Sheryl Rich-Kern

Correspondent

Sheryl Rich-Kern has been contributing stories for NHPR since 2006, covering education, social services, business, health care and an occasional quirky yarn that epitomizes life in New Hampshire. Sheryl’s Challenges of Autism series won the first place award for a feature story from the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters.
 
In addition to producing news for NHPR, Sheryl has filed stories for Word of Mouth, as well the nationally-syndicated Environment Report, All Things Considered and Marketplace. She also writes for several business magazines.
 
Prior to her endeavors with radio, Sheryl worked as a public relations specialist and an adjunct college professor. She graduated Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and film, and earned a master’s degree in management from Lesley College in Cambridge.
 
Sheryl has lived in Nashua for more than 20 years.
 

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

UPDATE: One of Nashua’s largest historic mansions, the Frank E. Anderson estate — last used as a school and a home for retired nuns — was sold Wednesday.

The Nashua Telegraph reports an auction scheduled for Thursday was canceled after news of the sale broke.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

  

  This Saturday marks the 15th annual International Survivors of Suicide Day.

In New Hampshire, bereavement groups in Concord, Hampstead, Merrimack, Plymouth, and Keene will gather for an international teleconference on suicide loss. 

Local survivors will have a chance to tell their own personal stories and hear mental health experts discuss the latest research on suicide and grief.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

Arcade games. Billiard tables. Onsite oil changes and dry cleaning. No limits on vacations.

These are just a few of the perks companies like the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) are cooking up to attract and keep top talent.

The IAPP produces conferences and courses for people who do things like investigate cybercrime or evaluate privacy ethics.

CEO Trevor Hughes shows off the IAPP headquarters, a converted machine shop designed to look more appealing with wood beam ceilings and funky artwork.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau spoke publicly on Friday, November 8, in response to a police investigation of her and her husband, David.

In front of about 30 people at city hall, Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau said that a small number of people are the cause of a smear campaign against her and her husband, David.

On Monday, November 4, the Lozeaus released documents from a 2009 investigation that accused her of kickbacks and her husband of bid-rigging and drug use.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

Friends of a fired convenience store employee who pulled out a gun to prevent a robbery are holding a rally in Nashua on Saturday at 2 PM at the local Shell gas station where he worked. 

This past Monday at 3 AM, Shannon Cothran was the lone employee at the downtown gas station in  Nashua.

When a masked individual came in, demanded money and threatened him with a knife, Cothran pull out his gun.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

    

  About 50 people rallied in Nashua to protest the firing earlier this week of a convenience store clerk who wielded a handgun to ward off an armed robber.

Supporters of fired employee Shannon Cothran stood near the local gas station where he worked in downtown Nashua on Saturday.

The held up signs, calling for a boycott of Shell gas stations, owned by Massachusetts-based Nouria Energy.

Kevin Boyle organized the demonstration.

He says while Cothran did break the company’s no-weapons policy, the company needs to reexamine its attitudes:

Friends of a fired convenience store employee who pulled out a gun to prevent a robbery are holding a rally in Nashua on Saturday at the local gas station where he worked.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

The New Hampshire High Tech Council and the non-profit abi innovation hub , hosted the state's largest high tech start-up competition  at the second annual Tech Out competition in Nashua this week.

A tech-savvy crowd came to network and pitch their grand ideas to investors.

One of the 20 accredited investors, Jesse Devitte of Borealis Ventures says that, "We’re interested in smart, passionate people that have an idea that can make a material change in the market, where there’s real pain, and we’ll invest in those people."

Sheryl Rich-Kern

  Two years ago, legislators cut the budget for the Children in Need of Services program.  Only kids with severe emotional problems could receive help.

That left parents and parole officers with few resources to prevent kids from running away from home or skipping school.

But a new law restores the program , although in a slightly different form.

Unlike in previous years, families in conflict don’t have to go to court to receive social services.

State officials and child advocates are keeping a close watch on how the process unfolds.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

Close to 3000 refugees have arrived in Manchester in the last decade, many from the war-torn regions of Somalia, Sudan and Iraq.  Another 200 are expected to arrive in the city this fall.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

Unlike maple sugaring or beekeeping, wine making is not a typical agricultural pastime in New Hampshire.

But new techniques in viticulture, along with classic Yankee persistence, are making local wine production a larger part of New Hampshire’s agricultural mix.

