Seacoast

Officials with the town of Durham say they remain concerned about a proposal to bury a long-distance power cable across a one-mile stretch of Great Bay.

Efforts to clean up PFCs at the former Pease Air Force Base will be the topic of a meeting tonight in Portsmouth. Air Force officials plan to give an update on where those efforts stand, 3 years after the contamination was first discovered.

On Wednesday morning, Durham’s three-person human rights commission will discuss establishing an Indigenous Peoples Day. Town administrator Todd Selig says the idea came about as the town grappled with pushback over a mural at the local post office.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Prescott Park in downtown Portsmouth has long attracted locals and tourists alike with its historic backdrop and waterfront views.

But over the last few years it’s also attracted a fair amount of controversy.

At issue is both the history and future of the park.

An investigation by the state Attorney General’s office has concluded that state troopers were justified in their use of deadly force in the shooting of a Portsmouth man last month.

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, investigators released audio and video evidence of the encounter between police and Barry Jones outside the Hampton state liquor store in June.

Supporters of the Prescott Park Arts Festival say complaints about alcohol use at concerts this summer are overblown.

Police in Portsmouth say they plan to step up enforcement of the alcohol ban at the festival, after complaints were filed with the state attorney general's charitable trust unit.

Courtesy the Hampton Historical Society

Imagine you’re at Hampton Beach, strolling down Ocean Boulevard. To one side you have the long sandy beach and open ocean; to the other, a seemingly endless row of motels, restaurants, arcades, and t-shirt shops.

When the breeze picks up, you can just catch the smell of sunscreen and fried dough. It’s the quintessential Hampton Beach scene. But it turns out that your view of it can depend a lot on which side of the boulevard you’re standing on – the side owned by the state or the side owned by the town.

Over a million dollars is headed to New Hampshire to help protect coastal communities.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Since 1847, the Exeter Brass Band has been filling the air with horns and cymbal crashes.

The New Hampshire ensemble is one of the oldest continuously performing bands in the country. This summer, they’re back at it, doing the usual Monday night run of free concerts from the Exeter bandstand, also known as the Swasey Pavilion.

City of Rochester

Officials in Rochester are investigating what they say is illegal oil dumping into the city’s sewer system.

City officials say they first detected oil in the sewer system last November, then again every month since February.

Director of City Services John Storer says it seems to be dumped on semi-regular basis and is most likely waste oil – something the city offers to properly dispose of for free.

Jason Moon for NHPR

People concerned about a proposed utility project on the Seacoast gathered for a demonstration Wednesday afternoon.

Outside the offices of the Department of Environmental Services in Portsmouth, roughly 20 people held signs showing their support for the environmental health of the Great Bay estuary.

The state's largest utility, Eversource, is hoping to bury a portion of a proposed transmission line beneath Great Bay.

Demonstrators here say that could do permanent damage to the tidal estuary. Eversource maintains it won’t.

File Photo

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is proposing a moratorium on recreational fishing of cod in state waters.

Fish stock assessments show the population of cod is still at historic lows in New England waters.

In response, Fish and Game is proposing that all cod caught by recreational anglers be immediately released, year round.

The department is also proposing to limit recreational fishing of haddock – that species is doing fine, but fishermen going for haddock often end up with cod as well.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu spent Thursday morning at Hampton Beach. He toured local businesses and touted the area as a successful collaboration between public and private interests.

The Governor, flanked by members of the Hampton Chamber of Commerce, strolled down Ocean Boulevard...

“Enjoying the beach?”

Through the kitchens of local restaurants...

“Hey gang, how are you?

And into at least one candy store...

“Hey Pete I got us some fudge for the ride home!”

Jason Moon for NHPR

The Rochester Farmers Market is offering any veteran who lives in Strafford County a $20 voucher to thank them for their service.

The Vouchers for Veterans program lets veterans spend $20 at any of the Rochester Farmers Market vendors.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

If this Fourth of July is sounding noisier to you, you’re not wrong. This is the first Fourth of July in more than a decade that people can legally buy firecrackers in New Hampshire.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Over 200 people gathered around the steps of City Hall in Dover this morning for a special July 4th tradition: a reading of the Declaration of Independence by actors portraying John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson.

Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen is pushing for a national health study on the health effects of perfluorochemicals – the same chemicals that contaminated drinking water at the former Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth.

