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Paul Feely's City Hall: Levasseur renews call to boost funding for Manchester Crimeline

By PAUL FEELY
September 15. 2018 11:54PM
Alderman-At-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur 
Coffee & Conversation schedule
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bolgen Vargas has scheduled another series of “Coffee & Conversation” gatherings at schools across the city to talk about education. All community members are welcome to attend any session, no matter where they live or work in Manchester, or where their children go to school.

Two sessions were held last week, at Weston Elementary and Central High School. The rest of the schedule is as follows:

Oct. 3, 7:30 a.m.
McDonough
Elementary School
550 Lowell St.

Oct. 4, 4:30 p.m.
Jewett Elementary School
130 S. Jewett St.

Nov. 7, 7:30 a.m.
Parker-Varney
Elementary School
223 James A. Pollock Dr.

Nov. 8, 4:30 p.m.
Memorial High School
1 Crusader Way

Dec. 5, 7:30 a.m.
Highland-Goffe's
Falls Elementary School
2021 Goffe's Falls Road

Dec. 6, 4:30 p.m.
Middle School at Parkside
75 Parkside Ave.

Jan. 9, 2019, 7:30 a.m.
Hallsville Elementary
School
275 Jewett St.

Jan. 10, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
West High School
9 Notre Dame Ave.

Feb. 6, 2019, 7:30 a.m.
Gossler Park
Elementary School
145 Parkside Ave.

Feb. 7, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
Manchester School
of Technology
530 S. Porter St.

March 13, 2019, 7:30 a.m.
Bakersville
Elementary School
20 Elm St.

March 14, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
Hillside Middle School
112 Reservoir Ave.

April 17, 2019, 7:30 a.m.
Wilson Elementary School
401 Wilson St.

April 18, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
Southside Middle School
140 S. Jewett St.

May 8, 2019, 7:30 a.m.
Smyth Road
Elementary School
245 Bruce Road

May 9, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
McLaughlin Middle School
290 S. Mammoth Road



Some may have been surprised last week when Alderman-At-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur offered to pony up $2,500 for information leading to the capture of Paul Dimick, wanted for second-degree murder. It was no surprise to faithful attendees of meetings of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, however.

Longtime observers may remember a conversation in 2016 when Levasseur suggested "upping the ante" regarding rewards being offered by the Crimeline program.

"I believe that the City of Manchester should put $100,000 into Crimeline," Levasseur said at the time. "We should put serious bounties on these people's heads."

At the time, Levasseur argued that increasing the reward money would cause drug dealers to think twice about peddling in the city.

"If you are dealing in this city and you know that there is a serious bounty on your head and one of your 20 clients who are making minimum wage are going to squeal on you, you have to be worried about being in Manchester and working out of this city," Levasseur said. "I am not talking about $2,500 or $1,500. I am talking about $5,000 and $10,000. I think we should put a higher bounty on these people's heads."

Levasseur said in 2016 he emailed former Manchester Police Chief David Mara about the idea.

"I think that would really send a message and make these guys sleep with both eyes open or not sleep at all and get out of here," Levasseur said. "It would also give an incentive to guys who are on this stuff because I don't think they really want to be. I just don't think they can get off it.

"I have talked to the people at Crimeline. They don't want government money. They want it to be raised from individuals. They don't want it coming from the taxpayers, but we are all taxpayers and we are all in this together. I just don't think $1,500 is an incentive for these kids to squeal on the guy who is giving them this stuff."

Last week, Levasseur renewed his call to up the ante after a tip leading to Dimick's capture and arrest came in after the Crimeline reward was increased to $5,000, thanks to the alderman's donation.

"I think $5,000 is a good number," Levasseur said. "A lot more (criminals) would be moving out of the city if they knew they had a target on their heads, and I think that Crimeline would get a hell of a lot more tips."

Don't be surprised if the topic is mentioned at a Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting in the near future.

City parks get a face-lift

A "grand reopening" ceremony has been scheduled for the basketball court at Sweeney Park Thursday at 10 a.m.

Last winter, after learning the city would receive $75,000 over three years from the Kiwanis Club of Manchester, public works officials announced plans to renovate basketball and tennis courts at several parks across Manchester over the summer.

Don Pinard, chief of Parks, Recreation and Cemeteries, said the funds are being used to complete renovations at up to seven park in the city, including five basketball courts and 12 tennis courts.

Pinard said Pulaski and Sweeney parks were at the top of his list, along with the pickleball courts at Rock Rimmon Park, the tennis courts at Derryfield and Youngsville parks, and the basketball courts at Wolfe Park.

Improvements included resurfacing and crack-sealing work.

Paul Feely is the City Hall reporter for the Union Leader and Sunday News. Reach him at pfeely@unionleader.com.


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