In response to increased crime in Manchester’s Veteran’s Park, the Manchester Chamber of Commerce is launching a new initiative to improve its condition.

Manchester Alderman Patrick Long says that in the past few years, Veteran’s Park has garnered a reputation for more theft, public drinking, and fights.

“I’ve gotten complaints from the elders that live around here that tell me they’re afraid to walk through the park, never mind sit and enjoy it.”

Average Jane via Flickr/Creative Commons -

Create your own game in a day and a half. That's the challenge awaiting participants in this weekend's New Hampshire Game Jam in Manchester.

Glenn Given and Michael Taylor are organizing the Jam; they sit down with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson to discuss how it works, the gaming scene in the region and what you can learn from trying to create your own games.

Amanda Loder / NHPR

Nine UNH-Manchester students are graduating this year with degrees in American Sign Language Interpretation.  The college hosts one of just 13 accredited programs in the country.  And given the high demand for interpreters, these newly-minted grads will likely find secure employment. 

But they probably won’t be jumping in right after graduation.

Several of the taxis taken off the road earlier this week in Manchester are returning to service.

Five of the 18 taxis grounded earlier this week have returned to service in the Queen City after undergoing repairs and inspections.

Problems with the vehicles ranged from broken tie rods and cracked windshields to rear brake failure and severe body rot.

Initially, cab company owners were unable to find a state inspector to recommission the vehicles, but city police helped locate an independent garage in Manchester for the work.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

The New Hampshire Furniture Masters are featuring the work of three female furniture makers through April 9, in Concord.  This story features one of the artists, at her workshop in Manchester.  

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Catholics held a special mass in Manchester Wednesday night to celebrate the selection of the new pope.

Parishioners gathered on short notice at St. Joseph’s Cathedral Wednesday night to commemorate the anointing of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis I.

Bishop Peter Labasci was on hand to lead the mass. He asked those in attendance to welcome the new pope and to pray for his success in leading the church.

Labasci said the selection of the Argentine came as a surprise to him:

One of Manchester, New Hampshire’s most celebrated business owners has died. May Gruber owned Pandora sweaters for decades; it was one of the area’s biggest operations.

Several years ago May Gruber was the subject of a documentary, called “Sweater Queen.” All Things Considered host Brady Carlson talked with the film’s producer, Nancy Beach, in 2012. She started by telling the story of how Gruber and her family first came to New Hampshire.

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Snow was still falling late Sunday afternoon, but most of Manchester's main roads were clear. The Queen City wasn't hit as hard as some forecasts predicted, allowing city workers to keep pace with the snow.

Downtown, most restaurants and businesses were open. Bobcats and sidewalk plows darted up and down Elm street, clearing paths for the few people who were out walking.

At the Derryfield Country Club, a couple dozen people made the best of the weather, building snowmen and sledding on one of the golf course's hills.

Mayor Gatsas presents his budget proposal to aldermen and department heads
Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Mayor Gatsas unveiled his budget for fiscal year 2014, which raises taxes and allots more funding to schools.

Gatsas' budget pushes for the maximum amount of new revenue allowed under the city's tax cap. That's just more than a two-percent increase.

The bulk of new revenue would go towards bolstering the city's school system, which has experienced layoffs and overcrowding in recent years.

Gatsas was optimistic that the budget could be hammered out before the city's June deadline, but acknowledged it would be a difficult process:

Geoff Forester / NHPR

In the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, it’s only natural for New Hampshire residents to ask if our schools are safe.

State and local officials say they have made the right moves over the years to keep students and staff safe – but they say school safety is not a simple task.

Virginia Prescott

Richard Tango-Lowy is a physicist turned chocolatier who melds a zen-like appreciation for the process with exacting standards for experimentation. Virginia Prescott visited Dancing Lion Chocolate in Manchester, New Hampshire to learn the art of making (and tasting) chocolate.

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

A fleet of monstrous blue trucks arrived in Manchester late Wednesday afternoon.

PSNH president Gary Long and Northeast Utilities CEO Tom May were on hand to greet the Hydro Quebec crews.

To see reinforcements come around the corner with these blue trucks is very rewarding

75 two-man crews are slated to be in New Hampshire by Thursday morning, with some crews driving as long as 12 hours to help restore power.

Daniel Dumais is Director of Distribution at Hydro Quebec and was here for the ice storm in 2008.

Businesses in Manchester faced the question of whether or not to close up shop as Sandy continued to pummel the Granite State.

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Concerned parents, teachers, and children held a rally in Manchester Saturday to protest the state of the Manchester school district. At least 200 people showed up to the rally at Veterans Memorial Park.

The event was organized by Citizens for Manchester Schools, a group formed in response to a budget shortfall that prompted the school district to lay off close to 150 teachers.

One of the group’s chief concerns is the burgeoning average class size in Manchester, with some classes reaching over 40 students.

First Case of West Nile Virus Reported in State

Aug 22, 2012
Gamma Man / Flickr/Creative Commons

Health officials announced today that a Manchester resident has been infected with West Nile Virus.

It’s the first confirmed infection since September, 2010 in New Hampshire.

