New Hampshire

Scott McPherson for NHPR

10:14 Earthquake monitored in real time at 9:07 PM from the Weston Observatory. Link is here. 

10:05 Map posted on the Weston Observatory site indicates epicenter located 5 Km northwest of Contoocook, with a magnitude of 2.5.

9:55 Seismographic data from the Weston Observatory shows activity at approximately 9:08 PM.

Andre Rosa

New Hampshire is known for its White Mountains and maple syrup. But one local artist would like to add another pair of regional highlights to that list: covered bridges and drag queens.

Andre Rosa is an artist and software engineer working out of Manchester. He’s just recently funded a photo calendar through Kickstarter and joins us to talk about the project.

A new report attempts to get to the bottom of why student debt is so high among New Hampshire colleges and universities.

The report’s conclusion?

There is no one single answer.

The report, commissioned by Granite State Management and Resources, cites several key reasons, including the lack of low-cost public colleges.

Research Brian Gottlob says New Hampshire also has a higher average income, which leads to families receiving less need-based aid.

New Hampshire investigators admit they got lucky in detecting school bus driver John Allen Wright's sex abuse of children. A woman visiting a friend near Wright's Milton home unwittingly latched onto his wireless Internet connection and found sexually graphic images.

But getting the evidence to convict him of abusing the disabled children he drove and taping the abuse on a hidden camera required nearly 100 hours of computer examination by New Hampshire's Internet Crimes Against Children unit.

While many Americans struggle to trim sugar and fat from their diets, a far more dangerous ingredient may be seeping in…from the ground. Arsenic is an odorless, tasteless poison that exists in the earth’s crust. Last winter, the U.S. Geological Survey found that low levels of arsenic were present in forty percent of New Hampshire’s groundwater, for example,  with one in five wells measuring above ten parts-per-billion.

Independent researchers have also identified excessive levels of arsenic in water-intensive crops, including rice grown in the U.S. and abroad. Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist, columnist and blogger for Wired and The New York Times. She was given access to a U.S.G.S. map showing arsenic concentration across the U.S. ahead of its release to the public, and is joining us to share some of the findings. 

She Shimmers via Flickr Creative Commons

Fall in New Hampshire means fairs, foliage – and getting out to one of the state's 300-odd apple orchards to pick your own. Elaine Starkey is out at Butternut Farm in Farmington, with her sons and grandkids, to do just that.

"They usually have donuts, but we got here a little late."

'Pick Your Own Apples' now means not just picking the fruit, but also hay rides, corn mazes, petting animals, And enjoying other seasonal products, like cider, pies, and yes, donuts. 

This Weekend's N.H. Arts Scene

Sep 18, 2013
Logan Shannon for Word of Mouth

A round-up of this weekend's New Hampshire arts events, including:

Hawk and Dove & Darlingside, playing Friday at the Capitol Center for the Arts

The Telluride by the Sea film festival in Portsmouth, and Telluride at Dartmouth

"The Mudroom," a story-telling event at the AVA Gallery and Arts Center in Lebanon

Watch Darlingside perform Live From Studio D at NHPR:

April Guilet via NewHampshire.com

Come October, women from all across the country will flock to Atlantic City to compete in a pageant. It’s not Miss America, or Miss Teen America, or any of the other pageants that are so popular amongst reality television networks these days. This is Ms. Senior America. Word of Mouth’s Molly Donahue spoke with Ms. New Hampshire Senior America 2013, Barbara Danais.

Courtesy JoyceMaynard.com

Say the name "Joyce Maynard" and you’re likely to get some pretty visceral reactions…from those who’ve admired her career since her time as a reporter for the New York Times and her later syndicated column “Domestic Affairs,” and from her detractors…those who are critical of her relentless self-examination and her revelations about her relationship with J.D. Salinger. Salinger was living as a recluse in Cornish, New Hampshire when he began exchanging letters with Maynard after reading an article she wrote as a freshman at Yale. She dropped out of college and moved in with Salinger. She was eighteen…Salinger was 53.

