This Week in N.H. News: Swing State Shifts, Social Media Scuffles & More
Happy Friday! Here's some of the important, or otherwise interesting, stuff you might've missed this week. If you want to catch up on things a little earlier, make sure to sign up for our Friday newsletter, The Rundown, and get it delivered right to your inbox. Here's the link.
Above The Fold
Hope on the Front Lines...
We’ve heard a lot about the heroin crisis from politicians and other prominent officials. The voices we hear less often are those of the everyday people working in communities across New Hampshire to make a difference for those struggling with addiction.
This week, NHPR’s Morning Edition team brings you just those kind of stories. They take you inside a training session in Keene designed to prepare people to save lives during an overdose, a community center in Manchester helping people on the path to recovery, a home in Rochester trying to fill in the gaps that exist around treatment for pregnant women and more. You can find the full series right here.
Safety Questions Surround PFOA Replacement
By now, we know that PFOA was once widely used to make Teflon products, among other things, but also that it can be toxic and pretty darn difficult to get out of groundwater. But it turns out that the chemical a lot of companies now use instead of PFOA isn’t necessarily proven to be safe, either. NHPR’s Emily Corwin explains.
New Hampshire’s Shift Toward Swing State
New Hampshire is now viewed as a key battleground, in the presidential race and otherwise. But it wasn’t always that way: Until the 1970s, Republicans mostly reigned supreme in the Granite State. With help from NHPR’s ElectionStats database, Steve Koczela of MassINC polling examines how the state has inched increasingly leftward in recent decades and what that might mean in 2016.
And While We’re Talking 2016…
It looks like the general election is upon us, more or less. Donald Trump is set to return to New Hampshire next week for a campaign rally, speech and a fundraiser. (The Boston Globe, meanwhile, went looking this week for signs of a Trump ground game in New Hampshire — and didn’t find much, at least not yet.)
Well, That Escalated Quickly
It’s probably safe to say that Chris Sununu won’t be getting many retweets, or endorsements, from the Manchester Police Department anytime soon. The executive councilor and Republican gubernatorial candidate angered some of the Queen City’s law enforcement, among others, when he suggested that the drug crisis has suffered because there’s been “no leadership in Concord and no leadership at the local level.” (NHPR’s Josh Rogers has more context here.)
The response from officials who have been working on the state’s drug issues was — well, you can see for yourself here...
In Other News
By the numbers...
80 — Percent of people don’t really know much about any of the Democrats running for governor. The trio of top contenders are doing what they can to introduce themselves to as many voters as possible, though. (NHPR)
495 — Refugees (from Bhutan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Iraq) are likely to resettle in cities across New Hampshire starting this September. (Union Leader)
217 — Purdue Pharma (makers of OxyContin) allegedly made this many marketing trips to New Hampshire just in 2014 alone, according to a lawsuit from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office. The state’s accusing the pharmaceutical company of pushing “misleading information” about its painkiller to local doctors. (Concord Monitor)
14,800 — The Libertarian Party needs to collect about this many signatures to put its party on the ballot in 2016. As the Associated Press reports, Libertarians are suing New Hampshire for giving it only about seven months to collect those signatures.
42,000 — Commercial farms are currently operating in New Hampshire, according to the state farm bureau. This week, The Exchange took a look at what a new federal food safety law might mean for them. (NHPR)
$177,339 — Went to 281 nonprofits across New Hampshire as part of the state’s inaugural “NH Gives Day.” (Business NH Magazine)
17 — Storefronts are sitting empty right now in Steeplegate Mall, the long struggling Concord shopping center that was finally sold to a New York retail-property firm for $10.3 million this week. (Concord Monitor)
2 days — It took about this long for a rescue crew to save a hiker injured on Mount Washington, “battling through hurricane-force winds, near-freezing temperatures” along the way. (Boston Globe)
14 — Percent of the homes in Newcastle are valued at more than a million dollars, according to a recently surfaced real estate database. (WOKQ)
500 — Pounds of baklava and other traditional Syrian pastries are produced on any given week at a burgeoning bakery in Concord, which has established itself as a supplier to Whole Foods and other stores across New England. (NHPR)
230,000 — People are expected to descend on Laconia in the days ahead as part of the town’s annual Bike Week celebration. (Union Leader)
17,060 — People live in Laconia on an average weekend. (City website)
4 — North Country bear cubs and members of “The Jackson Five” (after they were spotted wandering, with their late mother, around Jackson) are set to return to Coos County after a sting in rehab with the state’s “bear whisperers.” (Conway Daily Sun)
In Case You Missed It
Ari Ofsevit is a guy from Boston fueled by an intense, nerdy love for sports. The day after running this year’s Boston Marathon, his face was all over the cover of the Boston Globe and on all of the network news channels, but on the internet, people were accusing him of cheating. This is Ari’s story, brought to you by the Outside/In podcast.