Robert Garrova

Reporter, G.A./Demographics

Robert is a General Assignment reporter, with a focus on New Hampshire's changing demographics. He comes to NHPR’s newsroom from Los Angeles, where he worked as a reporter for member-station KPCC and a producer/director on APM’s Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal.

His work has been featured on Marketplace’s flagship program, Southern California Public Radio and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Robert has reported on a wide range of topics, including the largest fire in California history and the re-discovered costumes of a silent film star.

He’s looking forward to learning everything he can about New Hampshire and the people who call the Granite State home. 

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The 18th annual New Hampshire Film Festival kicks off Thursday in Portsmouth.

The four day festival features films from everywhere, but organizers say there’s a tradition of recognizing filmmaking in New Hampshire.

"There's never a shortage of material for us when we're looking to program New Hampshire Day,” says NHFF Executive Director Nicole Gregg. “So I would say that's a pretty good indication that it's a pretty active industry here in the state."

U.S. ICE

The ACLU is filing a lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement alleging unlawful detention of a Somali national.

 

In the suit, attorneys say Portland, Maine resident Abdigani Faisal Hussein has been held for more than six months at a Dover jail, which contracts with ICE to house immigration detainees.   

 

Flickr user "btckeychain."

The University of New Hampshire School of Law says it will launch a first-of-its-kind certificate program on blockchain and cryptocurrency.

 

UNH Law Professor Tonya Evans developed the program. She's a self-professed blockchain enthusiast in her spare time and says she appreciates efforts from businesses in the Portsmouth area to bring bitcoin transactions into the mainstream.

 

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Governor Chris Sununu joined education and law enforcement officials at the State House Tuesday to announce the availability of an app which seeks to increase school safety.

 

Nashua-based Ping4 Inc. CEO Jim Bender says his company is making its emergency communication system free to all New Hampshire schools.

 

Photo:<a href="http://www.401kcalculator.org">401Kcalculator.org</a> / Flickr

A new report that grades how well states are doing with enforcing laws around insurance coverage for mental illness gives New Hampshire a "C."

 

NHPR

New Hampshire Tourism officials are projecting some 300,000 visitors to the Granite State over the Columbus Day Weekend.

 

Overnight visitors are expected to spend more than $115 million this weekend.

 

"We're slammin,” says Tom Lapointe, innkeeper at the Adair Country Inn and Restaurant in Bethlehem. “So we're completely sold out for the weekend. And our dining room is, like, packed to the gills. We couldn't do anymore business."

 

The Quebec government has announced $7,500 in funding for a New Hampshire organization that promotes French culture.

 

The money will go toward programming organized by the Franco-American Centre in Manchester. That includes a celebration of the Quebec National Holiday in June.

 

The announcement came soon after Canadian and U.S. officials reached a tentative trade deal after more than a year of high-stakes NAFTA negotiations.  

 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A former St. Paul's School student accused of lying under oath during a grand jury investigation into sexual misconduct at the school was in court Monday.

Stephanie O'Connell of Chicago pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor offenses.

The charges stem from emails and phone contact she's accused of having with former St Paul's teacher David Pook during the state's investigation into the school.

Investigators claimed O'Connell had a sexual relationship with Pook, who was her teacher at St. Paul's.

O'Connell will serve no jail time as long as she pays a fine and does 500 hours of community service within five years.

The Attorney General's Office announced that New Hampshire will see more than $670,000 from a settlement with California-based ride-sharing company Uber.

 

The funds will go into the Consumer Protection Escrow Account as dictated by state law and are available for use by the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau, the AG says.

 

In 2016 hackers gained access to the personal data of millions of riders and drivers -- that included 763 drivers in the Granite State.

 

New Hampshire State Flag
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The non-profit New Hampshire Women's Foundation released its first demographics report Thursday on the status of women in the state.

 

On the surface, New Hampshire may look like its doing well when it comes to things like the rate of health insurance coverage, with more than 90 percent of adults having health insurance. But that's not the whole story, says Director of Policy at the foundation, Sarah Mattson Dustin.

 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The New Hampshire Attorney General has decided not to pursue more than a dozen cases related to a Border Patrol Checkpoint in the White Mountains in 2017.

Though checkpoints like these take place more than 90 miles from the Canadian border, they are legal under federal law.

NHPR Photo

State officials announced Wednesday night they had approved the lease transfer of the Mount Sunapee Ski Area to Colorado-based Vail Resorts.

 

New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Commissioner Sarah Stewart expressed her appreciation for both the public and Vail’s engagement during the approval process. “We have come to the conclusion that New Hampshire can be confident that Vail is a great fit for our state,” Stewart added in a statement.

 

The office of New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald announced Wednesday charges against a third person accused of double voting.

 

"We indicted Spencer McKinnon for alleged violation of RSA 659:34-a, for knowingly voting in more than one state during the November 2016 General Election," said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Broadhead, who is one of the prosecutors on the case.  

 

U.S. ICE

The ACLU of New Hampshire filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Exeter Police Department.

The suit alleges that officers arrested a man based on his suspected immigration status.  

