Atkinson Town Hall

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Welcome Message and Mission Statement

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.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Water: Noone showed up so the State took EVERYTHING!

From the Plaistow Town Crier;

Letter to the Editor in Fosters Daily Democrat.
Change is opposed

To the editor: New Hampshire. groundwater law has stated for almost 20 years "nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to preempt the authority of municipalities, under other statutes, to enact local ordinances or regulation affecting groundwater."

Now the House has voted to repeal that language and replace it with; "... Municipalities and any other local authorities are expressly preempted from enacting regulation with the same effect under this or any other statute"

What is the purpose of this amendment to the law which was trying to clarify the respective roles of the state and municipalities in the process of large groundwater withdrawals? The SB 155 Groundwater Commission, after 18 months plus of getting input from the public in eight public hears around the state, had proposed clarification which did not include this power grab by the State. The NH Senate voted for the Commission's recommendation on a voice vote and sent it to the House.

The House Committee held a public hearing, at which no person testified against the Legislation. Then the Committee voted for this change and the full House went along. The Bill now has to go back to the Senate to see if they will accept this change which will hurt Towns and Cities in this State.

Call your state senator and urge them to vote against this amendment which hurts our municipalities. Please call now, time is short.

Bill McCann

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Atkinson family told to get sprinklers or move out

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson family told to get sprinklers or move out

By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — A Rockingham Superior Court judge has ordered an Atkinson family to install a sprinkler system within 30 days or move out of their house.

Margaret and Daniel Osborn received a notice April 22 giving them 30 days to vacate their 8 Valcat Lane home or install a sprinkler system, according to an order by Superior Court Judge Tina Nadeau.

Margaret Osborn did not answer several phone calls for comment yesterday. The Osborns had not appealed Nadeau's decision as of Monday.

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

Selectman Bill Bennett said yesterday it would be up to the Rockingham County Sheriff's Department to enforce Nadeau's decision and make sure the family has vacated the home after 30 days. Bennett had no other comment.

Nadeau's decision comes about a month after the town filed a lawsuit in Rockingham Superior Court to have the family removed from their home. They had been living in the house for months without an occupancy permit, according to court documents.

In her decision, Nadeau wrote town emergency officials would have significant difficulty responding to the house in an emergency.

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

Town officials have been battling with the Osborns for years. The Osborns were given a variance by the town's zoning board in June 2007 to build a 2,587-square-foot house.

They 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.

Town officials have required the family to install a sprinkler system in the house and allow town officials to inspect it before an occupancy permit can be granted, according to court documents.

The Osborns had requested a final inspection of their house in January to receive the permit, but later withdrew the request, according to documents.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Atkinson chief honored for work with elderly

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson chief honored for work with elderly

By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — When a senior citizen called requesting a ride to Newburyport later in the week, Elderly Affairs Director Philip Consentino sacrificed his own medical appointment to make sure the woman had a ride.

That's the kind of dedication to the community's senior citizens that made Consentino this year's choice for the State Committee on Aging's Joseph D. Vaughan Award.

Consentino, who is also the town's police chief, will accept the honor at a ceremony in Concord in two weeks.

He said yesterday he was honored to be chosen for the award.

"Every year, they select one person in each county who volunteers with the seniors," he said. "Some of the seniors we work with nominated me."

The annual award is given to an individual over the age of 60 who shows leadership and achievement while working with the elderly, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

The Elderly Affairs Department averages five to seven free transports to seniors a day to doctors' appointments, shopping and the hairdresser. The department also provides an annual flu clinic, discounts with local contractors, and free medical supplies and equipment.

Consentino has volunteered in the position for 17 years, but voters in March approved making it a $100 a year paid position.

Voters also approved the purchase of a 2010 Subaru Forester to replace a 2005 used police cruiser that had more than 148,000 miles on it for use by the department.

The new Subaru was purchased with $13,000 from the Atkinson Police Charitable Fund and $5,000 was paid for by taxpayers.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hampton asks Atkinson to request Town Counsel to intervene in Unitil Rate Hikes!


