News

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The sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are being felt on New Hampshire's college campuses.

At the University of New Hampshire, faculty and students staged a #BelieveHer walkout in support of survivors this week.

Amy Culp runs the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) at UNH. She says the Kavanaugh hearings have had ripple effects on campus:

A classic autumn weekend is on tap in New Hampshire. Here are 5 things to do to make the most of it ... plus some additional ideas for fun and entertainment.

Visit NHPR's community calendar for more events and activities. (And add your own.)

N.H. Pumpkin Called Heaviest in North America

Sep 29, 2018

A New Hampshire man has grown a pumpkin that appears to be the largest in the nation.

An organization that serves as the worldwide governing body for pumpkin-growing contests says Steve Geddes of Boscawen squashed the competition across North America with his prize winner weighing in at 2,528 (1,147 kg) lbs.

The Great Pumpkin Commonwealth told the Boston Globe that a pumpkin grown by Geddes is the biggest pumpkin ever grown in North America. The pumpkin this week at the Deerfield Fair earned Geddes a first-place ribbon and $6,000 in prize money.

Authorities in Maine on Friday found the body of a skydiving instructor who became separated from his student during a tandem jump.

Brett Bickford, 41, of Rochester, New Hampshire, and his student participated in a jump about 2 p.m. Thursday near Skydive New England in Lebanon, officials said. The student called police after he landed safely and couldn't find his instructor.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

After a long week of news, this seems like a good moment to turn off the television, to log off social media, and go out for a long walk in the woods.

In Peterborough, the local library has teamed up with the Harris Center to offer a guided approach to communing with nature. It’s called Forest Bathing.

The Attorney General's Office announced that New Hampshire will see more than $670,000 from a settlement with California-based ride-sharing company Uber.

 

The funds will go into the Consumer Protection Escrow Account as dictated by state law and are available for use by the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau, the AG says.

 

In 2016 hackers gained access to the personal data of millions of riders and drivers -- that included 763 drivers in the Granite State.

 

Speculative fiction is all about the world that could be. It takes cues from science fiction and fantasy. From H.G. Wells to Margaret Atwood, authors have been following the trajectory of technology and cultural trends, turning their fictions into predictions and in some cases warnings.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Department of Veterans Affairs says the quality of service at the Manchester VA Medical Center has improved in the past year.

In a report released Thursday, the VA's internal annual rating system shows that the Manchester VA now has three stars out of five.

John K via Flickr CC

 

The Department of Education has received $1.6 million in federal funds to help schools pay for upgrades to water systems found to have lead.

The grant is coming through the N.H Department of Environmental Services, which received the money as part of a 2013 settlement with Exxon Mobil.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

A live storytelling event featuring New Hampshire refugees is coming to Manchester’s Palace Theater this Sunday.

The event, called “Suitcase Stories,” is organized by the International Institute of New England, which resettles refugees in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Seven people from Manchester - mostly resettled refugees - will get on stage and tell their stories.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Court documents filed Thursday indicate state Sen. Jeff Woodburn will argue self-defense in his trial on misdemeanor charges of domestic violence.

 

According to WMUR, court filings made by Woodburn's attorney claim that any force Woodburn used against the alleged victim was necessary to allow him to leave a volatile situation created by the alleged victim.

 

The filings also claim the alleged victim, his former partner, repeatedly tried to keep Woodburn from leaving her, including at one point brandishing a knife.

 

New Hampshire State Flag
Wikimedia Commons

The non-profit New Hampshire Women's Foundation released its first demographics report Thursday on the status of women in the state.

 

On the surface, New Hampshire may look like its doing well when it comes to things like the rate of health insurance coverage, with more than 90 percent of adults having health insurance. But that's not the whole story, says Director of Policy at the foundation, Sarah Mattson Dustin.

 

Franconia Lives

Sep 28, 2018
(C) CHESTER LUDLOW, 1972

Once, a utopian experiment burned bright and brief in the Great North Woods.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote today on whether to move forward with confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. This follows hours of testimony yesterday from Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexual assault. Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen joined Morning Edition's Rick Ganley to talk about yesterday's hearing and today's vote.

Chris Martin/NHPR/NHA

We started the day on Appledore Island, just outside Portsmouth Harbor. The Shoals Marine Lab, resident there, traces its history back to 1928. Among the biologists spending the summer there this year were Dr. Elizabeth Craig, Tern Conservation Program Manager. "There are three species that I’m hoping we’re going to see today; the common tern, the roseate tern and the arctic tern." In her orientation she walks through the differences among the species, but all three are long lived, which for birds, means 10-30 year life-spans.

Artaxerxes; Wikimedia Commons

We take a look at the health of New Hampshire's economy, real estate market, and banks ten years after the recession. We also talk about the importance of migration for growing the state, and the announcement of new jobs at BAE, a Londonderry company leaving the state because of a lack of public rail, and ARMI's plan to be in production by spring. 

