Video: Live dangling mouse a scream at Newton Town Hall, followed by a rescueBy JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
August 09. 2018 9:44AM
NEWTON — A mouse dangling from a hole in a ceiling tile outside the payroll office at the 130-year-old town hall caused quite a stir this week as employees scrambled to catch the critter in a waste basket.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen the ceiling give birth,” joked Diane Morin, the selectmen’s secretary.
The encounter that was captured on a hilarious cellphone video happened Tuesday while Morin was tending to town business along with Kim Hughes, the town’s bookkeeper and payroll administrator, Town Clerk/Tax Collector Mary Jo McCullough, and her deputy, Cheryl Saunders.
It was just another day at town hall until Hughes stepped out of her office and spotted what appeared to be a rogue rodent poking its face through the ceiling tile near a sprinkler outside her counter window.
“I happened to just look up and saw a mouse head,” she said.
McCullough wasted no time grabbing her camera to snap a few photos before recording the unusual event.
“We didn’t know, was it dead? Was it alive? Is it a mouse? Is it a rat? Is it a mole?” she recalled.
Mice have made their home above the drop ceiling in the old town hall and are trapped regularly by a pest control company, but this was the first time anyone can recall one falling into the work area.
McCullough’s video caught the mouse hanging through the hole for several seconds as the women, especially Saunders, can be heard in the background shouting as they try to figure out the best way to handle the predicament.
Saunders moved a waste basket below where the mouse was hanging.
“I had to move it over so it would be lined up and go in the basket,” she said.
At one point, Saunders grabbed a broom and tapped the ceiling.
“I was banging the ceiling to make it fall out but I wasn’t close enough,” she said, laughing.
After lowering its entire body through the hole, the mouse began to wiggle, its back feet still gripping the edge of the hole.
The office women screamed when the mouse eventually let go and plunged into the waste basket. As soon as it landed, Morin raced over and threw the lid on and took the waste basket outside.
“We tipped it over, got the cover off, I put my foot on the waste basket and Diane swept it out with a broom and it just scurried off. Diane is our hero,” Hughes said.
After the dust settled, tissues were used to plug the ceiling hole and McCullough shared the mousecapade video on Facebook.
“Never a dull day at Town Hall,” she wrote.