News

After over two years of contract negotiations, Manchester and its firefighters have reached a tentative agreement.

On Tuesday, the Board of Mayor and Alderman approved a three-year contract that is now headed to union members for a vote.

The decision comes after a tense month of many firefighters taking sick leave, and fewer firefighters working each shift.

Via WHTC.com

An Upper Valley non-profit is hosting a public information session Thursday on accessory dwelling units, often known as in-law apartments.

James Jordan / Flickr CC

State health officials have identified a batch of mosquitoes in Manchester with the virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

This is the third detection of EEE in New Hampshire this season, and the first in Manchester since 2013. There have been no reports of human cases of the virus so far.

EEE is less common but more serious than the mosquito-born West Nile Virus. Symptoms are flu-like and appear four to 10 days after being bitten.

NHPR Photo

Governor Chris Sununu says he can't judge Brett Kavanaugh's judicial temperament based on Kavanaugh's testimony before the U.S. Senate. 

Sununu signed a letter supporting Kavanaugh's nomination shortly after it was announced. Molly Kelly, his Democratic challenger, was deadset against Kavanaugh from the start. During a visit to a Concord health Clinic, Kelly said that adding Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court puts abortion rights at risk, and Sununu knows it.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

It’s the year of the squirrel in New England. The animals have never had so much fame, never been the subject of so much attention.

It’s partly because they’ve put themselves in the spotlight—or in our headlights might be more accurate. Their populations have boomed in recent years, fed by a glut of acorns, and now they’re running across roads en masse in search of more food.

The thing is, all these squirrels aren’t just affecting our highways. They’re getting into houses as well. 

Dartmouth College on Tuesday celebrated the awarding of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Frances Arnold.

Arnold, known for her groundbreaking work on the evolution of enzymes, was recognized by Dartmouth with an honorary degree last year.

At the time, she delivered a powerful, personal address to graduating students at the college’s Thayer School of Engineering.

The state has chosen Granite Pathways to operate a new substance use disorder treatment facility for teenagers on the grounds of the Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester.

The Executive Council approved a four-year contract with the group during its meeting on Wednesday, with services expected to begin in early November.

The 36-bed facility will be open to children ages 12-18 who are in need of inpatient treatment, making it the first residential program for minors in the state.

New England Aquarium

Another minke whale has been found dead on the New England coast.

The carcass found in Massachusetts on Tuesday marks 26 deaths of what regulators call an "unusual mortality event" for minke whales.

They're not considered endangered. But like all whales, they are a protected species in American waters.

Flickr Creative Commons | ethan john

Every other Friday on Morning Edition NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown tracks down answers to questions about the environment and outdoors for our listeners in a segment we call “Ask Sam.”

 

A New Hampshire man is accused of fraudulently soliciting money from investors for the construction and selling of so-called tiny homes. 

The state Bureau of Securities Regulation has filed a fraud action against Jeffrey Lucero, of Manchester. Officials say he sold or offered to sell unregistered securities and defrauded investors by squandering their money, failing to disclose his poor financial condition and telling at least one investor he would match funds.

A new podcast miniseries from NHPR begins today. It's called Bear Brook and it follows a cold case from right here in New Hampshire that's changing how murderers everywhere are being investigated. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley featured an excerpt of the first episode and spoke with reporter Jason Moon.

To learn more about the Bear Brook Podcast and listen to episodes, click here.

Mary McIntyre / NHPR

For this week’s Radio Field Trip, we’re meeting some animals and taking a ride.

Do you have a suggestion for an upcoming Radio Field Trip? Click here to submit your idea, or email us at fieldtrips@nhpr.org.

(Editor's note: we highly reccomend listening to this story.)

Emily Corwin / NHPR

 

The New Hampshire Department of Corrections is investigating the death of a prisoner who was serving a life sentence for murder.

The Corrections Department says 65-year-old Joel Smith was found unresponsive at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin.

Corrections officers and medical personnel attempted life-saving measures on Smith. The state's medical examiner is investigating the death and Smith's next of kin have been notified.

Via audio-luci | Flickr Creative Commons

 

New Hampshire's new student assessment tool - known as PACE - is continuing to expand.

The New Hampshire Department of Education announced Tuesday that it has received a five-year waiver from federal officials so schools piloting the assessment tool can continue to use it.

The Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) focuses on periodic assessments of student learning, rather than end-of-year, statewide tests.

The Quebec government has announced $7,500 in funding for a New Hampshire organization that promotes French culture.

 

The money will go toward programming organized by the Franco-American Centre in Manchester. That includes a celebration of the Quebec National Holiday in June.

 

The announcement came soon after Canadian and U.S. officials reached a tentative trade deal after more than a year of high-stakes NAFTA negotiations.  

 

Lauren Chooljian / NHPR

The national storm over Judge Brett Kavanaugh's potential Supreme Court confirmation blew into New Hampshire Monday, as Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, a key player in the confirmation hearings, arrived at Saint Anselm College to give a speech warning about “tribalism” in politics.

