BERLIN--As a result of the increasing incidents of drinking and driving, the Berlin Police Department applied for, and was granted, a Superior Court Petition to conduct a Sobriety Checkpoint. The Sobriety Checkpoint is the most effective method of detecting and apprehending the impaired operator.
The program, approved by the N.H. Highway Safety Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, provides federal highway safety funds to support these checkpoints, which will be conducted in Berlin.
A review of records has shown that the use of alcohol by individuals who operate motor vehicles has resulted in an alarming number of deaths and personal injury accidents. Therefore, in an effort to maintain safe roads in the City of Berlin, the Berlin Police Department will be conducting a Sobriety Checkpoints in the Berlin Area during the week of August 3.
The Purpose of the Sobriety Checkpoint is to detect and apprehend the impaired driver. Berlin Police Chief Peter Morency and the Berlin Police Department have taken an aggressive stance to prevent persons from driving while intoxicated. New Hampshire has some of the most aggressive laws in the country to fight the intoxicated driver and the law enforcement community will use those tools to their full extent.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 21:50
Written by Barbara Tetreault
GORHAM – For a third day, N.H. State Police and FBI investigators continued to comb through the home of Nathaniel Kibby, charged in the kidnapping of Conway teen Abby Hernandez last October.
Residents of the Gateway Trailer Park, where Kibby has lived since 2009, said law enforcement officials have said they expect to be there all week.
Kibby was arrested at his 104 Brookside Drive home just after noon Monday and is being held on $1 million cash bail. The charge is a class B felony carrying a maximum sentence of seven years.
Residents of the park describe the 34-year old Kibby as a loner who tended to keep to himself. He had a reputation for being opinioned and keeping guns at his home. But residents also said they never saw or heard Hernandez despite the close proximity of the homes there.
Increasingly residents speculate Hernandez may have been held in the Conex industrial storage container at the back of Kibby's mobile home.
One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said Kibby had built a false wall in the container and used one section for storage. In the other section, the neighbor said Kibby created a space that he called a 'man cave' where he could work on various vehicles. The neighbor said there is electricity to the container and last year he said Kibby told him he put in soundproofing so he could use it as a small firing range.
Gorham tax records show Kibby purchased the 3-bedroom mobile home in 2009 and last year it had a value of $19,200. The storage trailer is listed on the tax card but no value is assigned to it.
The neighbor said Kibby had owned a black Chevy S-10 pick-up truck but last fall changed vehicles and currently was driving a Honda Civic.
The street in front of Kibby's home is closed off with yellow crime scene tape blocking public access. Residents on the street are required to show identification to get into their homes. Investigators have been seen bringing material out of the mobile home in bags and yesterday afternoon boxes could be seen on the lawn.
With Hernandez and her mother Zenya Hernandez sitting in the front row, Kibby was arraigned in Conway District Court Tuesday and bail was set at $1 million.
Investigators have released few details about the case. In a press conference after the arraignment, Associate N.H. Attorney General Jane Young called Kibby's arrest the first step in an ongoing investigation.
Hernandez went missing on Oct. 9, spurring a nation-wide campaign in the press and on social media for her return. Law enforcement announced that she had returned home July 20 but no details were released about where she had been and how she made it home.
Kiddy has a lengthy court record but locally much of it dates back more than ten years. In February 2003, he was charged with simple assault, alleging he punched his then-girlfriend in the stomach with his fist. As part of a negotiated plea, the complaint was placed on file without a finding on condition of good behavior.
In January 2001, he pleaded guilty in Coos Superior Court to manufacture of a controlled drug (marijuana). In a plea bargain, he received a suspended sentence of two to five years, ordered to undergo substance abuse and mental health evaluation and follow-up, and was placed on probation for three years.
He was found not guilty in July 2000 of a charge of possession of property (a Rock Fosgate amplifier) without a serial number. At the time of the charge, his layer requested a continuance because he reported Kibby was serving a 30-day sentence in Maine where an Oxford County Superior Court grand jury had indicted him on four counts of burglary.
That September, he was charged with receiving stolen property – a 'no parking' sign belonging to the town of Gorham. He was found guilty, fined $100, and ordered to make restitution of $39.95 to the town. The following month, he was charged with disorderly conduct and under the terms of a negotiated plea, the complaint was placed on file on condition of good behavior for one year and writing a letter of apology.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 21:49
Written by Barbara Tetreault
By Lloyd Jones
CONWAY — Former Kennett High classmates of Nathaniel Kibby were not surprised when they learned Monday that he was arrested as a suspect in the alleged kidnapping of Abigail Hernandez, a case that has drawn national attention. They actually remembered Kibby starting a gang while a student at KHS, and some believe he may have been linked to a number of called-in bomb scares during the 1998 school year.
