North Country

Sargent Corporation

House lawmakers heard sharply divided testimony Thursday on plans to limit the development of private landfills in the state.

Enel Green Power North America

A Massachusetts-based company is withdrawing its application to build a battery energy storage system in Littleton.  

Enel Green Power North America

The Littleton Zoning Board will continue to hear from residents at a hearing Tuesday about a proposed battery storage project.

Battery energy storage systems use rechargeable lithium ion batteries to store electricity from the grid when prices are low.

Courtesy Alex Ritchie

The state is recruiting businesses to move into a former North Country mill, which will soon be the site of a hydrogen-to-energy power plant.

The plant, in the village of Groveton, has been in the works since 2018 and is set for completion next summer.

Courtesy Samantha Searles

When Sam Searles was a kid, she and her family visited Santa's Village and Story Land every summer. Both of these North Country amusement parks have been attracting visitors since the 1950's, even before Disney Land opened its doors.

Last summer, Story Land threw "Nostalgia Night," an event that offered the chance for adults to revisit their childhood memories. Sam returned to both parks and reflected on what it means to pursue the past.

Listen to this episode of Second Greatest using the player below, or subcribe to the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you get your podcasts) and never miss an episode!

PEXELS

A Grafton Superior Court judge says he'll rule later on an injunction filed by Littleton Regional Healthcare related to the opening of an urgent care facility in the town.

Littleton Regional filed the injunction in October against the Department of Health and Human Services, after the commissioner determined that there would be no adverse effect on the hospital if a ConvenientMD clinic opened less than 3 miles away.

Via the town of Northumberland website

Several towns in Cheshire and Coos counties are getting $300 thousand dollars in federal rural development grants.

The Northern Forest Center received about two-thirds of that grant money to expand broadband access and digital literacy in Lancaster.

The town of Northumberland received $50 thousand dollars to buy defibrillator technology that will help first responders better discern symptoms related to heart attacks or overdoses.

A Keene organization that helps low-income residents with energy efficiency improvements also received some grant money.

Hobo & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroads - Facebook

Railroad proponents are pushing back on a proposal to remove existing train tracks near Laconia to make way for a long-planned rail trail extension.

Stewards of Laconia's nine-mile WOW trail, named for nearby water bodies, hope to someday extend the paved bike and pedestrian path over nearby rail corridors and other existing trails so that it would seamlessly connect Franklin and Weirs Beach.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

More than 10 years since the 2008 recession, the North Country's economy is still considered to be in a transitional phase, according to a 10-year study by UNH's Carsey School of Public Policy published on Wednesday. 

In this report, researchers measured regional changes in demographics and public perception of environmental, social and economic issues in Coös County and neighboring counties. 

Dan Tuohy; NHPR

 

Shrinking student populations in northern Vermont and New Hampshire are prompting school officials from both states to consider an interstate district merger. 

SAU 7, which includes Colebrook, Clarksville, Pittsburg, and Stewartown, has lost 30% of its student population in the past decade. Across the Connecticut River in Canaan, the Essex North Supervisory Union has lost 40% of its students in the last fifteen years.

Certain towns in northern New Hampshire are becoming destinations for artists. But why? And can music fuel community development and growth?  

Jason Tors thinks so. He’s the owner and artist behind the Loading Dock in Littleton. It’s an unlikely space for music. 

“I was instantly attracted to it because it was super raw, had brick walls and exposed ceilings and felt like something that I would find in New York City or Brooklyn,” said Tors of the former newspaper storeroom that now houses his business.

David Covill / Pittsburg Historical Society

This weekend in Pittsburg, a group will gather to inaugurate a new historic trail - linking New Hampshire and Canada.  NHPR's Daniela Allee has more.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The solid waste company Casella says it's running out of space for Northern New England's trash. So it's taking the rare step of planning a brand-new landfill, in the small Coös County town of Dalton.

Lots of locals agree – they don't want the landfill. But they're divided on one potential tool to block it: zoning.

 

During our reporting, some conversations don't make the final cut because they don't quite fit the subject at hand – but it's often the meandering moment and quiet stories that bring a place to life. Here's a few too good not to share: we're calling them "Tiny Stories from the North Country."

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The North Country town of Dalton on Tuesday night approved temporary zoning rules that some residents hope will block a proposed landfill near a state park.

The town of about 1,000 residents was one of fewer than 20 in New Hampshire with no zoning ordinance.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

In an age when campaigns increasingly rely on social media or televised town hall meetings to court voters, face to face campaigning still has its place.

