Monadnock Region

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The Keene School Board voted Tuesday to delay school start times beginning in the fall of 2020.

The move follows similar adjustments in other New Hampshire districts. Research shows later start times are more in line with teenagers’ natural circadian rhythms.

In Keene, a grassroots group of city residents urged the superintendent and board members to consider the change, said Board Chair George Downing. 

Keene's High school will see the most significant adjustment, starting after 8:30am, rather than 7:25am.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Keene State College welcomed 18 Steinway pianos Tuesday, replacing old and worn out instruments that had become expensive and difficult to keep up.

The school is now the first college in New Hampshire to have an All-Steinway designation, meaning all of its pianos are manufactured by the prestigious brand.

via Twitter

There’s a security camera installed on the side of Bill Jack’s house. It pans across his driveway and captures the comings and goings on his dirt road near the Marlborough-Jaffrey border.

“I think this is the one,” says Jack, a retired Franklin Pierce University professor, as he scrolls through his computer.

The weekend has arrived, so go ahead and make the most of it. Here are 5 things to do in New Hampshire, plus a little extra because, well, you deserve some fun.

Check out the NHPR community calendar for more ideas - and submit your own events.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Exchange is exploring the different regions of the state for our summer series, Going Local. For the Monadnock Region, we go to Keene State College to broadcast before a live audience. 

This show originally aired live from Keene State College on Thursday, August 16th, 2018. 

Rebecca Lavoie for NHPR

The traditional new student "Clap-In" at Keene State College on Wednesday signals the arrival of freshman for the new semester, as well as the start of a new year in which the college continues a two-year reorganization plan.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A Marlborough dog breeder accused of animal cruelty is trying to block the Monadnock Humane Society from temporarily placing the dogs in foster homes.

John Riggieri is facing 10 counts of animal cruelty for mistreating more than 50 Labrador retrievers. Prosecutors allege the animals were subjected to “unnecessary suffering” and living in a house strewn with feces.

Since being seized last month, 52 dogs and one cat have been held at the Monadnock Humane Society, which puts the cost of care at over $40,000.

Organizers of the Cheshire Fair in Swanzey have opted not to change vendor policies this year despite earlier outcry over racially charged merchandise.

Photos of a confederate flag and “black flies matter” t-shirts at a booth last summer spread quickly on social media.

Saratoga Associates

After years of planning and debate, construction on a wind farm in the town of Antrim is scheduled to begin next week.

Walden Green Energy, the company behind the project, has notified state and local officials that it intends to break ground on or around August 6.

State environmental officials will be in Keene Wednesday morning to talk about air monitoring efforts.

It's their last stop in a series of public tours of monitoring stations around the state.

The Keene area often suffers from poor air quality in winter months.

That's because of its topography, sitting at the bottom of a valley, where pollution from wood smoke can get trapped.

Keene Public Library

A group of residents in Keene has scrapped plans to build a hydropower facility on an old dam near downtown.

The city will now go back to the drawing board on what to do with the derelict structure.  

Sara Plourde; NHPR

The Exchange will explore a different region of the state every Thursday starting July 12th: the Great North Woods, the White Mountains, the Lakes Region, Dartmouth/Sunapee, the Monadnock Region, the Merrimack Valley, and the Seacoast. 

We look at what makes each region distinct, the biggest issues facing that part of the state, and what people who live there love about their home. 

Todd Bookman/NHPR

There’s a field in Peterborough that makes all the other fields jealous. It’s about a mile from downtown, roughly 20 acres, with a small stand of trees in the southwest corner.

It’s a great-looking field. Stand in the middle, and you’re rewarded with views of Mt. Monadnock.  

Stan Fry believes there’s just one thing missing from this place.

James Napoli

Tad Montgomery can still remember when he first discovered morels.

He was five years old, working in the garden with his mom and siblings, when a thunderstorm suddenly rolled in. They all ran under some nearby trees for shelter.

“Mom, what are these things? They’re really weird!” exclaimed his sister, looking to the ground.

