Seacoast

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. 

File Photo

The state Department of Health and Human Services says it's still determining if it can proceed with another round of blood tests for people exposed to contaminants at Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth. 

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. 

Seacoast Charter School

An Arts and Music Charter School on the Seacoast that had faced closure is now likely to stay open.

The Seacoast Charter School has been trying to raise money to stay open since it learned its current lease from Sanborn Regional School District in Kingston wouldn’t be renewed.  The school needed to raise $125,000 by the end of May to lease a new space in Stratham. 

Seacoast Charter School Principal Peter Durso says the school met that goal through the efforts of teachers, parents, and some deep pocketed youngsters.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Two cities and eleven individuals will have the chance to weigh in on propane company SEA-3’s controversial project in Newington. 

The state’s Site Evaluation Committee is in the middle of evaluating whether to approve SEA-3’s request to expand. SEC evaluations can take up to a year, and SEA-3 has requested an exemption to speed it up. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

For over ten years, the city of Portsmouth has been trying to decide whether and where to build a second downtown parking garage.  On Monday night, city councilors voted unanimously to bond a $23 million new garage.

Of the 150 or so people who packed City Hall, more than 50 testified in favor of the garage; four testified against it.  Pressure was on for the three city councilors who had indicated uncertainty over the project.

Garage Enthusiasts

https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Strafford_County,_New_Hampshire_Genealogy

The mayors of Dover, Somersworth and Rochester have created a commission to pool municipal resources. 

As cities go, these cities are on the small side, with populations from 12,000 to 30,000. Rochester Mayor T.J. Jean says he hopes together, the tri-city commission can find economies of scale through collective purchasing and other measures. 

"Each community is going to send two representatives to bring ideas and discuss ideas on how we might be able to work together so we aren’t all spending the same amount of money on the same things," he says.

Town of Rye

Some Seacoast towns voted down major capital projects, although residents in New Castle, it turns out, will have a second chance at one of their warrant articles.

In Rye, residents voted not to spend $4 million dollars to renovate their town hall. In North Hampton, a simple majority favored a $7 million new library, and safety complex: but a super majority was needed to pass the measure.

www.seacoastsciencecenter.org

The Seacoast Science Center’s Marine Mammal Rescue Team just wrapped up its inaugural year.

The team took over responding to rescue calls for seals and other stranded mammals in coastal New Hampshire last January.

The New England Aquarium in Boston previously handled those duties.

Ashley Stokes is rescue coordinator for the Marine Mammal Rescue Team.

She joins Morning Edition to talk about the group’s efforts.

Erwin Bernal via Flickr CC

Create an album in twenty-eight days - that's the idea behind the RPM Challenge. Those taking part have to create ten songs, or thirty-five minutes of original material, all of which has to be written and recorded during the month of February. 

Emily Corwin for NHPR

The unlicensed New Hampshire driver charged with plowing into a group of bicyclists last year, killing two Massachusetts women, is set to plead guilty.

Darriean Hess is scheduled to plead guilty Monday to two counts each of manslaughter and second-degree assault.

Police say the 20-year-old Seabrook woman was ticketed for speeding Sept. 21, 2013. Eight hours later, she was speeding on the same road and under the influence of drugs when she ran into the cyclists in Hampton.

photologue_np via flickr Creative Commons

The Seacoast area is expected to see the greatest job growth in New Hampshire over the next decade.

That’s according to a report issued Wednesday by the state employment office.

The report projects 10-percent job growth statewide, with 14.7 percent growth in the Seacoast region, while only 4.8 percent in the North Country.

The report cites the dispersed population and geographic isolation of the North Country as major reasons for its slow projected growth.

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