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A boat crash in New Hampshire has left two people dead and two others injured.

State Police Marine Patrol says the accident happened Saturday night on the Piscataqua River when a 59-year-old man operating a 24-foot Boston Whaler struck a buoy in the vicinity of the Eliot boat landing, throwing a female passenger into the water. She was found unconscious in the river and later died, as did another female passenger. The operator and another male passenger were hospitalized.

Jim Richmond via Flickr Creative Commons

Critics of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant voiced concerns about the facility’s bid for a new license at an annual federal meeting in Hampton Wednesday night.

Officials with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission say the Seacoast plant is currently operating safely, despite cracks spreading through some of its concrete.

Jim Richmond

The safety performance of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant will be the topic of a meeting in Hampton on Wednesday.

The annual public meeting is hosted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which will give a presentation on the overall safety performance of the plant in 2017 as well as take questions from the public.

The new Sarah Long Bridge connecting Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine, is closed to traffic, just a month after it opened.

Crews will be working at high altitudes on the bridge’s four lift towers from April 30th to May 6th.

Ted Talbot, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Transportation, says the work has been anticipated for a long time and is not an indication of any problems with the new bridge.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The New Hampshire Commission on Native American Affairs says it is not satisfied with interpretive text meant to address a controversial mural at the Durham Post Office.

In a statement released Thursday, the group says the interpretive text is not an acceptable solution and that they don’t consider the matter closed.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Citizen scientists have begun another year of sifting through sand on Seacoast beaches, in search of tiny bits of plastic known as microplastics.

It's the fifth year for the volunteer-driven New Hampshire Sea Grant project.

Blue Ocean Society executive director Jen Kennedy says scientists want to collect, sort and analyze the different types of microplastics that wash ashore on the Seacoast.

NHPR File Photo

 

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is conducting a routine training event Tuesday.

 

During the training exercise, gates to the Shipyard will be closed for a short duration, which could impact traffic. The gate closures will be around mid-morning - not during peak commuting times.

 

The regularly scheduled training is meant to better prepare Shipyard staff in case of emergency. 

Coordination has taken place with local law enforcement and first responders, the Navy says.

The shipyard conducted a similar security drill in January.

Courtesy of Chad Witko

Back in January, NHPR ran a story about Kevin, a sandhill crane who was melting hearts in the town of Rollinsford. Despite a leg injury and freezing temperatures, the bird was living its best life in this small town.

With the warmer weather and longer days, Kevin now appears to have flown the coop, leaving behind many a brokenhearted resident.

PETER MILLER VIA FLICKR CC / HTTPS://FLIC.KR/P/EVRDEE

A New Hampshire youth sports organization in Durham that's investigating a man's allegations that two baseball coaches talked about a plan to hurt his 11-year-old-daughter—the only girl on her team—to force her to quit says no player was ever in danger.

A coach has been dismissed, Foster's Daily Democrat reported.

 

Jason Moon for NHPR

The U.S. Postal Service has installed a sign adding context to a controversial mural at the Durham Post Office.

A section of the mural titled "Cruel Adversity" depicts a Native American raid that happened in what is now Durham in 1694.

Some have called the image, painted in 1959, offensive for its one-sided depiction of history.

N.H. Beaches Face Threat from Microplastics

Apr 16, 2018

New Hampshire beaches may look generally clean, but there's a big threat posed by tiny microplastics. Microplastics are defined as plastics between 1-5mm in size. They may be fragments of degraded larger plastic debris, synthetic fibers, or microbeads from cosmetics and toothpaste. We learn about research studying the prevalence of this microscopic debris on New Hampshire beaches, the threat it poses to marine ecosystems, and what we can do about it. 

Jason Moon for NHPR

New Hampshire’s Seacoast is home to some of the earliest history of European settlers anywhere in the country. Believe it or not, much of that history is still being uncovered.

But now climate change and sea-level rise is adding new urgency to those efforts.

NHPR’s Jason Moon joined a UNH researcher for a hike to see a centuries-old archaeological site that is literally washing away.

There are plenty of examples of literary and artistic couples: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald, George O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera... but some of these partnerships were famously fraught. A relationship that functions on many levels, both creative and romantic, brings the particular challenge of balancing family and art. 

In Lebanon, Keiselim Montás and Kianny Antigua are living that balancing act. They are both published, acclaimed writers... and they're married. How do they balance their family life with their literary practice?

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Some Seacoast residents were unhappy Thursday night to hear state and federal officials reiterate they don’t believe the Coakley Landfill is contaminating area drinking water.

Authorities say some groundwater wells around the Superfund site in North Hampton do show high levels of suspected carcinogens called PFCs – but they say the chemicals haven’t spread to private wells.

Jason Moon for NHPR

On the Seacoast, crews are working to repair damage from winter storms in time for the summer tourist season.

