Seacoast

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Residents on the Seacoast are digging out from Thursday’s powerful nor’easter. Along with wind and snow, many low-lying homes in Hampton were hit with flood waters. 

But people are taking the storm mostly in stride.

Trump's Portrait Removed from Portsmouth Post Office

Dec 27, 2017
USPS

Portraits of the President and Vice President will no longer hang in the Portsmouth Post Office.

People in New Hampshire and surrounding states spotted a suspected meteor streaking across the sky Tuesday night.

The American Meteor Society has received more than 200 reports of the suspected meteor, with sightings from western Connecticut to Bangor, Maine. People report seeing a streak of light blaze up the sky around 6pm Tuesday, some for as long as seven-seconds.

Images captured in Portsmouth shows a brilliant white tail of light-- a suspected interplanetary chunk of debris-- zipping over the Piscataqua.

Marty Watts / Aira

It’s a Saturday night in at the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth. Hundreds of people are here to experience some vintage Christmas charm at the annual Candlelight Stroll.

Gene Lavoie, dressed in her puffy white coat, is eager to join them. But first, she puts on a pair of futuristic looking glasses.

Lavoie is visually impaired. She has some sight, but not enough to get around on her own. She’s hoping the new glasses she just put on will help that.

***This story has lots of sound -- we highly recommend listening.***

A former Portsmouth police officer and the city of Portsmouth have agreed to settle a lawsuit regarding an alleged violation of whistleblower rights.

In 2014, Portsmouth police officer Jon Connors gave an interview to the Portsmouth Herald. He told them he often saw fellow officer Aaron Goodwin at the home of his wealthy neighbor, Geraldine Webber.

A judge would later rule that former-Officer Goodwin exerted undue influence over Webber to get her to change her will to benefit him.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

New Hampshire's Great Bay and the Piscataqua River estuary have been in bad shape for years – and the latest data doesn't show a lot of improvement.

But scientists say there's still hope for the watershed, and they're trying to home in on things people can control.

Great Bay National Estuarine Reserve

An estuary is where freshwater rivers meet the ocean, making up a fragile yet vital eco-system for wildlife, fish, and people.  Now a new report on the Great Bay and Hampton-Seabrook Estuaries shows continuing trouble for this region, and introduces comprehensive strategies for keeping the area healthy. 

GUESTS:

Peter Biello / NHPR

And now it’s time for Foodstuffs, our regular look at food and food culture in the Granite State.

A new beer on tap at Portsmouth Brewery does more than give you a buzz. It aims to ease the symptoms of menopause. It’s called Libeeration, and several years ago, when Joanne Francis pitched the idea to her colleagues at the brewery, the men didn’t get it.

"It was met with nothing short of disdain and horror," she says. "And I'm not exaggerating when I say that."

A new report on the environmental health of Great Bay and surrounding waterways says those ecosystems continue to decline.

The report comes from the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, or PREP. The group is funded by the EPA and administered by UNH. Every five years, they rate the health of the Seacoast’s estuaries using 23 indicators.

Toppazzini / Flickr Creative Commons

A Portsmouth-based conservation group is getting a $25,000 grant to help clean up the New England coastline.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Republican Gov. Chris Sununu's Executive Council approved the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation for the grant Wednesday. The federal grant is backed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. According to state officials, the grant supports debris collection, pollution prevention and public awareness efforts.

Amy Quinton, NHPR

More intense storms are making it harder for freshwater streams and rivers to act as filters for nitrogen pollution, according to a new UNH study.

The research suggests larger storms could cause more harmful runoff to reach coasts and lakes.

Nitrogen comes from lots of things people put in the land – like fertilizer and sewage. Rain and snow wash that pollution into streams and rivers.

But UNH researcher Wil Wollheim says those waterways can usually clean out the nitrogen before it reaches the coast.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

On a small bit of land in Somersworth, New Hampshire, two very different symbols will soon share space. At ground level, a monument of the Ten Commandments, and just above it, the “atheist flag” will blow in the breeze.

The dueling symbols bring up questions of belief, inclusion, and the separation of church and state.

Keith Shields/NHPR

A Connecticut construction company faces $330,000 in fines after federal officials found its workers were exposed to mercury at a job site in Portsmouth earlier this year.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, says Manafort Brothers, Inc., failed to protect its workers from repeated exposures to high levels of mercury.

On October 9th, 2015, a man named Feky Sumual walks into Stateline Guns, Ammo & Archery, a gun shop in Plaistow, New Hampshire, where he buys seven 9-millimeter handguns.

Because of the number of guns involved, and because 9-millimeters are common in gun smuggling rings, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms begins to investigate.

City officials in Portsmouth have upheld a decision to prohibit a couple from renting out a second home through AirBnB.

Portsmouth couple Matthew Beebe and Barbara Jenny bought the house next door with the intention that one day their daughter will live in it.

In the meantime, they planned to rent out the house through AirBnB. But before they got the chance, the city served them with a cease-and-desist letter.

The city says the home, which is in a residentially zoned area, can’t be used for short-term rentals without a special exemption.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Two state representatives from the Seacoast are raising concerns about Eversource’s plan to buy a water utility company.

Eversource, New England’s largest energy company, announced back in June that it had plans to buy Aquarion, the region’s largest private water company.

