Daniela Allee | New Hampshire Public Radio

Daniela Allee

Reporter

Daniela is NHPR's reporter in the Upper Valley and Monadnock regions. You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.

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.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Schouler Park sits in the middle of North Conway, right along the main strip of shops and restaurants. There's the scenic railroad station. Families throw baseballs and couples sit and chat on benches.  

On this field, Will Krug and Nick Sanderson have made lots of memories playing flag football.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The Portsmouth City Council has withdrawn its support of a conference on climate policy. 

The conference, titled "Climate Policy Choices: Payoffs and Trade-offs" once had the backing of the Portsmouth City Council.

But several residents raised concerns about the conference speakers, some of whom challenge policies that prioritize climate mitigation efforts, saying they're a big cost to the economy.

CREDIT MIKE ROSS, UNH

A UNH study looks at how the costs of childcare are pushing some families out of the middle class.

The study found that 9 percent of families with kids under 6 fell into low-middle class or low class because of childcare costs.

Beth Mattingly is the director of the Vulnerable Families Research Program at UNH. She said once kids reach school age, some families do find more economic stability. 

NHPR Staff

The University of New Hampshire and the state's community college system have signed an agreement that will help transfer students interested in studying science transfer their community college credits.

As part of this agreement, community colleges took a look at the depth of what they taught in their introductory science courses, and made sure the content matched up with introductory classes at UNH.

The idea is that way, students start at the right level when they transfer, and not have to take extra time to catch up.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/accoster/2264295876/">adam coster</a> / flickr

Churches across New Hampshire will say prayers on Sunday for those who are struggling with addiction. It's one way they're observing Overdose Awareness Day later in the week.

Richard Davenport is the priest and pastor at the Trinity Episcopal Church & Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Claremont.

His congregation isn't a stranger to the opioid crisis that's hit New Hampshire hard. Some have lost loved ones, and others struggle with addiction.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / Flickr Creative Commons

Melissa Babcock grew up in Pittsfield, went to Pittsfield schools, and now she's the elementary school's PTO president.

But the school district's tighter budgets and cuts to staff and programs have her worried.

That's why, after a forum about how state funding works for local districts in June, she and others wanted to do something about it.

The PTO and a group called Pittsfield Listens organized a roundtable to talk with candidates running for state legislature.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Peterborough's community center is getting a bit of a makeover—with a honey bee mural.

It's part of a local group's effort to raise awareness about the role bees play in our food systems.

Each bee Matt Willey paints is about 3 feet long. By the time he's done, there'll be 200 on this wall.

"It's amazing to me how many people I meet don't even know what a pollinator is,” he said.

Food, music and dance from Latino, Caribbean and African traditions will fill Manchester's Veterans Park this Saturday. But there’s also a focus on engaging young people to get involved with their communities

One of Diego Cataño’s favorite parts of the We Are One festival is when the music starts, and different people are dancing to beats from around the world. Cataño's been organizing these festivals for 18 years and besides bringing people from all backgrounds together he's also talking with younger Latinos about leading community events like this one.

James Sarmiento / Flickr

More than 120 people attended a forum on education funding in Newport on Tuesday night.

This is the second forum on education funding this year that Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky and attorney John Tobin have put on. Both were lawyers in the original cases that sued the state for adequate funding.

During their presentation, which drew attendees from nearly two dozen towns, they broke down differences in property taxes across the state and the percentages towns pay for education versus the state.

UNH

A new UNH study looked at how well college personnel understand sexual assault and rape reporting regulations.

Researchers called Title IX offices, which oversee gender equality issues, and campus police at more than one hundred and fifty colleges around the country.

Flikr Creative Commons / rex libris

The New Hampshire state Board of Education has adopted new computer science academic standards.

David Benedetto is the STEM and Computer science administrator at the New Hampshire Department of Education. 

These new standards will focus more on technical skills, like coding and data analysis.

"[It's] sort of bringing in these things to modernize our technology education, and hopefully relate that to other areas of study as well,” Benedetto said.

