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. 

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.  

Sean Hurley

After 36 days the wildfire that began Oct. 3 in the Dilly Cliffs area in North Woodstock and burned more than 70 acres has finally been declared extinguished.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley visited the area today with Incident Commander John Neely and sends us this.

Sean Hurley

NHPR’s Sean Hurley recently took a walk to Moose Painting Pond, as he’s named it.  The most peaceful place in the universe, he supposes it to be.  Maybe because it’s so quiet and hidden – maybe because it’s a place where the things he invents seem to meet together with the things nature does.

Note: As with every Sean Hurley story, we really recommend giving this one a listen.

I found the path to the pond – and the most peaceful place in the universe - about six years ago while wandering around Sandwich Notch Road.

Moose Painting Pond, I call it. 

Sean Hurley

The Campton Elementary School provided shelter last night for 35 plus residents evacuated from the Six Flags Mobile Home Park and the Beebe River area.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley went to the school this morning to talk to the evacuees about their experience.

Sean Hurley

There are roughly 4,200 undergraduates at Plymouth State University.  2,200 live in dormitories – 1,999 in off-campus housing - and one student, PSU Senior Kate Burgess, who lives in a tipi.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley went to visit Burgess at her tipi - and sends us this.

Ken Watson / KenWatson.net

[WEEKEND Update: Firefighters reported good progress Saturday, with wet weather helping crews. Route 112 near Kinsman Notch is open. The U.S. Forest Service warns motorists to look out for fire vehicle traffic. Read and listen below to Sean Hurley's report Friday night.]

THOUGH MORNING  RAIN has dampened the wildfire in North Woodstock, there are still  more than 80 firefighters trying to contain the 70-acre blaze.  As NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports, officials still aren’t sure what caused the fire – or when they’ll be able to put it out.

Sean Hurley

Every Sunday morning throughout the summer, a bell rings out three times from an island in the middle of Squam Lake.

It's a signal that boaters, kayakers,  and even swimmers, should begin to make their way to the island - because church is about to start. 

With a granite boulder serving as an altar and music from a hand cranked organ, Chocurua Island has hosted religious services of all kinds for more than a hundred years.  In this final installment of our summer series Surrounded, Sean Hurley visits the island, with one of its most devoted caretakers.

Sean Hurley

Steve Wilkes is a drumming professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston.  He’s also a former member of Blue Man Group and has toured the world with The Empire Brass Quintet. 

But for his latest gig, as this year’s White Mountain National Forest Artist in Residence, Wilkes won’t be making or teaching music - or painting his face blue.  Instead, he’s recording the sounds of the forest and compiling the first ever audio map of the White Mountains.

Sean Hurley/NHPR

Following the New Hampshire Presidential Primaries last February, NHPR’s Sean Hurley went to visit the bellwether town of Shelburne, where the voting numbers almost exactly matched those of the State as a whole.

With the inauguration upon us, Sean wanted to find out what the people of Shelburne were saying about our incoming president. 

Sean Hurley

For nearly 30 years Mike Marland’s editorial cartoons have been a feature of New Hampshire's political landscape. Marland’s work appeared regularly in The Concord Monitor, but following a recent belt-tightening at the paper, Marland has been let go. NHPR’s Sean Hurley spoke to Marland about his time at the Monitor – and about his new venture.

 

Toby Talbot

Last Wednesday at the State House, Governor Hassan declared December 21st to be “Jim Cole Day,” in honor of the Concord-based AP photographer. Over his more than 30 years covering the news, Cole assembled a portfolio that spans the state. But it was his pictures of New Hampshire’s political scene that had the biggest impact. 

Join NHPR's Rick Ganley and Sean Hurley for an old-timey hour of Christmas stories and memories. This special will become one of your family's favorite holiday listening traditions!

Tune in for the broadcast at 1 PM on December 24th, or listen right here:

Sean Hurley

We really only have one word for snow.  Yes, meteorologists might talk of stellar dendrites or graupels or aggregates – but when it snows, in English at least, we say "It snows."  But this dearth of words doesn’t mean there’s any lack of ways to think about snow.  

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