Sean Hurley

North Country Reporter

Sean Hurley lives in Thornton with his wife Lois and his son Sam.  An award-winning playwright and radio journalist, his fictional “Atoms, Motion & the Void” podcast has aired nationally on NPR and Sirius & XM Satellite radio.  When he isn't writing stories or performing on stage, he likes to run in the White Mountains. He can be reached at shurley@nhpr.org. 

Ken Gallager

Trails in the White Mountains could be more challenging this holiday weekend. As NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports many still show signs of winter.

It may be summer in New Hampshire but Frank Carus, with the Forest Service,  says most of our taller peaks don’t know it yet. "We've had a lot of snow," Carus says, "and you're going to run into snow anywhere between 3,500 hundred and 4000 feet."

Sean Hurley

In what’s being called the biggest coin drop in American history, hundreds of coin dealers across the country spent the end of April seeding over a million vintage and collectible coins back into circulation. As NHPR’s Sean Hurley tells us, the Littleton Coin Company joined in the Great American Coin Hunt, distributing 50,000 rare coins across northern New England.

Sean Hurley

Mud Season has arrived in New Hampshire, and the snow pretty much gone. But as NHPR’s Sean Hurley tells us, there’s one final snowflake in the forest near his home that won’t be melting any time soon.

A few years back, while walking the path around Smarts Brook with my family shortly before Christmas, we came upon a group of men decorating a tree in the forest.

Ornaments in hand, John Norman and Mike Boisvert told us they were hoping to spread a little holiday cheer.

Sean Hurley

NHPR’s Sean Hurley wasn’t always 52 years old.  Once upon a time he was a little kid, with the time to spend long half-magic days in the woods. In this reflection on then and now, Sean tells us that who he used to be, long ago, is in large part who he still is today.   

Andy Stanford

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the farthest blindfolded field goal is 45 yards, as visionlessly kicked in 2018 by Davis Brief in Hanover. What might be the greatest distance travelled on a unicycle while juggling three objects, you ask? Well, that record would be 12.42 miles, set by Jeremy Walker last year in Wolfeboro. And now, as NHPR’s Sean Hurley tells us, we can add 20-year old Andrew Stanford to the list of Granite Staters in the Guinness Book.

Here’s a little sound test. Ready? Is this a teakettle…or a human whistle?

Sean Hurley

If you’re looking to sleep overnight on Mount Washington in the winter you have two choices.  You can stay at the Hermit Lake Shelters near Tuckerman Ravine - or you can stay at the go-to-spot for winter climbers - Harvard Cabin near the base of Huntington Ravine. But, as NHPR's Sean Hurley learned when he recently spent a night at Harvard Cabin, the pleasures of those winter days are matched by their dangers - and the responsibilities of the two mountain caretakers go beyond simply keeping track of guests.

Wind. Footsteps. White snow.

Jeremy R. Clark

The White Mountains are a legendary playground for hikers. For those who like an extra challenge there’s the New Hampshire 48 – the 48 mountains in the state with elevations over 4,000 feet.

But a new survey is calling almost all our summit elevations into question - and signal a possible change to the famous list of New Hampshire’s 4000 footers.

 

Sean Hurley

The Forest Service has announced the death of a climber on Mount Washington. Jeremy Ullmann, 37, of Somerville, Mass., died Feb. 10 after a long, sliding fall in the Huntington Ravine area.  

Sean Hurley

With 9 inches of new snow and strong winds expected throughout the day, the Snow Rangers at the Mount Washington Avalanche Center have raised the avalanche threat level to "Considerable" across the Presidential Range and "High" in places like Tuckerman Ravine. "Human-triggered avalanches are likely,” the forecast reads, “and will be large enough to bury and kill a person on open slopes and gullies." As NHPR’s Sean Hurley discovered during a recent visit to Mount Washington, the Snow Rangers don’t mess around - and they don't want you to either.

