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New Hampshire

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11New Hampshire Likely To Repeal Anti-Adultery Law

Although cheating on a spouse is largely considered a moral misstep, it’s not typically considered a breach of the law. In New Hampshire, however, adultery is currently a class B misdemeanor that can lead to fines up to $1,200. The antiquated law, of course, is rarely enforced. Still, lawmakers in the state are expected to pass a new bill that would repeal the law. 

According to Newser, the bill to repeal the statute was introduced by Rep. Tim O’Flaherty (D) and easily passed in the state House of Representatives. 

“I don’t think there’s any appetite in New Hampshire to use police powers to enforce a marriage,” O’Flaherty said during a recent hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

If the bill passes the Senate, Gov. Maggie Hassan is likely to sign it into law. 

Tthe law has been in place in New Hampshire for over 200 years but hasn’t been enforced for over 10 years. According to the Washington Post, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that homosexual adultery could not be covered by the law, as it was written to cover “intercourse from which spurious issues may arise,” such as disputes involving children conceived during affairs. 

If New Hampshire repeals the law, it will follow the path of Colorado, which repealed a similar law last year.


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11Drug-Sniffing Dogs Do Unannounced Search of Salem High School Classrooms in New Hampshire

Students and teachers at Salem High School in New Hampshire had unannounced visitors on Friday morning when seven drug-sniffing dogs arrived to search classrooms as part of a cooperative effort with Salem Police.

According to the Salem School District, the specially trained dogs from Salem and surrounding communities searched more than 20 classrooms in two school hallways for evidence of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia. No students or faculty were present in the rooms as they were searched.

And the good news is that the search turned up nothing, the Patch reports.

This effort was coordinated by the school’s resource officer, Kevin Swanson, and high school administrators. Officers from Londonderry, Plaistow, Hudson and Methuen, MA joined Salem officers and their dogs in this effort.

One goal of such an unannounced search, the school district said, is “to help students and staff maintain a safe environment by realizing these searches can occur at any time.”

The search occurred at approximately 11:30 a.m. while students were at lunch in the cafeteria. School officials stressed that no single factor contributed to the decision to bring the dogs to the school or to search specific classrooms. The search was supervised by canine officers who were accompanied by Salem High administrators.

DRUG-SNIFFING DOGS SEARCHED NJ HIGH SCHOOL IN DECEMBER

When drug sniffing dogs searched a New Jersey high school, they garnered a much more inflammatory headline by WABC News, which announced “High school raided for drugs in New Jersey,” on December 11, 2013.

“There's a rather dramatic crackdown on drugs at a high school in New Jersey,” the report stated, “Students and parents arrived at Lacey High School to a show of police force…The students were put on lockdown in classrooms, while drug sniffing dogs walked the lockers along the corridors.”

One parent told WABC, "I was a little frightened, because I didn't know what was going on.”

"The dogs are trained to smell openings. If they give us a positive indication, we let the prosecutor know," said Sgt. James Reilly, Toms River Police Department.

The police explained that “104 people in Ocean County this year have overdosed on heroine. That's way up from 2012.”

“Last year we had 53, we're going to more than double and that totally unacceptable," said Joseph Coronato, Ocean County Prosecutor.

Teens are being targeted to prevent abuse from even beginning, in a region where a heroine has become a drug of choice, he explained.

"Unfortunately heroine on the East Coast is pure and cheap and that's a deadly combination," Coronato said.

This show is part of an ongoing focus on drug prevention in the county, which will likely begin random drug testing in its middle and high schools by January, if it passes the next board meeting, according to the WABC report.

"There are a lot of issues with heroine and whatever they can do to get it away from our kids, I'm for it," parent Lisa Corletta, told WABC.

WHAT ABOUT FOURTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS ?

