New Hampshire State Police help save a wedding
New Hampshire State Police helped save a wedding this weekend after the mother of the groom became lost in the woods. Officers were called on Sunday when a woman wandered off a property that she had been renting in Landaff. The missing woman had gotten lost in the woods and had been missing for four hours. Police say the missing woman and her family turned out to be from Massachusetts and were in the area for the woman's son's wedding. Thankfully, officers were able to track down the woman and safely reunite her with her family. The wedding was only delayed a few hours. "The bride and groom will definitely have a story for the future," New Hampshire State Police wrote on their Facebook page as they congratulated the couple on their wedding.
Maryland State Police help in collecting 33,379 pounds of food
The fourth annual Hunger Action Month food drive came to a close this week with the announcement that 33,379 pounds of food, which is the equivalent of 27,816 meals, were collected at 15 community events hosted by the Maryland State Police (MSP) as well as several Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) locations throughout September. This collection, which also includes monetary donations raised at the events, via online virtual food drive platforms, and from state agency employees, will benefit the Maryland Food Bank. September is known nationally as Hunger Action Month and traditionally marks the month-long food drive hosted by the state agencies in partnership with the food bank. This year, in an effort to increase community engagement, MSP and MDOT officials hosted 15 special events across the state. From Oakland to Salisbury and many towns in between, these community events featured a variety of activities, including child safety seat installations, MSP Aviation tours, K-9 Unit performances, fingerprinting, Bomb Squad robot demonstrations, Barrack tours, and educational activities that focused on safe driving. “This year we tried something new, and we’re very grateful to the Maryland State Police and Department of Transportation for working so hard to host these wonderful events and food collections to help our neighbors in need,” said Maryland Food Bank President & CEO Beth Martino. “We wouldn’t be able to operate without the contributions of partners like MSP and MDOT, and we can’t thank them enough for once again joining us in our fight to end hunger in Maryland.” State Police and Department of Transportation employees joined together to collect donations for the Food Bank in La Plata, Md., on September 10. MSP and MDOT representatives were out in full force collecting donations throughout the month, while select MDOT locations also accepted food donations for those in need. Additionally, supporters who were unable to attend these events were encouraged to donate food online using the MSP and MDOT virtual food drive platforms.
New York State Police use helicopter to locate dozens of marijuana plants
The New York State Police sergeant pressed his face to the vibrating glass, watching a trooper the size of a plastic army man approach the cornfield below. "Walk around the perimeter," the scout said into his headset, his voice muffled by the helicopter's whirring blades. "There. Walk in about 20 rows." Five-hundred feet below the hovering aircraft, the trooper beat back cornstalks to reveal dozens of marijuana plants. "Yeah, that's weed," he said over the radio. State Police investigators tore out 48 marijuana plants during an eradication effort Monday. It's fall and around the region farmers are reaping seasonal crops. But State Police are also at work in the fields — and the sky — as they search rural pockets for marijuana growing among corn and other crops. The Monday haul spotted by helicopter was growing in four plots hidden within two adjacent cornfields in the Greenwich area in southwest Washington County. From above, the clumps of 6-foot-tall illicit plants glowed fluorescent green against the neatly sowed, browning corn. On the ground, investigators found tags identifying the plants.
"It tells me they know what they're doing," the aerial scout said about the labels. The pilot shook his head and added, "It means they're dealing." Monday's mission was one of the season's last. Marijuana grows from July to late September and the State Police are wrapping up their airborne eradication efforts for the past year. The troop that patrols the Capital Region was "especially productive this year" with more than 10,000 plants seized, State Police said. "We've really saturated the area," an aviation sergeant said. "We've had a very successful season."
North Carolina trooper receives Govenor's Award
What started as an ordinary day for one local trooper ended up with him being recognized across the state as a hero. Trooper Jonathan Gouge with Troop F in Burke County was awarded the Governor’s Award for Excellence for Safety and Heroism in a ceremony on Sept. 27. Gouge said he was driving through Valdese with his wife on the morning of Jan. 2 when he noticed heavy smoke coming from a home on Eldred Street. Gouge was off duty, but that didn’t stop him from acting quickly. He said he pulled over to investigate, and a neighbor told him a woman was still inside the apartment. Gouge tried to get someone to the door, but no one answered, so he tried to kick in the door only to find it had been dead bolted. The trooper wouldn’t be deterred though. He wrapped his hand in his hooded sweatshirt and broke through a window in the door to get into the home. Gouge said he found a stunned woman, who didn’t appear to know what was happening, standing outside of her bedroom. “I think she was sleeping,” Gouge said. “I think I had just woke her up when I tried to kick down the door.” Gouge said the woman was screaming and confused, but he helped her out of the burning apartment then headed back inside to get her medications. But Gouge’s heroism didn’t stop there. The quick-thinking trooper headed back into the flames once again and ushered out two of the woman’s small dogs, then located a third and brought it safely outside. Along with the Governor’s Award, Gouge has been recognized locally by Chief Charlie Watts with the Valdese Fire Department, who said he was told on the scene that a trooper had helped the woman outside. “I think, had he not been there that day, there would be at least one victim,” Watts said. “The elderly lady in the apartment would have died or suffered serious injury. There’s no doubt in my mind about that.” Gouge also was commended by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. “I received the Valor Award,” he said. “That’s the highest one you can get from Highway Patrol, so I was very honored. That was pretty cool.” Gouge said he has never had any special training and has never worked or volunteered as a firefighter, but he just did what he hoped anyone in the same situation would do. “I’d hope someone would stop and help my family,” he said. “I feel like we should just help each other out.”