Portsmouth

via Portsmouthwastewater.com

The Environmental Protection Agency has asked a federal judge to approve a deal reached with the city of Portsmouth about an $83.4 million plan to upgrade the existing Peirce Island wastewater treatment plant.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that the agreement, called the second consent decree, lays out the timetable for building the new plant. It has to be entered by the court before it can go into effect.

k2parn / Flickr/CC

With its 'lily-white' reputation, the Granite State doesn't often highlight the role that people of color have played throughout its history. A new documentary aims to reveal those hidden stories though, and their importance to the state's history. 


Via Port City Moped

Portsmouth's parking and transportation engineer has recommended that the Parking and Traffic Safety Committee approve an ordinance forcing moped drivers to pay for parking on city sidewalks.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Eric Eby has proposed that drivers of mopeds and "similarly sized motorcycles" be required to display a sticker stating that they comply with the state's legal description of a moped.

Eby says the sticker would be purchased from the Parking Clerk's office for a nominal fee.

Muffet / Flickr Creative Commons

A malfunction during a lift opening on the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge in Portsmouth was to blame for a 2-hour closure of the bridge that passes over the Piscataqua River into Maine.

State Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton tells The Portsmouth Herald that a span lock on the bridge malfunctioned Wednesday during a 5 p.m. lift opening. Travelers along the U.S. Route 1 Bypass encountered bridge gates that remained closed and a traffic light that refused to turn green.

TV on the Radio & the Penny Poet of Portsmouth

Apr 22, 2016
stevestein1982 via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/7aGdeb

Big-budget movies aim to break box office records, not win over critics.  Today, a reporter comes up with a formula to rank the worst-rated, highest grossing movies of all time...and there are a lot of them.

Then, the creators of Naked and Afraid bank on nudity hooking viewers in, but know they can't show the naughty bits during prime time. That's where "the blur man group" comes in.

Plus, we'll speak to a woman who counsels reality TV stars -  a population excessively prone to addiction, depression and suicide - to cope with sudden and fleeting fame.

4.18.16: Small Bombs & the Penny Poet of Portsmouth

Apr 18, 2016
Todd Van Hoosear via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/ozXTre

In the age of global terrorism, some attacks get more attention than others. We got blanket coverage of coordinated bombs in Brussels, but little on explosions in Turkey just nine days before or the devastating suicide bomb in Iraq a week later. Today, the far-reaching effects of "small" bombs - those exploding in Middle Eastern and South Asian cities with alarming regularity that often go ignored.

Then, a writer reflects on her friendship with Robert Dunn, a character seemingly from another age, known as Portsmouth's Penny Poet.

File photo

A committee formed by the mayor of Portsmouth gathered for its first meeting to discuss creating a master plan for a 10-acre park located along the city's waterfront.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that Mayor Jack Blalock's Blue Ribbon Committee on Prescott Park met yesterday to discuss what Blalock called "a very active park with no real coordination."

Blalock says multiple "cooperative interests" make use of the city-owned park, and he believes it's up to Portsmouth to coordinate activities there.

Natasha Haverty

Last night Presidential Candidate Donald Trump came to Portsmouth for a few minutes, to pick up an endorsement from the New England’s police union. 

Emily Corwin for NHPR

A fire sparked at a historic Portsmouth building built in 1880 required upward of 75 firefighters to battle the flames that began in a first-floor restaurant and burned its way through the roof.

The Portsmouth Herald reports the initial damage assessment for the Portsmouth Gas Light Co. building is $2.1 million.

Fire Chief Steven Achilles says no one was injured in the blaze. It was first reported just after 10 a.m. Wednesday by firefighters training on the city's fire boat in the Piscataqua River.

www.breezyhilllanding.com

 

The Portsmouth City Council is considering a change to its trash and recyclable collection times in the city's historic downtown district amid growing concerns.