In an amendment to a $700 billion military spending bill, Senator Sheehan is hoping to fund a $7 million national health study about the effects of perfluorochemicals, or PFCS.

File Photo

About 30 airmen from the New Hampshire Air National Guard are schedule to be deployed to the Middle East next month.

The airmen will provide security for six air bases in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, which refers to the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan.

The deployment ceremony held this Sunday will be attended by Governor Chris Sununu, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, and Congresswoman Annie Kuster.

Captain Michael Petrin, with the Air National Guard, says having the dignitaries on hand can be important to the airmen.

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

A large section of downtown Portsmouth has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Dozens of individual sites around Portsmouth are already on the national register, but the announcement made earlier this week adds over 1200 historic resources to the list in one fell swoop. Those resources include historic buildings, cemeteries, and archaeological sites.

Reagan Ruedig is a historic preservationist and sits on the board of the Portsmouth Historical Society. She says the benefits of being on the register include more than just prestige.

Via USGS.gov

The city of Portsmouth and the town of Greenland are asking the state to help pay for public water at homes whose private wells may be at risk of water contamination.

Residents living near the Coakley Landfill in Greenland fear their private wells are drawing contaminated water from the superfund site which received municipal and industrial waste in the 70s and 80s.

Officials in Greenland had previously asked Portsmouth, which operates the only public well in Greenland, to extend water lines to about 300 homes near the landfill.

Wikimedia Commons

Three seniors at an elite New Hampshire prep school have been expelled days before graduation for tampering with an election for student council president.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Phillips Exeter Academy expelled the students June 2 following an investigation by the school's discipline committee.

A spokeswoman said the academy was presented with evidence that fraudulent ballots had been filled out and counted in the results of the April 25 election. She says the school is working with council and faculty advisers to determine how best to address the election results.

Portsmouth’s Market Square Day takes place Saturday. It’s the annual event’s 40th year.

The festival kicks off with a 10k road race at 9am and continues with street vendors and live music until 4pm.

It’s hosted by the non-profit group Pro Portsmouth. Barbara Massar is Executive Director.

“Altogether we probably accepted 170 vendors this year. So if you stand in Market Square and look in four directions, you’re going to see –beyond a sea of people—you’re going to see rows and rows of tents.”

Jim Richmond via Flickr Creative Commons

The federal agency that regulates the Seabrook Nuclear power plant is hosting a public meeting to discuss the plant’s 2016 record in safety.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will host the public meeting Wednesday night in Hampton.

Reuters

Union employees and the Westinghouse Electric Company have reached an agreement to end a two-week long lockout at the company’s Newington facility.

Last month, members of the International Brother of Boilermakers and Westinghouse Electric found themselves at odds over renewal of a labor contract.

When negotiations broke down, the company locked the employees out of their Newington factory which manufactures parts for nuclear power plants.

Now, Miguel Fonseca with the Boilermakers says the union and the company have reached a compromise.

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, officials in the town of Durham are looking for ways to stay involved locally.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Commercial fishermen in Northern New England face their fair share of challenges. Along with declining fish stocks and tight catch regulations, the occupation also remains one of the most dangerous in the country.

With that ever-present risk in mind, dozens of fishermen turned out in New Castle, New Hampshire recently for a day-long safety training exercise.

Photo via apartments.com

The owner and manager of a Dover, New Hampshire, apartment complex are accused of housing discrimination by limiting rental options for applicants with young children.

WMUR-TV reports the case came to the Department of Housing and Urban Development's attention when a mother filed a complaint alleging she had been denied the chance to rent a two-bedroom unit at the 192-unit White Cliffs at Dover complex.

The man poised to be the new chief of police in Portsmouth is accused of assault in a pending civil suit.

Robert Merner stands accused of assault while on duty as a Boston police officer in 2013.

Merner denies the allegations, which were the basis of an earlier lawsuit dismissed by a judge in Massachusetts.

Nicholas Erwin / Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office has reached a settlement with New England Dragway in Epping over violations of state environmental laws.

At issue were alterations the company made to about three and a half acres of wetlands during an upgrade of their facilities in 2012.

According to the attorney general’s office, the company later realized they made the alterations without the required permits and self-reported the violation to the state.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

New Hampshire has no shortage of trees, no lack of leaves or roots. Still, it’s nice when all that bark gets some formal recognition.

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