A Year in N.H. News: The Top Stories of 2018

Dec 21, 2018

New Hampshire Public Radio covered hundreds of stories in 2018. Some features captured how Granite Staters live and work. The opioid addiction crisis continued to make headlines - and claim lives. And political currents ran strong.

The State House will see new faces - Democrats captured majority legislative control - and some familiar ones - Secretary of State Bill Gardner held off fellow Democrat Colin Van Ostern to win a 22nd term. Gov. Chris Sununu won a second term.

In one of the biggest stories of the year, state regulators rejected Eversource's controversial Northern Pass project.

Eastern Gray Squirrel.
Credit New Hampshire Audubon

Certain stories made us laugh, cry, and cheer. The offbeat caught our attention, like Britta Greene's story about 2018 being a banner year for squirrel roadkill.

Reporters threw themselves into a new special series, called The Balance - The Costs, Benefits, and Tradeoffs of Living in N.H. And the Only in New Hampshire series continued to explore the underbelly of the state's hidden and not-so-hidden issues (and gems).

NHPR's Casey McDermott investigated voting rights and election law and, confronting allegations of voter fraud, helped us separate "Rhetoric Versus Reality."  

Scroll down to explore the stories that got the most attention in 2018. Do you have a favorite that didn't make this list? Send us an email or share it on the NHPR Facebook page.

A Year in New Hampshire News
The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a bill for marijuana legalization on Jan. 9, 2018. The House later rejected it, opting to studying the issue, while neighboring states have legalized recreational marijuana in some fashion.

JANUARY TOP STORIES

  1. New Hampshire House Votes for Marijuana Legalization
  2. As New Hampshire Ages, Littleton's Getting Younger and Hipper ... But How?
  3. Can You Build A Downtown From Scratch? Londonderry Is Going To Find Out
  4. Facing a Dying Industry, Two Young New Hampshire Fishermen Head Out Anyway
  5. Citing Microbrewery Competition, Smuttynose is Going Up for Auction
  6. Mt. Washington Tied for Second Coldest Place on Earth
  7. Sexual Misconduct Hasn't Taken Shine Off St. Paul's Prestigious Summer Program
  8. You Asked, We Answered: What Are Frost Heaves? Are They Unique to N.H.?
  9. Atheist Flag Takes Flight Over Ten Commandments Monument in Somersworth
  10. Transgender Rights Bill Draws a Crowd at the N.H. State House

An employee at Reeds Ferry Market in Merrimack, which sold the winning $560 million Powerball ticket.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

FEBRUARY 2018

  1. Site Evaluation Committee Casts Unanimous Vote Against Northern Pass Project
  2. N.H. Officials to Powerball Winner: Sorry, Rules are Rules
  3. Councilor Says N.H. Liquor Commission Aiding Cross-Border 'Money-Laudering' Scheme
  4. You Asked, We Anwered: Why Are There So Many 'Houses of Pizza' in New Hampshire?
  5. Company Known for Surprise E.R. Bills Expands in N.H.'s Healthcare Market
  6. After Threat at One N.H. School, Anxiety Takes Toll on Students, Parents, and Teachers
  7. Meet Kevin the Crane, Rollinsford, N.H.'s Celebrity Bird
  8. Powerball Winner Will Get Money While Fight to Remain Anonymous Continues
  9. Run, Rest, Run, Rest, Run - Sally Manikian is the 'Talk of the Town'
  10. Landing on Ice - The Alton Bay Ice Runway is Open
  11. Something Wild: Why Coyotes Seem To Be Everywhere
  12. Life Lessons From New Hampshire's All-Female Winter Wilderness Training

Christina Fay listening to closing arguments in her animal cruelty trial.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