Bashar Awawdeh is a Jordanian immigrant who married an American woman earlier this year. The case claims that Awawdeh, who speaks English and Arabic, helped officers translate statements of a convenience store co-worker who was suspected of simple assault.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

It was a room full of applause at the Wright Museum of WWII as Sen. Jeanne Shaheen praised Roger Campbell as one of the greatest of the Greatest Generation. The Technician Fourth Grade (Ret.) was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal.

 

"When I get up I'll salute this every morning," Campbell said after the ceremony.

 

NHPR File Photo

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday it will hold six public input and information sessions across New Hampshire on the subject of mental health.

 

The state wants to hear concerns of residents as it continues to work on its 10-year mental health plan.

 

Julianne Carbin, director of the DHHS Bureau of Mental Health Services, says development of the 10-year plan has been underway since early 2018.

 

Robert Garrova for NHPR

A commission tasked with providing recommendations to the state on possible development of a 200-acre piece of land in Laconia held a public hearing Tuesday night.

In the past, consulting firms have imagined the site could find new life as retirement housing, a sports complex and even a hotel facility.

But attendees got a presentation from planning and design firm NBBJ on Tuesday that imagines all three co-existing on the site along with dozens of starter homes. They call the proposal a "Multi-Generational Wellness Village."

(C) Chester Ludlow, 1972

Rain clouds are just starting to roll in over Franconia and Chris Brooks is leading me through saplings and overgrown grass. We’re trying to find a trace of the buildings that once stood here.

 

“It’s always hallucinogenic when I come in here, because it doesn’t look like anything I remember,” Brooks says.

 


NPR

Fourteen members of New Hampshire's Rescue Task Force are assisting with Hurricane Florence evacuations.

 

Two of the rescuers - Mike Meehan and Tom Defina - are with the Manchester Fire Department and have completed swiftwater rescue training.

 

Richard McGahey is the assistant fire chief there and says he got an update via text message Sunday night.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Governor Sununu's Council on Diversity and Inclusion will hold a public forum in Laconia on Monday evening. 

This is the next stop for the council in a series of listening sessions held across the state.

The public forums are organized to collect stories and concerns from the community so they can inform future policy and foster equity in the state. 

The community forum will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Laconia Middle School at 150 McGrath Street.

 

Robert Garrova for NHPR

A U.S. District Court judge in Concord issued an order this week halting the deportation of a 53-year-old Indonesian woman who'd been living in Portsmouth.

 

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Some residents and business owners in Franklin say they're fed up with a homeless encampment in the area.

Franklin Police are aware of a group of what ranges between roughly a dozen people or more camping on a hill and in surrounding woods near Trestle View Park.

Cathy Hubble runs a restaurant in Franklin and says she's recently decided to close earlier because of safety concerns.

Via Plymouth State web site

Plymouth State University will hold a conference Saturday to raise awareness about human trafficking.

 

"Even the victims themselves oftentimes don't recognize themselves as victims,” said Stephanie Halter, associate professor of criminal justice at Plymouth State University, member of the N.H. Human Trafficking Collaborative Task Force. “So it's kind of helping people understand what this really looks like and helping them see this as a crime."

U.S. ICE

  Dozens of Christian Indonesians challenging deportation orders issued last year have reached a milestone in their legal battle.

 

Yesterday, 44 of a total 51 individuals named in a class action suit from last year received notice that the U.S. Department of Justice would grant motions to reopen their asylum cases.

AlexiusHoratius/wikimedia commons

Parts of the state with lower property values may have a harder time building their economies. That’s one of several ideas outlined in the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute’s recent brief “Measuring New Hampshire’s Municipalities: Economic Disparities and Fiscal Capacities.”

Courtesy BHTNH

The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire is expanding its educational tours beyond the city of Portsmouth for the first time.

 

The non-profit has the goal of shining a light on African-American history in the state and this month they'll visit the town of Hancock. That's where a formerly-enslaved man named Jack Ware settled in the 1700s.

 

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

Six UNH lecturers whose contracts were not renewed have filed a complaint with the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission alleging age discrimination.

 

This comes after a total of 17 lecturers with the College of Liberal Arts received notice earlier this year that they would be cut.

 

University of New Hampshire Lecturers United president Catherine Moran said newly-hired faculty has moved into many of the positions and that those let go had worked for the university for between eight and 20 years.

NHPR File Photo

Representatives from law enforcement, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and state agencies met recently to discuss ways to expand mental health training for police officers.

"Police officers throughout the State of New Hampshire -- and I see a lot of them -- their consistent message is 'We need more mental health training,'" said Lieutenant Frank Harris, who helped organize the meeting.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA)

The California blazes that make up the largest fire in that state's history are affecting the air in New Hampshire.

Forecast models from the National Weather Service show low density smoke from California enveloping the Granite State for part of Friday and Saturday.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

A group of about 40 began their journey in the rain in front of Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in Manchester. They'll end up at the Strafford County jail in Dover.

 

Organizers from several faith-based groups have protested and led prayers outside the Norris Cotton Federal Building for about a year now. They say this action represents a bigger step towards bringing attention to immigration policy in the U.S.

 

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