Rachel Cohen

News Intern - All Things Considered
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In a small New Hampshire community two sisters, Henrietta and Jane, grow up under the shadow of a folk tale about the ruins of a house near their own. The house, more than a century earlier, was the home of a family of five who, legend has it, were transformed into coyotes. 

NHPR

Lawmakers voted on some major bills Thursday, involving guns, election law and, in the House, to override Governor Sununu's veto of the bill to repeal the death penalty. NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers kept tabs on all of the activity, and he joined Peter Biello to talk about the full day on All Things Considered.

In March, a lunchroom employee named Bonnie Kimball lost her job at Mascoma Valley Regional High School.

Her employer, a company called Cafe Services, based in Manchester, fired her for providing lunch to a student who had no money in their account.

The story is getting a lot of attention around the state and reporter Tim Camerato broke the story in the Valley News. He spoke with NHPR's Emily Quirk on All Things Considered.

Stan Sholick

Symphony New Hampshire announced Monday that Roger Kalia will be the new music director for the orchestra.

The 96-year old symphony, based in Nashua, had been searching for a new leader for over a year. Kalia currently serves as the music director for Orchestra Santa Monica, the Lake George Music Festival and Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra in California. He joins me in the studio now.

So what excites you most about this new role that you're stepping into?

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Joe Biden is heading home after his first swing through New Hampshire in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. He visited Manchester Community College, a Hampton pizzeria, and a house party in Nashua. NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers was there for much of it, and he spoke with Peter Biello on All Things Considered about what he's noticed at Biden's first 2020 campaign stops.

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Concord based musician Senie Hunt will release his first studio album this weekend. The five track composition features Hunt’s impressive talents as a finger-style guitarist. Hunt frequently performs across the state, and he joined NHPR’s Peter Biello in the studio to talk about his music.

Was it your family that introduced you to this kind of music?

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A group of Dartmouth engineering students recently won a challenge from NASA to design a greenhouse for Mars. 

The challenge was laid out by NASA: Create a system to feed four astronauts on a 600-day mission to Mars.

Of the five teams from around the country that made it to the final stage of the BIG Ideas competition, the team of 8 students from Dartmouth won for their greenhouse called DEMETER.

DEMETER stands for Deployable Enclosed Martian Environment for Technology, Eating, and Recreation.

Bruce Jolin

An exhibit that opened last Friday at the Portsmouth Athenaeum's Randall Gallery celebrates LGBT history on New Hampshire's Seacoast. The founder of the Seacoast LGBT History Project, Tom Kaufhold, worked for four years to collect mementos, posters, and artwork from the community. Kaufhold spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello about the exhibit, which runs through July 6.

The title of this exhibit is "Seacoast LGBT History: 50 years of Rainbow Reflections." Why focus on 50 years?

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Some cities and towns in New Hampshire have long said they should be able to keep more of the economic benefit they bring to the state through tourism.

Right now, much of that benefit goes to the state through the meals and rooms tax.  A new bill would address this - it would give municipalities the option of collecting an extra two dollars a night from hotel room rentals in their areas, including Airbnb rentals.

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For the first time, one of the teachers up for the New Hampshire Teacher of the Year award works inside the state prisons. Kimberly Piper is employed by the New Hampshire Department of Corrections as a high school English teacher, and she is one of nine semi-finalists for the honor, which will be announced in September.

COURTESY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE COALITION TO END HOMELESSNESS

When the temperatures dropped below zero for multiple nights last winter, local organizations and community leaders in Rochester came together to open the city's first emergency cold weather shelter. This was after other homeless shelters in the area had already filled up.

The mayors of Rochester, Dover, and Somersworth went on to form a regional council to address homelessness. 

MOUNT WASHINGTON OBSERVATORY

The Mount Washington Observatory celebrated an anniversay on Friday. It's been 85 years since observers recorded a 231-mile-per-hour wind speed on the mountaintop.

Eric Kelsey is the Director of Research at the Mount Washington Observatory.

He says first-hand accounts from the researchers give a glimpse of that April day in 1934. 

Peter Biello/NHPR

Marian Engström always had a few nagging suspicions about her boyfriend Tate. Before he died suddenly, she wondered about that faraway empty look in Tate's eyes, and was puzzled by a profound lack of empathy he sometimes displayed.

And then there was the time he said he found the body of a young woman who had been murdered. Did he really just find that young woman? Or was he somehow responsible for her death?

