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Volume 7 Number 51 July 2, 2010 14 Pages Annual Knight Ride Ends in Tragedy by Doug Robinson
It started as a beautiful day. Friends came together in honor of the memory of fallen Windham and Salem Police Officer Mark Knight. Over 400 strong came to raise monies during their fourth annual Knight Ride to support the scholarships for those in need. But unbeknownst to them, a drunk
driver would take the life of one of their own, only less than four hours after the start of their motorcycle ride. The motorcyclists were on their way
back from the ride to the seacoast at the time of the crash, which took place near West Road close to the Atkinson town line on Route 111. Police provided an escort for the motorcycles during yesterday’s event, blue lights were flashing as part of the escort, and the group was plainly visible, according to Hampstead Police Sgt. Rick Chambers and reported by the Eagle-Tribune. The ride, as with all previous Knight Rides, had gone wonderfully, extending from Windham to the New Hampshire Seacoast and finally winding back into Derry, where the ride rally would have concluded with a cookout for all riders, under blue skies, with their family and friends. The Windham Police Association originally formed the Knight Ride in 2007 on behalf of Officer Mark W. Knight, who was a seven-year veteran of the Windham Police Department and a 15-year resident of Windham. He also served as a police officer for Salem for three years. For the past three years, the Knight Ride organization has provided $15,000 in scholarships yearly for
Vietnam veterans George Morin (Hooksett), John Sossi (Londonderry), and Ron St James (Windham) from the Van Nights Motorcycle Club discuss the ride before the beginning of the Knight Ride
those college students who have completed one semester of college and are in need of scholarships to continue their education. Proceeds from this ride now go toward a scholarship fund set up in Officer Knight’s name, according to event organizers. Police officers from
the towns of Methuen, Londonderry, Salem,
Tewksbury, and Epping also participated in the ride. Who could imagine, with less than a few miles to go, tragedy would strike from
nowhere? Witnesses reported to the police that they had seen the truck “swerve” prior to crossing the median line before taking the life of Marceline Weaver, 49, of Salem. She, along with her husband who was driving the motorcycle, had volunteered their time to participate
in the annual ride in support of the memory of Mark Knight. Police charged Randall Stewart, 46,
of Windham, with Aggravated DWI, Negligent Homicide, and two counts of Felony Reckless Conduct in connection with the accident. According to the police, his utility vehicle, traveling on Route 111, crossed the center line and killed a woman riding on the back of her husband’s motorcycle. His SUV also hit a second motorcycle, injuring three riders in total. While Weaver’s husband was treated and released at a local hospital, James Sousa of Salem was treated and taken by Med Flight to Beth Israel Hospital in Boston.
As reported from the Eagle-Tribune, Officer Mark Conway said, “At the scene, he couldn’t stand up straight. He couldn’t put together a coherent sentence for me.” According to court paperwork, Stewart told the officer that he had taken Flexoral for a pain in his neck.
Strawberry Festival Held Under Sunny Skies
Diane Brunelle encouraged the youngest during hula-hoop activities
by Lynne Ober Once again, Pelham’s seniors hosted a fantastic
strawberry festival. It was the perfect place to eat lunch. The tents were up and tables were ready in the tents. It was a chance to visit with friends and to swap stories of upcoming vacations. The bounce house and games were the highlight of the day for the younger crowd. Music filled the air and laughter could be heard floating across the grounds.
Senior Center Director Sue Hovling manned the
strawberry shortcake table and had lots of friends stopping by for their heaping bowl of strawberries, homemade biscuits and, of course, whipped cream. This year, Terri Shawver and her puppet friends,
Grandpa, Screech, and Lucy, entertained the crowd. Shawver is a remarkable ventriloquist who assigns different voices and characteristics to her friends. Grandpa, a young 93, wandered about the crowd, shamelessly flirting with one and all. Shawver said she has been lending her voice and humor to puppets since she was 10 years
Cross Over ceremony for Pack 610 Te boys of Pack 610 enjoy the afternoon
old. “I was shy and my mother gave me my first puppet. It just took off from there. I always loved ventriloquists. I watched Sherry Lewis and Lambchop, and then my parents bought me a Danny O’Day. When you have a puppet on, you can say anything,” she said. The band and Shawver alternated their times on the stage. It was amazing to hear Shawver’s puppets sing in different voices. The crowd gave her several rousing rounds of applause. Her show was filled with humor and technique. By the time the afternoon was winding down,
many happy participants had enjoyed lunch and the strawberries and were already looking forward to next year’s event.
