News

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The Keene City Council will soon decide whether to approve the return of the Pumpkin Festival. At its peak, the festival drew tens of thousands of people to Keene and set world records for the most lit Jack o' lanterns in one place. But the event was canceled after riots in 2014.

Now, a proposal for a scaled down version will head to the city council for final approval next week.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A New Hampshire lawsuit seeking to block the state from complying with a request for voter data from the Trump administration's "Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity" is back on, after a renewed request from that commission was sent out Wednesday.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry delivered a sobering talk  in Hanover Thursday, focusing on the potential for nuclear devastation in today's global environment. His lecture, part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dartmouth's summer lecture series, was largely an attempt at a wake up call.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

There was no shortage of reaction – much of it critical – in New Hampshire to President Trump’s announcement via Twitter Wednesday morning that transgender people would no longer be able to serve in the U.S. military.

The announcement reserves a decision made by the Obama administration last year. Trump administration officials couldn’t say Wednesday afternoon whether this means transgender people currently serving would be forced out.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: July 28, 2017

Jul 27, 2017

New Hampshire's Congressional delegation reacts to President Trump’s announcement via Twitter that transgender people would no longer be able to serve in the U.S. military.  Dozens of veterans show up at a town hall event to hear how VA officials are addressing allegations of unsanitary conditions and insufficient care at the Manchester VA Medical Center.  And Manchester officials post signs designed to discourage people from giving money to panhandlers.

Thomas Fearon

Emotions ran high at a public forum hosted by the Manchester VA Medical Center Wednesday night. The gathering came on the heels of a Boston Globe report alleging unsanitary conditions and insufficient care at the hospital.

Dozens of veterans showed up at Manchester Community College to hear from VA officials about how they are addressing the allegations detailed in the Globe report. Those in attendance expressed concerns about long wait times, rushed doctor visits, and difficulty navigating layers of bureaucracy at the Manchester VA.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / Vermont Public Radio

A settlement between the state of Vermont and the plastics company Saint Gobain is catching the attention of some in New Hampshire who say the settlement should change the conversation around water quality here.

elliothospital.org

At the first of two public forums Wednesday night in Manchester, the heads of Elliot and Southern New Hampshire Health Systems took questions on what their proposed partnership would mean for patients, staff and the region's healthcare landscape.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The Connecticut River springs to life in Pittsburg, New Hampshire, just a few hundred yards from the Canadian border. From there, it snakes 400 or miles southward, where it discharges into the Long Island Sound. This month, a group of river-lovers are paddling the length of the Connecticut to highlight its history, importance and beauty.

Efforts to clean up PFCs at the former Pease Air Force Base will be the topic of a meeting tonight in Portsmouth. Air Force officials plan to give an update on where those efforts stand, 3 years after the contamination was first discovered.

Daniel Oines; Flickr

A new bike-share program has launched in Manchester, making it yet another city, alongside Portsmouth, Hanover, and Laconia, to offer bike rentals at various locations around the city. And infrastructure modifications, including complete streets, which allow safe use for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, are popping up all over the state. Still, many cyclists, and drivers, do not understand how to co-exists on our roads. We'll look at the latest in road safety, bike sharing, and cyclist/pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. 


Richard Phibbs

Michael Cunningham is best known as the author of The Hours, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, which imagines a fateful day in the life of Virginia Woolf and its modern parallels.

But he's a man of many genres - he's also co-written a screenplay, walked readers through Provincetown, Mass with a travelogue, and turned fairy tales on their heads, as he does in his recent collection of short fiction, A Wild Swan and Other Tales.

Episode Music by Blue Dot Sessions
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Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

New Hampshire towns and cities are getting $30 million for road and bridge improvements under an infrastructure bill signed by Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

The governor's office on Monday announced the amount of money each community will receive in infrastructure grants. The grants range from just under $1,800 for Hart's Location to more than $1.7 million for Manchester. The average grant is $128,205.

Sununu says the money is a key first step in rebuilding the state's infrastructure and will allow communities to provide tax relief.

Credit mikecogh via Flickr Creative Commons

The opening of New Hampshire's new women's prison will be delayed for about a year because the state is struggling to find enough people to staff it.

The 101,000-square-foot facility in Concord was set to open this year and is triple the size of prison in Goffstown that currently houses nearly 140 prisoners. 

Adam Fagen/Flickr

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is getting $3.5 million in federal funds to reconstruct and relocate several taxiways.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Voters from New Hampshire’s 16th District were at the polls Tuesday choosing a new state senator in a special election.

elliothospital.org

The public will have a first chance this week to talk face-to-face with leaders of Southern New Hampshire Health and Elliot Health System about their plans to create a new regional hospital system.

