Nashua

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Jared Barbosa is an Elementary School guidance counselor who was raised by a professional soccer player. His dad, Manoel “Boom Boom” Barbosa, competed all over the world before settling down in Nashua, N.H.

Jared says professional soccer was his dad’s ticket out of poverty in Brazil. College soccer was his ticket to economic mobility.

He doesn’t think high level sports should exclude low-income kids.

www.harriman.com

  Nashua's Board of Education approved a budget this week that includes full-day kindergarten at all of the city’s schools. Currently, full-day kindergarten is offered at six the city’s twelve elementary schools.

Its expansion has been championed by Jim Donchess, the city’s mayor.

Nashua’s school budget, including funds for full day kindergarten, will now go to the Board of Alderman and then the Board of Education.

About three quarters of towns and cities in New Hampshire offer full day kindergarten.

C. Hanchey via Flickr CC.

There’s a legal battle brewing in the city of Nashua over $1 million in arts funding.

A nonprofit Nashua Center for the Arts filed a petition in court this month to dissolve the organization. It wants to send the money left in its trust to the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, but officials in Nashua are trying to stop that from happening to keep the money in the city.

Brady Carlson for NHPR / NHPR

Health care reform, public education and infrastructure spending are all hot topics in Congress – and the State House – nowadays. In Nashua, New Hampshire’s second largest city, Mayor Jim Donchess has been pushing his own ideas on these very issues. Sometimes, this puts him at odds with the folks calling the shots in Concord and Washington.

Recently, during a class on city government

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Not even Mayor Jim Donchess expected the city’s new thirteen-week, twenty-six hour class on city government to fill up so fast.  

“Fifty people seemed like comfortable number,” Donchess said. When those seats filled up quickly,  his office closed registration.

The syllabus includes subjects such as what happens to solid waste, and what tax assessors do.

“Well, I wouldn’t call it dry,” Jay Welch said as students streamed into the city’s auditorium. Like many who showed up, Welch is an avid volunteer.

What’s the appeal? Answers ran the gamut.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

As immigration officials ramp up deportation of new classes of unauthorized immigrants, more residents and visitors without documents fear run-ins with police.

On New Hampshire's diverse Southern border, a traffic stop in one town could lead to very different consequences than the same kind of stop one town over.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A Windham lawmaker is hoping to rewrite New Hampshire's election laws in an effort to prevent what he calls potential voter fraud.

One of his proposals received some pushback Wednesday particularly from those who would have to abide by one specific change to current law.  

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Over the summer, Nashua aldermen voted to make Nashua a sister city with Mysore, India - a city 100 miles southwest of Bangalore.

Now, a local Rotary Club is sending a group of four Americans there.  

Nashua residents recently packed City Hall to urge their aldermen to back a resolution that would affirm the city’s welcoming stance toward refugees and immigrants. Activists and others spoke in support of the newcomers, but they also had a somewhat unlikely ally: the city’s business leaders, who say foreign-born residents would boost Nashua’s economic vitality.

Sean Hurley

November 29, 1964 is known in the Catholic Church as “the day Mass changed.” It didn’t take a day – more like five years - but by 1969 the vernacular “New Mass” had taken hold and the traditional Latin Mass, in place for 400 years, largely became a thing of the past.  But as NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports, the Latin Mass is making something of a comeback here in New Hampshire.

For five years John Brancich fought fires in the Black Hills National Forest of South Dakota.

Ted Siefer

For the growing immigrant communities in southern New Hampshire, the language barrier poses many challenges, from schools to public transit. The city of Nashua has come up with a novel way to help city bus drivers communicate with passengers with limited English abilities. 

 

Nashua Catholic Church To Reopen - For Latin Mass

May 23, 2016

New Hampshire's Catholic diocese says it's reopening a church in Nashua for fans of the Latin Mass. 

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

It’s not such a surprise anymore to see towns set up pianos on downtown sidewalks with the hope of getting people to stop and play and chat with each other. More than 50 cities around the world do it and in Littleton, New Hampshire, pianos have been on the streets for the past five years.

This spring, Nashua is setting up its own project with two painted pianos on Main Street. But is anyone playing?

Janet Chaney from Hollis is. There’s not much of a crowd here on the corner of Main Street and Pearl, so she tries to draw people closer to the bench.

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

In the wake of the killings in Brussels, Paris, the Mideast, and San Bernardino, more people in New Hampshire want to learn how to respond to an active shooter — in the critical minutes before police and medics arrive.

Active shooter trainings in workplaces, schools and for state employees are increasingly offered throughout the state.

And in Nashua, police are holding free training sessions to teach civilians what they can do.

Sean Sylvain of Nashua says he never lets his guard down.

Nashua Mayor Looks To Build Public Support For Rail

Mar 21, 2016
Brady Carlson for NHPR / NHPR

  Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess is hosting an event tonight to highlight a proposed commuter rail service between southern New Hampshire and Boston. 

Sheryl Rich-Kern

In the hallway at Nashua High South, students walk by presidential candidates like Trump, Cruz, Sanders and Clinton — or at least their life-size cutouts on cardboard. The school is hosting a mock primary, and the chatter in the library is as intense as the real deal.

