Annie Ropeik

Reporter: Energy, Environment, Seacoast

Credit Samantha Searles / NHPR

Annie Ropeik joined NHPR’s reporting team in 2017, following stints with public radio stations and collaborations across the country. She has reported everywhere from fishing boats, island villages and cargo terminals in Alaska, to cornfields, factories and Superfund sites in the Midwest.

Her work has appeared on NPR, the BBC and CNN, and earned recognition from PRNDI and multiple state press clubs.

Originally from Silver Spring, MD, Annie caught the public media bug during internships at NPR in Washington and WBUR in Boston. She studied classics at Boston University and enjoys a good PDF, the rule of threes and meeting other people’s dogs.

Ways to Connect

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state is trying to reassure environmental advocates in the wake of a controversial federal decision to ease pollution enforcement during the pandemic.

wikimedia commons

Contract lecturers at the University of New Hampshire have a new collective bargaining agreement.

The school announced Thursday that it had ratified a deal with the lecturers union in late March.

The negotiations date to well before the coronavirus pandemic forced UNH to close its dorms and move to remote instruction.

The new agreement runs through June of 2022. It covers new policies for leaves of absence, performance reviews and promotions, according to a UNH statement.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire's summer tourism season is still months away. But many towns with economies built around seasonal visitors are seeing an influx of second homeowners and renters.

The new arrivals are looking for an escape amid the coronavirus pandemic – causing an unsual sense of tension in places where locals and out-of-towners can usually coexist.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on coronavirus in New Hampshire delivered to your inbox.  

Salmon Press Newspapers

Newspapers in New Hampshire are in a strange position with COVID-19: lots of readers, but a steep decline in revenue as businesses close in the pandemic.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on coronavirus in New Hampshire delivered to your inbox.  

Right now, in any other year, the Lakes Region would be gearing up for summer – hotels would be selling rooms, restaurants would be preparing to reopen.

Chuck Taylor / Flickr Creative Commons

The state is setting new limits on eating fish from Squam Lake after some species were found to contain high levels of a likely carcinogen.

The Department of Environmental Services says it found PCBs in small-mouth bass and yellow perch from the lake.

Past research had shown high levels of the toxic industrial chemicals in loon eggs and sediment from the lake. 

Now, DES says people should limit consumption of these fish -- even further than they would under normal state guidelines.

Mount Washington Avalanche Center

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center will close for the season Monday, officials say, so as not to encourage ill-advised outdoor recreation by continuing to issue their usual daily forecasts. 

“At this time, the need to reduce exposure of workers and forest visitors to the novel coronavirus outweighs the value of providing avalanche safety information to backcountry travelers,” the center says in a statement.

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests

Despite Gov. Chris Sununu’s stay-at-home order, which takes effect at midnight Friday night, New Hampshire residents are still allowed -- and encouraged -- to go outside to exercise.

But not every hiking and walking spot is available or safe to use during the coronavirus pandemic, according to conservation groups

apartments.com

Seacoast nonprofits say dozens of families could be in jeopardy if a Dover rental complex decides to stop providing publicly subsidized housing next year.

The owners of the 50-unit Rutland Manor Apartments recently told tenants that they won’t be renewing their federal Section 8 housing contract in April 2021, according to Foster’s Daily Democrat.

Recycling handlers across the state are concerned about coronavirus exposure despite federal reassurance.

The current federal guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to municipal waste operators is that they can keep handling people's trash and recyclables in the usual way without an extra risk of picking up coronavirus.

“That’s surprising to many of our members and they want to take additional steps," says Reagan Bissonnette, the executive director of the Northeast Resource Recovery Association.

Centers for Disease Control

The cities of Manchester and Nashua are seeking donations of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment as they work to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

Via UNH website

Note: This is an updated version of an earlier story  

At UNH, online move comes after confusion  

The University of New Hampshire and other state schools are ending in-person classes for the rest of this semester. 

Click here for all of NHPR's coronavirus coverage, including our live blog, FAQs, and the latest guidance from health officials.

The state university system made the decision Wednesday night due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

UPDATE, March 19: Governor Sununu announced Wednesday, March 18, that he has ordered Cannon Mountain, a state-run ski area, to cease operations at the close of business on March 18.

“It has become clear today that large amounts of public congregation is occurring at Cannon Mountain," Sununu said in a statement. "With the weekend quickly approaching, I have instructed Cannon management to cease operations by end of business today.”

Three other areas that were open closed at the end of the day March 18: Bretton Woods, Gunstock, and Waterville Valley.

