Britta Greene

Upper Valley/Monadnock Reporter

Britta covers the Upper Valley and Monadnock regions for NHPR's newsroom. She comes to New Hampshire from Minnesota Public Radio, where she produced Morning Edition and other local programming. 

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It was significant news when Hope for New Hampshire announced in February it was closing four of its five recovery centers around the state. Hope was one of the biggest operators of these facilities, which are widely recognized as a critical support for people in recovery.

Since then, after a scramble to secure more public funds and a big effort in some communities to keep services running, just one of those original four locations remains closed for good. That’s in Concord.

Sunset Power Lines
Michael Kappel/Flickr CC

In an effort to cut down on infrastructure costs and reduce energy bills for consumers, Liberty Utilities is looking to install batteries in hundreds of homes in the Upper Valley this fall.

The effort is a pilot program involving 300 customers in the Lebanon area, spokesperson John Shore said. Ultimately, the company plans to expand to about 1,000 homes 

Credit mikecogh via Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Chris Sununu has vetoed a bill relating to prison sentences for those struggling with substance abuse.

In New Hampshire, if a prisoner is out on parole but has that parole revoked, he or she must be recommitted for at least 90 days. The parole board has some flexibility in handing down those sentences, though.

James Napoli

After the Parkland shooting last month, Hanover High School junior Dakota Hanchett heard someone at The New York Times had reached out to a teacher at school, asking if they knew any students that used firearms regularly.

Of all the schools in the area, Hanover High was an odd choice for this request, Dakota knew. It’s in an Ivy League college town, one of the most liberal communities in New England. 

NHPR Staff

State investigators are looking into the conduct of two Claremont Police Officers, Ian Kibbe and Mark Burch. 

The Attorney General’s office says the city's police chief, Mark Chase, turned over information earlier this month.

The officers allegedly falsified documents relating to a search they performed in February.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Rhode Island has become the first state to sign on to a new drug recovery initiative that Governor Chris Sununu is promoting on the national scale.

b / New Hampshire Public Radio

A plan to provide housing and support services for teen mothers in Claremont will go in front of the city’s planning board Monday.

Cathy Pellerin, with the non-profit Claremont Learning Partnership, has been working with six young women who she says are in need of a safe place to stay.

“Out of the six, four are currently couch-surfing with infants, and two are in very unsafe, unstable environments,” she said.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

As part of our continuing series, The Balance, about the costs and benefits of living in New Hampshire, a lot of listeners have been writing in about how expensive it can be to buy a house here. It turns out lots of places in the state are also dealing with a housing shortage.

One place where that’s particular hard felt is the Upper Valley. NHPR’s Britta Greene caught up with Brendon Hoch, a listener based in Plymouth.  

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is cheering a significant increase in federal funds for fighting the opioid epidemic included in the federal spending deal released Wednesday. The draft bill contains an additional $3 billion over 2017 funding levels to fight opioid and mental health crises nationally.

“These federal dollars will deliver the material assistance that is desperately needed for prevention, treatment, recovery, law enforcement and first responders,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen in a statement Thursday.  

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

President Trump's speech at Manchester Community College today about the national opioid epidemic included plenty of New Hampshire references.

Trump took time to thank Governor Chris Sununu and Manchester Fire Chief Daniel Goonan for attending.

The speech ranged widely on topics including sanctuary cities, DACA and the border wall with Mexico, but the President did not make any specific announcement of new funding measures to fight the opioid epidemic.

Trump did make it clear that he wants to see tougher penalties for those convicted of drug trafficking.

Rob_ / Flickr CC

Voters in Newport approved a major solar deal Tuesday.

The project will go up for one final vote in May, but town officials are hoping to begin construction this summer.

Under the plan, solar arrays would power all the town’s municipal and school buildings, making them net zero.  

It’s a collaboration between Newport and Norwich solar technologies.  The company will cover construction and maintenance costs in exchange for the ability to benefit from federal tax credits.

Britta Greene / NHPR

There will be no charges against a New Hampshire state trooper who shot and killed a 26-year-old man in Canaan in December.

Attorney General Gordon MacDonald announced Wednesday that Trooper Christopher O’Toole’s use of deadly force was legally justified. (The AG's full report is embedded at the end of this story.)

That’s because, according to O’Toole, Jesse J. Champney repeatedly said he had a gun and threatened to shoot. O’Toole was pursuing Champney on foot across a dark, snowy field after a car chase on Dec. 23.

b / New Hampshire Public Radio

State officials are working on a deal to secure funding for drug recovery services in Sullivan County. That’s after the major provider in the region, Hope for New Hampshire Recovery, announced it was rolling back its offerings last month.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Several hundred students walked out of classes at Hanover High School Friday afternoon in recognition of shooting victims in Parkland, Florida last month.

Chanting “we want change” and “never again,” they marched to the local post office, where they sent off more than a thousand letters to state and federal officials. 

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A new non-profit organization wants to open an addiction recovery center in Concord–in space that was only recently occupied by a different drug abuse recovery group.