One of Kibby's former classmates, Randy Waldron, Class of 1999 at Kennett High, said Kibby tormented him for 20 years.
"I don't know Abby Hernandez but I hope and pray this girl recovers from this," Waldron said by phone from New York City Tuesday afternoon. "This has been a pattern for Nat for 20 years. He's been a sexual deviant — he was a talented sketch artist who always obsessed about girls with dark hair and drew them with their hands tied behind their backs. I hope Abby gets word that she's not alone; there are more of us who were tortured by Nat Kibby. I'm really shocked no one could connect this to him sooner."
Waldron, who was the editor of the Black and White student newspaper at Kennett High, was walking through O'Hare Airport in Chicago when it came over CNN that Kibby had been arrested.
"I immediately called my mom (Nancy) who was on vacation on the Cape and told her an arrest had been made in the Abigail Hernandez case. I said, 'I'll give you three guesses who did it.' The first words out of her mouth were Nat Kibby. He tortured me and my mom for years."
Waldron recalled in 1992 on his first day in sixth grade at John Fuller School, he met Kibby for the first time. The encounter did not go well.
"He took me out into Whitaker Woods and beat the crap out of me," Waldron said and that led to Kibby being suspended from school, but the violence didn't stop.
"He was brilliant, a brilliant person with a vocabulary out of this world," Waldron recalled. "Pardon my expression but he was a 'bad bastard.' There was a time where I was afraid to ride the school bus because of Nat, he just terrorized me. I remember in seventh or eighth grade I started finding notes in my locker telling me, 'Don't ride the bus. I'm going to kill you.'"
That terror continued in high school.
"I remember freshman algebra in 1996 in Rebecca Hill's class, the two of them got into it big time," Waldron said. "Mrs. Hill asked him a question and he answered 'f_ _ _ you,' and then he unbuttoned his pants and made a motion of masturbating. He was suspended for that."
Waldron said it was Kibby who upon being suspended began phoning in bomb threats to the school.
SAU 9 superintendent Carl Nelson, who started in the district in July of 1998, said he was "quite familiar" with Kibby.
"The name is a familiar one," he said by phone Tuesday afternoon from New York. "There were issues as I recall, but I'd have to look through my file." Nelson recalled that 1998 was "the year of all the bomb threats," but he couldn't say for sure whether Kibby was involved.
Waldron said Hernandez matches the images Kibby used to sketch.
"It was always a dark haired girl and it was always in bondage," he said.
"I'm 33 years old now and I'm dumbfounded," Waldron added. "He's the kid of my nightmares. It took me years to get Nat Kibby out of my head. My mom and I had to go through therapy after this kid. I remember in one of our yearbooks someone wrote, 'What would ever happen if Nat Kibby joined the Peace Corps?' This was his destiny he was going to do something like this. He was sadistic — this kid was rotten to the core."
"When we heard the name, we were like, 'Ah, not surprised,' it's a shame, but we weren't surprised," a woman who graduated in 2000 from Kennett High, said.
The Conway resident had classes with Kibby from seventh grade on.
"He was a punk," she recalled. "And, kind of always in trouble. He was always kind of messed up, but he was nice to me. He started a gang while he was in school. He called it the Vipers, but spelled it with two 'P's which is kind of sad. I think he had maybe three or four gang members. They used to spray paint on places."
Another KHS graduate, Class of 1998, recognized the name when police announced an arrest.
"I remember his face and I think I had gym class with him," she said. "I don't really remember anything about him other than him being there. I was below his radar so I wasn't a threat."
Former Conway police lieutenant Chris Perley, who retired last month after 29 years in law enforcement, said he was quite familiar with Kibby.
"I regularly prosecuted Mr. Kibby because he regularly came across the law," Perley said by phone Tuesday afternoon. "He was a guy on our radar. Law enforcement became very concerned about him because of his unpredictable behavior and it always had violent overtones."
Perley said he was pleased when an arrest was announced.
"My first emotion was relief and satisfaction," he said. "Relief in that the story has a conclusion to this point. Also relief that a dangerous predator is now behind bars. The satisfaction part is because so often these cases result in a faded memory of a loved one overtone. This is a major step toward a healthy outcome for Abby. I think we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief.
"I don't think anyone could have predicted that she would be so close and then to come home unharmed," Perley added. "The reality that evil exists within our own midst is difficult for many to deal with, but sadly, with the exception of Michael Woodbury (arrested for a triple homicide at the Army Barracks), all of the major crimes here have been committed from people within this community."
Perley worked on the Hernandez investigation, and although retired, he was one of the first people to call Conway police chief Ed Wagner on Monday night to congratulate the department on an arrest.
"I called to congratulate the chief last night," Perley said. "I'm only a few months removed from being there. I'm a community member, too. I have great pride and happiness like everyone else that this police department does not give up. Chief Wagner has seen it all during his time as chief and he does an outstanding job."
