Lebanon

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Voters in Lebanon will decide in March whether to adopt a proposed "Welcoming Ordinance" for the city.

The ordinance would limit city employees from working with or sharing immigration-related information with federal immigration authorities.

Lebanon city councilors considered the proposal Wednesday night, and voted 8 to 1 put the matter on the March ballot.

Doug Kerr

Immigration advocates in Lebanon have enough signatures for a proposed “welcoming ordinance” to move forward.  

With 680 signatures, the petition will head to the Lebanon City Council for a public hearing on January 22. 

Under the ordinance, city employees could not ask about a person’s immigration status or participate in immigration enforcement actions.

This year dozens of people in the Upper Valley were detained by federal immigration authorities during roving patrols and at a checkpoint on I-89.

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An early morning explosion and fire at the Element Hotel in Lebanon on Tuesday sent two firefighters to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

The firefighters were responding to an alarm that went off at 5:15 a.m. When crews arrived, there was an explosion.

"At this point it doesn't seem to be criminal in nature at all and it's just contained to one hotel building," says Deputy State Fire Marshall Danielle Cole. "But we still have a team on scene right now working with town and state officials, just trying to figure out what happened."

Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Immigration advocates in Lebanon are hoping to get a "welcoming" ordinance approved in that city. 

Under the ordinance, city employees could not ask about a person’s immigration status or participate in immigration enforcement actions. 

Yolanda Huerta is with Rise Upper Valley, an activist organization working on immigration issues. She says she and others have lost faith that reforms will happen on the federal level. 

Daniela Allee / NHPR

People in West Lebanon had a chance to tour New Hampshire’s first net-zero multi-family residential building. 

About 400 solar panels will power Tracy Community Housing. Some are on the roof, and others are on the south side of the building. Each apartment has a mini-split unit that’ll cool or heat the apartment using air source heat pumps.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

At an art gallery in Lebanon on Tuesday night, surrounded by photographs of compost, community members gathered to talk about trash.

Saran wrap, an empty box of broth and plastic firemen’s hats sat in neat display at the feet of Marc Morgan, Lebanon’s solid waste facility manager and Evelyn Swett, a photographer.

The two facilitated a conversation with a group of twelve people about waste, and finding ways to reduce it.

Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Earlier this month, Customs and Border Protection detained 24 undocumented immigrants in the Lebanon area, four of those at a roadside checkpoint.

But documents obtained by the New Hampshire ACLU show another, less publicly visible method that CBP uses.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Four posters covered the columns of the church. They read “Estamos contigo Miguel. Estamos Contigo Gregorio. Estamos Contigo Facundo. Si se puede.”

These three men were among the more than 30 people detained in the Upper Valley in the past two months. "We are with you. Yes we can." The signs said.

About 60 people gathered in front of the First Congregational Church in Lebanon on Monday night to call attention to people detained by federal immigration authorities in the Upper Valley.

Asma Elhuni, an immigration organizer, shared their stories.

USCBP

The Border Patrol checkpoint on I-89 in Lebanon resulted in four arrests Thursday. U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested another 21 people this week in other operations.

That includes one U.S. Citizen wanted on an outstanding warrant. Other people detained came from Russia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

Those who didn’t have proper documentation are now in removal proceedings.

Seven of the undocumented are facing felony prosecution for allegedly reentering the country after previously being deported. 

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The City of Lebanon is piloting a new strategy to deal with poison ivy in four public parks. Six goats and one ram start their new job Tuesday, munching the itchy weed away.

Google Earth

The city of Lebanon is asking other communities to join in a potential lawsuit over how state lawmakers approved new limits on PFAS chemicals in drinking water.

A legislative committee put the new PFAS standards to a vote at their mid-July hearing without giving a chance for any public testimony.

It was a surprise to people on both sides of the issue who'd come expecting to speak.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

 

New Hampshire's Supreme Court has reversed a judge's decision requiring prosecutors to provide a photo lineup for a defendant in a trespassing case.

The defendant in the Lebanon case said requiring the alleged victim to attend a pretrial deposition and identify a suspect from photos would ensure a fair trial. Prosecutors would supply booking photos, from which the defense would create a lineup for the alleged victim to choose from. Prosecutors objected to having to provide the photos.

A New Hampshire police department has announced a new voluntary registry program for residents with special needs.

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

For the second year in a row, Lebanon City Council has voted against putting the electronic gambling game Keno in front of voters.

 

After a lengthy debate on Wednesday night, the City Council voted 5-4 against a proposal from the American Legion to put Keno on the ballot.

 

Lebanon would have joined over 20 New Hampshire towns deciding next month whether to allow Keno at local bars and restaurants.