Derrick Meador About.com Teaching, writes:

“A “dog sniff” is not a search within the meaning of Fourth Amendment. Thus no probable cause is required for a drug sniffing dog when used in this sense. Court rulings have declared that persons should have no reasonable expectations of privacy in regards to air surrounding inanimate objects. This makes student lockers, student automobiles, backpacks, book bags, purses, etc. that are not physically on the student permissible for a drug dog to sniff. If a dog does “hit” on contraband then that establishes probable cause for a physical search to take place. Courts have frowned upon the use of drug sniffing dogs to search the air around a student’s physical person.”

Source: Patch, ABC, About.com


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11Woman Held In Hospital For Six Days After Saying She Wanted To Strangle Relative

New Hampshire hospital employee Noreen Cousins is suing her employer after she was locked in a hospital emergency room for six days last year. Her coworkers will tell you she was mentally dangerous when she was locked away. If you talk to Cousins you’ll hear a much different story.

Cousins’ lawsuit reports that she told several of her coworkers she was so upset with a relative she could “strangle” him. Though this sounds like a passing remark someone would make about a family member they’re upset with, Cousins’ coworkers took her words seriously.

Her colleagues, whom Cousins says have a history of being “antagonistic” towards her, went to management and claimed Cousins planned to shoot up her workplace and kill herself.  A supervisor took the claim to a justice of the peace, who immediately initiated an Involuntary Emergency Admissions process.

Cousins was forcefully taken to an emergency room where a physician evaluated her. The physician recommended Cousins be evaluated by a psychiatrist. In the lawsuit, Cousins says she made an off-hand remark about being frustrated at the man divorcing her daughter. She said she was upset enough to strangle and shoot him, a statement that in all likelihood was an exaggerated way of expressing her frustration towards him.

Nevertheless, Cousins was held in an emergency room for the following six days. New Hampshire’s hospitals are severely logjammed, and there were no open rooms in psychiatric care centers. Since the doctor ruled she needed to be evaluated, Cousins was not free to leave.

For six days she was stuck in a room without television or internet. A hospital employee had to accompany her if she wished to walk the hallways of the hospital.

“It was barbaric,” she said.

Cousins’ lawyer Charles Douglas spoke to the Union Leader recently about the lawsuit.

"These are statements you hear at a water cooler when someone's got a family member going through a divorce," Douglas said.

Douglas said Cousins was diagnosed with “homicidal ideation” after her remark about the man divorcing her daughter. The lawsuit claims she was not mentally unstable or even threatening when she made the statements -- she was just blowing off steam.

After six days Cousins was transferred to a state hospital. She was discharged the following day with no further mental health concerns. Her lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. 

Source: New Hampshire Union Leader


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11New Hampshire Man Arranges Fake Arrest For Surprise Marriage Proposal (Video)

New Hampshire woman Samantha Labo was in tears after her boyfriend was pulled over by police, only to happily discover that the event was an elaborate scheme for her boyfriend to propose.

In the video shot from a police dashboard camera in New London, Police Chief Edward Andersen pulls over Matt Van Vliet. During the stop, Labo asks why Vliet was pulled over.

“Are you driving the car?” Anderson replied. “Then don’t be asking the questions.”

After a few minutes Anderson asks both Vliet and Labo to step out of the car, announcing that there is a warrant out for Vliet’s arrest.

After appearing to be loosely handcuffed, Vliet walked to the other side of the car and knelt down on his knee, much to the surprise of Labo.

“I had no idea what was going on,” Labo said. “I went from being absolutely terrified to being the most happiest I’ve ever been.”

After proposing, a group of the couple’s friends ran onscreen and started clapping.

Anderson involved himself in the proposal while he was off duty, agreeing to the event because of previous involvement with the couple. As freshman at Colby-Sawyer College, the two had been arrested at an underage party, but were later cleared of all charges after taking a breathalyzer test.

“We kind of met in jail sort of, so I thought it would be cool to include the cops again,” Vliet said.

Sources: Metro, CBS


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11Three New Hampshire Officers Suspended For Police Brutality (Video)

Three police officers from Seabrook, N.H., have been suspended with pay after a video surfaced which shows one of them throwing a young man against a wall at the police department.