His mom had no idea what to make of the brown, brain-looking things emerging from the soil. But, being an amateur naturalist, she piled all the kids in the car and drove them, soaking wet, to the local library.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Members of a new mosque in Keene will gather with local community leaders tonight for a Ramadan celebration.

Will Coley moved to Keene from Tennessee to launch the mosque last year. It's the only one in the state's Monadnock region.

Related story: Behind Planned Mosque In Keene, A ‘Redneck Muslim’ With Libertarian Ties

Phil Penman Photography

Renowned cartoonist Art Spiegelman will travel to Peterborough this summer to accept the annual Edward MacDowell Medal from the MacDowell Colony. Spiegelman is the first cartoonist to be honored by the colony, which has hosted some of the most influential writers and artists of the last century. 

Spiegelman is best known for his iconic graphic novel Maus, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and is credited with bringing cartooning into the literary mainstream.

Saratoga Associates

The state Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a much-debated wind farm in the town of Antrim.

Plans for the project began nearly ten years ago, but have been tangled in regulatory and legal battles. Nearby residents argue the proposed turbines threaten the natural landscape and wildlife, as well as human health.

Keene State College has hit its enrollment goal this spring for the incoming freshman class.

That goal, more modest than in years past, reflects an overall downsizing of the college in response to regional demographic trends. 

Many schools in the northeast have been struggling to stabilize enrollment as local high school class sizes, and therefore general application pools, have shrunk. 

Britta Greene / NHPR

Keene State College today broke ground on an expansion to its Mason Library, a project aimed at bringing its academic programming and research resources on genocide studies under one roof.

Courtesy of Keene State College

Keene State College is pledging to run its heat plant completely off biofuels, rather than heating oil, in less than two years. In that same window, it will look to cut per capita electric, heat and water use by 20 percent.

Those are among a number of new sustainability goals the college is announcing this week.

By 2030, the school is also pledging to cut overall greenhouse gas emissions by half over current levels, as well as divert upwards of 90 percent of its waste. 

AP

Keene is the latest in a string of New Hampshire cities to sue pharmaceutical giants over their alleged role fueling the opioid crisis. Nashua and Manchester have filed similar lawsuits, as have hundreds of communities across the country.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

As part of our Only in New Hampshire series, we've been getting a lot of questions from listeners about the Free State Project. It's a movement that began almost 20 years ago based on libertarian ideas. The goal is to bring tens of thousands of like-minded people to live in New Hampshire - and influence politics here.

Related: Click here to read the long-form story What Is The Free State Project?

Our reporters have been diving into the movement and its history. For this story,  NHPR's Britta Greene talked with couple currently relocating from Indiana to join the Free State Project.

www.visitnhcolleges.com

Keene State Biology Professor Susan Whittemore was at a conference last summer when she first heard statistics about hunger among college students nationwide.

The numbers struck her. Of course, she knew college was expensive, but she hadn’t thought about how that might be affecting her own students’ ability to feed themselves on a day-to-day basis.

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.

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

Christopher Cantwell, a prominent Keene-based white nationalist, is suing two people who recently testified against him in court in Virginia.

www.visitnhcolleges.com

Keene State College Interim President Melinda Treadwell will host a live video conference for admitted students and their parents next week.  This comes as Keene State looks to improve its enrollment numbers while navigating significant budget cuts.

Treadwell says the live chat she's planned will be a first for prospective families. “I'd rather be very direct with parents about where we are and the bright future than to wait for folks to fill in the blanks,” she said, pointing to recent news headlines.

Flickr, Aranami

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan have introduced legislation to give the town of Swanzey its own, unique zip code.

The issue is North Swanzey shares a zip code with neighboring Keene. But North Swanzey isn't part of Keene — it's technically part of Swanzey.

And, because there's crossover with street names and addresses in the two zip codes, there's been issues with mail delivery. There's also been delays for emergency responders as they try to figure out where to go.

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.

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.”

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.

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