Recycling and solid waste coordinator Jacob Levenson tells the Portsmouth Herald that afternoon collection times for the downtown area has caused issues for both businesses and residents.

A survey conducted by the Department of Public Works showed that residents overwhelmingly prefer a morning pickup, with businesses supporting collections closer to the evening.

Photo by Rich Beauchesne/Seacoastonline

The lawyers who overturned a fired Portsmouth police officer's $2 million inheritance from a woman's disputed will are asking for more than $300,000 in legal fees from the city. 

The Portsmouth Herald reports attorney David Eby filed a motion in Strafford County probate court on behalf of two hospitals that financed the case. The money they're seeking represents a portion of what the city is expected to receive from the estate of Geraldine Webber.

seacoastonline.com

The city of Portsmouth has a new mayor.

Jack Blalock claimed victory Tuesday as the top vote-getter among the candidates running for city council.

He replaces Robert Lister, who did not run for re-election.

Blalock formerly served as assistant mayor of Portsmouth and chairman of the city’s Board of Adjustment.

Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine will return to that position, after receiving the second-most votes in yesterday’s election.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Residents in Portsmouth will choose a new mayor and nine city councilors on Tuesday. Voters will likely notice some new names on their ballots. What they might not know – is who has been guiding those candidates, behind the scenes.

JonJon2k8 via Flickr Creative Commons

Police in Portsmouth are reminding residents about the dangers of a number of telephone scams. 

OZinOH via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4iiMnW

The US says it will open its doors to at least 10,000 refugees fleeing turmoil in Syria, but that doesn’t mean open arms. Today, we’ll learn about the detention process that keeps asylum seekers behind bars for months – even years – in hidden facilities across the country. Plus, a look at the upcoming lineup for this weekend’s New Hampshire Film Festival – including a documentary about the Gore Vidal vs. William F. Buckley debates that turned televised political debates into blood sport. 

City of Portsmouth

 

The Portsmouth Police Commission has failed to endorse an agreement that would allow the city's police chief to continue working for another three months.

Chief Stephen DuBois announced in September that he was going to resign. The original agreement debated Monday would've ended his employment in March 2016. The new agreement would've accepted the chief's resignation in January and included an additional three months of severance pay.

The Commission split a vote endorsing the agreement Wednesday and voted to continue it until Oct. 20.

Twitter

Portsmouth Police Chief Stephen DuBois will resign, effective March 28, 2016.

DuBois became chief in early 2012 after 19 years on the force.

The resignation is voluntary. It comes one month after a judge ruled against now-fired Portsmouth police Sergeant Aaron Goodwin.  Goodwin’s inheritance of now diseased Geraldine Webber’s $2 million estate was contested by beneficiaries from an earlier will.

Portsmouth Police Department

  Police in Portsmouth have created a public service announcement video they hope will help the community fight heroin abuse.

The video, called "It's Time, Let's Talk," is aimed at breaking the stigma that comes with substance abuse and urging people to ask for help.

You can watch the video here.

Officials say it highlights that combating substance abuse is a complex medical issue and not simply a criminal matter, and that fighting it will take a collected effort.

Paul Goddin via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/rZZE1N

An Uber official has sent a letter to Portsmouth's City Council asking it to make changes to a new transportation services ordinance.

The ordinance calls for ride-sharing companies like Uber or taxi drivers that operate in Portsmouth to have commercial personal injury and property damage liability insurance coverage and prove to the police department that each driver has had a background check.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

The 14th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center will be particularly momentous in Portsmouth. Last month, that city received an artifact from the wreckage which they will use to memorialize the tragedy.

Courtesy photo

Portsmouth City Council isn't allowing the Prescott Park Arts Festival to have concerts on school nights next year.

The Portsmouth Herald reports the council voted unanimously Tuesday to pass a motion prohibiting the festival from holding concerts on school nights.

Mayor Robert Lister proposed the measure after councilors received complaints from residents when the arts festival held a concert at the city-owned park on a school night last week.

