Monadnock Region

Buyouts and cost-cutting in recent months at Keene State College have put the school on track to balance its budget for the coming fiscal year, according to Interim President Melinda Treadwell.

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

Christopher Cantwell, a prominent Keene-based white nationalist, is suing two people who recently testified against him in court in Virginia.

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Keene State College Interim President Melinda Treadwell will host a live video conference for admitted students and their parents next week.  This comes as Keene State looks to improve its enrollment numbers while navigating significant budget cuts.

Treadwell says the live chat she's planned will be a first for prospective families. “I'd rather be very direct with parents about where we are and the bright future than to wait for folks to fill in the blanks,” she said, pointing to recent news headlines.

Flickr, Aranami

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan have introduced legislation to give the town of Swanzey its own, unique zip code.

The issue is North Swanzey shares a zip code with neighboring Keene. But North Swanzey isn't part of Keene — it's technically part of Swanzey.

And, because there's crossover with street names and addresses in the two zip codes, there's been issues with mail delivery. There's also been delays for emergency responders as they try to figure out where to go.

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

Keene resident and white nationalist Christopher Cantwell has been granted bail in Virginia.

Cantwell has been in the Charlottesville area since the Unite the Right rally in August that turned violent. He was featured in a viral documentary about the unrest, and has been held in a local jail on charges relating to his use of teargas in the crowds.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Keene State College’s alumni weekend this fall kicked off with a 5k run around campus. Justina Reichelt, a 2003 graduate, crossed the finish line pushing her 2-year-old son in a stroller.

Reichelt actually grew up in Keene. She now lives in Vermont, so not far away, but she almost didn’t come back for alumni festivities this year. “I was at one of those turning points where I was thinking - maybe I should take my degrees off my wall and put them under my desk,” she said. “You know, I was embarrassed.”

The Keene Public Library is hosting an immigration-related event Thanksgiving morning. 

Organizer Mohammed Saleh hopes locals will take a moment to step away from their celebrations and reflect on how other families might be separated on this day.

It only made sense to choose Thanksgiving, he said, as a day that recognizes the coexistence of immigrants and natives.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Will Coley walks through the old house in Keene he’s been renovating since September. It’s a work in progress.

He steps over rusted metal tiles and points to ceilings and walls awaiting a new coat of paint.

“This is the mosque,” he says, “this is our place to pray.”


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

New Hampshire-based white nationalist Christopher Cantwell remains in custody in Virginia, where he's raising money and hosting a podcast from his jail cell.

File photo

Fall Mountain Regional School District Superintendent Lori Landry will meet with community members Thursday night about a controversial plan to allow marksmanship practices in the local high school cafeteria.

The Fall Mountain Regional School Board approved an exemption to its weapons policy earlier this fall to allow the Army JROTC program to bring in air rifles for the practices subject to certain safety precautions -- things like closed blinds, locked doors and secured entry.

Britta Greene/NHPR

There’s nothing like working for years to bring a Halloween festival back from the dead, so to speak, only to have it deluged by rain. But that’s exactly what happened this year to Keene’s Pumpkin Festival, back for the first time since 2014.

Courtesy of Keene State College

New Hampshire police chiefs overwhelmingly cite drug abuse as the most serious problem facing their communities, according to a new survey from Keene State College.

“Police chiefs are confronting these problems every day,” said Keene State Professor Angela Barlow, who directed the survey. “And they’re having very little success at reducing the opioid crisis and addiction issues within their communities.”

The survey went out to all full-time police chiefs in New Hampshire last year. About half, including those from the largest cities, responded, Barlow said.

CREDIT JENNIFER MEI/CREATIVE COMMONS

New court documents reveal how a former Franklin Pierce University professor and her son say they obtained valuable works of art. Those paintings, by the New York-based artist Leon Golub, were then sold to a collector who claims they are forgeries.

This story first broke last year, centering the art world’s attention on an unlikely location: Rindge, New Hampshire. NHPR’s Todd Bookman joins Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley for an update on the case.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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