Upper Valley | New Hampshire Public Radio

Upper Valley

Allison Quantz for NHPR

More than 500 Dartmouth College students and alumni have signed an open letter to President Phil Hanlon and the school’s board of trustees demanding accountability for what they deem a long-running “institutional culture that minimizes and disregards sexual violence.”

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.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

A new program looks to pair Dartmouth medical students as mentors with LGBTQ youth in the Upper Valley.

Qmmunity is a collaboration between the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine and the group Rural Outright.

It’s based on the idea that young people with differing sexual orientations and identities who are living in rural areas face extra challenges to their mental health and well-being.

Matt Mooshian with Rural Outright says pairing up with a Dartmouth med student will give the teens support and a positive role model.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Residents of Mascoma Meadows manufactured housing community in Lebanon are celebrating the construction of a new solar array, the first in the state to power mobile homes in a resident-owned community.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, city and state leaders heralded the project as a bellwether for efforts to connect low and moderate-income households with renewable energy.

The Valley News is getting a new top editor. Maggie Cassidy started there as a news assistant and most recently she served as the web editor for the newspaper. The Valley News is based in West Lebanon, New Hampshire and covers the Upper Valley.

Cassidy replaces Martin Frank who is retiring after more than three decades at the paper. She joined NHPR's Peter Biello on All Things Considered.

Listen to the interview:

Read an excerpt: 

Valley News / Jennifer Hauck, Pool Photo

A man accused of killing his mother last year in a New Hampshire hospital intensive care unit has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Fifty-year-old Travis Frink appeared in Grafton County Superior Court Tuesday. A judge accepted his plea and committed him to the state prison's secure psychiatric unit for up to five years.

Kathleen Brown / Meandering Lens Photography

Seven current and former students in Dartmouth's Psychological and Brain Sciences Department are suing the school over alleged mishandling of sexual assault and harassment reports, saying administrators ignored years of criminal behavior by tenured faculty members.

Read the full text of the suit here.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

The Claremont schools have accepted an anonymous donation of nearly $30,000 to cover the district’s student lunch debt.

School administrators had proposed hiring a collection agency to recover fees from parents earlier this year.

While the donation is greatly appreciated, it's not a long-term solution to the problem, said Mike O’Neill, director of business and finance with SAU6.

Many local families qualify for the free or reducee-price lunch program, he said, but they don’t apply.

Britta Greene / NHPR

In politics today, it seems like everyone’s choosing sides. That can be particularly tough in small towns, where personal opinions often enter the public sphere. Now, there’s increasingly hard divisions along party lines, even on local issues that have little to do with national debates.

To get at some of these tensions, NHPR stopped recently in rural communities across the Upper Valley. We talked to voters about how things have changed for them since the last election, and how they’re feeling now, on the eve of the midterms.

Via WHTC.com

An Upper Valley non-profit is hosting a public information session Thursday on accessory dwelling units, often known as in-law apartments.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

It’s the year of the squirrel in New England. The animals have never had so much fame, never been the subject of so much attention.

It’s partly because they’ve put themselves in the spotlight—or in our headlights might be more accurate. Their populations have boomed in recent years, fed by a glut of acorns, and now they’re running across roads en masse in search of more food.

The thing is, all these squirrels aren’t just affecting our highways. They’re getting into houses as well. 

Dartmouth College on Tuesday celebrated the awarding of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Frances Arnold.

Arnold, known for her groundbreaking work on the evolution of enzymes, was recognized by Dartmouth with an honorary degree last year.

At the time, she delivered a powerful, personal address to graduating students at the college’s Thayer School of Engineering.

Walter Beach Humphrey, mural, oil on canvas adhered to wall, 1938, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Commissioned by Trustees of Dartmouth College; P.939.19

Dartmouth College is moving a set of controversial murals painted in the 1930s to an off-campus storage facility.

The murals - depicting Native Americans as drunk, dumb and highly sexualized - are in a locked basement room of Dartmouth’s main dining hall.

