NHPR Staff

Northern Pass is a highly controversial proposal to run 180 miles of new power lines from Canada, through northern New Hampshire, down to Concord, and then eastward to Deerfield.

While it's a high-profile debate in the state, many New Hampshire residents are unsure of how Northern Pass compares to past energy projects, what both sides have at stake, and what the future of the region's energy supply could look like.  NHPR's Sam Evans-Brown explores these issues in a three-part series.

It’s been more than three weeks since the state’s trial against Seth Mazzaglia got underway.  The state alleges Mazzaglia murdered and raped UNH student Lizzi Marriott.  While NHPR doesn’t have a reporter at the Strafford County court house following daily developments, the story has captivated many in the state including our Seacoast reporter Emily Corwin.  And she’s taken her microphone along on a mission--to find out why.

Physically restricting a child’s movement by holding arms or legs or torso is a common--if controversial--practice in both public schools and group homes. So, too, is seclusion. Many states have reporting systems that ensure regulators and parents get notified of these events. But in New Hampshire, there’s a loophole in the process that’s allowing many incidents to go unreported. NHPR’s Todd Bookman has more.

For more than a decade, New Hampshire prisons have been under enormous pressure.  The prison population has gone up as staff numbers have gone down.  Aside from the inmates, few feel the consequences as acutely as the state’s correctional officers.

Back in 2004, Derek Janiak had a string of migraines. His energy was down and he noticed he was losing weight. Doctors thought it might be cancer. But further testing showed Janiak had a rare liver disease, something called P.S.C. The prognosis was 10-15 years of slowly worsening health, and then he’d require a transplant.  Derek’s wife, Logan Shannon, works at New Hampshire Public Radio. And over the next three days, we’ll share their story.

School districts with growing populations could benefit from two pieces of legislation that got preliminary approval today from the New Hampshire House. 

The House voted this morning to move forward a bill that would lift a cap on how much state aid growing school districts can receive, as well as a measure to provide more money for school construction projects. The House Education Committee recommended passage of both. 

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Power outage maps and info: PSNH (Eversource Energy) | Unitil | National Grid/Liberty | NH Electric Co-op

School and other emergency closings from WMUR

511NH real time traffic/road closure information

Can you safely take a storm photo? Email it our way!

Monday 11:10

Eversource (Formerly PSNH) outages have been restored, after a peak of about 2,500. NHEC outages had peaked at around 2,800 (including about 1,800 in Moultonborough) but are now down to about 400 remaining without power. 

Monday 9:44 a.m.

State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan is urging residents to clear roofs of snow and ice.  In a press release, the Department of Safety warns that flat roofs are not the only ones susceptible to collapse.

Buildings in Portsmouth, Seabrook and Hampton have been structurally compromised, and even collapsed.

According to the DOS, “buildings that can be considered most at risk are ones where the snow load is not even across the roof with large accumulations of snow and ice, buildings with large open floor areas, storage, warehouses, flat or low-sloped roofs and unoccupied buildings.”

Degnan also urges residents to do the following:

  • Clear roofs of excessive snow and ice buildup, being careful not to damage your roof along with gas and oil service to the building. 
  •   Keep all chimneys and vents clear to prevent carbon monoxide from backing up into the building.  Some vents, such as gas and oil heaters and pellet stove vents, may exit the building through a wall and are susceptible to being blocked by excessive snow buildup on the outside of the building.
  •  Keep all exits clear of snow, so that occupants can escape quickly if a fire, or other emergency, should occur.  Keep in mind that windows should be cleared to allow a secondary means of escape in case the primary means of escape is blocked by fire.  Keeping exits clear also allows emergency workers to access your building.

Monday 8:23 a.m.

Frigid temperatures and high winds will last through Monday, with scattered power outages being reported throughout the region.

For updates on outages around the state, click on the utility maps linked above. 

Sunday 5:29 p.m.

The snow part of this weekend's storm is over, but forecasters are warning that tonight will bring dangerously low temperatures throughout the region.

The National Weather Service reports that as blowing snow winds down this evening, very cold air will move into New Hampshire from the Northwest. This air will combine with strong winds to produce dangerously low wind chill values, which could drop lower than twenty below zero. 

Sunday 10:02 a.m.

According to the National Weather Service, the heaviest snow has ended across Maine and New Hampshire, but the winds are just beginning to blow.

Winds will cause significant blowing snow and lead to blizzard conditions for some areas. In addition, very cold air is moving in from Canada and will combine with strong winds to produce dangerously cold temperatures through Monday.

Sunday  8:28 a.m.

This special series presented by NHPR takes a look at the uncertain future of New Hampshire's colleges, and how they are working to stay relevant, competitive, and worth the cost.

