Salem | New Hampshire Public Radio

Salem

America's Stonehenge site in Salem New Hampshire
NHPR

Police have made an arrest following a 15-month-long investigation into vandalism at a group of rock configurations in New Hampshire called "America's Stonehenge."

Fifty-one-year-old Mark Russo, of New Jersey, has been charged with one count of felony criminal mischief, accused of defacing the stone in Salem in September 2019.

A lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf Tuesday. Police said the rock tablet appeared to have been damaged by a power tool, as well as knocked over.

NHPR File Photo

A Salem police captain was arrested Thursday for tax fraud related to profits from the sale of firearms.

Michael Wagner, of Pelham, is accused of purchasing 36 assault rifles from Sig Sauer Academy in Epping using a law enforcement discount, and reselling them for a profit of more than $33,000.

Face masks
Centers for Disease Control

Officials in Salem are considering imposing a fine on anyone not wearing a mask or face covering in indoor public locations in town.

www.facebook.com/SalemNHPolice

A Salem police officer has been charged with reckless conduct and disobeying a police officer for allegedly leading other officers from his own police department on a high speed chase in 2012.

Courtesy Salem Police Department

Seventeen children suffered minor injuries when a school bus, pickup truck and dump truck collided in Salem on Thursday.

Salem Fire officials say the crash happened around 10:15am on North Broadway. 

Thirteen ambulances responded to the scene of the accident. Along with the children, three adults on board the school bus and the driver of the pick-up truck were transferred to local hospitals. 

The children were part of a camp group from Massachusetts. 

The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately known. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

This summer, towns in southern New Hampshire are breaking ground on what will become the state’s largest regional water system. It is being built in part with money from massive settlements between New Hampshire and gas companies, including ExxonMobil, that used to produce MtBE, a chemical that polluted local drinking water. 

 

Five towns in southern New Hampshire will start getting drinking water from Manchester by the end of 2020.

That's according to an agreement finalized this month among members of the new Southern New Hampshire Regional Water Project.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A Manchester auto mechanic with a criminal record appeared before Gov. Chris Sununu and the Executive Council on Wednesday seeking a pardon to avoid deportation.

Alain Ata, now 34, burglarized a Salem house in December 2004. A week later, he helped two accomplices break into a second home that was owned by his ex-girlfriend’s parents. After being found guilty, Ata served a lengthy prison sentence, but the conviction also meant eventual deportation to Lebanon, the country he and his family fled from when he was 10 years old.

FLORIANHUAG / FLICKR/CC

Towns in Southern New Hampshire are moving ahead with a major construction project to increase water supply to the region.

On Tuesday, voters in Salem approved a deal to buy over a million gallons of water per day from Manchester Water Works.

The water will be sold to residents in Salem and other nearby towns facing water shortages due to increasing population and limited local water sources.

It's Town Meeting season across New Hampshire, and Gov. Chris Sununu is weighing in on at least one local race. Sununu has endorsed a top staffer in his office in a bid for re-election to Salem's town budget committee.

 

Salem is considering a deal with Manchester Water Works to buy over a million gallons of water per day for residents in Salem and nearby towns.

The deal would be part of the proposed Southern New Hampshire Regional Water Interconnection Project, which would route water from Lake Massabesic, near Manchester, through a pipe that would be built with existing state money along Route 28.

Salem Selectman Robert Bryant says Salem's major local water source, Lake Canobie, has suffered from recent droughts and can't meet the demand of a growing population.

 

Discount retailer Ocean State Job Lot has purchased six former Toys R Us locations and agreed to a long-term lease at a seventh in New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

The three Pennsylvania locations in Montgomeryville, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, mark the North Kingstown, Rhode Island-based retailer's first foray into the state.

The other locations are in Brockton and Dartmouth, Massachusetts; Salem, New Hampshire; and Nanuet, New York.

Ocean State Job Lot currently has 10 locations in New Hampshire (see map above).

Appleswitch via Flickr Creative Commons

 

The ACLU of New Hampshire and the Union Leader Corporation have filed a right-to-know lawsuit against the town of Salem.

Appleswitch via Flickr Creative Commons

Salem Police Chief Paul Donovan is resigning after an internal audit revealed widespread problems in the department.

The audit found the department mishandled investigations, failed to follow through with citizen complaints, and was inconsistent in timekeeping and pay.

Salem placed Donovan on leave for two days in August over disagreements with Town Manager Chris Dillon, but he had returned to his post despite ongoing disputes with the town.

Matty Ring/Flickr

The town of Salem has hired a “civilian administrator” to oversee ongoing improvements at the Salem Police Department after an audit identified significant problems there.

Brian Patullo, a former Chief of the Andover Police, has taken the new role of civilian administrator, which Town Manager Chris Dillon says will last “until most issues are addressed.”

Winslow Townson / AP

A development site in Salem has become the base of operations for crews replacing pipelines after the explosions in Massachusetts.

Joe Faro, the CEO of Tuscan Brands, has temporarily donated 60 acres of the Tuscan Village site to make way for equipment and work tents.

He says around 2,500 Columbia Gas crew members are staying in regional hotels and coming to the site on a daily basis.

Going Local: The Merrimack Valley

Aug 30, 2018
NH Dept of Resources and Economic Development / Division of Travel and Tourism Development

We look at the Merrimack Valley region as part of our summer series, Going Local. 

