An America Forever Changed

by Maureen Gillum


The Cormier’s “9-11 Tribute” on Melendy Road in Hudson to Lowell nephew, Brian Kinney, and the nearly 3,000 others who lost their lives five years ago. 

September 11, 2001, was likely the most horrific and powerfully unifying event the United States has ever faced.  Nearly 3,000 people were brutally killed by the four collective flights that 19 terrorists used to obliterate New York City’s Twin Towers and attack the Pentagon in Washington.  The last hijacked jetliner (United Airlines Flight 93), believed to be directed at a Washington, D.C., landmark, was fortunately thwarted in the last moments, and crashed in a Pennsylvania field, thanks to the bravery of its passengers.  President Bush called Flight 93, “America’s first victory against terrorism,” but heralded “the war is not over,” in his national address Monday night.  For weeks and months, Americans mourned, cleaned up, pulled together, and prayed, perhaps like no other time before or since.

Five years later, life goes on.  The changes are significant, but sometimes intangible among the tears and triumphs of 9/11.  It has impacted American civil liberties, indeed Americans’ psyche and outlook.  "You just have to assume the worst now,” shared John Werth, a veteran FAA Flight Controller who handled United Flight 93, in a CBS report.  CBS’ new anchor, Katie Couric, also reported, since September 11, 2001, the U. S. government has spent $250 billion on homeland security measures; and another $432 billion (and the lives of nearly 3,000 U. S. military) in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

What has become known simply as ‘9/11,’ remains a chilling day of infamy no one born before the mid-1990s will likely ever forget.  But just in case anyone needs help remembering, Hudson’s Roland “Sonny” and Sue Cormier of 71 Melendy Drive have built a “growing annual 9-11 tribute” in their well-cared-for corner lot.  “It is a memorial for all the people who died that day,” reported Sonny with somber sincerity as he turned on the display’s apt accompanying music (God Bless America), “It’s also to keep my promise I made to my sister (Darlene Kinney of Dracut, Massachusetts), so that no one will ever forget her son, and my nephew, Brian.” 

Cormier’s nephew, the handsome 28-year old Brian K. Kinney (born 6-7-73), died September 11 on United Airlines Flight 175 at 9:03 a.m.  The Boston to Los Angeles flight had 65 people on board and crashed into the south tower of New York City’s World Trade Center, about 15 minutes after American Airlines Flight 11 plane hit the north tower.  Before that, Brian and his wife, Allison, lived in Lowell, Massachusetts.  He worked as an accountant for Price Waterhouse and was traveling for business that morning.  “Brian was always a nice, polite kid,” recalled Sonny, the Hudson proprietor of Roland’s Carpet Cleaning Service.  “He also had a great sense of humor, and just loved to be a joker.”

Brian Kinney was one of a dozen people from this region killed on that fateful day, according to CNN.com’s memorial web site (www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/memorial).  Other locals include Hudson’s Beechwood Road resident, 42-year-old David Kovalchin, a Raytheon senior mechanical engineer who was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11; he tragically left behind his wife, Elizabeth, and two daughters, Rebecca and Marina, then just 4 and 1, respectively.  As found on Kovalchin’s tribute page, he left a note for his family when he left early that clear, crisp Tuesday morning:  "Rebecca, Marina and Mommy, I will miss everybody very much.  See you Friday night.”  At the end he added, "I fed the dogs but not the fish."

Still others who lost their lives with local ties included Charles Jones, 48, who worked in Hudson and lived in Bedford, Massachusetts, who was also on board Flight 11.  American Airline pilot of Flight 11, John Ogonowski, 52, of Dracut, also met his fate that day.  A graduate of Nashua High (1949) and University of New Hampshire professor emeritus, Robert LeBlanc, died on United 175.  Other New Hampshire residents of Flight 11 included Thelma Cuccinello (71, Wilmot); Carol Flyzik (40, Plaistow); co-pilot, Tom McGuinness (42, Portsmouth); and Douglas Stone (54, Dover).  Locals lost with Kinney on Flight 175 included Carl Max Hammond, Jr. (37, Derry); Neil Mariani (59, Derry); and Michael (63) and Kathleen (61) Shearer of Dover. 