According to Gawker, the video is surveillance footage from 2009, but it was only uploaded to YouTube this week by the 19-year-old, who identified himself as Michael Bergeron, Jr.

“The chief and I were both made aware of it when it was put onto YouTube yesterday,” said Seabrook Town Manager William Manzi III. “And the chief tells me he had no knowledge of the existence of the tape.”

Bergeron was arrested for drug possession and drunk driving, according to police reports obtained by WBZ-TV.

The officers say the teen was aggressive; he was yelling and using profanity, kicking the police cruiser, not obeying orders and stuffed his shirt down the toilet.

“He was on something,” Seabrook Deputy Police Chief Michael Gallagher told WBZ-TV. “That doesn’t excuse any improper behavior on the part of the officers.”

Bergeron allegedly has brain injuries from the incident and that the video just emerged recently because his lawyer had the tape and was gone for two years.

“I know there will be a lot of folks who will rightfully have opinions about it,” Manzi said of the video to the Union Leader.

“My position is, we need to give the chief adequate time to get to the bottom of it and conduct a fair, thorough and impartial investigation and then at that point we’ll be able to say a little bit more.”

The officers seen in the video have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation is being conducted.

Although the police chief is leading the investigation, outside authorities may be brought in, Manzi said.

Watch the video below:


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11New Hampshire Rep. David Campbell Apologizes For Running Over Ducks

New Hampshire State Rep. David Campbell apologized Sunday after striking down several wild ducks with his BMW outside a Nashua hotel last week.

"I am deeply sorry that I accidentally ran over several wild ducks near the Crowne Plaza last Monday night," Campbell wrote in a statement. “In spite of the accusations to the contrary, this was accidental, unintentional and deeply affected me then and now.”

Retired Marine officer James Murphy was unloading his luggage at the Crowne Plaza Hotel when a group of about 20 ducks waddled up to him. The ducks normally remained on hotel grounds and wandered freely.

Murphy had tossed the ducks some crackers when he suddenly saw a 5 Series BMW approach at 15 mph without slowing down. Murphy reported that at least six ducks had been crushed and killed.

Murphy followed the car for a couple of feet and took a picture of the license plate, later reporting the incident to police.

In his defense, Campbell reported that Murphy became highly agitated and controversial. To avoid a confrontation, Campbell claimed to have walked across the street to his office.

Campbell added that he immediately reported the incident to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and spoke the Crowne Plaza management.

Nashua police are still under investigation, noting that the involvement of a state representative in the event will not change the outcome of the case.

Sources: TPM, Nashua Telegraph


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11Woman Stabs Father After Argument Over Constellations

A conversation with her father about stars eventually led to the arrest of 22-year-old Nadja Svenson.

According to reports, Svenson and her father, Robert, were outside looking at the stars when they got into an argument about the location of the Big Dipper and other constellations. Svenson reportedly got so angry with her father that she grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed him in the chest.

Police arrived at the home a short time later responding to a call of a domestic dispute and found Svenson’s father injured.

“As the officers made their way through the home, they found the father on the floor holding a homemade bandage to his chest,” said Londonberry Detective Christopher Olson.

After questioning Svenson, police arrested the young woman and charged her with felony second-degree assault. Svenson was held on $5,000 bail but was later released. The woman allegedly claims that her father accidentally ran into the knife, but that still remains to be seen.

Robert Svenson was taken to a local hospital and was treated for his non-life threatening injuries. Nadja is set to appear in court on Jan. 2. 


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11New Hampshire Firefighter Unknowingly Responds To Daughter's Fatal Car Crash

A volunteer firefighter arrived at the scene of a car crash in Brookline, New Hampshire yesterday and immediately rushed to pull a woman from the cabin of her smashed car. Upon seeing the woman, the rescue instantly turned into a nightmare. The dead victim of the crash was his daughter.