During the Midterm elections, the race for U.S. Senate between Republican Scott Brown and incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen drew the most attention, locally and nationally.  We followed the campaigns in the months leading up to election day.

Overall Excellence

Feb 13, 2015

Content rundown:

May 12, 2014:  New Details Emerge In Officer's Death In Brentwood

Reporter Sam Evans-Brown was on the scene of the shooting death of Officer Steve Arkell.  His report recapped the day's tragic events.

April 2, 2014:  Loophole Means Many Child Restraints Go Unreported In New Hampshire

Newscast: Nov. 5, 2014

Feb 13, 2015

An example of one of our afternoon newscasts-- this one came on the day following midterm elections.

Description: You've seen abandoned houses.  Windows broken or boarded up.  You've probably seen abandoned cars in the woods.  NHPR's Sean Hurley recently came upon an abandoned train in Bartlett.  To find out more about its history, he spoke with Conway Scenic Railroad Conductor Gordon Lang.

There are many challenges to a good town-gown relationship in college towns, but here’s one that doesn’t get a great deal of press: urine overloads.  On certain nights of the week, partying UNH students in Durham can overwhelm the town’s wastewater treatment plant.  But NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown reports a group of UNH students have teamed up with the town to get some of that nitrogen-rich urine out of the water, and put it where it could do some good.

On the field, the UNH Wildcats had a nearly perfect season, advancing into the playoffs as the top ranked team in its division. But off the field, a study using this team is trying to figure out how to reduce concussions. The big idea is to protect player’s heads by having them practice - without a helmet.

Every year USA Yoga holds its annual national championships in San Antonio.  NHPR's Emily Corwin caught up with one of the competitors, 19-year-old New Hampshire resident Emily Avery as she prepared for the big day.

Sean Hurley / NHPR

In September of 2014, 55% of Scottish voters said no to the historic independence referendum. While pro-independence activists were left deflated by the loss, in New Hampshire, Scot spirits were high. NHPR reporter Sean Hurley traveled to Loon Mountain for the 39th annual Highland Games to capture the scene as competitors and spectators ate haggis, tasted whiskey, and tossed trees. 

Digital Darwinism. It’s a familiar concept for the millennial generation, particularly when it comes to social media. It seems there’s always a shiny new platform for sharing and connecting with others. Just as AOL made way for Gmail, MySpace made way for Facebook. But what happens to the old profiles we leave behind, and how easy it to erase a digital ghost? Taylor Quimby found out for himself.

 

Physically restricting a child’s movement by holding arms or legs or torso is a common--if controversial--practice in both public schools and group homes. So, too, is seclusion. Many states have reporting systems that ensure regulators and parents get notified of these events. But in New Hampshire, there’s a loophole in the process that’s allowing many incidents to go unreported.

For more than a decade, New Hampshire prisons have been under enormous pressure.  The prison population has gone up as staff numbers have gone down.  Aside from the inmates, few feel the consequences as acutely as the state’s correctional officers.  Emily Corwin looks at the overtime pressures those workers face.

There’s a band of bedrock in Eastern New England that makes the region one of about a dozen hotspots in the country for arsenic in drinking wells.

A U.S. Geological Survey study estimates nearly 50,000 people in Southeastern New Hampshire could be drinking elevated levels of arsenic.

And while it can sound terrifying that there are trace amounts of such an iconic poison in some people’s water, it can be fixed.

Northern Pass is a highly controversial proposal to run 180 miles of new power lines from Canada through New Hampshire.

While it's a high-profile debate in the state, many New Hampshire residents are unsure of how Northern Pass compares to past energy projects, what both sides have at stake, and what the future of the region's energy supply could look like.

In this three-part series Sam Evans-Brown examines Northern Pass through these lenses, and in doing so, brings some new issues to light.

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

Scroll down for weather information, links to closings and our regional map. We've also embedded some of your tweets below and will be adding photos from around the state to the gallery above.

Have a photo you'd like us to share? Email it our way. Just make sure to include your name and town.

5:02 p.m. 

A winter storm warning remains in effect until midnight. New Hampshire can expect total snow accumulation of 10 to 15 inches for southern sections, 6 to 10 inches for the Merrimack Valley and central New Hampshire, with lesser amounts in the North Country. 

Tomorrow, we'll see morning clouds, with partly sunny skies later in the day. It will be clear and cold on Wednesday, with more snow possible for Thursday.

4:45 p.m. - Some Businesses Seeing Snow-Related Uptick 

by Sheryl Rich-Kern

This week’s steady pounding of snow prevents some consumers from patronizing shops and restaurants. But for those running an outdoor equipment shop, business can’t get any better. 

