Alex McOwen | New Hampshire Public Radio

Alex McOwen

News Intern

Alex McOwen is NHPR’s news intern. Previously, she worked as the All Things Considered intern for NHPR and as a production intern for NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me.

Alex is a graduate of McGill University where she studied communications and anthropology and worked as a producer for the school’s student television station.

Johannes Thiel via Flickr cc

As the state awaits an announcement from Governor Sununu on schools reopening, New Hampshire mayors say they’re moving forward with plans for next year.

Click or tap here to sign up for NHPR's coronavirus newsletter to get the latest updates.

Mayor Bob Carrier of Dover says he won’t be waiting until the last minute. Instead, he says, local officials have been proactively planning what next year will look like.

NHPR File Photo

A Salem police captain was arrested Thursday for tax fraud related to profits from the sale of firearms.

Michael Wagner, of Pelham, is accused of purchasing 36 assault rifles from Sig Sauer Academy in Epping using a law enforcement discount, and reselling them for a profit of more than $33,000.

Governor Sununu has set aside $35 million from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide housing assistance for individuals who have trouble paying their rent and utilities as a result of the pandemic.

Courtesy of Camp Hale / United South End Settlements & Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Ninety-five percent of New Hampshire sleepaway camps will remain closed this summer.

The governor’s guidelines for reopening allow overnight camps to reopen this Monday, June 29.

But Ken Robbins, president of the New Hampshire Camp Directors Association, says late notice and strict guidelines have forced most camps to stay closed.

U.S. Drought Monitor

Southern New Hampshire is now officially in a drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The state’s Department of Environmental Services says low snowpack and dry weather earlier in the year have led to this point.

“In some parts of the state we are 7 inches of rain behind where we would be on an average year,” says Thomas O’Donovan, director of the department’s Water Division. “And in most of the state we’re about 3 and a half to 4 inches behind.”

Concord Parks and Rec Department

New Hampshire’s day camps are allowed to open today, but some won’t be bringing kids back until later in the season.

Rus Wilson, Portsmouth’s recreation director, says that city's camps are starting up on July 6th, the same day its public pool opens.

Savannah Maher/NHPR

Claremont’s third annual Rural Pride is moving online this year due to COVID-19. Matt Mooshian, founder of Rural Outright, the organization behind the event, says it’s important to still hold Pride events this year, especially in rural areas.

Christina Phillips/NHPR

Black activists, allies, and Manchester community members gathered Thursday night outside the YWCA to listen to youth voices speak about their experiences with racism in New Hampshire. 

This Friday’s Juneteenth celebration in Manchester will include art, music, poetry, and free COVID-19 testing.

Tia Parker, one of the event’s organizers, says they asked the city for a testing site because there are often barriers to COVID-19 testing in African American communities.

“So I want to make sure that this event also had something like that tied into it,” she says. “Just have a place where you can call the number, and there’s no cost to you, and you can come just get tested and have that accessibility.”

The history of school desegregation in America has long been centered around the southern United States.

But in her new book, "In Pursuit of Knowledge," University of New Hampshire Professor Dr. Kabria Baumgartner explores an earlier story from much closer to home.

She joined All Things Considered host Peter Biello.

Note: The following transcript is lightly edited for clarity

Christina Phillips/NHPR

High school students and others gathered in Concord Saturday to march in support of Black Lives Matter and to honor the memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other black Americans killed by police.

Courtesy DDA604 via Flickr/Creative Commons. (

As of today, two-thirds of New Hampshire’s child care centers have been designated as emergency child care programs.

This designation is required for centers opening under the state’s recent guidelines.

Approximately ten thousand children are being served through the emergency program. But Department of Health and Human Services Associate Commissioner Chris Tappan says the demand for child care is changing every day.

On March 15, Gov. Chris Sununu announced K-12 school closures across New Hampshire and a transition to remote learning. Just over a month later, he extended his order through the end of the school year.


The decision changed the way the education system operates.

Sara Marzinik

On March 15, Gov. Chris Sununu announced K-12 school closures across New Hampshire and a transition to remote learning. Just over a month later, he extended his order through the end of the school year.

The decision, while necessary, changed the way the education system operates. 


New Hampshire Circuit Courts are now accepting electronically filed petitions for protection from domestic violence and stalking.

Before the COVID-19 crisis, the courts required an in-person filing at a local courthouse.

Domestic Violence Program Manager Sarah Freeman says with courts limiting the number of people inside, domestic violence and stalking filings have dropped by about 20 percent.

Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire has few places left open for people to cool off during this week's heat wave.

Phil Alexakos, Chief Operations Officer for the Manchester Health Department, says if temperatures reach what is considered “extreme heat,” the city may have to create designated cooling centers.