West Nile Virus first appeared in the state in 2000. Since then, four other humans have contracted the mosquito-borne virus.

National data from the CDC shows that the number of confirmed cases has risen dramatically in recent weeks.

There have also been 41 deaths; more than half in the state of Texas, where over 500 cases have been reported.

There have been two very distinct trends during the economic recovery: the first has been very slow growth in private sector hiring. The second has been a series of losses in public sector jobs, from state employees to firefighters to schoolteachers.

Longtime residents of Manchester may remember a large, stylized sign in the mill district, for Pandora sweaters, one of the area's biggest operations. A recent documentary tells the story of Pandora and of its longtime owner, May Gruber. It’s called “Sweater Queen.”

Nancy Beach is producer of the film, which is screening later this week in Manchester. She tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about May Gruber's life and career.

jimmywayne via Flickr Creative Commons

We explore the history of French Canadians in the Granite State with Franco-American scholar Robert Perreault. Arguably no other culture has had a greater influence on New Hampshire than Franco-Americans. We'll look at why they came, where they settled, and the idea of "La Survivance," which kept their culture alive and well in such cities as Manchester, Nashua, and Berlin.

Why These Dogs "Like" Facebook

Jun 19, 2012

Produced with Emma Ruddock

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

A group of parents in Manchester are calling for the state to provide more money for their school district.  The newly formed Citizens for Manchester Schools held a rally in downtown Manchester  Tuesday night. 

The organization’s president, Jim O’Connell says the city’s schools are underfunded. He says the money needed to fund an adequate education is relatively small.


The City of Manchester has filed suit Monday over the plan that redraws house districts. The lawsuit has been brewing for months.

In a statement, Manchester Mayor Republican Ted Gatsas called the redistricting plan unacceptable. The suit claims the new map would deprive city residents of two to three state representatives. Earlier this year the house passed a plan that combines two Manchester wards with the town of Litchfield.


North Country representatives overwhelmingly voted in favor of House Bill 1405 which would allow jurisdictions such as Manchester to ask for a moratorium on refugee resettlement.

As NHPR reported: “Under the bill New Hampshire towns could ask for a one-year moratorium on new refugee resettlements, which opponents say the state doesn’t have the authority to do.”


The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted today to pass a bill that would allow the city of Manchester to ask for a moratorium on refugee resettlement.

The bill is a seen as a victory for Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, who has been calling for a moratorium since last July.

Yawa Agbenowossi came to the United States from Togo, in West Africa, as a young child. She discovered the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester when she was in middle school. 

YAWA: Well, before I found the club, I just never took anything into consideration. I was never worried about the future. I found the club by a friend introducing it to me actually. She said that “you can come to the Boys and Girls Club” and soon enough I was coming there every day. They couldn’t keep me away from the club. That’s when I started to change.

Slam Free or Die

Feb 16, 2012
photo: Brady Carlson, NHPR

Slam poetry is all about finding a voice – combining the written word with a spoken performance to create new forms.

A group of New Hampshire slam poets have found a voice and a home in Manchester.

NHPR’s Brady Carlson talked with some of the members of Slam Free or Die.

Slam poets say they typically get just three minutes to perform – so they have to make the words count.

(Sam clip)

Sheryl Rich-Kern

New Hampshire is known for being one of the safest places to live in the United States. According to a recent study, its crime rate is the fifth lowest in the country.  

But that doesn’t mean detectives have an easy time recovering stolen merchandise. In fact, police officials say they could respond to crime faster by tightening regulations among pawnshops and second-hand dealers.

Jonathan Lynch

Members of Occupy New Hampshire returned to Manchester Saturday to demonstrate outside of the Republican Presidential Debate at St. Anselm's College and spread their message of economic inequality.

Nearly five months after Occupy New Hampshire’s last tents were torn down in Veteran’s Park, the ninety-nine percenters returned to Manchester to demonstrate against what they perceive to be growing economic inequality across the nation.

New Hampshire’s Immigration Story includes the stories of many refugees, people who come to the United States because they can't stay in their native countries, due to violence or famine.

Many of those refugees are resettled in Manchester, but the city’s mayor, Ted Gatsas, says that needs to change. He wants a moratorium on new placements to avoid straining city services.

Perry Plays Up Outsider Role

Nov 16, 2011
Jon Greenberg, NHPR

Texas governor Rick Perry is stumping in the state today.  The Republican presidential hopeful urged workers at a manufacturing plant in Manchester to put pressure on congress to change. 

Rick Perry has been targeting the Washington establishment in recent days.  He issued a plan to cut the salaries of senators and congressmen in half.  Asked how he would get congress to go along, he said the public would need to browbeat them into agreement.

Perry said the counties around DC are some of the wealthiest in the country.

Gatsas Re-elected

Nov 9, 2011
Jon Lynch, NHPR

Still recovering from city-wide power outages from the surprise Halloween blizzard, Manchester
voters went to the polls yesterday and re-elected Mayor Ted Gatsas.

The incumbent secured a second term as mayor by a wide margin, trouncing
Democratic challenger Chris Herbert.

In his victory speech, Gatsas thanked his opponent for running a positive campaign and
stressed his commitment to reduce the city’s budget.