Hope for New Hampshire Recovery announced last month that it would be closing its Concord office, along with three other locations around the state.

Since then, the state and others have come forward with funding for all the other centers, at least in the short-term, but not for the Concord center. Its Concord location closed its doors March 2. 

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

The Executive Council unanimously approved $600,000 for Manchester-based Hope for New Hampshire Recovery Wednesday, despite a recent audit finding the organization has failed to comply with state contracts in the past.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

More than half a million dollars in new state funding for a major operator of recovery centers is up in the air ahead of a key Executive Council vote Wednesday morning. 

That’s after the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday released an audit of the organization, Hope for New Hampshire Recovery, detailing financial and operational concerns.

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

A state audit of one of the largest operators of drug recovery centers in New Hampshire has pointed to multiple problems with the organization's financial and operational policies, as well as failure to meet certain billing and reporting requirements. 

Voters in more than 75 towns across the state will decide on Keno at town meetings this spring.

State lawmakers legalized the lottery game last year as a way to help fund all-day kindergarten statewide.

But it still has to be approved on a city-by-city or town-by-town basis.

In Enfield, where it’ll be up for a vote at the Town Meeting next month, selectman Meredith Smith says she hopes voters reject Keno and send a message to Concord. “Gambling is not a way to fix the funding of the schools,” she said.

James Napoli

There are the mysteries you know about, and then there are the ones lurking in your midst. For the staff at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, it was a bit of both.

The site, run by the National Park Service, is the estate of Gilded Age sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Saint-Gaudens is behind many iconic monuments still standing today, most famously of Civil War heroes in Chicago and Boston. 


Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Craig Perry stopped by the Claremont office of Hope for New Hampshire Recovery on Thursday afternoon. He struggled with addiction for a good chunk of his 20s, but now, at 30 years old, he’s been clean for about a year and a half.

His drug problems started when he took his first job after college, he said. He’d get high on lunch breaks.  “I didn’t know it’d affect me like that,” he said. “More and more, and then I had to go to heavier stuff.”

He’s been coming to the center here for about five months. He has a close relationship with its manager, who's been a bedrock counselor in his recovery.

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

Advocates for the Hope for New Hampshire Recovery center in Berlin are scrambling to save it. The center is one of four slated to close in the next two weeks.

Hope for New Hampshire offers peer-to-peer drug and alcohol recovery services, but the organization announced earlier this week that it’s in a financial bind, and has to close shop everywhere but Manchester.

NHPR Staff

 

A fraternity at Dartmouth College has admitted to violating the school’s hazing and alcohol policies. 

 

Hazing is also illegal under state law, though legal standards and school policy differ. The college says it’s shared its information on the case with the Hanover Police Department. 

 

A police spokesperson declined to comment Thursday on whether the department has opened an investigation. 

 

The fraternity, Kappa Kappa Kappa, is under suspension through mid June and will be on probation through early 2020. 

 

NHPR File Photo

New Hampshire's largest operator of drug recovery centers is closing all but one of its locations, citing financial struggles.

Hope for New Hampshire Recovery offers support services for people struggling with drug addiction. But the organization announced Tuesday it'll close four centers: in Franklin, Concord, Claremont, and Berlin.

Those centers will close by the end of the month. It'll keep its doors open only in Manchester. That's its original -- and largest -- location.  

NHPR Staff

Dartmouth College is close to completing sexual misconduct investigations into three of the school’s psychology professors. The professors – Paul Whalen, Bill Kelley and Todd Heatherton – have been on leave with restricted access to campus since last fall.

Depending on the findings of the investigations, the school will soon consider disciplinary action where appropriate, President Phil Hanlon wrote in an email to students, faculty and staff Monday.

Britta Greene / NHPR

A collection of children’s books in indigenous languages are on display this week in Hanover. The exhibit is scheduled to correspond with International Mother Language Day, a United Nations effort to recognize languages that are under threat.

Buyouts and cost-cutting in recent months at Keene State College have put the school on track to balance its budget for the coming fiscal year, according to Interim President Melinda Treadwell.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Jessica Saturley-Hall knew she wanted to start her own business, and she got hooked on the concept of compost. She knew that food scraps produce significantly more methane, a greenhouse gas, when tossed in a landfill, rather than breaking down on their own. So she wondered, what if you could reward people for separating their food waste from their trash.

At first, she thought about somehow paying people for their compost. She did a host of financial models, looked at it every which way, but couldn’t come up with a solution.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Governor Chris Sununu signed into law Thursday morning new protections against childhood lead exposure.

At a signing ceremony in Claremont, the Governor championed the public health impact of the new law.

"We will, without a doubt, prevent a lot of children from getting lead poisoning,” he said. “That's a really good thing"

The legislation mandates lead screenings for all one and two year olds. It also lowers the blood-lead level that triggers state intervention.

James Napoli

New works in progress by black playwrights will be performed this weekend in the Upper Valley. The festival is sponsored by JAG productions, a relatively new black theater company that’s been drawing audiences across western New Hampshire and eastern Vermont.


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