Flag from Iraq Reaches Pelham Elementary School
by Lynne Ober
Last school year Mrs. Queenan’s fourth grade class gathered supplies for soldiers in Iraq. “Uncle Jim” was the uncle of one of her students, Thomas Collins.
“I posted on my Website that we were gathering items to send to him,” Mrs. Queenan smiled. “We collected toothpaste and toothbrushes, toiletries for both men and women soldiers, hard candy, wipes, gator aid, puzzles, hand held games, playing cards, powder and all sorts of goodies.
Mrs. Foster’s class made cards and wrote letters to the men and women serving in Iraq.
In addition the students had done a paper on their heroes. “Many of them wrote about soldiers, police, and firefighters,” explained Mrs. Queenan. “We sent pictures with their stories.”
Mrs. Queenan went to Home Depot and asked if she could get the leftover roll from a roll of window shade material. “It rolled up nicely. We used that to sign. Every student signed and wrote a little something to Jim.” That poster was sent in the box of goodies.
Today, Jim Collins has that poster proudly displayed in his home. It was a treasure that he made sure that he brought back from Iraq.
Once the box reached Iraq the welcome goods were dispersed among them men and women serving in Jim’s unit.
Jim wanted to do something for the students who remembered not only him, but all the men and women that he was serving with. He raised a flag in their honor. That flag proudly flew over his unit’s home base and then he carefully packed it and brought it home.
The flag and a certificate were proudly presented to Principal Alicia LaFrance and Assistant Principal Kathleen Turner by Jim Collin’s two nephews, Patrick Collins, second-grade and Thomas Collins, fifth-grade.
The certificate read, “Operation Iraqui Freedom. Let it be known that this American Flag was flown over Iraq at the 407th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, Ali Base, Iraq, September 3, 2006 in honor of Pelham Elementary School at the request of Thomas and Patrick Collins.”
It’s a wonderful gift for the children,” said LaFrance. “They will have a piece of history and they know that when they made that box for the soldiers, they helped make their lives easier.”
Pelham 10 Year Old Spins her Way to Fame
by Karen Plumley
Standing tall in the dining room at her residence in Pelham, Alexia Rogers’ eyes twinkle as she lifts her leg high above her head, demonstrating her signature spin - a Bielman. On a carpet. With bare feet. And jeans. Any normal person trying a move like that would probably end up in traction for a month, but Alexia stares straight ahead, seemingly undaunted, with a grin that could light up a cloudy, moonless night.
This Pelham elementary fifth grade student, like many other girls her age, has participated in dance, gymnastics and cheerleading. But it is ice skating that rocks her world, and now she plans to devote herself exclusively to the sport. And why not? When she started taking lessons in kindergarten, she tested out of the first four levels and was immediately placed in basic level five. “The skill runs in her family,” stated her mom, Diane, who also skates. Even though she will be giving up gymnastics, Alexia admits that without it she definitely would not be as flexible or successful. Her older brother can also attest to that, being a very successful gymnast. “Alexia’s older brother got on the ice one time in his hockey skates and did an axle. It’s definitely the gymnastics that allowed him to do that,” Diane described.
Alexia has taken (and passed) all but the last four skating lesson levels available to her, and at this point is receiving private lessons from two separate coaches as well: a local talent named Kristi Townsend, and Suna Murray, who has won the bronze medal at the U. S. Championships twice, and competed at the 1972 Olympics. “I skate about eight hours per week, every day except Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said Alexia. She is currently at the juvenile level, and she will be at the professional level after she passes her final four lessons. “We were lucky that we haven’t spent too much money on skating, until now,” described Diane, who confides that Alexia’s latest pair of skates cost $930. “It’s an expensive sport,” she noted.
To make up for the expense, however, Alexia has won several awards, including first place at the 2006 New Hampshire State Games of America in the “Juvenile Restricted” category. She also placed fourth in the 2006 Little New England Figure Skating Competition in Rhode Island this past September. Other medals include a gold and silver in events at the North Shore Open in June, and a gold and two bronzes at the New England Figure Skating Summer Challenge in May. Additionally, Alexia was the youngest skater ever allowed to do a solo performance at the annual show put on by the Haverhill Skate Club, an honor she garnered when she was eight years old. Her goal now is to compete in the Junior Nationals. In order to qualify, she needs to place in the top three at the New England competition next fall - preparing for that will most certainly keep her on her toes. Somehow, though, she finds time between skating lessons to win singing and dancing competitions, like her first-place finish at a competition at Canobie Lake Park last summer.
Meanwhile, she will be appearing on TV at New York’s “Stars, Stripes, and Skates,” an event hosted by Nancy Kerrigan and benefiting victims and families of the September 11, 2001 tragedy. According to Alexia, she loved the experience of skating with top performers such as Oksana Bauil and Nancy Kerrigan, and even got to see a few other famous people. “We ate lunch at the same restaurant as Raven from the Disney Channel!” she said excitedly. But, it wasn’t all glitz and glamour. To perform at such a prestigious occasion, Alexia had to work hard. She and her coaches designed and choreographed a routine, lasting approximately one and a half minutes, which she had to perform at an audition in front of professional judges in order to secure a spot in the show. Tryouts took place at six different rinks in the New England region, and approximately 100 skaters were chosen.
Alexia Rogers has an impressive skating talent that has already spun a few heads. When asked if she had any hopes of making the Olympic team someday, she mentioned with a wistful look that one has to be 15 in order to try out. Yes, it is five long years from now. But, just look at all she has accomplished in the last five. Have you met Alexia Rogers?
Nine Suspects Arrested on Drug and Alcohol Offenses in Pelham
On January 4, at approximately 9:45 p.m. members of the Pelham Police Department executed a search warrant at 13 William Drive, Pelham, as a result of a two month investigation into the sale of Oxycontin and marijuana in the town. This was a result of ongoing neighborhood complaints regarding drug activity and intelligence gathered by increased police presence and surveillance.
Nine individuals were arrested on a variety of drug and alcohol offenses.
During the search, officers recovered approximately 1/2 pound of marijuana, with a street value of $1,500.00; 20 marijuana plants in different stages of growth which were being cultivated inside of the residence; approximately $4,000.00 in United States currency; distribution material such as plastic baggies, scales, and how to manuals; prescription pills; replica handguns and a machete.
Throughout the course of the investigation police confiscated approximately twenty-five 80 mg tablets of Oxycontin with a street value of approximately $2000.00.
Arrested at the time of the search warrant execution was David Perry, 24, of 13 William Drive, Pelham, NH. He is charged with (3) Counts of Sale of Oxycontin; Possession of Oxycontin; Possession of Marijuana With the Intent to Distribute; Manufacturing Marijuana; and Possession of Marijuana. David Perry is currently being held at the Hillsborough County House of Correction on $20,000.00 cash/surety bail and will appear before the Salem District Court on January 10 at 1:30 pm.
Also arrested were: Paul Perry,17; Catherine Perry, 47; Kevin Perry, 20; Robert Perry, 21; and Jessica Fili, 22 all of 13 William Drive, Pelham; Young Kim,21, of 78 Apple Leaf Drive, Pelham; Richard Bedard, 24, of 6 Bedard Ave., Pelham; and Derrick Perez, 20, of 36 Hobbs Road, Pelham. These eight suspects had a variety of charges against them including: Internal Possession of Alcohol; Possession of Marijuana; Manufacturing Marijuana; Possession of Oxycontin; Possession of Oxycontin with Intent to Distribute; Transporting Marijuana; and Unlawful Possession of Prescription Drugs. All will appear in Salem District Court on January 22 for arraignment.