“As Governor, just as I have as Mayor of Manchester, fighting this epidemic for the citizens of New Hampshire will be my top priority. Manchester is on the front lines and we have been leading from the beginning, and I have no doubt that New Hampshire will emerge as a leader for the entire country.”
That’s what G O P gubernatorial Candidate Mayor Ted Gatsas said as he released a comprehensive plan to combat the opioid epidemic on the steps of Nashua’s City Hall yesterday. His plan has a four faceted approach including education and prevention, expanding treatment and recovery services, working to improve the methods of law enforcement and the judiciary. In the plan, Gatsas reiterated his oft made call to charge dealers with attempted murder and murder if the stuff they sold can be directly linked to an overdose death. We have linked to Gatsas’s very detailed full plan from this news read for your convenience.
With respect to the opioid epidemic, legislators are scheduled to vote on the Granite Hammer program in their respective sessions today. The program, which has funded stepped up drug interdiction patrols, failed to gain the votes needed to continue because legislators objected to an amendment to the bill which altered what retirees in the New Hampshire State Retirement System would pay toward their health insurance premiums. As a result, Speaker Shawn Jasper and Senate President Chuck Morse called legislators back into session for another vote, which first must clear several procedural hurdles, including suspension of the rules, which will require a two thirds vote. Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley and House Majority Leader Dick Hinch encouraged members of their respective legislative bodies to come together in a bipartisan fashion to approve the program with Bradley citing the program’s success in Manchester saying quote “after only eight operations in the state’s largest city, police seized nearly twenty-five thousand doses of heroin and made ninety-four arrests.”
News from our own backyard continues after this.
“After consultation with Jerry Zelin, special education attorney, Santina Thibedeau, director of special education for the NH Department of Education, counsel for the NH Department of Education, and Commissioner Barry, we have determined that the Manchester School District will not be opening a school with a private vendor.”
So opened a letter sent to the Manchester Board of School Committee by Assistant Superintendent Christine Martin on Monday sometime before the board met. The matter was not addressed during the board’s meeting on Monday night, despite hopes that such a school would save the district a bundle on special education tuition and transportation costs if chosen by parents whose children’s needs are currently being met by other special schools. Among the issues raised in the letter are an apparent inability of public school districts to create schools exclusively for special needs students or direct the private entities that would run it.
Special Services Director Nash Reddy advised the board at a special meeting in April that she’d issued a Request for Proposals to establish the school, believing it would not only save the city money on tuition and transportation costs, but also generate revenue from other school districts in need of the services provided by the school. At one time, Mayor Ted Gatsas said one of the companies that submitted a bid told him the city could save two million dollars. Those numbers changed somewhat as he and school officials negotiated the details with the company following the bid openings. The matter was tabled at the Sub Committee on Finance last month pending information from the state.
The Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications seeks to honor New Hampshire residents or organizations who have worked to protect free speech and free press. Nominations are open for the school’s 14th annual First Amendment Award, honoring diligence in protecting free press and free speech liberties. The recipient will be recognized Nov. 17th at an evening gala at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. A committee of judges chooses the recipient from public nominations. First Amendment recipients receive a bronze eagle sculpture created by Mrs. Loeb and a $1,500 award. Nomination forms are available at loeb school dot org. The deadline for nominations is Sept 12th. The award and the school are legacies of the late Nackey S. Loeb, president and publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News.
The Goffstown Police Department, in cooperation with the National Safe Kids Campaign, is holding a Child Passenger Safety Seat Checkpoint this Saturday, June eighteenth. The event goes from ten to one at the Shaw’s Plaza on 5 5 3 Mast Road in scenic Pinardville. Child Passenger Safety Seat Technicians will be there to inspect child passenger safety seats and educate the public on proper installation and use of the seats. If you have any questions about putting child safety seats in your car, be sure to stop by.