 

Dartmouth-Hitchcock officials have announced a $130 million construction project that would include a third inpatient tower at the medical center campus in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

The plan includes a 132,000 square-foot, 60-bed inpatient tower, along with renovation and expansion of the center's emergency department, and the proposed construction of a parking garage

The board of trustees announced the plan at its meeting Friday.

We look at the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region as part of our series, Going Local

The area is a hub for research, healthcare, and academia, and it hosts popular spots for winter and summer recreation. But the region also struggles with a high cost of living, meaning long commutes for many. 

The First Baptist Church in Lebanon was destroyed by a fire set by Anthony Boisvert in 2016.Credit TWITTER/RINTZEZELLEEdit | Remove

A man has been sentenced to at least 25 years in prison for setting fire to a New Hampshire church and stabbing two people who talked to police about him.

Anthony Boisvert apologized to the First Baptist Church in court on Monday. The 29-year-old Boisvert, of Lebanon, pleaded guilty to multiple charges.

The Lebanon City Council has adopted a resolution denouncing racism.

The move comes after fliers promoting white supremacy were distributed in a local shopping plaza earlier this year. The Lebanon police investigated but didn’t make any arrests.

Lebanon Pushing Forward on Energy Goals

Apr 11, 2018
Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Lebanon is pursuing several energy-related efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas footprint and lower power costs citywide.

One is what’s known as municipal, or community, aggregation. Under that model, city residents and businesses could opt-in to collectively purchase electricity.  That would enable them to buy wholesale power at relatively low rates.  

There are plenty of examples of literary and artistic couples: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald, George O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera... but some of these partnerships were famously fraught. A relationship that functions on many levels, both creative and romantic, brings the particular challenge of balancing family and art. 

In Lebanon, Keiselim Montás and Kianny Antigua are living that balancing act. They are both published, acclaimed writers... and they're married. How do they balance their family life with their literary practice?

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Between pouring drinks and clearing the deck, the bartender at the American Legion post in Lebanon this week has an additional task in mind: political organizing. Behind the bar is an old-fashioned paper petition -- they're trying to get enough signatures to put the electronic gambling game Keno on the city ballot in March.

It’s been a tough go. The deadline for the petition is Wednesday, and on Monday afternoon, even the club manager said he’s not confident they’ll get the 420 names they need.

John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

A state office in Lebanon that helps people with disabilities find employment will close in December. It’s the latest in multiple closings of state agencies in the city within the past decade.

The city of Lebanon has joined the growing list of New Hampshire communities signing on to the goals of the Paris Climate Accord.  

The Lebanon City Council vote was unanimous Wednesday night. Councilors acknowledge that the move doesn't mean any practical changes for the city -- they already have policies on the books to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas footprint. 

Britta Greene / NHPR

The Lebanon City Council voted Wednesday to amend the city's master plan, removing references to natural gas as a favored energy source. The move is largely symbolic, but it reflects growing concern around the environmental impact of natural gas.

Residents in the Upper Valley are organizing to fight a proposal by Liberty Utilities for a new natural gas facility and pipeline running through Lebanon and Hanover. The state Public Utilities Commission is slated to hear that proposal in September.

Britta Greene / NHPR

About 50 people showed up for a public forum with the Lebanon Police Chief Richard Mello in West Lebanon Tuesday night.

Since the November election, residents have been approaching the mayor and city councilors with questions around immigration enforcement by local law enforcement, according to Councilor Karen Liot Hill. “A lot of people seem to be really concerned about what might happen -- not necessarily what was happening, but what might happen in the future,” she said.

The forum aimed to address some of those concerns. 

City councilors in Lebanon passed a controversial ordinance last week that bans camping and overnight parking on city-owned property.

Those found to be in violation could face a fine of $100.

Alexander Sun / Flickr/CC

College Scorecard (9:00):

Two years ago, President Obama announced plans for rating colleges and universities, so students would know whether they were getting a good value.  Now, the administration has released its College Scorecard, and students and families are deciding how best to use it.

The first library in the country to become part of the anonymous web browsing service Tor has disconnected from that network, at least for now.

Officials at the Kilton Public Library in Lebanon were contacted by local law enforcement with concerns about Tor’s ability to conceal criminal activity. Library officials chose to disconnect from Tor pending further review.

None of the computers at the library had the Tor browser.

The manager of the Lebanon Municipal Airport is confident that discounted airline tickets will help to draw more customers for the airport to keep its operating subsidy. 

So far this year, the airport has seen an 11.4 percent drop in the number of passengers flying out of Lebanon. 

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The Lebanon Municipal Airport has missed out on getting $750,000 for improvements, after the city failed to have a plan in place.

The Valley News reports the airport receives $1 million each year from the federal Essential Air Service Program when at least 10,000 people depart from it. The $750,000 is what's left of Lebanon's 2012 allocation.

If the airport doesn't spend that money within three years, it's dispersed to other airports in the region.

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