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Claremont

Attorney General's office.
Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

The New Hampshire attorney general's office says a man who barricaded himself in a Claremont building died during an exchange of gunfire with half a dozen state police officers.

ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing / Flickr/CC

The New Hampshire Circuit Court will pilot a free, voluntary mediation program to resolve eviction disputes.

Margaret Huang is the coordinator of the Office of Mediation and Arbitration.

Savannah Maher/NHPR

Claremont’s third annual Rural Pride is moving online this year due to COVID-19. Matt Mooshian, founder of Rural Outright, the organization behind the event, says it’s important to still hold Pride events this year, especially in rural areas.

Josh Rogers | NHPR

Democrat Joe Biden brought his presidential campaign to Claremont Friday, stressing his cultural affinities with voters in a city that voted Republican in 2016.

Claremont residents have approved a measure to spend one-time relief money the school district received from the state on three special education programs.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: October 4, 2019

Oct 4, 2019

NHPR's Casey McDermott hosts the Weekly New Hampshire News Roundup.  New Hampshire was hit with a lawsuit over its new limits on chemicals in drinking water on the same day the new regulation took effect.  In a rare reversal, the state Attorney General's office says a Claremont fatal police shooting is no longer considered legally justified.  Syringe services were long ago adopted in some parts of the country as a useful public health tool. Why, in a state hit hard by the opioid crisis, has New Hampshire been so slow to adopt them?

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office has amended its finding in a fatal 2016 officer involved shooting of a 25-year-old Claremont man, Cody LaFont.

The Attorney General's office initially concluded that the shooting was "legally justified," but it decided to re-examine the case after the officer involved was convicted of falsifying documents related to a police search last year.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: August 16, 2019

Aug 15, 2019

President Trump returns to New Hampshire, and we hear about his rally in Manchester as well as some national perspective on the 2020 Presidential Primary from NPR White House Correspondent Tamara Keith. With the Iowa State Fair wrapping up, a parade of Democratic candidates are coming back through the state and we catch up on the Democratic primary here. We also discuss whether Claremont is the new Dixville Notch; a bellwether for primary watchers.  NHPR Reporter Casey McDermott is guest host.

GUESTS:

Ali Oshinskie / NHPR

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office released a 25-page report Wednesday summarizing its investigation into a high-profile attack involving children in Claremont in 2017.

 

The report revolves around the events of August 28, 2017, when a group of 13 and 14 year olds were accused of tying a rope around an 8-year-old biracial boy's neck and pushing him off a picnic table, leading to serious injuries.

Britta Greene / NHPR

 

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has denied a request by the New Hampshire Attorney General's office to release records about its investigation into a high-profile alleged racially-motivated attack in Claremont two years ago.

NHPR Staff

 

SAU 6, which comprises Claremont and Unity, is facing $320,000 in fines from the IRS. Acting Superintendent Cory LeClair says the IRS is fining the district for non-compliance with the Affordable Care Act.

LeClair blames the error on a former finance officer in the district and says the district is requesting a waiver from the fines.

The Claremont and Unity schools have lost more than $450,000 over two years as a result of not submitting federal paperwork for school lunch reimbursements on time, according to acting Superintendent Cory LeClair.

The district will be able to make up the majority of the funds through savings in other areas of the budget, she said, but it’s still a significant loss.

Courtesy

The second of two former Claremont police officers charged with lying on the job has pleaded guilty.

The state Attorney General's office says Mark Burch will serve 100 hours of community service, and has agreed not to work as a police officer in New Hampshire. He was sentenced to a year behind bars, but the jail sentence is suspended pending good behavior.

His former colleague on the force, Ian Kibbe, was sentenced in January to a year in jail, with all but 90 days suspended. He is also barred from serving in local law enforcement.

John Phelan / Wikipedia Creative Commons

In a move that surprised many education funding advocates, the ConVal School District in southwestern New Hampshire filed a lawsuit today against the state, claiming lawmakers have failed to fund an adequate education.

The complaint names the state of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Department of Education, Governor Sununu and DOE Commissioner Frank Edelblut as defendants.

It says the "adequacy aid" that the state sends to districts needs to triple to meet basic requirements laid out in state law.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Claremont police have confirmed the city's interim superintendent of schools was at the center of a dispute last week that resulted in officers responding to an emergency call from the district's administrative offices.

According to the police report, Interim Superintendent Keith Pfeifer was in the process of being suspended, and Nathan Lavanway, the district’s assistant director of business and finance, had asked Pfeifer to leave the building.

School officials in Claremont are offering few details about an incident last week where police were called to the district’s administrative offices after someone inside hit a panic button.

