Sean Hurley | New Hampshire Public Radio

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 

Sean Hurley

The town of Stark has finally decided what to do with its failing riverside cemetery: move it, as NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports. 

Sean Hurley

Following the discovery of human remains on the failing river embankment below Blake Cemetery in Stark, the Attorney General’s Office told town officials to shore up the bank -- or move the cemetery. But as NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports, either solution could bankrupt the small town.  

Sean Hurley

With normal life sort of coming into view, NHPR’s Sean Hurley thought 4th of July fireworks might be a distinct possibility somewhere in the state. Not really, he discovered.  

There won’t be fireworks displays in Concord or Merrimack or Nashua this 4th of July. Portsmouth Recreation Director Rus Wilson says even rescheduling wasn’t an option. “Yeah, we get close to 20,000 people in Portsmouth,” Wilson says, “so we're not going to go anywhere near that while this is going on.”

Sean Hurley/NHPR

As rallies against the killing of George Floyd entered their second week in New Hampshire, demonstrators gathered in rural communities across the state Monday to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sea / Sean Hurley/NHPR

After two months of being limited to curbside pickup and delivery only, restaurants and cafes across New Hampshire are again serving customers outdoors.

Monday marked the next phase in the gradual reopening of the state’s food service industry, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and resulting restrictions.

Sean Hurley

The 31st Market Basket in the state is set to open tomorrow in Plymouth. NHPR’s Sean Hurley visited the grocery store today to find out just how grand – or not - the grand opening might be.

Marie Alderink and her husband Elroy peer through the just washed windows of the new grocery store. The Hebron couple thought today was opening day.

Sean Hurley/NHPR

Like a lot of restaurants, Mad River Tavern in Campton shut down in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Most employees were laid off, and whatever ingredients could be saved landed in the freezer. 

With the doors closed, tavern owner TJ O’Neil rolled up his sleeves.

With the help of a skeleton crew, he refurbished the bar, painted walls, and did trim work. 

Sean Hurley

In a normal year, theaters around the state would be preparing for their summer seasons. With gatherings currently forbidden and uncertainty hanging over their heads, many are simply canceling the whole season. Others are postponing or, as NHPR’s Sean Hurley found out, discovering new ways to reach an audience. 

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Sean Hurley

If you’re thinking that right now is the perfect time to bag some peaks and get that Four Thousand Footer patch, AMC committee member Steve Smith says think again.   

“The mantra has been 'Stay Low and Local,'” Smith says, “but we felt that enough people weren't listening to that. And we decided that we needed to take a step further, and just say that we would not count the peaks for anybody that's working on a list as sort of a disincentive.”

Sean Hurley

On March 7, the Plymouth State University hockey team defeated UMass Dartmouth 6 to 2. A little more than a month later, a collaborative effort between PSU, Speare Memorial Hospital, the Public Health Network and the National Guard has turned the Savage Ice Arena into a supplementary COVID-19 ward for the hospital. NHPR’s Sean Hurley visited the site earlier this week and sends us this. 

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With the recent closures of Rumney Rocks and Pinkham Notch, and burgeoning crowds reported at popular New Hampshire parks, Governor Sununu on Friday encouraged outdoor enthusiasts to hike locally with his “Home Hike Challenge."

But on Saturday, the day after the challenge was issued, NHPR’s Sean Hurley visited the most popular hiking destination in New Hampshire - Mount Monadnock – where staff confirmed the mountain was busier than normal. 

Courtesy - Tomie dePaola via Facebook

Beloved New Hampshire children’s book author and illustrator Tomie dePaola died Monday at Dartmouth Hitchcock in Lebanon after complications from a fall. 

The New London-based artist was 85.

NHPR’s Sean Hurley spoke with New Hampshire storyteller and fellow children’s book writer Rebecca Rule about one of her favorite people and authors.  

Listen to the story:

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests

Despite Gov. Chris Sununu’s stay-at-home order, which takes effect at midnight Friday night, New Hampshire residents are still allowed -- and encouraged -- to go outside to exercise.

But not every hiking and walking spot is available or safe to use during the coronavirus pandemic, according to conservation groups

Sean Hurley

18 year-old Elisabeth Roadcap is a senior at Milford High.  On Tuesday -- New Hampshire Primary Day -- she voted for the first time in a national election. NHPR’s Sean Hurley has followed Elisabeth’s effort to find a favorite candidate - and spoke with her three weeks ago, met with her again four days ago, and was with her today as she cast her very first vote.   

Editor's note: We highly recommend listening to this story

Joseph Sywenkyj

We’ve been hearing a lot about Ukraine recently. From where it is on the map to its debunked involvement in the 2016 election. Even so, photographer Joseph Sywenkyj says we’ve heard very little about the people of Ukraine.

Sean Hurley

We’ve all thrown pennies in fountains or wished upon stars. In this recollection, NHPR’s Sean Hurley recounts the way his son Sam came up with his own way of wishing - and his own special thing to wish for.

Editor's note: As with all stories by Sean Hurley, we highly recommend listening to the broadcast version

Sean Hurley

Traveling from Concord to Lebanon along Route 4, you’re likely to see people walking or biking on the Northern Rail Trail. While Potter Place Station has been preserved, that 50 plus mile stone dust path is really all that remains of the once thriving Northern Railroad.

Sean Hurley

Owl's Head mountain in Franconia was briefly in the news after a hiker died there last week. Officials say it was a medical emergency made more complicated by the trail's remote location.

Among hikers, Owl’s Head is a regular topic of conversation. To some, it's the best hike in the state....for others, the worst.

NHPR's Sean Hurley has recently set out to reach the summit of all of New Hampshire’s 48 mountains over 4,000 feet. Owl's Head was a natural place to start.

Sean Hurley

The Save A Lot grocery store in Gorham closed its doors earlier this week and Mac’s Whitefield Market will do the same on Sept. 27. While those in Gorham have other nearby options for groceries, NHPR’s Sean Hurley says the loss of Mac’s in Whitefield will hit the town hard.

  Audio File Listen to the radio version of the story here. Edit | Remove


Sean Hurley

When Campton’s Dole Mill closed for good in 1965 it did so as one of the oldest woolen mills in the country. Yesterday, NHPR’s Sean Hurley introduced us to the few people still alive who remember the old mill as it was. In this second half of that story, we meet the new owners, Jessye and Sky Bartlett, and find out how they’ve transformed Dole Mill into what Sky Bartlett describes as a “big place with lots of strange things in it.”  

Sean Hurley

For more than 100 years, the Dole Family ran a profitable woolen mill in Campton, making heavy pants for loggers, and socks and leggings for soldiers in World War II.  The mill has been dormant since 1965, but a few years ago a young local couple bought it and transformed the mill into something unexpected.


In this first story of a two-part series, NHPR’s Sean Hurley takes us inside Dole Mill to tell us what it used to be like in its prime.

via Google Maps

Camping has been suspended along Tripoli Road in the White Mountains due to a family of bears. The Forest Service is hoping to lift the ban soon.

The Forest Service's Steven Beri says the mama bear and her two cubs have become overly comfortable with humans and reliant on human food. 

And bear sightings along the road have risen sharply the past two weeks.

Lois Hurley

Officials continue to investigate the cause of a crash between a pickup truck and 10 motorcycles Friday evening.  Seven people were killed in the crash in the town of Randolph. Throughout the weekend, the crash site drew those who wanted to pay their respects to the victims.

Sean Hurley

Summer is finally here, fish are jumping, and fishing guides are busy.

NHPR's Sean Hurley went out with a couple of guides just before their busy season began and learned some of their secrets.

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.