Seacoast

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Two state representatives from the Seacoast are raising concerns about Eversource’s plan to buy a water utility company.

Eversource, New England’s largest energy company, announced back in June that it had plans to buy Aquarion, the region’s largest private water company.

The deal spans three states and is valued at about $1.7 billion.

Democratic Representatives Mindi Messmer of Rye and Renny Cushing of Hampton say it’s a bad deal for New Hampshire rate payers, and they've been working to stop it.

Courtesy of Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard says the crew of a fishing trawler that had to be rescued off the coast of New Hampshire did exceptionally well handling 25 to 30 knot winds, 6-to 8-foot waves and near zero degree wind chills.

The captain of the 65-foot Black Beauty contacted the Coast Guard early Friday evening after the boat's transmission failed with five people and 30,000 pounds of fish on board. The Coast Guard Cutter Campbell responded, arriving on scene about 3:30 a.m. Saturday. The cutter towed the vessel to Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is hosting a job fair next week.

The shipyard is hoping the fair will help them fill about 160 open positions.

The positions range from chemists and electricians to painters and pipefitters.

In a statement, shipyard commander Captain Dave Hunt says their workload is increasing and they need the extra help to keep up.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard repairs and refits nuclear-powered submarines.

The facility already employs more than 5,500 civilian employees. The fair will run Nov. 14 from noon to 8 p.m. in Eliot, Maine.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Early this week, coastal communities in New Hampshire will experience an event known as King Tide. A King Tide occurs when the sun and moon align and their combined gravitational pull creates an especially high high-tide.

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Last week, police in Bristol arrested a man in connection with two explosions that rocked the town earlier this month. Those blasts were caused by something called binary explosives, designed for use in target practice.

Bristol Police Lieutenant Kris Bean says on the evening of October 7th, not long after sunset, his department was suddenly flooded with 911 calls.

The 2017 Black New England Conference began Friday at the University of New Hampshire.

The event brings scholars, writers, and activists together to discuss the history and present-day experience of African Americans in New England.

JerriAnne Boggis with the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire helped organize the event.

Jason Moon for NHPR

This weekend at the Pine Hill Cemetery in Dover, the dead will come back to life...sort of.

As part of the Woodman Museum’s "Voices from the Cemetery" event, local volunteer-actors will portray some of the famous -and infamous- Dover residents buried in the centuries-old cemetery.

NHPR’s Jason Moon caught up with the actors as they were rehearsing earlier this week and sends this postcard.

Jim Richmond

Federal regulators will allow the non-profit nuclear watchdog group C-10 to weigh in on a regulatory review of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant.

C-10 has raised concerns about how the plant's owner, NextEra Energy, is addressing concrete degradation caused by a chemical reaction.

Seabrook is the only nuclear power plant in the country known to be affected by this chemical reaction.

NextEra Energy has 25 days to appeal the decision.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case brought by a Hampton fisherman over the cost of fishing regulations.

David Goethel was hoping to challenge in court the federal government’s at-sea monitoring program.

The program puts regulators on fisherman’s boats to make sure they are adhering to catch limits, but fishermen are responsible for the costs of the program, at an estimated $700 a trip.

Goethel says those costs are stifling and illegal, but on Monday the Supreme Court announced it would not hear the case.

Police in Portsmouth say they are planning to crack down on loud motorcycles.

According to state law, an idling motorcycle should be no louder than 92 decibels. But knowing whether a motorcycle exceeds that limit requires police to have specialized gear and training.

Portsmouth Police Captain Frank Warchol says in the past, his department has relied on state police to catch offenders.

Now, in response to complaints from residents, Warchol says the Portsmouth PD is investing in the equipment and training it needs to enforce the law on its own.

Cheryl Senter

A Hampton selectman is surveying local businesses in an effort to discover exactly how much the town contributes to state coffers through the rooms and meals tax.

New Hampshire's tax on rooms and meals is levied by the state and then redistributed to towns on the basis of population. Cities and towns get more money if they have more people.

Hampton Selectman Regina Barnes says that formula is a bad deal for her town, because with its many restaurants and hotels, it puts more in than it gets out.

The town of Durham is lobbying the state to adopt a new holiday.

Earlier this month, Durham became the first town in the state to establish an Indigenous Peoples’ Day - in lieu of Columbus Day.

Now town councilors there are urging the governor and state lawmakers to consider doing the same.

Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig says the debate in Durham was good for the community, and that a similar one could be good for the state.

NH Community Seafood

Last May, we reported on New Hampshire Community Seafood's effort to sign on at least 1,000 people for their community supported fishery, or CSF. A CSF is like a farm share, where subscribers can pick up seafood at various locations throughout the season. 

The push for new members was driven by a desire to support New Hampshire's ground fishermen. Their deadline was the end of summer, and with that now upon us, Andrea Tomlinson, manager of New Hampshire Community Seafood, joins NHPR's Peter Biello with an update.

Listen to their conversation right here:

The Oyster River School District will be requiring diversity training for all staff in the wake of an alleged racist bullying incident earlier this month.

Superintendent Jim Morse says the trainings will be led by a member of the state health department who specializes in racial minority affairs. Morse says the training will be required for every district employee, including himself.

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Phillips Exeter Academy and the Exeter Police Department have announced a new agreement concerning the reporting of sexual assaults on campus.

A new memorandum of understanding between the prestigious prep school and the local police department outlines procedures they say will help keep students safe from abuse of all kinds.

