Sean Hurley

North Country Reporter

Sean Hurley lives in Thornton with his wife Lois and his son Sam.  An award-winning playwright and radio journalist, his fictional “Atoms, Motion & the Void” podcast has aired nationally on NPR and Sirius & XM Satellite radio.  When he isn't writing stories or performing on stage, he likes to run in the White Mountains. He can be reached at shurley@nhpr.org. 

Sean Hurley

Several hundred students from High Schools across New Hampshire gathered at the State House for the March on Senators. NHPR’s Sean Hurley sends us his report.

There was chanting…and speeches…but organizer Jennifer White said that she and her fellow students didn’t want to simply repeat last month’s rally. “I think that's a big thing for why we wanted this to be so focused on our senators,” White said, “Because we want to try to keep moving forward with change.”

This March was less of a public rally - more a group meeting with a number of democratic legislators.

Some Twitter users in New Hampshire felt special today.  For them, #newhampshire was the number one trending topic on the social media platform.  What followed was a mini tweet-storm of confusion.

Sam Hurley

Concord lost one of its most provocative landmarks last Thursday night when artist Thomas Devaney closed his giant Eye for good.  For the last five years the foam and wood sculpture came to life after dark when Devaney turned on his projector and lit the 6-foot by 8-foot structure with a filmed loop of his own blue right eye. NHPR’s Sean Hurley attended the closing of the Eye and sends us this. 

Sean Hurley

March for Our Lives rallies took place around the country - and across the state this past Saturday in Portsmouth, Peterborough and Nashua, among other places. 

In Concord, an estimated 4,000 people convened at the State House following a march from Concord High School. NHPR’s Sean Hurley was there. 

Sean Hurley

While visiting Shelburne recently, NHPR’s Sean Hurley heard about Sally Manikian. She's a local dog musher - yes, that's unusual, but for reasons more than that, reasons he couldn’t quite discover, she'd caught the town’s attention.  What, he wondered, made Sally Manikian so … well, interesting to her neighbors? He went to find out.

Sean Hurley

When NHPR’s Sean Hurley heard the Alton Bay Ice Runway opened last week, he asked a pilot friend what landing at the only official ice airport in the continental United States was like. Instead of telling Sean, that friend offered to give him a first-hand ice landing experience.

We’re 100 feet above the grey-green ice of Lake Winnipesaukee in Bob Hirshfield’s 50 year old Piper Cherokee - flying low because of unexpected turbulence – and because, according to Bob,   it’s more fun.

Hairspray at PSU

Jan 26, 2018
Sam Hurley

The Education Theater Collaborative at Plymouth State University has been around since 1994. Every year, the ETC brings professionals, students and community members together for one big musical extravaganza. NHPR’s Sean Hurley spoke with the cast and crew of this year’s show, Hairspray, and sends us this. 

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.

Sean Hurley

A long time ago - in this galaxy - I was sitting on the floor of a strange house in a room lit only by the cathode flicker of Milton Berle or Henny Youngman - or maybe it was Bob Hope?

 

Editor's note: We recommend listening to this story by Sean Hurley

“Boy, I feel great tonight!” Bob Hope began his 1966 routine on Milton Berle’s show, “I’m using a new oil on my hair. But I don’t know what to do with the sardines!”  

Composer Amy Beach was born in Henniker in 1867.  By the time she was 29 she was famous the world over for being the first American woman to write a symphony.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of her birth, the University of New Hampshire has been honoring Amy Beach with a series of special performances.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley recently visited the school to learn more about the composer - and her music.

Sean Hurley

The Dilly Fire in North Woodstock burned for 36 days, closed two popular hiking trails, cost a little more than a half a million dollars and involved more than a hundred people.  The fire grabbed headlines while it burned - but NHPR’s Sean Hurley wondered what happens next?

Firefighter Jeff Parker struggles down the icy Dilly Cliffs path dragging a hundred foot section of stiff hose behind him.  

Sean Hurley

After 36 days the wildfire that began Oct. 3 in the Dilly Cliffs area in North Woodstock and burned more than 70 acres has finally been declared extinguished.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley visited the area today with Incident Commander John Neely and sends us this.

Sean Hurley

NHPR’s Sean Hurley recently took a walk to Moose Painting Pond, as he’s named it.  The most peaceful place in the universe, he supposes it to be.  Maybe because it’s so quiet and hidden – maybe because it’s a place where the things he invents seem to meet together with the things nature does.

Note: As with every Sean Hurley story, we really recommend giving this one a listen.

I found the path to the pond – and the most peaceful place in the universe - about six years ago while wandering around Sandwich Notch Road.

Moose Painting Pond, I call it. 

Sean Hurley

The Campton Elementary School provided shelter last night for 35 plus residents evacuated from the Six Flags Mobile Home Park and the Beebe River area.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley went to the school this morning to talk to the evacuees about their experience.

Sean Hurley

There are roughly 4,200 undergraduates at Plymouth State University.  2,200 live in dormitories – 1,999 in off-campus housing - and one student, PSU Senior Kate Burgess, who lives in a tipi.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley went to visit Burgess at her tipi - and sends us this.