Officers spent over an hour at the building, keeping the peace until one individual left voluntarily, said Claremont Police Chief Mark Chase. Names of those involved are redacted in a police report Chase shared Wednesday. 

SAU6 School Board Chair Marjorie Erickson declined to offer additional details on the incident and a closed-door board meeting Tuesday night.

 

A former New Hampshire police officer has been sentenced to 90 days in jail in connection to what prosecutors called an illegal search of a convicted felon's bedroom.

Ian Kibbe pleaded guilty in December to misdemeanor charges of unsworn falsification and obstructing government administration. The 31-year-old previously faced felony counts of conspiracy to commit perjury and attempted perjury after the search turned up weapons.

NHPR

Former Claremont Police Officer Ian Kibbe entered a plea agreement in Sullivan County Superior Court on Monday, pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges related to illegally searching a property earlier this year.

Volunteers from both parties are working to get high school and college-age voters to the polls on Tuesday.

High schools tend to host voter registration drives in the spring, when more seniors have turned eighteen, but some schools are making sure eligible high schoolers are ready to vote tomorrow.

Prescott Herzog, sophomore at Stevens High School in Claremont and president of High School Democrats of America, says his group of high school Democrats is working to ensure all 18-year olds at the school, regardless of their politics, head to the polls.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

An online fundraiser to pay off student lunch debt in the Claremont schools has raised over $2,000 in just a handful of days.

Still, it’s not enough to cover the $32,000 bill, and the district’s Director of Business and Finance Mike O’Neill says one-time donations are not the answer.

“I think it's a temporary solution to a permanent problem," he said.

The Center for Recovery Resources, a Claremont recovery center, will celebrate its grand opening Thursday.

The event marks the culmination of a months-long effort to keep peer recovery services in Claremont.  The city lost its only provider, Hope for New Hampshire, earlier this year.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Congresswoman Annie Kuster toured a dairy operation in Claremont, New Hampshire Tuesday, talking with local farmers about the escalating trade war and ongoing farm bill negotiations.

New Hampshire dairy farmers have been struggling for years with low milk prices, and are now seeing losses linked to tariffs on dried milk products sold overseas.

“They’re getting hit every which way,” Kuster said. “They deserve our support.”

Appleswitch via Flickr Creative Commons

A former Claremont police officer is seeking to have a judge dismiss two of the six criminal charges against him. 

State prosecutors say the officer, Ian Kibbe, lied in written reports to justify searching a property earlier this year. The allegations have thrown into question much of his activity on the job, including a 2016 incident where he shot and killed a young man. 

James Napoli

It's been a year since an incident in Claremont involving the near-hanging of a young, biracial boy made national news. This week, NHPR is looking at how that event impacted local residents, including the then-superintedent of schools, Middleton McGoodwin. As he tells it, the incident forced him to reflect uncomfortably on his own history with race.

Britta Greene

Wayne Miller is known around Claremont for his work on addiction. He runs a local recovery center, and he has been instrumental in keeping support services in the community for those struggling with opioid use.

He can talk about addiction and recovery “left and right and sideways,” he says. But something he’d rarely spoken about in public before last year is race.

The Claremont Speedway will host a memorial race Friday night for Cody LaFont, the 25-year-old man killed by a city police officer in 2016. 

Big Crowd for MakerSpace Opening in Claremont

Jul 9, 2018

The Claremont MakerSpace celebrated its grand opening Friday. 

Sen. Maggie Hassan and Rep. Annie Kuster were in attendance for the ribbon cutting,  accomplished by laser cutter, rather than a traditional set of shears.

The project, which received both federal and state funds, has been in the works for years.  It’s an important keystone in efforts to revitalize the city, Kuster said.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

School leaders and community members will meet in Pittsfield tonight to learn more about how the state funds education. NHPR’s Daniela Allee has more on why this conversation is happening.


A Sullivan County judge has set a December trial date for former Claremont police officer Ian Kibbe.

Kibbe is facing several charges relating to allegedly faking documents while serving on the Claremont police force.

He appeared briefly in court in Newport Tuesday. His attorney declined a plea deal offered by the state.

As he awaits trial, both the Claremont Police Department and the Sullivan County Attorney's office have been combing through his arrest reports. They're throwing out cases that are now in question in light of the charges against him.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Claremont Schools Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin will be out of a job this summer.

In a letter to McGoodwin this week, the district’s school board notified him of its intent to terminate his contract unless he chooses to resign in the coming weeks.

The move comes after a bitter budget fight this year. The board proposed steep cuts in an effort to keep local taxes in check. McGoodwin fought that proposal, saying he'd have to lay off teachers. The cuts would ultimately damage the quality of education the district was able to offer, he said.

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