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Tiger Pixel / Flickr / Creative Commons

What began as a pet project for computer programmers and digital-privacy activists is today a financial technology worth billions of dollars. Author Nathaniel Popper takes us behind the scenes of that dramatic transformation and looks ahead at how this digital currency could shape the global economy of the future.

Andreas Levers / Flickr/cc

Roughly seventeen million Americans suffer from alcoholism, making it the country’s most prevalent addiction. We’ll look at efforts in New Hampshire to address this. Plus, we’ll hear from critics and supporters of the most commonly prescribed approach to treating the disease, Alcoholics Anonymous.

Tbass Effendi / Flickr/cc

Fraternities have been getting more bad press lately after embarrassing incidents from racist chants in Oklahoma to the branding of pledges here in New Hampshire. We’ll look at the headlines, but also behind them, including what the data says about the impact of fraternity and sorority life for students from grades to personal health.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte says she’s not satisfied with Eversource’s plan to bury an additional 52 miles of the controversial Northern Pass project.

The utility said last week it would bury a total of 60 of the 192 miles.

“They certainly made a step forward, but I think there is more that they could do,” Ayotte told NHPR.

In 2013 Ayotte told NHPR the entire line should be buried.

But Saturday she stopped short of saying that’s still her position.

She said she is still studying the change.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The Raymond S. Burton Museum and Learning Center opened in Bath Saturday to honor the man who represented the North Country for more than 30 years, serving as both a Grafton County Commissioner and Executive Council member. He died in 2013 of kidney cancer.

The Raymond S. Burton Legacy Fund and Plymouth State University - including a group of history students - played the major roles in creating the facility,  says Duane Baxter, the chairman of the legacy fund.

The Science of Sinkholes

Aug 22, 2015
Dave Fairburn via Facebook

This week a sinkhole in Interstate 93 near Concord prompted an emergency road closure and a major traffic jam. Despite the disruption it caused, the cavity doesn’t actually meet the definition of a sinkhole, but it maybe the sort of thing that the Granite State could see more of.

To answer how can a gaping hole suddenly appear in the ground, you need to start somewhere in the sky.

Giving Matters:

Aug 22, 2015
Advice to the Players

Advice to the Players is a theatre company that brings high school students together with professional actors and community members to mount Shakespearean and other classical productions. Lee Stockman joined when he was in high school. Now a full time carpenter, he’s been with the company for a decade. We spoke with him during a break from rehearsals for “Romeo and Juliet.”

File photo

Citizen activists in Portsmouth are asking the city and state to consider a ferry from the Port of New Hampshire to Provincetown. 

The group – which calls itself “Promote Our Port,” made its case at city hall. Their audience included a staffer from US Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s office, state Senator Martha Fuller-Clark, and City Manager John Bohenko.

For now the port is being used as a staging area for the new Sarah Long Bridge.

Chris Lott via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/fBHKmY

Grocery lists, to-do lists, guest lists – human beings seem compelled to put things into manageable order…but the result can be anything but mundane.  We take a look at some of the most memorable lists ever written – from Walt Disney’s un-used dwarf names, to a day in the life of  country legend Johnny Cash. And, we’ll talk with a computer scientist who will forever be remembered not for his AI research, but as inventor of the emoticon. Plus, a writer attends her first autopsy, and says Hollywood gets it all wrong.

Friday N.H. News Roundup - August 21, 2015

Aug 21, 2015
Sara Plourde / NHPR

We're covering the top news stories of the week: GOP Presidential contenders come to Londonderry, wrangling over Common Core at an education summit, a five million dollar White House initiative focused on heroin promises help for East coast states including New Hampshire, and a sinkhole big enough to swallow a car snarls traffic on I-93. 

Michael Brindley for NHPR

Plymouth State University’s new president has been on the job for a few weeks now, after officially taking over last month.

Donald Birx comes to higher education in the Granite State at a time when college affordability is a hot topic on the New Hampshire primary campaign trail.

He joined NHPR’s morning Edition.

Courtesy of Facebook

 

Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush is defending his use of the term "anchor babies" on a talk radio show to describe children born to immigrants living illegally in the United States.

He says he supports the concept of birthright citizenship.

Asked by reporters Thursday if he thinks the term is offensive, Bush simply said "no." He became defensive when pressed, saying "you give me a better term and I'll use it."

Bush's comments come as Donald Trump, who is leading the GOP field, is calling for an end to birthright citizenship.

Courtesy the Manchester Historic Association

When the Manchester Monarchs won their only league championship this year, and then promptly moved to California, it had to be the weirdest thing that’s ever happened in New Hampshire sports, right?

Not even close.

Over the years, New Hampshire teams have been involved in some of the strangest moves to have ever happened on a court or a field. In fact, you could make a case that the Granite State may be the one of the weirdest places in America for sports.

Dover School District

The city of Dover is suing the state, claiming it’s failing to meets its responsibility to fund an adequate education.

In the suit filed in Strafford County Superior Court, attorney Andru Volinsky says the city is seeking to overturn a cap enacted in 2011 that limits state aid to schools.

New Hampshire Magazine/Matthew Lomanno

The New Hampshire theater community is mourning the loss of one of its pillars.

Beth Ann O’Hara passed away Wednesday morning. She was 73.

O’Hara founded the New Thalian Players, with whom she produced and directed 50 plays over 25 years.

She was known simply as “mom” to countless aspiring Granite State actors.

A service will be held Friday in Manchester.

O’Hara was the mother of four daughters, including actress and comedian Sarah Silverman.

