Pelham - Windham News 12 - April 8, 2011
Planning Board Member Remains Jailed, Records Still Sealed
by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz Salem Planning Board member Jeffrey Gray remains jailed at the Rockingham County House of Corrections in Brentwood. The 48-year- old continued to be held on $50,000 cash or surety bail. Gray was present at Salem District Court on Tuesday for a probable cause hearing regarding felony sexual assault and kidnapping charges he is facing. Gray waived his right to a probable cause hearing on the aggravated felonious sexual assault and kidnapping charges. The case will now be forwarded to a grand jury at the Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood. Within 90 days of the case being brought into Superior Court, a grand jury will return their findings on whether to indict Gray or not. The misdemeanor charges against Gray were null processed and will be forwarded to the County Attorney, along with the rest of the case for information purposes and also to keep the case all in one court. “It’s not that these charges aren’t going to be brought forward, but we null processed them here and send them to superior court. There will then be one complete trial at the superior court,” Windham police prosecutor Heather Newell said on Tuesday. Police in Brockton, MA, arrested Gray on
March 29 as a fugitive from justice after being notified of the outstanding warrants Windham police held for his arrest. Police in Windham were informed on March 9 that a woman from New York had been held captive at Gray’s South Shore Road home and repeatedly sexually assaulted while held there against her will. According to Windham police Captain Mike Caron, the victim alleges that she posted a Craigslist advertisement looking to move to New England and make a fresh start in life. According to Caron, Gray answered the ad and the woman came to New Hampshire. Almost immediately after arriving, she was held against her will for several days and was degraded and assaulted, both physically and sexually, repeatedly by Gray. The woman got Gray to drive her to Logan Airport and it was there that she reported the kidnapping and assault to a TSA employee who notified Massachusetts State Troopers that were working at the airport. She was subsequently taken to a hospital for treatment and examination. Massachusetts State Police originally believed the assault occurred in
Salem and the Salem Police Department was notified. Once Salem police obtained a search warrant for Gray’s home, officers learned his residence was just over the town line into Windham and the warrants and reports were forwarded to Windham Police Department. Windham police officers
searched Gray’s home while he was present on March 10 and collected evidence from the alleged scene. On March 15, police in Windham obtained an arrest warrant for Gray, charging him with aggravated felonious sexual assault, kidnapping, simple assault, false imprisonment, and obstructing the report of a crime. The following day, Windham police obtained a search warrant to obtain a DNA sample from Gray, but Gray did not make himself readily available to turn himself in. Police in Windham were
in contact with Mark Stevens, Gray’s attorney, and were not reassured that Gray would turn himself in. Windham police contacted authorities in Brockton and Gray’s arrest resulted. He was arrested at the VA Medical Center in Brockton, where he had checked himself in for an “unknown problem.” Gray was arraigned at Salem District Court
on Wednesday, March 31, after waiving extradition from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the previous day. Gray has remained jailed since his arrest.
Both the prosecution and the defense agreed to request the facts in the case to remain sealed. Motions filed by local media outlets to unseal the records were objected to by attorney Mark Stevens, but a judge has yet to rule on that matter. A hearing will be held at a later date regarding the request by the defense and the prosecution to keep the affidavits sealed. Gray is also refusing to resign from the Salem Planning Board. A request for his resignation has not been formally answered, but his attorney Mark Stevens said Tuesday that Gray is refusing to resign from his elected seat on the board. Planning Board Chairman James Keller said that the town had sent a request to Gray advising him to prove residency in Salem by next week. If Gray cannot prove that he does live in Salem, the board can remove him from his position and fill his seat with a temporary member until the March election. If Gray can prove he does reside in Salem, the Board of Selectmen will likely be asked to remove Gray from the board. Gray is also now facing
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a lawsuit filed last week by the U.S. Department of Education. He allegedly is being sued for $122,268 in unpaid student loans. The lawsuit claims that Gray had defaulted on the loans in the year 2000.
Chamber Prepares for Third Annual Economic Development Symposium
The Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce, through its Economic Development Committee, presents the third Annual Economic Development Symposium—this event is sure to highlight the opportunities and resources available to business owners and executives in the Southern New Hampshire region. The focus of the event is on the current economic activities of the Greater Salem area, with special emphasis on several exciting commercial real estate projects that demonstrate the power of redevelopment. Governor John Lynch has been invited to start the program, and will be followed by economist Brian Gottlob, President, PolEcon Research and commercial real-estate professional Roger Dieker, Vice President, CB Richard-Ellis New England. The program will then feature presentations on four major revitalization projects in the Greater Salem area, including: the former Cisco building site, the Tuscan Market (Depot Village Square Project), I-93 exit 2 West End Redevelopment (Keewaydin Drive), and Windham’s Common Man Village.
