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MARATHON TRIAL UPDATES

Penalty phase set to start

Merrimack, N.H.

Community ranked one of safest in nation

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A research group ranks Merrimack, N.H., as the 19th-safest community among the nation’s top-100-ranked cities and towns. Neighborhood Scout, developed by Location, Inc., uses FBI crime data statistics and population numbers of communities with more than 25,000 people. ‘‘With an enviable combination of good schools, low crime, college-educated neighbors who tend to support education because of their own experiences, and a high rate of home ownership in predominantly single-family properties, Merrimack really has some of the features that families look for when choosing a good community to raise children,’’ the survey said. Those seeking a ‘‘frenetic nightlife’’ might not choose the town, the survey said, but overall it is a ‘‘solid community.’’ The Merrimack Police Department said it is proud of the ranking, reached with the support of the town administration, school district, volunteer community groups, and others.

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