Claremont

The Claremont Speedway will host a memorial race Friday night for Cody LaFont, the 25-year-old man killed by a city police officer in 2016. 

The Claremont MakerSpace celebrated its grand opening Friday. 

Sen. Maggie Hassan and Rep. Annie Kuster were in attendance for the ribbon cutting,  accomplished by laser cutter, rather than a traditional set of shears.

The project, which received both federal and state funds, has been in the works for years.  It’s an important keystone in efforts to revitalize the city, Kuster said.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

School leaders and community members will meet in Pittsfield tonight to learn more about how the state funds education. NHPR’s Daniela Allee has more on why this conversation is happening.


A Sullivan County judge has set a December trial date for former Claremont police officer Ian Kibbe.

Kibbe is facing several charges relating to allegedly faking documents while serving on the Claremont police force.

He appeared briefly in court in Newport Tuesday. His attorney declined a plea deal offered by the state.

As he awaits trial, both the Claremont Police Department and the Sullivan County Attorney's office have been combing through his arrest reports. They're throwing out cases that are now in question in light of the charges against him.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Claremont Schools Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin will be out of a job this summer.

In a letter to McGoodwin this week, the district’s school board notified him of its intent to terminate his contract unless he chooses to resign in the coming weeks.

The move comes after a bitter budget fight this year. The board proposed steep cuts in an effort to keep local taxes in check. McGoodwin fought that proposal, saying he'd have to lay off teachers. The cuts would ultimately damage the quality of education the district was able to offer, he said.

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State investigators are pursuing multiple leads in the shooting death of 36-year-old Jesse Jarvis outside a bar early Sunday morning in Claremont. No arrests have been made. 

Police were called at about 12:14 a.m. to the Imperial Buffet restaurant, which has an adjoining bar popular on weekend nights. 

According to the bar manager, Tony Zhang, Jarvis was just arriving on the property when he was shot in the parking lot. 

The state's chief medical examiner ruled Jarvis' death a homicide after performing an autopsy Monday afternoon. 

 

Former Claremont Police Officer Ian Kibbe appeared briefly in Sullivan County Superior Court in Newport Monday in connection with multiple charges relating to allegedly faking documents. 

 

State investigators say Kibbe lied in written reports to justify searching a property earlier this year. That charge has thrown into question much of his activity on the job, including a 2016 incident where he shot and killed 25-year-old Cody LaFont.

 

Britta Greene / NHPR

An advisory council appointed by Governor Chris Sununu to look at race and diversity issues said they'll return to Claremont after an initial public meeting Thursday night.  

 The city was the site of an attack on a young biracial boy last year that made national headlines. Discussion at the meeting, part of series of listening sessions the council is performing around the state, focused to a large degree on that incident.

Appleswitch via Flickr Creative Commons

The Claremont Police Department has thrown out about 20 recent arrests performed by either Ian Kibbe or Mark Burch, two officers who allegedly faked documents while working for the department earlier this year, according to Chief Mark Chase.

A former Claremont police officer has been arrested following a criminal investigation by the state Attorney General’s office.  

Ian Kibbe, a 30 year-old resident of Springfield, VT, faces a number of charges relating falsifying information on the job. Those include one count of conspiracy to commit perjury, one count of attempted perjury, two counts of unsworn falsification, and two counts of obstructing government administration. 

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.

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

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.

NHPR Staff

Voters approved an additional $307,153 to the proposed budget for Claremont schools Thursday night.

The amendment will offset a large part of cuts made to the proposed budget in January. Now the operating budget for the schools will be cut by only $22,000 compared to almost $340,000.

The budget will now go to the annual school district vote in March.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Stevens High School Principal Pat Barry who attended the deliberative session.

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.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

As part of our series “The Balance," we’re asking for your input on the costs and benefits of living in New Hampshire. One issue we’re hearing a lot about is property taxes, which provide the bulk of money for public schools. The city of Claremont has the highest property tax rate in the state. This year, some residents there are saying ‘enough is enough," and the school board is taking a hard look at its budget. It’s also raised a conversation about the role schools should play in students' lives.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Massachusetts opted last week for one large power line to cover a big chunk of its energy needs for the next 20-plus years.

