This Week in N.H. News: After a Week of Unrest, A Closer Look At Local Police Shootings

Jul 8, 2016

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Above The Fold

Dallas Police Officers Killed By Snipers: What We Know Right Now

A Dallas police officer covers his face as he stands with others outside the emergency room at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers Thursday night, killing some of the officers.
Credit TONY GUTIERREZ / AP

A coordinated sniper attack in Dallas killed five police officers Thursday, in a bout of violence that didn't end until the last of at least two snipers who had fired on police died in a parking garage. Police say at least four people were involved in the attack and that they have three suspects in custody.

In addition to the five officers who were slain, seven were wounded in the attack that began just before 9 p.m. local time, at the end of a downtown protest march that was held to condemn two police killings of black men in other cities earlier this week.

This is a developing story. Follow NPR's live blog right here.

In a week where violence by and against police has dominated the news, from Louisiana to Minnesota to Texas, we took a closer look at recent cases of police shootings in New Hampshire. Since the beginning of 2015, four people have died at the hands of police officers in the state, and two police officers have been shot, both surviving those incidents.

In Other News

  One of These People Will (Probably) Be Your Next Governor

We have about three months to go ’til the state primary, so now’s a pretty good time to start doing your homework on who’s vying for that corner office in the Statehouse.

NHPR put together profiles on all of the major candidates in the running: Republicans Frank Edelbut, Jeanie Forrester, Ted Gatsas and Chris Sununu; and Democrats Mark Connolly, Steve Marchand and Colin Van Ostern.

Think of It Like Sparknotes for #NHpolitics

If you weren’t paying much attention to what was happening in Concord during the latest legislative session, or if you just want to catch up on the final status of some of the bills you might’ve heard about earlier this year, you’re in luck: NHPR’s Paige Sutherland has a recap of major laws that passed, proposals that were vetoed and others that ended up on the committee room floor.

A New Way To Avoid Getting Lost In Translation

Nashua bus driver Kevin Boyle uses a tablet computer equipped with Google Translate to communicate with passengers who don't speak English.
Credit Ted Siefer, NHPR

  In Nashua, home to a burgeoning immigrant population, the public transportation system has come up with a creative workaround to bridge the language gap between bus drivers and new residents: Google Translate. As Ted Siefer reports for NHPR, the app’s installed on tablets at the front of the Gate City’s bus fleet — with the hope that it might make it easier for riders with limited English skills to navigate the city.

Brushing Up On Civil War Curriculum For a New Century

Reenactors of the 6th New Hampshire Regiment demonstrate for the teachers.
Credit Jason Moon, NHPR

How do you try to make a 150-year-old conflict seem relevant to today’s middle school students? Well, for one, you could  try “carrying a PVC pipe that’s weighted about the same as a rifle,” to give students a sense of what soldiers had to walk around with in battle. NHPR’s Jason Moon has the rundown on this and other ideas offered to a group of history teachers as part of a recent Civil War curriculum retreat in Keene.

An Update On N.H.’s Mental Health Reforms: Not So Great

Two years after the state settled a major federal lawsuit over its lagging mental health system, it still has yet to fully set up a lot of the services that were meant to fix the gaps that led to the lawsuit in the first place. NHPR’s Jack Rodolico has the latest on a report from the independent reviewer monitoring New Hampshire’s progress, and what this slow pace of reforms means for the state’s mental health system overall.

Taxing Matters

The “Live Free Or Die” state is, of course, known for its freedom from sales or income taxes — but it’s also home to some of the highest property taxes in the country. The Concord Monitor took a deep dive into the costs around Merrimack County, finding more than a few towns that have hiked up their tax rates by more than 25 percent since 2009. (You can read the Monitor’s full series on property taxes here.)

But in the face of these somewhat grim statistics, there was a bit of a silver lining: After the Monitor profiled one Franklin resident who was facing the possibility of eviction because he’s been unable to keep up with his tax bills, two readers stepped forward to offer him the money he needed to keep his home. (Consider this your friendly reminder that good local journalism can really make a difference.)

Medical Mergers Abound

Catholic Medical Center, Huggins Hospital and Monadnock Community Hospital are the latest in a growing list of New Hampshire medical facilities to move toward affiliation. As reported by the Union Leader, Huggins and Monadnock Community Hospitals will remain secular, and the hospitals "will maintain separate boards of directors, along with their respective charitable missions." According to a press release from the hospitals: "The affiliation is not an acquisition as no assets will be exchanged, nor is it a merger as staffs and physicians will continue to work for their respective hospitals."

This news comes at a time when a number of health facilities are eyeing consolidation in the Granite State, as noted by InDepth NH

(This section has been updated to clarify that the Catholic Medical Center, Huggins Hospital and Monadnock Community Hospital are trying to affiliate, but not to merge.)

Also Worth A Click
Credit Via GIPHY

  • Speaking of The West Wing, though, there’s a pretty neat Granite State connection on this week’s episode of a popular podcast for fans of the political drama. (West Wing Weekly)
  • Need to report a problematic pothole or sidewalk in Keene? There’s now an app for that — really. (Keene Sentinel)
  • North Country cell owners, rejoice: Some relief from slow, patchy service could be on its way, courtesy of Sprint. (NH Business Review)
  • Toocroke and bittermelon aren’t your typical New Hampshire crops — but at Common Earth Farms, tucked away along a little back road in Bedford, you can find these and other international produce growing under the careful care of local refugee families. (NHPR)
  • “I try to give myself a two snooze limit,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen disclosed this week, as part of a feature on her morning routine. (The Skimm)
  • Two local bikers are on track to wrap up a 4,500-mile trek from San Francisco to Seabrook tomorrow, part of an effort to raise awareness around ALS. (Concord Monitor)
  • The New Hampshire Rebellion’s “Granny D Walkers” are once again planning to march on Portsmouth this weekend to highlight the influence of big money in politics. (The Sound)
  • A distillery in Tamworth is getting props for producing “the best booze you’ve never heard of” — with a list of libations includes tamarind cordial, sweet apple brandy and flora gin, just to name a few. (Gizmodo)
  • One Manchester woman’s recipe for a poutine-topped-hot dog made it to the finals of a “Create the Next Fenway Frank" contest — if it wins, you could try it yourself at the ballpark later this season. (NHPR)