Seacoast

Maddie DeSantis

  When it comes to our state’s economic future, policymakers and business leaders bemoan New Hampshire’s aging population and the state’s failure to lure young people back to the state after college.  Usually, jobs are seen as the antidote. But in Somersworth, a youth renaissance is taking place thanks not to any employer – but to the strength of twelve millennials’ childhood bonds.

First, picture Somersworth. It’s got a couple pizza and sub shops, a pawn shop, a thrift store, and like in a lot of old New England mill towns, that’s about it.

Via Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen say the annual defense bill has provisions that authorize funding for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the Pease Air National Guard Base.

The senators, both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, say the bill authorizes the procurement of two Virginia Class submarines and funding at the shipyard, based in Kittery, Maine.

Funding also is included for the KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tanker program at Pease. The new tankers will replace the Air Force's current fleet of 1950s-era KC-135s.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

An unlicensed New Hampshire driver charged with driving into a group of bicyclists last year, killing two of them, is facing a Friday deadline to let a judge know if she will enter a guilty plea.

Related: Click here to see a photo gallery of the aftermath of the crash.

Police said 20-year-old Darriean Hess of Seabrook was speeding and under the influence of drugs when she ran into the bicyclists in Hampton. Hess was stopped for speeding in the same area hours earlier.

Chris Luczkow via Flickr CC

A judge has ruled that the public can use private land to get to Rye Beach because they've been doing so for more than 20 years.

The case was brought by 24-year Rye resident Robert Jesurum. The Sanders Poynt property and adjacent Wentworth by the Sea Country Club are owned by Bill Binnie.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that Superior Court Judge Marguerite Wageling said her ruling "may extend not only to beach access, but to parking and boat-launching rights." That will be determined later.

Min Lee via Flickr CC

New Hampshire health, environment and wildlife officials are holding a public meeting on shellfish rules for 2015.

The information session set for Tuesday night in Portsmouth will be an opportunity for the public to hear about a dye tracking study that traced effluent flows from the Pierce Island wastewater treatment facility to Little Harbor and areas of Portsmouth Harbor out to Odiorne Point. Officials say that study indicates that shellfish harvesting in those areas need to be closed.

Four N.H. Senate and two Executive Council candidates debated a range of issues in Portsmouth Monday night. The forum was hosted by a new nonprofit dedicated to engaging young adults in the democratic process, called The 603 Initiative.

Republican candidate for NH Senate District 21, Phil Nazzaro argued the state should reduce its taxes on business profits tax. But Longtime Democratic incumbent Martha Fuller Clark said NH needs that revenue:  

https://www.flickr.com/people/35626429@N08

Ships bearing West African flags do not pose health risks to Granite Staters, says Geno Marconi, Director of Ports and Harbors in New Hampshire.

Marconi says the Port of New Hampshire has received calls from citizens concerned about the transmission of the Ebola virus.

However, Marconi says, ships are often registered in Monrovia, Liberia, because of that country’s relaxed tax laws.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

There’s a painted blue line surrounding the entrance to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Over that blue line, political campaigning is not allowed, but just a few inches on this side of it – politics are in motion.

Over the last few months, Shipyard unions have endorsed at least five candidates, most of them Democrats. 

Gov. Maggie Hassan is helping dedicate the newly constructed Hampton State Pier.

The pier is the only public access, multi-use facility in Hampton Harbor. It supports the commercial fishing industry and charter fishing boats, and includes a public boat launch ramp.

The new pier was built after engineer divers who studied the pier in 2009 determined that it had severely deteriorated. A contract was awarded to Sea and Shore Contracting to replace the commercial wharf and floating docks, and Appledore Marine Engineering provided oversight and quality control services.

Beth LaMontagne Hall for NHPR

Walk along any street near downtown Portsmouth and you’ll likely hear the buzz of a moped motor. Recently, these small motorbikes have been whizzing along Portsmouth’s streets in greater numbers and packs of scooters can often be found parked along the sidewalks and in alleyways near the Portsmouth waterfront.

But this rise in moped ridership – and where they’ve been parking – has raised some concerns among business owners and city officials.

A coalition of federal and regional law enforcement officials have designated Rockingham County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.  Rockingham County joins Hillsborough as a so-called “HIDTA” county.

While it may seem like an unwanted distinction, Jay Fallon, Director of the New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, says it will actually bring additional federal funds and coordination between federal, state and local organizations

Guldfisken / flickr, creative commons

  The Portsmouth Athenaeum’s annual book sale begins on Friday at the North Church Parish. “There’s a bumper crop this year,” says Tom Hardiman, the Athenaeum’s “keeper,” or Executive Director.

minwoo / Flickr CC

New Hampshire may have a tiny seacoast but that doesn't stop people from hauling out oysters.

The state's Fish and Game department says oyster season is open from September through May. It's only open to Granite Staters and the shellfish can only be taken for personal consumption; no sales are allowed.

Oysters can be taken by hand or by using tongs but rakes are illegal.

Maine Department of Transportation

  A $25 million federal grant will subsidize the replacement of the aging Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which connects Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine.

The states applied for the grant together, which was awarded Monday.

In particular, the grant will fund the railroad tracks that go over the bridge along the route 1 bypass. These tracks are used by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to remove nuclear waste.

Update 3:50 PM:

Federal investigators say an initial probe shows the small plane that crashed shortly after takeoff in New Hampshire had no obvious mechanical failures before it fell from the sky, killing two people.

Todd Gunther of the National Transportation Safety Board says witness accounts indicate the Cessna pitched up sharply after take-off on Monday at Hampton Airfield, rolled to the left then plummeted into trees.

Juliet Marine Systems

An 18-person Portsmouth startup has built a futuristic stealth attack boat they are now shopping around to the Department of Defense. Caroline Winter with Bloomberg reports the Ghost, built by Juliet Marine Systems, will go for about $10 million each.   

Right now, a Ghost prototype resides in a hangar at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. There, CEO Gregory Sancoff told Winter the 4,000 horsepower aluminum and stainless steel vehicle is “such a smooth ride, you can sit there and drink your coffee going through six-foot swells.”

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  There’s been no shortage of people mourning the killing of James Foley by Islamic State militants. President Obama interrupted his Martha’s Vinyard vacation Wednesday to recall Foley -- who disappeared two years ago in Syria -- and to condemn his killers.

“People like this ultimately fail,” Obama said. “They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy. The world is shaped by people like Jim Foley and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him.”

http://www.africanburyinggroundnh.org / City of Portsmouth

As many as 200 Africans and their descendants are buried beneath a single block on Chestnut Street in downtown Portsmouth, known as the African Burying Ground.  On Monday, the Western lane of that city block will be transformed into a $1.2 million dollar memorial park. 

 David Moore does community development for the city. He says the memorial construction will include the "re-interment of remains that were exhumed in 2003 during excavations associated with a roadway construction project." That construction, he says, was "when the city rediscovered the existence of this site."

  Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte along with Congresswoman Carol-Shea Porter want to take a closer look at the potential environmental impacts of propane rail traffic through the Great Bay Estuary. 

Two Seabrook Police Officers were fired Wednesday in connection with the November 2009 assault of a man who had been taken into custody.

The incident took place four and a half years ago, but didn’t become public until earlier this year, when the assault victim, now 24 year old Mike Bergeron, posted a video of the incident on YouTube.

In the video, Officers Mark Richardson and Adam Laurent are seen shoving Bergeron, then 19, headfirst into a concrete wall.

Seabrook Town Manager William Manzi says the investigation was independent and fair.

Erin Urquhart / Putting Up With Erin

About 40 foodies are expected to show up at the Seacoast’s first community Food Swap this Sunday at Frank Jones Mansion in Portsmouth. 

