This Week in N.H. News: Some Safety Standards, Finally, For PFOA and More Northern Pass Delays

May 20, 2016

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Above The Fold

Fallout Continues From Last Week’s Police Incidents

Credit Jim Cole/AP

As NHPR’s Josh Rogers pointed out, both of the cases in Manchester and Nashua are likely to tie into ongoing policy debates — over gun access, mental health and law enforcement accountability — that have been slogging along for years at the Statehouse.

The man accused of shooting two officers in Manchester is being held without bail at the Valley Street Jail, and his family is now speaking out about his history with mental illness. His father told the Associated Press that his son shouldn’t have been able to legally buy a gun: “I believe that the system messed up in a big way.”

Separately, the Massachusetts attorney general's office isn’t going to launch its own investigation into the confrontation at the end of an hour-long chase that ended in Nashua last week and involved officers from both states, according to WGBH.

New Hampshire's attorney general, meanwhile, is investigating police use of force during the incident, but his counterpart in Massachusetts says she doesn’t have jurisdiction to do the same: “That is not something that a Massachusetts Attorney General can do — cross the border.”

On the Campaign Trail

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A new WBUR poll shows that Hillary Clinton (should she secure the Democratic nomination) holds a slight lead over Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. NHPR’s Peter Biello caught up with the pollster behind those findings to find out more about those candidates’ (un)favorability ratings in New Hampshire, the state’s U.S. Senate matchup and more.

Speaking of the Senate, Sen. Kelly Ayotte says she’s still comfortable voting for Trump if he ends up being the Republican nominee — but she wouldn’t mind if he started to “speak in ways that are more inclusive.” 

(In an interview with NHPR’s Morning Edition, Ayotte also clarified the distinction, in her eyes, between “supporting” and “endorsing” Trump.)

In the governor’s race, Republican candidate Jeanie Forrester was out this week with a push for policies aimed at enticing more businesses to move to or expand in the state.

Feds Set Safety Recommendations for Contaminating Chemicals

The EPA has announced a lifetime health advisory level for two chemicals that have contaminated well water in southern New Hampshire and at the former Pease Air Force Base. What does this mean for New Hampshire? According to the state's environmental regulator, it means moving forward with emergency rulemaking to try to address some of the issues that have popped up in local water supplies.

 

Also Worth A Listen
Credit Chris Jensen, NHPR

  • A bill that would allow landowners to sue for damages and legal fees for damage caused by off-road vehicles or dumping is heading to Governor Hassan’s desk. Story and photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR.the rattlesnake as fair game. 
  • As a reporter and White House correspondent for CBS News, Lesley Stahl covered Watergate, the Iran hostage crisis and the Gulf War. Now, she faces Virginia Prescott for the latest edition of Writers on a New England Stage, presented by NHPR's Word of Mouth and The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

In Other News

Man Vs. Wind

In this case, the wind on the top of Mount Washington won out.

Credit Mount Washington Observatory
Credit Michael Kappel/Flickr CC

Decision On Northern Pass Delayed

State regulators have opted to push back their timeline for deciding whether to approve the contentious Northern Pass energy project to September 2017 — about nine months later than originally planned.

The Northern Pass project is a $1.6 billion proposal that would connect hydroelectric dams in Quebec to the New England electricity markets.  The proposed 192-mile power line was first announced in 2010.  

SCOTUS Sides With N.H. in Exxon Chemical Case

This battle between New Hampshire regulators and the oil company started over groundwater contamination and has been more than a decade in the making. 

NHPR’s Peter Biello talked to a lawyer who was on board with the state during the early days of the lawsuit to explain what was at stake, what the latest ruling means for New Hampshire and how this case might connect to the ongoing issues around PFOA.

For When You'd Rather Not Run on Dunkin'

Credit Jason Moon, NHPR

A tiny, drive-up coffee shop (or “shack” or “hut,” depending on whom you ask) is attracting caravans of cars looking for a caffeine fix in Newmarket. 

NHPR’s Jason Moon paid a visit to The Coffee Station as part of Foodstuffs, our weekly look at food culture in the Granite State.

The Coffee Station says it's found a loyal customer base among UNH sororities, in particular.

Also Worth A Click

  • If you're hanging out in Manchester, be on the lookout for this guy. (We are unable to independently verify whether he is, in fact, operating this newly created @ManchBear Twitter account.)
  • Someone  at Dartmouthcovered up a “Blue Lives Matter” display honoring National Police Week with another set of signs reading “Black Lives Matter,” setting off days of campus-wide debate and a stern letter from the school president. (The Dartmouth)
  • Two years after riots broke out at the city’s annual autumn event, Keene’s bringing back a new “fall-themed fling” — just don’t call it a pumpkin festival. (Keene Sentinel)
  • A switch away from gender-specific graduation robes is causing a stir at Portsmouth High School. (Seacoast Online)
  • Some people are paying tribute to the loss of the loss of Atticus, a beloved “four-legged hiking enthusiast,” by climbing mountains in his memory. (Conway Daily SunFollowing Atticus)
  • Hundreds of community members and first responders showed up to a procession in Hampton this week mourning the loss of a local firefighter who died from a complication while receiving treatment for cancer. (Seacoast Online)
  • Some New Hampshire nonprofits say they’re worried about the Obama administration’s newly announced overtime rules. (Union Leader)
  • The Manchester airport is getting busier after years of declining passenger traffic. (Union Leader)
  • Get to know Marilla Ricker, the New Hampshire woman who ran for governor a decade before women got the right to vote. A new portrait at the Statehouse honors her work paving the way for future women in higher office. (Boston Globe)
  • “There were more sheep in Cheshire County alone then there are in New England today.” At least according to one leader of the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Growers Association, who says the industry’s seeing a newfound resurgence. (New Hampshire Business Review)
  • A band hailing from the Monadnock region — “Roots of Creation” — hit No. 1 on the Billboard reggae chart this week. (Union LeaderBillboard)
  • Not your average police call: “My driveway’s been stolen.” (Union Leader)
  • Someone from “a small town in New Hampshire” sought advice from a national advice column on the etiquette of congratulating a neighbor’s son on overcoming addiction. (New York Times)
  • UNH students’ trash turns out to be others’ treasure, even if they have to dive into a dumpster to find it. (The Sound)
  • The “603” will stay the “603” — and that alone — for now. (NHPR)

Credit Portland Maine Police Department