N.H. Sens. Shaheen, Ayotte Travel The State

Jul 29, 2013
Abby Kessler

Both of N.H’s U.S. Senators  Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte were in the Granite State on Monday.

Senator Shaheen met with business leaders and advocates on Monday at Grappone Toyota in Bow to tour the only LEED certified car dealership in the state and support her energy efficiency legislation.

The so-called Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act introduced with Senator Rob Portman aims to establish a national energy strategy. The bill incentivizes the use of green technologies to businesses throughout the country.  

found_drama via Flickr Creative Commons

Last weekend was the first actual weekend of summer…an event barely noticed by many who’ve been barbequing, swimming and gardening since Memorial Day. Plenty of people do celebrate the longest day of the year in a more traditional way…and we’re talking traditions that stretch back thousands of years -- Carol and Clay Young hosted a fire ceremony to welcome in the solstice in the backwoods of Wentworth, New Hampshire, with a small, but diverse group of revelers. Word of Mouth’s Molly Donahue was there and brought us back this audio postcard.

Sean Hurley

There’s buried treasure in the rivers and streams of New Hampshire.  22 carat gold to be precise. While it’s very high quality, it’s also very low quantity.  Experienced New Hampshire prospectors say that even though there isn’t much to find, it’s not hard to find.  But you have to know where to look and how to find it as Sean Hurley reports from the gold-speckled Wild Amonoosuc River in Bath. 

The Wild Ammonoosuc River trickles to life in Kinsman Notch and rushes for 15 miles from Woodstock to Bath before breaking into the bigger, slower glass of the Ammonoosuc.  

Andrew Wilkin via flickr Creative Commons

Developmental reading disorder, or dyslexia, is the most common  learning disability. It often manifests as difficulty in learning to read or spell fluently, resulting in poor performance on written tests. Abelardo Gonzalez is a software developer based in New Hampshire and the creator of Open-Dyslexic – an open source computer font designed to help make reading easier for those with dyslexia.

N.H. Unemployment Rates Decrease

Jun 18, 2013

Numbers from the state show that unemployment in New Hampshire have fallen to 5.3 percent.

In the past, rates dropped because people seeking work stopped applying for jobs.

But this time, economist Annette Nielsen of the NH Employment Security says there has been job growth.

Bears In Seacoast Spark Anxiety, Questions

Jun 8, 2013

Two separate black bear sightings in Portsmouth earlier this week startled residents and raised new questions about bears in urban areas.

Early this week, two Portsmouth residents reported black bear sightings to police. Officers responding to the calls said they believed the bears were cubs, but were unsure if a larger bear was with them. Bear sightings are rare instances in the Seacoast, but N.H. Fish and Game’s Wildlife Damage Specialist Rob Calvert says that this behavior isn’t entirely out of character.

Photo courtesy NH Audubon

Eric Masterson is a blogger and the author of Birdwatching in New Hampshire, and joins us for a hyper-local guide to spotting species around the state.

candrews via Flickr Creative Commons

Junior high school can be an awkward, unsettling experience for anyone. Especially for teachers; imagine having survived it once, then witnesses cavorting teens finding their way over and over again. Jessica Lahey is an English, Latin, and Writing teacher at Crossroads Academy in Lyme, New Hampshire. She also writes about education and parenting for the New York Times and other publications, and on her blog, Coming of Age in the Middle. Her article, “A Dress-Code Enforcer’s Struggle for the Soul of the Middle-School Girl” was recently published in The Atlantic and she joins us to discuss the worry over dress codes and the chaotic middle years.

Ryan Lessard

Hundreds of first-time beekeepers across the state are anxiously awaiting their first shipment of honey bees this week. NHPR’s Ryan Lessard reports on the growing popularity of the hobby and what it could mean for the pollinating insects’ struggle for survival.

