Keene

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Organizers of Keene’s pumpkin festival have met their funding goal, but they are still soliciting donations for the event.

The festival once drew thousands to the area breaking world records for the most jack-o-lanterns in one place, but this is the first year it’s returning since 2014. That’s when riots broke out involving students at Keene State College.

Robert Wilson/flickr

A bid to bring the pumpkin festival back to Keene prevailed Thursday night after an unexpected last minute challenge from local officials.

Keene's mayor cast a tie-breaking vote at the city council meeting to allow the event to go forward.

In the past, the festival has broken world records for the most lit jack-o-lanterns in one place. But it was canceled in 2014 after riots broke out. Now. organizers are planning a much smaller, kid-focused festival.

www.visitnhcolleges.com

The former president of Keene State College, Anne Huot, received a severance payout of more than $300,000 after stepping down earlier this year.

The University System of New Hampshire said Huot would take a year of unpaid leave when it announced her resignation in June. But she received a $327,225 severance payment following her resignation.

The college has recently struggled to contain its deficit. Officials say low enrollment is largely to blame. Todd Leach, chancellor of the state university system, was unavailable Thursday to comment on the severance agreement.

The city of Keene will hold a public forum on drug and alcohol abuse Tuesday, stemming from a July Facebook post shared widely among city residents. The post included a photo of a man slumped over on a park bench downtown in broad daylight.

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The Keene City Council voted unanimously last week to put the permit for this year’s Pumpkin Festival on hold.

Organizers are planning for a scaled-down festival compared to previous years. But councilors are now expressing concern that they could see a repeat of the riots that broke out in 2014.

NHPR’s Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Councilor Janis Manwaring by phone on Monday.

The council granted a license for the festival back in June. What has changed since then?

John Phelan/Wikimedia Commons

After giving the go-ahead earlier this summer to a scaled down Pumpkin Festival, the Keene City Council is now putting a permit on hold.

Organizers are planning for a smaller, tamer festival this year; one that would include more involvement from area school children. However, City Councilors are expressing concern that they could see a repeat of the riots that broke out in 2014.

Courtesy of Bo Worth

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil in Keene Sunday night in response to events in Charlottesville earlier this month.  

The vigil, organized by local faith leaders, aimed to put politics aside, to bring people together with a message of love.

Following remarks from Mayor Kendall Lane and Rev. Elsa Worth of St. James Church, the crowd lined the streets of downtown, joining together in song. 

Screenshot via Vice News

Facebook has banned the Facebook and Instagram accounts of a white nationalist who attended the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that ended in deadly violence.

A still from Vice News "Charlottesville: Race and Terror"

A prominent white nationalist who was active in clashes in Charlottesville this weekend is a resident of Keene.

Christopher Cantwell hosts a live-streaming call-in show from a studio in town. He argues for a white state without blacks, Jews or immigrants of color. 

The New Hampshire attorney general says officers from the Keene Police Department were justified in the use of deadly force in a shooting that injured a man last month.

Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said Wednesday the shooting happened after police responded to an apartment to assist the girlfriend of Patrick Letendre and the woman's 3-year-old daughter.

The girlfriend was removing their belongings. MacDonald said she was involved in an argument with Letendre, who prevented her from leaving. She called 911 and three officers arrived.

NHPR Staff

Protesters sat in the black plastic chairs of the Keene City Council chambers in June, hand-lettered signs at their feet. At issue at the meeting was a proposal by Liberty Utilities.

Selbe B via Flickr/CC

After a two-year hiatus, the annual Pumpkin Festival has the final go-ahead from the city of Keene to return this fall.

The Keene City Council voted Thursday night to approve its license pending certain conditions. Those include organizers covering the costs of any city services used at the event. And Keene is requiring the festival to take out a million-dollar insurance policy that covers the city.

Jeff Dell / https://flic.kr/p/5wMPqa

The Keene City Council will soon decide whether to approve the return of the Pumpkin Festival. At its peak, the festival drew tens of thousands of people to Keene and set world records for the most lit Jack o' lanterns in one place. But the event was canceled after riots in 2014.

Now, a proposal for a scaled down version will head to the city council for final approval next week.

theaterofwar.com

The Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College is planning a series of performances that use theater to get at issues around drug and alcohol addiction. Redfern has received $25,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts, which will be used - in part - toward the effort.

Three Keene police officers are on paid administrative leave after two of them shot and wounded a man Monday afternoon. 

