This week in Concord history

March 19, 2000: On its way to the NCAA championship game, fifth-seeded Florida cruises past fourth-seeded Illinois in the second round of the men’s basketball tournament. Concord’s Matt Bonner, a freshman, sums up his first weekend of March Madness this way: “Before the game I was nervous . . . oh wow, I can’t even explain how nervous I was. But once you go up and down the court a few times you forget about it.”

March 19, 2002: In Concord after less than three hours of deliberation, jurors decide that Dwayne Thompson murdered his longtime roommate Robert Provencher, the man known by Main Street regulars as “Cigar Bob” for his ever-present smokes of choice.

March 20, 2001: With back-to-back winter storms having drained snow removal budgets around the state, Gov. Jeanne Shaheen asks President Bush to declare a federal snow emergency for New Hampshire. The cost of cleaning up from the most recent storm was estimated at $1.5 million.

March 21, 2003: As the war accelerates in Iraq, residents throughout New Hampshire react. “I have really mixed feelings about it,” says Debbie Heckman, as she gets her hair cut at Headlines in Concord. “I support the soldiers and sailors 100 percent, but I just wish it hadn’t come to this.”

March 23, 1986: Congressman Bob Smith visits the state prison in Concord to tell veterans jailed there of his efforts to find Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Smith says the inmates seem to identify with American servicemen missing in action and held as prisoners of war.

March 23, 2001: Concord was New Hampshire’s fastest-growing city in the 1990s, the U.S. Census Bureau announces. The official 2000 population is listed as 40,687.

March 24, 2004: The Concord School Board unanimously approves a $55.1 million budget that includes the elimination of a Rundlett Middle School wellness teacher.

March 25, 1974: Gov. Mel Thomson vetoes legislation raising the campaign spending limit for most major offices from 15 to 25 cents per voter. “I’m not at all surprised,” says Concord Rep. Susan McLane, the sponsor. “I also wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still putting 3-cent stamps on envelopes.” (The 15-cent rule dates to 1957, when postage was indeed 3 cents per ounce.)

March 25, 2000: Concord High defenseman Joe Garofalo has been named Division I hockey player of the year, the Monitor reports. It is the second year in a row he has won the award, which he shares this year with Bishop Guertin goalie Dave MacDonald.

March 25, 2003: The House votes to require doctors to notify the parents of girls under 18 seeking abortions. The margin is slim, 187-181. But the outcome marks a momentous political shift in the House, which has rejected dozens of attempts to limit access to abortion over the last 20 years.

Author: Keith Testa

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