At North Hampton State Beach, repairs are being made to a collapsed parking lot and sidewalk.

Johannes Thiel via Flickr cc

More than 50 teachers and support staff at the Timberlane School District are in danger of losing their jobs due to funding.

 

The problem, school administrators say, is that because a higher proposed budget failed with voters, an almost $72 million default budget will go into effect. And that default budget doesn’t allow staffing numbers to stay where they are.

 

Maine DOT

 

A  replacement for a 76-year-old bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine opened to traffic on Friday after months-long delays caused friction between transportation officials and the contractor.

Sarah Mildred Long Bridge replaces an old span that connected Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine, along the Route 1 Bypass over the Piscataqua River.

Jason Moon for NHPR

New research from UNH says nuisance flooding of roads on the East coast has increased by 90 percent over the last two decades.

Nuisance flooding occurs as a result of normal tidal activity. It's the kind of flooding that can happen on sunny day with calm weather.

The new report estimates that nuisance flooding is already causing over 100 million hours of delays for drivers each year. As oceans rise, the report says, so could that number.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Authorities continue to investigate a suspicious package sent to Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter's Dover office Monday.

No one was injured, police said.

Shea-Porter, a four-term Democrat from Rochester, issued the following statement:

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

More than 100 responders from dozens of state, federal and local agencies were busy in Portsmouth Thursday, practicing their response to a hypothetical oil spill.

These exercises happen every year on the Piscataqua River between New Hampshire and Maine – but the made-up crisis they game out is always changing.

Carroll Brown is New Hampshire’s oil spill contingency planner. He says this year’s scenario imagined flying debris from a winter storm, rupturing an Irving Oil diesel tank on the riverbank in downtown Portsmouth.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Federal and state agencies will act out an oil spill response scenario in Portsmouth on Thursday as part of a federal requirement to practice for a real-life crisis.

This year's drill imagines a winter storm damaging part of the local Irving Oil facility overnight, causing a large amount of oil to spill into the Piscataqua River.

Via USGS.gov

The city of Portsmouth says it expects to release a trove of documents about toxic waste cleanup at Coakley Landfill Superfund Site around the end of this month.

It comes as a group of Seacoast lawmakers files suit to get records from the entities responsible for that pollution, known together as the Coakley Landfill Group. 

National Marine Life Center

A young harp seal who spent a month recuperating after getting stranded on Hampton Beach will be released on Sunday.

It’s only the second time the Seacoast Science Center has helped release a seal in New Hampshire waters.

The year-old seal is named Merrimack, or Mack for short. He was found on Hampton Beach on Valentine's Day.

Seacoast Science Center marketing director Karen Provazza says Mack was alert and chatty, but also seemed sick and confused.

Harp seals are born on ice in Canada and like to eat snow, but Mack was eating sand off the beach. 

Chelsey Puffer

After a week of uncertainty following a public auction of the Smuttynose Brewery, a new owner has been announced. Smuttynose is now owned by Runnymede Investments, a venture capital and investment firm based in North Hampton. The purchase was made for an undisclosed amount.

Runnymede is installing a new CEO at the brewery, Rich Lindsay, who has experience at other breweries including Samuel Adams and Night Shift Brewing.

US Navy

Governor Chris Sununu wants the former Pease Air Force base included in a first-ever national study on the health effects of toxic chemicals called PFCs.

Sununu wrote this week to the federal agency leading the study, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. It’s part of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

The latest federal defense spending bill authorizes the agency to spend $7 million to study the health impacts of perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

It’s Town Meeting time, and in Rye, a long-simmering controversy is back on the ballot. On Tuesday, voters there will decide the fate of the old Town Hall.

For many in town, the 180-year old building raises civic pride. Others are simply ready to raze it.

Courtesy Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Brewing Company will be sold at auction Friday afternoon in Hampton.

The iconic New Hampshire craft brewer announced in January that it could no longer pay its bills and needed new ownership to survive.

Police in a New Hampshire city are making efforts to address loud motorcycles in Portsmouth.

Police Chief Robert Merner says he is aware of a proposed ordinance currently in a Senate committee that would ban "motorcycle-only checkpoints," but adds he has ordered decibel reading equipment for his officers to be used citywide.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Merner says enforcement of noise levels will begin in the spring during motorcycle season.

Offshore Drilling Debate Revived In New England

Mar 7, 2018

A public hearing earlier this week attracted environmentalists, fishing groups, and many others who oppose President Trump's new proposal to expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic, including off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire. We talk with NHPR's energy and environmental reporter Annie Ropeik about the latest developments and what impact offshore drilling might have for the state. 

BOEM

Federal officials will be in Concord today to talk about a sweeping proposal to open most of the nation's coastline to new oil and gas drilling.

The North Atlantic and the Seacoast are included in the Interior Department's plan, but analysts say this area would likely be a low priority if it goes forward.

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