seacoast

Authorities have identified a 45-foot dead whale that washed onto rocks near Rye State Park as an 18-year-old female named Snow Plow.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that fishermen had reported seeing the humpback whale's corpse floating 20 miles out to sea on Sunday. Officials believe it had been dead for several days before washing ashore.

Officials from New Hampshire Fish and Game, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the New England Aquarium were called in to investigate the cause of death.

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.

Via peasegreeters.org

A collective of retired veterans and local residents known as the "Pease Greeters" have welcomed their 1,000th flight to the Portsmouth International Airport at Pease.

The Portsmouth Herald reports the greeters were formed to help active military members feel appreciated before they head overseas or prepare to return home from the New Hampshire airport.

The group traces its lineage to 2005, when a plane carrying about 135 service members landed at Pease to refuel. The greeters have evolved since a handful of people brought out coffee and doughnuts to that initial flight.

They have green backs, pink bellies and are only about 2 inches in diameter. The invasive green crab has been destroying clam and scallop populations from South Carolina to Maine, since they were introduced here two centuries ago.

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.

Six police departments in New Hampshire and Maine plan to open their police stations to drug addicts seeking treatment.

Under the Community Access to Recovery program, those suffering from drug addiction may come to the police departments and be referred to treatment.

Police departments in Portsmouth, Dover and Newmarket, New Hampshire, and Eliot, York and Kittery, Maine, are participating.

They plan to announce the program on Wednesday.

the otter via Flickr Creative Commons

  This Memorial Day weekend the state expects some 600,000 people to come to New Hampshire. Many of them will be on the Seacoast, though probably not many of them will do what poet and author Julia Shipley did - walking the 13 mile stretch along New Hampshire's coast. 

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.

Via northhampton.gov

North Hampton officials say the southeast New Hampshire town is interested in discussing the possible regionalizing of fire services with Rye and Portsmouth.

The North Hampton Select Board plans to send a letter to Rye requesting that the two select boards hold a joint meeting to gauge interest in regionalizing.

Residents aware of Rye's regionalization talks with Portsmouth led them to write to North Hampton selectmen asking for the town to join. Rye Selectman Craig Musselman says the Rye board would welcome North Hampton to the conversation.

Courtesy Image

Developers have applied for variances to construct a 38-unit "age-targeted" residential complex for seniors along the U.S. Route 1 Bypass in Portsmouth.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Stonegate NH Construction LLC has asked the city's Board of Adjustment for permission to build the senior housing on the site of a former medical office building on Route 1 Bypass North.

A new study from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy says towns in the Great Bay watershed stand to save a lot of money if they can coordinate their efforts at reducing the amount of nitrogen entering the bay.

Communities in the Great Bay watershed have been tasked with lowering the amount of nitrogen entering the bay by federal and state regulators for years now.

A 26-year-old Portsmouth woman was sentenced to serve between eight and 20 years in prison for selling the fatal dose of drugs that caused a Maine man to overdose in 2015.

NH1.com reports Amanda Burgess was sentenced Tuesday after reaching an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to charges of supplying fentanyl with death resulting.

Prosecutors say Burgess sold a $40 dose of the synthetic opiate to 27-year-old Joseph Cahill, who was found dead on June 15, 2015. Burgess, a known heroin dealer, fled New Hampshire after the York, Maine man died.

Photo Courtesy UNH

New Hampshire's senators are supporting fishermen in their fight against federal regulations that shift at-sea monitoring costs to them.

Fishermen of New England species such as cod and haddock must pay the cost of fishing monitors under rules that took effect Tuesday. The monitors collect data to help determine future fishing quotas and can cost several hundred dollars per day. Many fishermen say they can't afford the new cost and some say they will likely go out of business.

Senator Kelly Ayotte agrees the costs have to be covered now or people will be out of business.

A former manager of a scrap metal business in New Hampshire who admitted to dumping contaminated water into the Piscataqua River will be on federal probation for a year.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Christopher Garrity, of Leeds, Maine, was also ordered last month to pay a $5,000 fine. He pleaded guilty last year to a felony charge of discharging a pollutant into water in the U.S. without a permit.

