News

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state commission on the Seacoast’s high cancer rates signaled Friday it would push for cleanup at Coakley Landfill, despite objections from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The legislators and public representatives who make up the Cancer Cluster Investigation Commission have a report due this fall on what's driving those cancer rates, and they’ve honed in on the EPA’s Coakley Landfill Superfund site as a likely culprit.

Representative Charles McMahon, a Republican from Windham, chairs the commission.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As New Hampshire supporters of President Trump celebrate his first year in office, they pay little heed to controversies that have contributed to a historically low approval rating.

 

Asked about it, Lou Gargiulo responds by pointing to a stock market rally that led to a historic Dow high this week.

 

Gargiulo, a Rockingham County chairman for Trump in 2016, says he still revels in Trump's ability to beat the odds -- and confound his critics. 

 

Andy Schafermeyer / N.H. Fish and Game

Residents can fish without a license for one day only Saturday as part of a twice-yearly state program.

The Fish and Game Department holds another free fishing day the first Saturday in June, but this is only the second time they've done one in the winter.

Inland fisheries chief Jason Smith says recent weather might make open water levels too high to fish in some places – which means this year is all about ice fishing.

Sean Hurley

The tiny North Country town of Shelburne has proven a bellwether for New Hampshire politics for several years running. In many recent elections, the local vote has matched the state’s better than any other town.  

NHPR’s Sean Hurley has visited Shelburne periodically over the past two years to gauge the residents’ thoughts on politics and the new President.

File photo

St. Paul’s School in Concord is settling a civil lawsuit brought by the family of a former student, Chessy Prout, who was a 15-year-old freshman at the elite boarding school when she accused then senior Owen Labrie of sexually assaulting her.

Courtesy Red Bull

A ski jumper who helped breathe new life into a historic ski jump in Coos County is now heading to the Olympics.

Last year Sarah Hendrickson became the first person to hit the Nansen Ski Jump in Milan in decades. The jump used to host Olympic trials and national championships but over the years had fallen into disrepair.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Some schools around the state will soon be getting security upgrades as lawmakers Friday approved about $10 million in grants for school safety projects.

The money comes from a surplus in last year’s state budget. It will pay for 170 different projects at schools around the state. Most are security upgrades, like improved locks, alarm systems, or surveillance cameras.

Governor Chris Sununu urged lawmakers to approve the funds at a hearing Friday morning.

Brian Allen via Wikimedia Commons

Women across the country will participate in marches this weekend, including at several events in New Hampshire.

Last year’s Women’s March came on the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. For many progressives, it was the start of a resistance movement. Organizers of this year’s local events, including Anne DiCicco from Hollis, say their political efforts have matured.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

The New Hampshire Senate on Thursday passed a bill designed to strengthen rules to prevent childhood lead poisoning.

 

The bill mandates lead testing for all New Hampshire kids aged 1 and 2, though parents can opt out. It also lowers the blood lead level where the state will intervene, and creates a loan fund to help landlords deal with lead paint issues. 

 

Chuck Burgess via Flickr

Here at Something Wild, we don’t have a problem with winter. Aside from the snow and the cold and the freezing rain… okay, maybe we have a couple issues. But we have sweaters and hot cocoa and Netflix. Trees, however, do not. As the snow piles up, you may see trees bent over with their crowns nearly touching the ground, leafless and haggard. They can’t escape or hide from the cold, so how do trees survive?

 

CK4049 via Flickr CC

Gov. Chris Sununu voiced opposition to a commuter rail in New Hampshire during his campaign. But now he's supporting a $4 million feasibility study to look at how commuter rail could work.

NHPR's Jessica Hunt spoke with rail expansion advocate E.J. Powers on what Sununu's position change could mean for commuter rail in the state.

What do you make of Sununu's new position on commuter rail?

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A public hearing on plans to combine Elliot Hospital and Southern New Hampshire Health drew a who’s who of local influencers in Manchester last night – all of them with positive reviews for the prospect of seeing the two hospitals join together.

File Photo

New Hampshire's Democratic congressional delegation is requesting that the Pease International Tradeport be included in a nationwide health impact study on chemicals such as PFOA found in drinking water.

Legislation authored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter establishing the study was signed into law by President Donald Trump last month.

The Pease Tradeport formerly served as an Air Force base. In 2014, the city of Portsmouth closed the Haven well at Pease after the Air Force found high chemical levels.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: January 19, 2018

Jan 18, 2018

Governor Chris Sununu appears to open the door to commuter rail, supporting a study to explore whether it could work in New Hampshire.  A  bill to strengthen victims' rights makes its way through the legislature with bipartisan support.  And enthusiasm over a snowy owl ruffles feathers on the Seacoast.


Michael Kappel / Flickr CC

A new report says New England could see rolling power blackouts within a matter of years without more stable fuel supplies.

ISO-New England is an independent nonprofit that manages the six-state power grid. The group studied how fuel supply and demand might play out in those states in the hypothetical winter of 2024 to 2025.

