About 100 citizens gathered at the Officer Michael Briggs Community Center to hear a presentation from Manchester police about the crime issues affecting the city, particularly burglary.  Residents were emotional and at times angry as they recounted what had happened to them or their neighbors and demanded to know what was being done to stem the tide.  Chief David J. Mara said the city was being overrun by thieves looking to support their drug habit and said, despite their best efforts and coming changes, the department simply needs more police officers to improve response times and recover stolen items. In fact, he said they needed another fifty five.  Yikes!  Upon hearing the department was applying for grants to purchase software that will help the department analyze finger prints on its own, rather than wait for the state police crime lab, which has a 9 month backlog, to do it, Mayor Ted Gatsas sprung from his chair to say he’ll find a way for the city to cover the thirty eight thousand dollar cost.  In addition to the software, Chief Mara said the department is also purchasing finger print kits patrol officers can use on the scene of the crime rather than having to wait for the department’s detectives to do that job.  Among the participants was Ward 9 candidate for Alderman Victoria Sullivan.  A package containing gifts for her seven year old son Seamus was stolen right off the back door stoop of her home while she was home with her children.  That someone would come into her backyard like that alarmed her.  Police shared a variety of ways that citizens could help prevent the crimes they were concerned about during the meeting.  Manchester Public Television was on the scene recording the meeting.  Look for its replay on Channel twenty two.

Meanwhile, just hours before the meeting, mayoral candidate Patrick Arnold released a plan to fight crime in the Queen City.  He blamed the mayor for the spike in crime, naturally.  His plan would hire three to four new police officers per year for five years, implement a walking patrol downtown and in targeted neighborhoods supported by bike and mounted officers, create a special unit to investigate home invasions, and implement statistics based policing methods.  We’ve posted Arnold’s campaign release with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com and will be discussing this issue during the show this morning.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has released the names of the ten hospitals it will drop from its network as a result of the taxes, fees and coverage mandates imposed by ObamaCare.  It currently has twenty six hospitals in its network, so this is a huge reduction.  They are the Alice Peck Day Hospital in Lebanon, Concord Hospital, Cottage Hospital in Woodsville, Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, Parkland Medical Center in Derry, Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua, Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook and Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont.  Anthem has also announced that one quarter of their current participating primary care physicians will be dropped from the restricted network.

Former state senator Jim Rubens, a likely candidate for the G O P U S Senate nomination says President Barak Obama and Senator Jeanne Shaheen have failed to learn from our nations bitter experiences bombing other countries, like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya by supporting military strikes in Syria.  Saying our country’s global policing wars have highly unpredictable consequences, he urged a different path.  He also said Obama and Shaheen were grossly misleading Americans with promises that there will be no American boots on the ground stating they’ll be needed if the administration wants to secure the Syria’s stash of chemical weapons noting that can’t be done with missile or air strikes..  We’ve posted his complete statement with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.  Meanwhile, the Rubens campaign has scheduled a big announcement for September 18th.  He’s expected to formally announce his candidacy for the U S Senate.

St. Mary’s Bank has announced that Nancy Boilard was recently hired as their Indirect Business Development Officer.  Boilard will work to increase St. Mary’s Indirect Lending Portfolio.  Indirect lending allows St. Mary’s Bank members to apply and receive approval for loans at participating auto dealerships.  Boilard was most recently the Indirect Lending Manager at Northeast Credit Union and previously served as Dealer Relationship Manager at Bellwether Community  Credit Union.

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