The Joinery via Facebook

Restrictions on restaurants and bars, issued in light of the coronavirus pandemic, are hitting hard for some New Hampshire small business owners – including at least one who’s already made the decision to close his doors.

Until yesterday, chef Brendan Vesey ran the Joinery in Newmarket, serving his take on Southern food in a refurbished mill downtown.

The restaurant was already running on thin margins, Vesey says – “the receipts that are coming in from this week are paying the bills from last week.”

Colleen West via Facebook

Historic measures to combat the spread of coronavirus in New Hampshire mean it's not the Saint Patrick’s Day many Irish pubs in the state were hoping for.

Siobhan Andrikowich is general manager of the Barley House in Concord. She broke the news to her staff last night, after Gov. Chris Sununu ordered bars and restaurants to close except for takeout and delivery.

John K via Flickr CC

A new bill in Congress would give states $20 billion over the next 10 years to test and treat their water supplies for toxic PFAS chemicals.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is a lead sponsor of the Democratic legislation, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Delaware Sen. Tom Carper.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

House lawmakers advanced bills today, over Republican objections, to limit the use of plastic straws and Styrofoam containers.

One bill would ban Styrofoam containers at food service businesses statewide, except in the case of some grocery products.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on whether the legislature can ban firearms from Representatives Hall at the State House.

The ban has been a partisan issue that's varied over the years as the makeup of the House has shifted. It was reinstated last year by the current Democratic majority, under House Speaker Steve Shurtleff.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a contract dispute between a local business and the social media giant Facebook.

The case centers on the Instagram account of Teatotaller, a Somersworth cafe owned by Emmett Soldati.

Soldati, who’s also running for Executive Council, represented himself in the appeal. He says Instagram – which is owned by Facebook – unfairly deleted his paid business account in 2018.

Weirs Cam / Winnipesaukee.com

New Hampshire's frozen lakes and ponds are starting to thaw as winter winds down, and state officials want citizens to send in their observations of local "ice out" dates.

Teatotaller / via Instagram

The New Hampshire Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday in a dispute between Facebook and a Seacoast coffee shop.

Emmett Soldati owns Teatotaller in Somersworth. He's suing Facebook for, he says, unfairly deleting his cafe's Instagram account in 2018.

Soldati, who is also running for Executive Council, argues that Facebook's terms of use directed him to take the case to a local small claims court.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR File Photo

Town meeting ballots across New Hampshire on Tuesday will include a resolution in support of carbon pricing, due in part to the efforts of youth climate activists.

The warrant article is spearheaded by a group of nonprofits and advocacy groups, under the name Carbon Cash-Back Coalition.

Joe Klementovich / Hubbard Brook

New Hampshire scientists unveiled a landmark study Friday of how ice storms affect northern forests.

The first-of-its-kind research, from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in North Woodstock, could help landowners and emergency managers plan for future disasters.

Courtesy WMNF

The White Mountain National Forest is expanding with the addition of a popular rock climbing destination in Rumney.

The federal forest will now include 85 acres in the Rumney Rocks area. It includes trails and a parking lot built recently by the Rumney Climbers’ Association.

Nonprofits have raised money and gotten federal funding in recent years to build out the trail and climbing route system and prevent erosion on the cliffs.

NH Preservation Alliance

Senate lawmakers on Thursday advanced a plan to expand state conservation funding, while voting down an alternative supported by Gov. Chris Sununu.

LCHIP

Gov. Chris Sununu says he'd support a budget increase for a popular state conservation fund. It’s the latest turn in a running debate on the issue with state lawmakers.

Dead River Company

New Hampshire's heating fuel industry is trying to recruit workers at a time of low unemployment.

The Dead River Company, which serves Northern New England, is expanding a program to employ and train recent trade school graduates as fuel technicians or truck drivers.

At the same time, training director Dan Carrigan says his company and the industry as a whole are looking to the future of home heating, amid a push to transition away from fossil fuels.

Sargent Corporation

House lawmakers heard sharply divided testimony Thursday on plans to limit the development of private landfills in the state.

State regulators are monitoring how this winter’s low snowpack could affect water supplies in the dry summer months.

The state has between 60 and 75 percent less snow on the ground than average right now. State water division director Tom O’Donovan says that's just one source of the state’s drinking water and other water supplies – in reservoirs, lakes and wells.

Michael Kappel/Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative has taken the rare step of adjusting its winter electric rate mid-season, due to warm temperatures and low prices. 

Cobbetts Pond Improvement Association

State officials say too much salt is being applied to New Hampshire roads this winter, and they worry that warmer, wetter winters could make the problem worse in future.

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