This week in history

March 18, 2002: At least a dozen top state officials earn retirement benefits meant for police officers and firefighters with hazardous jobs, even those administrators rarely – and in some cases, never – get called into the line of fire, the Monitor reports. Lawmakers recently extended the benefits to additional administrative positions within the Department of Safety. But legislators, saying they have to draw the line somewhere, denied the benefits to workers with potentially dangerous jobs at the state hospital and state prisons.

 

March 18, 2001: The college basketball season for Concord’s Matt Bonner and his Florida teammates comes to an abrupt end when the Gators, a No. 3 seed, are routed by No. 11 Temple in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Bonner, a sophomore, scores 13 points and grabs 11 rebounds in the loss.

 

March 18, 1949: Concord native Edward H. Brooks wins promotion to lieutenant general in the U.S. Army. From a second lieutenant of cavalry during World War I through his post-World War II service in the Caribbean, Brooks has had a distinguished military career. He won the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism in World War I and the Silver Star, Bronze Star and French Croix de Guerre, among other decorations, during World War II.

 

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 19, 2001: Longtime Loudon Selectman Ray Cummings is defeated in a recount of an election that was first tallied as a tie. Challenger Roy Buttrick, a write-in candidate, is ruled the winner.

 

March 19, 1967: The calendar says spring is about to start, but few believe it. The low temperature in Concord falls to 16 below zero, tying the record for the coldest March day in the 20th century. This follows a reading of 13 below the day before and 10 below the day before that.

 

March 20, 2002: An apartment fire on Maplewood Lane in Penacook leaves dozens of residents homeless. Nobody is hurt.

 

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 20, 1779: From Exeter, the provincial capital, Dr. Josiah Bartlett writes to his fellow congressman and fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence, William Whipple, in hopes that Whipple will procure from Spain hard currency to pay the army. New Hampshire’s soldiers have been paid in paper that has depreciated, and Gen. John Stark and other state commanders have petitioned the General Court “to have the wages of our soldiers in the Continental Army made good according to contract.”

 

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 21, 1996: Concord City Manger Julia Griffin says she will resign. She will take a job as Hanover’s town manager.

 

March 22, 2002: Sawmill operators and forest owners elsewhere in the country are celebrating a new, 29 percent federal tariff on subsidized Canadian lumber, but New Hampshire’s timber industry meets the news with mixed emotions. Timer industry experts say the tariffs may have unintended consequences that hurt long traditions of cross-border relationships between sawmill operators and forest owners.

 

March 22, 1901: The Massachusetts-New Hampshire boundary is finally settled.

 

 

March 22, 1965: The Monitor reports growing disapproval of a bill to impose a $5,000 minimum pay law for teachers. Towns would have to foot the bill and leaders say it would infringe on local control. The bill will be defeated.

March 22, 1991: After a long, tawdry, televised trial, a Rockingham County jury finds 23-year-old Pam Smart guilty of arranging the murder of her husband. Smart’s teenage lover shot Gregory Smart to death 1990. The judge sentences Pam Smart to life without parole.

 

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 23, 1867: Forty-two years after becoming Concord’s Congregationalist minister, the Rev. Nathaniel Bouton resigns. During his tenure, Bouton became a trustee of Dartmouth College and, in 1856, published a history of Concord. Seven months before leaving the pulpit, he was named state historian.

 

March 23, 1773: Loudon holds its first town meeting at the home of Abraham Batchelder.

 

March 23, 1825: The Rev. Nathaniel Bouton is ordained as minister of the First Congregational Society of Concord. From 1730 until now, the town of Concord, voting as a parish at town meeting, appropriated money to pay the pastor and support the church. The new society will sustain itself without taxpayer support.

 

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 24, 2001: Winnisquam School District approves a $17 million district-wide expansion and renovation project. The plan calls for doubling of space at the middle and high schools.

Author: Insider Staff

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