MARCH 2018 

  1. 'Jane Doe' Powerball Winner Set to Claim Her $560 Million Prize
  2. 'Loophole' Helps N.H. Law Enforcement Net Millions Through Civil Asset Forfeiture
  3. Voter Fraud in New Hampshire: Rhetoric Versus Reality
  4. Wolfeboro Dog Breeder Guilty on All Animal Cruelty Counts
  5. 'Encouraged to Run,' Sullivan Mulled Multiple Congressional Districts Before N.H. Move
  6. You Asked, We Answered: What's the Story Behind That Mysterious Gravestone in New Boston?
  7. What Drives N.H. Commuters To Take The Bus To Boston?
  8. Hennessy Cognac, Liquor at Center of 'Bootlegging' Allegations, Was N.H.'s Top Seller Last Year
  9. 'I Can't Help But Cringe': Court Papers Tell a Story of Teacher Charged in St. Paul's Probe
  10. Golden State to the Granite State: Why These Tattoo Artists Made N.H. Home
  11. After Parkland Shooting, A Columbine Survivor Reflects
  12. Looking For An Affordable House in the Upper Valley? Good Luck With That
  13. Maine In, N.H. Out For Energy Contract With Mass.

The proposed constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law failed in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, 284-51, in April 2018.
Credit Jason Moon / NHPR

APRIL 2018

  1. Is N.H. a New Destination for Creatives? Why Some Cultivate the 'Creative Economy'
  2. Largest Fentanyl Bust in N.H. Traced to Lawrence Drug Ring
  3. Amid Calls for Investigation, IRS Agents Said to Have Visited N.H. Liquor Stores
  4. You Asked, We Answered: What is the Free State Project?
  5. New Details Emerge on IRS Investigations Involving State Liquor Sales
  6. IRS Withdraws Requests for Information on Alleged Bootleggers From N.H. Liquor Commission
  7. An 'Internet Sales Tax?' N.H. Businesses Brace for SCOTUS Case
  8. In Lengthy Memo to AG, N.H. Liquor Commission Rejects 'Bootlegging' Allegations
  9. Expert: Paintings Sold by Rindge Family to Collector Are Forgeries
  10. Marsy's Law Constitutional Amendment Dies in N.H. House

N.H. Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky argues the State Liquor Commission is turning a blind eye to "bootlegging" of large, cash sales of Hennessy.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

MAY 2018

  1. Border Patrol Immigration Checkpoint Nets 17 Arrests Over Memorial Day Weekend in N.H.
  2. With Sale Cancelled, Weirs Drive-in Reopens For Movies Under the Stars
  3. N.H. Judge Rules Against Dog-Sniffing, Warrantless Searches in Border Checkpoint Arrests
  4. In 30 Minutes, High School Students Came Up With Better Versions of the N.H. State Flag
  5. N.H. Officials Unaware of Stakeouts and Bootlegging Stings at State-run Liquor Stores
  6. Sununu's top Drug Policy Aide Under Review By Attorney General Over Personnel Issue
  7. Concerns Raised About Sununu Advisor Weeks Before He Was Placed on Leave
  8. Sununu's Drug Policy Adviser Resigns After AG Investigation
  9. Decades After Alleged Abuse, St. Paul's Alumni Explain Why They're Suing
  10. Trail Work Ahead: Historic White Mountains Path Gets a Makeover
  11. After Exhaustive Investigations, N.H. Officials Find No Widespread Fraud in Recent Elections
  12. Activists Warn Against Relicensing Seabrook Station, Where Cracks Are Spreading
  13. Radio Field Trip: Dog Sledding Without Snow

Is Mount Washington too popular? NHPR's Annie Ropeik visited the summit of "the Rock Pile" for this story.
Credit Annie Ropeik / NHPR

JUNE 2018

  1. Is Mount Washington's Peaking Popularity Putting It At Risk?
  2. Online Sales Tax Ruling Called 'Disastrous' for N.H. Economy
  3. No-Show N.H. Lawmakers: Explore The Data and See Where Your State Rep Stands
  4. Who Got Paid To Push Marsy's Law in New Hampshire?
  5. For Residents On The Connecticut River, Hydro Dams' Relicensing Is A Rare Opportunity
  6. N.H. ACLU: Concord Coach Lines Complicit With Immigration Officials
  7. Dartmouth Professor Investigated for Sexual Misconduct Elects to Retire
  8. In Pastoral Peterborough, Cow Proposal Gets Tipped By Opponents
  9. Housing in Converted Industrial Buildings Appeals to N.H. Millennials and Retirees Alike
  10. Critical Hours: Search and Rescue in the White Mountains
  11. Governor Signs Bill Allowing VA Doctors to Treat Vets at Any N.H. Medical Facility

