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Welcome to the NEW Atkinson Reporter! Under new management, with new resolve.

The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

This Blog will not fall to outside hacks from anyone, especially insecure public officials afraid of their constituents criticism.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Family: Atkinson man died from assault

From the Eagle Tribune;

Family: Atkinson man died from assault Sister: Abate was victim of assault during home invasion
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Police said the death of a 42-year-old Atkinson man earlier this month was possibly caused by a drug overdose.

But family members said yesterday they believe Shawn Abate died from injuries he suffered after being assaulted in a home invasion six days before his death March 6.

Abate's younger sister, Alisa Chagnon of Methuen, acknowledged that her brother had been in trouble with the law, but said she doesn't believe he was using drugs the day he died.

"I'm worried his investigation is being pushed off because he did drugs on and off during his adult life," Chagnon said.

Atkinson police Detective Phil Farrar said police are investigating the assault, but no one has been arrested. Abate suffered a head injury in the assault and received 47 stitches, according to Atkinson police Chief Philip Consentino.

Consentino said police are awaiting toxicology reports from the state.

Chagnon said she spoke with her brother three hours before he died. He was with a longtime friend who didn't use drugs, she said. If her brother had taken drugs, Chagnon said, she would have known right away.

"You can tell right away from his voice," she said.

Abate was having a party at his condominium at 1 Rosewood Court on Feb. 28, when an argument broke out. Two people left the party and came back a short while later and beat Abate, Chagnon said.

She said her brother was sleeping when he was attacked by two men with a golf club and billy club. Chagnon said he had been taken to the hospital by the time police arrived.

Farrar would only say the assault was under investigation.

A few days after Abate was attacked, Chagnon said her brother complained of headaches and had passed out a few times, so he went to Lawrence General Hospital for a CT scan. He was awaiting the results when he died six days after the attack, she said.

"In the meantime, he was just helpless," she said.

Abate has had frequent run-ins with Atkinson police over the last several years.

After selling Haverhill Auto Wholesale on River Street in Haverhill, Abate bought a large home in Atkinson, but downsized to the Bryant Woods condominium over the last few years. He wasn't working at the time of his death, Chagnon said.

Abate's criminal record includes convictions for drug possession. He also faced several assault and criminal threatening charges.

Family members have set up a Web site for Abate's friends, In addition to his sister, Abate is survived by his parents, George and Alice Abate, of Lady Lake, Fla.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Atkinson man accused of using stolen credit card for a year

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson man accused of using stolen credit card for a year
By Eric Parry

PLAISTOW — A 72-year-old Atkinson man is being charged with felony theft after he admitted he used a stolen credit card to buy more than $2,000 worth of gasoline in the last year, police said.

John Murrey of 12 Linebrook Road turned himself in to police Tuesday on four fraud charges and one receiving stolen property charge.

Deputy Chief Kathleen Jones said the four fraud charges are all felonies.

A Haverhill woman reported to police on March 5 that she had been having unauthorized charges on a debit card she lost that date back two years, according to Jones.

The victim told police the bank had since issued her a new card, but the charges appear on her monthly bank statements, according to Jones.

A Plaistow police officer visited at least three of the gas stations where Murrey used the card to identify him and his blue Dodge Durango, according to Jones.

On March 11, the officer spotted Murrey pumping gas at the Cumberland Farms in Plaistow and he agreed to be interviewed at the station, Jones said.

When questioned by police on March 11, he told police he used the card to buy $2,325 worth of gas in the last year, police said.

"He said he found the card on top of a gas pump," Jones said.

Murrey was released on $10,000 personal recognizance bail pending his arraignment May 3 in Plaistow District Court.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Atkinson sues to get family out of home

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson sues to get family out of home
By Eric Parry

BRENTWOOD — Atkinson has filed a lawsuit in Rockingham Superior Court to force a Valcat Lane family out of their home.

Margaret and Daniel Osborn have been living in their home for months without an occupancy permit, according to court documents. The town is seeking a permanent injunction against the Osborns for living in their home without the occupancy permit.

The lawsuit also asks the Osborns to post a $50,000 bond to pay for fines associated with local violations and town attorney's fees.

Margaret Osborn had no comment on the lawsuit when reached by telephone yesterday.

Previously, she had said they had complied with all of the town's building and zoning codes. She had said they were being harassed by town officials.

Town officials have been battling with the Osborns for years, but this is the first time the town has filed a lawsuit.