 

Sean Hurley

The state’s theatre community gathered together this past Saturday night at the Capitol Center in Concord for the 17th Annual New Hampshire Theatre Awards.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley was at the show and sends us this.

Sean Hurley

The ongoing government shutdown has hit many national parks particularly hard. There are reports of trash and lawlessness at Yosemite and elsewhere. NHPR’s Sean Hurley went to Lincoln Woods to find out how the shutdown was affecting New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest.

 

Just as Edie Swift finishes a two-mile walk on the Pine Island Trail in the Lincoln Woods, two riders on fat-tired bikes race by. “I don't think it would be very nice on a bicycle on the ice,” she says.

Sean Hurley

In 2011, MIT named Sam Asano one of the most influential inventors of the 20th Century.  His first invention, the portable fax machine, went on to become the worldwide standard.  But there are some problems even inventors can’t solve.

Courtesy nashuavideotours via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Ten years ago this week, an ice storm descended upon New Hampshire. And as so often happens in the wake of such storms communities drew together to find a collective way through the troubles. In this story from the NHPR Archive, NHPR's Sean Hurley visited Francestown and found a microcosm of the experience that affected countless other communities around the state.

Loli Arosemena

In Mandeville, Louisiana this past weekend a New Hampshire man placed third in the world in a grueling endurance competition known as the Deca Man. NHPR’s Sean Hurley has the story.

One of the most difficult races 36-year-old Kale Poland of Moultonborough ever endured was a 500-mile ultramarathon – but that was nothing, he says, compared to the Deca Man, which Poland says is “one of the hardest things in sports and there is no question.”

A Snow Day In Thornton

Nov 16, 2018
Sean Hurley

Classes were canceled at hundreds of schools across the state today – but not everyone in the school system got the day off, as NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports from his hometown in Thornton.

Eric Tyrrell got the call at 5:15 this morning.  No school at Thornton Central. Not for the kids or teachers anyway. But as the Facilities Director at the school, this was a wakeup call.  Time to go to work.

Sean Hurley

Go outside. Get wet. That’s the new way of life it seems here in New Hampshire. With the ongoing deluge apparently unwilling to end, NHPR’s Sean Hurley decided to write a little letter to the rain. 

Dear Rain!

Hello! It’s me. How are you? Well, I gather.

I wanted to apologize for my remarks the other day. Which were insensitive. And loud. And not very favorable as far as you.  But I was upset. And wet. Thoroughly to the bone, both.

Aviation Museum

On a stormy night in October, 1968, a Northeast Airplanes passenger plane crashed into Moose Mountain in Hanover. Tomorrow, the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire will host a program commemorating the 50th anniversary of what remains New Hampshire’s deadliest plane crash. NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports.

The Director of the Aviation Museum, Jeff Rapsis, has a personal connection to Northeast Airlines Flight 946. "One of the people in the crash was the pilot," he says, "who was my father John Rapsis."

Sean Hurley

In March of 2018, Tom Devaney “turned off” a provocative work of art in downtown Concord - a video loop, projected onto a 6 foot wide sculpture - of his own blinking blue eye. 

Over its five year run, Concord’s enormous, creepy eyeball became something of a landmark, and when Devaney took the sculpture down people wondered what he’d do next.

NHPR’s Sean Hurley visited with the artist to find out. 

This past summer Tom Devaney began working on The Face of Concord in his gallery overlooking Main Street. 

Sam Hurley

Do you regularly misplace your keys and wonder why?  Have you ever heard the awful rumor that you snore at night? Or worse, that you talk to yourself? Recently, NHPR’s Sean Hurley - with a little help from his wife and some audio recordings – has found himself coming to terms with these and more.

“I do not snore,” I told my wife. She raised her eyebrows and the next day played me a recording she made on her phone, of me snoring during the night.

“You also talk to yourself,” she said. 