North Country: High-Speed Internet

Jul 19, 2019

This week on Word of Mouth, we're continuing our series on the North Country by answering a listener's question about access to high-speed internet. 

You can send us your questions about New Hampshire by emailing us or submitting a question online

North Country: The Big Nansen

Jul 11, 2019
Rachel Cohen

The dream of waking "the sleeping giant." 

 

 This audio postcard is part of Word of Mouth's series on the North Country. 

 

Casella via Town of Dalton, Save Forest Lake

A solid waste company hoping to build a new landfill in the North Country will meet with residents Tuesday to talk about their plan.

Vermont-based Casella is in the early stages of considering a new landfill in the town of Dalton, near Forest Lake State Park. Details on the plan are still scarce, and it still faces a lengthy state permitting process.

Over the last few months, here at Word of Mouth, we've asked listeners to send us their questions about northern New Hampshire.

In the first episode of our North Country Series answering those questions, we cover the basics: Where exactly does the north country begin, how has the economy adjusted to the decline of paper mills, and what makes this part of New Hampshire so unique? 

Brian Pocius via Flickr CC

 

Middle and high schoolers in Coös County have a strong sense of community, but higher rates of depression than their peers in southern New Hampshire. That's according to a study released Monday by the Carsey School of Public Policy at UNH.

 In 2008,  researchers began surveying hundreds of young people in the North Country. With help from local school districts and social media, they tracked as many as they could through graduation and early adulthood.

NH State Parks

Residents in the North Country town of Dalton are organizing against a proposed new landfill near Forest Lake State Park.

The plan comes from Vermont-based Casella, which says it’s running out of room for trash in the North Country.

More than a year ago, the town of Bethlehem voted down an expansion for the near- capacity Casella landfill there.

Credit mikecogh via Flickr Creative Commons

A former prison chaplain pleaded guilty on Tuesday in federal court to charges he smuggled drugs and other contraband to inmates.

Joseph Buenviaje served as chaplain at the federal prison in Berlin from 2015 until November of last year, when he was arrested after being found in possession of hundreds of strips of Suboxone.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

New Hampshire wildlife officials have the same message every spring when it comes to bears.

Bring in bird feeders, they say, get chickens inside some kind of bear-proof enclosure and make sure trash is stored away.

But the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has been running into a very human problem: apathy. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Corinne Cascadden, the Superintendent of Schools in Berlin, is stepping down this June. Cascadden served for over 20 years as an elementary school principal and for 10 years as superintendent.

She was an often outspoken critic of lawmakers in Concord over the issue of state education aid, which pays for much of Berlin's school budget.

This aid is declining annually, which Cascadden blames for the district's recent decision to close Brown Elementary, its last stand-alone elementary school.

File Photo, NHPR

A number of affiliated North Country hospitals are pledging to continue working together despite a recent decision by the group's largest member, Littleton Regional Healthcare, to go its own way.

The hospitals include Androscoggin Valley in Berlin, Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster, and Upper Connecticut Valley in Colebrook.

They came together less than four years ago in an attempt to cut costs and keep care accessible to the largely rural communities they serve.

North Country Hospital Group Loses Largest Member

Feb 21, 2019
Allison Quantz | NHPR

Littleton Regional Healthcare has announced plans to pull out of an affiliation agreement with three Coos County medical centers.

The hospitals formally joined together less than four years ago under a non-profit umbrella organization, North Country Healthcare, in an attempt to cut costs and improve accessibility of care for patients.  

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

On cold days, Berlin City manager Jim Wheeler can stand on the steps of city hall and see plumes of steam billowing from the wood chip burning plant Burgess BioPower.

The plant sits on the former site of the city’s pulp mill factory on the Androscoggin River.

“One of the things about biomass plants is that they make a lot of steam, and that's energy that goes to the sky,” Wheeler says.

Now, Wheeler wants to harness the heat that makes this steam for a snowmelt system.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

White Mountains Regional High School in Whitefield is surrounded by woods, and snow capped Mount Washington looms not far away.

A little ways from the school is a small field, filled with the bare bones of hand made shelters.

Aidan Wiggin’s a science teacher, and she gives me a tour of what her 9th and 10th grade students are building.  

Q Hydrogen Solutions

The company behind a first-of-its-kind hydrogen energy project in the North Country says it could cut energy costs in half for local businesses.

The Utah-based company, called Q Hydrogen Solutions, is turning part of Groveton’s former Wausau Paper Mill into a hydrogen power plant.

It will strip hydrogen molecules out of water, and use that hydrogen to power engines.

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