RICH BEAUCHESNE/SEACOASTONLINE

A judge has stripped a fired Portsmouth police officer of the roughly $2 million he inherited from an elderly woman.

In his ruling, Judge Gary Cassavechia says former Sergeant Aaron Goodwin exerted undue influence over the late Geraldine Webber by "acting upon her fears and hopes."

Webber was in her 90s and suffering from dementia when she changed her will in 2012 to leave Goodwin with the bulk of her estate, including her waterfront home and a Cadillac.

Paul Cecil at www.permuted.org.uk

There are actuarial tables and plenty of lists to help you figure out whether you've hit middle age.  Gray hair, inability to read your phone.  Failure to recognize every song on the radio. But as NHPR's Sean Hurley reflects from his home in the White Mountains, maybe middle age is simply noticing a shift in perspective. 

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
AvaZelda13 / archive.org

During the late summer and fall, coyotes really "yip it up." Despite what you can learn on Youtube, their yips and howls are family communications that have nothing to do with bloodthirsty predators circling for the kill. 
 

The eastern coyote pack is small: an adult pair and their young. The youngsters are venturing out on their own now and adults howl to round them up. When on the prowl for food, silence is the code—which makes sense—but reuniting often inspires prolonged vocal celebrations. 

Geoff Forester/Concord Monitor

Check back for updates on this developing story. Click through the gallery above to see photos from the trial provided by a pool of media outlets. 

Thursday Aug. 20, 2:30 PM:

Throughout the third day of the St. Paul’s rape trial the defense continued to try to poke holes in the alleged victim’s credibility.

During cross examination of the accuser, defense attorney J.W. Carney questioned her testimony this week to her interview last year with Concord Police.

Dave Webster via Flickr CC

Over 13,000 residents and businesses across New Hampshire will get broadband service for the first time as part of an FCC program to expand access across the country.

The FCC, through its Connect America Fund, is giving more than $4 million to Fairpoint Communications to expand broadband to rural areas in every New Hampshire county. Fairpoint will also kick in some money for the project, though the exact amount has yet to be determined.

Graham Kennedy

The music, as it was always played, does have a lot of fire.

Newfoundland's story is one of survival, of hearts and heroes. It's a culture of singers and storytellers, a place that people can learn about through the music. It's also a place that many have never heard of -- though names such as Great Big Sea, Ron Hynes, and Figgy Duff may ring a bell. They're just a few Newfoundlanders bringing their music to the world stage. Matthew Byrne is one of these, a singer and guitarist whose voice, aptly put by fellow musician Alan Doyle, is "friggin' perfect." 

twitter/jtucker1994

A car crashed into a toll booth in Merrimack and burst into flames Thursday after police received several phone calls about an erratic driver on the Everett Turnpike.

The driver of the car was killed.

The crash occurred on the southbound side of the F.E. Everett Turnpike at exit 11.

Joel Telling via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/7ewB15

Katrina was one of the deadliest hurricanes in American history, but hardly one of the strongest to hit the Gulf Coast or the city of New Orleans. Today, a look at the geography of poverty and how societal factors turn natural disasters into disproportionate catastrophes. Plus, a primer on gifted kids. Many parents try to nurture their child to bring out the very best, but some may be looking over signs that their child is truly exceptional. And, new research on an old question: do babies make new parents unhappy?

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

It’s a hot, sunny day in August and the outdoor courtyard at Elm Street Middle School is hopping with activity. There’s laugher, chatter, almost a playground-like atmosphere. 

But these aren’t kids assembling construction kits. They’re 150 adult volunteers from Fidelity in Merrimack who on this workday would rather hammer nails than manage money. Science instructor Denise Rock is one of the two teachers who raised funds for the micro-garden project. 

North Country Events

Aug 20, 2015
Chris Jensen for NHPR

CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
The newsletter typically announces events in the next week. The calendar shows you events in the coming months.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Friends and foes of the Northern Pass project will have another chance to express their views next month at a series of public meetings around the state.

Under state regulations Northern Pass must hold such meetings at least 30 days before it can file an application with the Site Evaluation Committee.

In addition to federal approval the SEC’s approval is necessary for the project to be built.

The format includes a project overview  from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. There will be questions and answers from 6:30 to 7:30 with comments taken from 7:30 to 10:30 pm.

Joe Shlabotnik/flickr

 

Portsmouth residents and business owners are being asked to conserve water.

Brian Goetz, the deputy public works director, tells the Portsmouth Herald a control valve at a water treatment plant in Madbury failed during a thunderstorm Tuesday night, reducing water production by a third.

Eversource

Officials with Northern Pass, the controversial hydropower project, have announced an offer to bury an additional fifty-two miles of power lines – roughly a third of the total. But opponents still have concerns, including impacts on the environment and property values. We’ll get the latest, hear from both sides, and find out what might be next. 

construction-institute.org

 

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan plans to nominate a Massachusetts transportation official to become commissioner of the same agency in her state.

Hassan announced Wednesday that she will nominate Victoria Sheehan to lead New Hampshire's Department of Transportation.

NHPR Staff

New Hampshire’s budget stalemate doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, after Gov. Maggie Hassan swiftly rejected a proposal from Republican legislative leaders Wednesday.

The proposal would fund a pay raise for state employees.

Governor Hassan called it a step forward that Republicans were willing to fully fund the state employees contract.

“And that is something that we can agree on,” she said, “but true compromise needs to be around the central issue here, and so far they haven’t done that.”

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