Seacoast

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Rochester is hosting its first-ever food truck festival Sunday.

Food trucks and local chefs from the Tri-City area will converge on the Lilac Mall parking lot for the new event.

Organizers include the owner of the Dover-based Crescent City Kitchen truck, who says he hopes the festival will be an annual event.

Nine trucks are slated to be on-site, serving barbecue, ice cream, poutine and more.

The festival will also include a local beer garden, live music and games.

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A solar company, a honey maker and an environmental group will celebrate the honey bee Saturday in Rye.

Revision Energy spokesman Dan Weeks says honey bees are threatened by climate change, fossil fuel pollution and other environmental hazards.

Companies like his want to help fix those problems, Weeks says, "because we see fossil fuel dependence, rising temperatures, carbon pollution as a factor harming honey bees, as well as a lot of other species."

JIM RICHMOND VIA FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says they found no problems with the response to cracks in concrete at Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant during a recent inspection.

Their new report is another step forward in the power plant's bid to get its license renewed.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The Coakley Landfill on New Hampshire’s Seacoast is back in the headlines, more than 30 years after it became a Superfund site.

Neighbors are again worried the site could be poisoning their drinking water, after a rash of childhood cancer cases nearby and the discovery of dangerously high levels of PFAS chemicals at the landfill.

That’s despite local officials' promises that the landfill is safe, under control and not a threat to nearby residents. In fact, they say the landfill is mostly just misunderstood.

 

A fourth person has died from injuries sustained in a car crash a week ago that went unnoticed overnight in Hampton Falls.

State police say 19-year-old Daniel Petruzzelli, of Manchester, died Saturday. He was a passenger in a car that went off Route 88 and crashed into a stand of trees.

Authorities believe the crash happened around 6:30 p.m. on July 28, but it wasn't discovered until nearly noon the next day because the car was hidden by thick vegetation.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A first-of-its-kind water treatment system has begun filtering high levels of toxic PFAS chemicals from the groundwater at Pease International Tradeport.

It’s the latest, biggest phase of millions of dollars in government response after PFAS was found in a drinking water well at Pease in 2014.


Going Local: The Seacoast

Jul 18, 2018
Sara Plourde; NHPR

We look at the New Hampshire Seacoast as part of our regional series, Going Local.

With thirteen miles of ocean, a vibrant local business and arts scene, and cities and small towns that surround the beach and inland estuaries, the Seacoast is rich in culture. However, the region has faced challenges with climate change and a higher cost of living. We look at what makes this part of our state unique, and in both smaller towns like Exeter and 

Epping, and big draws like Portsmouth and Hampton.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

This week's new moon and the remnants of tropical storm Chris could bring unusually high tides and minor flooding to parts of Hampton this weekend.

Drivers on roads near Hampton Harbor usually notice when tides reach their flood stage of 11 feet high. Low-lying pavement can become covered in water.

Thursday night's high tide was over 11 feet, and high tides may hit that around midnight and midday through early next week.

National Weather Service meteorologist William Watson says there shouldn't be any serious impacts.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Smuttynose Brewery is back up to speed on the Seacoast after being sold at auction earlier this year.

North Hampton-based Runnymede Investments bought Smuttynose after that auction, and brought in former Boston Beer Company CEO Rich Lindsay to head up the brewery.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu was on the Seacoast today, signing two bills dealing with chemical contamination and health risks. 

One bill could lead to stricter limits on PFAS chemicals in drinking water.  

Sununu spoke at Jenness Beach in Rye, near the Coakley Landfill Superfund site and Pease Tradeport.

Both are PFAS hotspots that have raised health concerns for neighbors.  

Courtesy photo

A former high school guidance counselor in New Hampshire has been sentenced to over two years in prison as part of an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to sexual assault charges involving a student.

Kristie Torbick, of Lee, had worked at Exeter High School. Education officials said the assaults happened in late 2016 and early 2017.

Other charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

The 39-year-old Torbick surrendered her education credentials. She also will need to register as a sex offender after serving her sentence.

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. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Summer means certain historic venues open up for the season. In North Hampton, at Little Boar's Head, Union Chapel is one such place.

The late 19th Century house of worship held its first interdenominational service of 2018 on July 1.

Its 141st season features a different minister each Sunday at 11 a.m. 

Click and drag your mouse for a 360 view from the altar. Click the + or - signs to zoom in or out.

NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will implement a protected zone off the coast of Massachusetts until the middle of the month to try to help endangered North Atlantic right whales.

The protected area is located south of Nantucket and is designed to protect right whales. The whales are among the most endangered marine mammals, and they have suffered from high mortality and low reproduction in recent years.

There are as few as 360 right whales remaining.

Via Wikimedia Commons

A Plaistow-based construction company has won a $13-million contract for work at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Methuen Construction is the winner of a competitive bidding process to upgrade and repair pumping facilities at the Shipyard. The federal contract was announced by the U.S. Navy and hailed by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan as a win for Granite State business.