According to the New Hampshire Winery Association, the state now has 30 wineries, double the number here in 2005.  New Hampshire wine is no longer a rarity in local grocery and liquor stores, farmers markets and restaurants.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

It’s summer. And for many college grads, a last chance to do something daring before entering the real world. Greg Hindy plans to spend a year walking from New Hampshire to California. Along the way, he’ll take photographs with a field camera. He calls it a performance art project, mostly because of the unusual rules of the journey.

Greg Hindy is taking a yearlong vow of silence.

That means no talking, no writing, no texting or watching TV.

Hindy took off a week ago.

On Wednesday the Executive Council authorized a new rail study  — one that examines whether to bring trains to Plaistow.

This study will cost far less than one approved earlier this year, for $3.9 million dollars to look at extending commuter rail from Lowell, Massachusetts to Nashua and then on up to Manchester and Concord.

Aging In Place

May 8, 2013
Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

According to a recent AARP survey, more than 95 percent of New Hampshire seniors want to remain in their own homes as they age - but that’s not always practical or affordable.

To address these concerns, two non-profits in the state are developing a novel approach to home-based eldercare that’s becoming popular around the country.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

As college costs rise around the country, some small private colleges are finding a new way to attract students—by offering financial incentives.  Some are offering discounts. Others are freezing tuition.  But New England College in Henniker has come up with its own plan to attract a wider range of students.

Beginning this May, it’s offering a year-round academic calendar, allowing students to save money by graduating in three years instead of four.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

In China, early April is prime time for tea picking.

In New Hampshire, the Confucius Institute a partnership between the University of New Hampshire and Chengdu University in China — honored the season this week with a tea sampling at the UNH-Manchester campus.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

This week, New Hampshire became the third state in the country to announce it will no longer use GED Testing Services for its high school equivalency exams.

Beginning in 2014 , the state is moving to Educational Testing Service, also known as ETS.

And instructors are urging the more than 1,400 adult learners in the state to finish their GED exams before the end of the year.

Otherwise, they’ll have to face starting over with a new test that will be harder to pass.

GED has been the brand name for high school certifications for almost 70 years.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

A team of Nashua High School students is trying to create a bacteria-powered battery that runs off a composter. The team is one of 16 around the country that received up to 10-thousand-dollars in seed money from the Lemelson-MIT Program.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

The town of Hollis holds its town meeting Wednesday evening.

In the high school gym, residents will debate town hall renovations, property tax exemptions for seniors and funds for the Old Home Days event.

But what’s likely to drum up the most vigor at the meeting is a warrant article that some say is detrimental to horses.

The town of Hudson wants to build a $1.8 million senior center on land it already owns at Benson Park.  On Tuesday, residents will cast their votes on whether to approve the funding.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

Advocates of the rights to own guns and those who want to restrict the laws governing them are often on opposing sides of the conversation. But many find a common voice when it comes to reducing gun violence. In New Hampshire, gun shop owners are forging ties with mental health experts to prevent the most frequent kind of death by firearms: suicide.

While most Nashua residents are hunkering down for this blockbuster storm, droves of city employees are out straight through the weekend.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

People around the region are preparing for what may be the epic storm of the winter. And that’s good news for some businesses.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

At the start of this spring semester, Manchester’s three high schools are launching two new initiatives around computer-based learning.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

After the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., many Nashua parents are asking whether the school system can do more to protect their kids.

Railroad Crossing
Photo by Tim Cummins via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire is inching closer to studying the costs and benefits of restoring commuter rail service.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

In the wake of the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., the Nashua School District is putting its security upgrades on the fast track.

Nashua’s Board of Education is moving forward with a nearly $2 million upgrade to the security systems in its 17 schools.

It’s almost the same plan the board proposed three years ago, but then delayed because of budget restraints.

But the assault at Sandy Hook Elementary School is prompting the district to ramp up the pace on two items in the system.

Flikr Creative Commons / rex libris

Online courses in higher education have been around for decades. Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester has been offering online courses since 1996.

Now the university is piloting a new online model — one that dispenses with courses, grades and credit hours. College for America is a low-cost, nontraditional approach that's getting a lot of attention. And it may be the first of its kind to get federal approval by the Department of Education.

An online petition asks the Nashua school district to establish anti-discrimination policies for transgender students.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

For taxidermists like Rick Bewersdorf, business is booming.

"We're hoping for anywhere from 20 to 40 deer heads this year," said Bewersdorf, who has a workshop in a barn in Nashua. "We've already got seven full mount bear in with some rugs."

Rifle season for whitetail deer began only a couple of weeks ago. But already, wildlife officials say the state has topped its record for registered deer kills  compared to the previous nine years.

That's good news for taxidermists.

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