The Manchester Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services Officer Christopher Hickey released January’s overdose and Safe Station stats. He said last month, with thirty overdose calls and one hundred seventy three Safe Station visits, was quote,
a truly banner month for both sides of the Opiate equation,
reporting that January’s opioid overdoses were the lowest recorded since August 2014, with thirty suspected O Ds. He discounted the previous low point in February 2015, saying the more than three feet of snow that fell hindered the flow of drugs into the city.
While overdose calls fell to a more than two year old low, the monthly number of Safe Station visits was the largest ever. Is there a correlation between the two? On that question Hickey said, quote:
when you have 6+ people coming in for every overdose we treat there has to be something.
He said other contributing factors, such as Operation Granite Hammer, which bagged another fourteen “perps” on January thirty first, home use of Narcan, and preventative education and awareness efforts likely has an impact. However, concluded Hickey, quote:
That being said, people are looking for the help and realizing how easy it is to access coming through the MFD and that alone makes a huge difference.
There’s more good news on the public safety front from the Queen City. Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard told the Manchester Police Commission yesterday that crime fell in two thousand sixteen versus two thousand fifteen. Incidents of burglary, larceny and theft are at their lowest numbers since two thousand eight and robberies have fallen by about a third since two thousand thirteen. Murder was down forty four percent and rape was down ten. Overall violent crime was up, however, as the number of aggravated assaults climbed by nine percent to an all time high. Willard said gang related drug activity fueled the jump in aggravated assaults and gun incidents, which also climbed. Willard said that overall, incidents of crime were down by about twenty five percent.
Meanwhile, the Hooksett Police Department finally released details on that mysterious drug bust they conducted at the I-9 3 North rest stop in conjunction with the New Hampshire Drug Task Force, the Merrimack County Sheriff’s Office and the New Hampshire State Police. Arrested on January twenty fifth was forty five year old Julius Butler of Dubuque St. in Manchester. You may recall that the arrest came at the completion of a two month investigation into the unlawful sales of fentanyl in Hooksett. Butler was arrested on three felony warrants for Sale of Narcotic Drugs and was additionally charged with Possession of Narcotic Drugs with Intent to Distribute.
Hooksett Police Chief Peter Bartlett said Hooksett hasn’t been immune to the opioid epidemic. Quote:
(W)e are dedicated to working collectively in our efforts to remove those who seek to profit from pedaling this poison in our community from our streets.”
Butler was released on $20,000.00 bail and is awaiting a court appearance at the Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The vote on the nomination of former Wilton state rep. and gubernatorial candidate Frank Edelblut to be New Hampshire’s next Commissioner of Education has been delayed for two weeks. After a motion to approve the nomination, District Two Executive Councilor Andru Volinski, Democrat from Concord, fresh off his harrowing performance at yesterday’s public hearing on Edleblut’s nomination, asked Governor Chris Sununu if he’d consulted with the state Board of Education prior to nominating Edelblut, as required by state statute. Sununu disclosed that he’d spoken with Bboard Chairman Tom Raffio about the nomination, but not the entire board.
Attorney General Joseph Foster, suddenly interested in following the law as written, advised the governor that the law required him to consult with the whole board, not just the chairman. After a brief recess to discuss the matter, Sununu requested the motion to approve be tabled so he could discuss the matter with the other members of the board.
District Four Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, Democrat from Manchester, took to Facebook to suggest that before a confirmation vote be held that Edelblut be required to have a confab of sorts with D O E staff, saying it was quote
extremely important in this case with an individual with no professional educational experience.
Tell me that’s not a set up to try and justify his all but certain vote against Edelblut.
Anyway, the quote of the meeting came from District Five Councilor Dave Wheeler, Republican from Milford, who said that yesterday’s public hearing showed a clear divide in opinion between consumers of education who clearly wanted Edelblut and providers of education who clearly didn’t. While he appreciated the perspectives of both sides, Wheeler said he thought the consumer came first.
With all three Republican councilors expressing support for Edelblut, the nomination is expected to pass, but don’t think that Volinski, Pappas, the unions, educrats and Edelblut’s other opponents, following the lead of the obstructionist Democrats in Washington, won’t make this the longest two weeks on record in the hopes of derailing the inevitable.
A primary election will be held on April 4th with a general election on May 23rd to fill the vacancy created by the death of State Rep. Andy Martel in the floterial district that includes Manchester wards Eight and Nine and the town of Litchfield. Candidates can either register at the Office of the Secretary of State between February sixth and tenth or at the Office of the City Clerk in Manchester City Hall on February sixth and seventh.
That’s NEWS from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!