Most of New Hampshire saw opioid overdoses continue to rise
January 3, 2019 -- This morning, Mayor Joyce Craig praised American Medical Response (AMR)’s recent report that opioid overdoses and opioid overdose deaths are decreasing in the City of Manchester.
“This is the first time Manchester has seen a decrease in opioid overdoses since this epidemic began,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “In the last year, we have worked to develop a new system of care for those seeking help from substance use disorder. I believe strong partnerships and the success of our Safe Station program can directly be attributed to Manchester’s decreasing opioid overdose rate. Unlike Manchester, opioid overdoses across New Hampshire are continuing to rise. There’s still much more we need to do, but this is a positive step in working to eliminate opioid overdoses in our city.”
Since its inception, the Safe Station program in Manchester has seen 4,837 people come into local fire stations. However, by developing a new system of care in 2018, the average time it takes to get an individual into treatment through Manchester Safe Station decreased from two to three weeks to two to three days. It takes an average of nine minutes to get an individual through Manchester’s Safe Station access point.
As a result of Manchester’s Treatment and Recovery Network developed in 2018, individuals seeking help through Safe Station are screened for multiple needs, including homelessness, mental health issues and substance use disorder. Once needs are assessed, individuals are connected to various organizations to get them the help they need.
“There are many people who make our system of care work,” added Mayor Craig. “The Manchester Fire Department, the Manchester Police Department, the Manchester Health Department, AMR, Granite Pathways, the Farnum Center, Elliot Hospital, Catholic Medical Center, the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester, Makin’ It Happen, Families in Transition - New Horizons, Granite United Way, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and others have continued to work with the city to develop a system that is saving lives.”
Mayor Joyce Craig and the Manchester Transit Authority (MTA) are pleased to announce from December 18 to December 24, all stops along Route 8 will be offered free of charge.
"The Mall of New Hampshire, the businesses along South Willow Street and downtown Manchester are all wonderful places to do some holiday shopping," said Mayor Joyce Craig. "By eliminating the bus fares on Route 8 until December 24th, we're hoping to give people a stress-free holiday experience in great shopping areas across our city."
MTA Route 8 makes six regular loop stops -- the Downtown Manchester Doubletree Hotel, Michaels/Burlington Coat Factory Plaza on South Willow Street, Walmart on Gold Street, the Mall of New Hampshire, South Willow Street and Weston Road, and Downtown Manchester.
Mayor to continue holding public meetings to keep lines of communication open
Today, Mayor Joyce Craig announced she will host a series of community office hours throughout the city beginning on Wednesday, January 3, 2019.
Community office hour dates will continue to be scheduled throughout the year. While dates and times may be subject to change, the current schedule is as follows:
With City Clerk Matt Normand
Wednesday, January 9 | 5:30pm
Manchester Police Athletic League, 409 Beech St.
With Assessor Bob Gagne
Tuesday, January 15 | 11:00am
William B. Cashin Senior Center, 151 Douglas St.
With City Solicitor Emily Rice
Wednesday, January 23 | 12:00pm
Bridge Cafe, 1117 Elm Street
With Economic Development Director Melanie Sanuth
Wednesday, February 6 | 12:00pm
Noodz Noodle Bar, 968 Elm St.
With Planning & Community Development Director Leon LaFreniere
Wednesday, February 20 | 12:00pm
Restoration Cafe, 235 Hanover St.
With Welfare Director Charleen Michaud
Monday, March 4 | 5:30pm
Manchester Community Resource Center, 434 Lake Ave.
This morning, Manchester Library Staff and Trustees and Mayor Joyce Craig announced all Manchester public libraries will eliminate overdue fines on children’s and young adult collections, starting today.
“With this move, we can truly say any child in our community can afford to check out a book at our libraries,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “The libraries in Manchester are much more than a collection of books — they’re pivotal centers of our community. No child should be unable to engage in learning because of their family’s income level.”
The decision to eliminate overdue fines is part of a growing national trend in library policies to promote reading. Manchester library staff also noticed there was an issue once they held discussions with families who said they hadn’t been to a library in years due to their inability to pay late fees.