Whether or not the current snowfall tops any records, many in the Nashua region can’t remember a barrage like this one. The slow but steady storm that began Sunday is dumping another foot of snow.

At Nashua Outdoor Power Equipment, business has been very brisk. Fred Hayden has been selling and repairing snowblowers since 1991.

"We’re a little overwhelmed. We haven’t see snow like this – ever - in the history of our business.  We’ve done as much volume in ten days as we do in one-third of the year. We’ve been here Sundays. We’ve been out here until eleven at night doing road calls."

Hayden says the light, fluffy snow freezes up carburetors, recoils, and starters on tractors. He recommends using high-octane gasoline that’s less than ninety days old — and adding a fuel stabilizer. 

11:42 a.m.

9:11 a.m.

Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton says it’s been a grueling last two weeks, and this latest prolonged storm is testing the endurance of crews working to clear the roads.

“We’ve got some crews that have not been home since late Saturday night around midnight,” he said. “They’re taking breaks along the way, but there really haven’t been too many lulls that have allowed them to take extensive periods off. So the work continues and will throughout most of the day.”

Even though there are close to 700 trucks out, Boynton says drivers should expect snow-covered roads through most of the day.

8:50 a.m.

National Weather Service radar from Portland, Maine shows the stalled front, which is expected to cause prolonged snowfall across New Hampshire well into Monday night.

7:28 a.m.

Officials in Nashua are urging people and business owners to clear snow off their roofs, after a roof partially collapsed at a vacant commercial building Sunday night.

The city’s emergency management director Justin Kates says no one was hurt in the incident.

“But it really does show some of the concerns we’re looking at over the next couple of days as these constantly increasing snow packs on roofs continue to build up,” he said. “If people don’t take care of that by sending crews up or using a roof rake, we could be seeing some catastrophic consequences with roofs collapse.”

This comes just after heavy snow caused the roof an apartment building in the city to partially collapse last week, displacing two dozen residents.

Kates says the city has cleared snow off of several public buildings.

He says the city continues to work to clear snow that has fallen over several major winter storms over the past few weeks.

  6:56 a.m., Monday

A prolonged winter storm is bearing down on the Granite State.

Rob Carolan with Hometown Forecast says the storm that began Saturday night is expected to continue through tonight.

“Most of the state has picked up, at least south of the Lakes Region, around 1-3 inches of snow," he said. "We’ll probably pick up 2-4 inches today into tonight.”

A winter storm warning remains in effect for almost the entire state except for northern Coos county through midnight tonight.

Carolan says total accumulation for the southern part of the state will be tween 8 to 14 inches.

Only a few inches are expected north of the Lakes Regions into the White Mountains.

Speed limits on the state’s major highways have been lowered 45 miles per hour. 

Sunday night

A stalled front will continue to produce sustained snowfall across New Hampshire through Monday night. According to the National Weather service, waves of low pressure will allow for period of snow across the region.

While the snow at any given time will not be particularly intense, it will add up over the course of the storm, with some areas seeing well over a foot. The heaviest snowfall is expected across southern parts of the state. 

Have you taken an impressive snow photo you'd like us to share? Email it our way, and make sure to include your name and town.

Credit New Hampshire State Police

 

Nearly 20 New Hampshire police cruisers have been struck by other vehicles since Thanksgiving, prompting law enforcement, fire and emergency officials to warn drivers to slow down, move over and be more careful.

Col. Robert Quinn with the state police says the 19 crashes are three times the average for the winter season.

NHPR Staff

 

The New Hampshire Legislature is revisiting the issue of ballot selfies.

The House Election Law Committee is hearing a bill Tuesday that would repeal a measure passed last year that bans taking a digital photograph of a marked ballot and sharing it via social media or other means.

Representative J.R. Hoell is the bill’s prime sponsor, and says it’s a First Amendment issue.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Power outage maps and info: PSNH (Eversource Energy) | Unitil | National Grid/Liberty | NH Electric Co-op

School and other emergency closings from WMUR

511NH real time traffic/road closure information

Can you safely take a storm photo? , and make sure to tell us the town in which it was taken. Email it our way!

8:13 a.m. Wednesday: Nashua, Durham Work to Get Back to Normal

  Cleanup is underway across New Hampshire today, after yesterday’s blizzard.

We check in with two communities hit hardest by the storm: Nashua and Durham.

Let’s start with Nashua, which saw 33 inches of snow.

Justin Kates is the city’s director of emergency management.

How are things looking this morning?

