Daniela Allee

Couch Fellow for Innovation

Daniela is NHPR's Couch Fellow for Innovation. 

Daniela Allee / NHPR

White Mountains Regional High School in Whitefield is surrounded by woods, and snow capped Mount Washington looms not far away.

A little ways from the school is a small field, filled with the bare bones of hand made shelters.

Aidan Wiggin’s a science teacher, and she gives me a tour of what her 9th and 10th grade students are building.  

Epsom is one of just a handful of towns in New Hampshire that doesn't have full-day kindergarten. 

But, on Tuesday, the Epsom School Board voted 3-1  to put full-day kindergarten on a warrant article for Town Meeting day in March. 

Carol Zink-Mailloux is part of the Full Day Kindergarten Committee, a group of parents who want to see that become a reality.

She says the group has been pushing for this to get to a town vote for the past year.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Last session, in a body of 400, there were just 23 state representatives under the age of 35.

But Democrats and Republicans who pay attention to the demographics of the State House say the next legislative session will see a boost in younger folks, including 42 representatives under the age of 40.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster cruised to a reelection victory Tuesday. Kuster won her fourth term in office in New Hampshire's 2nd Congressional District, beating Republican Steve Negron.

“Tonight the people of New Hampshire’s second congressional district sent a message loud and clear: they want a Granite State and they want a country where no one is left behind," Kuster told supporters at her headquarters in Concord.

Negron, in conceding the race, noted his appreciation for the respectful tone of the contest.

James Sarmiento / Flickr

For the past few years, the town of Newport has rejected increases to teacher salaries.

These are known as "step increases." They're based on the number of years worked, and add about an extra $1,200 each year to a teacher's salary.

Lisa Ferrigno is the co-president of the Newport Teacher's Association. She says the lack of salary increases means more teachers are leaving. 

"We're losing teachers who have been here five, 10, 15 years because of the off-step problem,” Ferrigno said.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The election process has been in the limelight across the country. On Friday morning, New Hampshire's top election officials gathered to send a strong message that the state's voting systems can be trusted.

Attorney General Gordon MacDonald reiterated that despite some recent court rulings and changes this year to the voter registration process, the state is on track for a smooth election.

"New Hampshire has a long history of running elections that are fair, well-run, and a very high degree of voter participation,” MacDonald said.

Miosotis Cora

Para leer esta historia en espanol, haga clic aqui, y haga clic aqui para recursos para votantes. 

New Hampshire’s Latino population is small, just around 4 percent. Still, in some areas, Spanish-speaking communities have grown steadily in recent years. In Nashua, many Latino voters are looking forward to participating in next week’s midterms. But some are finding it a challenge to get the information they need.  

Miosotis Cora

Para un manual basico sobre las elecciones, haga clic para leerlo en español.

En New Hampshire, la población latina es 4 por ciento de todo el estado. Pero la comunidad ha crecido poco a poco. En Nashua, hay votantes latinos que quieren participar en las elecciones de la próxima semana pero algunos tienen dificultades al encontrar la información que necesitan.

FILE

New Hampshire has a shortage of people volunteering as court appointed special advocates. These volunteers help abused and neglected children through the court processes.  

In 2015, the agency was able to accept 90 percent of family court cases. This past year, it was just able to accept 65 percent.

NHPR File Photo

On Sunday, Brazilians will head to the polls to elect their next president. For the first time, Brazilians in New Hampshire will be able to cast their ballot in state, at Nashua’s Elm Street Middle School.

In previous elections, many New Hampshire Brazilians would to head to Boston or Brighton to vote.

Cosme Neles is the president of Nashua's Latino Community Council, and he asked the Brazilian consulate in Boston to add Nashua to their list of polling places.

Bedford High School has a new interim dean of students.

Pam Ilg, who had retired from the Bedford school district last year, will replace Zanna Blaney. 

Blaney has been on paid administrative leave since the end of August.

She submitted testimony in support of a former colleague who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student this summer.

In the past two months, interim Superintendent Mike Fournier and high school administrators decided the role needed to be filled for the rest of the school year.

Photo: West Midlands Police/cc/flickr

The Portsmouth Police Commission is putting together a group to study whether the city police department should start using body cameras or patrol car cameras.

The group will look at the cameras' costs and how other New England communities use them, either for trainings or in court.

Jim Splaine is a Portsmouth police commissioner, and he proposed this review group last month.  He says, getting body cameras might just be a matter of time.

Via audio-luci | Flickr Creative Commons

Nashua school officials are worried about a shortage of substitute teachers. The Union Leader reports officials say there are about 300 subs who are no longer working this school year.

But this is also a problem across the state, and low unemployment numbers have a lot to do with that.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Harvard Pilgrim is now offering Narcan trainings for businesses using their health insurance. Their first ever training was in Concord on Friday at Riverbend Community Mental Health.

Eleven employees attended the training on how to use Narcan, the nasal spray that helps reverse an opioid overdose.

Peter Higbee / Nansen Ski Club

People driving through downtown Berlin, New Hampshire on Friday might hit an unusual "toll,” and a reminder that winter is coming.

