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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.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lt. Baldwin heads to Plaistow! Chief claims he offered promotion

From the Eagle Tribune;

April 21, 2011
Atkinson to lose veteran police officer

By Cara Hogan The Eagle Tribune Thu Apr 21, 2011, 12:13 AM EDT

PLAISTOW — Veteran Atkinson police Lt. William Baldwin is leaving the department, but he's not going far. He said he will be hired as a lieutenant in Plaistow.

"I've been given an opportunity to better my career," he said yesterday. "Atkinson has given me everything they can at this point. Moving to Plaistow is a positive career move."

Baldwin has worked in Atkinson for 14 years, and in law enforcement with the military and as a civilian for 21 years. He said he applied for the position months ago when Plaistow received $231,000 from the Community Oriented Policing Services program to hire a new officer.

His salary, starting date and other details have not been worked out. He is paid more than $60,000 in Atkinson.

Plaistow Deputy police Chief Kathleen Jones could not confirm her department is hiring Baldwin because it's not official.

"Technically, he hasn't been formally hired by the town yet," Jones said yesterday. "He hasn't signed on the dotted line. It won't be official until next week."

But Atkinson is already feeling the effects of Baldwin's departure.

Atkinson police Chief Philip Consentino said he is devastated that Baldwin is leaving Atkinson.

"He's my second in command, my number one guy when I need things done," he said yesterday. "It's really a sad day in Atkinson to lose him. He is so well-respected by the residents, and he knows this town inside and out."

Consentino said Baldwin hasn't given his official notice yet, but there will be no counter offer from Atkinson. Consentino said he asked the Board of Selectmen to promote Baldwin in order to keep him in town.

"I offered him a promotion to the rank of captain and offered him a very slight increase in his hourly wage, $1 an hour," Consentino said, "but the selectmen refused to give him that and, consequently, he's leaving. It will cost more money to train his replacement."

Selectmen's Chairman William Bennett said the board chose not to promote Baldwin.

"While Lt. Baldwin is a very good asset for the town, the town is not big enough to need a captain," Bennett said. "Also, we've had all town employees' pay frozen for two years. We didn't think it would be right to the other employees for Baldwin to be singled out and get a raise. We regret losing Baldwin to Plaistow, but we wish him well."

Consentino argued it would be very difficult to replace Baldwin and, until his replacement has been hired, Atkinson will be understaffed.

"I don't know exactly when he's leaving," Consentino said. "I've only got five full-time officers and if I lose one, I'm going to be in tough shape. I need two more full-time officers on top of the five I have. Summer is my busiest time."

Selectmen have the authority to hire new officers and Consentino has already presented a number of options for them to consider.

Baldwin said he hopes Atkinson residents will look at his new job in a positive light.

"I've given a lot to the town all these years and I'm very thankful to the people of Atkinson," he said. "They're why I stayed there as long as I have."

Baldwin also serves on the Timberlane Regional School Board. But he said there is no conflict of interest between his two positions and he will serve the remainder of his term, until 2012.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Atkinson strong man marks 88th birthday

From the Eagle Tribune

April 16, 2011
Atkinson strong man marks 88th birthday

By Cara Hogan The Eagle Tribune Sat Apr 16, 2011, 01:52 AM EDT

ATKINSON — Fred Archambault marked his 88th birthday yesterday by doing 20 pull-ups — and then 20 more.

"I feel good," he said after his second set yesterday morning.

The Atkinson resident is a world-record holder in power lifting for his age and weight class.

"I set a world record in the dead lift for my age, I was over 80," he said. "I'm the oldest guy to compete in a world meet."

Ted Curtin, co-owner of Hampstead Health & Fitness, has known Archambault for 15 years through the fitness world. Archambault has been working out at Curtin's club for the past five years.

"There's no one like him," Curtin said. "At 165 pounds, Fred can still lift over 350 pounds when he competes, which he seldom does now because he hurt his back. But he competes against guys in their 60s."

Archambault is the number-one-ranked power lifter in the world, factoring in his age, weight and handicap, Curtin said.

According to the Hampstead Healh & Fitness website, Archambault, at the 2007 New England States Open Championship in East Bridgewater, Mass., squatted 370 pounds, bench-pressed 210, and had a dead-lift of 420 pounds for a 1,000-pound total.

"The guy literally should be on Oprah, he's amazing," he said.

Doing 20 pull-ups for his 88th birthday was just a fun goal he set for himself, Archambault said.

"When I was a power-lifter, I always used to set goals," Archambault said. "Now I'm no longer doing power lifting, so I set a goal on the pull-ups. I didn't know it was going to be a big deal."

He started lifting when he was serving with the Air Force in Italy during World War II.

