Southern NH

Emily Corwin

New analysis of state and county-wide data shows black and Hispanic people are arrested and incarcerated at higher rates in New Hampshire than whites are, and at more disproportionate rates than blacks and Hispanics nationwide.

Little research has been done in New Hampshire on race and the state's 10 county jails, which are run by county government.  No comprehensive data is available regarding these jails’ populations. But in our recent story, Racial Disparities Increase At Each Step Of N.H.'s Justice System, data provided to NHPR by the Valley Street Jail in Hillsborough County allows a glimpse into the details of who is incarcerated here, and why.

Here are the numbers behind our analysis.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Click photos for slideshow.

For the last few months, Laura McCarthy has been preparing to put a lifetime of training on display before an international audience in Rio de Janeiro—home of this year’s summer Olympics.  No, McCarthy is not an athlete. She’s a fashion designer. And today – a collaboration she’s been working on for months will be draped on a Brazilian model, and strutted down a runway in Rio.

US Drought Mitigation Center

Despite the rainy weekend, the state’s environmental services department is continuing to urge residents in areas with severe drought to conserve water. 

The drought has been called the worst in New Hampshire in over a decade. While over 100 water systems in the state have formal outdoor watering bans and restrictions in place, the state is asking even those not listed to conserve water. 

US Drought Mitigation Center

The region's ongoing drought has forced state officials to restrict or ban outdoor water use in 54 New Hampshire towns and cities.

The state's drought management team has classified the North Country and the White Mountains as “abnormally dry,” while four counties in the southern tier are suffering severe drought conditions. 

Emily Corwin

About a year ago, a few members of the Nashua Police force agreed to meet monthly with a handful of Nashua residents to address racial justice in policing. Thursday night, that committee invited members of the public to a meeting at Rivier University to discuss issues around race and policing in the aftermath of violence by and upon law enforcement around the country.

  Residents in Southern NH exposed to high levels of PFOA can begin getting their blood tested, but those blood tests will likely take months to be processed.

State Epidemiologist Ben Chan told residents gathered at Campbell High auditorium in Litchfield that if they qualify for bottled water, then they also qualify for blood tests.

The tests will be drawn locally, but, he says, they have to be sent out of state for processing and will likely take months to get back.

Twitter.com/ChiefWillard

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard's uninhibited style has landed him in the spotlight recently. He’s been outspoken about the state's opioid crisis and has weighed in on political campaign disputes.

Most recently, he’s taken heat for comments about policing and race. But those who work with Willard say his actions often speak better than his words. 

Allegra Boverman

  A few hundred gathered for a Black Lives Matter march down Elm Street in Manchester Saturday evening.

Black Lives Matter Protest Returns To Manchester

Jul 15, 2016
Photo via the Black Live Matter Facebook page

A second Black Lives Matter protest is taking place in downtown Manchester Saturday night. 

Plymouth State University student and Manchester native Tyrell Whitted is organizing the event. He says he hopes Saturday “will be a positive experience, peaceful, everybody’s gonna raise awareness and have a good time.”

Epa.gov

The Coakley Landfill, a federal Superfund site located in North Hampton and Greenland, N.H., is the fifth source of perfluorinated chemicals identified in New Hampshire. 

NHPR

Take a look at the Merrimack, NH Water Issue Facebook page and you’ll see that people on the town's public water are not happy. Dozens call the water commissioners “unprepared,” say they are “protecting the culprit,” and need to “step up.”  

Unlike other towns in New Hampshire, in Merrimack, the public water system (Merrimack Village District, or MVD) is independent from town governance, overseen by its own elected board of commissioners.  

John K via Flickr CC

Residents concerned about PFOA contamination in Merrimack’s public water supplies demanded more accountability from commissioners at a meeting held on Monday.

Unlike many other towns in New Hampshire, Merrimack’s public water is overseen by an independent board of commissioners and is not coordinated with town government.

The Department of Health and Human Services will now pay for blood tests for some residents exposed to chemicals like PFOA and PFOS.

The department paid for the blood tests after workers and parents demanded them following exposure on the Pease Air Force Base two years ago. But DHHS had resisted paying for blood tests in Southern New Hampshire where similar chemicals turned up. That changed today, DHHS spokesman Jake Leon says.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

In Nashua on Wednesday, Republican Ted Gatsas announced his plan to fight opiate addiction across the state. In front of city hall, Gatsas told a small gathering of reporters the heroin crisis needs leadership, saying, "My first act as Governor would be to declare this fentanyl heroin epidemic is a public health emergency." 

Emily Corwin

  A new kind of water contamination has shown up all over the US, including New England. This time it’s not lead, like in the Flint, Michigan water system, but instead it's a chemical used to manufacture Teflon pans, firefighting foam, even microwave popcorn bags. It's forced some communities to hand out bottled water and shut down their water systems.

Four Killed In Manchester Fire

Jun 6, 2016

Two adults and two juveniles died in a four-alarm fire in Manchester early Monday morning. The fire broke out in the back of an apartment building on Wilson Street. Twenty-five people are believed to live in the building.

At five in the morning, residents from a similar apartment building next door were evacuated.

Emergency Rule Means N.H. Can Regulate PFOA and PFOS

May 31, 2016
Ian Sane / flickr, creative commons

  The federal government does not regulate PFOA and PFOS -- the contaminants found in drinking water in Southern New Hampshire and on the former Pease Air Force Base. But as of today, they are regulated in New Hampshire.

That’s because the state’s environmental regulator has filed an emergency rule giving the state new authority over contaminated water.  

Residents with private wells near the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics plant in Merrimack filed two class action cases Wednesday against the company. Saint-Gobain is the likely source of water contamination in the area, according to state officials. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Last week was a big news week for residents dealing with water contamination issues in New Hampshire and across the country. 

EPA Announces Lifetime PFOA and PFOS Advisory Level

May 19, 2016
Emily Corwin / NHPR

The EPA has announced a lifetime health advisory level for two chemicals that have contaminated water in Southern New Hampshire and at the former Pease Air Force Base.

The man who appears on video being punched by law enforcement officers following a high speed car chase has been taken to Elliot Hospital. 

Richard Simone’s public defender requested a bail hearing on Friday after finding his client had not been transported to a hospital the day before. 

Attorney Tony Sculimbrene says it was expected he would be taken to a hospital following a court appearance on Thursday.

“The result of the bail hearing was that a transport order was issued to have him taken to a hospital,” Sculimbrene says.

Both a New Hampshire state trooper and a Massachusetts state trooper have been relieved of their duties after allegedly punching a driver following a multi-state car chase Wednesday. The story has gotten national attention after media outlets released a video of the incident.  

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Private wells near a former manufacturing plant in Amherst have tested high for levels of the chemical PFOA.

The contamination likely originates at a former Textiles Coated International plant. That company moved its operations to Manchester in 2005.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Saint-Gobain is not the only company using perfluorinated compounds in New Hampshire. New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services has identified 44 companies in the state that likely use or once used this water-contaminating compound in their products.

Perfluorinated compounds include PFOA, found earlier this year at Saint-Gobain’s Performance Plastics plant in Merrimack, and PFOS, found two years ago in well water on the former Pease Air Force base.

File photo

The physician at Manchester's Valley Street Jail has agreed not to practice medicine at any correctional facility while the Board of Medicine investigates allegations that inmates received substandard care.

The board issued an emergency order April 28 that temporarily suspended the license of Matthew Masewic, who has been physician at the Hillsborough County jail since 2009. In agreeing to the terms of the order, Masewic has not admitted to any misconduct.

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