Savannah Maher

NHPR News Intern
Jackson Lewis Law Firm

After weeks of public pressure, the Bedford School District has hired an attorney to examine how and why three district staffers came to serve as character witnesses for Kristie Torbick, a former Bedford High School guidance counselor who plead guilty last month to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old Exeter High School student. 

Rebecca Lavoie for NHPR

The Hopkinton Town Library caught fire Friday evening after it was struck by lightning. No one was hurt, but Hopkinton Fire Chief Jeff Yale says damage to the building is severe.

"The water and the smoke do a tremendous amount of damage to the sensitive books that they have in the library."

Insurance assessors and a book restoration expert were at the library Monday examining damage to the building and collections.

Bedford School District

Former Bedford Superintendent of Schools Chip McGee resigned Friday, weeks after he authorized a high school staffer to testify on behalf of Kristie Torbick, a former Bedford guidance counselor who plead guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old child. 

For many parents in the district, McGee's resignation is only a first step in resolving the issue. 

Savannah Maher / NHPR

Superintendent of Bedford Schools Chip McGee resigned today after public outcry over his decision to authorize a district staffer to testify on behalf of Kristie Torbick, a former Bedford guidance counselor convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student in Exeter. 

"It would be difficult for me to continue to lead the Bedford School District at this point because of circumstances beyond my control," he wrote in a statement on the school district's website.

Savannah Maher/NHPR

Parents in Bedford are calling for action after district officials allowed Bedford High School Dean of Students Zanna Blaney to give character testimony on behalf of Kristie Torbick, a former district counselor who plead guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student in Exeter. 

At Torbick's sentencing hearing earlier this month, Blaney described her as a "pro when it comes to making a student feel heard" and said she had never been concerned about Torbick crossing boundaries with students.  

Savannah Maher/NHPR

Hundreds gathered in Washington, D.C. on Saturday for the National Youth Climate March. A group of teenagers in Keene wanted to take a more local stand.

"When you see the climate marches in New York and D.C., you definitely feel sometimes as if you have to live in a larger city in order to be involved," said 17-year-old Eleanor Hayward, a rising senior at Keene High School and one of the organizers of the Keene Youth Climate Rally.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is inviting the public to tour air monitoring stations throughout the state this summer.

Air monitoring program manager Kendall Perkins demonstrated equipment use, spoke about the state-wide monitoring network, and answered questions for Laconia residents at a facility tour on Wednesday morning. 

 

A Groton resident was seriously injured after a bear entered her home. 

 

Jim Juneau of New Hampshire Fish and Game says that a wild black bear was likely startled when a 71-year old woman discovered it in her kitchen early Tuesday morning. 

 

"The bear reacted in a panicked manner and unfortunately she sustained some injuries," he says.

 

The woman is currently at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, after undergoing surgery. 

 

Savannah Maher/NHPR

It's 6:30 in the morning. Hamida Hassan is scrolling through Instagram while Kenchael Emadamerho styles her hair into box braids.

"So basically you grab a piece of extension depending on how thick they want the braid to be. And wrap it around her actual natural hair. And then I would just braid it."

Emadamerho demonstrated the braiding process, which she said would take about six hours. 

Despite some recent rain, New Hampshire is currently classified as "abnormally dry" by the National Drought Mitigation Center. The lack of rainfall has forced many New Hampshire farmers to turn to irrigation. 

"We've spent a lot of money. It's a huge pain in the neck," says Chuck Souther, owner of Apple Hill Farm in Concord, who had to irrigate this year's strawberry crop. "We're much happier when rain falls out of the sky." 

If the dry period doesn't let up, Souther and other farmers say their apples, pumpkins, and even next year's berry crops could be affected. 

Savannah Maher/NHPR

Claremont's first-ever LGBTQ Pride celebration, called Rural Pride, drew visitors from throughout Sullivan County and beyond on Saturday. NHPR's Savannah Maher stopped by and sent us this audio postcard.

For children who rely on free and reduced price meals during the school year, including 50 percent of public school students in Laconia, summer vacation can mean 10 weeks of food insecurity. 

That's why 10-year-old Maia Heller is up early on her first day of summer vacation, volunteering for the Got Lunch! Laconia program. 

"It feels really good that I know they need some food and I'm helping them get it," Heller said as she packed apples, carrots, and jars of peanut butter and jelly into grocery bags. 

Savannah Maher/NHPR

Representatives from six state-supported addiction treatment centers gathered at the Statehouse today to rally against decreased Medicaid reimbursement rates. The change, brought on by a switch in the way Medicaid recipients are insured, will take effect next year.

Providers say it will force them to cut services and eliminate inpatient beds instead of expanding to address New Hampshire's opioid epidemic. 

Casey McDermott / NHPR

 

The 95th Laconia Motorcycle Week kicks off this weekend, marking the start of the Lakes Region summer tourism season.

 

The festival draws in visitors from across the country, and is a revenue boost for restaurants, bars and hotels in the area. 

 

But some folks who've been working Bike Week for years, like Steve Penlin at the Broken Spoke Saloon on Weirs Beach, say they've noticed a demographic shift in the biker community.  

 

Savannah Maher

Members of New Hampshire's LGBTQ community kicked off Pride month in style Saturday. There were colorful costumes, musical performances, and drag queens on the State House lawn.

But this year, attendees had something extra to celebrate. A bill, passed by the Legislature earlier this spring, will include gender identity in New Hampshire's civil rights laws.