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One of the top podcasts on the charts right now imagines the U.S. in a massive blackout - no electricity, no cell phone service, and a potential conspiracy. It's called Blackout, a fictional story that’s set in Berlin, New Hampshire.

Governor Chris Sununu comes from one of New Hampshire's most prominent political families. His father, John H. Sununu, served as governor and later as chief of staff for former President George H.W. Bush. His brother, John E. Sununu, served as a U.S. congressman and senator. In the latest episode of Outside/In, a podcast about the outdoors, NHPR's Annie Ropeik and Sam Evans-Brown track the Republican Party's views on climate change over the years through the lens of this one political family.

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bill before the New Hampshire Legislature this session would require all school districts to provide suicide prevention training to faculty, staff, and volunteers. The bill has already passed the Senate and will move onto the House next week. 

A survey conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness in New Hampshire in 2014 found that most districts had no suicide prevention policy in place.

Peter Biello/NHPR

Esports, or organized video game competitions, are growing in popularity at colleges and universities across the country. Two schools in New Hampshire have programs: Southern New Hampshire University and New England College. They are among the first 131 schools in the National Association of Collegiate eSports. For New England College in Henniker, N.H., the Esports program is seen as both another extracurricular activity for students, and a way for the school to try to attract more prospective students.

 

Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, based in Monroe, New Hampshire, is facing a lawsuit backed by PETA, the animal rights organization.

The four plaintiffs in the suit, filed in a New York federal court earlier this month, are consumers who claim they were misled by the company’s marketing.

Robert Garrova / NHPR

The deaths of James and Lizette Eckert on Friday shook the community of Alton, especially because the Attorney General's office says an 11-year-old has been charged under juvenile laws. 

Because the alleged shooter is a juvenile, some unusual legal questions arise. 

Britta Greene/NHPR

In the wake of snowy town meeting days in the past two years, lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow towns to delay their elections in the case of storms.

  Four years ago, some fourth-graders from Hampton Falls were met with disappointment as they watched House lawmakers tear apart a bill they crafted with the help of their teacher. The bill was to make the red-tailed hawk the official state raptor of New Hampshire, but it failed to pass in the House of Representatives.

 

This year, the same children, now eighth-graders, are bringing the bill back.

Annie Ropeik/NHPR

  Today the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 279 to 88 in favor of repealing the state’s death penalty. Lawmakers have voted on this issue many times in the past few years. It’s been vetoed by governors before, and it’s expected that Governor Sununu will veto it again this year.

Rachel Cohen/NHPR

Last weekend, the Oscar for “Best Documentary” went to a film called Free Solo, which captures the rope-free climb of Alex Honnold up the awe-inspiring face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Nobody had ever done a free solo climb of "El Cap" and it had previously been considered impossible. Free solo climbers use no ropes or equipment, so a single slip-up could mean a fatal fall to earth.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to outdoor recreation opportunities. But some recreation groups and business leaders say the state isn’t doing enough to boost the recreation industry. They’re supporting legislative efforts to create an Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development.

The pages of romantic novels have long been where readers turn for fantasy and guilty pleasure. But as ideas around love and relationships change in society, the genre has gone through some changes, too.

Peter Biello/NHPR

Musician Snatam Kaur is preparing for the most high-profile performance of her career. This Sunday, the Wilton-based recording artist will take the stage at the 61st Grammy Awards ceremony.  Kaur will perform “Darashan Maago,” a song on her latest album Beloved, which is nominated for best album in the new age category.

On Beloved, sacred Sikh mantras are set to devotional music. Kaur’s parents embraced Sikhism when she was young, and she says that greatly influenced her career as a musician.

Rachel Cohen/NHPR

  Sunset Heights Elementary School in Nashua has a newly-elected state official walking its halls.

Fifth grader Lola Giannelli was sworn in at the Statehouse last week as New Hampshire’s first ever "Kid Governor."

 

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A new report from Columbia University and First Street Foundation finds that sea level rise and associated tidal flooding have already soaked up value from the coastal New England real estate market.

Researchers say homes have forgone $400 million in relative value since 2005. And in New Hampshire, it has cost homeowners $15 million in lost value.

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On Wednesday, Republican governors Chris Sununu and Phil Scott of Vermont announced a joint plan to bring voluntary paid family medical leave to the two states.

As NHPR's Robert Garrova reports, Governor Sununu outlined the plan, titled the Twin State Voluntary Leave Plan, which would allow for six weeks of paid leave to care for a child or spouse with a serious medical condition, among other qualifying events.