I don't mean to change the subject, but moderator, could you please add this item as a new topic. It has to do with our cost-of-living and cheaters, which is not that far off target. We all know the line from Robert Frost's "The Mending Wall", "Good fences make good neighbours.” I usually try to stay on my side of the stone wall, but every once in a while, the situation begs for action. You'll know immediately who the writer is once you've read the article. Yes, it's Dennis, from The Plaistow NH Town Crier.

The article at the bottom of the page appeared in the online version of the Hampton Union today, buried deep within a column headed "Hampton Around Town". Boy, am I glad that paper has a search feature.

"The Crier" is proposing that Attorney Sumner Kalman prepare to intervene on behalf of residents of Atkinson, Plaistow, Newton, Kingston and East Kingston in the Unitil rate case that is currently before the NH Public Utilities Commission. I can't think of anyone more qualified and more deserving of this honor. I believe it's Unitil Docket DE 10-055. All it takes is a vote of your Board of Selectmen and Sumner will have to attend. And don't delay. There are time limits for requests to intervene.

I hear parts of Danville and Hampstead are also served by Unitil, so they might be interested in joining too. All Unitil towns will have to act soon to get the attention of the bureaucrats and politicians in Concord.

If you go to the NH PUC website, don't miss Unitil's other docket, DE 10-001, covering the Dec 2008 Ice Storm. Check out Councilor Beverly Hollingworth's testimony. She was her usual pro-Unitil self.

Unitil showed us just how inept they were at disaster management during the December 2008 ice storm. Even during this years wind storm there were pleas on behalf of the elderly on Smith Corner Road in Newton. Now they're showing us just how inept they are at managing their own company's finances during a downturn. They never should have handed out bonuses to their executives last year and they should cut investor dividends before demanding a bailout from ratepayers.


"Hampton intervenes in Unitil rate hike case

Selectmen voted unanimously this week to intervene in the Unitil Corporation's rate hike request this week in order to stay abreast of the case and its potential impact on Hampton residents.

The Hampton-based company filed a request Friday, April 16, with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission to increase its electric distribution charges, the fees associated with delivering electricity to customers, by as much as 9 percent.

The company is also seeking a temporary rate hike that would generate $6.7 million in additional revenue and go into effect on or about July 1, while the case is being heard.

Unitil spokeswoman Carol Valianti said the rate hike was necessitated because expenses have increased while revenues have declined.

She said costs have risen for property taxes, depreciation and storm restoration, including two of the most devastating events in New Hampshire history.

The company said sales are down because of increased energy efficiency in homes and a downturn in the national economy, according to the filing with the PUC.

— Patrick Cronin"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Atkinson assessing information online

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson assessing information online

By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — The town has made property tax information more accessible, but it took a while. More than a year after voters approved a warrant article to put the information online, it's there.

The town hired Avitar Associates of New England to post assessed home and property values online. The information can be accessed through the town's website,

The original citizens petition warrant article in 2009 was overwhelmingly approved by voters, but there was no money appropriated for the task. This year, voters at Town Meeting approved a new warrant article to raise $4,000 to complete the job.

But Barbara Snicer, the town's administrative assistant, said the cost will probably be much less than that.

"It looks like it's going to be around $2,000," she said.

Town officials hope to update the site each month with new information from the Rockingham County Registry of Deeds, as well as building permit and abatement information.

Snicer said this new feature will make it easier for residents to see their own personal information.

"If there's a mistake, it's to everyone's advantage to take care of it," she said.

Atkinson nun finds a new ministry at Haverhill doughnut shop

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson nun finds a new ministry at Haverhill doughnut shop

By Eric Parry

HAVERHILL — If there are coffee and doughnuts in heaven, Sister Rachel Dumont will feel right at home.

Just about every morning, the Sister of Mercy drives from her Atkinson home to Heav'nly Donuts in Haverhill to talk and pray with people. She considers her morning ritual her ministry and has helped countless people with a story and a laugh.

"I just sit and chat, and people come over to me," Dumont said yesterday.

She moved from table to table, greeting everyone with a smile and a handshake.

