The plea bargain deal arranged by Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway and attorneys for fired Manchester Police Officer Stephen Coco was tossed out of court yesterday by Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Gillian AbramsonAccording to John Hickman, father to one of the boys hit by Coco and left in the roadway as he drove off, once the judge heard Hathaway say the families did not support the plea deal, she demanded to know the evidence in the case, then tossed the deal on the grounds it was insufficient.  In an interview with Girard at Large, Hickman said both he and Roy Drukker, the father of the boy who was literally run over as he went under the car, suffering bleeding on the brain amongst other injuries, have emphatically told Hathaway they want him to seek the felony indictment on the original charges brought by Bedford Police in the case and bring the matter to court.  They want everybody to know what happened that night and see the evidence amassed for the case.  We’ve linked to our recent interview with both fathers from this news read at Girard at Large dot com.

It looks as if the attorneys have been brought in to say “just kidding” to yet another policy of the Hooksett School Board.  As listeners of this show know, Board Clerk John Lyscars has alleged Board Member Phil Denbow has violated the board’s conflict of interest policy by voting on the Manchester tuition settlement and voting on matters related to a tuition contract with Pinkerton Academy.  Lyscars contends that because the tuition settlement will save Denbow some eighteen hundred dollars he pays out of pocket to send his kid to Pinkerton and because he stands to save even more if Pinkerton becomes Hooksett’s high school of record, he has a direct financial interest in the outcome which violates the conflict of interest policy.  In a letter to Superintendent Charles P. Littlefield, wonder who authorized that one, Attorney Gordon Graham wrote, among other things, quote “A vote on a district policy which provides direct monetary benefit or imposes a direct cost to a Board member’s family is far different from a vote on a contract which provides merely an incidental benefit to a Board member.”   End quote.  So, apparently, policies notwithstanding, a guy who’ll not only save two grand a year by his votes, but also have transportation paid for by the town, which he’s also providing at his own expense now, has no conflict of interest that precludes him from voting.  Oh My HEAD!  We’ve uploaded the letter for your convenience.

Even bigger news from our own backyard continues after this.

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, along with former mayor and West High Principal Bob Baines, Superintendent Debra Livingston and a whole a cast of characters from New Hampshire’s university and community college systems, tech businesses and others announced the STEAM Ahead N H initiative, a major reformation of how education will be handled at Manchester High School West.  It is a unique partnership designed to infuse West High School with opportunities for kids to start college while they’re in high school, earn credits for internships, some of which will pay, and transform the way kids are educated.  An excited Gatsas extolled the virtue of adding opportunities for the kids, trumpeting the scholarship programs that will pay for kids to get involved with college classes and potentially reduce the cost of a college education by as much as fifty thousand dollars.  An emotional Baines said it would once again make 9 Notre Dame Ave., the address of the school that has struggled to find its way in wake of Bedford’s departure, a place where dreams can again come true.  Livingston said of all the collaborative efforts she’s seen and been involved with across the country, this effort is by far the most advanced.  There are still many details to be worked out between now and the program’s launch this September, but it’s clear the West staff members, businesses and political leaders have achieved much in the past year.  Manchester Education Association President Benjamin Dick said after the meeting it was an exciting idea that had great potential and he looked forward to learning more about it.  Baines will give us the details this morning and you can bet we’ll be talking to the mayor about it too.  We’ve linked to the official announcement from this news read at Girard at Large dot com.

That’s NEWS from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead.