Monadnock Region

www.visitnhcolleges.com

The new president of Keene State College says she is working quickly to try to right the school’s balance sheet.

The college has struggled in recent years to attract and retain students. Lower-than-expected enrollment has translated to significant declines in revenue from tuition.

This week, interim President Melinda Treadwell is launching a task force to look closely at the school’s admissions and enrollment strategy. She’ll ask that group to deliver preliminary recommendations next month.

Courtesy of "Recovery House Keene"

Neighbors of a proposed new residential rehab center in Keene are organizing to fight the project. They’re concerned it will create public safety issues and lead to crowding in the neighborhood, said attorney Joseph Hoppock, who’s representing the group.

Courtesy of the Peterborough Town Library

Holden Caulfield, Huckleberry Finn, and even Harry Potter are no strangers to controversy. The characters, and more precisely, the authors behind them, have been accused of including themes or language that some find offensive. 

Tonight at the Peterborough Town Library, controversial books and the authors who take written risks will instead be celebrated during what's being called a "banned book readout." The event is part of the American Library Association’s Banned Book Week, an annual event which the group says honors intellectual freedom.

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.

www.visitnhcolleges.com

Keene State College is looking to cut costs as the school year kicks off. The college was expecting to run a deficit this year, but revenue is down even more than anticipated due to low student enrollment.

Administrators are looking for areas where spending can be tightened without affecting student experience. Todd Leach, chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire, said low enrollment isn't just a challenge for Keene State. “Every college in New England really has to be making some adjustments for changing demographics,” he said.

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.

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

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?

Courtesy of Francestown Village Store

Earlier this summer, news broke that the Francestown Village Store, a 203-year old institution in that small Monadnock town, would be closing. The story made headlines in New Hampshire, but also caught the eye of the Wall Street Journal.

It turns out all that publicity may help save the store.

Courtesy of Doug Flamino

Each August, the town of Hancock, N.H., does what every good town should do: it celebrates itself. Hancock’s Old Home Days are a chance for residents to relish the quaintness of their community.

Along with a parade, talent show, 5K race and ice cream social, there is also a high-spirited water ballet performance by a group of local women. They’re called the Synchro Sisters...and they have a secret.

(Editor’s note: we highly recommend listening to this story.)

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. 

A white nationalist from Keene who has been in the headlines since the clashes in Charlottesville will remain in police custody in Virginia. 

Plans are in the works for a new mosque in Keene. It’s a project of William Coley, a Muslim activist and former Libertarian vice-presidential candidate. He's currently based in Tennessee, but plans to move to Keene and open the mosque this fall.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Christopher Cantwell has been in the news in Keene this week. The city resident - and white nationalist - was featured in a Vice documentary about the clashes in Charlottesville that aired on HBO and went viral online. In the footage, he expresses his hatred for black people and Jews.

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. 

Library of Congress

The MacDowell Colony, an artists’ retreat in Peterborough, has nurtured some of the most influential creative thinkers of the last century. This weekend, the colony will open its doors to the public for its annual Medal Day ceremony — where it plans to honor filmmaker David Lynch.

Josh Rogers, NHPR

The New Hampshire Rebellion will hold its fourth annual “Granny D” memorial walk this weekend, commemorating the late campaign finance reformer’s cross-country journey to get money out of politics. Organizers say there’s a lot of work left to be done at the national — and local — level.

From Small Mountains to Twin Peaks

Aug 11, 2017
Logan Shannon / New Hampshire Public Radio

Diehard New Hampshire hikers tend to fixate on four-thousand footers, but as any peak bagger who's climbed Owl's Head or Mount Isolation knows, big mountains aren't always the best mountains.

On today’s show, a day out with a heartwarming hiking group that's been shouldering packs since 1979: the Over the Hill Hikers.

We continue with a seemingly simple listener question about the Wapack Range that sends our producer into a geological can of worms for this week's Only in New Hampshire segment.

And, Twin Peaks is back and weirder than ever. We’ll talk to Kristine McKenna, the author who collaborated on a forthcoming memoir and biography of David Lynch, about the filmmaker's life and career. David Lynch is being honored at this year’s Medal Day at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough.

Via the NH State Parks Blog

When we started asking for questions from our listeners about the state, we got pages and pages of submissions online; so many we couldn’t answer them all. 

So I combed through and picked one that sounded interesting to me. And that’s how I ended up calling a woman named Jen, and asking one of the stupidest questions I’ve ever asked.

Courtesy of Opera North

Blow-Me-Down Farm occupies more than 40 acres along the Connecticut River, just across the road from Saint Gaudens National Historic Site. The National Park Service owns the property, and has been working with Lebanon-based Opera North on a plan to spruce up the estate and make it a center for the arts.  

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.

The Cheshire Fair may consider clearer protocols for vendors after the sale of racially-tinged items at least week’s fair drew social media protests.

SARATOGA ASSOCIATES

The state's highest court will hear arguments involving a proposed wind farm in the town of Antrim.  It's the latest development in a years-long battle for the Antrim Wind project, which has been under development since 2009.

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.

Britta Greene/NHPR

The Vilas Bridge spans the Connecticut River with two delicate arches, but it’s seen nearly a century of wear. In some spots, where the concrete has cracked and fallen away, you can see the structure’s metal skeleton, rusting in plain air.

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.

warriorwoman531 via Flickr Creative Commons

The town of Charlestown responded Monday to a lawsuit from Southwestern New Hampshire District Fire Mutual Aid. 

The organization, which fields calls and organizes fire response across town lines, alleges Charlestown owes it money dating back to 2015, when the town moved to start using its own dispatch facility to save money.

 

But, in a response filed Monday, the town says it paid what it owed the organization and argues the mutual aid organization has changed its rules to make it harder for towns to pull out of their system.

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. 

warriorwoman531 via Flickr Creative Commons

The fire mutual aid organization serving over 70 communities in the southwestern portion of the state is suing the town of Charlestown. 

Southwestern New Hampshire District Fire Mutual Aid dispatches calls and organizes fire response across town jurisdictions.

Pages