Two weeks ago, she met with a soldier had just returned from Afghanistan. Dumont told his mother before he left in October that if she prayed for him every day, he would stay safe.

"He came back without a scratch on him," she said.

Recently, Dumont met a group of unemployed construction workers. They used to go to a bar in the afternoon, but after they met Dumont for a cup of coffee, they changed their ritual.

"Now they come in every other day," she said.

Dumont, a Sister of Mercy, has been a nun for more than 50 years. She was a teacher for 30 years, working in schools across New Hampshire, Massachusetts, California and Iowa.

She said she was sad to end her teaching career due to health reasons, but has loved every minute of her ministry. When she's not at the doughnut shop, she's helping people in other ways.

Earlier this week, she cleaned an elderly couple's yard. She volunteers at the Haverhill Crisis pregnancy center and local hospice centers.

Dumont first walked into Heav'nly Donuts during the 2008 ice storm.

It was one of the only places along Route 125 open and selling coffee. She said stayed all day, helping to sell coffee. She hasn't been able to stay away since.

Owner Elaine Saragas said she enjoys having Dumont and the other regulars come in every morning for their coffee and doughnut.

Dumont has even helped some of the employees with their problems.

One woman recently became pregnant and was considering an abortion before talking to Dumont. She said she continues to talk to the girl now, after her baby was born, and helps her buy diapers and other items whenever she can.

Saragas recently cleaned out her closet to donate some clothes at Dumont's request.

"She will help anyone here," Saragas said.

But the conversations aren't always serious. Dumont's smile and sense of humor make the daily ritual fun and entertaining.

"We didn't believe she was a nun at first," said Linda Baxter of Haverhill, one of five cancer survivors who meets regularly at the shop.

It's not just Dumont who draws the regular crowd.

A couple from Plaistow said they come three times a week because of Saragas' hospitality.

"If you come in here two days in a row, Elaine knows what you want and has the coffee and doughnuts waiting for you when you walk in the door," the woman said.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Atkinson police investigate burglary

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson police investigate burglary
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Atkinson police are investigating a burglary at a Main Street house, where thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and electronics were stolen in broad daylight.

Police were called Monday after the owners returned to find their 154 Main St. house had been broken into, according to Detective Phil Farrar.

"Most of the rooms had been gone through," Farrar said.

So far, police don't have any suspects.

Police Chief Philip Consentino said it could be as much as $25,000 worth of items. Farrar said he couldn't confirm that amount since police are awaiting a full report of the stolen items.

Although this is the first housebreak in Atkinson in a while, Farrar said other nearby communities have experienced them lately. Farrar is coordinating with other local agencies to see if the break-ins might be connected.

"They're all around us," he said.

Hampstead police Lt. John Frazier said that town has had six burglaries since Feb. 23, which is a little bit more than it usually sees.

Five of the burglaries were residential and one occurred earlier this week at a downtown business. Frazier said they're continuing to investigate the burglaries and three or four might be connected. No arrests have been made.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Atkinson ethics panel loses another member Only one member left

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson ethics panel loses another member Only one member left
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — A third member of the town's four-person ethics board has resigned since last week.

Joyce LaFrance is the latest member to step down. In an e-mail to a reporter, LaFrance cited repeated harassment as the reason she resigned but declined yesterday to specify who was responsible.

"I don't want to deal with it," LaFrance said.

Two other Conflict of Interest Committee members, Chairman Jim Hazlett and Jack Sapia, resigned last week following a meeting at which the group discussed a petition filed against police Chief Philip Consentino.

Hazlett said he resigned for personal reasons. There was a death in Sapia's family, and he could not be reached for comment last week.

The town's attorney, Sumner Kalman, said yesterday he was unsure how the committee would fill the vacancies or continue to operate with only one member, Richard Smith.

"I think it's going to be crippled at this point," he said.

There are no state laws governing the committee, Kalman said.

The town ordinance that governs the committee only says the group would appoint a new member to serve until the next election if someone resigns.

It's unclear what will happen to the petition filed against Consentino by resident Marc Acciard. The petition alleges Consentino operated the Atkinson Police Charitable Fund out of the Police Department using town employees.