I think we’ve made significant improvements. We’ve had crews out all night. We had crews out all day yesterday. These plow drivers have really been working nonstop to clear those roads as much as possible. We’re seeing some really good improvements today.

Do you feel confident that roads are clear enough that people can get out and about this morning?

I do. I think the big concern for folks is they’re going to want to give themselves some extra time this morning to ensure their driveways are clear. Those roads are still a little icy, so it’s still important for people to drive safe if they have to go out this morning.

What about parking on city streets?

At 10 a.m. this morning, parking will be allowed on city streets as well as those municipal surface lots.

What about other concerns besides roadways? Have there been any other lingering issues from the storm?

Thankfully with this storm, we didn’t have any power outages, which certainly brings a concern to the emergency management office. We didn’t have to open up any shelters and for the most part, it was just a significant snow event that really impacted our public works department. Thankfully, there weren’t really any other concerns other than keeping those streets clear.

Speaking of your public works department, how about the budget? We’ve got many more storms on the horizon and it’s only the end of January.

One of the things I think we do pretty well in the city is to plan for these kinds of events. There’s a snow budget already in place here in the city as well as a trust fund in the event that we have one of those significant winters like we’ve had in the past. I think we’re ready to go if we see continue to see more snow like this throughout the winter.

Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig also joined Morning Edition.

What are you seeing in Durham today?

We had quite a storm yesterday. We took measurements yesterday evening and parts of Durham had up to 28 inches of snow.

How’s it looking for snow removal?

It’s been hard sledding, to be honest with you. A storm like this requires that our snow fighters in the public works department sometimes go for as long as 24 hours with only short breaks for meals and naps. At this time, we have more or less had to send all of our staff home to rest because they had been going more than a day without stopping.

We have all of our main roads cleared. We have most of the sidewalks in the downtown cleared. But all of the sidewalks extending into our ancillary neighborhoods, around the downtown into some of the more distant parts of the community will have to wait for about another day so we can muster the resources to clear those out.

Looking ahead, there are some other storms on the horizon. How’s the town budget?

The town budget is good. We begin our fiscal year Jan. 1, so we’ve really just begun with a new fiscal year. I have to say we were running on fumes until Dec. 31, but we’re recharged now with a new fiscal year. That’s good news, but storms like this are costly. In salt alone, Durham went through about $10,000 in this storm. And the total cost of cleanup is going to be somewhere between $25,000 and $35,000. I’m betting around $35,000, toward the high end.

When do you feel like you’ll be back to normal in Durham?

It’s hard because clearing the roads is just the first step. In the downtown in particular, we have very large snow piles and we need to bring in special loaders and dump trucks in order to cart all of that snow away. To make matters worse, we have more snow coming in this weekend, with more than a foot or more expected next Monday.

  6:16 a.m. Wednesday: Cleaning up the Mess

New Hampshire is digging out from a strong winter storm that dumped more than two feet of snow in some places.

Gov. Maggie Hassan said government will reopen Wednesday after shutting down when the storm blew through on Tuesday. Some schools will remain closed for a second day and strong winds into Tuesday night meant snow drifts were likely to pop up on some roads.

Snowfall totals ranged from a few inches north of the White Mountains to more than 3 feet along the coast. Wind speeds of 30 to 35 mph and gusts up to 50 mph blew drifts that reached rooflines in some places.

Wednesday is expected to be cold and dry but more snow could reach the state starting Thursday night.

5:10 p.m. Tuesday: Overview of the Storm

A major winter storm blanketed New Hampshire Tuesday, but ample warning, a declared state of emergency and what Gov. Maggie Hassan called good old Granite State common sense kept problems to a minimum. Here's an overview of the storm so far, via The Associated Press:

File photo/NHPR

Attorney General Joseph Foster says police were responding to a call from a woman just after 8 a.m. who said her husband had just left their home distraught, suicidal and armed with a shotgun. 

Police located his truck at a nearby intersection and the officer approached. 

The officer returned fire and the man suffered a single, fatal gunshot wound to the head. 

Authorities are withholding the names of those involved at this time. They say the officer involved did not sustain any serious injuries. 

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

The following are links to seven stories Sam reported in 2014, submitted for the Education Writers Association National Awards for Education Reporting.

In-depth series:

A two-part series about New Hampshire's Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, a statewide online charter school:  

The Data Is Tricky To Parse, But Online Charter VLACS Seems To Work For Students

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Today, Governor Maggie Hassan begins her second term facing a far different political landscape than she faced two years ago. Scroll down for real-time updates from the Statehouse featuring news, tweets from NHPR reporters and photos by Allegra Boverman. Click through additional photos in the gallery above.

Visit the official inaugural committee website here. 

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