Ken Watson / KenWatson.net

[WEEKEND Update: Firefighters reported good progress Saturday, with wet weather helping crews. Route 112 near Kinsman Notch is open. The U.S. Forest Service warns motorists to look out for fire vehicle traffic. Read and listen below to Sean Hurley's report Friday night.]

THOUGH MORNING  RAIN has dampened the wildfire in North Woodstock, there are still  more than 80 firefighters trying to contain the 70-acre blaze.  As NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports, officials still aren’t sure what caused the fire – or when they’ll be able to put it out.

Sean Hurley

Every Sunday morning throughout the summer, a bell rings out three times from an island in the middle of Squam Lake.

It's a signal that boaters, kayakers,  and even swimmers, should begin to make their way to the island - because church is about to start. 

With a granite boulder serving as an altar and music from a hand cranked organ, Chocurua Island has hosted religious services of all kinds for more than a hundred years.  In this final installment of our summer series Surrounded, Sean Hurley visits the island, with one of its most devoted caretakers.

Sean Hurley

Steve Wilkes is a drumming professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston.  He’s also a former member of Blue Man Group and has toured the world with The Empire Brass Quintet. 

But for his latest gig, as this year’s White Mountain National Forest Artist in Residence, Wilkes won’t be making or teaching music - or painting his face blue.  Instead, he’s recording the sounds of the forest and compiling the first ever audio map of the White Mountains.

Sean Hurley/NHPR

Following the New Hampshire Presidential Primaries last February, NHPR’s Sean Hurley went to visit the bellwether town of Shelburne, where the voting numbers almost exactly matched those of the State as a whole.

With the inauguration upon us, Sean wanted to find out what the people of Shelburne were saying about our incoming president. 

Sean Hurley

For nearly 30 years Mike Marland’s editorial cartoons have been a feature of New Hampshire's political landscape. Marland’s work appeared regularly in The Concord Monitor, but following a recent belt-tightening at the paper, Marland has been let go. NHPR’s Sean Hurley spoke to Marland about his time at the Monitor – and about his new venture.

 

Toby Talbot

Last Wednesday at the State House, Governor Hassan declared December 21st to be “Jim Cole Day,” in honor of the Concord-based AP photographer. Over his more than 30 years covering the news, Cole assembled a portfolio that spans the state. But it was his pictures of New Hampshire’s political scene that had the biggest impact. 

Join NHPR's Rick Ganley and Sean Hurley for an old-timey hour of Christmas stories and memories. This special will become one of your family's favorite holiday listening traditions!

Tune in for the broadcast at 1 PM on December 24th, or listen right here:

Sean Hurley

We really only have one word for snow.  Yes, meteorologists might talk of stellar dendrites or graupels or aggregates – but when it snows, in English at least, we say "It snows."  But this dearth of words doesn’t mean there’s any lack of ways to think about snow.  

Sean Hurley

Some people get their trees at the supermarket, some at Christmas tree farms.  Some cut them down in the National Forest.  They take them home and get out the tinsel and the ornaments and the lights. But in some New Hampshire parts, not everyone brings a tree home.

Some people like to decorate Christmas trees in the wild.

Producer's note: As with every Sean Hurley story, we really recommend giving this a listen!

This month on The Granite Stage, NHPR's Sean Hurley and theater critic Michael Curtiss travel to The Hatbox Theater in Concord to see a new adaptation of Dickens' Christmas Carol.

At the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, Neil Pankhurst tells us about his Jack and the Beanstalk “pantomime”.  Following the more English Holiday tradition this "panto" is not the trapped in a box thing you’re thinking of.

From the Hatbox’s adaptation of a Christmas Carol to a pantomime version of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse to the reasons why, after 83 years, the Peterborough Players are offering their first winter season, NHPR’s Sean Hurley has a holiday theater round-up for the month of December. 

Sean Hurley

There might not be any snow on the ground, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start getting into the holiday spirit.  Premiering tonight at the Hatbox Theater, a new adaptation of Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol”.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley went to a dress rehearsal of the show and is happy to report that Scrooge is alive and well and living in Concord – at least for the next two weeks.  

The past few months in American life have been hard for Sean Hurley to comprehend. The NHPR reporter was struggling to keep up with changes in how we talk to each other, and act toward each other. Some of those shifts have been subtle, others less so. And then earlier this month, one of his favorite songwriters and poets died, Leonard Cohen, and he really felt like he was losing his way. So he grabbed his microphone and went outside….

Sean Hurley

For Thanksgiving this year, the NH Food Bank distributed 19,000 turkeys to food pantries and shelters across the state. 200 of these turkeys went to the Plymouth Food Pantry and NHPR’s Sean Hurley stopped by as they were handed out. 

Meghann Beauchamp

To vote, or not to vote – that is the question in Catherine Stewart’s new play “She Will Lead” at the West End Studio Theatre in Portsmouth.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley attended the show and hoped to find the answer to a second question:  Can a play about the 2016 Presidential Election change minds about the election?   

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