David Ouellette Elected State Commander of NH VFW
submitted by John E. Cantara David Ouellette, a member and Past Commander
of Pelham Post 10722 Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, was elected State Commander of the Department of New Hampshire VFW at the state convention held recently in Gorham. Ouellette replaces Ron Miller from Hudson Post 5791, who served for the past year. A member of the VFW for over 20 years, Ouellette has served in several local and state offices in the VFW and the Military Order of the Cootie, the honor degree of the VFW.
Outgoing State Commander Ron Miller presents the gavel to incoming State Commander Dave Ouellette
In accepting the office of State, Commander Ouellette pledged to work tirelessly by visiting posts throughout the state to promote the many programs of service to local communities and military personnel that the VFW is known for.
submitted by Kim Masson On June 19 at the Elmer G. Raymond
Sorry, there will be no newspaper on July 9th Offices will be open again on July 12.
It’s almost time for vacation! will be on vacation the week of July 4th
Park in Pelham, Pack 610 held their annual Rocket Derby/Cross Over ceremony. There was a small colony of tents set up for the families daring enough to spend the night. After set- up, the boys played water games in the warm sun. As the games were winding down, not even the Den Leaders were safe from a little water as the boys showed their team building skills and made sure that the leaders were cooled off as well. There were many awards/ badges given to the Scouts as they had worked very hard throughout the year to earn their advancement to the next level of Scouting. While the afternoon sun began to set, the Pack enjoyed a bounty of food, skits, and s’mores around the fire. Thanks to all of our parents for the bounty of food—everything was wonderful. We couldn’t do what we do
Above: Terri Shawver and Grandpa entertained the crowd with nonsense and humor. Below: music filled the air
As the tragedy of this great day unfolded, Officer Conway was to learn that less than 10 hours prior; Stewart had been released from the custody of the Pelham Police Department, where he had been arrested for DWI. The Pelham Police Department confirmed that Stewart had been arrested for DWI on Friday night, June 25. “We received a phone call that a vehicle was driving erratically with a headlight out,” they commented. The Pelham Police Department acted upon the call and pursued the vehicle in question. Upon stopping the vehicle, they arrested the vehicle’s operator, Stewart, and charged him with DWI, DWI Second Offense, Operating a Vehicle Without a Headlight, and failure to change address on the registration and his license. He was held in jail until 1:30 a.m., when he was then released “on summons” to appear in court on July 26. Bail was set at $100.000 cash. NH law requires no minimum length of time to spend in jail, should
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Hundreds of motorcycles line up in the Furniture World parking lot awaiting the beginning of the Knight Ride
you be arrested for DWI. Once the Bail Bondsman has established the fee, those arrested may be released from jail to a relative, family member, or under their own personal recognizance. The Pelham Police Department did separate Stewart from his vehicle and provided him transportation home. In accordance with NH law, the
Pelham Police Department did confiscate Stewart’s driving license, but were required by law to issue him a 30-day pink license. A pink license allows those who have lost their license to continue to drive a vehicle for 30 days. However, some time after his release and the accident, Stewart re- acquired his SUV.
Pelham’s Pack 610 Rocket Derby/Cross Over
Te Rocket Derby blasts off
without your support. Thank you to Mr. P for demonstrating the retiring
of the American Flag; it was a touching ceremony. And thank you to all of our leaders and committee members who do so much for our boys! But mostly, congratulations to all the boys. We
have enjoyed our season with you and are looking forward to another wonderful year in Scouting.
Sorry, there will be no newspaper on July 9th. Offices will be open again on July 12.
will be on vacation the week of July 4th. Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!
photo by Doug Robinson courtesy photo
photos by Lynne Ober
photo by Doug Robinson
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