The fund was created in 2008 and primarily benefits seniors in the community. In addition to serving as police chief, Consentino is head of the town's Elderly Affairs Department.

On April 2, Consentino sent a letter to Hazlett requesting that LaFrance not take part in a hearing on Acciard's petition scheduled for April 13.

Consentino alleged that LaFrance had filed numerous complaints with the state attorney general's office and the Board of Selectmen.

LaFrance declined to say whether she ever complained about Consentino to the attorney general or selectmen.

She said last week that the letter contained false information and that she did not intend to recuse herself from a discussion on Acciard's petition.

Monday, April 12, 2010

New vote taken on Timberlane budget chairman

From the Eagle Tribune;

New vote taken on Timberlane budget chairman
By Doug Ireland

PLAISTOW — The Timberlane Budget Committee took a new vote on the selection of its chairman after being accused of violating the state's open meeting law when making its decision by secret ballot.

The committee met Thursday night and decided once again — this time by open vote — that Michelle O'Neil will lead the group. Two weeks ago, the Timberlane Regional School Board took a similar action after the district was notified it may have violated the New Hampshire Right-to-Know Law because its vice chairman was chosen by secret ballot.

"It was a mistake and it was corrected," O'Neil said.

She said the district erred by electing some of its officers by closed ballot in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order — widely used guidelines on parliamentary procedure for conducting public meetings — instead of the state law. O'Neil added that once the committee learned it may have made a mistake, it decided to rectify the situation.

Richard La Salle, superintendent of Timberlane schools, said the district's board officials have been elected by secret ballot for years.

Officials contacted the district's attorney once told the votes may have been taken in violation of state law.

The attorney confirmed state statute takes precedence over Robert's Rules of Order.

"It was an oversight," La Salle said Friday. "We are sorry about that and are glad it was brought to our attention."

Danville resident Curt Springer, who told the Budget Committee it was obligated to take a new vote, said he was happy the panel "did the right thing."

"I am pleased to hear that," he said Friday when informed of the committee's action.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

And then there were two...... the bully rides again.


And then there were two...... the bully rides again.

Well it appears there is a fresh controversy in our quiet, quaint little town, and it centers around the same person as always, and some of the same complaints. It seems that a resident has filed a conflict of interest petition against our saintly, selfless, humble, police chief, and the police chief as usual has labelled his antagonist as "having a vendetta" against him. This, of course, for those who are keeping count will be approximately the 47th resident to have a "vendetta" against Father Phil(sorry Mother Theresa was already taken).

But Wait! There is a twist in this saga, the conflict of interest committee, already one member short, had a meeting on Monday night evidently to talk about brooming this stupid, nettlesome complaint, and after that meeting TWO of the committee members RESIGNED! Yes folks, this complaint is so explosive that the chairman, and vice chairman of the committee resigned rather than have to decide this case. Hmmm, what could this be? It must be HUGE! Well the details of the complaint are, as yet, unknown, but it Is known that the person filing the complaint DID request that Jack Sapia, then vice chair of the committee, recuse himself from participating because he is in lawsuit with the chief(again, for those who are counting, must be is approximately the 32nd lawsuit alleging improper behavior on the part of our chief). This was done in a simple short letter. To contrast this, Our resident Bully with a Badge sent the committee a letter that he had compiled a 32 page report on one of the committee members. Apparently he has been "investigating" this person and collected all the letters complaints, emails, and information that he could to paint this person as;...... YOU GUESSED IT.... "HAVING A VENDETTA AGAINST HIM"! WOO HOOO! ANOTHER ONE!

BUT WAIT! It GETS BETTER! This bullying, egomaniacal, paragon of victimhood couldn't be satisfied to stop there, no sirree, he supposedly EMAILED THIS TO THE EAGLE TRIBUNE FOR PUBLICATION! With this committee effectively defunct, and the complaint pretty much dead, there can be no earthly reason to try to destroy someone publicly other than the usual bullying malfeasance of an unqualified, uneducated dolt.