The deal spans three states and is valued at about $1.7 billion.

Democratic Representatives Mindi Messmer of Rye and Renny Cushing of Hampton say it’s a bad deal for New Hampshire rate payers, and they've been working to stop it.

Courtesy of Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard says the crew of a fishing trawler that had to be rescued off the coast of New Hampshire did exceptionally well handling 25 to 30 knot winds, 6-to 8-foot waves and near zero degree wind chills.

The captain of the 65-foot Black Beauty contacted the Coast Guard early Friday evening after the boat's transmission failed with five people and 30,000 pounds of fish on board. The Coast Guard Cutter Campbell responded, arriving on scene about 3:30 a.m. Saturday. The cutter towed the vessel to Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is hosting a job fair next week.

The shipyard is hoping the fair will help them fill about 160 open positions.

The positions range from chemists and electricians to painters and pipefitters.

In a statement, shipyard commander Captain Dave Hunt says their workload is increasing and they need the extra help to keep up.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard repairs and refits nuclear-powered submarines.

The facility already employs more than 5,500 civilian employees. The fair will run Nov. 14 from noon to 8 p.m. in Eliot, Maine.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Early this week, coastal communities in New Hampshire will experience an event known as King Tide. A King Tide occurs when the sun and moon align and their combined gravitational pull creates an especially high high-tide.

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Last week, police in Bristol arrested a man in connection with two explosions that rocked the town earlier this month. Those blasts were caused by something called binary explosives, designed for use in target practice.

Bristol Police Lieutenant Kris Bean says on the evening of October 7th, not long after sunset, his department was suddenly flooded with 911 calls.

The 2017 Black New England Conference began Friday at the University of New Hampshire.

The event brings scholars, writers, and activists together to discuss the history and present-day experience of African Americans in New England.

JerriAnne Boggis with the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire helped organize the event.

Jason Moon for NHPR

This weekend at the Pine Hill Cemetery in Dover, the dead will come back to life...sort of.

As part of the Woodman Museum’s "Voices from the Cemetery" event, local volunteer-actors will portray some of the famous -and infamous- Dover residents buried in the centuries-old cemetery.

NHPR’s Jason Moon caught up with the actors as they were rehearsing earlier this week and sends this postcard.

Jim Richmond

Federal regulators will allow the non-profit nuclear watchdog group C-10 to weigh in on a regulatory review of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant.

C-10 has raised concerns about how the plant's owner, NextEra Energy, is addressing concrete degradation caused by a chemical reaction.

Seabrook is the only nuclear power plant in the country known to be affected by this chemical reaction.

NextEra Energy has 25 days to appeal the decision.

File Photo

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case brought by a Hampton fisherman over the cost of fishing regulations.

David Goethel was hoping to challenge in court the federal government’s at-sea monitoring program.

The program puts regulators on fisherman’s boats to make sure they are adhering to catch limits, but fishermen are responsible for the costs of the program, at an estimated $700 a trip.

Goethel says those costs are stifling and illegal, but on Monday the Supreme Court announced it would not hear the case.

Police in Portsmouth say they are planning to crack down on loud motorcycles.

According to state law, an idling motorcycle should be no louder than 92 decibels. But knowing whether a motorcycle exceeds that limit requires police to have specialized gear and training.

Portsmouth Police Captain Frank Warchol says in the past, his department has relied on state police to catch offenders.

Now, in response to complaints from residents, Warchol says the Portsmouth PD is investing in the equipment and training it needs to enforce the law on its own.

Cheryl Senter

A Hampton selectman is surveying local businesses in an effort to discover exactly how much the town contributes to state coffers through the rooms and meals tax.

New Hampshire's tax on rooms and meals is levied by the state and then redistributed to towns on the basis of population. Cities and towns get more money if they have more people.

Hampton Selectman Regina Barnes says that formula is a bad deal for her town, because with its many restaurants and hotels, it puts more in than it gets out.

The town of Durham is lobbying the state to adopt a new holiday.

Earlier this month, Durham became the first town in the state to establish an Indigenous Peoples’ Day - in lieu of Columbus Day.

Now town councilors there are urging the governor and state lawmakers to consider doing the same.

Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig says the debate in Durham was good for the community, and that a similar one could be good for the state.

NH Community Seafood

Last May, we reported on New Hampshire Community Seafood's effort to sign on at least 1,000 people for their community supported fishery, or CSF. A CSF is like a farm share, where subscribers can pick up seafood at various locations throughout the season. 

The push for new members was driven by a desire to support New Hampshire's ground fishermen. Their deadline was the end of summer, and with that now upon us, Andrea Tomlinson, manager of New Hampshire Community Seafood, joins NHPR's Peter Biello with an update.

Listen to their conversation right here:

The Oyster River School District will be requiring diversity training for all staff in the wake of an alleged racist bullying incident earlier this month.

Superintendent Jim Morse says the trainings will be led by a member of the state health department who specializes in racial minority affairs. Morse says the training will be required for every district employee, including himself.

Wikimedia Commons

Phillips Exeter Academy and the Exeter Police Department have announced a new agreement concerning the reporting of sexual assaults on campus.

A new memorandum of understanding between the prestigious prep school and the local police department outlines procedures they say will help keep students safe from abuse of all kinds.

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