Sunday's stair climb event at PSU to mark 15th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

By Brooke Robinson

PLYMOUTH — A memorial stair climb is taking place at Plymouth State University (PSU) on Sunday to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Anybody is welcome to come and climb the same number of stairs that first responders to the World Trade Center tackled.
This is the second year the stair climb is being held at the college. Domenica Medaglia-Brown, educational coordinator for the school's TRIO program, organized the event for this year. A former firefighter herself, she and other former firefighters had participated in a stair climb in the past to honor their fallen comrades and had originally hoped to go to last year's stair climb in Manchester. However, they instead decided to bring the event to the PSU community and host their own climb on campus.
"We had wanted to participate in one in Manchester but we just decided that it would be better to have students participate in it if we weren't trying to get them all down to Manchester," Medaglia-Brown said.
The Draper and Maynard Building at PSU contains four flights of stairs. In order to total the 108 sets of stairs climbed by first responders, participants will trek up and down these four flights 27 times. Last year's event took about an hour for participants to complete.
Not only does this event serve to memorialize the fallen from the 9/11 attacks, it is also an opportunity to educate younger people who may not have the same understanding of the attacks as their elders. "This year's first-years were three when this happened," Medaglia-Brown emphasized. "A lot of them know about (9/11) academically, but they don't understand the impact that it had at the time in terms of our history as a country."
The 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon resulted in the 2,996 fatalities including 343 FDNY firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers and 55 military personnel. The PSU event will honor those who lost their lives in the attack as well as help educated those who were too young to feel the effects that the attack had on the country.
The PSU Memorial Stairclimb is open to anyone from the public including children. The event starts at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 11. The climb will be preceded by reception including the singing of the National Anthem and refreshments will be provided. Participants must wear appropriate footwear.

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CORRECTION: Sheriff's race

Friday's article on the race for Belknap County Sheriff should have said that Mike Moyer was Laconia Police chief from 2007 until his retirement in 2011. It also should have also made clear that Bill Wright is no longer a member of the Belknap Regional Special Operations Group.

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Sheriff square-off

County has first contest for the job in 26 years


LACONIA — The first primary contest for position of Belknap County Sheriff in 26 years pits Sgt. William Wright against former Laconia Police Chief Michael Moyer.
The men are competing for the Republican nomination to succeed Craig Wiggin, who resigned last month after more than seven years heading the department to take a full-time position teaching at Southern New Hampshire University in Hooksett.

William Wright

William Bill Wright
Wright, who has worked for the department for 11 years, began his career in law enforcement with the Franklin Police Department in 1998, after serving four years with the U.S. Marines. He was a police officer in Belmont from 1999 until 2005, when he joined the Sheriff's Department.
He grew up in Northfield and is a graduate of Winnisquam Regional High School. He and his wife, who is an administrative assistant at the Belknap County Nursing Home, live in Belmont and have a 20-year-old daughter.
Wright is commander of the Belknap County Drug Task Force, which he said is still in a fledgling stage, and is a member of Belknap Regional Special Operations Group, and spent two years working with the U.S. Marshals Service Task Force.
He said he sees his decision to seek the office as a natural career progression and says he wants to run the department in a fiscally responsible manner while improving its outreach to the public and working in a collaborative manner with law enforcement agencies in all communities in the county to help combat the opioid crisis.
"I think we can work together in a cooperative regional approach, especially with information sharing, on the problems posed by drugs,'' said Wright.
He said he favors a review of the department by an outside agency in the wake of a legal action filed against the county by a person who alleges they were sexually assaulted by former Belknap County Sheriff Department Deputy Justin Blanchette while being transported to another jurisdiction.

Michael Moyer

Mike Moyer
Moyer, who also lives in Belmont, said his family moved to Lakeport in 1974 and that he is a graduate of Laconia High School. He joined the Laconia Police Department as a part-time officer in 1984 and became a full-time officer the following year.
He worked his way up the ranks and became police chief in 2011, serving until, 2015 when he stepped down as chief. He has kept his police certification active and is currently a part-time evidence manager with the Laconia Police.
Moyer said during his tenure the department became one of a handful of New Hampshire police departments that became a credentialed law enforcement agency – a status it maintains today.
He said he has the necessary experience to lead the department and would like to work cooperatively with agencies like the Laconia Police Department in helping combat the county's opioid crisis. "The Laconia Police have become a model for dealing with the crisis and I think we can work well with them," said Moyer.
Moyer says he isn't looking to expand the department and wants to make certain that it fulfills the duties it is charged with, such as delivery of subpoenas, prisoner transport and courtroom security, in an efficient manner.
He said he will continue the special operations group.

"Our team is very well trained," he said. "I was impressed with them when I was chief and considered them very reliable."
Moyer said he plans to review the sheriff's department's policy and procedures, especially those relating to prisoner transport.
Moyer said he plans to play an active role as sheriff and get out of the office as often as possible to meet with local law enforcement officials and the general public in all communities in the county.
The last primary contest in Belknap County was in 1990 when Deputy Sheriffs Stephen Hodges and Tom Alden faced off and Hodges won.

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