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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NHPR Staff

Claremont Schools Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin presented what he described as a compromise budget to the city’s school board Wednesday.

His plan would cut the district’s budget for the coming fiscal year, but less drastically than the board has requested.

The school board is looking to budget cuts as a mechanism to keep Claremont’s property taxes in check. The city has the highest tax rate in the state, while about one in seven Claremont residents live in poverty.

Residents packed the school board’s meeting Wednesday, speaking on both sides of the issue.

A still from Vice News "Charlottesville: Race and Terror"

Keene resident and white nationalist Christopher Cantwell has been granted bail in Virginia.

Cantwell has been in the Charlottesville area since the Unite the Right rally in August that turned violent. He was featured in a viral documentary about the unrest, and has been held in a local jail on charges relating to his use of teargas in the crowds.

Plainfield Police

  A judge has ruled one of two defendants in a murder-for-hire case out of Plainfield is not competent to stand trial.

Pauline Chase, 83, was charged with plotting to pay a local man to kill her son's ex-wife. That man, the would-be hit man, ended up going to the police. He recorded phone calls and videos for police investigators of his interactions with Chase and her son.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Keene State College’s alumni weekend this fall kicked off with a 5k run around campus. Justina Reichelt, a 2003 graduate, crossed the finish line pushing her 2-year-old son in a stroller.

Reichelt actually grew up in Keene. She now lives in Vermont, so not far away, but she almost didn’t come back for alumni festivities this year. “I was at one of those turning points where I was thinking - maybe I should take my degrees off my wall and put them under my desk,” she said. “You know, I was embarrassed.”

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Keene State College will offer buyouts to faculty and staff as part of ongoing efforts to cut costs. The college may also look at layoffs in early 2018, said Interim President Melinda Treadwell.

Enrollment declines have fueled Keene State's recent financial struggles. The college relies heavily on tuition income for its operating budget. 

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

A judge in Merrimack County Superior Court has dismissed a case brought by a New London doctor who said she was forced to close her practice under pressure from the state.

Dr. Anna Konopka agreed to surrender her license this fall to settle allegations from the New Hampshire Board of Medicine. The details of those allegations are sealed, but Konopka admits she failed to use an online database required for doctors prescribing opioids. In her mid-80s, Konopka does not use a computer.

The Keene Public Library is hosting an immigration-related event Thanksgiving morning. 

Organizer Mohammed Saleh hopes locals will take a moment to step away from their celebrations and reflect on how other families might be separated on this day.

It only made sense to choose Thanksgiving, he said, as a day that recognizes the coexistence of immigrants and natives.

NH Division of Forests and Lands

Governor Chris Sununu and Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed a joint letter to House and Senate leadership Monday, calling on Congress to increase funding for fighting and preventing forest fires.

“This is far from just a ‘Western’ issue,” they wrote, arguing the Forest Service is increasingly allocating its funds to fight fires at the expense of other priorities.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Will Coley walks through the old house in Keene he’s been renovating since September. It’s a work in progress.

He steps over rusted metal tiles and points to ceilings and walls awaiting a new coat of paint.

“This is the mosque,” he says, “this is our place to pray.”


Allison Quantz for NHPR

Dartmouth's student newspaper published a statement Saturday from a group of 15 students and postdoctoral researchers in the college's Psychological and Brain Sciences Department, offering further details on allegations against three of the department's professors.

The professors -- Todd Heatherton, Bill Kelley and Paul Whalen -- are under investigation by both college and law enforcement officials for sexual misconduct. 

Courtesy of Dartmouth-Hitchcock

New Hampshire's largest hospital is struggling to fill open positions, said Joanne Conroy, CEO and President of Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Conroy spoke to local government and health leaders in Lebanon Friday morning at the annual meeting of the Public Health Council of the Upper Valley.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is currently working with a staffing agency to temporarily fill more than 100 open nursing positions, she said. The hospital is looking at incentives like travel stipends to try to sweeten the deal for prospective employees.

NHPR Staff

A former Dartmouth professor says she reported an incident of sexual harassment involving Todd Heatherton – one of three professors now under criminal investigation – to the college about 15 years ago, raising questions about Dartmouth's handling of misconduct complaints.

File photo

Fall Mountain Regional School District has found a solution to an ongoing dispute over use of its high school cafeteria for shooting practices.

The district changed its weapons policy earlier this year to allow the Junior ROTC program to use the high school for its marksmanship practices, where students shoot air rifles at targets.

The school board thought the cafeteria could be safely secured, but some community members disagree. They say having weapons of any kind on school property is not a good idea.

A still from Vice News "Charlottesville: Race and Terror"

New Hampshire-based white nationalist Christopher Cantwell remains in custody in Virginia, where he's raising money and hosting a podcast from his jail cell.

Governor Chris Sununu has replaced the chairman of the state Fish and Game Commission following the commission's strong public criticism of the governor around public boat access on Lake Sunapee.