As a town, Hudson proudly honored the victims and heroes of September 11 at its special five-year commemoration on Monday night, as detailed in Doug Robinson’s related Hudson~Litchfield News article.  As a nation, Americans solemnly reflected this week on the day that forever changed America; we also look forward, with an emphasis on renewed hope and unity, to rebuild the “holes” not only at ground zero, but in our lives and hearts.


Multiple Fire Departments Respond

to Two-alarm Fire in Hudson

Hudson Fire Department plus eight engines, one ladder, and 26 emergency responders from Nashua, Londonderry, Litchfield, Windham, and Derry, and Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, fire departments responded to a two-alarm fire at the home of Gary and Cecile Wright of Sycamore Street on Sunday, September 10. 

A considerable amount of damage was done to the ranch style house.  The bulk of the main fire damage was to the rear of the building inside of a tub room computer room, and a bedroom.  The homeowners were alerted to the fire after hearing the activation of their smoke detectors and were able to evacuate the home without injury.  The fire is not suspicious and is still under investigation.


Hudson Senior Housing Article Passes

Article I

Are you in favor of the adoption of Amendment No. 1 as proposed by the Planning Board for the Town Zoning Ordinance as follows?

Amend Article XIII, Housing for Older Persons, by limiting Older Persons Housing Developments to the R-2, TR and G Zoning Districts, and by further providing that Housing for Older Persons shall have town water and town sewer, and for housing for those 62 years of age or older have a buildable land area of 7,500 square feet per bedroom and for housing for those 55 years of age or older have a buildable area of 10,000 square feet per bedroom, and a minimum tract size for any such development of 10 acres.  And, further to amend the Table of Permitted Principal Uses to limit Housing for Older Persons to the R-2, TR and G Zoning Districts.  (Approved by the Planning Board)

Yes  651

No  318


Hudson State Representative Election Results

Republican Candidates

For State Representative

Jean-Guy J. Bergeron       396

Ralph G. Boehm            246

Leon Calawa, Jr.             263

Lars T. Christiansen           369

Rocky B. Desilets           175

Eric P. Estevez                 185

Peter R. Goyette, Jr. 336

Robert “Bob” Haefner           330

Stephen D. Hellwig               213

Shawn N. Jasper             383

James Lawrence             284

Rudy Lessard                   320

Lynne Ober                      327

Russell T. Ober III          316

Andrew Renzullo           339

Jordan Ulery                    305

 

Democratic Candidates

For State Representative

Brian Ballou                     235

Roland Bergeron            269

James M. Caron              238

Ann Clark-Balcom         241

Richard Ingram               230

John Knowles                  269

Mary Ann Knowles               274

Harold “Hal” Lynde              226

Shaun T. McGuire         224

Vivian L. McGuire         237

Kevin P. Riley                  242

Joseph A. Wozniak               269


Litchfield State Representative Election Results

Republican Candidates

For State Representative

Jean-Guy J. Bergeron             128

Ralph G. Boehm                 128

Leon Calawa, Jr.                 158

Lars T. Christiansen                106

Rocky B. Desilets               73

Eric P. Estevez                     75

Peter R. Goyette, Jr. 106

Robert “Bob” Haefner         96

Stephen D. Hellwig                  67

Shawn N. Jasper                 117

James Lawrence                  89

Rudy Lessard                        84

Lynne Ober                          121

Russell T. Ober III              110

Andrew Renzullo               101

Jordan Ulery                         96

 

Democratic Candidates

For State Representative

Brian Ballou                         67

Roland Bergeron                 79

James M. Caron                  63

Ann Clark-Balcom             63

Richard Ingram                   62

John Knowles                       63

Mary Ann Knowles                   69

Harold “Hal” Lynde                  58

Shaun T. McGuire              59

Vivian L. McGuire             63

Kevin P. Riley                      62

Joseph A. Wozniak                 66


Southern Hillsborough County CyberSafe Task Force Makes Arrests

A press conference took place September 7 at the Hudson Police Department to inform the general public and the media of a newly created Southern Hillsborough County CyberSafe Task Force involving the following police agencies:  Brookline, Hillsborough County Sheriffs Department, Hollis, Hudson, Litchfield, Merrimack, Nashua, Pelham, and the New Hampshire State Police, under the direction of Hillsborough County Attorney Marguerite Wageling.

