Durham

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A state-owned bridge in New Hampshire is getting a new set of lights, five years after going dark.

The Scammell Bridge carries Route 4 traffic over the Bellamy River. It spans Dover and Durham.

The state had paid about $7,000 a year to light the span, but that responsibility eventually fell to Durham and Dover, where residents opposed the idea.

A Dover business, Affinity LED Lighting bought and installed 51 lights on the bridge and another, brighter light in the parking lot on the Durham side.

The town of Durham is lobbying the state to adopt a new holiday.

Earlier this month, Durham became the first town in the state to establish an Indigenous Peoples’ Day - in lieu of Columbus Day.

Now town councilors there are urging the governor and state lawmakers to consider doing the same.

Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig says the debate in Durham was good for the community, and that a similar one could be good for the state.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: September 22, 2017

Sep 22, 2017

The Graham-Cassidy healthcare proposal receives mixed response in the Granite State. Community college officials are grilled by New Hampshire lawmakers concerned about a recent audit.  And V.A. whistle blowers raise concerns about continued problems at the facility.


The Durham Town Council voted Monday night to create a holiday called Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

After lots of public comment and a spirited debate, the Durham town council voted 7-2 to establish the new local holiday. It will be celebrated annually on the same day as Columbus Day.

Durham Town Councilor Kenny Rotner voted in favor of the resolution. He argued the move will have no legal effect on Columbus Day, which is a federal holiday.

George Grantham Bain Collection/Library of Congress

This weekend, the music of composer Amy Beach will echo throughout UNH’s campus during a two-day event timed to celebrate her 150th birthday.

Beach, who was born in Henniker in 1867, is often referred to as ‘the Dean of American Women Composers.’ At a time when women were often limited to writing parlor songs and other light fare, UNH Professor Peggy Vagts says Beach was a trailblazer, composing complicated, bold music.

“She took on really major works. She wrote a mass, wrote a symphony. She was the first American woman to do that,” says Vagts.

xlibber / Flickr Creative Commons

Electric vehicle enthusiasts are gathering around New Hampshire this weekend for National Drive Electric Week.

Jason Moon for NHPR

At the center of the weekend's turmoil in Charlottesville is a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. 

While New Hampshire isn't seeing much debate over old confederate monuments, at a post office in Durham, a 1950's-era mural is raising questions about race and another uncomfortable chapter from our nation's history.

On Wednesday morning, Durham’s three-person human rights commission will discuss establishing an Indigenous Peoples Day. Town administrator Todd Selig says the idea came about as the town grappled with pushback over a mural at the local post office.

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, officials in the town of Durham are looking for ways to stay involved locally.

Experts hired by the town of Durham are raising concerns about the potential environmental impact of a proposal to bury a power line beneath Great Bay.

The utility company Eversource is hoping to build a 13 mile transmission line on the Seacoast, burying a portion of it beneath Great Bay.

After residents raised concerns about the environmental impact of burying the cable, the town of Durham hired a consultant to review Eversource’s proposal.

  Officials in Durham are responding to concerns from local businesses about itinerant vendors clogging the town’s sidewalks.

According to town administrator Todd Selig, several businesses in downtown Durham have raised concerns about traveling vendors -- both for what they see as unfair competition from merchants who pay no property taxes, and for pedestrian safety.

  Residents in Durham debated whether to declare the community a sanctuary city at a town council meeting Monday night.

Several residents attended the meeting to speak on both sides of the issue.

Those in favor said declaring sanctuary city status would show the town’s support for immigrants in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive orders on refugees.

But others, including Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig, said it would be a largely symbolic act with potentially dramatic consequences.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees garners strong reaction from around the country, officials in Durham and Portsmouth have begun discussions about potentially declaring themselves sanctuary cities.

Officials in both communities say they’ve heard from residents about the idea, possibly as part of a coordinated campaign.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that the town of Durham can tax parking spaces rented for profit by a religious institution.

At issue were 24 parking spots that the St. George’s Episcopal Church in Durham rents to UNH students for 300 dollars a semester.

Churches are generally tax-exempt, but New Hampshire’s highest court ruled the parking spaces are taxable because they were rented to students for “their own private and secular purpose.”

Jason Moon for NHPR

The second largest solar array in the state is up and running as of today. It now powers municipal buildings in Durham.

The newly installed 2,100 solar modules sit on a former gravel pit in Lee. These panels now provide all of the energy to buildings owned by the town of Durham, with the exception of the wastewater treatment plant.

Solar Array To Power Durham's Town Buildings

May 23, 2016
Dave Dugdale via Flickr / https://flic.kr/p/7kCZi1

  A new solar array for the town of Durham is nearing completion. 

Brady Carlson / NHPR

  The Human Rights Campaign has ranked seven of New Hampshire’s eight biggest cities below average when it comes to gay and transgender rights.

Durham Warns Residents About 'IRS' Phone Scam

Aug 10, 2015
JonJon2k8 via Flickr Creative Commons

Durham is the latest New Hampshire town to warn residents about a telephone scam in which callers tell residents they owe the government back taxes.

Police in Durham say several residents have received the calls, in which an individual claims to work for the Internal Revenue Service and demands payment of back taxes.

Authorities note the IRS contacts individuals about tax problems through the mail, not by phone, and that residents should report suspicious phone calls to law enforcement.

Durham To Add Electric Car Charging Station

Jul 20, 2015
mariordo via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/sybjF

Durham is set to install a new charging station for electric cars.

Town officials say the dual-port station will be installed at the Pettee Brook parking lot, as part of a repaving project that’s set to begin this week.

According to Durham officials, the charging station is being funded by a $5,000 state grant. They say the University of New Hampshire will also contribute toward the costs.

Courtesy The University Of New Hampshire

 Officials at the University of New Hampshire and the Durham Police Department say they’re ready if any end-of-semester parties get out of hand this week.

Tuesday is the reading day, a campus-wide study day ahead of the start of final exams Wednesday. It’s also Cinco de Mayo, and there’s warm weather in the forecast. Those factors have all served as catalysts in years past for heavy drinking parties that have brought riot police to downtown Durham.

www.necarnegies.com

  The University System of New Hampshire voted Friday to put $54 million toward building renovations and acquisitions at UNH’s Durham Campus. 

$37 million will be spent renovating Hamilton Smith Hall, which houses UNH’s English Department, ESOL, Journalism and writing programs. The building has not been renovated in more than 30 years, and does not meet all disability and safety standards. 

Communities Take Fight For LGC Payout To Court

Aug 6, 2013

Ten communities have filed a lawsuit to stop the LGC from issuing refunds.  Under a hearing officer’s order, by September 1st, the Local Government Center has to return tens of millions of dollars to communities that for years paid inflated insurance premiums.