The Manchester Police Department Special Enforcement Division, New Hampshire State Police Narcotics Investigations Unit and the United Stated Drug Enforcement Administration seized over twenty five thousand dollars worth of Spice yesterday. The lengthy, and still ongoing investigation, started months before the recent epidemic of Spice overdoses that caused city officials to suspend the business licenses of three convenience stores, which lead Governor Margaret Wood Hassan to declare a State of Emergency, ordering all Spice type products removed from stores across the state. Controlled Spice buys occurred at both Spider Bite locations at 1 7 9 and 4 3 5 Elm Street, after which samples were tested for illegal drugs. Certain brands of Spice from both Spider Bite locations tested positive for illegal substances, causing investigators to file for and receive search warrants.
Upon executing the search warrants, investigators located and seized over eleven pounds of synthetic marijuana, commonly referred to as Spice. They also seized approximately fourteen thousand bucks in cold hard cash. Spider Bite owner Jon Thomas has yet to be charged for selling any of the Spice products. Despite the governor’s order, he continued selling Spice under the guise it was incense and potpourri and he allegedly mandated each purchaser sign a waiver before buying any of his Spice products. The raid was the culmination of six months worth of a long, drawn out investigation mandating hundreds of field work hours. Officials expect this major Spice seizure will put a dent in the Spice supply and further reduce overdoses.
Yesterday, Girard at Large received information from Hooksett School Board Member John Lyscars and others alleging funny business in the contract ratification vote recently held by the Manchester Education Association on a tentative agreement reached in negotiations with Mayor Ted Gatsas. After that question was raised on the air, Girard at Large received additional information that forty percent of the teachers did not get to vote on the contract because of quote “limited voting hours.” End quote. In researching the matter, we discovered that teachers received an email containing the contract about a week before the vote and that the times and places of the voting were in fact published. M E A President Ben Dick confirmed the email announcing the election times was sent, saying they not only honored the advertised times, they exceeded them, staying open about an hour later on the first day of voting at Memorial High School, following the membership meeting called to discuss the contract, and opening about fifteen minutes early the next day at M E A Headquarters to accommodate members whose schedules did not enable them to wait. Dick did say that a meeting of the union’s executive board is scheduled for Monday afternoon to address complaints associated with the election. He declined to elaborate on the complaints saying he first wanted to discuss them with the executive board. Dick confirmed that about sixty percent of the union’s members voted on the contract, noting the same percentage turned out for the last contract vote, which rejected the proposal by a two to one margin. To his recollection, a sixty percent turnout is par for the course.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Republican Party’s Unity Breakfast is today and all eyes will be on former Senator Bob Smith who repeatedly said he’d wait and see whether or not he’d back the party’s nominee in the race against incumbent Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Health Care Queen. On this radio program, Smith said unity should be around principles, not breakfast and alleged collusion between the campaign of nominee Scott Brown and the state party. He often decried the involvement of party officials in Washington whom he said were responsible for picking the candidate they wanted and directing cash and other support his way. Rival Jim Rubens often echoed the same criticisms, referring to Brown on this show as the quote unquote anointed one. Rubens gave a fiery speech railing against the G O P establishment he accused of acting to suppress the grass roots voters and activists in the party, which raised questions about whether or not he would honor his pledge to support the party’s nominee. Rubens has confirmed that he will support Brown. While Smith has not yet come forward to pledge his support, his campaign has bought a table for this morning’s breakfast and he will be there. Whether or not he offers his support, party officials are claiming his mere presence is an implied endorsement. Meanwhile, social media continues to burn from the fire of angry conservatives who are pledging to withhold their support of a nominee they believe had the deck stacked in his favor.
Republican Second District Congressional Candidate Marilinda Garcia has penned an open letter to incumbent Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster respectfully requesting she join her in a Town Hall forum in which they can engage in an honest and open discussion of the issues that are important to New Hampshire. Saying she knows Kuster has commitments in Washington, Garcia wrote she would clear her schedule and make herself available at any time between September 2 0 and 2 8, or after October 3rd, when Congress isn’t in session. She even said Kuster can choose the place so that it isn’t inconvenient for her to attend. Hope Garcia’s not holding her breath…
The Manchester Police Department has announced it is holding a police exam and is asking folks to go to its Web site for the details. We’ve posted the link with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com. While you’re there, take the survey they’ve posted asking folks how they feel about police performance and community crime fighting priorities.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead!