reward announced

Rewards totaling seventeen thousand five hundred dollars have been pledged in the search for Denise Robert’s killer.  The Manchester Police Department and New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office made the announcement yesterday.  Robert was killed while walking in a North End neighborhood on Sunday night.  Since then, police say they’ve received about a dozen tips about the murder and are following up on each lead as they continue to investigate.

An anonymous donor pledged ten thousand dollars to the cause, five thousand came from the Union Leader, where Robert was a longtime employee, and twenty fife hundred dollars came from Manchester Crimeline.  The money will be paid to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder.

Adds to reward pot

Adds to reward pot

Robert was wearing white New Balance sneakers, white jean-type shorts with a white belt, and a long-sleeved, white and dark purple (almost black) striped shirt.

Officials are asking anyone in the city who has a home security or video surveillance system to review the tapes to determine if Robert, her vehicle, a gold Volvo S 60, or the pickup truck that sped from the scene of her murder was captured.

Anyone who saw Robert on Sunday, August thirtieth or who saw the pickup truck, its white male with a short cropped haircut driver wearing a white tank top t-shirt, or who has any information regarding Robert’s murder is asked to call the Manchester Police Department at 6 6 8 8 7 1 1 or anonymously at Manchester Crimeline at 6 2 4 40 40.

Investigators say it is crucial that any person who has any information regarding this murder report to the police what information is known to them, no matter how inconsequential the person believes the information may be.

MEA logoThe New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association released a statement yesterday saying all five candidates for mayor of Manchester will appear at a forum on education hosted by the Manchester Education Association at Memorial High School on the evening of Wednesday June Ninth.

Gatsas: Campaign did not agree to attend

Gatsas: Campaign did not agree to attend

The problem is, not all the candidates confirmed they will attend.  On June twenty fourth, Mayor Ted Gatsas announced his Talk with Ted Tour, which was a schedule of community wide meetings around the city, capped off by a Tele-Town Hall on the evening of September ninth.  Both events are scheduled to start at six P M.  Curious about the conflict, we spoke with Gatsas campaign officials who emphatically stated they did not agree to attend the event, citing the conflict with their own.

Craig: Was she bluffing?

Craig: Was she bluffing?

This is the most recent debate controversy to surface in this campaign season.  Last week, Gatsas accepted an invitation from rival Joyce Craig to debate with all five candidates, offering his weekly segment on the Girard at Large Radio Show on September ninth for an hour long debate.  Craig, who said she’d “always” been willing to debate so long as all five candidates were invited, refused, prompting competitor Patrick Arnold to say he was willing to debate regardless of whether or not Craig showed up.  Gatsas told me, Your Humble Host Rich Girard, in an interview yesterday, his acceptance of Craig’s offer to debate him and the other candidates on this show expires tomorrow and that he, like Craig, would only debate if all five candidates showed up.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Pillar Manors: Historic properties receive release.

Pillar Manors: Historic properties receive release.

The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen adopted changes to the city’s Housing Code Ordinance that would enable historically significant properties outside of the city’s two historic districts to receive relief from the code.  The measure, championed by Ward One Alderman Joyce Craig, was prompted by a dispute between the city’s Department of Planning and Community Development and the owner of the Pillar Manors on Hanover Street over the installation of storm windows.  The owner filed suit after the department imposed storm window requirements on the two properties with over ninety windows, saying the storm windows would deface the property, cause damage to the window sills and cost over one hundred thousand dollars to install.

Department officials maintained the storms required by the code were necessary to reduce energy consumption.

Shea: Why do we pay these guys?

Shea: Why do we pay these guys?

During the debate, which was intense at times, Ward Seven Alderman Bill Shea objected to the measure, saying it would make the Board of Mayor and Aldermen the arbiter of what was and wasn’t a historic property in the city.  He also said it would take authority away from the department and noted the objections of department Director Leon LaFreniere saying if the board wasn’t going to follow the recommendation of the people it pays big salaries to and let them do their jobs, why have them.

However, Ward Five Alderman Tony Sapienza brought to light the fact that neither the department nor the director had the authority to waive what even they agree was an unnecessary burden in this case and that the ordinance change would provide them needed discretion to deal with special cases.

LaFreniere: Not a fan

LaFreniere:  Arguments countered

Craig countered LaFreniere’s expressed concern that many property owners could come forward seeking relief from the code, causing an equal enforcement problem by arguing the waiver process was essentially the same as that which governed the historic districts and that LaFreniere acknowledged there had been very few, if any, exceptions requested.  She also argued the ordinance included specific criterion that provided a narrow path toward exception which would likely dissuade property owners from seeking relief on a large scale.

Shea and aldermen Jim Roy of Ward Four, Tom Katsiantonis of Ward Eight and Normand Gamache of Ward Eleven opposed the measure.

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next