“We’ve recently begun working closer with the Manchester School District, and we realized we needed books to be as accessible as they can to our children and students,” said Denise van Zanten, Library Director. “Eliminating fines on materials for our young learners will continue to promote early literacy and drive our efforts forward.”
“By eliminating fines on children’s and young adult materials, we are taking down a barrier and opening a door to a critical resource for children and teens where they can continue to learn and grow,” added Karyn Isleb, Head of Youth Services and Alex Graves, Teen Librarian, Manchester City Library.
Library users will still be asked to pay for lost or damaged children and young adult items.
For more information about the Manchester City Library and our programs and activities please contact the Library at (603) 624-6550 or visit our website.
BAE Systems Expanding NH Footprint with Big Plans in Manchester
The New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs, the City of Manchester, and the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority are pleased to announce expansion plans by one of New Hampshire’s largest employers and leader in its aerospace and defense industry.
BAE Systems is finalizing plans to occupy 3000 Goffs Falls Rd. to expand its operations. The 220,000-sf site, located off Brown Avenue, with close access to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and Interstates 93 and 293, will enable the company to attract the talent it needs to initially fill 400 high-paying positions. The Manchester Mayor and Board of Aldermen will consider details on the proposed expansion.
“This is a great example of how working quickly and creatively with the business community can yield impressive results,” said Gov. Chris Sununu. “No income or sales tax, great schools, incredible natural beauty, ease of access to urban centers and a vibrant and dynamic workforce all contribute to there really being no better place to live, work and raise a family. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively to meet the needs BAE Systems expansion efforts and bring more job opportunities to Granite Staters.”
Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs, said a collaborative effort with BAE Systems, the City of Manchester and the Business Finance Authority supported the needs of the company in making the decision to expand.
“There is no way we would have reached this point without deep collaboration among teams from our department, the City of Manchester, and the NH Business Finance Authority,” said Caswell. “Our ability to work as a team to help employers meet expansion or relocation goals is critical to what we offer as a state.”
The City of Manchester will continue its support of BAE Systems’ expansion, said Mayor Joyce Craig.
“I’m thrilled BAE Systems has chosen to expand here in Manchester,” she said. “Manchester is the economic hub for the state. This is the first time the City of Manchester, the Department of Business and Economic Affairs and the Business Finance Authority have worked together to bring new, good paying jobs into the Queen City. We now have a successful model, and I look forward to continue promoting Manchester’s pro-business environment.”
The New Hampshire Business Finance Authority understands the significance of BAE Systems to the state’s growing aerospace and defense industry, said Executive Director James Key Wallace.
“This partnership with BAE provides an exciting opportunity for Manchester and all of the communities supported by BAE’s significant presence in the state. Our innovative and collaborative approach to structuring this expansion shows that New Hampshire is able to attract world class companies who create high quality jobs,” he said.
Report concludes Safe Station is a “welcome and effective response to the prolific opioid crisis”
The Center for Technology and Behavioral Health at Dartmouth College recently announced their summary of findings following a seven-month study of the Safe Station program in Manchester, N.H.
Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), this study sought to identify the Safe Station program’s key components and characterize the workflow and partnerships that support the Safe Station program at the Manchester Fire Department (MFD).
Study participants included seven team members from Dartmouth College who conducted onsite observations from September 2017 to April 2018. Interviewed study participants included:
- 29 MFD firefighters and leaders
- 49 individuals seeking help at Safe Station
- 6 local emergency department staff
- Four local ambulance staff from American Medical Response (AMR)
- Six staff of Serenity Place
- In the midst of the study, Serenity Place closed. The study team evaluated the evolution to the new model and reported:
- “Clients believed it was quicker”
- “MFD and AMR staff said it was a lot better because of the stability, experience and medical staff at new treatment partners, as well as the rapid arrival of Lyft.”
- Clients feel the program is engaging and effective
- “From early childhood, we were raised to trust firemen [...] they save people for a living. So going there was comfortable.”