So let's do a quick recap, with his buddy Jack's resignation there are now only two members of this committee, and he is working overtime to bump one of these last remaining two off, even though the committee is no more. Yes, that's right, they can't DO ANYTHING! No Quorum, No Committee. This complaint will likely die now for lack of anyone to deal with it, and once again apparently everyone has been bludgeoned into silence. And, again, as usual, He will not stop attacking his critics until they reach the point that they will never speak out against his inappropriate behavior again. And once again, it is looking like the selectmen will turn their usual blind eye to these egregious actions and quietly pray that he retires so that they don't have to man up and actually put a stop to the very type of behavior that has cost the town and it's insurance carrier HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN LEGAL FEES AND SETTLEMENTS OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS ALONE!

NH releases AYP results Every local school district fails to make adequate yearly progress

From the Eagle Tribune;

NH releases AYP results Every local school district fails to make adequate yearly progress
By Jarret Bencks

Every school district in the area has failed to make adequate yearly progress in either math or reading, or both, according to state data.

They aren't alone. A total of 261 public schools in the state have been labeled as "in need of improvement" by the state Department of Education. That's 28 more than last year.

Adequate yearly progress, commonly referred to as AYP, is a standard of improvement imposed by the federal government through the No Child Left Behind Act. It aims to improve standardized test scores to a point where 100 percent of students score proficient or better by 2014.

Schools and districts that don't reach improvement goals set by the state are labeled as not making adequate progress.

For districts that receive funding under Title 1 — which requires that at least 40 percent of the students enrolled are from low-income families — failing to meet adequate yearly progress can require them to provide additional services to their students, depending on how many consecutive years they fail to make progress. Services can include tutoring or added professional development.

In the past, each school required to provide such programs received $20,000 from the state to help fund them. But that won't happen this year, said Deb Wiswell of the Department of Education.

"This year, there is not enough money to do that," she said.

The department has yet to decide how it will pick which schools get that funding, Wiswell said.

Salem School District Superintendent Michael Delahanty said the progress results weren't an indication of how the district is performing as a whole. Two schools in Salem were newly added to the list of schools in need of improvement this year.

"I'm not going to defend the scores, they are what they are," he said, "but it is not a reflection of any kind of deficiency."

Students are divided into eight reading categories and nine math categories under the testing. If a district doesn't reach the improvement goals in any of the categories, it doesn't make yearly progress. Any school or district that fails to make progress two years in a row in either category is determined to be in need of improvement.

For many districts, failing to make improvements on scores from special education students has led to their failure.

"That makes it hard; it just doesn't make sense," said Mark Blount, assistant superintendent of schools in Londonderry. "I would much rather see a variety of measures used rather than just one single assessment measure."

Among local districts, only Salem and Windham managed to reach adequate progress as a district in either reading or math. They both made adequate progress in reading, according to the results.

AYP strives for 100 percent of students to test proficient or better by 2014, a standard administrators and state officials acknowledge is unreachable. Changes are likely on the way for nationwide standardized tests, as the federal government moves forward with the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

"We have no idea where it's going," Wiswell said. "It's hard to know. We know it isn't going to go away."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Atkinsonians take YouTube by storm with 'Granite State of Mind' NH parody

From the Eagle Tribune;

Locals take YouTube by storm with 'Granite State of Mind' NH parody takes YouTube by storm
By Jillian Jorgensen

HAMPSTEAD — Last week, Christian Wisecarver of Hampstead was a video production specialist. This week he is a rapper, whose parody of a Jay-Z hit song has lit up the Internet and is getting airplay on local radio stations.

"If I write a rap song and I record a rap song, and a rap station plays my rap song, that makes me a real rapper," Wisecarver, 32, joked yesterday.

Maybe not quite a "real rapper," but his song has made Wisecarver famous on the Internet. His video, "Granite State of Mind," a parody of Jay-Z's hit single devoted to New York, "Empire State of Mind," had over 250,000 views on YouTube yesterday. It had only been online two days.