“And we would have to do that now with the lens of properly distancing folks,” he says. “So that’s what we’re going to be working on is looking at our existing plans and making sure that they take into account proper distancing and precautions and screenings.”

photon_de via Flickr CC /

With more time at home, many New Hampshire residents are taking up gardening. But some gardening supplies are in short supply.

Dave Short, owner of the Stratham Circle Nursery, says his business is booming.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years and haven’t seen anything like this,” Short says.

He says the demand for plants is up in every category, in particular, edible plants like fruits and vegetables. He thinks people have a survivalist mentality right now.

With Seacoast beaches closed for Memorial Day, Lakes Region locals are prepping for a busy three-day weekend.

Laconia City Manager Scott Myers says he expects people to be outside this weekend hiking, biking, and sitting on the beach.

David Mulder via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire dental practices began reopening Monday, seeing patients for non-urgent, elective procedures. 

The state released guidelines on Friday that allow dentist’s offices to reopen so long as they have adequate personal protective equipment to protect staff and safely treat patients. 

Cori Princell / NHPR

Almost all of the state's farmers markets intend to open this year, with new precautions to address COVID-19.

The Concord Farmers Market opens for the season on Saturday. Wayne Hall, the market’s president and owner of Rockey Ole Farm in Concord, says that in addition to opening the market a week later than normal, he’s been working on new policies to keep both patrons and vendors safe.

Peter Biello/NHPR

Because of COVID-19, the New Hampshire Department of Corrections suspended all visits and volunteer services at the state’s prisons on March 16, more than 7 weeks ago. 

Nicole Belonga has been serving time at the New Hampshire State Prison for women in Concord for 11 years.

She says these efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus have cut off almost all contact with the outside world, making stressful prison life even more so.

Peter Biello/NHPR

Two months ago, before the coronavirus pandemic transformed the world, I met in Manchester with a man named Mukhtar Idahow. He was born in Somalia, raised in Kenya, and has been advocating for refugees in New Hampshire for about 15 years.

This story is part of our series Lifelines: Addressing Trauma in the Age of COVID-19

Courtesy DDA604 via Flickr/Creative Commons. (

As of May 1, more than 300 child care programs statewide have been designated as emergency providers to help support the children and families of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Christina Lachance of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation says some emergency child care centers are closing their doors due to a lack of demand.

“I think as more businesses have shut down, some centers, although they had wanted to remain open, just don’t have enough volume to remain open,” she says.

The Concord Monitor

All this week, as part of our series Lifelines, NHPR is looking at something that even in normal times, isn't easy to talk about -  trauma.

Linda Douglas is the trauma specialist at the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She’s been working with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in New Hampshire since 2005, and she regularly runs trainings on trauma for institutions across the state.


Parts of New Hampshire’s economy are starting to open up, but a stay-at-home order remains in effect. We’re still crowded into houses with restless kids, still out of work, and still missing a lot of the things we used to do. 

Click or tap to sign up for NHPR's coronavirus newsletter to get the latest stories and updates.

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State child care advocates say New Hampshire’s essential industries will not be able to operate at full capacity without first expanding access to and affordability of child care.

Health and Human Services Associate Commissioner Chris Tappan says that in the grocery industry, for example, over a quarter of employees are in need of some type of child care.

Leaders in Manchester announced Thursday they won’t be breaking up the city’s homeless camp sites during the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Since COVID-19 hit New Hampshire, the state’s largest homeless shelter, New Horizons in Manchester, has seen about 60 residents leave. 

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

Though the building is closed to the public, staff at the Portsmouth Public Library are continuing to collect public documents and newspaper articles to add to their archive – including those on COVID-19.

Now, the library wants to include the personal side of the pandemic in their collection.

They’re asking Seacoast residents to chronicle their pandemic experience through an online community diary.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Traducido al español por María Aguirre

Originalmente escrito en inglés por Alex McOwen  

El martes 26 de marzo, el gobernador Chris Sununu emitió la orden de quedarse en casa hasta el 4 de mayo para los residentes de New Hampshire. Él ordenó que todos los negocios no esenciales cierren, comenzando a la medianoche del viernes 27 de marzo. La decisión forma parte de los esfuerzos del estado para detener la propagación del coronavirus en New Hampshire. 

VIA Q1045

With schools closed for the rest of the year, many major milestones for high schoolers are suddenly being canceled as well - everything from graduations, to proms, spring sports, and school plays.

Because of this, teens may be feeling overwhelming loss, disappointment, and uncertainty about the future, which can lead to more serious mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with Kallie Provencher, the school social worker at Nashua High School North, to learn more about how teens are coping with the COVID-19 crisis.