The morning will also provide numerous business resources (NH Business Resource Center, Office of Workforce Opportunity, NH Job Training Fund, Small Business Development Center, International trade, Government contracting, and SCORE business counseling) displayed exposition style and readily available to be accessed by attendees. The event will take place from 7:30-11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3, at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center on Route 111 in Windham, located just off I-93 at exit 3. Admission is $15 if registered before April 18 ($20 if after), including a full breakfast. Many thanks to the Signature Sponsors,
Pentucket Bank, as well as our Corporate Sponsors: The Dubay Group, Grubb & Ellis|Northern New England, MHF Design Consultants, Mosaic Technology, Roth & Associates, and The Eagle-Tribune, for making this event possible. For additional information or to reserve your seat, contact the Chamber Office at 893-3177 or visit our Website at www.gschamber.com
Historic District Commission Selling Sketches of ‘Fellows House’
by Barbara O’Brien The fate of Windham’s historic “Fellows House” has yet to be determined, but, in the meantime, it is being memorialized through the efforts of local artist Sheila Psaledas. Hoping to earn some money to assist with their goal of historical preservation, prints of Psaledas’ watercolor sketch are being offered for sale by members of the Windham Historic District Commission.
According to Carol Pynn of the Historic District Commission, $20 of each print sold will go to toward local preservation efforts. Pynn said that 150 of the prints have been made available and are being sold for the cost of $30 each. As of the end of March, 15 prints had already been sold. “The Fellows House” was built circa 1750 by Robert Hemphill and occupied by his family until 1880. The original town pound was located on that property, Pynn said. The old home and barn changed hands several times over the years, being purchased, finally, by Richard “Dick” Fellows in 1946. Fellows, who is now deceased, was a volunteer Windham firefighter for three decades, starting in the 1950s. He also served as town treasurer from 1950-1966. Following his death, his wife, Barbara, sold the house and is currently residing in a nursing home. The road that winds past the local police department, fire department, and library was named Fellows Road. “The Fellows House” most recently made news when plans were proposed to demolish the house and barn in order to build a village district-type community in that area. The house and barn are located at the intersection of Route 111 and North Lowell Road. Following the proposed demolition, members of the Historic District Commission held a meeting with representatives of the developer, Anthony Meseti, and have asked that the buildings be incorporated into the village district concept. Mesiti has offered to donate the buildings to the town for the cost of $1, on the condition that the structures be relocated. At this point, no decision has been made public as to the fate of these two historic properties. “I love painting landscape scenes of New England in oils, watercolors, or pastels,” Psaledas said. Pynn said Psalaedas took on the “Fellows House” project shortly after she heard of the possible destruction of the buildings.
Psaledas first began drawing and painting as a child, resulting in her parents enrolling her in the Currier Museum School of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire. She continued to take art classes throughout high school and entered college with a goal of earning a degree in art education. After graduating from college, Psaledas taught in Manchester area schools, both public and private. In 1991, she opened Modes of Expression Fine Art and Instructional Studio, which she ran successfully for 13 years. She is now again teaching in the public school system, but still maintains her home studio for her painting, as well as for teaching semi-private adult art classes and workshops.
Psaledas said her style has been influenced
by the Impressionists of the later 1800-1900s, including artists Edward Hopper, Childe Hassam, George Bellows, Fairfield Porter, and more recently by Wolf Kahn. “I am strongly attracted to the play of sunlight on surfaces and the vivid colors of nature,” she said. “New England landscapes have been my favorite subject, but I do occasionally travel abroad and enjoy painting there as well.” She added that she also does commissioned portraits in pastels or oils.
Additional information about Psaledas can be found on her Website, “New England Landscapes.”
In order to use the funds being raised by the sale of the prints, Pynn met with selectmen on March 28 to obtain permission. The Historic District Commission does not currently have its own expendable trust fund. “We’ve never, ever made any money,” Pynn said of the commission. “We need a place to put it other than my parlor,” she laughed. “This is a bit of a conundrum.” Town Administrator David Sullivan explained that because the money is not an outright gift to the Historic District Commission, it needs to be deposited into the general town fund as revenue. Selectmen did give their unanimous (5 to 0) permission, however, for the commission to expend its $1,000 2011 budget above the amount raised through the sale of any prints.
It is anticipated that a copy of the “Fellows House” sketch will be put on display in the Nesmith Library, as well as at other as-yet undetermined locations.
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