The state's most populated area is perhaps the one with the least identity as a "region," including big cities, growing suburbs, and rural towns. We find out what it's like to live there: what residents love and what they don't. 

Restaurant Collapses in Fire on Salem's Main Street

Jun 13, 2018
NHPR File Photo

 

Firefighters are battling a large fire at a restaurant on Main Street in Salem, New Hampshire, that's collapsed the building and shut down several roads.

Firefighters posted on Facebook the three-alarm fire at the China Star restaurant began before 6 a.m. Wednesday and quickly grew. They say everyone in the building, which includes some apartments, has been accounted for.

Two firefighters were taken to hospitals. The extent of their injuries wasn't immediately available.

FACEBOOK

A GPS problem has been stymying the plans of some late summer visitors in the Salem area.

 

Officials in Salem have been swarmed with phone calls from residents. They say out-of-state visitors are getting lost and having to turn around in their driveways.

Salem Police Department

Police say a condemned house exploded and went up in flames in Salem as they responded to a neighbor dispute over stacking firewood, and about eight homes were evacuated.

Police said they tried to approach a man near the home Monday night, but never spoke to him. Police Capt. Rob Morin said they heard a hissing sound, followed by a strong odor of gas, and backed away. An explosion blew off the roof and broke windows. Neighbors said they heard a popping sound.

Ted Siefer

 Salem residents vote next month on a zoning change to allow charitable gaming facilities in certain parts of town. The move comes after the closure last year of Rockingham Park. The former race track had been the primary venue in the state for such games. As NHPR contributor Ted Siefer reports, a new crop of mini-casinos are trying to get in on the action -- and not just in Salem.

Credit Kinder Morgan / http://www.kindermorgan.com/content/docs/TGP_Northeast_Energy_Direct_Fact_Sheet.pdf

The selectboard in Salem is urging the developer of the proposed Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline to consider alternate routes through town. 

Chair Jim Keller says the board believes the path of the preliminary route may be more economical for developer Kinder Morgan, but is untenable for residents.

“There’s a school nearby, a rehab hospital nearby their path, a protected water body nearby, “ Keller says. “So we had asked them to seek out alternative routes.”

Businesses in the town of Salem, New Hampshire, have been asked for years to pay an annual $50 fee to open on Sundays or holidays. As of next year, that fee will be gone.

The Eagle Tribune reports selectmen voted 4-1 on Monday to eliminate the annual fee as of Jan. 1, 2015. They said some businesses were paying it, while others weren't.

Assistant Town Manager Leon Goodwin said only 228 of several thousand businesses have paid it this year.

Salem Program Teaches A New Group Of 'Junior Chefs'

Jun 19, 2014

The school year is drawing to a close, but next week a group of teens in Salem are heading back to the classroom - and the kitchen.

They're taking part in the Junior Chef program, a partnership between the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem and the Tuscan Kitchen restaurant.

Eddie Payne is an executive chef with the Tuscan Kitchen. He describes the program to NHPR's Brady Carlson.

The town of Salem, New Hampshire, is dealing with its third water main break affecting Route 28 in a month.

The problem is slowing down Morning morning traffic, and is expected to affect the evening commute, too. Some traffic has been detoured.

The break was reported at about 2:30 a.m. on Route 28, in front of 265 South Broadway.

Last month, there were two water main breaks at the intersection of Routes 28 and 97, in an area of town called "The Depot."

Salem Confronts Three Drug Overdoses

Jan 29, 2014

Police in Salem are investigating three drug overdoses in the city, less than a week after a similar series of overdoses in Portsmouth.

On Tuesday police in Salem found a man unconscious and not breathing. He was revived at a local hospital. They believe he is acquainted with a couple found in a similar state in a vehicle on Monday.

New Hampshire has seen a growing number of heroin deaths and overdoses in recent months.

NH Attorney General's Office

It was in August of 1969 when a road crew discovered the partially decomposed body of an adult man in a small pit of water off of I-93 in Salem.

The Real Salem Witches

Oct 31, 2013
Christine Zenino via Flickr Creative Commons

Visitors to Salem, Massachusetts, have a surfeit of choices in Halloween season. They can take a “Tales and Tombstones Trolley Tour,” attend the Zombie Prom, Voodoo Ball, or a performance of “Dracula’s Guest.”

The real terror that coursed through the Massachusetts Bay colony from 1692 to ’93 was not the stuff of a night out with the family. More than two hundred people were accused of witchcraft by their neighbors. Nineteen were hanged. Another was pressed to death. Five women died in prison.  Historian Marilynne Roach examines the lives of individuals swept up in the trials through surviving documents, invoices, and objects. Her new book is called Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials.

Communities Take Fight For LGC Payout To Court

Aug 6, 2013

Ten communities have filed a lawsuit to stop the LGC from issuing refunds.  Under a hearing officer’s order, by September 1st, the Local Government Center has to return tens of millions of dollars to communities that for years paid inflated insurance premiums.  

Millennium Gaming Focuses On The Basics, Not The Glitz

May 20, 2013
Emily Corwin / NHPR

No prospective casino developer has been in the news more than Bill Wortman and his firm, Millennium Gaming. Wortman has been courting the town of Salem for years and recently unveiled his concept for a casino at Rockingham Park.

Wortman may have started off as a CPA but he clearly enjoys the role of casino developer that he's morphed into. A beefy man who favors a casual, open collar look, Wortman began his gaming career in 1978 at one of the iconic casinos on the Las Vegas strip:

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