Organizer Erin Urquhart says it works like this:

You get together and one person says 'ok I have two cans of blueberry jam, I have two pounds of carrots, I’m willing to swap for that,' and someone behind you says 'I have a sheet of brownies that I made, I want that instead.'

Emily Corwin for NHPR

A trial has been rescheduled for a New Hampshire woman accused of giving a drug to a 19-year-old woman hours before the teen drove into some cyclists, killing two.

Foster's Daily Democrat reports the trial is scheduled for Oct. 6 for 49-year-old Cindy Sheppard of Hampton, with a final pretrial hearing on Sept. 25.

Sheppard was indicted in January on charges of dispensing a controlled drug and possession of fentanyl, cocaine and methadone.

AT&T has decided to withdraw an application to install a 130-foot cell tower in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, after residents voiced their opposition.

The Portsmouth Herald reports staff attorney Brian Grossman said AT&T is re-evaluating its network priorities, including the best way to improve wireless coverage within Portsmouth.

The company said, though, that customer demand is growing. It says 70 percent of its customers have smartphones and the amount of data handled by the national networks doubled between 2011 and 2012.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is meeting with fishermen to discuss the impact of a plan to distribute $32.8 million in federal fishery disaster funds across New England.

New Hampshire is getting more than $2 million in disaster relief with more than $900,000 going to direct assistance for New Hampshire fishermen, and more than $1.1 million being used at the state's discretion.

Robin Nystron via Flickr CC

City officials in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, say one of their oldest trees has died.

The American elm tree on Peirce Island was over 100 years old.

The Portsmouth Herald reports members of the Peirce Island Committee noticed the elm didn't sprout buds in the spring. The tree has no leaves.

Peter Loughlin, chairman of the city's Trees and Public Greenery Committee, said Dutch elm disease has killed American elms up and down the East Coast. He said the tree was the last surviving elm in the city.

Lady Liberty
Lorianne DiSabato / Flickr Creative Commons

Today's the big day at the 14th Annual Master Sand Sculpting Competition at New Hampshire's Hampton Beach.   Sculptures by some of the continent's best sand artists will be on display and be professionally judged for $15,000 in prizes that will be announced at 8 p.m. Saturday.  Sculpture fans also get to vote from 1 to 4 p.m. for the People's Choice Award.   A sand sculpting lesson will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. to those who sign up at the Chamber of Commerce office near the sculptures.    Fireworks cap off the day at 9:30.

Flickr: InAweofGod'sCreation

  Some things never change in New Hampshire – including our position as a battleground state. In 1788, eight colonies had ratified the constitution – but nine were needed to establish the United States of America.

Stephanie Seacord, with Strawbery Banke Museum, says New Hampshire was split. "There were two factions in NH," she says.  One, wanted to stay independent, the other hoped to join the union. The latter was largely based in Portsmouth and led by then-Governor John Langdon.

New Hampshire State Police have safely arrested an armed man sought in an area of southern New Hampshire near the Massachusetts border after an earlier confrontation with police at his home.

Maj. David Parenteau said Tuesday night that officers found 44-year-old Anthony Reardon back in his South Hampton home about five hours after they had condoned off the nearby area with a large police presence.

Parenteau said the first officers who came to his home Tuesday afternoon found Reardon with weapons he refused to surrender.

The city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is a step closer to acquiring ownership of a building that's been under federal control.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says she's received a commitment from the U.S. General Services Administration to leave the McIntyre Federal Building and to work with the city to transfer ownership.

The city has long wanted ownership of the building in downtown Portsmouth.

Emily Corwin

  After six months of deliberation, the Newington planning board has approved a controversial proposal to bring up to 12 railcars of propane through the Seacoast each night. 

The company, called SEA-3, wants to transport domestic propane from oil wells in Pennsylvania and elsewhere to the Seacoast, for export by ship.

But neighborhood groups in Portsmouth, Stratham and Greenland have opposed the rail expansion, voicing concerns about moving explosive materials over aging railroad tracks.

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