Robert Garrova

Reporter, G.A./Demographics

Robert is a General Assignment reporter, with a focus on New Hampshire's changing demographics. He comes to NHPR’s newsroom from Los Angeles, where he worked as a reporter for member-station KPCC and a producer/director on APM’s Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal.

His work has been featured on Marketplace’s flagship program, Southern California Public Radio and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Robert has reported on a wide range of topics, including the largest fire in California history and the re-discovered costumes of a silent film star.

He’s looking forward to learning everything he can about New Hampshire and the people who call the Granite State home. 

Ways to Connect

Photo Courtesy Waterville Valley Resort

The International Ski Federation has selected New Hampshire's Waterville Valley Resort to host U.S. Alpine ski championships in 2019 and 2021.

 

The resort hosted the World Cup in 1991. But Waterville says this winter's championship could draw an even larger crowd, with Olympic gold medalists Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin expected to compete.

 

Governor Sununu's Council on Diversity and Inclusion held its fifth listening session in Manchester Wednesday night.

 

About a hundred people participated in the forum, which has the goal of gathering feedback on how the state can become more welcoming for people of all backgrounds.

 

Sitting around folding tables at Brookside Congregational Church, attendees spoke of their personal experiences.

 

Cosme Neles said he's concerned about how immigrants see the Granite State.

  Governor Sununu's Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion will hold its fifth listening session in Manchester on Wednesday evening.

 

The public forums are organized to collect stories and concerns from the community so they can inform future policy and increase equity in the state.

 

Courtesy NH Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Two firefighters with the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands are driving a pickup truck on a four-day trip to the other side of the country to fight the Mendocino Complex fire. Made up of two blazes, the Mendocino Complex is the largest wildfire in California’s history.

Their truck is outfitted with gear that allows it to supply a fire with 50 gallons of water per minute. The vehicle is classified as what’s called a Type VI engine.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

On Thursday, protesters delivered a petition to Governor Chris Sununu’s office they say is signed by more than 3,600 people. They're asking for the governor to call for an end to Border Patrol checkpoints on Interstate 93.

 

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Manchester's Franco-American Centre kicked off a new summer program for French-speaking immigrant children this week.

 

Eight young Haitian-Americans participated in day three of "Camp Bienvenue." Thursday they went to go see “Wizard of Oz” at the Palace Theater, but participant Angela Cenesca said, earlier in the week the focus was sports. "We went to the baseball, the Fisher Cats stadium," she said.

 

Photo by Manual Crank via Flickr Creative Commons

Monday evening a torrent of water surprised drivers heading home on Route 4 in Epsom. Officials say the culprit was a failed beaver dam.

Flooding on New Hampshire roads because of beaver dams usually occurs when the critters' do their jobs so well that water backs up down stream. It's more unusual to have a ruptured beaver dam lead to flooding, says New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

A group of New Hampshire leaders from the private and public sectors met recently to discuss what they see as a challenge for the state: How to attract a diverse workforce.

It was an energetic group of folks, all sitting around circular tables in a conference room in Manchester. Organizers said they were pleased with the large turnout.

Will Arvelo, Director of New Hampshire’s Department of Economic Development was one of several who led the event and he laid out the group’s goals.

Courtesy BHTNH

The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire purchased a property this week which will become its new home in Porstmouth.

 

Part of the group's mission is to share New Hampshire's African-American history.

 

Executive Director JerriAnne Boggis says the new headquarters will be an anchor for statewide educational tours.

 

  New Hampshire is set to receive about $3 million in federal funding to jumpstart economic development and infrastructure projects.

 

This week the state's congressional delegation announced that the Northern Border Regional Commission grants have been awarded for 2018.

The money will go toward—among other projects—the expansion of an industrial park in Littleton, a food store that supports local farms in Lancaster, and to help bring a 3-mile fiber optic network to the town of Bristol.

  Catholic Charities New Hampshire will receive more than $350,000 in grant funding to protect immigrant victims of crime.

 

The money comes from the federal Victims of Crime Act and was allocated through the New Hampshire Department of Justice.

 

Cathy Chesley is director of immigration legal services for Catholic Charities. She said the money will allow her organization to continue to support immigrant families who may fear deportation and not seek out help.

 

Robert Garrova for NHPR

The Governor's Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion held its fourth listening session Thursday night. These public forums are organized to collect stories and concerns from the community so they can inform future policy and increase equity in the state.

 

This time the council visited the cafeteria of Nashua High School South. Participant Paul Janampa went to high school there and recalled interactions with other students.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

More than 100 people packed the lodge at Mount Sunapee Resort Wednesday night to hear from state officials about a proposed lease transfer of Sunapee State Park land.

Governor Sununu's Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion will hold another listening session in Nashua Thursday.

The public forums are meant to collect stories and concerns from the community so that they can affect future policy and legislation.

So far the council has lead sessions in Durham, Portsmouth and Claremont.

The events have sparked conversation between residents, law enforcement officers and policy makers.