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

The Portsmouth City Council has banned the use of what it calls ‘synthetic toxic pesticides’ in public spaces, citing concerns about public health.

The new policy is largely aimed at weed killing chemicals the city sprays on sidewalks and streets.

Portsmouth city councilor Jim Splaine put forward the motion, which was approved Monday night.

“We may be tonight adopting New Hampshire’s first very clear and strong position against synthetic toxic pesticides. This is a step in the right direction.”

Jason Moon for NHPR

Volunteers with the New Hampshire Beach Monitoring program are taking measurements of the state's beaches ahead of Hurricane Jose.

As volunteer Sherri Townsend explains, scientists want to know how the storm will impact the topography of the beach.

"We're just measuring if there's any changes in where the berm is, and how high the berm is, and the slope of the berm -- which is the high point, when the storm surge comes up."

The Durham Town Council voted Monday night to create a holiday called Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

After lots of public comment and a spirited debate, the Durham town council voted 7-2 to establish the new local holiday. It will be celebrated annually on the same day as Columbus Day.

Durham Town Councilor Kenny Rotner voted in favor of the resolution. He argued the move will have no legal effect on Columbus Day, which is a federal holiday.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The town of Hampton is taking the state to court. Officials there want the town reimbursed for services it provides at the state owned beach.

Local and state officials have long disagreed about exactly who is responsible for what at Hampton Beach, which is in the town of Hampton but owned and operated by the state.

George Grantham Bain Collection/Library of Congress

This weekend, the music of composer Amy Beach will echo throughout UNH’s campus during a two-day event timed to celebrate her 150th birthday.

Beach, who was born in Henniker in 1867, is often referred to as ‘the Dean of American Women Composers.’ At a time when women were often limited to writing parlor songs and other light fare, UNH Professor Peggy Vagts says Beach was a trailblazer, composing complicated, bold music.

“She took on really major works. She wrote a mass, wrote a symphony. She was the first American woman to do that,” says Vagts.

xlibber / Flickr Creative Commons

Electric vehicle enthusiasts are gathering around New Hampshire this weekend for National Drive Electric Week.

A new report says the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is in poor condition and unable to keep up with the demands of the Navy.

The report comes from the legislative watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Office. It paints a bleak picture of the nation’s four public naval shipyards, including the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

It says the aging facilities together have racked up deferred maintenance costs of almost 5 billion dollars.

After years of debate about what to do about the city's parking problems, the city of Portsmouth will break ground on a new parking garage this week.

Portsmouth City Councilor Brad Lown says the city has been struggling with a parking shortage for more than 10 years.

“We’ve been told by a number of people that the parking shortage is acute that people aren’t going downtown -- people that might otherwise go downtown, not only residents but visitors, too.”

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The Exeter UFO Festival is again drawing in experts in extraterrestrial sightings, abductions, as well those just curious about what may be out there.

This weekend marks the 8th edition of the Festival, which features two days of speakers, along with vendors and UFO tours.

In 1965, two Exeter policemen, along with others, had a famous encounter with a red orb just across the town’s border in Kensington. After that sighting drew national attention, Exeter became known as the ‘Roswell of the East,’ at least in certain circles.

Jason Moon - NHPR

Schools in Portsmouth started a bit later this week—at 8:20 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. The idea is that if kids are allowed to sleep later, they’ll be better prepared to learn once they get to school. Schools in the towns of Durham, Madbury, and Lee as well as the Inter-Lakes School District in the Laconia area also are starting late this year.

Steve Zadravec is superintendent of Portsmouth's schools. He’s been a supporter of these later start times. He spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Off the coast of New Hampshire are the iconic Isles of Shoals.

Somewhere around the middle of those isles is a dotted line -- the state border between New Hampshire and Maine.

As part of our series Surrounded in which we look at life in and around New Hampshire's islands, Jason Moon found out that line has been the cause of some intense disagreement over the years.

The state liquor store near the Portsmouth traffic circle is set to receive a major upgrade.

The new building will be double the size of the existing liquor store and will offer some 6,000 different sizes and varieties of wines and spirits.

Joseph Mollica is Chairman of the New Hampshire Liquor Commission. He says replacing the old building is expected to generate a 10 percent increase in sales.

“The selection just isn’t there and we’re missing the boat. It’s time to step it up and get that store done.”

Library of Congress

Islands can be calm, quiet, isolated places where you can remove yourself from the stress of mainland life. Or, they can serve a more transactional purpose: a place to put people you don’t want to have around. Think Alcatraz, or Elba, where Napoleon was exiled.

Well, off the coast of Portsmouth, there are islands that were also used to remove and isolate certain individuals. Individuals who sometimes figured out novel ways to entertain themselves. 

A state representative is calling for the resignation of New Hampshire's state epidemiologist. At issue is the validity of a new study about the health effects of exposure to certain water contaminants.

Democratic rep Mindi Messmer of Rye and state epidemiologist Ben Chan are both members of a task force investigating a cancer cluster identified on the Seacoast last year.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Officials in the New Hampshire city of Portsmouth are praising a new bike sharing program after two months of operating.

According to a report by Planning Director Juliet Walker, there were 548 bike rentals in a two-month period following the Zagster bike sharing program's launch on May 3. The Portsmouth Herald reports Zagster allows people to rent bikes from kiosks throughout the city.

Walker says Portsmouth pays $54,000 a year to lease 30 bikes and six stations. Zagster returns money from membership fees to the city after deducting a 7 percent processing fee.

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