Despite the success of the Granite Hammer pilot program has had pulling drug dealers off the streets of Manchester, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down the Committee of Conference report on S B 4 8 5 which would have established the Granite Hammer Grant Program to bolster the efforts of local law enforcement to do the same statewide. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Jeanie Forrester, Republican from Meredith, was extremely disappointed by the House vote. Said Forrester in a statement issued yesterday, quote:
“It is unfortunate that in the middle of this ongoing crisis a bill that would have provided resources to put more law enforcement on our streets, stemming the tide of drug trafficking, was lost.” Forrester pledged to keep fighting for this legislation to help fight the opioid crisis in the state.
House Majority Leader Dick Hinch, Republican from Merrimack, blasted Governor Margaret Wood Hassan for the legislature’s failure to pass the bill. In a statement released to the press, Hinch said quote:
“When 107 out of 146 members of her own party voted against reconsideration of SB485, Governor Hassan has only herself to blame for its failure. If the governor would have done her job and participated in the policy discussion these last few weeks, rather than spend time out of state for campaign purposes, she would have a bill to sign.”
The initial vote failed by one vote, one-hundred and fifty-nine to one-hundred and sixty. A procedural vote to reconsider was defeated on a vote of one-hundred and fifty-seven in favor and one-hundred and eighty-seven against.
The House did pass H B 1 6 9 7, which requires the Department of Safety to regulate the operation and insurance of transportation network companies also known as ride sharing companies. Now in order to take part of the ride sharing business, people have to get background checks and be responsible for what happens in the vehicle. Lawmakers created a base set of rules for all drivers and participants in the industry in hopes to ensure its future success in the state.
Police in Merrimack are reminding residents to lock their cars, no matter where they’re parked. They’re also advising residents to remove valuables from parked vehicles. Officials say they have taken numerous complaints of vehicles being gone through and items being stolen and that in ninety nine point nine percent of the cases, the vehicles’ doors were left unlocked. Police are also reporting multiple complaints of sheds being gone through. So in addition to locking your vehicle doors, Merrimack, lock your sheds, too. Anyone with any information about the rash of thefts in town is asked to call the department at 4 2 4 3 7 7 4. Police are also encouraging residents to report any incident, no matter how small, so they can get a handle on what’s happening in town.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
It was a busy day for police in the Queen City yesterday.
New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph A. Foster and Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard announced an ongoing homicide investigation after police responded to a report of shots fired behind one thirty five Spruce Street at about three twenty four yesterday afternoon. When officers arrived, they discovered a deceased adult black male outside in the parking lot with what appeared to be gunshot wounds. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy today to determine the exact cause and manner of death. Also found at the scene was an adult white woman who was with the deceased at the time of the shooting. She had been shot in the leg and was taken to the hospital. Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call the Manchester Police Department at 6 6 8 8 7 1 1 or Manchester Crimeline at 6 2 4 4 0 4 0. Calls to Crimeline are anonymous and can lead to a cash reward for information that leads to the capture and conviction of the criminals.
As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, the Manchester Police Department’s SWAT team, including the armored Bearcat vehicle, was deployed to twenty four Krakow Street. According to photojournalist Jeffrey Hastings, M P D arrived on scene to check on a subject who threatened Manchester firefighters who were on site to investigate a report of hazardous materials being present. The person told authorities he had more weapons than they did. A Meth lab was also suspected to be on the premises, which created an explosive and dangerous situation. Police, fire and ambulance officials evacuated the building’s other units and those in neighboring buildings and established a safe area and command center.
Using the Bearcat as a shield , the SWAT team was able to get close to the house where the Crisis Intervention Team, which is comprised of trained negotiators, attempted to have the suspect exit the building. After an extended time, police dropped tear gas in to the front window, after which the suspect quickly exited the building through the window.
He was taken in to custody and transported to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation.
Finally, we don’t normally do stories like this one, but it’s out of the ordinary enough to do. Just after Noon on Tuesday, Manchester police went to the Stop-N-Go Convenience store on Massabesic St. in response to a report of an armed robbery. A man approached the store clerk with a sharpened stone and demanded cash. About six and a half hours later, they were back at the store after another the clerk called to say that the man who robbed the store earlier had returned crying to turn himself in. When police arrived, they determined that forty six year old Carlos Reyes was indeed the person who had robbed the store earlier in the day. Reyes was taken into custody.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.