The Northern Pass proposal beat out other big transmission projects and dozens of smaller options for the right to supply all renewable power the Commonwealth wants.

As NHPR's Annie Ropeik reports, this has analysts and developers wondering what role smaller projects will play in the future of the grid.

Brian Mitchell’s pretty busy this time of year. He’s got a full time job as a grocer in Windsor, Vermont, and his nights are spent monitoring the 50,000 music-synchronized lights that cover his property.

The day I caught him on the phone, he’d already been working on it for months.

"About April or May I’ll start dabbling with it again, and if I have any projects in mind I’ll start working on those. So it’s a full-year hobby. And then all the programming of the songs, which takes a lot of time."

https://www.gofundme.com/helpquincyheal

A state law enforcement investigation into a high-profile, allegedly racially motivated attack in Claremont is now complete, state Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said Thursday. The close of the investigation marks a progression in the case, but few additional details are now public. 

In August, the mother of a young biracial boy said her son was attacked by local teens. She said the teens tied a rope around his neck and pushed him off a picnic table. He had to be airlifted to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.

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.

N.H.'s First Needle Exchange Program Forced to Close

Nov 9, 2017
Courtesy of Project 439

The state’s first needle exchange program in Claremont has closed its doors, at least for now.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

After starting a first-of-its-kind lead-testing program in its schools, Claremont may soon allow parents to opt-out of the requirements. The city launched the program, which requires lead tests for all incoming kindergarten and pre-k students, this year.

Claremont is one of several high-risk communities for lead poisoning in the state, largely because of its old housing stock.

But at least one community member has raised concerns that parents can't sign a waiver to opt-out of the testing requirement, as is allowed for certain vaccinations.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

A handful of Claremont residents demonstrated outside the city’s high school Thursday, holding anti-bullying posters and asking students to sign a pledge stating they won’t bully in the future.

The demonstration comes after a highly publicized incident earlier this fall in which a young boy was allegedly attacked by local teenagers. The boy’s family says he was left to hang by a rope and nearly died.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Inside Daddypops Tumble Inn Diner in Claremont, the owner’s daughter – Fallon Carter – is working behind the counter as she talks with her mom and a friend.

They’re discussing a recent incident in town that’s been all over the news. The family of a young biracial boy says local teenagers intentionally hanged their son in a lynching-style attack. He survived, but had to be airlifted to the hospital.

Britta Greene / NHPR

The parents of a teenager involved in the alleged attack of a young boy in Claremont say the incident was an accident, and was not racially motivated.

Their son was just joking around, they told Newsweek in an interview. He saw the boy standing on the picnic table and thought he'd scare him from behind, they said. He did not know there was a rope around the boy's neck. The kids had been playing with the rope and climbing trees, the parents explained.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Over the next several months, the Claremont schools will take a closer look at issues of discrimination and bullying in the district. This comes after an alleged racially motivated attack of a young boy in town by local teenagers.

Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center for the Arts staged two shows last weekend of “Antigone in Ferguson.” The play draws connections between the ancient Greek tragedy and the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown.

Conversation after the show touched on recent events just south of Hanover, in Claremont. The family of a young boy there alleges a group of local teenagers attempted to hang the child by a rope in a racially motivated attack. They say he nearly died.

Courtesy

The family of an eight year-old Claremont, N.H. boy is calling into question the police department’s initial handling of an incident they say was a racially motivated lynching attack.

The state attorney general's office is now assisting Claremont investigators with their work.

https://www.gofundme.com/helpquincyheal

As of Thursday morning, nearly $25,000 had been raised for the young boy injured recently in an alleged race-based attack in Claremont. 

Hundreds have contributed to an online fundraising campaign for the eight-year-old biracial boy and his family. That's in just the couple of days that the Go-Fund-Me site has been active.

Britta Greene / NHPR

About 100 people gathered in a park  in downtown Claremont Tuesday night for a vigil in response to an alleged attack of an eight year-old biracial boy in the city.

At the event, it didn’t take long before racial tensions were on full display. Organizer Rebecca MacKenzie was introducing the night's first speaker when she was interrupted by a white man, driving by and and yelling from his truck.

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