When asked if he always suspected Kibby during the Hernandez investigation, Perley replied there wasn't any specific suspect on law enforcement's radar for a long time.
"Until this recent development, the facts and circumstances of her disappearance were not even clear," said Perley "This was a real mystery from the beginning."
Waldron watched the arraignment Tuesday afternoon.
"I was jumping up and down," he said. "For me, it's a form of closure."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 20:54
Written by Barbara Tetreault
By Sarah Kinney
The annual Jericho ATV Festival has returned to the Berlin-Gorham area.
While enjoying the trails, scenery, and local businesses and restaurants, it is important to keep the following laws in mind.
New Hampshire OHVR regulations
All OHRVs used off of one's personal property must be registered.
Operators must be over 12 years old, and have either a OHRV Safety Education Certificate or a Driver's License. If your license is suspended, you are not allow to operate an OHRV, even if you have a valid certificate. Operators under 14 years old must be accompanied by a person over 18 years old. Those under 18 years old cannot carry a passenger.
Operators under 18 years old must wear a helmet and eye protection. Passengers under 18 years old must also wear a helmet.
You may only ride on trails marked for OHRV use. You can visit nhsa.com, nhstateparks.org, or your local OHRV club for maps of trails. Utility right of ways are often private property. Riding on anyone else's private property requires written permission from the landowner.
OHRV operation is prohibited on public roads unless specifically permitted and posted for OHRV use. Examples of permitted uses are road crossings and trail connectors. In such areas the speed limit is 10 mph.
You can visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/OHRV/ohrv.htm for more information on the rules regarding OHRV operations in NH.
Berlin OHRV regulations
In addition to trail riding, OHRVs are allowed on the Connector Trail from Jericho Mountain State Park to Dead River Park and Success Pond Road. They may also use city streets in the urban compact to get to that route via the shortest possible way.
While operating on the road, OHRVs must follow the posted speed limit, 25 or 30 mph in the urban compact.
Like other motor vehicles, operators must yield to pedestrians, drive in the travel lane, and have working head and tail lights.
OHRVs must travel single file.
They prohibited from driving on city streets from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. unless for event authorized by the City Council.
Violations of these rules can result in fines and/or lost riding privileges.
Berlin received verbal permission from the Department of Transportation to use Route 110 from the city compact to Jericho Motorsports until they get the actual permit done.
In addition, on Friday, Aug. 1, Main Street from Northway Bank to city hall will be open only to ATV traffic from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the Downtown Block Party. All other traffic will be re-routed.
Gorham OHRV regulations
OHRV are authorized to operate on Gorham streets for access to and from portions of Route 2 & 16 that have been designated for OHRV and also Alpine Street, Androscoggin Street, Bellevue Place, Broadway Street, Bangor Street, Blunden Street, Church Street, Cross Street, Elm Street, Evans Street, Exchange Street, High Street, Highland Avenue, Lary Street, Madison Avenue, Mascot Street, Mechanic Street, Normand Avenue, Park Street, Promenade Street, Railroad Street, Smith Street, Union Street, Water Street, and Woodland Park. This is only allowed from May 23 to November 4.
Jimtown Road will not be open for the weekend.
For the festival weekend only, landowner next to Moose Brook State Park will allow access to campers only to connect from the park to the trail system, said Chris Gamache, NH Bureau of Trails. .
Like Berlin, OHRVs must drive in the travel lane, single file, at the posted speed limit, and have working head and tail lights.
Driving an OHRV on the road is prohibited from a half hour after sunset to half hour before sunrise, except in emergency situations. This is approximately from 9 – 9:30 p.m. to 4:30 – 5 a.m. in July.
For the two night of the festival (Aug. 1 and 2) The Dept. of Safety and Dept. of Transportion will allow the extension of use on Rt.16/Rt.2/Main St. to coincide with Berlin’s hours. This will allow Jericho ATV festival goers to get back to their motels in Gorham after festival activities. Berlin roads are shut down to OHRV use at 11pm, as such so are the roads in Gorham, according to Gamache.
Operators under 18 years old must wear a helmet that includes a neck or chin strap. All operators must wear protective eyewear, unless their vehicle has a windshield that protects their face when sitting upright.
Breaking these rule can result in fines.
For the festival, riders should expect to see increased law enforcement personnel on the trails and road areas where OHRVs are permitted.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 19:46
- Selectmen and Town Manager work with state to extend hours for ATV festival
- Jericho ATV Festival schedule
- Jericho ATV Festival Parking areas and bus stop locations
- Former Kennett High student arrested for kidnapping Abby
- SWAT team surrounded home in Gorham and moved in with armored vehicle
- Kibby in and out of court since he was a teen