Katie McQuaid's Scene In Manchester: Tracking street crime is her gameKATIE McQUAID
July 21. 2014 2:05AM
Krystle Crossman said she lives in a bad neighborhood. Manchester police officer Daniel Doherty was shot around the corner from her home, and a man in her building was shot in the alley behind her apartment last fall.
Police activity was becoming so frequent in her neighborhood earlier this year, the single mom decided to get a police scanner app for her phone to stay on top of what was going on.
First, she began posting what she heard — calls for domestic disputes, drug overdoses, accidents — on her personal Facebook page. Her friends loved the posts so much, they suggested she start a separate page, and Manchvegas Alerts was born.
“I thought maybe I would get 20 of my friends to follow, but five months later we’re about to hit 13,000,” Crossman told The Scene last Monday. (She ended up passing that benchmark the next day.)
It seems like everyone I know follows Crossman’s Manchvegas Alerts. One of my friends said she follows to keep up with what is going on, but also for the humor.
Crossman sometimes editorializes the more intriguing alerts with her own commentary and hashtags.
One recent post read: “HIT AND RUN: Dunkin Donuts on Brown Ave with the double drive-thru. Delivery truck hit a car and then took off.
Staff is trying to get the truck back to the store. #WhatsInThatCoffee.”
Another one read: “PARTY: Ahern Street, block party happening. Caller complaining about the noise. #WhyWasntIInvited.”
Then there’s Crossman’s favorite hashtag, “#StayClassyManchVegas,” which she reserves for those calls that should make us all seriously question the kind of people living in our city.
“Some people love the hashtags, and some think they are stupid,” she said. But with so much sadness and scariness coming across on her feed, “You got to bring a little humor.”
Crossman is also a professional photographer and sometimes will go out to a scene to take pictures. She said she is not trying to compete with mainstream media.
“The news outlets can’t report everything,” she said, explaining that Manchvegas Alerts is where people go to find out about the little skirmishes and traffic tie-ups specific to their neighborhood.
“When people look out their windows they want to know why there’s a cop outside their house,” she said. Or whether that guy walking around in a cow costume on the West Side is dangerous.
“There was a call for a guy in a cow suit on Granite Street,” she said, describing one of the weirder calls she has posted about. “The police officers and dispatchers were trying to hold it together... You could hear them chuckling under their breath.”
For people wondering how Crossman ever takes a break — after all, the calls never stop — Crossman explained she has three other people who help her keep the posts up when she has to turn off the scanner for a while.
In addition to her photography business, Crossman also writes several blogs and has a full-time job for a health insurance company, which she does out of her home.
But she would love to do photojournalism full-time someday, and hopes Manchvegas Alerts may lead to that.
“If I could turn that into a job, that would be great,” she said.
Manchvegas Alerts has become so popular, Crossman has started to sell T-shirts and car magnets that say “Keep Calm and Check Manchvegas Alerts.”
In addition to her Facebook page, Crossman posts Manchvegas Alerts on Twitter and a blog at manchvegasdaily.blogspot.com.
For the most part, followers who comment on her posts seem very grateful for her diligence in reporting the activities of Manchester’s police and fire departments. It’s also clear that Crossman has a lot of respect for these first responders she posts about.
Thousands of backpacks filled with school supplies will be handed out during a celebration at Sheridan-Emmett Park on Beech Street Saturday.
The One Day of Community event, sponsored by Manchester Christian Church and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine.
Even if you don’t need free school supplies, there will be lots of other reasons to come to the park, including free food, face painting, carnival games, bounce houses and live music.
Kudos to all the local businesses and organizations that have pitched in to put together this day of summertime fun for kids who probably don’t get their fair share.
They include Poultry Products Northeast, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Well Sense Health Plan, Sterilite, Page Street Leasing, Performance Food Group, Advantage Food & Beverage, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Reliable Equipment, Crown Trophy and Country Kitchen. Members of Manchester Christian Church donated all the supplies for the backpacks.
On Thursday, you can experience downtown by trolley with Open Doors Manchester. This event happens several times a year and includes free access to some of the Queen City’s best arts and cultural venues, including Art 3 Gallery, Langer Place, Millyard Museum, SEE Science Center, Art on the Wall at City Hall Gallery, Framers Market, E.W. Poore, Studio 550 Art Center, Studioverne glass studio, and the Arbor in the Millyard gallery at Manchester Vineyard Community Church.
In addition, Manchester Community Music School’s Summer Band will be performing outside City Hall at 6 p.m.
Two trolleys will circulate a route between the venues from 5 to 8 p.m., stopping at each one about every 30 minutes.
Participants can get on or off the trolley at any stop, or walk or drive themselves between venues.
For more information on special events at each trolley stop, visit www.opendoorsmanchester.com.
I am hearing great things about this season’s Palace Professional Theatre for Children. These favorite children’s stories are no more than an hour long and only $8 per ticket, making them perfect for young children and their families.
This week’s story is “Cinderella,” with shows Tuesday at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Wednesday at 10 a.m. and Thursday at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Additional upcoming shows include “Peter Pan,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
Visit www.palacetheatre.org for more information.
NH365.ORG Event of Week
It’s time for the inaugural Granite State Brewers Association Summer Fest at Arms Park this Saturday. I had no idea New Hampshire had so many breweries. Participants can sample beers from more than 25 of them and also vote for their favorite entry in a Chicken Wing Showdown.
Tickets are $30 for general admission between 1 and 5 p.m. and include the beer sampling, chicken wing competition and live music. Additional food will be available for sale and there will also be a cigar tent. VIP tickets, which gain you entry one hour earlier, are available for $40.
There is also a $20 price for the nice people who forgo the beer to keep their friends safe as a designated drivers.
Tickets should be pre-purchased; a link to buy them online can be found at www.NH365.org.
If you have an interesting item for Scene in Manchester, write to Scene@UnionLeader.com.