On Friday, the Manchester Fire Department reportedly responded to a dozen false fire alarms originating from call boxes on the city’s West Side. These false alarms began at about one thirty in the afternoon and continued until about quarter to Midnight. A witness who was monitoring these alarms on his scanner went to the area of Bremer St. where he observed a vehicle pull up to a fire alarm box and watched as the front passenger exited the vehicle and pulled the fire alarm. The witness followed the vehicle as it fled the area and alerted Engine 6 as it responded to the false alarm. Engine 6 personnel were able to stop the vehicle and detain the occupants until police arrived. The culprits were nineteen year old Justin Nagy, who was arrested and charged with False Public Alarm for pulling the alarm and twenty year old Stavros Doukeris, who was arrested and charged with Criminal Liability for driving the car.
Remember that bust a couple of weeks ago, where officers of the Manchester Police Department found young children in the midst of a drug den on Orange Street? Well, it appears that, in addition to the drug and weapons possessions charges, the parents of the children were also arrested and charged with child endangerment. Twenty six year old James Grenier, of Quirin Street was arrested early last week for Endangering the Welfare of his two year old daughter and four year old son. Following up with the investigation, detectives determined that Samanatha Grenier, the twenty seven year old mother would also be charged. On Friday, she was arraigned on two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Manchester Board of School Committee will meet tonight. On the agenda is a report from the Special Committee on Redistricting asking the board to set parameters for Superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas to develop a plan for the board’s consideration. Vargas will also present information on the district’s Special Education student population and discuss the district’s use of assessments. He is pulling together a committee to review the district’s assessment practices and make recommendations. Looks like he’s not too keen on how the district is testing its students.
Also on the board’s agenda is an item from Ward Twelve Committee Member Constance Van Houten. Nobody’s quite sure what she’s up to, but it looks like she’s trying to invalidate the hiring of Dr. Vargas by accusing Board Vice Chair Arthur Beaudry, a member of the Special Committee on the Superintendent Search, of having a conflict of interest and accusing the entire search committee of violating board policies with respect to hiring.
Van Houten’s claims center on her assertion that Assistant Superintendent David Ryan was a finalist in the search. Because of that, Van Houten claims that Beaudry had a conflict of interest because of a past legal entanglement between the two that took place more than ten years ago when Ryan was an assistant principal at Central. She also claims that board policy required Ryan to be recommended as a finalist by the search committee to the board.
Citing the district’s contract with the search firm hired to help hire a new superintendent, search committee members have steadfastly refused to release the names of anyone other than the finalists it recommended to the board and have refused to confirm or deny the receipt or disposition of any applicant. All that members of the committee have said publicly is that the committee interviewed six candidates from a field of thirty seven applicants, voted unanimously to recommend Vargas and Dr. Vincent Cotter, who withdrew prior to being interviewed by the board, cast a majority vote to recommend a third candidate, who withdrew upon being told he was a finalist, voted unanimously to reject one candidate and cast majority votes against recommending another two who were interviewed.
Van Houten was the lone vote against Vargas, who was hired with the support of the board’s other fourteen members.
The vote getting juggernaut that was Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has filed for a recount of the vote in Wisconsin. Stein, who received fewer than thirty one thousand votes, raised the money to file the recount based on claims that the electronic voting machines were hacked. The computer scientists who’ve proffered that idea, by the way, have said that while they have no evidence whatsoever of any hacking, the lower than expected turnout in Democratic counties is reason enough to investigate. President-elect Donald Trump won the state with well over one point four million votes. We should note that the campaign that assailed Trump for his alleged unwillingness to accept the results of the election, Hillary Clinton’s, has joined the recount. Clinton lost the state by over twenty seven thousand votes. Stein is also raising funds to launch recounts in Michigan, which Trump won by over thirteen thousand votes and Pennsylvania, where Trump beat Clinton by sixty eight thousand votes.
The media, of course is breathlessly anticipating what could happen if recounts overturn the votes in these three reliably blue rust belt states that unexpectedly, according to the conventional wisdom, went for Trump. Why, Hillary would win if the recounts flipped those states from red to blue and wouldn’t that be wonderful…blah blah blah, is all the rage in the online media. Expect more of this foolishness folks until the Electoral College votes on December nineteenth, which can’t get here fast enough.
That’s news from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!