Through proactive investigations, trained investigators from the task force, posing as juveniles on the Internet were able to identify and arrest sexual predators who were intending to meet with young children for the purpose of engaging sex.  At the press conference, the names and addresses of those individuals arrested were shared with the media.

In attendance were New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, Count Attorney Marguerite Wageling, Hillsborough Sheriff Jim Hardy, and police chiefs from the Hillsborough County.

The Chiefs of Police of Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Sheriff James Hardy, New Hampshire State Police, and Hillsborough County Attorney Marguerite L. Wageling announced that an Internet Crime Task Force known as the Southern Hillsborough County CyberSafe Task Force (SHCCTF or Task Force), was created to combat crimes against children.  The Task Force was created in August of this year and charged with the mission of combating Internet crimes against children with a specific focus on those individuals who use the Internet to:

  • Engage (or attempt) to engage minors in sexually explicit conversation;
  • Solicit, lure, or entice minors (or attempt) to engage in sexual activity;
  • Arrange (or attempt) meetings or phone calls with minors without parental consent;
  • Solicit, lure, or entice (or attempt) minors to create and/or send sexually explicit photographs or videos;
  • Solicit, lure, or entice (or attempt) minors to view and/or receive sexually explicit photographs or videos; and
  • Solicit, lure, or entice (or attempt) minors to view live images of individual(s) engaged in indecent exposure or sexual acts.

The task force is also charged with educating the public, especially parents and children about these dangers and the extent to which these activities occur on the Internet.  Representatives from the task force have committed to being available to speak at schools and community/civic groups about Internet safety.

SHCCTF is currently composed of members of seven local police departments, the New Hampshire State Police, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department.  The head of the task force is Hillsborough County Sheriff Hardy.  Hillsborough County Attorney Wageling and members of her staff have provided assistance to the group and will handle the prosecution of task force cases.

The task force is the brainchild of Hudson Police Department Chief Richard Gendron.  The initial meetings were held at the Hudson Police Station with multiple follow-up meetings and training at the Nashua Police Department, courtesy of Nashua Chief Timothy Hefferan.

To date, 15 investigators from the member departments have been deputized by Hardy and are actively and cooperatively investigating numerous individuals.  The Chief Investigator is Detective Richard Mello of the Hollis Police Department.  Detective Mello has investigated multiple Internet cases over the past several years resulting in over 20 arrests.  Hollis Police Chief Russell Ux graciously provided Detective Mello’s time and expertise to the task force.

After several weeks of training and organization, the task force began operations in late August.  Between August 24 and 25, the task force made five arrests, which are detailed below.  Three of those individuals appeared at locations in Hudson and Nashua for pre-arranged meetings with what the suspects believed to be minors.  The task force has since made two other arrests.  One of those suspects appeared in Hollis for a pre-arranged meeting with a minor.  Additional arrests are expected.  To date, those arrested include an individual on parole from the New Hampshire State Prison for armed robbery, an EMT employed by Rockingham Ambulance Service, and a professor from the University of New Hampshire.

In just one week of investigation, 85 individuals or “screen names” have engaged in conversation with undercover investigators posing as minors.  Some of those individuals have provided identifying information or forwarded pictures of their body parts that will lead to their arrest.  The individuals currently under investigation came from each of the New England states and New York.

In addition, the task force has and will continue to conduct what are known as “knock and talks” with those individuals who have engaged in behavior that, although not technically criminal, has caused concern to the investigators.