"I was on the ground crew and the long-range planes would be gone for several hours, so we had a lot of spare time," Archambault said. "I found a pair of old axles with the wheels attached from an old mining cart. I would estimate it weighed at least 75 pounds. I got to the point I could do one-hand presses over my head, about 10 on each arm."

When he came home, Archambault joined a power lifting group and continued to train. When he married at age 24, he gave it up.

"I started lifting again after I retired at 60 and, about five years later, I went into my first power lifting meet at 65," he said.

His power-lifting career lasted 22 years. He said he had to stop this year for health reasons. But he still works out three days a week, like he always has.

"My routine has changed a little bit," Archambault said. "I don't do anymore squats or benches because I have a problem with my shoulder. I don't like to do the dead lift much anymore either. I do more legwork and pull-ups now to stay in condition."

He attributed his longevity and health to his strict workout regimen.

"I've had a long, pleasant retirement. I blame a lot of it on the fact that I did get interested in the gymnasium," Archambault said. "I feel real good and I maintained a lot of my strength."

The staff at Hampstead Health & Fitness serenaded Archambault and presented him with a birthday cake.

Former TRMS teacher guilty of porn charges

From the Eagle Tribune

April 15, 2011
Former teacher guilty of porn charges

By Jillian Jorgensen The Eagle Tribune Fri Apr 15, 2011, 12:14 AM EDT

BRENTWOOD — A jury deliberated just three hours before finding Scott Buatti guilty on 20 child pornography-related charges.

Family members and friends gasped and cried as a jury foreman said the jury had reached the same conclusion for each of the 10 charges of possession of child pornography and 10 charges of attempting to posses child pornography: guilty.

Buatti, 44, a former Timberlane Regional Middle School gym teacher and coach, shook his head as the verdict was read. The Newton resident will remain free on bail until he is sentenced sometime in the next few months.

As defense attorney Mark Sisti walked him out of the courtroom, Buatti was embraced by his father, who told him he loved him.

About 20 family members and friends were in court to support Buatti. As they streamed out of court, one woman offered a firm "No," when asked if they had any comment.

Sisti and assistant county attorney Jerome Blanchard provided starkly different visions of Buatti throughout the four-day trial.

"He's a novice computer user who browses around and hits adult sites and gets himself in a jam," Sisti said in his closing arguments. "There's no question about that."

The defense argued that Buatti did not knowingly download or look at the eight videos and two images he is charged with having on his computers. The videos, shown in court, include the lewd display of a young girl's genitals. The pictures were of a young girl engaged in a sex act.

Buatti testified Wednesday that he had viruses on his computer and thought they may have downloaded the illegal material. He also said he may have seen child pornography pop up while surfing for adult pornography, but did not look at it.

But Blanchard said Buatti actively sought out the content — paying to belong a website that provided it — and told federal agents that he had paid for, seen and saved child pornography.

"Some other dude did it to him. That's the defense — some other dude did it," Blanchard said. "This is the one they're attempting to run with — seriously, a mysterious program."

While Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents testified that Buatti told them he had images of grade school-aged children that "might" be considered child pornography on his computer, Buatti denied making those statements.

Blanchard asked jurors who was more credible — the man on trial or the law enforcement agents.

Buatti came to the attention of ICE agents because he was on a list of paid users for a site identified as containing child pornography, one of 18 discovered in an international investigation called "Operation Flicker." He registered with his "" email address, and used his own Newton address when paying $79.95 to join the site.

But Buatti said he would never have paid for anything that advertised child pornography. Sisti said nothing about children was mentioned in the website's name. The site warned of "adult" content and said the models were over 18. But Blanchard said it was illogical to think a website would pull a "bait and switch" with child pornography.

"If you had a legitimate adult pornography site with adult pornography and you wanted people to subscribe to it, but then when you subscribe to it, you get a child porn?" Blanchard said. "What the hell? How illogical is that?"

Sisti said Buatti never tried to hide his tracks. He wasn't purposely doing anything illegal, Sisti claimed, calling him a "poor sucker that got some junk on his computer."

"Was he stupid wandering down those paths? Yeah. Was he trying to obtain it? No." Sisti said. "Is it on his computer? Yeah. Did he want it there? No. Did he try to possess it? Absolutely not."

He asked the jury to "dig deep" in their souls and ask if they ever had something on their computer they didn't want there. And, he asked, what they would do if a federal agent or police officer knocked on their doors about it.

But Blanchard sharply criticized the idea that child pornography just appears on computers.

"I have junk on my computer," he said. "I don't have any child pornography on my computer. I'm 100 percent sure of that."

He attacked the defense's computer expert, Judy Gosselin, for saying most computers contain child pornography.

"Seriously? Does she think we're that dumb?" Blanchard said. "There's child porn on almost every computer? Are you serious? Are you for real?"

Buatti had been surfing sites like "Sin 3D Incest," "Premium Child Porn" and "Lolita Portal" the same day agents first visited him, Blanchard said.