Schools across the state would have a few years to make plans to incorporate the new standards.

The State Board of Education has released a statement regarding recent Facebook comments made by a Department of Education employee.

Last week, Anthony Schinella, the department's communications director, made posts criticizing a gathering of state business leaders focused on diversity in the workforce. 

He wrote that increased diversity could bring more crime and create a "cesspool." 

The Board said it's "deeply disappointed" by the comments and that "our public schools are and ought to be welcoming to everyone." 

Photo by Aerrin99, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Southern New Hampshire University is launching a competitive E-sports program this fall. It'll be the first of its kind in the state.

E-sports are a team-based, competitive form of video gaming.

There's been a club team at SNHU for a few years.

But, now that the sport is officially backed by the university, players will have more resources available—a dedicated computer lab where they can practice, scholarships, and even housing for gamers. 

Tim Fowler is the director of e-sports. 

Via Youtube (Link to video in the story)

About 30 people gathered at the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth on Thursday to learn more an invasive species known as jumping, or snake, worms. 

Many of the gardeners wanted to know: how do we get rid of them?

Wikimedia commons

The Dunbarton school district had an extra million dollars in the budget, and that means some extra money for taxpayers.

A judge ruled last week the school district couldn't hold an emergency meeting about the excess funds. With that ruling, the excess funds will now go toward reducing the tax rate, but only for one year.

That means someone with a home assessed at $300,000 would see a decrease of about $1,000 in their taxes.

Clem Madden is the vice chairman of the school board.

"The accumulation of these funds took everyone by surprise," he said.

After a vote to break the tax cap, and then a reversal of that decision, the Franklin City Council Wednesday night finalized a school budget for the next year. But it still falls short of what the school board requested.

James Sarmiento / Flickr

Educators will meet at Plymouth State University this week to take part in a summit on rural schools.

The Rural Educational Leaders Network brings teachers and administrators together to collaborate on issues they face, such as funding, varied class offerings, and population decline.

David Backler is the superintendent of SAU 20 in Gorham. He says this summit is also a chance to bring ideas and practices back to his schools.

"You want to be able to position yourself in a way you can showcase all the things you can provide."

The Rochester City Council rejected a community petition on Tuesday to relocate a private drug recovery center.

The council said it doesn't have the legal authority to force a relocation unless the center is breaking the law or violating a zoning ordinance.

Sixty-five people have signed the petition. In it, community members say they’ve have seen an increase in drug activity in their neighborhood around the SOS Recovery Community Organization.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

As Granite Staters watch this year's World Cup tournament, many from abroad are following their home teams closely. NHPR's Daniela Allee went to a Colombian bakery in Nashua Tuesday to talk with Colombians as their team took on England.

Vanessa Guerra said she woke up on Tuesday at 5 a.m. already thinking about the match.

She usually watches Colombia's World Cup games at home with her mom. When she's not there, she heads to Latin Bakery and Multiservice on Lowell Street.  

A federal judge blocked work requirements in the state of Kentucky's Medicaid program last Friday.

New Hampshire has similar requirements as part of its renewed Medicaid expansion.

Franklin's nearly 30-year old tax cap won't be in place next year. The city council overrode the mayor’s veto to break the tax cap with a 6 to 3 vote Thursday night.

After years of budget shortfalls and layoffs, Franklin’s school district has some breathing room, at least for one year. That's how long this proposed tax cap break would last.

The school district would get $708,623, and could rehire most of the 14 staff members laid off this year.

Asea / Flikr Creative Commons

Governor Sununu signed a bill on Wednesday that would extend the subsidy for the Burgess BioPower biomass plant in Berlin by three years.

Under a 2011 agreement, Eversource pays Burgess at above-market prices. That's capped at 100 million dollars, but that could be reached sooner than anticipated.

So, with this new bill, the subsidy will continue for three years after hitting the cap. 

Those who opposed this bill argued that those above-market prices would be passed on to customers.

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