Along Route 16, near Veteran's Memorial Park, Nansen Ski Club volunteers will stand on one side of the road behind traffic barricades, banner unfurled, and buckets open for some change or a dollar.

Dartmouth Tiltfactor

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth's Tiltfactor Laboratory have piloted two video games aimed at teaching bystander intervention skills to college students.

Bystander intervention means diffusing a situation that could become dangerous or lead to sexual assault.

In the games, students can practice intervening: in one game, called Ship Happens, players navigate scenarios in a faraway galaxy. The second game is Mindflock, a competitive team-based trivia game about college life.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

It’s a cloudy Friday, and Safiya Wazir is walking through her Concord Heights neighborhood.

This neighborhood is a mix of older people, young, working families, new immigrants and long-time residents. She’s knocking on doors and leaving behind fliers that say she’ll help bring a new generation to the New Hampshire State House.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Manchester Transit Authority has received a million dollars from the federal Department of Transportation to replace four buses in their fleet.

The useful lifespan of a bus is about a decade. The three full-size buses that'll be replaced have been running since 2006.

The MTA will also purchase a new para-transit bus that includes a low floor ramp instead of stairs.

This para-transit bus will complete the city’s fleet, and the city will get the new buses in 2019.

FDII / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal grant of $119,000 will allow New Hampshire's National Alliance on Mental Illness to train first responders in how to handle incidents where someone is having a mental health crisis.  

This type of training is known as crisis intervention. It'll be the first time there's a statewide effort to train state police on this, as well as fire and EMS responders.

New Hampshire agencies that settle refugees say they're concerned about the lower number of refugees to be admitted to the U.S. in 2019.

For fiscal year 2018, the cap was set at 45,000 refugees. For next fiscal year, that’s dropped to 30,000 refugees.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

On a warm, muggy Friday morning in the middle school’s library, 22 chairs are set around tables, in a u-shape.

 

Barbara Slayton is making sure the projector’s running. She’s the coordinator of school wellness at the Franklin School District, and she requested this training, after attending one herself a few months ago.

Raise Up New Hampshire is starting a new initiative to advocate for increased wages, benefits and paid family leave.

The group plans to kick off their Raise the Wage! campaign Monday afternoon at the State House.

There, community members will share their experiences earning a minimum wage in the state.

Rev. John Gregory-Davis is one of the campaign's leaders. He says this is an issue candidates need to pay attention to in this election.

Matthew Paulson, via Flickr

The State Board of Education is considering changing the credentialing requirements to be a sign language interpreter in New Hampshire schools.

The proposed rule change would require sign language interpreters to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree. As of now, they just need an associate's degree.

Nationally, there's a shortage of ASL interpreters. The Manchester School District has told the state Board of Education that the proposed change would make it harder to fill those positions.

Magicpiano via Wikimedia

All three members of the Kensington Board of Selectmen have resigned, sowing a bit of confusion across this small Rockingham County town.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Congresswoman Annie Kuster will face state Representative Steve Negron this November in the race for New Hampshire's second Congressional district. Kuster spoke to a crowd of about 20 at Concord Photo Service Wednesday about her priorities for the general election.

Kuster focused on what she called her efforts to reach across the aisle on issues like veteran healthcare, the opioid crisis and supporting small businesses.

It's a tone she wants to carry into the general election.

AP

Plymouth State University has received a grant from the federal government to train its clinical mental health students in treating substance abuse.

The $400,000 will go towards two things: paying students a $10,000 stipend when they intern at a partner health center, and providing training and conference funding for students and faculty.

Robin Hausheer is an assistant professor at Plymouth State. She says there's a shortage of mental health care workers across the state. And those folks are key in meeting the needs of people struggling with substance abuse.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

About 15 people in Concord learned how to use voting technology for the visually impaired at FutureInSight, a local non-profit.

The system, called One4All, was first used in the 2016 state primary.

It's tablet-based. There's a keyboard and voice output that reads through the candidates. Voters hit "enter" on a keyboard to pick their candidate.

This year's system has a few small tweaks: the voice output is clearer and a bit faster, for one thing.

Berlin School District

The city of Berlin and its school district will host a forum Thursday that explains how the state funds public education.

They're calling it: "Save Our Schools: Save Education Funding Now."

Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky and lawyer John Tobin have led three of these forums in other property-poor towns around the state.

The pair were lawyers in the original lawsuits against the state for adequate school funding more than two decades ago.

Oyster River School District

After Durham's decision to adopt the holiday, community members asked Oyster River superintendent Jim Morse if adopting Indigenous People's Day is something he would consider.

Morse says this is part of the district's efforts to be inclusive of all people. 

"Our history, collective history goes back beyond Columbus. Goes back well thousands of years, roughly 13, 000 years, and to recognize the influence that  our indigenous people have on our current culture," he said.

Wikimedia commons

The New Hampshire Young Farmers have spent the last week donating milk to food pantries across the state. It's a way to show support for dairy farmers as they face low prices for milk.

The group was inspired by a farm broadcaster in Ohio who challenged people to purchase 10 gallons of milk and donate it.

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