Flake’s speech was scheduled before he landed at the center of Kavanaugh’s fate on the Supreme Court. Last Friday, Flake pushed for a week-long pause in the hearings so the FBI could investigate the sexual assault allegations from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Newly released court documents use Whitefield State Senator Jeff Woodburn's personal diaries to corroborate the domestic violence charges faced by the former Senate Democratic Leader.

According to an affidavit filed by a state investigator, last Christmas Day Woodburn wrote in his diary that he was "focused on my failure to control my anger,"  "It is becoming regular and it scares me."

In an earlier entry, from that August, Woodburn describes kicking the door off the dryer after an argument that included his partner throwing his clothes out on the lawn.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

 

The state has ordered the Saint Gobain plastics manufacturer to install air pollution controls on its Merrimack factory. 

 

The facility’s smokestacks are thought to be the source of high levels of PFAS chemicals that contaminated nearby drinking water wells two years ago. 

Sara Plourde

[NOTE: Both the 1st and 2nd Congressional District Forums are SOLD OUT to the public; we have limited seating at NHPR. Tickets remain for the Gubernatorial Forum at Manchester Community College. All three events remain OPEN for media who want to attend.]  

New Hampshire Public Radio will explore in-depth the candidates and issues that impact voters this fall through continuing coverage of the two congressional races, the governor’s race, and key local contests in New Hampshire. Coverage will involve public forums, thoughtful analysis and new programming. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Former President Barack Obama is endorsing 25 fellow Democrats in New Hampshire.

Obama on Monday tweeted a list of candidates he supports around the country. Among the 180 candidates from 20 states were 25 from New Hampshire — including gubernatorial candidate Molly Kelly, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster and congressional hopeful Chris Pappas.

Nine state senate candidates also made the list, along with 13 candidates for the House.

Courtesy of Manchester Library

 

The Manchester Library is eliminating fines for overdue children’s and young adult materials.

The move is part of a trend in New Hampshire and across the country that aims to increase accessibility for young and low-income patrons. It was inspired by conversations over the last year among library staff, families, and students and teachers in the Manchester School District.

The Manchester Library has over 10,000 patrons between the ages of 5 and 17.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  Earlier today, NHPR announced the retirement of Betsy Gardella, the station's president and CEO, effective at the end of this year. Gardella has led the station for 13 years and in a statement the board of trustees praised her for her contributions. NHPR's Todd Bookman is reporting on this as part of an independent reporting team at NHPR. And he joined All Things Considered host Peter Biello to discuss the news.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A former St. Paul's School student accused of lying under oath during a grand jury investigation into sexual misconduct at the school was in court Monday.

Stephanie O'Connell of Chicago pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor offenses.

The charges stem from emails and phone contact she's accused of having with former St Paul's teacher David Pook during the state's investigation into the school.

Investigators claimed O'Connell had a sexual relationship with Pook, who was her teacher at St. Paul's.

O'Connell will serve no jail time as long as she pays a fine and does 500 hours of community service within five years.

Betsy Gardella, who has led New Hampshire Public Radio since 2005 as President and CEO, says she will retire from the organization at the end of the year.

(Click here to listen to Todd Bookman talk about this story with All Things Considered host Peter Biello, including how NHPR set up an independent reporting team to cover it.)

The announcement comes after “serious management, human resources and communication issues” were identified by independent investigators brought in by the station’s Board of Trustees following complaints from employees. NHPR Board of Trustees Chair Marshall Rowe notified staff of that investigation in an email in late May.

Appleswitch via Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office is continuing its investigation into the death of a man in Epping during a confrontation with a state trooper.

The man who was killed has been identified as 40-year-old Walter Welch, Jr. of Epping.

An autopsy revealed that he died of gunshot wounds to the head but the details are still under investigation.

The AG’s office says on Saturday night, a trooper responded to a 911 call about an erratic driver in a white pickup truck near Route 101.

AG

A former Canterbury, New Hampshire, man has been indicted on charges that he fatally stabbed his mother in May.

The attorney general's office said Monday that Phillip Nash is formally charged with two alternative counts of second-degree murder, one alleging that he knowingly killed his mother and the other alleging that he recklessly caused her death on May 17 in Canterbury.

James Lee / Flickr Creative Commons

It's officially October, which means fall events and festivals galore. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with NH Magazine's managing editor Erica Thoits about this month's best happenings.

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office says a state police officer fatally shot a man in Epping on Saturday night.

Walter Welch, Jr. 40, died at the scene. Police said a gun was found in his hand.

The shooting occurred on Route 101 near Exit 6. No officers were injured.

The trooper, who was not identified pending interview by investigators, was responding to a 911 call of an erratic driver heading westbound. The trooper saw the vehicle pulled over off Exit 6.

Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

The sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are being felt on New Hampshire's college campuses.

At the University of New Hampshire, faculty and students staged a #BelieveHer walkout in support of survivors this week.

Amy Culp runs the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) at UNH. She says the Kavanaugh hearings have had ripple effects on campus:

A classic autumn weekend is on tap in New Hampshire. Here are 5 things to do to make the most of it ... plus some additional ideas for fun and entertainment.

Visit NHPR's community calendar for more events and activities. (And add your own.)

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