Buatti deleted the videos and images of child pornography after police first visited, Blanchard said, but before they got a search warrant for his computer.

Buatti claimed he ran a virus scan program after the agents visited him, and the program deleted the files.

But Blanchard said Buatti must have had a "very special" program on his computer.

"It's so special that it can find those that are interested in child pornography, those who subscribe to child pornography websites, and then download child pornography," Blanchard said. "And then get rid of it a year later, all without the computer owner's knowledge."

"Where do you get that?" Blanchard asked. "At Best Buy?"

If Buatti were guilty, Sisti said, he would have gotten rid of his computer, the way a murderer ditches a gun or a bloody knife.

He said Buatti continued to teach for months, after 19 years with a spotless record and not one allegation of inappropriate contact with children. He was put on administrative leave in April 2009, after his indictment.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tempers flare in Atkinson over police details

Article Submission:

From the Eagle Tribune

April 13, 2011

Tempers flare in Atkinson over police details
By Cara Hogan The Eagle Tribune Wed Apr 13, 2011, 12:12 AM EDT

ATKINSON — A shouting match broke out Monday night between Police Chief Philip Consentino and Selectman William Friel over controlling police details for roadwork.

The police and Road Agent Edward Stewart presented a memorandum of understanding at the selectmen's meeting, requiring roadwork on busier roads in town to have a police officer on the scene at all times.

Consentino said he's looking out for the safety of town residents.

"I am going to make sure residents are safe coming up to roadwork," he said.

"Any time a lane is closed, an officer should be there. To have uncertified road workers fill in for professionals is not a good idea."

There is a four-hour minimum for detail work and it will cost $46 per hour for a police officer to cover the duty, at a rate of time and a half.

Friel objected because the memo requires Stewart to run "any and all work" past the police.

"This document, as written, says if he runs out in the street to patch a hole quickly, I've got to pay a cop for four hours?" Friel said. "This document is prohibitive."

Consentino argued the police have control over road safety and should be able to judge the situation.

But Friel insisted the selectmen have the final say and shouted back at Consentino.

"This conversation is over, go rewrite the document and come back," Friel said. "You want to fight that battle, let's go."

Though Stewart is named in the memo, he also objected to the arrangement because of its timing.

"A month after Town Meeting, there's no way to fund it," he said after the meeting. "All my stuff has gone out to bid already, my budget is set and that one thing alone would double the cost of labor for every one of my projects."

Stewart said requiring a police detail would slow down his work and increase the cost exponentially.

"All kinds of little jobs take less than an hour to do on a certain road," he said. "To have a four-hour minimum on a detail, it would cost $160 on a detail to do $20 worth of work."

Selectmen's Chairman William Bennett said after the meeting that it's not really about the money. It's a dispute about who has control over the roads.

"The chief wants to make sure that traffic flows well and no one gets hurt, and the road agent thinks there's a lot of places he can work without that," Bennett said. "But we will resolve this dispute eventually."

April 13, 2011 10:59 AM

Monday, April 11, 2011

Timberlane toughens academic standards for athletes, Get an "F" and your off the team!

From the Eagle Tribune;

April 11, 2011
Timberlane toughens academic standards for athletes

By Cara Hogan The Eagle Tribune Mon Apr 11, 2011, 03:14 AM EDT

PLAISTOW — Get an F and you're off the team.

That's the new rule for athletes at Timberlane Regional High School, and it's one of the strictest policies among Southern New Hampshire high schools.

The Timberlane District School Board unanimously approved a new policy last week to suspend any player who gets an F in one class per quarter. The change is fairly drastic: The old policy allowed three failing grades each quarter from student-athletes.

Timberlane Superintendant Richard La Salle said the board had been considering rewriting the rule for the past year.

"This is a significant change," he said. "It does increase the expectation that a student, to begin a season, should not have earned an F in the previous quarter. We value high standards and we're supporting our students to get there."

La Salle said the school's policy is now much stricter than the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association regulations. The state says high school players cannot fail four classes per grading period, though the rule is just a base guideline for many schools.

Timberlane is one of the only local school districts with zero tolerance for failure. At Salem High School, athletic director David Rozumek said once a student fails two classes, they're off the team.

"There are a few that are a little bit stricter, but we have not done that yet," Rozumek said. "At Salem, we're proactive; we are all about coaches. A vast majority of them have weekly reports on our athletes. We lose very few to bad grades."

Pinkerton Academy athletic director Tim Powers said students must pass at least four classes out of five to play. But the school is considering tightening the requirements at the Derry school.

"The policy is being examined," he said. "The school is thinking of raising the number of classes to pass or a combination of passing and not failing. There are different ideas on the table. It's in the early stages."

Pelham High School athletic director Todd Cress said the school follows a block schedule with only four classes per quarter.