The Osborns were served with a violation notice in December for living in the house without an occupancy permit, yet they continue to live there, according to court documents.

In order to receive an occupancy permit, town officials had to inspect the house, including the sprinklers the Osborns were ordered to install in May 2008.

The Atkinson Fire Department told the Osborns the home had to have sprinklers because they were unable to meet access requirements for police and fire vehicles, according to the lawsuit.

The Osborns were given a variance by the town's zoning board in June 2007 to build a 2,587-square-foot house.

The Osborns requested a final inspection of the home in January, but later withdrew the request, even though they were living in the house.

The town has asked the court to expedite a hearing, but one has not been scheduled.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Town files suit against the Osborns for living in home without OC.

The name of the case is Town of Atkinson v. Daniel Osborn, trustee

The town is asking the Court for a preliminary injunction against the Osborns living in their home without an occupancy permit while the case is being heard, and a permanent injunction until they have fulfilled the requirements of their building permits, and obtain an occupancy permit.

The lawsuit alleges violations of code, violations of process, and, of course, living in the home without an occupancy permit. Superbly laid out and documented by Town Counsel, Sumner Kalman, the suit documents all the communications, and lack thereof, between the parties. It documents the broken promises, the failed inspections, and lack of compliance on the part of the defendants. It also lays out the relevant laws which must be fulfilled.

The defendant has yet to file his response, but with the civil case against them by Mrs. Davis rolling along, and the criminal case against the defendant in response to the Artus case, moving forward, it would appear Mr. Osborn will have a lot of time sitting in a courtroom to reflect on the course of action that has brought these players to this point in time. More to come as it becomes public.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Atkinson decides committee members in random drawing

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson decides committee members in random drawing
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Names written on slips of paper and drawn out of a box decided two write-in candidates for town boards yesterday afternoon.

Town Clerk Rose Cavalear said there were two vacant positions that had to be decided by a random drawing since there were no declared candidates and multiple write-in candidates who received the same number of votes in voting Tuesday.

Resident Jim Lavoie happened to go into the town clerk's office and was drafted to draw the names out of the box.

Bill Smith has been chosen to serve a three-year term on the Budget Committee. Smith was one of four write-in candidates, each with two votes.

Michael Emmons was chosen to serve a three-year term on the Conflict of Interest Committee. Emmons was one of 20 candidates, each with one vote.

Cavalear said she still needs to contact Smith and Emmons to see if they will accept the positions. If not, each board will appoint a member to fill the vacancy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Atkinson voters OK Subaru purchase

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson voters OK Subaru purchase
By Jo-Anne MacKenzie

ATKINSON — There was only one contested race on the ballot yesterday. In a three-way race for two three-year terms as Kimball Library trustees, Alan Phair and Helen "Kay" Galloway were elected with 505 and 643 votes, respectively. William Innes garnered 420 votes.

Voters overwhelmingly approved spending $19,500 for the purchase of a 2010 Subaru for the Elderly Affairs Department. The Atkinson Police Charitable Fund will donate $13,000 and $6,500 is to be raised by taxes. That vote was 759-318.

The town also voted, 809-261, to create a paid position — with an annual salary of $100 — of Director of Elderly Affairs to replace the volunteer position.

Residents also approved five amendments to the zoning ordinance specific to wetlands protection.

The proposed operating budget of $3.9 million sailed through, 875-152. Had the budget been defeated, the default budget would have been $4.3 million

Voters rejected amending the zoning ordinance to prohibit trucking facilities in all zoning districts. That was rejected, 381-595.

Voters approved adding $60,000 to the Fire Department Capital Reserve Fund and the creation of a trust fund for winter maintenance.

Sections of a number of roads will be shimmed and overlaid, after voters approved spending the money to do so yesterday. Those roads include Mosher Drive, Stage Road, Rockingchair Lane, Cottontail Lane, Pebble Brook Road, Leroy Avenue, Pages Lane and Bittersweet Lane.

Residents narrowly approved spending $80,000 to continue work at the East Road Recreation Area, 524-508. That amount is offset by a $25,000 donation.

But voters rejected adding $25,000 to the Recreation Capital Reserve Fund, 348-681. They also overwhelmingly rejected $5,000 for Woodlock Park, 291-728.

There won't be a $25,000 generator at Town Hall because voters denied the request, 344-683.