"Guys by alphabet, E through K, L through P, Q through Z. Get in the right alphabet. And get out your student IDs.

As students line up to get their ballots, sophomore Thalia Henningsen lingers behind. She’s like many of today’s eligible voters. Still undecided. Here's our exchange:

Natasha Haverty

In the 2016 presidential campaign, few issues have been as fiercely debated as immigration. Here in New Hampshire, the US Southern border thousands of miles away can feel like an abstraction. But a small and growing number of voters in New Hampshire take the immigration debate very personally: the state’s Latino community. And as that community grows, so does its resolve to find a political voice. 

Brady Carlson for NHPR / NHPR

The new mayor of Nashua is calling on residents to work together to address the city's challenges.

Jim Donchess was sworn in Sunday at Nashua High School North.

In his inaugural address, Donchess said he hoped to make city government more transparent. "And we will be doing this," he said, "by seeking the opinions of city residents over the course of the next few weeks in town hall meetings in every neighborhood in our city. I want to hear directly from you what your hopes and ideas are for our community."

Nashua public schools will reopen Tuesday after being shut down on Monday because of what school officials called credible threats aimed at the two high schools.

While schools were closed on Monday, Nashua police officials performed safety checks of the 17 schools in Nashua and found no credible devices or threats.

Police and school officials would not give details about the threats they received Sunday, other than to say they were specific.

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

The long-awaited Broad Street Parkway in Nashua opened to traffic on Saturday.

Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeeau stood on the newly built Broad Street Parkway by the bridge that crosses the Nashua River.

In her opening remarks, she welcomed the crowd to the largest municipally managed project in the state of NH’s’ history.

Lozeau said the project may also be one of the longest. Planning for the 80 million dollar project began decades ago to reduce traffic on Main Street.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

  The Human Rights Campaign has ranked seven of New Hampshire’s eight biggest cities below average when it comes to gay and transgender rights.

www.facebook.com/jim.donchess

Nashua voters chose Jim Donchess as their new mayor Tuesday, with Donchess defeating Chris Williams by just more than 1900 votes.

Donchess will replace incumbent Mayor Donnalee Lozeau who after eight years, did not run for reelection.

A rallying cheer rumbled through the Martha’s Exchange restaurant in downtown Nashua Tuesday evening as Jim Donchess walked in to greet his supporters.

But Donchess was quick to turn to city business.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

On Tuesday, Nashua voters will elect a new mayor.  Current mayor DonnaLee Lozeau is not running for re-election.  But former mayor Jim Donchess is and so is the city’s former chamber of commerce president, Chris Williams. The race has become an expensive battle over experience and economic development plans.

Curtis Sargent catches up with a friend outside the Starbucks in Nashua—but they’re not talking politics.

Sargent is 28 years old, lives in town and works in Peterboro. But he says the city’s mayoral race isn’t on his radar.

File Photo

Custodians in Nashua and their supporters are expected to hold a rally Monday evening ahead of a school board meeting to protest the board’s decision to end their union contract.

In a move that took many by surprise, the board voted 7-1 earlier this month to seek bids from private contractors to take over the district’s custodial services — and union members aren’t taking the move sitting down. 

C Hanchey via Flickr CC

Nashua city officials announced the top two vote getters among six candidates in yesterday’s mayoral primary.

Alderman-at-large and former mayor Jim Donchess and former Nashua Chamber president Chris Williams topped the ticket in a mayoral primary that drew a little more than 20 percent of Nashua’s 50,000 registered voters.

Donchess was in first place with 4,179 votes, about 1500 more than Williams. Alderman-at-Large David Deane garnered a third place with 1,968 votes.

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. 

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

In Nashua, construction workers are completing the nearly two-mile Broad Street Parkway, which connects the F.E. Everett Turnpike at exit 6 to Nashua’s Millyard district.

City officials are touting its potential to develop riverfront property, and breathe new life to Nashua’s downtown. All of this comes at a time when vacant storefronts dot Nashua’s Main Street and a coveted anchor store announced it was leaving by next year.


Jacob Carozza/NHPR

Senator Bernie Sanders spoke for more than an hour Saturday morning at a town hall at Nashua Community College. The independent from Vermont, who is running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, covered a wide range of issues, including income inequality, campaign finance reform and climate change.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

The only flying B-29 bomber from World War II touched down in Nashua on Friday, where it remains for the weekend for public tours.

On Friday afternoon at the Boire Field Airport in Nashua, dozens wait to get their first glimpse of the Boeing B-29, the same class of bomber plane that flew in the raiding missions in Japan.

The 92-year-old Pete Ziner moves assuredly with his cane, his memories equally as strong. He says he was a radar operator in the 315th bomb wing, one of the last to go overseas before the war ended.

C. Hanchey via Flickr CC.

There’s no shortage of options for Nashua voters when it comes to who’ll be the next mayor of the state’s second-largest city.

Six candidates are confirmed to be running, and that’s a big change from four years ago, when the city’s current Mayor Donnalee Lozeau ran unopposed.

Lozeau isn’t seeking re-election this time around, which has opened the door for others hoping for the job.

Kathryn Marchocki is a reporter for the Nashua Telegraph. She joined NHPR's Morning Edition to talk about how the race is shaping up.

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