The woman has been identified as 30 year old Katie Hamilton. She was preparing to turn left onto a busy street yesterday when her car was rear-ended. The collision sent Hamilton and her car out into oncoming traffic. A man driving a Ford F250 truck smashed into Hamilton’s car and killed her.

Hamilton’s father is 58-year-old Steve Whitcomb. Whitcomb owns a heating and air conditioning business in Brookline but volunteers as a firefighter in his spare time. He chose to only speak briefly about the tragic experience of finding your child dead at the scene of a car crash.

"You grieve and then you try to put it all back together," Whitcomb said.

Brookline Police Chief Bill Quigley said his department does not think alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident. He did not rule out driver distractions, though.

"At the last minute - we don't know if it was driver distraction or what the cause was, we haven't been able to determine that - he swerved to avoid hitting her and still struck her on the very right rear corner of her vehicle, forcing her to come over to the northbound lane," Quigley said.

Katie Hamilton is survived by her three young children.

Sources: Daily Mail, Nashua Telegraph


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11Pit Bull To Blame For No Mail Delivery On New Hampshire Street

The mail is always supposed to arrive under any weather condition, but there are times that other conditions could prevent delivery. One such condition is a reported aggressive dog and the pet has led to mail not being brought to a street in New Hampshire for more than a year.

The residents who live on Cornell Street in Concord, N.H., have not had their mail delivered for more than a year due to an unruly pit bull named Levi, according to ABC News.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service Northern New England District told ABC News that Levi rushed the letter carrier "on three different occasions."

"A pit bull rushing someone, as most people will recognize, is a cause for serious concern," Tom Rizzo said.

In an attempt to avoid the street, but still get close to give residents a chance to get their mail, the Postal Service is asking the city to approve a six-unit "delivery receptacle" three blocks from Cornell Street, WMUR reported.

Some neighbors have even resorted to putting up mail boxes on nearby streets and supposedly one of them was put up by the people who own the aggressive dog.

The owner of the dog, David Dale, reportedly told WMUR that he will not be giving up his dog.

"This is an older neighborhood now," said Nancee Donovan, one of the residents who doesn’t get mail at her home anymore. "I just hope that they get rid of the dog, because even going out of the house under the threat of being attacked is just too much."

Sources: ABC News, WMUR


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11Angry Town Hall Demands Rep. Ann Kuster Answer Questions About Benghazi 'Conspiracy' (Video)

Rep. Ann Kuster (D-N.H.) was asked about the so-called Benghazi conspiracy during a town hall event on Nov. 25 at the New Hampshire Jewish Federation in Manchester, N.H.

The debunked conspiracy theory that has been widely circulated by Republicans and Tea Partiers is that the Obama administration is “covering up” something about the terrorist attack that occurred on Sept. 11. 2012.

James Pindell of WMUR tweeted a link to the video (below) and claimed: "“This from @RepAnnieKuster comes across as super bad. Like viral bad.”

The video has gone viral, but Pindell didn't explain why it comes across “super bad” for Rep. Kuster, who did not indulge the false conspiracy theory.

When Rep. Kuster was asked about Benghazi during the town hall, she replied, “I’m certainly not here to talk about it, we’re here to talk about the Middle East.”

Rep. Kuster was referring to her recent trip to Israel, but ABC News reports that her response brought howls from some in the audience who yelled “Benghazi is in the Middle East!”

Libya is a north African country that is west of Egypt and is not usually referred to as a Middle Eastern country, notes ABC News.

When pressed by some angry folks in the crowd, Rep. Kuster said, “It’s a Senate thing. I don’t think we have anything about that in the House.”

According to The Washington Post, Rep. Kuster’s office released a statement today: “Like all Americans, I was horrified by the tragic attack on our Embassy in Benghazi that killed four patriotic Americans. Our focus must remain on finding those responsible, bringing them to justice, and taking every necessary step to prevent an attack like this from ever happening.”

Sources: MediaMatters.org, The Washington Post, ABC News, Twitter


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