Voters approved spending money to control mosquitoes, fix windows at Kimball House, renovate the kitchen at Atkinson Academy and televise Conservation Committee meetings. But they rejected a propsal to televise library trustee meetings and another to spend $10,000 to purchase video editing and streaming equipment.

Timberlane voters approve all articles District's operating budget of $61.8 million passes easily

From the Eagle Tribune;

Timberlane voters approve all articles District's operating budget of $61.8 million passes easily
By Jo-Anne MacKenzie

PLAISTOW — Timberlane Regional School District voters just couldn't say no yesterday. They approved all articles on the warrant.

The proposed operating budget of $61.8 million was approved, 2,759-1,008. Voters also OK'd a contract with the Timberlane Teachers' Association, 2,096-1,775.

They agreed to put $100,000 in the School Building Construction, Reconstruction, Capital Improvement and Land Purchase Capital reserve Fund, 2,627-1,221.

Atkinson Academy will have a spruced-up kitchen. Voters approved spending $225,000, 1,993-1,886. Voters also agreed to accept everything in the 2009 annual report, 3,138-604.

In school district elections, Nancy Steenson of Danville won a three-year seat on the Timberlane Regional School Board. She received 322 votes, handily beating out Jennifer Caruso with 129 and incumbent Arlene Champey with 166.

In Plaistow, in a race for one three-year seat, incumbent Lisa Withee beat challenger Michael Addorisio, 563 to 244.

Sandown incumbent Lori Aubrey held onto her three-year seat on the board with 398 votes. But challenger Kelly Ward came close, gathering 349 votes. The third candidate, Cathy Lisi, received 126 votes.

There were no seats open in Atkinson.

For the Timberlane Regional School District Budget Committee, Danville resident and incumbent member Michele O'Neil handily beat challenger Paul Shalek, 425 to 175.

In Plaistow, Normand Bouchard beat Michael Addorisio for a three-year seat on the district Budget Committee, 529 to 242. Michele Conte beat Tricia Holt for a two-year term on the board, 410-367.

Sandown has two openings on the Budget Committee, one for three years, one for two years, but no candidates emerged. There were a number of write-in votes. For the two-year term, Heidi Chaput received 86 votes; Ralph Millard received 22 votes; and Kelly Ward received 11. Two of the same candidates received write-in votes for the three-year seat: Chaput had 28 votes and Millard had 17. Brenda Copp also received 17 write-in votes for that seat.

There were no openings on the committee to represent Atkinson.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Town sues Resident for allegedly illegal occupancy

Orders of Notice have been filed in the case of Town of Atkinson v. Daniel Osborn, Trustee. This case seeks to evict the Osborns from their home at 8 Valcat ln. A hearing on this matter has been scheduled for March 23, 2010 at 9:00am in Brentwood. As many of you know the Osborns have been at the epicenter of controversy for most of the last year. First with the size of their home which allegedly exceeds the submitted plans, to it's lack of sprinklers, after agreeing to the sprinkler plan, to their alleged unauthorized taking of Carol Davis' land for their new driveway, not to mention the cutting into valcat ln. to lower the grade so as to gain the acceptance of the fire chief.

This couple has wreaked more havoc in town and amongst their neighbors than hurricane Katrina. They are currently being sued in Brentwood, by their neighbor, Mrs. Davis, who wants her land restored. That case went to hearing in December, at which the judge told Mrs. Osborn in no uncertain terms that she could continue with her construction project, but if Mrs. Davis proved her ownership of the land, the Osborns would be Ordered to restore the land to its original condition.

It seems that this show is going into extra episodes, as the story line expands and continues, we will be watching with avid interest.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Atkinson seeks state help with renumbering problem

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson seeks state help with renumbering problem
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Town officials have requested the state's help in renumbering a few streets in town.

Selectman Bill Friel said the town has asked the state Department of Safety's Emergency Management Bureau to help renumber Coventry and Washington roads.

Some residents on those streets say they fear fire and police officials won't be able to find their homes in an emergency because they have letters as well as numbers.

The issue was raised by residents a year ago. Since then, selectmen have been trying to come up with a solution.

Friel said they would like to have the state look at the whole town, but there is a waiting list 16 towns long before state officials can visit Atkinson and make a recommendation. Friel has asked the state to investigate Coventry and Washington immediately, but said he hasn't heard when that might be done.

When state officials review the street numbering, they drive around town looking at tax maps and recording GPS coordinates for properties.

"They go to every parcel in town," Friel said.

They can visit up to 300 properties a day and Atkinson has about 3,000 properties that would be reviewed, he said.