Keene has joined a growing number of cities around the country committing to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

There’s been a public dispute going on in Keene over the rights of student journalists.

This is all playing out at Keene State College, where editors at the student-run newspaper say administrators have been limiting access to faculty and staff for interviews.

About 1,000 New Hampshire students who apply to Keene State College and Plymouth State University are not offered admission — and now, those two institutions are offering them alternative pathways through future enrollment.

The Public Promise initiative provides paths including associate degree programs, Dual Admission options and targeted coursework. Once completed, the options would allow students to transfer into the institution of their choice.

Public Promise will start in May with outreach to applicants wanting to attend college in fall 2017.

hundrednightsinc.org

A recent count of New Hampshire’s homeless population found it's on the decline, but that’s not the case everywhere in the state.

That overall state drop – reported by the New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness – was felt in every county of the state, except for one: Cheshire County.

cowhampshireblog.com

A long weekend calls for a road trip, and rumor has it the foliage in the western part of the state is glowing. 

No Injuries In Plane Crash At Keene Airport

Jul 8, 2016
Tom Brandt via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/vbRT3023UYq

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a plane crash at Dillant-Hopkins Airport in Keene. 

The FAA says the Piper PA 44 aircraft crashed into a ditch midday Thursday after landing on the airport's main runway.

Keene Adds Electric Car Charging Station

Nov 9, 2015
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The city of Keene has installed a new charging station for electric cars.

Sean Hurley

In 1967, at the height of his success, one of the world's great singer songwriters, Jacques Brel, stopped singing.  “I left the day I realized I had an ounce of talent," he said later. "I stopped singing for honest reasons; not for reasons of exhaustion.” 

But the following year, two New Yorkers put together a musical revue of Brel's work to remind the world that even though the great "chanteur" had retired - he was not dead. 

r12a via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/ARmMo

Yesterday, the filing period for the New Hampshire primary began, which means candidates can now secure a place on the February ballot.  But one important prediction of electoral success happens long before voters get to the polls. Today, the invisible endorsement primary. Then, climbing conditions can get rough at twenty three thousand feet, but as one climber tells us, human waste is the real problem when scaling Everest. 

Farrukh via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/armk7P

Michael Fosberg grew up in a middle-class white family – and didn’t discover until his early 30s that his biological father was black. Today, a conversation about race, identity and personal discovery with actor Michael Fosberg.   Also today, autumn habits gone wrong. We’ll talk to a writer argues that apple- picking is a big fat scam. And, after more than twenty years of carved pumpkins and big crowds, Keene, New Hampshire will be quiet this weekend. We’ll ask residents how they feel about the loss of a long holiday ritual. 

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The state’s highest court has ruled that protesters who went around following parking attendants and feeding meters in Keene cannot be sued for damages.

Tuesday's decision states these so-called "Robin Hooders" are protected under the First Amendment as long as their actions remain nonviolent.

YOUTUBE.COM

The state’s highest court will rule Tuesday on whether the so-called “Robin Hooders” of Keene, who go around feeding expired parking meters, are protected under the First Amendment.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court will decide whether the city has a right to mandate how far protesters can come to parking meter attendants on the job.

thecaldorrainbow.blogspot.com

It’s a sign of the times in Keene, where the city’s last-standing video rental store announced this week it’s closing up shop.

Video HeadQuarters opened in 1983, and at one time was one of the highest-grossing video stores in the nation.

But a rapidly evolving home entertainment industry finally caught up with the business. The store will close next month.

Owner Ken McAleer joined NHPR’s Morning Edition from his video store in Keene.

Selbe B via Flickr/CC

There will be no Pumpkin Festival in Keene this year, after the City Council voted overwhelmingly to reject a permit for the annual event after alcohol-fueled violence last year led to injuries, property damage and more than 100 arrests.

The council voted 13-1 last night not to grant the license.

Councilor Kris Roberts was one of the most vocal supporters of keeping the festival going.

Courtesy

 

The fate of the Keene Pumpkin Festival rests with the City Council, which could vote against holding the annual fall tradition that was overshadowed by nearby violent disturbances last year.

The city's Planning, Licensing and Development Committee has twice rejected a permit request for the festival. The matter now goes before the council, which meets at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The nonprofit group running the festival, Let It Shine, wants the city to develop a security plan for the festival. That's estimated to cost more than $300,000.

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