NH DHHS

A state health official says the state is monitoring after a study found a cluster of cases of a rare form of a pediatric cancer in southeastern New Hampshire.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan says they didn't find any behavioral or environmental risk factors deemed a contributor to the "small excess number of cases."

The report published last month was launched after a child in Rye was diagnosed in early 2014. The study found less than five cases in the area over a decade. That's still higher than average. The study didn't indicate a link.

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.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Summer may be a ways off yet, but in Portsmouth, restaurant owners Matt Louis and Jay McSharry are already anxious about staffing their kitchens. That's because there’s a shortage of line cooks in restaurants all across the country, especially on the Seacoast, where unemployment is particularly low.

“Come May when the beaches open, it’s a mad sprint to make sure you have enough staff to be ready for summer,” McSharry says.

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.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Firefighters from at least eight seacoast towns spent two hours fighting what Operations Chief James Heinz calls “heavy fire” in downtown Portsmouth.  The flames went from the second floor to the attic of both the Gaslight and Altrezzi, a kitchen accessories store next door.  

By 1pm, water was raining down from the ceiling to the first floor of the Gaslight.

“There’s only a few four-alarm fires in Portsmouth a year,” he says.  Heinz also called the conditions “ideal,” saying there were few occupants, and no wind.

Emily Corwin

  It’s been one year since James Beard award-winning chef Evan Mallett had an epiphany. “We were on a vacation that culminated in a meal at a restaurant called Saturne,” Mallett recalls, “an amazingly expensive meal with the love of my life in Paris.”

File Photo

 After two years of conflict, a Newington company got the green light today to bring propane by rail to the New Hampshire Seacoast.  

  On Friday, the state’s Site Evaluation Committee voted to allow the propane company SEA-3 to expand its facility without a year-long evaluation process.

The decision came after opponents agreed to drop objections in exchange for additional safety measures, paid for by SEA-3. The agreement limits railcar traffic and includes fire safety measures paid for by SEA-3. 

Emily Corwin

A Newington company that wants to transport propane by rail on the Seacoast has reached an unexpected deal with neighbors who have stood in opposition to the project for two years. 

The tentative agreement limits railcar traffic and includes fire safety measures paid for by SEA-3, which hopes to bring in American propane over tracks between Newfields and an expanded facility in Newington. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A multi-year conflict between a Newington propane company and its neighbors comes to a head this week as state regulators decide whether the company can expand immediately, or must undergo a year-long evaluation.

On the surface, Planning Board and court decisions have favored the propane company. But opponents say despite apparent setbacks, they have succeeded in stalling the project, and extracting concessions.

SEA-3 Wants To Bring Propane In By Rail

A Portsmouth Auxiliary Police officer submitted his resignation letter Wednesday to get out from under a gag order imposed by the city’s police department.

The gag order was part of a case involving a now-fired police officer accepting an inheritance from a neighbor.  The department placed Officer Connors under the gag order more than a year ago after he spoke with a local newspaper about the now-fired Portsmouth police Sargeant Aaron Goodwin.

A New Hampshire city is urging the U.S. Board of Geographic Names to restore the Cocheco River's historic spelling.

The river's name used to end in e-c-h-o instead of e-c-o, but officials say the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office removed the "h'' by mistake in 1828.

Foster's Daily Democrat reports Dover city councilors unanimously approved a recommendation Wednesday to go back to the original spelling.

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.

Emily Corwin

On Sunday, female activists in dozens of locations around the world went topless. Their goal: to encourage women to go topless anywhere that men do. To the dismay of local lawmakers, over 500 women signed up on Facebook to participate at a Hampton Beach event in New Hampshire. 

"It’s so rainy out. There’s some people on the beach not very many. But I did just see a woman walk by with a sweatshirt on but unzipped and nothing on underneath so I guess this is really happening here."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The city of Somersworth is trying to restrict panhandling.

Foster's Daily Democrat reports the Somersworth City Council passed an ordinance Monday stating that people are no longer allowed to give or receive items from vehicle occupants on roadways.

Both the panhandler and drivers could be fined up to $500.

Councilor David Witham said residents have expressed fear and frustration about aggressive panhandlers on the roadways. He insisted it is a safety issue.

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. 

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