This service would be provided at no cost to the town, Friel said.

Fire Chief Mike Murphy said last week he supports renumbering Coventry and Washington roads.

"Those could be solved with little impact," Murphy said.

Friday, March 5, 2010

New Controversy, Same old police chief causing it


New Controversy, Same old police chief causing it

Town Report

The Town Report is out! And on page 53 is the Elderly Affairs Dept. report. Nothing strange there except for Phil's usual Hyperbole about the number of rides his dept. gives, and this year he doesn't even bother to try to make up a number of dedicated users of the program, but what is highly unusual is the claim that;

"If any senior should require assistance with utility bills, prescriptions or minor household repairs, please give us a call and through the new “Atkinson Police Charitable Fund” we will be able to provide you with the assistance you need."

Something like this has been in the report in the past, but what is different this year is that there isn't a "town owned, or affiliated" donation account anymore.

The "Atkinson police charitable fund" is not affiliated, owned, or managed by the Town of Atkinson. In fact, the Town of Atkinson has no oversight or affiliation with this fund at all! This fund is the private business corporation of one Philip Consentino, it's president! It is registered with the State of NH as a private corporation. The Town of Atkinson is nowhere named in it's founding documents. In fact; The police chief(Philip Consentino) wrote a letter to the president of this corporation(One Philip Consentino) to give him permission to use the name Atkinson Police in the corporation's name! The selectmen were never consulted nor did they vote to approve this bit of subterfuge.

And there is another discrepancy in this report. The Director of Elderly Affairs(one Philip Consentino) would like to "give special recognition to the following our Elderly Affairs’ Personnel: William Anderson, the Assistant Director; Richard Magoon, Roger Culliford, Robert Neill, Ted Houlihan, Salvatore Novello, Joanne Consentino, Charles McCarthy and Lynne Cunningham, for without their dedication to our seniors we would not have been able to provide all of the services that we presently have in place."

The Elderly Affairs dept. has it's own personnel. But Joanne Consentino, Charley McCarthy, and Lynne Cunningham are POLICE OFFICERS, Not elderly affairs personnel.

In fact, Lynne Cunningham was the dispatcher at the center of the misuse of personnel controversy this past summer. She was the dispatcher who was sending out "thank you for your donation" letters on the police dispatch computer, while on the clock as a police dispatcher, oh, and by the way, she was not doing this for the police dept. OR the elderly affairs dept. She was doing this for the private corporation run by her boss(one Philip Consentino)!

That's Right, Folks! YOUR TAX DOLLARS were paying for the equipment, the ink, the paper, and the time for the people working for a private business.

Now I know, you are going to say, "well it is all for the seniors", but is it? How do you know? Nobody knows what money comes into this fund, except its officers, all of them work for Philip Consentino, both inside and outside of this corporation, nobody knows what goes out of this corporation. Nobody knows what the money donated is spent on. The first donation we have seen from this corporation to the town is the money for this New Subaru for the elderly affairs Dept. IF the voters pass it. Phil has already said that if they don't the money won't be donated.

So, how can we be sure when one man runs a corporation that is dependent on the two town depts. he runs for business and donations that his town decisions are best for the town, and not best for his own corporation?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Atkinson voters asked to back technology improvements

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson voters asked to back technology improvements
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — The town's Web site could be improved with videos of town meetings if voters approve a $10,000 warrant article next week.

The article to add video to the town's new site is one of three that would improve the town's computers and technology.

Voters also will be asked to approve an $18,000 article that would renovate a storage room in Town Hall to store the town's cable television equipment and servers.

Todd Barbera, chairman of the Technology Committee, said water leaks into the room and potentially causes serious harm to expensive town equipment.

"There's over $100,000 in equipment sitting in less than an ideal environment," Barbera said.

Once the town's Web site is improved, it will feature more up-to-date information like meeting minutes, agendas and town news. Currently, each department has its own Web site with different formats.

"What we're trying to do is bring all those various Web sites under one umbrella," he said.

Even if the article to purchase video equipment isn't approved, the committee is moving forward with the new site, Barbera said.

"If you don't have cable, you can't see those meetings," he said.

There is also an article to make the ad hoc technology committee an official town committee. If approved by voters, the committee would have five members appointed by the Board of Selectmen. Barbera said the committee would act as the town's information technology director and be responsible for all the town's needs.

Voting will take place on March 9 from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Atkinson Community Center.