"When report cards come out, they have to be passing three of the four — or 75 percent," he said. "The kids are aware of this and it's really not that big of an issue. For the most part, our athletes do the job in the classroom and get the grades they need to."

Windham High School athletic administrator Bill Raycraft said they follow the NHIAA policy exactly.

"We accept four failures before suspending a student," he said. "That's our minimum standard. If a student had numerous failures, we'd certainly speak to them about whether they had the ability to properly time manage between school and athletics."

He said the school is not thinking of changing the rule.

"Student athletes are already held to a higher standard. They're missing class and homework time, and have to balance that anyway," Raycraft said. "To make it more difficult to stay on seems counterproductive. Athletes generally have higher grades than other students, and to take that away from the borderline students would be detrimental."

Timberlane School Board member William Baldwin was a strong supporter of changing to the zero tolerance policy.

"Now they understand we accept no failures; you either pass and play or fail and don't play," he said. "I don't believe high school is just for sports. I think sports helps to make them well rounded and a part of the experience. Education is the number one priority. And I'll stick behind that as long as I'm on the board."

Other Timberlane board members wanted to be more lenient and open to special circumstances, which did become part of the policy. "If there are extenuating circumstances, there is an appeal committee that (students) can go to," La Salle said.

The Activity Eligibility Committee hears the appeals. If the student can show a valid reason for the failure, the principal can make an exception.

La Salle said there is also a path for students to work to bring up their grades and be allowed back on a team.

"There is some leeway in the policy," he said. "We're going to be monitoring kids while they're in season. If a grade drops to an F before the end of the quarter, they will work with the athletic director to bring those grades up. And during the summer they can remediate a fourth-quarter F."

The new policy also sets standards for class attendance and the number of credits earned each year.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dale Childs Passed.....

From the Eagle Tribune;

ATKINSON, N.H. — Dale A. (Deyermond) Childs, 66, of Atkinson, died Saturday, April 2, 2011 at the Elliot Hospital in Manchester.

Born in Methuen, daughter of the late Warren Deyermond and Eleanor McEvoy she was raised in Lawrence and Methuen and was a member of the Tenney High School, Class of 1962. She later attended Merrimack College in North Andover in the Accounting Program.

A longtime resident of Atkinson, Mrs. Childs was a member of the Atkinson Police Department from 1981 until 1998, serving as Juvenile Office from 1992 until 1995 and the Animal Control Officer from 1980 until 1995. She served on the Town Building Needs Committee and was a member of the Budget Committee from 1985 until 1994, serving as chairman from 1986 until 1994 and also served on The Highway Safety Committee from 1989 until 1995 and Co-Chairman of the Dispatch Committee. She has also served as a Cemetery Trustee since 1999 and a Trustee of the Trust Funds for the past 25 years.

Mrs. Childs was also a 24 year member of the Hampstead Police Department, beginning in 1987 and also served as the Town Animal Control Officer and Juvenile Officer. A founder and member of the Hampstead Schools Crisis Team, she represented the Police Department at Project Respect at the Hampstead Middle School. She was Past President and Secretary of the Hampstead Police Association and Past Chairman and presently Board Member of the Family Mediation and Juvenile Services and member of the Board of Directors of the Community Alliance for Teen Safety since 2004.

Mrs. Childs also served as a Special Deputy for the Rockingham County Sheriff's Department.

A member of the Atkinson Congregational Church, she served on the Board of Trustees from 2007 until 2010 and was presently a member of the Pastoral Relations Committee.

A member of the U.S. Trotting Association since 1971, Mrs. Childs owned, trained and raced harness horses and was one of the few women starters in the horse racing industry throughout New England. She was employed by the State of New Hampshire Pari-Mutuel Commission since 1987 and was named Director of Racing Enforcement for the State of New Hampshire in 2006.

She enjoyed traveling, gardening, raising animals and spending quality time with her grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband, Fred J. Childs; a son and daughter-in-law, Shane G. and Michele Childs of Atkinson; a daughter, Dawn K. Amiss of Cordova, Md.; a step-son, Fred D. Childs of Peabody; three step-daughters, Sue H. Gatzimos and her husband Stratton of Merrimack, N.H., Carol A. Tobey of Eliot, Maine, and Paula J. Hovey of Danvers; nine grandchildren, Kerri, Ryan, Shawn, Courtney, Ashley, Danielle, Zachary, Makenna and Emerson; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. She was predeceased by her granddaughter, Brittany Dawn Childs in 1997.

ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends may call on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Brookside Chapel & Funeral Home, 116 Main St.., Route 121A, Plaistow, N.H. Her funeral will be held on Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the Atkinson Congregational Church, Main Street, Atkinson, followed by burial in Atkinson Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Brittany Dawn Childs Scholarship Fund, c/o Hampstead New Hampshire Police Department, P.O. Box 78, Hampstead, N.H.