“I do not,” I said. “I might snore – rarely - but I don’t talk to myself. Ever.”

Sean Hurley

Several hundred students from High Schools across New Hampshire gathered at the State House for the March on Senators. NHPR’s Sean Hurley sends us his report.

There was chanting…and speeches…but organizer Jennifer White said that she and her fellow students didn’t want to simply repeat last month’s rally. “I think that's a big thing for why we wanted this to be so focused on our senators,” White said, “Because we want to try to keep moving forward with change.”

This March was less of a public rally - more a group meeting with a number of democratic legislators.

Some Twitter users in New Hampshire felt special today.  For them, #newhampshire was the number one trending topic on the social media platform.  What followed was a mini tweet-storm of confusion.

Sam Hurley

Concord lost one of its most provocative landmarks last Thursday night when artist Thomas Devaney closed his giant Eye for good.  For the last five years the foam and wood sculpture came to life after dark when Devaney turned on his projector and lit the 6-foot by 8-foot structure with a filmed loop of his own blue right eye. NHPR’s Sean Hurley attended the closing of the Eye and sends us this. 

Sean Hurley

March for Our Lives rallies took place around the country - and across the state this past Saturday in Portsmouth, Peterborough and Nashua, among other places. 

In Concord, an estimated 4,000 people convened at the State House following a march from Concord High School. NHPR’s Sean Hurley was there. 

Sean Hurley

While visiting Shelburne recently, NHPR’s Sean Hurley heard about Sally Manikian. She's a local dog musher - yes, that's unusual, but for reasons more than that, reasons he couldn’t quite discover, she'd caught the town’s attention.  What, he wondered, made Sally Manikian so … well, interesting to her neighbors? He went to find out.

Sean Hurley

When NHPR’s Sean Hurley heard the Alton Bay Ice Runway opened last week, he asked a pilot friend what landing at the only official ice airport in the continental United States was like. Instead of telling Sean, that friend offered to give him a first-hand ice landing experience.

We’re 100 feet above the grey-green ice of Lake Winnipesaukee in Bob Hirshfield’s 50 year old Piper Cherokee - flying low because of unexpected turbulence – and because, according to Bob,   it’s more fun.

Hairspray at PSU

Jan 26, 2018
Sam Hurley

The Education Theater Collaborative at Plymouth State University has been around since 1994. Every year, the ETC brings professionals, students and community members together for one big musical extravaganza. NHPR’s Sean Hurley spoke with the cast and crew of this year’s show, Hairspray, and sends us this. 

Sean Hurley

The tiny North Country town of Shelburne has proven a bellwether for New Hampshire politics for several years running. In many recent elections, the local vote has matched the state’s better than any other town.  

NHPR’s Sean Hurley has visited Shelburne periodically over the past two years to gauge the residents’ thoughts on politics and the new President.

Sean Hurley

A long time ago - in this galaxy - I was sitting on the floor of a strange house in a room lit only by the cathode flicker of Milton Berle or Henny Youngman - or maybe it was Bob Hope?

 

Editor's note: We recommend listening to this story by Sean Hurley

“Boy, I feel great tonight!” Bob Hope began his 1966 routine on Milton Berle’s show, “I’m using a new oil on my hair. But I don’t know what to do with the sardines!”  

Composer Amy Beach was born in Henniker in 1867.  By the time she was 29 she was famous the world over for being the first American woman to write a symphony.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of her birth, the University of New Hampshire has been honoring Amy Beach with a series of special performances.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley recently visited the school to learn more about the composer - and her music.

Sean Hurley

The Dilly Fire in North Woodstock burned for 36 days, closed two popular hiking trails, cost a little more than a half a million dollars and involved more than a hundred people.  The fire grabbed headlines while it burned - but NHPR’s Sean Hurley wondered what happens next?

Firefighter Jeff Parker struggles down the icy Dilly Cliffs path dragging a hundred foot section of stiff hose behind him.  

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