Leila Goldstein/NHPR

On display right now at the Kimball-Jenkins Estate in Concord is a series of 12 murals. Each tells a story of a perfect day with mom or dad, and they were painted during a special summer camp for families dealing with incarceration. NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke with Kristina Toth, the program administrator for the Department of Corrections’ Family Connection Center.

[This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.]

Tell us about the summer camp portion, because it's different from what we normally imagine a summer camp to be. What makes it different?

Winslow Townson / AP

A development site in Salem has become the base of operations for crews replacing pipelines after the explosions in Massachusetts.

Joe Faro, the CEO of Tuscan Brands, has temporarily donated 60 acres of the Tuscan Village site to make way for equipment and work tents.

He says around 2,500 Columbia Gas crew members are staying in regional hotels and coming to the site on a daily basis.

The Sununu Youth Services Center, a Manchester-based juvenile detention facility, will now provide services to teens struggling with substance use disorder. 

The Department of Health and Human Services says it will be a residential facility with 36 beds that will be run by a non-governmental organization. The center has undergone several changes within the past year after lawmakers passed legislation related to juvenile justice reform, and it's population has declined.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

A handful of Republican governors facing re-election called on the U.S. Senate Thursday to delay a confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to allow time for an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.

The governors don't have an official role in the nomination process, but their voices could add pressure to the Senate's consideration and help distance themselves from President Donald Trump.

NHPR Photo

While millions of Americans watched and listened to Judge Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, and the judge's response, it was a busy news day in New Hampshire on Thursday.

Here is a roundup of some top headlines on NHPR:

SPSOA UNION/Flickr/CC

Among the 59 recommendations released earlier this summer by a special task force on school safety, one can be especially helpful in thwarting attacks, according to safety officials: An anonymous tip line - so that anyone seeing danger signs can report concerns without fear of retaliation.

Often potential attackers exhibit danger signs - and the sooner these are picked up on and reported to the right people, the more likely violence can be stopped, according to Perry Plummer, Director of N.H. Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  

Walter Beach Humphrey, mural, oil on canvas adhered to wall, 1938, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Commissioned by Trustees of Dartmouth College; P.939.19

Dartmouth College is moving a set of controversial murals painted in the 1930s to an off-campus storage facility.

The murals - depicting Native Americans as drunk, dumb and highly sexualized - are in a locked basement room of Dartmouth’s main dining hall.

The college formed a group to study what to do with them earlier this year after Native American students complained.

Now, President Phil Hanlon says the murals will be moved to an off-campus storage facility for the school’s Hood Art museum, where they can still be accessed for teaching and research purposes.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The New Hampshire Attorney General has decided not to pursue more than a dozen cases related to a Border Patrol Checkpoint in the White Mountains in 2017.

Though checkpoints like these take place more than 90 miles from the Canadian border, they are legal under federal law.

Sargent Corp

Liberty Utilities wants to use methane emissions from a North Country landfill as an energy source.

Liberty has proposed spending $15 million on a system to capture methane given off by decomposing trash at the Casella-owned landfill in Bethlehem.

The utility would convert the methane into “renewable” natural gas – so called because the trash that generates it can be replenished.

The project would generate as much gas annually as more than 6,000 homes can use in a year.

U.S. Drought Monitor

Data from the U.S. drought monitor shows that dry conditions peaked in mid-July, when nearly two-thirds of the state was in a moderate drought.

Officials asked residents to conserve water amid those conditions, fearing drinking water supplies could be affected.

But cooling temperatures and steady rains that fell in recent weeks may have helped replenish groundwater reserves.

Now, only small portions of the North Country are experiencing abnormal dryness.

USS Virginia - U.S. Navy

The USS Virginia is back at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for maintenance and upgrades.

The nuclear-powered attack submarine with a crew of 132 officers and sailors arrived Wednesday.

Capt. David Hunt, the shipyard commander, said workers aim to return the submarine to the fleet "with Portsmouth quality." The submarine also underwent maintenance at the shipyard in 2012.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

 

The owner of The Sands Resort in Hampton Beach wants the state of New Hampshire to remove notices warning of Legionnaires' disease.

Tom Saab said Wednesday there is no reason for the notices to still be posted because water tests show the property's facilities are clean of the bacteria. He says 43 test results have come back negative for the Legionella bacteria.

NHPR Photo

State officials announced Wednesday night they had approved the lease transfer of the Mount Sunapee Ski Area to Colorado-based Vail Resorts.

 

New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Commissioner Sarah Stewart expressed her appreciation for both the public and Vail’s engagement during the approval process. “We have come to the conclusion that New Hampshire can be confident that Vail is a great fit for our state,” Stewart added in a statement.

 

Screenshot via US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee

The U.S. Senate held a major hearing on PFAS chemical contamination Wednesday, with testimony from a local advocate.

New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan, who sits on the Senate subcommittee that held the hearing, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who was a guest, questioned federal regulators for two hours.

They pushed for answers on the government's plans for more PFAS research, stricter standards and cleanup plans.

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