Dennis Follensbee is on a quest to map the most isolated places — acoustically — in the White Mountains, as Britte Greene reported in July.
Credit James Napoli for NHPR

JULY 2018

  1. Harassment Probe Reveals Long-Standing Concerns in Dartmouth's Psychology Department
  2. Family Vacationing in N.H. Reeling After Arrest at Checkpoint 90 Miles from the Border
  3. Finding Quiet in the White Mountains is Hard to Do, But One Man's Trying to Crack the Code
  4. Keene Woman Seeks Help for Relatives Separated at Border
  5. Bedford Superintendent Resigns Amid Controversy Over Staffer's Testimony at Sex Assault Hearing
  6. Breaking 'News:' Don't Believe That Headline About A Beloved N.H. Business Shutting Down
  7. You Asked, We Answered: Where Can A Black Woman Get Her Hair Done in New Hampshire?
  8. The Wide World of Podcasts: NHPR Producers Give Their Recommendations
  9. Vanity Plates: A Father's Plate Tells One Family's Story of Battling Cystic Fibrosis
  10. Two Hikers Rescued from White Mountains' 'Most Dangerous Trail'
  11. When It Comes To Cross-Border Sales Tax Fight, N.H.'s Been Here Before
  12. N.H. Legislature Fails to Pass Challenge to Internet Sales Tax
  13. Campaign Cash Snapshot: N.H.'s 1st Congressional District

In August, Todd Bookman reported on the "Brawn and Bread" project designed by Cathrin Walczyk and Michael Garnett. He writes, "The scene is one part Keebler Elves, one part Lord of the Flies."
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

AUGUST 2018

  1. It's a Banner Year for Rodent Roadkill. Here's Why
  2. State Sen. Jeff Woodburn Arrested on Domestic Violence, Assault Charges
  3. Forum on Diversity in New Hampshire Sparks Angry Response, Threats to Attendees
  4. Four Cases of Legionnaires' Disease Found in Hampton
  5. State Settles Case of $46,000 Found in Car Trunk, Then Seized
  6. Veteran N.H. Lawmaker Accused of Creating 'Intimidating and Abusive' Environment in State House
  7. Sanborn Made Reference to Sex Act in 2013 Conversation With Intern, Acccording to Senate Lawyer
  8. Transcripts Say Sanborn Made Frequent Sexual References, Comments on Female Staffer's Appearance
  9. How One Small Policy Tweak Helped Open Hennessy Floodgates in N.H.
  10. Jackson Woman Denies Religion Motivated Altercation, Cites Self-Defense Against 'Arabian Terrorists'
  11. Foodstuffs: Deep in the N.H. Woods, Campers Make Bread Rube Goldberg-style
  12. For an Authentic American Experience, Chinese Kids Spend Summer in a Small N.H. Town
  13. Former Claremont Superintendent Reflects on Racial Tensions: 'I Was Absolutely Unaware'
  14. At Coakley Landfill Site, Government Assurances Meet Public Fear

In September, NHPR's Robert Garrova reported on the former Franconia College. Shown here, students gather for a group photo in 1972. (http://www.franconiacollegereminder.com/)
Credit (C) CHESTER LUDLOW, 1972

SEPTEMBER 2018

  1. Ask Sam: I Saw a Squirrel Swimming. Was It A Sign of the Apocalypse?
  2. Franconia College: An Experiment in the White Mountains That Changed A N.H. Town Forever
  3. N.H. Charges Hampton Couple With Felony for Allegedly Voting in Two States in 2016
  4. Visa Program Brings Summer Workers to N.H. - But Does It Deliver on 'Cultural' Promise?
  5. Legislators Narrowly Override Sununu's Biomass Veto, But Fall Short on Net Metering
  6. Dartmouth's 'Hovey Murals' at Center of Reckoning With College's 'Indian Charity School' Past
  7. Draft Report: Nearly All Whistleblower Complaints About Manchester VA Were Unfounded
  8. Study of Marijuana Legalization in N.H. Nears Completion
  9. Squirrel Population Boom Irks Farmers, Not Just Drivers
  10. Large-Scale Animal Abuse Cases Come With Large-Scale Costs, Both for Dogs and N.H. Towns
  11. Researchers Recruit Drones, Satellites in Quest to Understand Cyanobacteria