Army Corps of Engineers, New England District

Researchers at UNH say they used computer modeling to study the impact of road salts on New Hampshire streams.

 

The team found that, on average, some 11 percent of streams in the Merrimack River watershed are affected by elevated salinity.

 

"And that is starting to -- we suspect -- impact aquatic habitats,” said Associate Professor Wilfred Wollheim, one of the study's authors.

 

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Senator Jeanne Shaheen visited the Londonderry maker of honey wines Moonlight Meadery today. She stopped by to illustrate how local companies are impacted by the Trump administration's trade policies.

Distillery owner Michael Fairbrother says he was working on a deal with China that would have almost doubled his revenue. But thanks to retaliatory tariffs from China, Fairbrother says he's lost $750 thousand dollars in sales. 

Courtesy photo

UNH announced today it will take over publication of a widely referenced research publication.

 

"What is New Hampshire?" was previously produced by the now defunct Center for Public Policy Studies.

Wikimedia Creative Commons

New Hampshire is in the early stages of assessing the feasibility of turning a 215-year-old mineral mine in Grafton into a state park.

 

After miners stopped digging for mica and other minerals, Ruggles Mine became a popular tourist attraction. Photojournalist Cheryl Senter says she has fond memories of visiting the mine and seeing its glittering walls as a child.

 

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Governor Sununu signed a controversial voter residency bill into law Friday. Before that, dozens of protestors visited his office to ask him to veto the measure.

House Bill 1264 adds more restrictions to voting requirements and cleared the legislature earlier this year.

Opponents say the measure's stricter residency provisions -- like having a driver's license or car registration -- would make it more difficult for college students to vote.

 

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Billionaire Democratic activist and campaign donor Tom Steyer spoke to a crowd of supporters in Bow Wednesday night about his campaign to impeach President Donald Trump.

 

Steyer calls it the "Need to Impeach" campaign and says he has more than five million signatures in support.

 

The former hedge fund manager has funneled some $40 million into the effort so far. Steyer pointed to what he calls Trump's obstruction of justice and business dealings with foreign governments as grounds for impeachment.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Half a dozen New Hampshire educators attended an anti-bullying workshop at Plymouth State University Tuesday.

The session was put on by the New Hampshire chapter of the non-profit GLSEN, a national organization with the goal of making safe schools for LGBTQ students.

Katie Graham teaches English at Sanborn Regional High School and said she appreciated that the workshop allowed for more in-depth conversation between organizers and teachers.

Via Plymouth State web site

Plymouth State University says it's teaming up with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network of New Hampshire to offer training on how to stop bullying in the classroom.

The partnership between PSU's Holmes Center and GLSEN is part of an effort to help educators create inclusive learning environments for all students.

Mary Earick is the Holmes’ Center's Director. She says hurtful interactions between students can be tricky for teachers to address.

Courtesy photo

Victoria is 23 and working her way through college. Over Memorial Day weekend, she and her parents piled into the car and drove from New York for a vacation in the North of New Hampshire.

Hanging out at the hotel, taking a ride on the Cog Railway, that kind of thing.

CBP.gov

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont introduced legislation last week that would put limits on where Border Patrol officers can operate immigration checkpoints. The “Border Zone Reasonableness Restoration Act of 2018” is co-sponsored by Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Just off busy Main street in Conway Village, George Wiese gives a tour of the inside what’s known as the Bolduc Block in the center of town.

Constructed in 1931 by local businessman Leon Bolduc, this batch of brick buildings has housed a department and grocery store, the post office and many other businesses over the years. And at the heart of the block, a theater: The Majestic.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

More than a hundred people rallied outside Dover City Hall Wednesday night to protest family separations in immigration cases.

Speakers with the ACLU of New Hampshire and local faith-based groups denounced the Trump administration's “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. While many of the remarks centered around the national conversation on immigration, several speakers called out recent Border Patrol checkpoints in the White Mountains as leading to family separations.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld President Trump's travel ban affecting Muslim-majority countries, including Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya and Somalia.

 

The International Institute of New England, one of two agencies that resettles refugees in New Hampshire, says it's "profoundly disappointed" by the ruling.

 

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Many seasonal businesses in New Hampshire take advantage of temporary worker visas to fill jobs. Now that the busy summer season is here, companies are saying there aren't enough of what are called H-2B visas to go around.

The visas allow international workers to fill non-agriculture jobs like openings for restaurant servers and landscaping workers. The national cap is set at 66,000, though the Department of Homeland Security has the authority to add an additional 69,000.

CBP.gov

Travelers on Interstate 93 near Woodstock encountered another Border Patrol Checkpoint between June 15 - June 17. 

The U.S. Border Patrol confirmed Tuesday afternoon that it made a total of five arrests for people who "did not have  legal immigration status." 

People arrested during the operation were from Mexico, El Salvador, China, Ecuador and Brazil, the agency said in a statement

  Two former Manchester police officers who were fired earlier this year are facing a criminal investigation.

 

The Manchester Police Department says it took swift action and terminated officers Aaron Brown and Darren Murphy following an internal investigation.

 

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