"It just started taking on a life of its own," Wisecarver said. "If you're from New Hampshire, or even New England, you'll get basically all the jokes. But if you're not from here, I think you can still enjoy it."

After all, there are plenty of obscure references to New York in Jay-Z's song that Granite Staters might not get. But the bulk of it, and Wisecarver's version, is pretty obvious. Some of Wisecarver's humor is pretty broad, poking fun at flannel shirts, a New Hampshire belt buckle, and cow-tipping. But there are other jokes only a Granite State fan could love.

"You can go to Bike Week that's up in Laconia, in the winter months hit the notch in Franconia," he rapped. "Home of B-O-D-E our Olympic ski champion, he faced high pressure like my man Al Kaprielian."

Wisecarver grew up in Atkinson and graduated from Timberlane Regional High School in 1996. He earned a film degree from Emerson College in Boston, and spent a brief time in Los Angeles working as a production assistant. But he tired of it and returned to New Hampshire.

"You don't really need to be in Hollywood," he said. "I can do it here and let the Internet get it to everybody."

Wisecarver started making short films after he got a job in a production company he said had lots of equipment and not too many customers. He also had a band, Super Secret Project, that played locally. After a while, and the advent of YouTube, he combined the two.

This isn't Wisecarver's first video to earn national popularity. An original song, "Ode to Zach Braff," caught the actor's attention. Braff showed it during an appearance on "The Tonight Show," Wisecarver said. But nothing ever took off completely on its own like "Granite State of Mind."

"I think if it was mean-spirited or something, it wouldn't have gotten any attention," he said.

Sure, the video pokes fun at some of the state's more eccentric characteristics — "Don't drink and drive here, listen to what I say, even though we put our liquor stores right on the highway." But it comes from a place of love, he said.

"People who are from New Hampshire love being from New Hampshire," he said.

Wisecarver, a Jay-Z fan, said he was watching the rapper's video when he realized it was ripe for parody. He printed out the lyrics and began looking for things to "New Hampshire-ize."

Harlem became Salem. Bed-Stuy became Bedford. Then he added jokes and began looking for someone to sing the chorus — finding Holly Winchell, who also grew up in Atkinson.

Winchell said Wisecarver e-mailed her the lyrics to the parody and asked if she wanted to be involved.

"I was like, 'Heck, yes! I definitely want to do this. This is going to be good,'" she said.

Winchell has sung for Gov. John Lynch and writes her own music.

"I think I'm going to start putting it out now that I'm already noticed," she said.

Wisecarver's friend and fellow Super Secret Project band member Billy Donohoe of Haverhill made a cameo as a "plow guy." Darby DeChristopher of Somerville, Mass., produced the video.

They shot the video on Hampstead conservation land, and Wisecarver painstakingly edited it, flashing black-and-white photos of New Hampshire spots the way Jay-Z's video showed New York pictures. The rest is viral video history.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Atkinson man died from drug overdose

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson man died from drug overdose
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — A 42-year-old Atkinson man who was assaulted in his home six days before his death died from a drug overdose, according to a toxicology report released yesterday.

Police Chief Philip Consentino said Shawn Abate died on March 6 from the toxic effects of ethanol, cocaine and opiates. The manner of death was an accident, according to the autopsy.

Family members acknowledge Abate used drugs off and on throughout his life, but some believed the injuries he sustained in a home invasion six days before his death killed him.

Police are still investigating the assault, but so far no one has been arrested.

Alisa Chagnon, Abate's sister, said earlier this week she spoke with her brother about three hours before he died. She said she would have known if he were using drugs at the time of his death.

She could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Police 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, Consentino said.

Chagnon said the two men who assaulted her brother did not attend the party, which included just four or five people, earlier in the night. She said Abate was sleeping when he was attacked with a golf club and billy club.

He had already been taken to the hospital by the time police arrived, she said. Chagnon said her brother received 47 stitches on his head.

Three days after the attack, Abate went to Lawrence General Hospital for a CT scan, but died three days later while awaiting the results.

Abate had frequent run-ins with police over the last several years. His criminal record includes convictions for drug possession, and several assault and criminal threatening charges.