Rochester Police Department

Police have arrested a man in connection with an attack on a woman outside a Planet Fitness gym in New Hampshire last month that was captured on surveillance video.

Police arrested 22-year-old Jordan Lamonde, of Portsmouth, on Monday, in connection with the June 12 attack.  He's been charged with second-degree assault and was held on $150,000 bail. He's scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. A man who answered the phone at Lamonde's home said he had an attorney, but was told not to give out the name.

Thomas Fearon / NHPR

The Manchester VA Medical Center will hold a town hall meeting Wednesday to hear directly from veterans following allegations of substandard care at the facility.

Interim director Al Montoya will host the forum, which gets underway at 6 p.m. at Manchester Community College.

The medical center is the focus of a federal investigation, following a report in the Boston Globe in which several Manchester VA doctors described unsanitary operating rooms and significant delays in care.

warriorwoman531 via Flickr Creative Commons

The town of Charlestown responded Monday to a lawsuit from Southwestern New Hampshire District Fire Mutual Aid. 

The organization, which fields calls and organizes fire response across town lines, alleges Charlestown owes it money dating back to 2015, when the town moved to start using its own dispatch facility to save money.

 

But, in a response filed Monday, the town says it paid what it owed the organization and argues the mutual aid organization has changed its rules to make it harder for towns to pull out of their system.

Allegra Boverman

There’s a special election for the state Senate Tuesday in District 16 — which covers Bow, Candia, Hooksett and part of Manchester.

In light of what it describes as “some confusion regarding the use of different forms of identification by voters,” the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office sent a memo this weekend to election workers in that district outlining what kind of documents voters will need at the polls.

Ron Cogswell/Flickr

Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, told lawmakers in a statement on Monday that he "did not collude... with any foreign government."

Kushner is meeting behind closed doors with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday and the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Both panels are investigating Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and whether any members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Senator Maggie Hassan met with health care leaders in Exeter Monday to talk about the need for a bipartisan plan forward in Washington--and to criticize President Trump for his handling of the health care issue.

Standing in the glass atrium of Exeter Hospital, the first-term Democrat did not mince words about what she sees as the flaws in the Republican approach to health policy. 

On Wednesday morning, Durham’s three-person human rights commission will discuss establishing an Indigenous Peoples Day. Town administrator Todd Selig says the idea came about as the town grappled with pushback over a mural at the local post office.

NHPR’s Rewind: How Mental Health is Treated

Jul 24, 2017

Medical scholars have long researched and debated the best methods to treat people with mental health problems. A recent Exchange episode explored how the philosophy of wilderness therapy – the idea that camping in a natural setting can be a treatment for patients struggling with mental health problems. But when gauging the benefits of wilderness therapy, it may be useful to examine the success of more common methods used to treat mental health: medication and talk therapy.

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The city of Manchester has begun putting up signs designed to discourage people from giving money to panhandlers.

One sign put up within the past week near Amoskeag Bridge reads: “Your generosity could lead to a fatality.”

The sign encourages people to instead give their money to one of several local charities.

"It's just in furtherance of our educational campaign to hopefully save some of these folks from themselves," said Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard. "They went up last week, I think at 15 or 16 locations." 

Flickr

Next month, for the first time, New Hampshire residents can "legally" draft players for fantasy football leagues.  Recently, Gov. Chris Sununu signed a law legalizing all fantasy sports games in the state. 

voting booths
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire attorney general's office is clarifying voter identification laws in the state in advance of a Tuesday special election.

Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards says there has been confusion in the state about what forms of identification can be used by voters. She says identification cards that don't have a photograph on them will not be accepted "under any circumstances."

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A Florida man is recovering from flesh-eating bacteria he encountered while hiking in New Hampshire.

Thirty-two-year-old Wayne Atkins of Miami has been hospitalized since Father's Day weekend. WHDH-TV  reports Atkins was left in a two-week coma because his organs were shutting down.

Doctors say the bacteria entered Atkins' body through blisters on his foot from when he went on a hiking trip. He started feeling sick when he got back to Miami.

Cigarette
SuperFantastic / Flickr Creative Commons

Smokers will no longer be able to light up in parks and ballfields in nine New Hampshire towns.

The towns of Harrisville, Keene, Marlborough, Swanzey, Nelson, Rindge, Troy, Walpole and Winchester are working with the Cheshire Coalition for Tobacco Free Communities to create smoke-free policies for the towns' recreation areas and signage to reflect the new policies.

The towns of Marlborough, Nelson, and Swanzey have taken it a step further and have banned smoking on all town property.

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