- “[Clients] felt safe and that their privacy was protected, and they got help getting into a treatment facility the moment they wanted it.”
- Safe Station is believed to be sustainable in Manchester.
- “There was strong agreement across stakeholders that Safe Station is among the most helpful resources in the Manchester, N.H. community.”
“We can’t talk about the success of Safe Station without talking about the people who make this amazing program work,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “The men and women at the Manchester Fire Department work tirelessly to ensure the safety and security of people seeking help through Safe Station. Our firefighters, alongside American Medical Response, Granite Pathways, the Farnum Center, Elliot Hospital, Catholic Medical Center, the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester, Makin’ It Happen and others have developed a system that is saving lives. Today, it only takes an average of nine minutes to get an individual through Safe Station, and takes an average of two days to get someone into treatment. I applaud everyone who has put in countless hours to get Safe Station to where it is today. Because of this dedication, the Safe Station Program and Manchester’s Treatment and Recovery Network is saving lives.”
Last night, The Manchester Fire Department sent Firefighters Mike Meehan and Tom Defina to North Carolina to assist with rescue and recovery efforts in preparation of Hurricane Florence.
Firefighter Defina and Firefighter Meehan deployed as a Swiftwater Rescue Task Force, part of the New Hampshire Taskforce, which consists of 12 other individuals.
“Firefighters Defina and Meehan may be gone for as many as ten days,” said Assistant Fire Chief Richard McGahey. “They received word that they were needed last night, and are now preparing to aid the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence approaches the coast.”
“I am grateful Firefighter Defina and Firefighter Meehan have volunteered to travel to North Carolina,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “Manchester Firefighters work hard every day to keep our city safe, and I know they’ll be a tremendous asset to the efforts to aid residents who may be affected by Hurricane Florence.”
Firefighter Defina is a 19-year member of the Manchester Fire Department currently assigned to Rescue 1 while Firefighter Meehan is a 17-year member currently assigned to Truck 1. Both have completed Swiftwater Technician Certification through the New Hampshire Fire Academy and Defina is an Instructor for the program.
Florence is currently a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour. It is expected to reach the Carolinas overnight on Thursday, and could bring 20 inches of rain or more in some areas. More than a million people have been ordered to evacuate coastal areas.
Mayor Joyce Craig and the City of Manchester are pleased to recognize the winners in the 13th Annual National Arts Program Exhibition, “Art on the Wall at City Hall.” Mayor Craig and members of the Manchester Arts Commission, including Chairman Ed Doyle were on hand to present awards to all the winners.
“I want to congratulate everyone who participated in ‘Art on the Wall at City Hall’ this year,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “We received 121 submissions from everyone from elected officials to teachers to City employees and their family members. This event showcased the immense artistic talent within our city, and I want to thank everyone, especially the Manchester Arts Commission and Chairman Ed Doyle for making this all possible.”
All award recipients were chosen by an independent panel of judges.
The exhibition, which began on August 6th, will run until Wednesday, September 26th. The public is invited to view the show during the hours City Hall is open (Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Tuesday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
The award winners are as follows:
People’s Choice – “The Lion King” by Terry Desrosiers
Mayor’s Choice – “Love Yourself” by Triniti DeSantis
Best of Show – “Untitled” by Julia Starr
First Place – “Oia Oasis” by Charleen Michaud
Second Place – “Stuck on Manchester” by Will Stewart
Third Place – "Raven’s Song“ by Colby Lynch
Honorable Mentions – “House a Leaning” Charles Pierson & “Kitty Hall” by Lauren Smith
First Place – “Incoming” by Cole Shea
Third Place Tie– “Reuben” by Sonya Rousseau & “Plum Island” by Sheila Dubois
Honorable Mention – “Cardboard Castles” by Julia Starr
First Place – “Palace Theatre” by Lori Sweeney
Second Place – “Mad River” by Jane Tentas
Third Place – “Treasure in the Woods” by Anthony Williams
Honorable Mention – “Lion King” by Theresa Desrochers & “Town Clocks” by Amy Christopher
First Place – “Tomatoes” by Rylee Ducharme
Second Place – “Trash to Treasure” by Ethan Robinson
Third Place – “The Currier K” by Jocelyn Ryan
Honorable Mention – “Bound” by Skyelar Asselin, “Reflection" by Samatha Eastman, & “Under the Sea” by Susan Munley
Youth 12 & Under
First Place – “Love Yourself” by Triniti Desantis
Second Place – “Under the Sea” by Raquel Bouchard
Third Place – “Love” by Paschal Dionne
Honorable Mention – “Crouching Lion by Harper Bobotus & “Fournier Family” by Thomas Fournier
Last night, the Board of Mayor and Alderman approved Theodore “Ted” Kitchens as Airport Director for the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. Mr. Kitchens currently serves as General Manager at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and has nearly 20 years of experience in the aviation industry.