Read the report here.

Amazon.com

Amazon has chosen 20 finalists for its much-coveted second headquarters, and New Hampshire didn't make the cut.

Boston, however, made the cut. The list of 20 finalists also includes New York City.

If Governor Chris Sununu is hurt by Amazon’s rejection, he’s not letting it show.

For months, Sununu has been a vocal champion of the state’s efforts to lure the online retailer’s highly prized second headquarters to Londonderry. 

NHPR File Photo

As Massachusetts prepares to announce where it will buy 1,200 megawatts of new renewable power, the 46 projects in the running – including many with a big footprint in New Hampshire – are hoping for the best.

Among the smaller-scale wind, hydro and solar installations that are vying for a Massachusetts contract are big transmission lines to carry Canadian hydro- and wind power.

Those include Eversource’s Northern Pass, and two National Grid plans to use mostly existing power lines in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Property Listing

A proposal to open up a home for people recovering from addiction in Ossipee was rejected by town officials last week.

But people who support the project haven’t given up.

Courtesy Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Brewing Company announced big news today - it's putting itself up for auction.

In a statement, Smuttynose owner Peter Egelston says the explosion of microbreweries onto the beer market came right as his company made a major investment in a new state-of-the-art brewing facility.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A crucial treatment provider in the state’s effort to combat the opioid crisis collapsed, with little warning, last month.

But some say this incident has exposed gaps in the state’s ability to oversee a critical system of care.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A meeting this week between Governor Chris Sununu and Hampton town officials may not have been enough to calm the waters in that town.

Last year, Hampton selectmen voted to sue the state over the cost of some services that the town provides at the popular state-owned beach.

Governor Sununu met with Hampton officials Tuesday night in an apparent effort to head off that suit, which is scheduled to be filed at the end of the month.

But Hampton Selectman James Waddell, who voted against filing the suit, says he doubts Sununu's outreach will make a difference.

Sam Evans-Brown /NHPR

New Hampshire's Site Evaluation Committee starts deliberating the fate of Northern Pass in less than two weeks. But whatever decision it makes likely won't be black and white.

In final briefs filed last week, 16 of the 19 stakeholder groups that intervened in the Northern Pass case asked the SEC to reject the project.

 

Friday was the last day of work at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England for Jennifer Frizzell. 

 

She's been serving as the organization's Vice President of Public Policy for New Hampshire since 2011. 

Frizzell is leaving to spend more time with her children.  She says she's had many legislative and political victories over her 15 years with the organization. 

She says that support for Planned Parenthood is strong. The organization says it will announcing the incoming Vice President for Public Policy later this month. 

New Hampshire is one of 49 states reporting “widespread” flu activity, meaning the virus is rearing its head in more than half of the state. And according to the latest data from the Department of Health and Human Services, at least 10 adults have died from the virus in New Hampshire since September.

National Grid Map

Developers behind a transmission line that's competing with Northern Pass to supply renewable energy to Massachusetts will hold a listening session in Concord on Thursday.

National Grid's Granite State Power Link would carry 1,200 megawatts of Canadian wind power through Northern Vermont to Monroe, New Hampshire.

Boston-based nonprofit Citizens Energy is co-developing the project. They'll be at the Concord Holiday Inn from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday to talk about how the power line could benefit low-income families along its route.

Moakley Courthouse

Attorneys for a group of Indonesian immigrants facing deportation argued before a federal judge in Boston today for more time.

The group of 51 Indonesian Christians now living on New Hampshire's Seacoast fled religious persecution and overstayed their visas back in the 90s. Then, last summer, under a federal crackdown, immigration officials told them they had 30 days to leave.

Kandy Jaxx / Flickr

The state’s unemployment rate dipped to 2.6% in December, down a tenth of a point from the previous month.

New numbers from New Hampshire Employment Security show that the state shed nearly 2,000 jobs during December, but that was offset by a larger decline in the overall labor force.

The largest private sector  job losses were in retail trade, construction, as well as leisure and hospitality. Public sector employment decreased by 900 jobs during the month.

Sununu Sends Transportation Plan to Lawmakers

Jan 17, 2018

  Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says his recommended 10-year transportation improvement plan for New Hampshire focuses on preservation, maintenance and safety of existing pavement and bridge infrastructure while "living within our means."

Sununu released a draft plan on Wednesday to be considered by lawmakers.

The plan, which emphasizes interstate as well as individual projects, assumes a level federal funding of about $185 million a year. 

via SundayRiver.com

An 18-year-old high school senior from New Hampshire died in a sledding accident at Sunday River Ski resort early this morning.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

During his run for Governor, Chris Sununu called commuter rail a “boondoggle” – a bad investment.

Now he’s putting his support behind a $4 million feasibility study to look at how commuter rail could work. On Wednesday morning in Nashua, Sununu said that with Amazon potentially coming to New Hampshire and more private partnerships available, he thinks it makes sense to explore rail.

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