Nature Schools

Apr 11, 2013
nicoleta gramada via flickr Creative Commons

President Obama’s newly unveiled budget is making political waves…he’s pushing for publicly funded “preschool for all,” paid for with a new tax on cigarettes. Here in New Hampshire, there’s been a different kind of preschool push…toward teaching kids outside. So-called nature preschools and forest kindergartens may sound like more fun than foundational, but this approach to early learning is gaining popularity for teaching the basics, while getting kids away from screens into the wilderness.

Lake People

Mar 18, 2013
Karen Bobotas via Random House

An unnamed lake in Kettleborough, New Hampshire has an almost mythological pull on the characters in a new novel by Abi Maxwell. Bodies disappear into the ice, the shamed and broken hearted sometimes float…sometimes are swallowed in its depths. A young woman named Alice, abandoned as an infant, is found floating in a tethered canoe. Its mysteries are deep and startling, the inventions of a first-time novelist who is also the assistant librarian at the Gilford public library. Abi will read from her new book, Lake People tomorrow night at Gibson’s Books in Concord.

Report Examines Rising Health Insurance Costs In N.H.

Mar 8, 2013

A new report from the New Hampshire Insurance Department says that heath insurance rates are on the rise in the state. The “Medical Cost Drivers Report” finds that health insurance premiums jumped 3.8%  in 2011.

The data also shows that insurance companies saw a near 3% increase in profits.

Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny says that rising co-pays and deductibles mean the insured are less able to rely on their health plans to cover medical bills.

There’s only so much cost sharing that someone can bear, and still call it insurance.

via Wikipedia

Nearly sixty years after “Peyton Place” was published, tourists still stop in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, to ask locals about its author, Grace Metalious. The novel shocked America with tales of small town secrets, sex, and hypocrisy, and outraged the citizens of Gilmanton, where the unconventional Matalious lived with her family. It became one of the best-selling books ever, a hit movie, and TV's first prime-time soap. Writer George Kelly, came across some persistent Matalious myths while writing about the novel for New Hampshire Magazine. His article, “50 Shades of Grace: The Impact of ‘Peyton Place’ on New Hampshire Sixty Years Later”, can be found in the current issue of the magazine, as well as online.

Courtesy of Neal Laurenza

New Hampshire is producing young programmers and designers looking to start their own video game business. And the trick is getting them to stay in the state…


Captain Kimo via Flickr Creative Commons

NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown found that the traditional ice-fishing bob-houses that pop up each winter may be on their way out. Earlier this month, Sam caught up with Dave Genz—the man credited as the “Godfather of modern ice fishing” and the only ice-angler to be named to America’s fresh water fishing hall of fame—as he fished and demonstrated and some of the newer innovations to the winter sport.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Conditions in New Hampshire’s White Mountains are notoriously for being more harsh than ranges of similar altitude. Those conditions make the Whites a perfect training ground for world class mountaineers.  NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown spent the day with Fred Wilkinson as he climbed Cathedral ledge.

The Case of the Missing Santa Claus

Dec 19, 2012

It’s a sad sign of holiday desperation that in many towns, burglaries and thefts spike around the holidays. Two years ago a landmark seasonal statue was stolen from a small New Hampshire town…now a gallery in Massachusetts is trying to find it through the power of art.

Harry Pujols via Flickr Creative Commons

Some employers are willing to try anything to incentivize employees to work harder and increase productivity. But what exactly are employees looking for in a job these days, aside from the pay?  Business NH Magazine's annual competition identifies the top ten best New Hampshire companies to work for and what makes them so great. Matthew Mowry is editor for Business NH Magazine and he joins us to talk about who came out on top.

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.


Mourning a Loved One Via the Internet

Dec 5, 2012
cromely via Flickr Creative Commons

The funeral industry is embracing the digital age. Funeral homes are beefing up their websites and social media to include tributes and photographs of the departed.

Pickersgill Reef via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire is better known for a tradition of community theater than for comedy.  Still, there is something of a comedy scene here…if you’re willing to look for it. Producer Adam McCune happens to be a regular at one of Manchester’s regular open-mic events, and brings us along in search of a laugh.

And check out Jay Chanoine's website here.

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