Jason Moon looks up at Bear Brook State Park. His Bear Brook Podcast launched in October.
Credit Allie Gutierrez

OCTOBER 2018

  1. Podcast 'Bear Brook' Explores How N.H. Cold Case Will Forever Change Murder Investigations
  2. Gardella's Exit From NHPR Follows Investigation Into Management Issues
  3. Judge Blocks 'SB3' Voter Registration Law From Use in Upcoming Midterms
  4. N.H. State Rep Accused of Assaulting Porn Producer Compares Himself to Brett Kavanaugh
  5. Supreme Court Accepts Eversource Appeal on Northern Pass Rejection
  6. After Living the 'Van Life' Across America They Want a Home in N.H., If They Can Find One
  7. N.H. Police Chiefs Oppose Marijuana Legalization (Again)
  8. To Serve, Protect, and Entertain? For Police Depts, Social Media Can Be A Slippery Slope
  9. From Fixing Roads to Collecting Rent: Why N.H.'s DOT Is Also A Landlord
  10. Unwanted House Guests: Squirrels Wreaking Havoc in Homes Across N.H.
  11. Why is Someone Trying to Swap Beachfront Land in Fiji for a House in ... Northern N.H.?
  12. N.H. Legislators Look to Lobbyists for Reliable Source of Re-election Cash

Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, D-Manchester, won the 1st Congressional District seat on Nov. 6, 2018.
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

NOVEMBER 2018

  1. Democrats Retake Both Chambers of New Hampshire
  2. Democrat Chris Pappas Heads to Congress After Bitter CD1 Race
  3. N.H. Voters' Guide: What You Need To Know Before Heading To The Polls
  4. Final Marijuana Legalization Report is Blueprint for Potential N.H. Legislation
  5. Bear Brook Tip Leads to Break In Case of Missing Manchester Woman
  6. How Should You Vote on Constitutional Amendment Ballot Questions?
  7. Ballot Question 2: Should 'Right to Live Free' Language Be Added to the N.H. Constitution?
  8. The Next N.H. Legislature Will Be Younger, More Diverse
  9. Ask Sam: Why Won't New Hampshire Admit There Are Mountain Lions Here?
  10. The Last Chocolate Turkeys: Loudon Farmer Ends Effort to Sustain Endangered Breed
  11. AG Clears N.H. Liquor Commission of Wrongdoing After Months-Long Investigation
  12. 19-year-Old Among Youngest Representatives Ever Elected to N.H. House
  13. Chris Sununu Wins Second Term as New Hampshire Governor

N.H. Secretary of State Bill Gardner won his 22nd term, fending off a challenge from fellow Democrat Colin Van Ostern.
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

DECEMBER 2018

  1. Bill Gardner Hangs On As N.H. Secretary of State By Slimmest of Margins
  2. Response Growing Among Students, Alums to Dartmouth Title IX Lawsuit
  3. In This year's Race for N.H. Secretary of State, Echoes of Gardner's First Run in 1976
  4. With Deadline Looming, Few N.H. Residents Have Obtained REAL-ID Licenses
  5. Site Evaluators Approve Eversource's Seacoast Power Line
  6. How Climate Change is Already Affecting Infrastructure in N.H.
  7. Man Arrested for Threatening Governor Sununu in Connection With Threats to Jewish Community
  8. Who Shipped $61 Million Worth of Weapons From N.H. to Saudi Arabia?
  9. Keene State College President Addresses Financial and Enrollment Challenges
  10. How Can You Take a Stand on Energy At The Local Level? Lebanon Has An Idea
  11. How To Get Swole

(This post was updated with additional end-of-year, December stories)