Courtesy Photo

A proposal to launch a high-speed ferry service from Portsmouth to Cape Cod has ignited a debate.

The Portsmouth Herald reports tugboat pilot Chris Holt raised concerns about the plan Thursday at a Pease Development Authority Port Committee meeting. He says a ferry has been tried before at the Port of New Hampshire and it "didn't fly." He also questioned how the ferry would operate in and out of the port due to the strong Piscataqua River current.

Promote Our Port president Bob Hassold says he used to be a tugboat pilot and that the ferry could easily navigate the river.

File photo

Citizen activists in Portsmouth are asking the city and state to consider a ferry from the Port of New Hampshire to Provincetown. 

The group – which calls itself “Promote Our Port,” made its case at city hall. Their audience included a staffer from US Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s office, state Senator Martha Fuller-Clark, and City Manager John Bohenko.

For now the port is being used as a staging area for the new Sarah Long Bridge.

The city of Portsmouth is trying to overturn a neighboring town’s approval of a controversial propane rail project. On Tuesday, a Superior Court judge heard arguments from attorneys on both sides.

The controversial Sea-3 rail expansion project would ship propane from fracking sites in the American West to their expanded Newington facility.  And it would run through Portsmouth. 

RICH BEAUCHESNE/SEACOASTONLINE

A retired Portsmouth police officer who was placed under a gag order after talking to a local newspaper is suing the city, as well as the city’s Police Chief and Police Commission.

The police department put retired officer John Connors under a gag order almost a year ago, after he talked to the Portsmouth Herald about Detective Aaron Goodwin.

Goodwin inherited $2.7 million from an elderly Portsmouth woman who lived next door to Connors. Goodwin was fired last month after an independent investigation.  The inheritance is now pending in probate court.

The Port of New Hampshire will get $5 million to make it easier for ships to turn around.  The money is part of the state’s capital budget that Governor Hassan signed into law this week. The capital budget also includes increased funds for the new women's prison in Concord.

Port Project

Back in 1984, the Army Corps of Engineers recommended five port improvement projects. Four have been completed. With this additional $5 million from the capital budget paired with $14 million more from the feds, the final project can get underway. 

Photo by Rich Beauchesne/Seacoastonline

Portsmouth Police Sgt. Aaron Goodwin was fired last week, after an independent report cited him for several ethics violations for accepting a disputed $2.7 million inheritance.

But the story doesn’t end there, as the controversy has raised questions about the future of the city's police commission.

A judge also has yet to rule on whether he can keep the money.

Elizabeth Dinan is a reporter for the Portsmouth Herald.

She’s been following the story and joined NHPR's Morning Edition to give us the latest.

Mirko Isaia / Flickr, creative commons

Portsmouth will host its first Pride festival this weekend. Festival organizers say the festival has been in the works since early winter.  Now that the Supreme Court upheld gay marriage in all 50 states, Seacoast Outright board chair Chuck Rhoades says, "I think there’s a little extra oomph, a little extra joy, and another reason to celebrate."

Seacoast Outright is a nonprofit that supports LGBT youth.  The organization faced funding and volunteer shortages last year. With a new board and director, Rhoades says, the group is revitalizing. 

From The Archives: N.H.'s Own Witch Hunt

Jun 18, 2015

Most New Englanders have likely heard of the Salem Witch Trials – a particularly notorious episode in colonial Massachusetts that resulted in the executions of 20 people for suspected witchcraft in 1692 and 1693. Less widely known is that over three decades earlier, Portsmouth, N.H. had its own witch hunt chapter. From the archives this week, we dig into reporter Robbie Honig's June 1988 story.


Downtown Portsmouth.
Squirrel Flight via Flickr/Creative Commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/squirrelflight/1355544138/in/photostream/

  Police in Portsmouth say they’re investigating what may be another heroin-related death.

Pages