Eversource

Eversource is doubling down on what it says will be the best way to run a new power line under the Seacoast's Little Bay. 

The transmission line known as the Seacoast Reliability Project is how Eversource wants to meet the mandates of New England’s electric grid operator.

First proposed in 2016, the project includes a mile of cable buried beneath Little Bay, between Durham and Newington.

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.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Englanders had a chance to speak out this week about what they want to see in new Environmental Protection Agency rules for industrial chemicals in drinking water – but residents say the proof that they were heard will be in what the regulators do next.

Lara Bricker for NHPR

Police have charged a man with arson and murder in connection with a fire in New Hampshire where the body of a 65-year-old woman was found.

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office says the 31-year-old Exeter man was arrested Monday about a week after Carol Felides' death.

Fire officials found Felides dead inside her mobile home in Exeter after responding to a fire June 19. The cause and manner of death is still under investigation.

Officials have not said what caused the fire. The man is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Rockingham Superior Court.

File photo

Deb Bourbeau owns a home in Hampton Beach, and each morning, she checks how high the tides will be. Flooding's been an issue for her and her neighbors.

It's one reason she turned out for the New Hampshire Coastal Climate Summit on Wednesday.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A new study says rising seas could threaten more than 5,000 homes on the New Hampshire Seacoast by the end of the century.

The Seacoast properties at risk from chronic flooding pay more than $33 million in property taxes, according to the national report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Sanborn Head

The main landfill serving the Seacoast has gotten state approval for a big expansion, over the objections of some neighbors and environmental groups.

The 1,200-acre Turnkey Landfill in Rochester takes trash from the Seacoast and out of state.

Waste Management told New Hampshire regulators last year it wanted to add about 60 acres to its landfill in order to keep it open through at least 2034.

K2PARN / FLICKR/CC

This Saturday, the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire will put on its annual Juneteenth Celebration.

Juneteenth marks the day when slaves in Texas heard they were free, almost two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

For JerriAnne Boggis, the executive director of the Black Heritage Trail, the holiday is time for both festivities and reflection.

Portsmouth turns 400 years old in 2023 and planning for that birthday is already under way.

Portsmouth residents will have a chance tonight to share their ideas at a public forum on how they want to celebrate the city's four centuries.

Susan Labrie is the director of Portsmouth400, which is the group planning the celebration. She says the anniversary is more than just a day for a parade.

"It's going to be creating the programs and events that go beyond 2023,” she said.  

Screenshot via office of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin planning emergency dredging of Hampton Harbor over the next year.

The Army Corps' 2018 Work Plan includes $275,000 for planning work ahead of dredging.

The funds will let the Corps assess dredging conditions and draw up a contract for the project.

New Hampshire's Congressional delegation has been pushing since last year for the harbor to be dredged.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan is contributing a commemorative letter about the new Sarah Mildred Long Bridge to a time capsule.

The bridge connects the state to Maine. She'll start at the Kittery, Maine, side on Friday, where she plans to highlight the importance of the bridge as a vital economic link for the region and for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The time capsule will serve as a reflection of life in northern New England in 2018 and will be placed at a later time.

NHDES

State environmental regulators will ask a North Hampton car wash to change how it disposes of used water, after testing showed high levels of potential toxins.

The investigation comes after two types of contaminants – PFAS and 1,4 dioxane – were found last year in a North Hampton well that served Seacoast residents.

The pollutants were under state limits, but Brendan Kernen of the state’s drinking water protection bureau says the well's operator, Aquarion, shut it off anyway.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Neighbors of the Coakley Landfill Superfund site in Greenland are optimistic the site may see further cleanup.

They met privately with top Environmental Protection Agency officials Monday.

The group held a press conference at the edge of a brook that runs alongside the landfill and contains high levels of potentially toxic PFAS chemicals.

“While this may have been called an emerging issue some time ago, it is now a top priority issue for the U.S. EPA,” said New England EPA Administrator Alexandra Dunn.

Courtney Marshall

 

Courtney Marshall's Sunday Zumba class is standing-room only. Once a week, a group of all ages laugh, cheer, and dance together. 

This group brings style and goofy t-shirts to their workouts. They call it "Sunday Funday".

"You saw me get up and do a dance. I would never do that in any class that I take I would never do that," said Donna Garofono, a regular participant.

Dan Tuohy

 

Portsmouth, New Hampshire's oldest city, is gearing up for its 400th birthday.

The Portsmouth Historical Society and the city have created a partnership called Portsmouth400 to mark the anniversary in 2023. The events will start with a look back at previous anniversaries.

The festivities will continue with discussions of how to engage the community in programs that will honor the city's historic past and benefit its future.

The sessions are set for June 12 and June 26 at the Portsmouth Public Library. More sessions will be held in the fall.

 

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