The following individuals have been arrested and charged with one or more counts of “Certain Uses of Computer Services Prohibited,” a class B felony punishable by up to three and a half to seven years at the New Hampshire State Prison and/or “Obscenity,” a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months incarceration at the Hillsborough County House of Correction:

  1. Terrance Halter, 20, of 15 Wilder Street in Nashua, was arrested in Nashua on August 24 for Certain Uses of Computer Services Prohibited when he appeared at a pre-arranged location in Nashua to meet with a minor.  Halter was on parole from the New Hampshire State Prison for armed robbery at the time of this offense.  A parole violation has been filed.
  2. Mark Abbott, 35, of 44 Gillis Street in Nashua, was arrested in Nashua an August 25 for Certain Uses of Computer Services Prohibited.  At the time, Abbott was employed by the Rockingham Ambulance Service but is under suspension at this time.
  3. Adam Koch, 21, of 553 Mammoth Road in Pelham, was arrested in Hudson on August 24 for Certain Uses of Computer Services Prohibited after he appeared at a pre-arranged location to meet with a minor in Hudson.  He was also arrested for the misdemeanor offense of Obscenity, that is, sending live video images of him engaged in a sexual act.  At the time of his arrest he was employed as a clerk at Cumberland Farms on Lowell Road in Hudson,
  4. Vincent Alves, 38, of 125 Litchfield Road in Londonderry, was arrested on August 24 for Certain Uses of Computer Services Prohibited when he appeared at a pre-arranged location to meet with a minor in Hudson.  At the time, he was employed at RH White Construction in Lowell.  Originally from Portugal, Alves recently became a U. S. citizen.
  5. Norman Laliberte, 32, of 134 Mammoth Road, Apartment #10 in Hooksett, was arrested in Hooksett on August 25 for Certain Uses of Computer Services Prohibited for conversations that occurred in Nashua.  At the time members of the task force appeared at Laliberte's home to arrest him, Manchester Police officers were at the home conducting a search.  Manchester Police had arrested Laliberte earlier that day for a similar offense.  Manchester Police had conducted its own independent investigation of Laliberte.
  6. David Watt, 49, of 6 Sullivan Falls Road in Durham, was arrested an September 1 for Certain Uses of Computer Services Prohibited after appearing in Hollis for a pre-arranged meeting after engaging in conversations with multiple undercover investigators.  Watt is a professor of engineering at the University of New Hampshire but has been suspended from his post.
  7. Kevin Fish, 23, of 1598 Route 106 in Loudon, was arrested on September 6 in Loudon for Certain Uses of Computer Services Prohibited for engaging in illegal conversations on or about August 22.  Fish is unemployed but had worked as a security guard.  He voluntarily surrendered his security guard's license to task force investigators.  On September 1, Fish was arrested by the Belmont Police for the same crime as part of an independent investigation conducted by Belmont Police Department.

Over the course of the last two years, the Hillsborough County Attorney's Office has prosecuted more than 20 cases involving individuals who have used the Internet to abuse or attempt to abuse children.  With one exception for a case that is on appeal, every single case has resulted in a conviction.  Also with one exception, every defendant has received at least 30 days in jail.  The average sentence spans from three to six months in jail.  Conviction for Certain Uses of Computers Prohibited requires a defendant to register as a sex offender for the rest of his or her life.

Parents and children, teenagers in particular, should he aware that those under investigation by the task force were not in “chat rooms” reserved for sexual matters but rather in generic chat rooms offered by various Internet providers.  Many of the suspects asked if the child wanted to see their “cam” (short for web camera) and then often without warning images would appear.  Within 15 minutes of the initiation of daily operations, investigators were sent live unsolicited images of men masturbating.

The suspects under investigation often requested photos, preferably nude photos or web cam images of the child.  Although the age of the child is often the first question asked during the chats, the 85 individuals under investigation continued to talk with the child after being informed of the minor child's age.  The conversation quickly turned sexual in nature frequently with images such as indicated above being sent or requested.  Many suspects asked detailed questions not only about the child's sexual experiences but also about whether mom and/or dad were at home, and questions to determine the availability of the child.  Quite often individuals requested to speak live with the child via cell phone.  Some even provided their cell phone numbers.  Most requested to be put on the child’s “buddy list,” thereby allowing ready contact with the child.

All parents are encouraged to place all computers in locations of high traffic within the home, and to limit and monitor their child's computer and cell phone access, even while their child is at home,

For further questions, contact Chief Gendron at 886-6011 or County Attorney Marguerite Wageling at the County Attorney's Office in Manchester at 627-5605.

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