“I’m pleased the Board of Mayor of Aldermen confirmed Ted Kitchens as the new Airport Director,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “Mr. Kitchens’ knowledge of the industry, his approach air service and commitment to engaging with the community proves he is the most qualified person to lead one of the most important economic engines in the state. I thank the Alderman for seeing the vast experience Mr. Kitchens will bring to MHT, and for approving his nomination in a timely manner.”
“I am honored to be confirmed as the next leader of the terrific team at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport,” said Ted Kitchens. “I would like to thank the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for their support and for placing their trust in my leadership. I look forward to meeting the MHT team members, our airline partners, the general aviation community, and engaging with the local business and community leaders.”
Mr. Kitchens was nominated by Mayor Craig on July 17, following a national search through the firm, ADK Executive Search & Consulting. His nomination was vetted by an interview committee, Patrick Duffy, Liz Hitchcock, Dave Allen, Connie Roy-Czyzowski, and Londonderry Council Chair John Farrell, who, along with Mayor Craig, unanimously agreed that Mr. Kitchens was the right choice for the position.
Mr. Kitchens will assume the role of Airport Director on October 1, 2018.
City employees and their families showcase their artistic talents in public art show, sponsored by the National Arts Program
MANCHESTER, NH – Today, Mayor Craig announced the official opening of the City of Manchester’s 13th Annual Employee & Family Art Show. “Art on the Wall at City Hall” showcases the artistic talents of City Employees, Manchester School District Employees, their immediate family members, elected officials, volunteers and retirees.
“It’s great to see so many creative submissions to Art on the Wall at City Hall,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “Manchester City and School District employees, and their families, continue to show their immense artistic talent year after year. I encourage Manchester residents to visit City Hall and see all of submissions.”
The exhibition will run at City Hall from Monday, August 6th to Wednesday, September 26th. The public is invited to view the show during the hours City Hall is open to the public (Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday until 8:00pm) and vote for the People’s Choice Award by the Information Desk on the first floor.
“The Manchester Arts Commission has a long tradition of assisting with the City Employee Art Show at City Hall,” said Ed Doyle, Chair of the Manchester Arts Commission. “We are proud of the talented artists that live and work in Manchester and believe strongly in the positive role of the arts towards shaping our community. I want to thank Mayor Craig for her support of Art on the Wall at City Hall, as well as the fresh slate of fellow art commissioners that worked diligently to continue with this fine tradition.”
The works of art are divided into three adult categories: amateur, intermediate and professional. Two youth categories are also featured: 12 & under and teen. The first, second and third place winners in each of the categories will receive a cash prize. Prizes will also be awarded in the Mayor’s Choice, and People’s Choice category.
The winners will be chosen by an independent panel of judges and announced on Monday, August 20, 2018. A reception will begin on the main floor of City Hall at 5:00 p.m., and the awards ceremony will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chambers.
The City Employee & Family Art Show is made possible by the National Arts Program (NAP). Established in 1982, NAP identifies showcases and rewards visual artistic talent in America. They sponsor 87 venues in 38 states, including Manchester. For more information about (NAP) please visit: www.nationalartsprogram.org.