Plans for a new boat access at what’s known as the Wild Goose Site had been in the works for decades when Governor Sununu pulled the plug on the project in July. Sununu cited environmental and traffic concerns in his decision.

NHPR Staff

Allegations of sexual misconduct involving three professors in the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department at Dartmouth College do not relate to the professors' treatment of human research subjects, according to the college.

 

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

About 10 patients of a New London doctor traveled to Concord Friday to observe her first appearance in court. Dr. Anna Konopka, who is 84, is challenging the New Hampshire Board of Medicine, saying she was forced to surrender her license and close her practice last month. The board argues instead that Konopka, aware of the allegations against her, chose to settle and surrender her license voluntarily.

MattBritt00 via Flickr Creative Commons

Details of a criminal investigation into three professors at Dartmouth College remain unclear. The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office announced the investigation Tuesday after learning from Dartmouth that there had been allegations of sexual misconduct by the professors. The college had announced its own internal investigations last week, but didn't offer details of any allegations.

Courtesy Sarah Lindberg

One of three bears relocated from the Hanover area this spring was shot and killed by a hunter in Quebec shortly after it was released, according to Andy Timmins, bear project leader for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

File photo

Fall Mountain Regional School District Superintendent Lori Landry will meet with community members Thursday night about a controversial plan to allow marksmanship practices in the local high school cafeteria.

The Fall Mountain Regional School Board approved an exemption to its weapons policy earlier this fall to allow the Army JROTC program to bring in air rifles for the practices subject to certain safety precautions -- things like closed blinds, locked doors and secured entry.

NHPR File

   

Attorneys for a Dartmouth College professor under criminal investigation for sexual misconduct are pushing back against the allegations. 

 

Britta Greene/NHPR

There’s nothing like working for years to bring a Halloween festival back from the dead, so to speak, only to have it deluged by rain. But that’s exactly what happened this year to Keene’s Pumpkin Festival, back for the first time since 2014.

The defendant in a high-profile defamation lawsuit in Grafton County is seeking a second opinion from the New Hampshire Supreme Court on whether the suit should go forward. It's the latest development in a case that questions how far free speech protections extend in the digital age.

NHPR Staff

Dartmouth College is investigating allegations of “serious misconduct” involving three professors in the school’s psychological and brain sciences department. The professors – Todd Heatherton, Bill Kelley and Paul Whalen – are on paid leave.

“We are engaged in a thorough and impartial process that protects the rights of all parties and promotes the safety of our campus community," the college said in a statement.

Dartmouth has limited the professors’ access to campus pending the result of the investigation.

Nick Goldsmith / Courtesy of CLyme

Lyme residents packed their school's gymnasium Tuesday night for a special town meeting on the future of a local rock climbing destination known as Holt’s Ledge.

By a strong margin, they voted to remove metal hardware from the rock wall, which abuts Dartmouth’s Skiway. The hardware – known as bolts – allows climbers to anchor themselves to the rock surface, making the area safer and more accessible to those less advanced in the sport. It was installed without permission from the town.

Courtesy of Keene State College

New Hampshire police chiefs overwhelmingly cite drug abuse as the most serious problem facing their communities, according to a new survey from Keene State College.

“Police chiefs are confronting these problems every day,” said Keene State Professor Angela Barlow, who directed the survey. “And they’re having very little success at reducing the opioid crisis and addiction issues within their communities.”

The survey went out to all full-time police chiefs in New Hampshire last year. About half, including those from the largest cities, responded, Barlow said.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Lebanon will celebrate the opening of a new, state-of-the-art skatepark this weekend. The park is named in honor of Tyler Kirschner, a local skateboarder, who passed away two years ago at the age of 28.

After his death, his parents – to their surprise – started getting calls and emails from people all over the world, asking what had happened to "Rusty Berrings."

It turned out, unbeknownst to them, their son was an avid skateboard blogger who had built a broad community online. Rusty Berrings was his username.

Rob Strong / Dartmouth College

The Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble will celebrate women composers Saturday night with a concert featuring works exclusively by female artists. The show, titled “Music, She Wrote…,” is one of several social-justice oriented performances this season at the Hopkins Center for the Arts.

(Editor’s Note: We strongly recommend listening to this story.)

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The Town of Newport is looking to join a growing list of New Hampshire communities turning to solar energy to power local municipal buildings.

Voters will decide at their town meeting in March whether to approve a deal with Norwich Solar Technologies. Under the agreement, the company would cover all research, development, construction and maintenance costs in exchange for the ability to benefit from federal tax credits, said Newport Town Manager Hunter Rieseberg.

Britta Greene for NHPR

Haven't been impressed with the leaf peeping in New Hampshire so far this year? You're not alone.

Dave Lutz, a research associate in the Environmental Studies Department at Dartmouth College, has been thinking a lot about fall foliage for a paper he’s been working on. He’s been watching what he calls “indicator trees” along his drive to work – certain species he watches for their color and behavior.

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