The college formed a group to study what to do with them earlier this year after Native American students complained.

Now, President Phil Hanlon says the murals will be moved to an off-campus storage facility for the school’s Hood Art museum, where they can still be accessed for teaching and research purposes.

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.”

NHPR Staff

 

A prominent health policy expert at Dartmouth College resigned after being accused of plagiarizing the work of other professors for a paper published in a prestigious journal.

H. Gilbert Welch sent an email to colleagues Thursday saying he was saddened to resign. He maintained that the dispute was over authorship, not the validity of the work.

He also said he stepped down over the school's demands that he could remain at the school only if he stopped teaching and that one of the complainants be made a co-author on the disputed paper.

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.

MattBritt00 via Flickr Creative Commons

An investigation committee at Dartmouth College recently found that a prominent medical professor employed by the college plagiarized a colleague's work.

In 2016, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch plagiarized the work of associate professor Samir Soneji and another researcher, Soneji said.

Soneji specifically asked Welch to give him credit if he was to use his and his fellow researcher’s findings, which attempted to measure the benefits of breast cancer screenings.

Courtesy of Twin Pines Housing

Construction is now officially underway on New Hampshire's first net-zero, multi-family housing project.

Rep. Annie Kuster joined state and local officials for the groundbreaking Wednesday in Lebanon.

The building’s 29 units will not only be energy-neutral, their electric use offset by solar panels, but also affordable. Resident incomes will be capped at about 60 percent of the area median, or about $42,000 for a family of four.

NHPR Staff

Dartmouth College is investigating allegations of misconduct by two leaders of The Dartmouth Institute. TDI focuses on healthcare research and is closely associated with the college's medical school.

Elliott Fisher, the institute's director, and Adam Keller, chief of strategy and operations, are on paid leave as of Tuesday.  

The college has not released specifics of the complaint, including whether the alleged misconduct was of a sexual nature.

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 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. 

Robert Garrova for NHPR

More than 100 people packed the lodge at Mount Sunapee Resort Wednesday night to hear from state officials about a proposed lease transfer of Sunapee State Park land.

Google maps

UPDATE: The State of Vermont Board of Libraries voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to reject the proposal to rename Mount Ascutney to Kaskadenak.

(A previous story continues below here ...) 

  A Vermont man wants Mount Ascutney—which looms over the Connecticut River valley west of Claremont and Cornish in New Hampshire—renamed Kaskadenak.

Rob Hutchins, of Hartland, Vt., says the name Ascutney is made up and the original name of the summit was Kaskadenak, which means "wide mountain" in the Abenaki language.

James Napoli

Dennis Follensbee took a hike in the White Mountains about a month ago. He wanted to get away, to find some peace and quiet. Or, as he puts it, “nature sounds and not people sounds.”

As he climbed out of the valley, the trickling of water from the brook below slowly faded away. The leaves rustled in the trees. But then, all of a sudden, he hit a ridge and everything changed.

“You feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, pushing through the forest,” he said. “And then you hear the brrrrrruhhhh coming through, all the way from Lincoln, and you’re like, man!”

It turned out it was motorcycle week.  The noise was echoing across his path.

Petition To Save Mink The Bear Quickly Gains Steam

Jul 16, 2018
Courtesy Ron DiMasi

A bear in Hanover nicknamed "Mink" is now the subject of a second online petition aimed at saving her life.

The first, last year, gained so much attention that Governor Chris Sununu ordered Fish and Game to pardon the animal. At the time, her then-yearlings had gotten into a home in town.

This time around, the petition comes after Mink’s relocation to the North Country. According to the latest update from Fish and Game, she’s covering long distances to try to get home. 

Courtesy Sarah Lindberg

Mink, New Hampshire’s famous female bear, has covered more than 80 miles since Fish and Game officials released her in the North Country just over a week ago.

She’s trying to make her way back home to Hanover, all the while being tracked by radio collar. The problem is, she doesn’t know which direction to go.

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.

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